I have been trying to keep my cancer scare mostly to myself, mostly because I do not have a difinitive diagnosis until my lung biopsy comes back from the lab. However, my thoracic doctor (aka heart/lung) and primary care doctor both told me “we basically do not see how this can’t be cancer, due to how severe this is and how quickly symptoms developed”. So with that being said, let’s get to the point of this article.
Please stop expecting the worse out of people
It is a good motto to have in general, but this is espicially true when it comes to severe illness, like cancer. What do I mean by this? Please stop expecting, say cancer patients, to be completely down in the dumps about their illness. Stop expecting only negative emotions when it comes to their illness. When I tell people “I am taking this one step at a time, I am not allowing myself to go down the negative psychological rabbit hole” people are absolutely stunned. They are expecting me to be angry. They are expecting me to be an absolute panicking wreck. They are expecting me to be depressed.
We live in a culture focused on treating a disease, rather than taking the proper preventative steps to avoid the disease to begin with. This is espicially prevalant in the dialogue we use when discussing disease. This shapes our overall attitude when discussing illness. People feel negative about their disease because they are expected to feel negative. They feel negative about their disease, because of mental illness that is whispering negative things in their ears, that our culture only encourages (whether directly or indirectly).
If we change our overall attitude when it comes to disease, this can greatly help a patient’s well-being, even if it is just keeping someone psychologically optimistic. I am not encouraging people to live in active denial. Rather, I am asking people to please stop expecting the negative.