Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Are You Okay With This?

"Are you okay with this? Letting people know you had cancer I mean..."

This is a sentence I have heard from multiple people resulting from many different types of conversations. I can understand this sentiment. I tried to hide everything I could from basically everyone for a long time with regards to my treatment, side effects, and everything else that went with cancer.

"People can just google this and they might find out you had cancer"

This line I have heard when having discussions on my blog, writing, my fundraising or anything else I really get involved in when Cancer is the main issue. And my cancer at that. When you put your self out there, I always have to think about who might read this.I understand all the issues with coming clean to the world. Some things may work out better, but some things may get worse, and there is risk associated with it.

I completely understand where people are coming from. For some, it is a privacy issue. For others, it can be something that can put strain on a friendship, or relationship that they have. Some people get offended by what you may say or do. And yes, it coming out that you had cancer can have detrimental effects such as losing insurance, or being completely rejected (This I had happen to me recently). Also, places like banks don't particularly like the fact that I had cancer, and won't give me money anymore (too much of a "risk").

Some people don't like to share what happened to them with regards to cancer, and that really is their choice. Some people have a harder time then others giving bad news or hearing bad news, and I understand that. The thing I I don't like about it some of these statements, is that there can be a negative connotation with it. The look in some peoples eyes when they ask "are you sure you want to tell people," for whatever issue, or whatever topic, makes you think something is up. Sometimes, when it comes out "are you okay with this" it makes me feel like I should be ashamed or embarrassed about what happened to me.

Truth is, I had cancer. It sucked. There is no other way to really describe it.It certainly isn't something I am proud of, but it is obviously part of my life. Something that left a huge impact on me, as it has for many others. I try to speak up, put myself out there as best I can with cancer issues, because I am not the only one who was effected by this. I am not alone in this battle, which is hard to remember some days.

The truth is I am not okay with having cancer and I probably never will be. But I am certainly not ashamed of it either. And I will continue to put myself out there, put my story out there, because if someone doesn't like the fact that I had cancer, or if someone is not willing to take a chance on me then that is there problem. It is just another piece of stress I can live without.

I feel putting my story out there, voicing my concerns, my problems, and my successes since I had cancer has, for me, been an overall positive experience. The people I have met, the stories I have heard of what people have and are going through gives me a lot of hope for people. I hear about people who are still fighting, some fighting again and again, and they are all important stories. I hear about great things, like people who many would consider "normal" people raising huge amounts of money for cancer research, setting up websites for support, and generally doing great things because they can.

These people by putting their stories out there (and being able to be seen on Google) gave me strength at times when I didn't have very much because of cancer. I am so happy that these networks were in place when I got sick. That people have made the effort in some many ways in the fight against cancer. So yes, I will always be okay with putting my story out there, and working to raise money for cancer research, because I feel every little bit helps, and I am thankful for everyone who put themselves out there.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eamonn, I was actually just checking out a few of your posts and had a quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) gmail.com- Thanks : )