Protecting Others From Your Cancer: Excerpt Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey

One way to see how minimizing can play a role in your cancer walk is to look at the ways people share or do not share about their cancer with those they love:

People diagnosed with cancer …

  • Might protect the people they love from the difficulty of their cancer treatment.
  • Might not share the severity of their discomfort, fatigue or pain.
  • Might not tell of their fears for their future or the future for those they love.
  • Might feel that “No one wants to hear about my cancer.”

Caregivers and loved ones …

  • Might protect the person with the diagnosis by not sharing stressful topics affecting the caregiver and others.
  • Might not share about struggles with finances, maintaining the household, their own fatigue or even the caregiver’s health.
  • Might feel that “No one wants to hear about the cancer.”

Sharing on your Cancer Journey

What about you?

  • Find changes in your Sharing Score. Place an X to indicate how much you shared at each phase of your cancer journey.

How much did you share about the difficulties in your life with those you love

Before the diagnosis:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————— 2 ——————— 3 ——————– 4 ————————- 5

Beginning of Treatment:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————— 2 ——————– 3 ——————– 4 ————————- 5

Now:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————— 2 ——————— 3 ——————– 4 ————————- 5

  • Do you see changes in your Sharing Scores? How?

Share your response if you would like.

The problem is that the people you are protecting are the ones you’ve shared your struggles with throughout your life.  Raising kids, financial difficulties, grief, loss- it’s our loved ones that we turn to through these.  Now cancer has come, and as both a patient and a caregiver, we protect our loved ones from the strain it is having on us.  “They have enough on their plates.  They don’t need to worry about me.”  Does this sound like minimizing?

It may help to think of minimizing from the flip side.  When have people you love been in need, and yet did not tell you until it was all over?  Can you see times when you know the Lord would have used you to lessen that person’s load, even if primarily through companionship and prayer?  Too often we think, “No need to say anything, because they can’t “do” anything.”  There is a loneliness and isolation that can stifle a cancer walk.  The truth?  God designed us to live in community.  That’s where the joy of the Lord is easiest to touch.

So, if we are going to improve our prayer life- and perhaps our relationships- by acknowledging the impact of cancer on our lives, the first step is to take a closer look at areas the impact might be felt.  (REMEMBER- each of these areas of impact affect cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones.)

About Karen Tripp

Beyond being a Christian Counselor and the President of Cancer Companions, Karen loves to read (she's a great reader) and loves to sing (she's a bad singer) in her home near St Louis, MO. Cancer has personally touched Karen's personal life through her dad - a 23 year colon cancer survivor. Impacting lives for Christ through her speaking, writing and counseling fills Karen with a passion which infuses every task she approaches. (except matching socks. Karen hates matching socks.)
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