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Cancer - Affirmation test on kinship and friendship

The power of people is real and it can work both ways for patients. They can provide love and care that can help patients lead better quality of life, prolonging life or even a full recovery. The doctors call this a miracle.

On the other hand, if they desert the patients, they cause disappointment and might jeopardize the patients' recovery. In reality, it is a blessing in disguise for patients to recognize who are their true friends in adversity. Indeed, many patients have found new friendships and life becomes more enriching thereafter.

People make a difference and they must know how to support a friend or loved one who has cancer. Some patients shared with me that they were overwhelmed by the telephone calls, concern and support that they were receiving from relatives and friends. While reading the book, "Cancer has its privileges", I found that the write-up below was closely related to that experienced by our local patients.

When I was diagnosed with cancer :
My first friend came and expressed his shock by saying,
"I can't believe that you have cancer. I always thought you were so active and healthy."
He left and I felt alienated and somehow very "different".

My second friend came and brought me information about
different treatments being used for cancer. He said,
"Whatever you do, don't take chemotherapy. It's a poison!"
He left and I felt scared and confused.

My third friend came and tried to answer my "whys?"
with the statement "Perhaps God is disciplining you for some sin in your life?"
He left and I felt guilty.

My fourth friend came and told me,
"If your faith is just great enough, God will heal you."
He left and I felt my faith must be inadequate.

My fifth friend came and told me to remember that
"All things work together for good."
He left and I felt angry.

My sixth friend never came at all.
I felt sad and alone.

My seventh friend came and held my hand and said,
"I care, I'm here, I want to help you through this."
He left and I felt loved!

When helping a patient, one must know his/her needs in order to provide the right kind of support. Likewise, the patients must make known his/her likes and dislikes. Remember, it takes both hands to clap in the correct rhythm.

If you need more information, please click here to read an online Guide for Cancer Supporters published by R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation.

Posted on 11 February 2004

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