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'Never Give Up' After a Cancer Diagnosis

Just when a patient with cancer is ready to throw in the towel is often when the tide turns.
PUBLISHED September 23, 2019
Jane has earned three advanced degrees and had several fulfilling careers as a librarian, rehabilitation counselor and college teacher. Presently she does freelance writing. Her articles include the subjects of hearing loss and deafness, service dogs and struggling with cancer. She has been a cancer survivor since 2010.

She has myelodysplastic syndrome, which is rare, and would love to communicate with others who have MDS.
“Never give up for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Author and social activist Harriet Beecher Stowe spoke these famous words that can certainly have meaning for us cancer survivors.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say I felt like throwing in the towel when I received my diagnosis and learned that my cancer was incurable. I also felt like giving up during the painful times with powerful chemotherapy and finding out, at the time, that there were no other treatment options for my rare cancer.

But just then, the tide turned, and a new development occurred. Now, there is research constantly being done and most of us are alive because of it.

Just as the ocean tide shifts and changes, flows in and out, and becomes angry and calm, so do our lives.

This quote doesn’t only apply to cancer, it can help in other areas of life, too. The job comes when the bank account is depleted; a child seemingly gone astray tells you what you mean to them; a relationship gets mended; and sometimes, a person is released to a better life like my father with his terrible dementia.

Sometimes I get in one of my depressive states and worry about my future. I am single and think about how terrible it will be when I am no longer able to take care of myself. That seems to be the exact time when my dog comes barreling up to me, happy and joyful at the old age of 15. My standoffish cat crawls into my lap and purrs. I get an encouraging text or email from a friend or a relative. With a chronic disease, we learn to treasure these small, yet mighty, events.

This is the best advice I can think of. Hang on my friends for just one more minute and it can make the difference in our lives.
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