It's OK to Not Be Fine!

When someone asks how we’re doing – whether it’s a friend, loved one, co-worker, doctor…you get the picture – we usually reply, “I’m fine.” Right? We could be ready to run a marathon, about to keel over, or anywhere in between, but we still say, “I’m fine.”

Cancer is a difficult and overwhelming experience for anyone. Living with a condition that requires constant care and attention can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to not be fine.

We feel pressure to put on a brave face and pretend like everything is okay. We don’t want to be a bother. Society tells us that we should be grateful for the things we do have and not complain. But the truth is, dealing with cancer can be a constant struggle. It can make it difficult to keep up with our daily responsibilities and it takes a toll on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

It’s okay to feel angry, sad, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. It’s okay to say “No” to things that you know will put too much strain on your health. It’s okay to prioritize your well-being and focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself!

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to find a support system. Build your Tribe! This can be friends, family, medical personnel, co-workers…virtually anyone! Having someone to talk to about your experiences can be a huge help. It can also be helpful to reach out to others with cancer for support and to share your experiences.

People often ask me how I stay so positive. It’s hard sometimes! I do give into having a pity party and feel sorry for myself. IT’S NORMAL! The key is to just not stay at that party too long – and get help if you need to.

It’s also important to educate yourself about your diagnosis and learn about the resources available to help you on your journey. You don’t have to do this alone! Reach out to those who can help you.

Finally, remember that self-care is critical. This means taking time for yourself, practicing mindfulness, or finding ways to relieve stress. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s important to find what works best for you. And most importantly, don’t feel guilty when you do take time for yourself!

In conclusion, it’s okay to not be fine! Be honest when someone asked you how you’re doing. Your journey with cancer is an ongoing struggle and it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help and prioritize your well-being. Again I say, build your Tribe! You are not alone, and you are deserving of love, care, and support.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

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  1. Love what you wrote, Deb. I especially appreciate the reminder that we are all deserving of love, care, and support. Completely agree!

    • As always, you are spot on. When I was growing up, my Mom was a big Dale Carnegie fan. She would drive me crazy with things like “Act Enthusiastic and You’ll Be Enthusiastic “. However when I was going thru my battle I would think about that a lot. Sometimes you gotta fake it till you make it. When I just wasn’t feeling it, I would surround myself with positive energy. Sometimes I had to create my own. I would do that by trying to help somebody else who needed a boost. It worked. Blessings to you my friend as you continue your battle! As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. So true, Deb. The hubs took me to every doctor’s appointment because he could not bear to fail and disappoint his doctor, or even say things out loud as if speaking them into being. I would be the one who would talk about his weight loss, nausea, sleeplessness, pain. But that also means that I had to witness it. (For the curious, he was diagnosed in late 2004 and still alive and kicking today.)

    • Having someone else go to appointments is so valuable! It’s funny – if it were a say, car mechanic, we’d jump on telling them what’s still wrong! But, when it’s our BODY, we keep quiet.

  3. Thanks for the words of wisdom Deb!
    Probably the hardest thing for me is being honest, with those in my tribe and myself. It’s so much easier to just be “fine” when a lot of times I’m not. But, I don’t want to be that person who is always complaining, so I downplay the pain, the fatigue, the frustration, the mental strain. I know I have a tribe there for me always, so I’m working on being more honest with them and myself.
    Prayers for you all!

    • We don’t want to “be a bother”, right? The best thing to remember is that people truly want to help. They just need to know what – and be specific – it is that we need!

  4. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. It’s okay to say “No” – this is such a great quote. You give us permission and sometimes we need that!!!

    I am so impressed by this entire effort – applause!!

    • Thanks for your kind words! There’s nothing wrong with saying No…and standing by it! But, no one reads our minds, so we have to voice what’s going on with us.

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