When the word “strength” is brought up in relation to cancer care and treatment, it is easy to associate it with words like “determination”, “resilience” and physical and mental “power”. While it may at first seem that for an individual dealing with cancer it’s always good to have all the strength one can muster, are there any times the word “strength” is not really helpful? Is it possible that trying to remain “strong” might not let patients’ voice doubts and fears? Is there too much pressure in being told to “stay strong”, “be strong”, and “keep your strength up”?

There will be new perspectives posted regularly, so please check back often. Please join our conversation, with a comment on any perspective, or by suggesting other words we can discuss in the future, by clicking the “participate” button to the right.

This strength has brought me this far

Theresa M | Patient |

My strength comes from my faith and my family and friends. But there are moments, as I recently experienced while hospitalized, of visceral terror at the thought of my life ending. I am fortunate to have the family and friends that I have who help remind me that I am strong and that this strength has brought me this far.

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I keep going because I focus on today

Pauline K | Patient |

I have Cowden’s disease. I have been treated for breast, colon, skin cancer, and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. My first diagnosis of cancer was in 1997. I will be celebrating my 65th birthday in August. I often wonder how I keep the strength to keep going. I work full time and help care for my grand child. Continue…

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