7.12.09

Optimism and Positivism

Last year as an ice breaker game as new members of our sorority, we played the name game. Basically, you give yourself an adjective that starts with the same letter as your first name and add that to your name. When I chose Positive Patrice as mine, everyone had a good laugh. I didn't understand why that was so funny but everyone who knew me found it to be pretty ironic. Apparently I wasn't as positive as I thought. After that I tried to be more aware of how I was thinking and I made an effort to be more positive.

Looking back on the story it now seems kind of ironic because by everyone laughing at me implying that I'm positive it made me strive to be more positive so that it wouldn't be so funny. In a way, it's a good thing I subconsciously started working on my optimism because now I need my optimism more than ever. With my sister fighting cancer, optimism has never played such a strong role in my life before. But now? I strive everyday to stay positive for her and for me. I make an effort to push any negative thoughts/feelings about this sucky situation out of my head. And this is so important to not just me, but to all of us. Everyone around her has to stay so positive for her.

Through out this whole thing I've been continuously amazed at Anna's strength and her continued positive attitude. There really are few things in life that test your optimism and ability to stay strong and positive as much as cancer. Cancer is is awful. It's ugly. It's stupid. It's all around horrible. But it can be beat and that's what's most important.

So when I heard yesterday she was feeling down, I was concerned. When I texted her to see what's up it turns out a stupid doctor told her she's dieing. That the chemo won't work and even if it does it will most likely come back within 2 years and kill her. This is by far the worst thing you could possibly say to someone who just began a LONG road to fight for their life. She is NOT dieing. There IS hope. There IS a good chance that she'll beat this. And when she's finished kicking cancer's butt, we'll move on to that doctor who so stupidly told her she's dieing. He later clarified that he was just explaining all possible worst-case scenarios, and that they do feel strongly that she can beat this and they are giving her the best treatment in order for her to get better, but what's done is done.

Optimism isn't always easy. It's a struggle all the time to not let the negative thoughts affect you. Sometimes you take blows to your positive attitude and optimism that seem harder to bounce back from. To tell someone they're going to die is hard for them to recover from. Regardless of whether or not it's true, it's not something you take lightly. It is not something you can move on and forget no matter how many times people tell you it's untrue. This breaks my heart that someone said those words to my sister. She is strong. She CAN and WILL fight this, but not if you knock her down before she even gets a chance to get anywhere near the finish line.

As much as I hate this, and hate that she was so upset and distraught over hearing that, I can't say I blame her. I don't blame her at all for being scared, for feeling defeated by having someone tell her she's going to die. Even though he took it back, it was already out there and it already got into her head. And you know what? That is scary. How could I blame her for being scared when I'm scared too? Of course I'm scared, we are all scared. I'm terrified. I will always stay strong for her, and when she needs a pep talk I will always be there. But when I'm laying in bed, alone with my thoughts, optimism sometimes escapes me. I think of life without my sister and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel so incomplete it's inconceivable.

I have faith. I know that she will beat this. I know I won't ever have to know what life is like without my sister, because she will be fine. She'll show that doctor who's boss! She is strong. She can and will do this. We just all have to hang on to our faith, and keep working on that optimism..



 (Face-in-holed by my cousin, picniked by me)
I love you, Anna.... stay strong! We're in this together! <3

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6 comments:

Rebecca Louise. said...

You are so right! Optimism can be easily defeated and that doctor is stupid...to the core.

I have every belief that positivity is the best medicine. Anna is going to have her down days, Her down right days where she feels like giving up. But there are going to be days when she hears the word remission, no chemo and comments of 'I'm so proud of you' that will brighten her up. You, her and your whole family can stay positive as she WILL beat thing sucky thing. There is NO-ONE that can say she can't. :)

Heather @ boy, girl, and a pug said...

We're all allowed to have non positive days. And we're allowed to be pissed off. Cancer can absolultely be beaten. I am proof. I understand exactly how your sister feels. Cancer is hard. Chemo is hard. There is no way around that. I never had a Dr tell me that I would die, but I have had several tell me how bad my outlook is. Stage IV is scary. Once cancer spreads it's even more difficult to beat. However, nothing is impossible.

I have also been looking into natural things that have been proven to shrink tumors. She probably doesn't feel like eating much, but asparagus and flax seed oil have been proven to help. I don't know if they will work, but at this point, my feeling is, it can't hurt right?!

I will also say that being positive is always good, but I think you have to be realistic too. Don't believe all the websites you read. Stick to the good ones, like MD Anderson. They give you the facts. Ingore the crap. It will just bring you down and totally piss you off! Who needs that right now?! And research! Make sure you (or your folks) know ALL of the treatments available and that she is getting the best. Esp since it has spread. You can't afford to take any chances. She needs and deserves the best.

These are, of course, my opinions, but I have been there and done that. Hopefully, I have been able to pass along something to help you guys. Hang in there sweetie. Huge Hugs!

Sinful Theology said...

It can be very hard to be confronted with how others see us particularly when this can be so far from our self-image. For me this has been a very hard lesson. Its brilliant to here your response has been to find ways of becoming the person you want to be.

Cammie said...

that Dr needs a good crotch punch. What an ass. I dont care if he was "giving worse case scenerio" that is not something you do on what, day 2 of chemo?

Grrrrr

Im following your sister's journey on her caring bridge page. Keeping her in my prayers.

Krystyn said...

First of all, I want to kick that doctor's a$$.

Second, you are so right, prayers and a positive attitude go along way.

Thinking of all of you.

Twin XL said...

Optimism can make a WORLD of difference in the outcome of a situation....especially in your sister's case, she needs to stay positive and everyone around her needs to do the same. You're such a supportive sis!!!

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