What type of cancer do YOU have? Is it breast? Skin? Lung? Throat? Or perhaps it is the worst of all cancers: self-pity?
Yes, self-pity is a cancer. It is a horrible disease, one that causes people to curl up and withdraw, to lash out at the people who care for them, to abandon friends and family, to think only of themselves. This type of cancer feeds the other cancers and causes it to spread, not just within themselves but within those around them.
It’s hard to be around someone with Self-Pity Cancer. Eventually, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and whatever the patient was complaining about or predicting comes true.
Just yesterday, a friend of mine stopped over to visit me. She lost her older sister to breast cancer and had pre-cancer herself. She opted for the double mastectomy so she knows exactly what I’m going through. I remember when she went through it. She was upbeat, positive, and I don’t think she cried or panicked one time. She gets my approach to disease…the positive, upbeat survivor mentality. Not once did she feel sorry for herself or complain.
While we talked yesterday, she mentioned her sister. One of her comments was about how lousy her sister’s attitude was, always lamenting “Why me?” or being angry with God. Gina told me that, eventually, people didn’t want to be around her because she was so miserable and angry. She called it “cancer feeding her cancer”.
I really thought about that. And it’s true.
I’m so touched by how many people have reached out to me, both on Facebook and private email. I haven’t asked for these prayers or words of comfort but these people, mostly strangers mixed in with my good friends, send them willingly and with love. I have also received many private messages thanking me for my upbeat approach to having cancer. It inspires them to find the silver linings instead of sitting around and reflecting only on the negative.
No one wants cancer. No one wants disease. However, I believe that God wants us to not question His plans or reasons but to carry on. That’s what I have been doing and I believe that is God’s plan. If you truly have faith and love for the Lord, whether you are very public about it or very private (as I am), there should be no anger or fear or tears. Just acceptance and the ability to live life happily, free from the constraints that constant reflection on the disease brings.