Together we will beat cancer


Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

24 May 2015 11:34

All of us have a good go at keeping positive and cheerful through our illness, looking on the brighter side, keeping hope burning, enjoying as best you can each day as it comes.
Having accepted cancer as something you have to get on with, what positive things if any can you think of that cancer has brought to your life.

For me - I don't waste any days, I try to do something useful each day. I have more empathy for people in general, most people have some aspect of their life they struggle with. I appreciate even more the beautiful world around me. I haven't suffered from depression during my illness.
On a lighter note there is free parking at the hospital and my toothpaste is free (on prescription).

So what are your positives - anyone.


Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

24 May 2015 12:55 in response to kimchoson

Hi kimchison

The main posative thing has not been with me but my Mum (84).  She suffers with depression and paranoia and went worse after my Dad died over a year ago.  Since my diagnosis she has realised that she cannot rely on me for everything and has started to do some things for herself and has accepted invitations from friends to go shopping and out for lunch.  Before she used to panic and phone me everytime she got some mail even junk mail, now she waits for me to contact her (which I do every day) and then goes through her post and deals with what she can and asks me about the rest.

The other thing is when you get cold calls I tell them sorry I am dealing with my cancer and dont have time that gets rid of them quick.

As for me I get free perscriptions for the next 5 years and I have come across some lovely people on this forum.  I did take my occupational pension early rather than wait another 6 years so have more spending power which will go on enjoying life.

I have always enjoyed the beauty around me living on the edge of the penines and cant wait to get out on my bike again - once I have recovered from the side effects of my radiotherapy.  I dont believe in wasted days if you want to get out or sit and read or do nothing its not wasted its what you want to do at the time.  Today I will be watching the Monaco Grand Prix and tomorrow visiting the Mum in Law.  tuesday taking Mum Shopping then the rest of the week depends on the weather and what the OH and I want to do.  If my cancer takes a turn for the worse I will deal with that when it happens for now I am improving and getting on with life.

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

24 May 2015 17:37 in response to kimchoson

I have just told my dearly loved granddaughter, in the gentlest and most positive way I know how, that I have breast cancer.   She is 16, in the middle of her gcse's, but I couldnt avoid telling her as I shall be having my lumpectomy before she takes her last exam.   Strangely, I do feel positive, and I am determined that whatever the next few months brings, I will do something, every day, to be nice to someone - even if it is just a small thing.   

I live in a very lovely part of the country, in the middle of the Jurassic Coast.  I love the sea, the wild flowers, the most amazing sunsets and sunrises and I am so so happy to see such lovely things.  I watch the sun rise at 5 am while drinking a welcome cup of tea each morning, made for me by my long suffering hubby and I am so thankful......

The worry of this awful disease seems to take over everything, the waiting for results, treatment plans, the future....., but I am going to see a positive thing every day, and hey - what's this about free toothpaste lol.

best wishes and hugs to you all xx

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

24 May 2015 18:42 in response to Purplelily

Hi Kimchosen,

I have read your post and the replies it has generated with great interest.

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life changing experiance of that there is no doubt. When we first hear those words, "I'm afraid you have cancer", we immediately think the worst, I know I did. But over the following months, I can honestly say cancer has changed my life for the better. So much so, I often surprise people when I say, If we were built with re-wind buttons and I could wind my life back to the time before I had cancer, and was to be offered a road free of cancer or the one with it, I would still choose the one with the cancer. I used to be very shy and when I met someone at the doctors surgery It was always the other person who would start the conversation. I only used to answer yes or no and this often finished the conversation. But now I am very often the one starting the conversation. I have joined several charity committies plus this great forum which is something I would never have done before.

I have always considered myself a happy person, but I can honestly say, I am enjoying life more than ever before. I also appreciate the simple little things in life like hearing the birds singing, children laughing, a smile from a passing stranger when out walking plus the beautiful sunrise/sunsets. I think when we realize we have cancer and we may lose these things we treasure, it doubles our appreciation of all the good things in our lives that too often we take for granted.

There used to be a lady on here who kept an appreciation diary. In it she would write at least three things each day that had gone right for her, rather than concentrating on the things that had gone wrong. This made her feel much more positive and I thought it was a lovely idea.

I realize that I have been very lucky in that I have made such a good recovery from prostate cancer so my take on what you have written will be differnt from others who are still undergoing treatment or are waiting for results ect. I have also lost several family members to cancer and this has also had an impact on my life.

I am, like you said, much more understanding and sympathtic towards other people and have learned so much in my three years as a member of this wornderful communitte

Thanks for starting this post and I apolgise for rambling. Best wishes to you all, Brian.

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 14:59 in response to kimchoson

I wish I could see a positive in having cancer but I cant.  I gave up work last year, at 70, intending to just enjoy my life with my dog.  I have always made the most of my life, my husband died 30 years ago when my 3 children were small, but we managed to live  the best we could and they are all settled and happy.  I have worked for many voluntary organisations, plus my paid job and was looking forward to a few years as a naughty pensioner.  Sadly with 3 different cancers and nothing curable it is hard to find the energy to be naughty, let alone the inclination.  But, I am holidaying, eating out and spending time with friends as best I can and thank God every day for what I have had.  

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 16:23 in response to Pauline4

Hi Pauline, aren't we just the luckiest people to have a dog? I have a little Shih Tzu with a mischievous streak and think the world of her.  This morning we went walking on the cliffs, it hadn't clouded up then and the carpet of sea pinks looked lovely against the blue sky. There were loads of yachts in the bay going up and down the channel, I don't want to be on the sea, but I do enjoy looking at it in all weathers.  I had a lovely chat to the girl on the checkout when I bought my papers, and I have finished a pile of ironing.

Not a particularly interesting day perhaps, and I seem to feel rather weary in the afternoons, but I have been happy with it.

I just think we need to make the most of everything we have.......

Very best wishes to you and hugs xx

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 16:34 in response to Purplelily

Purplelily, don't know what I'd do without my boxer dog.  He is a bit dozy (probably like me. :-)) but he makes life worth living.  Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy life, but I would have done that without having to worry about cancer.  For me, to be able to sit on a sunny beach with a good book and a little picnic, listening to and smelling the sea is close to heaven for me.  Best wishes to you. x

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 16:52 in response to kimchoson

Continuing the lighter note - sadly our local hospital has privatised its car parks and now people with blue badges have to pay the same as everyone else, or face a hefty fine! This is enforced using number plate recognition technology, so there is no avoiding it  Sad

I've also met, both online and in person, a number of nice people who I wouldn't have otherwise met Happy








Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 17:42 in response to davek

Thanks to all for posting some of your positive thoughts here, there are some very kind and well meaning people on this forum. To davek, our hospital trust allows free parking for those being treated for cancer, however they do charge for those with blue badges, a private company patrols the parking. The free toothpaste is that I need a prescription only version of colgate, and having cancer entitles you to free prescriptions. I wish I'd known this a year ago as I've spent a small fortune on dressings and medicine at a time with no income or benefits.

I think the biggest positive thing about having cancer is that it really makes you appreciate every new day, despite the shortcomings we all face.


Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

25 May 2015 23:53 in response to kimchoson

Hi All  Unlike Brian I would turn back the clock and not have Cancer.  I finished work (early retirement) last April my husband had already retired (early) and we spent the summer enjoying ourselves as I was having a Hysterectomy and Hernia operation late August.  We were looking forward to commencing our holidays and hobbies of cycling, walking and gardening after I had recovered.

Since I was diasnosed last September I feel as if we have missed out on loads of things - having to cancel holiday plans and regular events that we do with friends (for fear of me getting an infection).  I am not a deppresed type of person but the small posatives are definatly outweighed by the negatives.  Just have to get on with it though maybee I will feel differently if I have a posative outcome in five years - dont think so.

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

26 May 2015 22:14 in response to river56

Hi all
The purpose of my post was to try to get readers to seek out positive aspects of their life that having cancer may have brought them. I am absolutely convinced that a healthy outlook is as important as the hospital treatments.

Cancer has brought me to a totally new outlook on life and and I'm grateful for that.. I've done a lot of new things too as I know time is limited. When I was physically unable to do much other than sit around. I learned a satisfying new skill, how to sharpen knife blades on a waterstone, all our kitchen knives, are now razor sharp and a joy to use. I've read some books, last time was 30 years ago! I've bought a tent and going to try out camping, we're off to France next week. I know I could have done any of this without having to have cancer but having cancer was the catalyst.


Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

26 May 2015 22:33 in response to kimchoson

I'm a rectal cancer patient, I'm only 39 , I start 5 wks chemo radiotheropy next wk , 5 wks rest & going for an op in 12 wks to have my rectum removed & getting a bag for life . it's better a bag than a box is my motto,  my mum is a survivor of bowel cancer, my sister is a survivor of cervical cancer , &,sadly my dad died in 2002 with lung cancer , I'm the 4th out of a family of 6 to come in contact with C, . I've a lot of life to see yet & I, although it's only the beginning , I see myself as lucky, I see myself in the future , :))). & take every day in its stride xxx 

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

27 May 2015 00:39 in response to kimchoson


Someone up there definitely has a sense of humour. Since my last post I have been slapped with a £75 penalty charge for failing to display a valid ticket. The machine only registered and printed out 6 of the 7 digits of my registration number, so the automated number plate recognition software which tracks all arrivals and departures didn't recognise my number plate as belonging to a car whose owner had paid and displayed. I have of course appealed and I have been in touch with the local paper to tell them of the situation. Other people (with and without blue badges) have been affected by this. Our local NHS Trust is trying to hide behind the fact that car parking has been outsourced, but the private company issuing the notices states that it is doing so on behalf of their client the NHS Trust.

This may not seem like a positive, but it has been a welcome distraction lol 

One of my other positives are that I have given up trying to save money for the future and have been splurging out on holidays and holiday insurance paid for from the lump sum I obtained when I took ill health retirement from the NHS. When I was at my lowest ebb on chemo, I promised myself a couple of weeks on a tropical beach doing nothing except luxuriating in the warmth. I was on chemo during one of the coldest winters on record and the main side effect was neuropathy and an intolerance of cold (being even slightly cold caused excruciating physical pain). I flew out to Palolem in Goa just days after completing my final cycle and returned again this Winter to celebrate having been off chemo for a year. 

A positive mental attitude certainly helps me cope, but I'm with River in that the negatives far outweigh the positives for many of us. We all have good days and bad days - I am just grateful that I've already outlived my prognosis and had precious quality time with my wife and family. 


Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

27 May 2015 11:45 in response to davek

All great replies here.

I too agree with Davek and River that the negatives outweigh the positives, no one would choose to have cancer. I have to live with facial disfigurement, loss of hearing, pain, a dry mouth, difficulty with eating and nerve damage to my shoulder. All of you too will have your disabilities caused as a result of having cancer. Each day is too precious to dwell on those downsides though and I try to see the silver lining in those clouds and they are there if you look. Well thats how I get through anyway.

Are there any positive aspects to having cancer?

27 May 2015 14:43 in response to kimchoson


Hi Kim ... just came across your thread.  Throughout my life I have always been positive and level-headed and am drawn to others of the same frame of mind.  Illness has not given me these qualities, I guess I have just always had the ability to look on the bright side of life, enjoy the moment, find laughter in adversity, see the beauty around me - etc etc.  I would guess you have always had them too and cancer really has had nothing to do with how we view things now, cos we have always been 'half glass full' kind of people.

Personally, I see no positive aspects to having cancer.  It has certainly not enriched my life in any way whatsoever, or the lives of those who love me.  I would do anything to be able to go back to the normality of my life before I had this disease. 

Wishing you all the best x