What has cancer ever done for us?

Hi Ladies,

A well meaning nurse, who was just trying to be holistic, recently asked me about my finances and whether I was able to pay my rent/mortgage. When I told her I had a critical illness policy that had paid off my mortgage she genuinly seemed jealous. As if having massive, aggressive, triple negative cancer that is immune to chemo was a small price to pay for getting your mortgage paid off. She seemed to think I was lucky. I think I was lucky before, because I had a good job and could pay my bills comfortably and still have enough money to pay for things like critical illness insurance. Now I have no job, live on benefits and cancer is trying to kill me. When I said that if she had a way to extract all my cancer into herself and give me my old life back then I would pay her mortgage she took offence.

Now, the whole situation seemed so ridiculous to me that it reminded me of the Monty Python looking on the bright side stuff. Don’t get me wrong - I do not think that cancer has a pink fluffy bright side. But I need to make dark jokes to get through or I will start crying and not be able to stop. So, I thought (pythonistically - like the Romans) what has cancer ever done for me?

  • Paid the mortgage
  • Free prescriptions
  • Subsidised hospital parking
  • VAT free mastectomy bras
  • A fantastic goody bag from the look good feel better workshop

So ladies (and gents), please join in - apart from the mortgage, the prescriptions, the parking, the bras and the goody bag, what has cancer ever done for us?


PS if you are young enough to not know about monty python then look on You Tube


Ok so now I am jealous I do not get subsidised parking or had a goody bag! Thankfully I do not have a mortgage though but that is because I have already paid it off. Unfortunately not wise enough to take out a policy! So what has cancer done for me? Made me concentrate on me, spend money one me, look forwards to Xmas as it might be my last and take each day as it comes and celebrate the weekends!

Cancer has made me find a whole load of lovely new friends on BCC - especially in Benchland - with whom I have a daily giggle.
It has also made my colleagues appreciate me more. They noticed what didn’t get done when I wasn’t at school (other than a few voluntary hours) for 4 months!

I didn’t get free parking either, except for rads and that was a hassle to claim. I DO get free prescriptions, which is just as well, because it would REALLy p*** me off to have to PAY for Zoladex and Tamoxifen - or ‘instant old-age’ as I prefer to call them!

Hi Cressida, can I join in on your thread? I know exactly what you’re talking about re month python. I have found the only way I get thru things is too is through my sense of humour - which like yours is particularly dark at the moment! When I got dx I remember sitting at the kitchen table saying out loud (expletives deleted) “S… I’ve got cancer, how the f… Did that happen?”
So what has cancer given me so far:
Hubbie who had a nervous breakdown and couldn’t work for a bit
Lost a job I loved and have no income
Lots of debt and no savings
An oncology parking pass for the hospital (I still have to pay buts its only £1.50 a day! )
Free prescriptions - for all the nice steriods and other poision
Stress free decisions about what to do with my hair -as presently I have none!
Children stressed if Mum is gonna make it
Freebie make up session and goodie bag
An oncologist, a breast care nurse, a district nurse, a surgeon and an oncoplastics man.
Diary full of appointments!
Opportunity to have a good old rant on this forum!
Extra pounds in the wrong places and a nice moon face!
Different perspective on life
Courage and fear in equal measure
A stroppy temperament- I am officially a grumpy bald middle aged forgetful wobbly angry teary lady!
Join in ladies -we can’t be the only ones out there!

Just to add…why did I not get a goody bag!!..the only one I was given had a drain in it!!..

The biggest thing cancer has done for me…learnt me how to say NO!!!..I would always be agreeable to anything before…even if it was inconvenient…now I just shake my head…it’s made me more appreciative of things I would’ve taken for granted before…life is v precious now…I make sure my kids know I love them and my OH as well…it’s made me stop fretting over things beyond my control…it’s made me live in the present instead of worring about the future…and…I have learnt not to stress out over everything…which is probably what helped it appear in the first place…I take each day as it comes and have learnt to let tomorrow look after itself…Unfortunately I have become a bit of a hypochondriac…but I’m hoping that will resolve itself in time…I have lots of new friends in The Dark Woods and Benchland…I still have to pay the mortgage unfortunately…but…who cares???..

Hi all ,

Mine the same - free bus pass , blue badge , Extra pounds on my body
But much more - Time to spend with people that mean the world to me and get rid of the negative people in my life .
Fab friends who want to spend time with me - even if I have no hair or not .
Leave my job with a company that does not care a hoot about me .
Make new friends on Breast caner care and Maggies Centre.
Enjoy my time more with no pressure.
Enjoy my life to the full now and do what I want to do .
And say no xxxx
I have had cancer for 17 years so my list would is endless
Have a good evening everyone …

Love Rosie

Hi all ,

Mine the same - free bus pass , blue badge , Extra pounds on my body
But much more - Time to spend with people that mean the world to me and get rid of the negative people in my life .
Fab friends who want to spend time with me - even if I have no hair or not .
Leave my job with a company that does not care a hoot about me .
Make new friends on Breast caner care and Maggies Centre.
Enjoy my time more with no pressure.
Enjoy my life to the full now and do what I want to do .
And say no xxxx
I have had cancer for 17 years so my list would is endless
Have a good evening everyone …

Love Rosie

Cancer has done many bad things to me most of which are contained above BUT it has also…
Made me do things I want to today and not put off until tomorrow
Not worry about petty stuff
Enjoy everyday as much as possible
Appreciate the little things in life
Ive met wonderful ladies on the forum with exceptional SOH
Actually look forward to xmas for once !

Love & Good vibes to you all x

I agree with all the other comments, however ther are a few plus things - I now have the time to say yes to all the things I was too ‘busy working’ to do before, I make an effort to go to places and do things as it ‘may be my last chance’ I spent last nigh with my mum and my aunty going to see the xmas lights switched on, I screamed for santa and danced to the wildcats of kilkenny and did not care as I may not be here next year, I do silly thing with my three lovely nieces as I want them to remember me. I am so thankful for the life I have had and I have gone back to my religion and thank the lord for every day that passes :slight_smile:

Would like to say I had won the lottery so that I could give up work and really make the most of whatever time I have left on this earth! Sadly I will be working till they carry me out in my coffin! But other than that I echo Milos post! Looking forwards to Christmas as last year my world fell apart on December 9th when they cut me open!

In a Pythonesque way cancer has given me much to be thankful for. I too had a critical illness policy to claim on so for a short time had never been so well off!

Here’s what cancer has given me:
Some time off work when I really needed a break.
No more bad hair days or time of the month for a while.
Finding out with some certainty which friends and family I could really rely on.
A ‘do it now’ attitude where I used to dither and put things off.
Appreciation of what’s really important and who I want to spend my time with.
A whole new set of friends and care givers I might otherwise never have met.
Permission to be kinder to myself and have a day in PJs if I feel like it.
An excuse to lose the plot occasionally.
A greater appreciation of the NHS.
I also have a lovely goody bag full of nice things.

Great thread…x
hmmm what has cancer given me…well guess it has given me back and am not the person who spent all her time trying to please people…I am who I am and tough if you don’t like it !
Hair…well is growing back now but hey…it’s given me the fact I can look my bald self in the face in the mirror and say ‘hey,always look on the bald side of life’ oooooh sorry pythonesque pun x
KQ x

Weepixie…here here agree with all of those.

Love this thread,
Humm, what has cancer given me, well as follows:-
One breast and one I can take or leave (in the packet);
Big scar on my tummy, who wanted ovaries and womb in the first place - hey no periods;
Bald head, well, now salt and pepper hair who a dear friend said makes me look intellectual, who wanted long locks of brown hair, must have made me look thick;
Meeting lots of lovely nurses, doctors and experiencing all the refurbished treatment rooms with photos of minor celebraties who gave their valuable time to help little old people like me to have a nice time getting chemo with a view of foliage;
Now I have true empathy with lepers;
Ah yes, free prescriptions;
and lastly paying £7 quid in parking 'cause NHS wanted to make use of new refurbished unit in next town for blood transfusions instead of me walking 5 mins down the road to my nearest Onc unit and yes, bloody pictures of smiling minor celebs on the wall!
That’s enough for now me thinks.
Claire x

I am loving this thread - it fits in with my “always look on the bright side of life” approach on life that I have had since I was dx with bc last year.
Cancer gave me a real wake up call last year - stopped me in my tracks and broke the cycle of depression that I had suffered from for some years. Finally I had something real to be depressed about - and I wasn’t. How strange!
So - in my opinion - at the moment - Cancer has, instead of taking away my life, has given it back to me.
I want to live - I enjoy each day - and look forward to the future.

That’s so lovely for you ST, it seems the experience has had a most positive effect. Good for you, keep smiling.

For me it’s had the opposite effect, I have days feeling down in the dumps, during treatment I was mostly positive and bouyant but after treatment finished I felt lost and still flounder sometimes. I’m uncertain who I am and where my life is going.

So cancer has given me uncertainty.
A husband I’m more proud of than before diagnosis.
Family who proved supportive
A chance to seperate the wheat from the chaff where friends, ex colleagues and acquaintances are concerned.
A loss of confidence
An excuse to slob about all day if that’s what I want to do.
Extra pounds in weight
Thin ugly hair
Smoother skin
Less household income
A calm environment

Keep smiling everyone, xxx

Hi ladies
hope you don’t mind me posting on this brilliant thread. You see- I’m a bit of a fraud as I don’t have BC but my mum, sister and aunt do/had and my other aunt had lung cancer and nan had bladder cancer. I’m up early worrying about my mum who is very poorly with secondaries on her colon so wanted to add what cancer has done for me:

  1. Made me appreciate a) my life b) my breasts c) my family d) that I’m the only adult woman in my family bar one who doesn’t have cancer
  2. Not take anything for granted and live each day one day at a time
  3. Be able to know and meet and chat to some incredible women who aren’t competitive, vain, career climbing or shallow
  4. Not be jealous of woman with BC who have their a) mortgage paid off- they should also be given the use of a luxury apartment with en-suite facilities near the oncology wing b) free hospital parking to they should all have chauffeur driven limos with mini bar and throw up facilities in them to escort them to and from appointments c) free goody bags- they should have free spa weekends (come on champneys you could afford it). Other freebies to include free real hair wigs, designer clothes and a truck full of make up and beauty products
  5. Enable me to admit I’m not perfect and confess that I’m a little jealous of the giving up work bit!
  6. Given me yearly mammograms and the chance to get to know my genes well ( can I find out if I’ve inherited the clever gene too?)
    7.made me check my breasts regularly for any changes and make damn sure that doctors don’t fob me off if I find anything

take care all of you and once again sorry for muscling in

Cancer has given me:

  1. A short fuse
  2. A potty mouth
  3. A handbag full of meds that I have forgotten to take because of chemo brain.