It’s World Mental Health Day, and we’ve seen so many good social media posts about the need to move beyond talking to action… Cancer is a real challenge to your mental health as much as your physical health, and unfortunately, incurable cancer patients are often weighed down with expectations of ‘positivity’. When we are ‘realistic’ (in that our chances of being alive in 5 years are around 22%), this is seen as being ‘negative’, and seen as having a negative impact upon our survival chances. METUP member Tassia turned this into a blog post (and the attached cartoon):
But the worst one. Is “JUST BE POSITIVE”. This statement is so unbelievable patronising, antagonising and downright Ignorant to me.
Ok… so I am positive this cancer will kill me?
No. I know that’s not what you meant…
…Anyone who has met me in person would tell you I’m certainly a glass half full kinda gal, and I really bloody love life. But, there is no way I am about to be ‘positive’ while my treatment options dwindle away over time and I grieve for the life I once had.
Especially when it could be helped!
Unfortunately, to argue against the ‘pink positivity’ as a SBC patient deems you “ungrateful”, “hysterical” and downright “insensitive” to the plight of those dealing with Primary BC.
You will find that, whilst many of us struggle with down days, most incurable cancer patients are still seeking to live life to the full, and seeking the best quality of life possible … whilst dealing with multiple side effects from treatment – and this is what METUP UK seeks to improve in our fight for better treatment options.
Meantime, as one breast cancer nurse said:
We worry about those who never cry, and we worry about those who never stop crying – everything else is an acceptable level of crying.