Attitude is half the battle when you’re sick

A good piece about attitude and how sometimes comments about attitude can be irritating (I know I have been annoyed at times). But more important, the recognize that what is behind those well-meaning comments is that people care, and the need, as people with cancer, to smile and brush it off (and save the venting later). Quote:

But the last one has always been the toughest. Attitude! According to most people, my good attitude is “half the battle”.

So, let me get this straight … Fifty percent is surgery, chemotherapy, needles, blood draws, hair loss, fatigue, digestive nightmares and the other half is attitude? What about the people walking around with rotten attitudes who smoke and eat corn dogs? They are just fine.

It has taken a few months (hmmm, maybe two years) to reconcile myself with all this. Especially that last one. I have to admit that it took time for me to get grounded in the attitude thing. It also helped to have my husband’s good counsel, usually in the form of “honey, c’mon…knock it off”.

It’s really so simple that there should be a lightning bolt hanging over my head to remind me that attitude isn’t about what’s happened to me. It’s all about how I handle what’s happened to me.

It helps to remember that the flag wavers of hope and advice are well meaning people. They care about me and they want desperately to offer some contribution to my staying power. When they tell me I look great and they are glad to see that I’m back to my old self, they mean it. I believe they also know the unspoken truths, like sometimes I really don’t feel well, that ongoing treatments are miserable, that this is remission only and that there is real worry about my future.

Attitude is half the battle when you’re sick.


4 thoughts on “Attitude is half the battle when you’re sick

  1. Hey there,

    It’s funny, because the ‘attitude’ issue comes up a lot on the discussion boards for ovarian cancer. It gets really hard to speak to others about your situation when you’re either a loved one or a patient affected by cancer in some way. If a person has never ‘been there’, I think the natural (yet irritating) inclination of the clueless is to issue platitudes or an overly-optimistic (aka unrealistic) comment. People who haven’t ‘been there’ either can’t or don’t want to recognize the actual magnitude of what you’re living through.

    But you ARE right, and most people do mean well. I do think it’s a comfort thing – people don’t want to talk about anything that feels uncomfortable, and cancer and illness definitely are not fun. However, changing your outlook/attitude toward their responses might not do anything for them, but it certainly helps you.

    I also don’t think that people understand that “remission” doesn’t mean “cured” and “cured” doesn’t mean “completely out of the woods forever”. Public education is key for that – and it’s not always easy to take on that role when you’re healing.


    Sunny and Take Back Teal

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s