Sharing is caring. I know that may sound cliche and a bit naive but that has been my mission since being diagnosed with cancer. When I was told I had breast cancer and would have to undergo a mastectomy I was shocked. I remember feeling numb…until that wore off and fear set in. I started to read everything I could about cancer and what I should expect but most websites were too clinical. They didn’t provide me with what I really needed…and that was honest information about what lay ahead of me.
Since starting my blog I have had compliments and criticisms about sharing so many personal hurdles and yes even triumphs. A dear friend and colleague who has been a wonderful support came to me a few months ago to tell me he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He did not want anyone to know but shared with me because he needed support and encouragement too. He felt comfortable telling me his fears, asking questions about the physical and emotional toll cancer takes upon us and talked openly about his own mortality. That is a difficult thing to talk about with anyone so I felt honoured that he trusted me enough to share. He did however challenge me on whether my “sharing” was a good thing or not. He asked was I not worried that no one would ever do business with me again because I was “sick”? He asked was I not concerned that being so honest about my journey would paint me in a bad light as I would seem weak. I answered him truthfully that yes,I had some concerns but the need for me to reach and help as many people as possible was just too important to me to not talk about my cancer openly. He said he understood but did not want anyone to know of his diagnosis. Of course I respected that. I would not say anything as it was not my story to tell. Over the last few months he had surgery which was successful. He was told that the margins were clear, that the cancer had not metasticized but would still need a few rounds of radiation to ensure all was well. He was going to be ok! We were trying to organize a Zoom call, as with COVID we could not meet in person, to toast each other with a glass of scotch; his favourite drink and a good cigar. We had shared many a glass and Cohiba over the 23 years of our friendship.
On Friday morning I received a call that my dear friend had passed away.
“What? How? Why? He was doing so well?!?!?” I cried.
My friend had had a massive heart attack and died instantly. He would not have suffered and I took solace in that. “It’s the way he would have wanted to go” his daughter told me. The only thing missing I told her was that glass of scotch. We laughed and agreed. Yes we laughed. For even in the darkest hour we must find a positive light, something good to hold on to. Something to help us ease the burden of all the pain and sadness we all experience in our lives.
Life is short. I know only too well how quickly you realize that when you’ve been told you have cancer. We must make the best of every minute we have on this planet. We must celebrate the triumphs more and downplay all the negative chatter that fills ours heads and our screens 24/7. Focus on the good. Enjoy life to the fullest. Tell people you love them. Don’t be afraid to “share”. You never know who you might be inspiring.
I’ll miss you “P”.
#cancer #mortality #sharingiscaring #positvementalattitude
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.