Every cancer story is different, but there is one commonality: both patients and the people supporting them often struggle to properly articulate their wants and needs through particularly challengingand in many cases, unchartedterritory. Lynda
Wolters knows firsthand: she was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal mantle cell lymphoma in August of 2016.
Voices of Cancer offers a candid look into the world of a cancer patient, informed by Lynda’s own story and conversations had with dozens of patients weighing in on their needs, wants, and dislikes as they navigate the complex world of diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. With comprehensive and accessible insight from people who’ve been there, Voices of Cancer helps educate, dispel fears, and start positive conversations about what a cancer diagnosis truly means, while shining a light on how best to support a loved one on their own terms.
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About the Author
she traveled to New York for a few months to be a nanny before moving to Las Vegas, where she went on with her schooling. She moved back home to Idaho to raise her three sons and continues to reside there with her husband and her long-haired miniature dachshund, Tucker “Bug.”
Lynda works in a law firm in Boise and enjoys ballroom and swing dancing, horseback riding, and kayaking and rafting the rivers of Idaho. She has a heart for people and enjoys volunteering. She spends the bulk of her free time at the family’s cabin where she writes with Bug on her lap. Lynda was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal mantle cell lymphoma in August 2016 and is currently continuing treatment.
Table of Contents
Preface: The "Cancer Shift" 1
Part 1 Initial Reactions-what is in the hearts and minds of many cancer patients and what those around them need to understand.
It's Time to Pull Up the Big-Girl Panties 13
I'm Not Mad at God 19
Prayers Are Not for Everyone 21
Voices on Prayer 22
Relationships Change When Cancer Appears 25
Voices on Counseling 27
Intimacy and Cancer 34
Voices on Broken Relationships 36
Clichés, Buzz Words, and Being Positive 39
Voices on Thoughtless Words 40
Part 2 Surviving Treatment- the pain, emotional wreckage, debilitation, and the struggle to keep a grip on and maintain mental health.
We Are All Here to Teach and to Learn 47
Voices on Earthly Angels 48
It's My Cancer and I'll Cry If I Want To 50
Voices on Emotional and Mental Health 51
Find Others with the Same Diagnosis 54
What We Worry About 56
When a Physician is Touched by Cancer 59
Voice of a Caregiver with Cancer 62
Dark Thoughts Unspoken 65
When It's Time to Say Goodbye 71
Happy Thoughts Unspoken 72
Voices on Good Thoughts 74
Part 3 Forward into the New Normal-once you have faced what could kill you, there's no going back.
What Does My New Normal Look Like? 79
"Normal"-What We Were Before Cancer 80
Looks Can Be Deceiving 82
Survivor's Guilt 86
Life Is Not About the Things We Have; It's About the Memories We Make 88
How to Live in the Moment 89
Maintaining Momentum 91
Clarity and Perspective 93
There Is No "Back to Normal" 97
Cure Is a Four-Letter Word 100
Laughing in the Face of Cancer 101
Never Put off Anything on Your Bucket List 104
Reflections on Life Goals 108
Part 4 Life Is Short … for Everyone-choosing to live the rest of your life with however much time you have left.
I'm the Lucky One: I Have Time to Get My S*** Together! 113
My "Live" Funeral 115
Not Afraid to Die 118
I Was Afraid, Initially 119
I Cancer Terminology 123
II Tips and Reminders for the Patient 133
III Tips and Reminders for the Non-Patient 137
IV Resources and Further Information 141
V Cancer Support Colors 149