straw poll for those who have time

My psychologist gave me a book to read (Life Lessons). One thing it says in there is that the experience of life threatening disease provides important lessons and makes us better people. The sentence I’m dubious about is “so many patients have told us that if they could magically go back to the point right before they got their cancer or other life-challenging disease, and erase what was to come, they would not”.

My question is: if you could go back to just before dx, would you want to erase the dx? yes or no?

I’m a yes. The dx has not enriched my life. My OH and I already didn’t take each other for granted as I had worked away during the week for over 6 years. I was overweight before and I am now but now I only have one boob.

i think that comment deserves to be on the thread of terrible things people have said.

If i could go back and wipe out the whole thing I would do so with no hesitation whatsoever. I cannot think of one posative thing that has come out of it, except to discover the fabulous people on here.

And sorry ladies, as much as you have made me laugh and given me lots of support, if someone offered me the chance to trade not finding that lump and the subsequent wait for results and dx with not meeting you all I would bite their hand off.

Blooming stupid Q!

Can you procrastinate and say yes and no.

I wouldn’t have put it on my wanted list but I have found it a steep learning curve and very useful in many ways.

I can’t imagine ANYONE saying they wouldn’t change the results of that first biopsy.

Yeah, people have been nice to me, but I was quite ok thank you very much living my life and was quite keen to get on and carry on doing so.

Clearly the bloke who wrote the book has never had a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. I would have no compunction at all in throwing the book at the psychologist and ask to be referred to a different person because if they think that’s helpful, I could do without their help, thank you very much. Oooh, I’m really cross now!

So, so far we’ve got 4 yeses, 1 no and 1 WTF?

Choccie, if the poll goes as I predict, I will be telling psychologist exactly what I think of her book

Errr let me think,turn the clock back no cancer = not putting my family through hell,no chemo,no 33 rads, no tamoxifen,no side effects nearly 4 years on,no looking over my shoulder or worrying for my family that it could rear it’s ugly head at any time…

An easy big fat YES


I’m with CM - that book wants putting where the sun don’t shine - it will have good company!

Would I change the dx??

Err, let’s think about that: avoid all treatment, avoid worries, avoid putting my life on hold, avoid watching my oh, children, parents get upset, avoid concerns about the future…

Would I choose to keep the cancer? Is the author mad???

NO!! And sometimes, sometimes in my darkest hours, I’m ashamed to say that given the option I would even give it someone else - anyone else, they don’t even need to have comitted some terrible sin. Too honest for some maybe, but thinking Im not the only one.


Ps - thinking that maybe the author of the book would be actually asking for it (more ways than one) x

Yes and no for me im afraid…

yes i would want to erase it because of the impact on me and my family…

but no… because without my critical illness payout we wouldnt be living in the wonderful much bigger house that we now live in now, so in a funny way it did change part of our life for the better

A great big YES! I would definitely want to turn the clock back. No harm but I think there are other significant life events, death of loved ones, divorce, work issues which can and have made me reflect on my life. I didn’t need bc to do that.

I agree with the previous persons post, I would much rather not have had it, not put my family through it, and not have the way it has changed my life. The always looking over the shoulder and the side effects of Letrozole and Herceptin. I could have done without it, definitely!

My answer is both yes and wtf! I’d give anything to have a healthy left breast back, with a healthy nipple instead of the horrible scaly red sore nipple I had pre-diagnosis! And, I’m speaking as someone who’s had two early stage primaries in the same breast - I’d have loved to have gone back and erased the cancer diagnosis each time!

Obviously the author of the book hasnt had bc, and all the treatments we’ve had to endure.

Would love to hear the outcome of the next meeting with your psychologist!!

Lots of love to everyone!
Shelley xxx

hi nottsgal i dont believe for a second that anyone would rather go through this if they had the choice i am the same person i was pre dx except i worry every day feel theres a dark cloud over my family and feel rough most of the time,i still love all my family will help anyone i can and am not money minded and have always been happy with my lot, until all this crap came so i really dont think i am any richer for it in any way but feel robbed of my plan for life x

I think this might apply to some life-threatening illnesses that people fully recover from. If you knew 100% you were over it and it would never come back, then it might be able to feel so lucky and grateful and you’d then turn saintly. But with this cancer cr*p we can never be sure its not going to come back, like a big black cloud over you the rest of your days. So a big NO from me.

Only good thing for me is its made me get up off my backside and do some exercise, and drink a little less, good for me I guess, but can’t say its enriched my life - I liked my wine!!


A no brainer. I WISH I HAD NEVER HAD BC. The last 3 years have been hell and only now is my life starting to come back together into some semblance of 'normality’I will avoid that book ! It sounds like something from a badly made slushy US afternoon film.


I would rather be living in a wheelie bin than a big house paid for by critical illness cover because I have bc.

I only said the other day…

“If the cancer never comes back it will be the best thing that has ever happened, but if it comes back and kills me, well that would be a bit sh*t, wouldn’t it?”

I have grown so much as a person, have consolidated so many friendships, it made me slow down, work less and appreciate my kids more. I live every day, find joy in simple things and are far more empathetic than I have ever been. I laugh more, kiss more, smile at strangers, eat better and have more energy from all the good food. I am far more happy, balanced and live so much more "in the now’. Life is what it is, good and bad. I accept things more graciously. I no longer fear death. I mange my time better, take time for myself yet try and seize every opportunity.

I have discovered going out without drinking and LOVE it. I regret not discovering it sooner. No libido has given me space to examine my relationships with men. The time spent not with a partner has given me time to grow as a person and bond more deeply with my kids.

My three sister and mum are much healthier now, we have connected and bonded. My family thank me for the lessons we have all learned from my journey

Chemo was an experience, something that not everyone gets to do. It allowed me to lie in bed and watch crap tv for a change, (instead of working). I joked it was my ‘chemo holiday’.

For those going through it now, I’m sure it feels unbelievably horrible, but it will pass. Don;'t dwell on the negative, look at the positive.

Sorry this is a novel. It is simply how I feel. It has been a very difficult 18 months, but so long as it does not come back it will be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I’m a yes gal - ‘can I get a rewind’…

I’ve also met some lovely supportive ladies on here too, and I’ve had many unexpected side splitting moments of laughter that I wouldn’t ever have thought possible, which help to make this journey more bearable…

I’m not sure my dx has made me a ‘better’ person - I was totally good in the first place (I think!) and in most respects I am much the same (mentally) - I have always been independant, the ‘strong one’ and the’ go-to gal’ when things get rough for others and I hate the fact that some of my closest friends think that I am somewhat needy, fragile and, dare I say it ‘brave’ (of which I am not, well not yet anyway), I’ve had to take on the ‘grumpy old lady’ persona of late with some close friends, dishing a few choice words and totally speaking my ‘poisoned mind’ (not like me and I know they can take it and understand) and not spare their feelings either - this has made me, I feel, a worse person for not considering others as much as I used to before (and I probably should as they’re suffering around all of this too…)

And where do you get the energy/memory to read - I’ve got 3 books on the go, can’t remember what happened in them so far, can’t remember where I’ve put 2 of them and I got bored (read this page before? Not sure? Chemo brain!) I’m sure asteroids will kick in during the night and I’ll start a fourth x

Beverlie, only got the energy / memory to read because I’m not on chemo. I finished in March, did RADs and am now on herceptin and tamoxifen. Whilst on chemo, I was becoming very depressed and therefore got referred by onc to psychologist. But didn’t get first appt until about 6 weeks after chemo finished.

I think I would stick that book up somewhere the sun doesn’t shine on the psychologist and then ask if he would like to go back in time and I will do it all over again!
I was quite happy with my life pre Dx and would no way want to go through it all again!