Last month, we shared information on ways to support a friend or family member who is battling cancer. In addition, Sierra Nevada Cancer Center patient Paula Steinmetz was kind enough to share her advice and experience. Now, patient Bill Wadding shares his thoughts on this very important subject.
Be Open To Kindness
By Bill Wadding
When I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, the first thing my wife and I decided was that we wouldn't research and pursue everything we could find on my cancer. Instead, we would try to keep everything in our lives as normal as possible. My family cooperated by not constantly asking how I was doing, but always let me know of their love and support. At the time, I was working at Starbucks and my partners there were loving and supportive. I cannot stress how good they made me feel just by checking up on me and asking if there was anything I needed done around the house. Being a proud man, it was hard for me to ask for help.
One day, a group of men and women from work (and even some of their kids) showed up at my home and proceeded to weed my whole 2.25 acres! And they didn't just do a little work and goof off—they worked from the time they got there until the time they left. I have never been so proud to say I worked at Starbucks and that I had the best partners I'd ever had in all my years of working! It was validation that if you treat people with respect, they will someday return the gesture.
I am an outdoor person who spends a lot of time in the mountains. I like to kayak, hike, ski and fish. One of my favorite places to go is Sorenson's Resort for lunch. I know most of the staff there and they also were really supportive of my wife and me during my cancer diagnosis and treatment. My partners at Starbucks had a beautiful wooden bench made for me, complete with a plaque that said, "To our friend, Bill Wadding...In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. -John Muir... From your Starbucks family". They arranged with John, the owner of Sorenson's, to put the bench where it overlooked their trout pond! I have never experienced such a gesture of love and compassion.
We, as cancer patients, must remember that even though we are going through a lot of pain and suffering, our loved ones are, too. We should always try to be grateful and positive, and to support them in return. It's been said that the second worst thing to having cancer is having someone you love have cancer. By helping our loved ones get through this event in our lives, we help ourselves be happier.
Cancer doesn't think. It doesn't pick and choose. It isn't contagious. It just is. But we as human beings can choose to be kind and compassionate and grateful— and those things are contagious.
Getting The Medical Support You Need
If you have received a cancer or blood disorder diagnosis, or know someone who has, Dr. Perez and Sierra Nevada Cancer Center can provide the expertise and support needed to take on the disease—head on. Contact us today.