Anyone who has been living with cancer has had this experience:

You’re talking to a friend. The conversation turns to cancer. The friend says something that is so incredibly insensitive that you are momentarily stunned. At that moment, what I call x-ray vision kicks in; you know with great certainty that which you would have preferred not to have known. You understand your friend’s motivation, you see through their thought process– while also clearly seeing that they themselves are completely unaware of any of this.

Hence my choice of the term “x-ray vision”; it’s like the parable about the emperor with no clothes. Your friends are completely naked from your perspective, and yet, like the emperor with no clothes, they feel no shame because they themselves have no idea just how naked they are.

Let me give some examples of what I’m talking about, actual conversations… The rest of this chapter, along with all that can be learned about this cancer journey only through hard experience is now compiled in an easily searchable book format that can be read on your computer, Ipad etc.:

Although we learned many things we would most certainly rather have NOT known as we made our way through this cancer journey, there were also many heart-opening realizations that might have otherwise been completely inaccessible to us, about the absolute kindness of relative strangers. May all of us continue to grow in wisdom and compassion so that we can be present for our loved ones when they most need that unconditional support and love.

If you are reading this post, it is probably because you or someone you love is living with cancer, and you’re trying to understand the many ways that your life is changing as a result of this.

You have stumbled upon a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from another cancer patient’s four years of experience in navigating the  cancer maze.

Our doctors told us we were the most informed patient team they had ever encountered– yet we felt utterly lost a great deal of the time. Every cancer patient I’ve talked to felt the same way. We learned so much about The System, and how critical being  an informed patient is to getting the treatment you need, how to deal with difficult doctors, troubleshooting and taking charge of pain control– and so much more, none of which you will hear about from your doctor.

You owe it to yourself and your loved one to benefit from all that we learned the hard way.  This is the kind of information that, until the publication of this book, could only become part of your database by living through it and  realizing in retrospect how all the pieces fit together: colon cancer from the patient’s and caregiver’s point of view.  $9.99 seems like a very small price, considering the emotional and physical suffering you will likely be saved by learning from our experience.

Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey: Navigating the Colon Cancer Maze  can now be read on any computer or other reading device. The reader interface is available free from Amazon and is downloadable in seconds.

I will realize absolutely no profit from the sale of this book.  All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the support of the 400 monks, nuns and yogis in the seven Tibetan monasteries of Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, who have devoted their lives towards building the foundation for peace and freedom from suffering for all beings in this world.


About surfingon

I live in Hawaii. I surf in the winter and swim in the summer. I have been a hospice volunteer with a contemplative-care oriented hospice for 25 years have been part of their team that trains new volunteers for the last 9 years. I have walked the colon cancer path with my beloved husband these past 5 years. He died very peacefully in April 2009. I now seek to share what we learned, to shed light on the many dark corners of this often mystifying, heartbreaking and heart-opening journey.
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  1. Sheryl says:

    I would like to add to your comments the experience of having a well-intended friend call me while I’m in the “process” of losing a loved one to cancer, and the friend so kindly offering their love and support… and then ask me “How much longer?” or “Is hospice involved?”…meaning being nosy enough to inquire about the doctor’s prediction on the cancer patient’s remaining time and/or is he REAL CLOSE to death??? Let’s see, I’ve said the person is very, very ill. Sort of bursts the beauty of the initial caring bubble. I do not take it personally. But I would like people to recognize the need to be respectful and allow the family privacy, and the loved one to pass with dignity.

  2. Bill5107 says:

    Thanks so much for this blog entry. I am just over 4 months into my cancer treatment and I have heard others talk about this idea but never understood it as clearly as you expressed here.

    You see, I am the friend that always works to bring my other friends together. Even when I left my previous job I was the one to travel the extra mile to keep having occasional lunches with them. They never made the effort, not once and that was fine with me. The mention of “lists” is pretty apt, at least it became so when you pointed out you can still love your friends no mater what “list” they are on.

    From very early on I would explain how I was doing carefully, trying to find out where they were with the process and doing my best to lead them down the path with me. Some are easy to bring along, others are just plain old work.

    Your point of view has helped me come to terms with the likely eventuality of having to make decisions about where I spend my energy. It’s ok for me to not try so hard and to just let them be. Not maliciously, just as a way to let them meet me half way I think.

    • surfingon says:

      I’m so glad that what I was trying to say resonated with your own personal experience. Yes, it’s all about where you want to spend your energy. Some friends totally “get it” and benefit immensely from sharing your journey, even though it may be painful for them. Those who need (or think they need) to protect themselves are simply unable to be fully present, and any further effort on our part to draw them in is likely to result in frustration for all. A sad truth, but a valuable one to realize, from the point of view of the cancer patient.
      Aloha, Rachel

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