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« Hope Will Find You | Main | Key to the City »

June 04, 2011


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FINANCIAL is another challenge many of us face: payment plans for surgery and chemo that we couldn't afford to pay all at once, payment for follow-up care and meds after treatment, payment for health insurance because we need good coverage, and payment for everyday bills and expenses if we lost or gave up our jobs and haven't been able to find another that pays as well. Money is often an enormous challenge for cancer survivors.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Agreed. Thank you for pointing out the serious omission. I'll update post. WSH

Jonnie HIckman

The financial issues do often affect a healthy survival. Treatment choices have to be made at times with keeping the financial matters in mind.

I have a friend who lost his wife to colon cancer. She decided not to do further treatment so he didn't lose their home.

I think at times the people who are NOT struggling with cancer forget that besides fighting cancer we have all the day to day stuff to fight too

Marj Warner

I am new to you, but not cancer. Non hodgkins Lymphoma, Diffuse B Cell 3 1/2 yrs. Waiting for results of CT scan at James Cancer in Columbus, Ohio. I am going to read your books as I need help with all the emotions and changes in who I am. Will I ever be the same again? I think not. How do we live our lives now that this cancer has invaded our bodies, our mines, and our lives ?What did I do differently than my 5 older healthy siblings? I find it unfair that after a life of 35 yrs of working, failures, losses, and disappointments, I have found peace in the love of my grandsons and cancer has found me. I am not ready to accept cancer. I am angry.

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Marj,

It's human nature to want justice in relationships and in society.

In most social situations, this natuaral desire is highly adaptive for everyone involved. Anger that arises when we experience injustice is adaptive, mobilizing us to try to make things better.

Health is a different story. Intellectually, we all know that cancer is non-discriminatory. Even people who take every known step to decrease the risk of cancer can still develop it. Yet anger is a natural response to having cancer. I don't know you, but I suspect your anger may stem from your natural desire for things to be fair.

As a Healthy Survivor, it may help to understand where your anger is coming from helps. Anger can be the signal of a problem and/or the response to a problem.

As a Healthy Survivor, it may help to find a safe place to express your anger. Do you have a friend or family member who can listen without saying, "Don't be angry." Rather, do you have someone who will say, "I see you are angry; how can I help?"

As a Healthy Survivor, it may help to maneuver that anger in life-enhancing ways. I've known people who were furious at having cancer and used that anger to mobilize them to research treatment options, eat well, take medications properly, find spiritual peace, find a good support team of friends and family. In essence, these people used the energy of their anger to fuel health-promoting and life-enhancing changes.

As for "I'm not ready to accept cancer," I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Can you help me understand?

With hope, Wendy

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