This is a 3-mintue read.
I felt disempowered when people said to me that I needed help and support.
“You’re going to need help, you’ll be feeling like … ” (Insert feelings that are typically associated with cancer). It pissed me off that before treatment has even begun, I was being prepared for the worst. I appreciate that medical professionals and others who have experience cancer are providing insight and assuming what my cancer experience will be like. I do not appreciate being told only one side of the story. The down side-effects.
I didn’t feel like I needed help and support. I felt focussed, but people kept telling me that I needed support.
More than 80% of the time I was cruising. I took everything in stride. Sure I had puddle days. Where I wasn’t feeling so, crash hot. I took it easy on those days. I put my gumboots on and splashed around.
I knew that people wanted to contribute, I had to work out a way that they could show their love without feeling like I ‘needed’ people. So I decided to ask for ‘back up.’
Here is what you need to do when people say they want to help you;
1.REFRAME THE CONVERSATION and tell them that you don’t feel like you need help and support. Tell them that that language doesn’t make sense to you. The second that someone suggests you need help and support it sometimes has the connotation that you are not, coping, not managing and this is when some people with cancer go into I can do it all by myself mode. Who wants to feel like they can’t cope? No one I know, so removing the disempowering language will get you into I can do this with people who care about me by my side – mode. Much more comforting don’t you think?
2.TELL THEM YOU NEED BACK UP AND REASURRANCE, which is more about them assisting you the way, you need. Not what they want to do to feel good about themselves because they have helped you. There will be a heap of rescuers that will come out of the closet and try and convince you that you need them. You know what and who you need. Include people in your circle that will do things with you, not to save you from your supposed pain.
3.SEEK GUIDANCE AND EDUCATION about how you talk to the people closest to you. Print off the Cancer Confidence™ Manifesto and the 7 Stages of Cancer Acceptance™. You won’t have to explain yourself to everyone around you. you can show them.
People that want to see you fly during cancer will follow your lead. Notice those who get onboard and the ones who make your cancer experience about them.