Together we will beat cancer


Has experience of cancer changed you?

29 Jan 2017 16:02

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if like me, experiance of cancer has changed you as a person and if so in what way for it has changed me in several differnt ways. Let me explain.

The first change came about while I was having radiotherapy for prostate cancer. The morning of my third session I walked into the waiting room and brightly asked everyon how they were. When I sat down I realized I had never done that before as in waiting rooms or queues of people it was very rare for me to speak unless spoken too and then my reply was often just a one word reply. I have continued like this ever since. It was almost like someone had found a hidden switch on me. The group of people in the waiting room became almost like family over the next few weeks and I am still in contact with three couple who like me, the husbands were having riadiotherapy for prostate cancer. Incidentally I had by far the highest psa of all of them but ended up with the lowest so how lucky was that.

Since my treatment ended I have joined up with several cancer charities and this forum, something I would never ever have contemplated doing pre-cancer. I find I look at life differntly now and as a person, I apperciate the simple little things in life so much more than ever before. I am more tolerant and understanding than before. In fact I feel that after my good results, I feel like a new person and wouldnt want to return to how I used to be. I much prefer the new me. I also have a need to try and help others traveling their cancer journey.

Cancer is a life changing experiance but in my case, luckily it has been for the better. I have even told a few people that if I had a rewind button and could wind my life back to before I had cancer, and could then chose a path without or the one with the cancer, I would chose the one with the cancer. I am genuine about this. My aim has been to use my experiance of cancer to try and help others.

So now I've told you my story, how has cancer changed your life? I think we can all help each other by sharing our stories. I look forward to hearing your stories, Brian


Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

1 Feb 2017 10:25 in response to woodworm

What an inspiring read! Thank you for sharing your story with us Brian.

Like you say, having cancer or knowing someone diagnosed with cancer can be a life changing experience and it's lovely to see what a positive impact it has had on your life. I'm sure others members will enjoy reading your story just like I have and will be along soon to share their stories as well.

Kind Regards, 

Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

1 Feb 2017 13:29 in response to woodworm

Hi Brian,

I'm not sure to be honest. If anything, having cancer has accentuated the highs and lows in my life and added a layer of anxiety that was never there before. 

No major changes in personality that I'm aware of, but I'm probably not the best person to ask.



PS I became a stroppy beggar/critical consumer aware of my rights and those of my family through having a child born with severe autism in the 1980s when Autism was almost unheard of and very rarely diagnosed in the UK. My generation changed the approach of the NHS, Social Services and the Education system towards people with Autism through decades of campaigning at local and National level. Ironically, the soft skills are learned doing that helped my then new career in the NHS more than my technical skills. 

Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

27 Jun 2017 00:07 in response to woodworm

Hello everyone. I would like to say something in regards to the comments made in this chat. This is the first time I have had this chance to comment how I have changed and the prospectives I now see diffrently.

I have become much more humble in my ways and I have lost a lot of confidence, but this has made me a more understanding person as well. Like Brian I feel that I built up a bond with everyone in the waiting room for radiotherapy. The cross section of people in the waiting room from young children to elderly, cancer is not selective. But we all knew why we were there. At the same time we were all determined to fight a good fight.

I may not see the friends from the waiting room in the future in person, but they will always be in my memories. They game me support and I feel I gave them support. I was always first in at 9 am.

You want the treatment to finish so you can move on with your life. I didnt realize you have to become sick before you get better. This is what happened to me with the head and neck cancer. I have eveyone on this board to thank for the information and support they have given me.

I have become a more patient person with strangers but at the same time impatient with people close to me. Sounds really strange and hopefully as time goes by I will become a better all round person.

I feel I lack confidence but I make conversation with people I dont know. This may be a front I dont know. I will have my next check up at the end of July and each check I have gives me a little more confidence.

In my part of the world there is not a lot of support groups so this board is of great importance to me. I thank everyone.

I could not understand why the body hasnt recovered as quickly as I thought. But the stress the chemo and radiotherapy has on the body must be so bad. It should take a long time to recover and repair itself.

Just some of my thoughts on my experience. Onwards and upwards.  

Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

30 Jun 2017 15:27 in response to ianwoody

Very much so, before I used to value things like a career and wealth, no longer. As long as I am alive, and earn enough to keep a roof over my head, I am as happy as Larry. There are problems, I can't really do relationships due to a lakc of confidence, so I am pretty lonely, but I have my parents and I am working on the problems. I would not take the whole thing away, it has changed me for the better, but it also left it's mark.

Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

2 Jul 2017 02:46 in response to woodworm

Hi Brian 

Yes, I would say cancer has changed me. I'm aware of my tongues existence all the time due to tingling and soreness if I talk to much. My neck is very painful and stiff all the time. I feel conscious about my terrible neck scaring due to surgery and radiotherapy burns. I have to wear scarfs all the time because I just cannot be seen without one. I hate the constant questions about " have you been in a fire?" Or what's happened to your neck? It's never ending comments if I go out uncovered.  I've lost quite a bit of confidence and unable to work anymore due to pins and needles in both arms and so much neck pain.

I am very positive about all the rest and Just get on with my different life but my looks will always make me self consious.

I do think a lot about what I do now and push myself to be the best I can.

take care


Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

2 Jul 2017 09:44 in response to kirkc99

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies. Having cancer is a life changing experiance and we cant help but look at life differntly as a result. I have now lost a total of twelve family members to cancer over the years and this alone has mede me feel very lucky to still be here. So many of my family have suffered greatly because of cancer and it has been horrible for me to see them slowly deteriatel. But this in a way has made me all the more determined to make the most of my life and to be as happy as I can. It has also brought it home to me what is important in life and family and friends mean more to me now than ever. 

I wish you all well and thanks for replying, Brian.

Re: Has experience of cancer changed you?

4 Jul 2017 00:56 in response to woodworm

I am glad to hear how positive this worked for you,great, keep ik going. I have been diagnosed with 4th stage of lung cancer last November and I feel a bit like you , I speak to most people, but not like you -about my sickness, how brave you are, maybe one day  if I live long enough,I can also talk to people anout this.

Hope you stay strong and wel. moeder.