You can’t get mad at someone with cancer. FALSE.
They are still the same person they were before the diagnosis with the same annoying habits and ability to push your buttons. There are a few big differences though. I try SO hard to let things slide. I remind myself that Dave is stressed or tired or feels like garbage. When I do finally reach my breaking point and get angry, there is guilt involved. A lot of guilt. Then I forgive myself because I am only human.
You will feel a need to do everything they want to do. TRUE
I hardly ever say no now. You want to go out to dinner? Sure. You want to go to Disney World in July during one of the most crowded times of the year? Why not? You say you want to get a puppy? What a great idea! There are times when I think “What about what I want to do?” Then I feel selfish.
Living with cancer makes you appreciate every moment. FALSE
It would be great if that were true. The reality is there is still work and laundry and dentist appointments. So much of our time is spent doing the same stuff we were doing before Dave’s diagnosis. I think that we make more effort to spend time with friends now and dedicate at least a part of our weekends to doing something fun as a family.
People will offer to help. SO TRUE
I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t said “Please let us know if we can help.” We appreciate that very much. But the reality is that unless your name ends in Tremaine or Thompson, it is highly unlikely that we will ask for help. It’s embarrassing. It would be admitting that we couldn’t handle things on our own. It would remind us that our lives have veered off course. We know this, of course, but acknowledging it is a totally different story.