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October 22, 2020

When cancer returns; what your friends want you to know about their disease

When cancer returns; what your friends want you to know about their diseaseThe cancer has returned.

Now the stakes are higher.

The “what if” questions have been replaced by doctors saying, “We’re going to try.”

Family and friends are confused, but they’ve been down this road before and celebrated when they heard the words “cancer free” or “remission.”

So they offer reassurances and words of comfort.

  • “You’ve beaten it before, and you can beat it again.”
  • “It’s good they found it early.”
  • “You don’t know how strong you are.”

Or they foolishly say things such as:

  • “I thought you were cured.”
  • “Why didn’t your doctors get all of it the first time?”
  • “Were you doing EVERYTHING your doctors told you to do?”
  • “Maybe you need to start making plans for your family’s future.”
  • “How long do you have?”

Guess what? I thought I beat it, too.

And I’m angry. Afraid. Annoyed.

Because cancer gets in the way of living.

I’m already well aware of cancer’s cumulative effects, and frankly, I simply want to LIVE my life the fullest way I can. The thought of more surgeries, radiation, drugs and medical expenses makes me angry. Afraid. Annoyed.

But I’ll keep fighting as much as I can, and I’ll keep the brave face. Just like before.

Please be patient and understanding with me. Just like before.

Because it doesn’t get easier.

About the author
Kim Keller was treated for thyroid cancer in 2014, and scans revealed a recurrence in February 2016. She wrote the heartfelt and viral article, “What your friends with cancer want you to know, but are afraid to say”, during her initial treatment.

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