Hospital Survival Guide
- Just Plain Good Advice
July 17, 2013
Summer offers pragmatic advice to fellow patients who were just diagnosed. She says, “Time flies when you’re having fun… so do try to find some fun!”
Dear fellow me,
I get it. Being surrounded in a world of “its going to be okay’s” and “sorry’s” and “you’re so strong’s.” What does all of that even mean!? Who knows! I know how you feel, and when I was sick I didn’t feel very strong at all. In fact, I felt pretty lazy laying there in a bed all day. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand. It’s such a different world to be sick, it’s like you’re alienated! But I didn’t write this to tell you things you already know, I want to help you see what you don’t know, and that’s this.
- You actually do get good looking again after cancer!
- If you keep a good attitude, others will stop being so sad around you.
- Being bald isn’t as bad as it sounds because not only does it make hats feel softer and warmer on your head, but when your hair comes back it’s like getting a whole new professional style! Also, it’s super easy to convince one of the boys in your family to let you shave their head so you’re not bald alone.
So maybe it doesn’t SEEM that great, but heck I wouldn’t trade shaving my dad’s head or getting a year of laziness for a boring normal life. Plus, we actually get like a free cheat sheet to life. Even though we don’t feel strong being lazy, I actually figured out what they always meant after being in remission for a while. Even though we aren’t physically strong like some people, we’re strong strategy wise. We have now survived the grim reaper himself trying to suck us in to a black hole. It’s like life is a video game, there are the big huge scary people who look like they could break your arm with a pinch, and then there’s us, the scrawny happy ones who heroically fight this amazing battle and come out with a victory.
The thing is, we’re all in our own worlds. To be outside of someone else’s world but try to understand it is pretty hard, even sometimes when you’re really close to that person.
Nobody can understand exactly how YOU feel during YOUR struggle. I think that is the main thing that we kind of forget sometimes when we’re having a bad day of cancer; everybody means well, it just doesn’t make us feel as well as they hope sometimes.
What I’m trying to say is that we have to work with them, as everybody works around our cancer.
The other bright side about having cancer is that having a bad day is the silliest thing ever; a hospital is like a free hotel! You can get practically anything you want!
- A huge variety of food!
- A gift shop loaded with stuffed animals & toys!
- Warm blankets and heating pads!
It’s practically like full time maid service when you chose to see the bright side of it! Why not do so? Would you rather sit and mope and think you have no other choice in this life but dying and that’s all you’re going to do, or do you want to eat the best food you can, play with every toy you see, watch all the new shows, read all the new books, and be your doctors happiest, funniest, most best patient ever and not think about all the things going on in your body!
An interesting way to see cancer to help you deal with it is as that one person. That person that you don’t like, you feel like they’re always out to get you and no matter where you go it seems that they go there too. You know eventually you’ll escape from them, one way or another, but you want them gone NOW. The truth is though; they aren’t going to leave by your command. That annoying person is going to leave just when they are ready, and they’re going to take as long as they want. So what can you do? You have the choice to waste all your fun free time trying to get away, or you could cherish your fun free time and not let them ruin it for you! It’s your time in your life, why waste minutes on things that can’t be changed?
So, I know I’m not you and I didn’t have the exact same type of cancer at the exact same age. I did have cancer though, and I did have to lie in a hospital bed for 3 months and get surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation and all of those other words that didn’t mean anything to me. It’s weird and it’s confusing, but it’s just life. Let your body worry about the big fight, and you worry about having fun and being happy not only to help your body, but to show everyone that that doubt in their voice when they say “it’s going to be okay” doesn’t need to be there, because it is. Whatever happens, everything actually is okay, as long as you make it okay.
Life after cancer isn’t some flawless healthy wonder world, but what it comes down to is that you’re alive, and who doesn’t love living?
Everyone is more attracted to somebody who’s happy and fun, and they too want to be happy and fun. Embrace that bald head that brings out your pretty eyes, or the gown that you rock, or those needles that suck going in, but take away all of your pain, find the good in it all, because just like that one annoying person, cancer hates not getting attention, and eventually, the annoying person (cancer in our case) leaves. It may not be when we want it to, but time flies when you’re having fun and those weeks or months or years will fly by.
The girl who understands
P.S. Remember not to get angry with the doctors or your family, if you don’t care what they’re saying just do the famous smile and nod, or ‘I’m really tired from my medicine’, they work every time!
As of publication, Summer is a senior at Maplewood Career Center in Mantua, Ohio. She graduates in June 2013 from the accounting program and will begin college in July at Kent state. Summer says, “Aside from being a CPA I hope to travel and speak to high school girls who have gone through not only tragedies involving cancer, but also general struggles of high school and finding happiness in life and getting on the right paths. I would never be where I was today without the help and support of my amazing family and my wonderful two best friends.”