No Right or Wrong

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

AUGUST 04, 2017

Let's be very clear: There is no right and no wrong behavior during cancer. There is only what is possible for you. All of us have at least a few (and maybe many more) moments/days/weeks of anger or panic or great sadness. During those times, we cry and wail and aren't so easy to be around. Fortunately, there are other better times.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you have to be positive or upbeat or stoical or anything else. You never have to identify any blessings or positives about the experience. You can be as negative as you want. Your only job is to get through it with as much self-respect and even grace that you can manage. Up to you entirely.

This is a nice essay from The New York Times:

There's No 'Right' Way to Respond to Cancer 
By Heather Millar

An acquaintance of mine was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. We don’t know each other super well, but we comment back and forth on Facebook regularly and occasionally see each other at conferences. She just announced her diagnosis on Facebook, and she seemed to be reacting with stoicism and confidence. 
She has had another cancer in the past, and so she knows a bit of the road ahead. She said she feels fine. 
She said she knows it’s going to be tough, but that she’s planning on working through it and keeping her life as normal as possible. She seemed upbeat and determined. “Let’s do this.” 
The outpouring of concern and encouragement on social media was huge. She’s a bright and caring person. 
I found myself reading her post over again, and again. I admire her bravery. I admire her positive, can-do, “f*** cancer” attitude.

Read more:

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.