You would think that when someone gets a diagnosis as scary and daunting as cancer that there would be nothing but positive energy and love coming from all sides. We have felt all of this but I have also noticed some really negative Nancy’s coming out of the woodwork (due to all the media attention) that have irked me and I honestly just need to vent.
It’s not people being intentionally mean (I think) or saying or wishing negative things to deliberately bring us down, but more so the comments about why our story is out there. Some things I have been reading:
- Oh it must be environmental, they should have their house screened and look for causes.
- Thank you for your concern, but with two completely different upbringings and both living in different places at the time of diagnosis we and he doctors do not believe this is environmental. If it were, we would expect to see clusters of more cases. Our cancer type isn’t rare in the world, but it is rare in the sense that two people in our age group who are linked in some way would get it.
- They look like they could be related, they have the same smile and same nose, they should get a DNA check. Someone even commented that both our names start with “L”…
- This is incredibly rude. My husband and I are not related AND genetics do not cause this type of leukemia. Yes we both have large noses and similar smiles but so do many many other people. It is highly offensive to suggest that we are related and somehow caused this ourselves.
- They live in Canada, why do they need to raise money for medical bills? Everything is covered.
- No one said this was specifically being raised for medical bills. When you get diagnosed with high blood pressure, you make some lifestyle changes, maybe you get a prescription, but you continue living your daily life. When you get diagnosed with cancer, your entire world stops.
- I can no longer work and neither can my husband. We have no source of income. Yes we have medical coverage and feel so fortunate to be in Canada and to not have that heavy burden on us, but that doesn’t mean all of our other expenses go away. We have rent, and bills, groceries and animals to care for, we have student loans and other debt, we have to pay for gas and parking to and from appointments, we may need to hire cleaners since we are both immunocompromised and shouldn’t be doing certain tasks. These expenses don’t go away when they drill into your hip bone and then tell you that you have cancer, they add up.
- When Luke was first diagnosed it was a struggle to make ends meet, but we scraped by. We knew I would be working soon and that if we could just make it through that tough period we would be okay. Finally we were getting to a position where we felt okay financially and could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then the rug was swept from under us.
- We never asked for this kind of financial support. Our loving families saw the need to help us and before we knew it perfect strangers were coming to our aid. Neither one of us like to ask for help and would never in a million years dream that people would be so kind and generous, but we are beyond thankful for everyone who has donated and offered support or love in any way. One cancer diagnosis is stressful enough, but two cancer diagnoses at the same time increases that stress exponentially. Easing the financial burden on our shoulders is allowing us to focus on both of us getting to remission and staying there so we can get back to living our lives. Someday we hope to pay it forward.
- Questioning my immigration status
- I am a dual citizen and thus I have medical coverage in Canada, but this should not be anyone’s business. Our family and friends wanted to do something to help us in these uncertain times, we are humbled and honored.
On a more positive note, the love and encouragement we have received for sharing our story has been incredible to say the least. I will share just a few quotes from comments and messages I have received:
- “It is stories like this that really make you put your life and your blessings in perspective. Good Luck to this young couple.”
- “Best wishes! Anyone who reads this article wants to see another … about their reunion.”
- “The two of them radiate warmth and courage and resilience. Best wishes for a full recovery.”
- “I am amazed how positive both seem to be and how they also accept the fact that they cannot see each other because of the pandemic as something that is just the way it is. Do hope that both beat this and will remain healthy.”
- “After reading this story, I am left with the sincerest wish that these two survive and make a beautiful family together.”
- “I had a stem cell transplant 14 years ago because of CLL. Today I am healthy and pregnant (with a donor egg) and life has gone back to normal. I am so sorry to hear what both of you are going through, it sounds like you are wonderful people. I know when I was sick I loved hearing stories of survivors. It gave me hope on those dark days. With enough love and humour I believe you can get through it.”
On that note I will end with a quick update on my day. Today has been good. I have been productive, I checked many things off my to do list, I walked 1.5 km, and I am feeling really good. No side effects from my chemotherapy yesterday and my jaw seems to be improving each day. Today it was not so much painful as stiff. Wishing everyone all the love in the world.
p.s. if you don’t already follow me on instagram and are looking for some laughs, I have started reviewing hospital food as a way of keeping myself entertained: lmcoates92