Kate G
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Diary of a "Fake" Cancer Patient - The Company of Strangers

Kate G
Posted by
13 Jul 2014

It’s been a better week this week although I’m very sad to report that my little cat has not come home. Not sure who is most upset – our lovely Labrador Meg, my Dan, or me but speaking for myself, although I still have occasional weepy moments, I’m rather more in control of my emotions than I was.

It’s also been a rather busy week, because aside of mum stuff & work, I’m taking part in the Race for Life – Pretty Muddy event next Sunday for Cancer Research UK with some of the girls from work & we’ve been emailing & facebooking everyone we know asking them to sponsor us! Mid-week, I volunteered to join the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Association Stand at the Cardiff Science Festival next Saturday & will be alongside some of the amazing researchers from the UHW Wales, listening to them talk about the groundbreaking work that they’re doing on blood cancers. Also this week, one of closest friends joined the on-line support network about which I’ve spoken before, as my personal supporter, & it was wonderful to see the welcome that she got from other members. Finally, I spent several hours yesterday collecting for Macmillan at one of my local supermarkets..

The reason for my mentioning all of the above is that in different ways, each of them has involved or will involve people talking to complete strangers about their experiences of cancer. Yesterday was the first time that I have taken part in a supermarket collection for a cancer charity – every other event that I have been involved in has been as a consequence of some activity or sponsored event which people had chosen to attend so this was something a bit different for me. What really struck me was not only the number of people who gave so generously but also how many wanted to share their own personal experiences & also to ask about mine. Each story was deeply personal to that individual & I heard some incredibly uplifting accounts of their battle with cancer & most had something fundamental in common – that being diagnosed with cancer had renewed their will to live!

One person also said something with which I wholeheartedly agree - that in a strange way it was almost liberating to be diagnosed, since a diagnosis of cancer is feared by all but that once you are there, you have to stop dreading it & start dealing with it. For me, denial of my cancer is a wasteful exercise & mostly I have learned to accept it & to move on from it since there is so much joy to be felt from living & in appreciating what life has to offer. This was demonstrated yesterday through the generosity & kindness of complete strangers & when I meet people such as I met yesterday, it restores my faith in humanity & renews my own zest for life!

Comments

14.07.2014

Wow, Kate, you have been busy!

It's great to hear that you're experiences collecting were so positive - I've encountered similar when I've been collecting and it really helped me realise that people do care and that you are not alone in having an experience of cancer.

Couldn't agree more about the need to face up to what you're dealing with at some point and think it's great that you're embracing life rather than dreading what may or may not happen in the future. Have a great week and keep up that positive thinking!