I am a breast cancer survivor and this Atheist Nexus team walked with me through the most dreadful days and cheered me on as I climbed Mount Cancer! I am almost completed with treatment and look forward to a healthy, productive, happy future. There is real hope for those just beginning the climb, and with good teams of medical professionals, family, neighbors, friends, and virtual friends, we can remain relatively peaceful during those challenges.
I recommend the Cancer group on Atheist Nexus; many people posted describing their symptoms, effects of treatments, things that helped and harmed them as they took on the fight, and even offered some fun along the way.
So many people offered me prayers when I reported I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I thanked them for their concern and then reminded them to get a check up themselves and remind their loved ones to get one.
I also offered ideas of other things people can actually do, such as give money to cancer research, participate in money raising drives, to learn about cancer, and volunteer at a cancer care facility. The volunteers helped me learn how to unplug chemo equipment and go to the bathroom, and brought me water or snacks to help get the chemical taste out of my mouth, or who helped those who had no help from family members, or to hold an emesis basin for those whose bodies projectile vomited.
On my more wretched days, when prayer was offered I told them that prayer was inadequate and insufficient when dealing with cancer, they could do something useful and I listed options.
Cancer is not a kind, loving, or compassionate disease. It requires thought and action to meet it head on. On March 19, 2013, when my physician called to tell me I had breast cancer, I responded as I do to any challenge, "What do we do now?" I create a team from the very beginning and built them as I go along.
As I completed each protocol of chemo, radiation, and now Herceptin drips, I thank each team member and express my gratitude for their kindness and compassion. I have no need to thank god or any supernatural being other than my own body's work and the many who participate in my treatment and recovery.
Joan, I am overjoyed that you are better, and that your treatments are almost over. Not only did you climb 'Mount Cancer', but throughout your expedition you educated the rest of us! You presented intellectual and ethical conundrums for us to debate, and important news and intriguing articles for us to discuss, with an unending and truly incomprehensible drive and energy. You have my highest admiration, Joan. You grab the world by the throat and give it a good shake!
Oh! Dogly, you are so kind. I treasure your comments. Yes, I do grab the world by the throat and can think of no other way to take on the challenges that so easily overwhelm one.
Your support for me has been priceless, and your friendship means a great deal to me. Thank!
Joan, you lead by example. I'm not happy you had to go through this, but if you had to, I'm glad we have been sharing our experiences. It helps me to hear about your experience and attitude while I am traveling a my different but related journey.
Just really glad you are getting to the completion. It's quite an experience!.
Yes! indeed. Cancer is quite an experience. Sadly, sharing the experiences with you has been one of my deepest sorrows because you have had a far more difficult cancer to overcome. Your treatment is gruelling and you remain the sweet, gentle man you were before starting.
The good news, we are both alive today and have this day to make anything of it we are able and willing and want to do. The fact that you have been able to continue to work, while I slept through a great deal of the misery, fills me with wonder. How did you do it?
My fondest respect to you. Thanks for your support!