Photo by Seamus McKiernan, via Huffington Post
I love Suleika’s insights into the world of a cancer patient. She doesn’t hold back. By sharing her story, she not only helps cancer patients who can relate to her journey, but she also helps those who are trying to understand what their loved ones are going through.
Suleika Jaouad writes about her experiences as a young adult with cancer.As a cancer patient, I think a lot about how we talk about illness — or more often, how we talk around it. Even the word “cancer” is ugly, scary, burdensome — a roadblock for a conversation before it even starts. Who wants to go there? Much of the time, I’d rather not bring it up if I don’t have to — and I’m the one with the disease!
When the topic is a life-threatening disease, the instinct — for both the patient and non-patient — is often to freeze, and try to come up with a positive spin.
“I’m trying to think positive!” I’ll tell a friend, after listing the symptoms I’m having.
“I’m staying strong!” I’ll write in a text message.
“It’s tough, but I can do this.”