One dose of Ativan, a mental breakdown, and a lot of meditation later here I am. I would like to say ‘still standing’ but thanks to neuropathy I’m more or less not physically standing but you get the point. If you’ve seen my social media which I’m sure most of you have you already know I had what you would call a “moment” and decided to take a couple days off. The things you don’t know are the WHY. Why did I post a huge ‘rant’ and then sign off? Why did I let the ‘haters’ get to me? Well the answer is I didn’t. Come on guys do you really think after 6 months of intense chemo and completely losing myself that I would let a couple ‘haters’ get to me? Absolutely fucking not. I will say however a few things did get to me and I shouldn’t have. I also shouldn’t have allowed people to take so much from me when I am literally fighting for my life right now (just a reminder since people tend to forget). Just a couple things..
I did not ask FOX to publish my story, in fact I had absolutely no idea that would even happen. I didn’t ask for anyone to publish anything if we’re being honest. a UK publishing company reached out to me in a very polite manner with a questionnaire and a real polite way of getting to know my story. I answered her questions and absolutely loved the article they posted. I didn’t ask for FOX news to be like “Hey this girl lives in America lets put her on the news” that’s the thing with 2019 once you put something on the internet it’s on the internet whether you like it or not. I had SO much going on that day. My second day of intense chemo (for the 13th time) and now all the sudden my inbox was completely flooded with people who wanted something from me. I won’t say who or how many but people reached out to me in hopes that I would do interviews for them with absolutely NO REGARDS to the fact that I have cancer and I’m in the middle of fighting for my life. All these people wanted from me was to bad mouth physicians and to talk about how many times I was misdiagnosed and basically every other negative thing they could come up with, why? Because that’s the world we live in. I do not blame anyone for my misdiagnosis. Yes, I was misdiagnosed 3 times, yes I was “dismissed” with allergies and a cough but you know what? I didn’t have the time or the patience for it to be anything else. I didn’t ask questions. I didn’t put together all the symptoms I was having until after I was diagnosed. It’s not my fault it’s not anyone specifics fault. It’s about being aware of your body and fighting for what you believe is true. I didn’t ask for a second opinion, I didn’t go to an actual doctors office I went to Urgent Care time and time again because MY HUSBAND made me. So, no I don’t want to talk negatively about it I want to change it. I want people to wake the fuck up and stop blaming everyone and everything for what happens in their life and change it. Sorry if it’s harsh but so many of us live behind our computer screens and say negative things, compare ourselves, and live in this delusional world where we think social media is the answer and the solution to everything. It’s not.
Ignoring the ‘haters’ isn’t what is hard it’s not what gets to me.What get’s to me is the lack of sensitivity people have for one another. It’s the fact that my inbox became flooded with peoples messages about people they know or knew who died of cancer. Do you understand how hurtful and painful that is? To tell someone who has cancer and is literally fighting for their lives that someone you knew had cancer and died? It’s not something to say to be relatable. It’s just not.
I would like to say there is no ‘wrong’ way to be there for someone going through cancer, but in the 8 months I’ve been dealing with this I know now that it’s a lie. There is a wrong way. For all of you out there reading this who aren’t survivors, this is for you, and it’s going to be harsh but for the sake of my sanity and survivors sanity all around the world it needs to be said.
- Absolutely do not tell me about someone who had cancer and died. I have witnessed it in my own family, and I don’t need a reminder from you on how bad cancer ruins people’s lives.
- Absolutely do not send me ‘cancer curing diets’ ‘herbs’ ‘remedies’ just don’t. It’s irritating, and you honestly don’t know how much damage you’re actually doing. Yes, chemotherapy isn’t a ‘fun’ choice but it’s a choice that works, and its’ MY choice. The ironic part of you sending me all these diets is; due to potential bacteria risks I can’t eat it anyway, so save your breath, and maybe use it as a preventive care for yourself. On the other hand if you have suggestions such as “I heard you have this side effect, drinking ginger is supposed to help” I will take that advice and run with it.
- Also, I have a lot of respect for my Oncologist and he is damn good at his job (trust me I’ve seen all his awards) so unless you are a member of my immediate family. Don’t tell me to get a second opinion or how shitty Las Vegas healthcare is because trust me I’ve already thought about you’ve already said and more.
Those are I would say the top 3 things you should never say to someone with cancer or someone who has had cancer. However we do appreciate all the badass compliments, all the prayers, all the ‘keep fighting’ messages, all the good vibes and positivity that you send our way. It oddly pushes us to keep going.
Last thing I want to say is just how much I appreciate every single one of you reading this right now. I appreciate everyone who understood the point of my article was so that we could better advocate for ourselves. I am not a doctor if you have symptoms you think are concerning contact your physician and don’t give up until you are satisfied with your options. I do not know all things cancer I just know MY cancer and MY body.
If you don’t know how to be there for someone who just got diagnosed with cancer. First think about the individual person and not the cancer, think about what makes them happy as person. Do they like pizza? Send them a pizza. Do they like long walks on the beach? Ask them to go for a walk on their good days. Are they not replying to your text messages? Keep sending “You got this.” I go through days where the only person I reply to is my husband (because he freaks out) but don’t think for a second your message goes unnoticed or unwanted. We as survivors have a lot of time on our hands and a lot of that time is thinking about who stayed with us during this time, and who fell short. Yes, you expect different things from different people, but if you know one of your closest friends is struggling why wouldn’t you want to reach out? Why wouldn’t you want to make their day just a little bit better. People have let me down so badly during this time, but honestly it doesn’t come close to the people that have stepped up and have been there through everything. I mean everything.
Whatever you’re going through, your best friend’s going through, your family is going through. You will get through it and it will be okay. It may be farthest from okay right now (trust me I get it) but this too shall pass.. “The biggest struggles are set up for the biggest come backs” Yeah, I thought I only had to fight for 6 months and this is the absolute last thing I would ever wish on anyone, but I am fighting for this person. I am fighting to come out the other side and to be all the things I’ve ever wanted to be. I stopped writing after high school. Cancer gave me my passion back. The horrible things that happen to us can only take what we let it. I let cancer and the negativity take over these last few days, and after pulling myself out of my chemo coma I am back and with a vengeance.
Until Next Time,
XOXO Bechtold Badass.