Aphorisms From a Patient with Pancreatic Cancer

Introduction

When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I thought my life had ended. But as the disease progressed, I realized that it was just beginning. It was the most difficult time of my life. My friends and family helped me get through it by being there for me every day — something I’ll never forget for as long as I live. These are some of the things that helped me along the way:

I never expected to live this long.

I never expected to live this long. I’m not ready to die and I fear the pain that will come with it. I’m afraid of what will happen to my family if they have to take care of me, or worse yet, bury me. I’m afraid that my friends will miss me when I’m gone.

I know what you are thinking: “Why don’t you just accept death? It is inevitable after all and a part of life! Why fight something so natural? It isn’t worth it!”

Well, let me tell you something: death isn’t natural. Sure, our bodies may decay or fall apart over time due to aging (or disease), but our hearts still beat inside them as we go through life seeking meaning and fulfillment; living for one another instead of dying alone in some hospital bed somewhere on earth where no one knows about your passing except for maybe some random nurse who couldn’t care less about whether or not he/she has treated any patients before yours…

Everything is hard if you can’t acknowledge your pain.

Pain is a part of life. Pain is something we all have to live with and learn to manage. This is true whether you’re experiencing the kinds of everyday aches and pains that come with being human, or if you live with a chronic disease like pancreatic cancer.

A patient once told me: “Everything is hard if you can’t acknowledge your pain.”

That’s not always easy to do—especially when you’re dealing with excruciating symptoms that make it difficult for even basic tasks like sitting up straight or standing on one leg without falling over (think about how much weight each leg has to support). But keeping yourself aware of how much pain you’re in, even when the amount seems overwhelming, can help improve your quality of life by helping shrink those moments where pain feels unbearable into smaller chunks rather than an infinite black hole stretching out before us forever and ever amen.

Sometimes pain really is beautiful.

Pain is a part of life. Life is not supposed to be easy, and pain reminds you of that. Pain is also a sign that you’re alive—if it didn’t hurt so much, then maybe it wouldn’t be worth doing at all!

If pain can be beautiful, then it’s because we know what beauty means: something that makes us feel good and reminds us that there’s more to life than just survival. If you can see the beauty in your pain, then I think that gives you hope for other things too. And in the end (or now), I would say that finding beauty in my suffering has been one of the most important lessons I’ve learned during these past few years.*

As my disease progressed, I realized that I was someone’s loved one, too.

As my disease progressed, I realized that I was someone’s loved one, too.

I have endured many challenges in my life, but nothing prepared me for the pain of watching a loved one endure cancer. It is hard enough to see someone suffer from any illness; this takes it to another level entirely. The shock and fear can be overwhelming and sometimes it feels impossible to know what to say or do. The best thing you can do for yourself is be there for your loved one—you are not alone in your struggle with this disease.

It’s OK to admit that you have no idea what’s going on.

  • It’s OK to admit that you have no idea what’s going on.
  • It’s OK to ask for help.
  • It’s OK to not know what to say in response, or how to respond at all.
  • It’s also okay not to know what actions are appropriate, and which ones aren’t necessary or helpful at this stage of the situation.
  • Finally, it is important for anyone walking through this experience with us—friends and family included—to understand that we may not always be able-minded enough at any given moment in time; but don’t let our inability hold back from providing care and support when asked for!

I am sorry for the things that I don’t know and I’m just not ready to think about.

  • I am sorry for the things that I don’t know and I’m just not ready to think about.
  • You are the only person who can decide if you are ready to face your fears.

It is never too late to get started on something new.

It is never too late to get started on something new.

Do not wait until you are older to start something new. Do not wait until you are married to start something new. Do not wait until you are retired to start something new, and do not wait until you are sick to start something new. In fact, it’s always better if we get started early on things that interest us so that we can learn what works for us and what doesn’t work for us early on in life as well as how our interests evolve over time as we grow older and wiser with each passing year!

Don’t be afraid of being happy when life feels hard.

Don’t be afraid of being happy when life feels hard.

I’ve learned how to sit in my sadness and let the tears flow, but I also have learned that it’s okay to be happy sometimes. When you’re feeling like your life is ending and you have nothing to be happy about, it’s okay to find something little that makes you smile or laugh. It can be as simple as the way your cat chooses his spot on the couch or watching a funny video on Facebook – whatever brings a tiny bit of joy into your day will go farther than any prescription drug could ever take you.

Cherish your friendships — they will sustain you through dark times.

Friends are the people who will be there for you when you need them. They’re the ones that can make you laugh when you feel sad, and they’re the ones who will help you feel better about yourself when your self-esteem has been bruised. Friends are important to have because they help us get through tough times in life and make our lives more enjoyable.

  • It’s important to remember this during difficult periods in life.*

Remember them for who they were, not who they became in sickness.

Remember them for who they were, not who they became in sickness.

When you think of someone with cancer or any terminal illness, it’s easy to focus on their physical condition. The disease has taken over their body and mind, so it becomes difficult to remember what that person was like before they fell ill—it’s like looking at an old photo from years ago and trying to remember what kind of mood I was in when it was taken: happy? sad? bored? nostalgic? But if someone close to you develops pancreatic cancer, don’t let yourself get bogged down by the disease; instead, work hard to keep their memory alive by focusing on positive aspects of their personality that existed before their illness took hold (or even after). It’s important not only because it will help you cope emotionally during this difficult period but also because it can influence how other people see your loved one and react toward them while they’re going through treatment.

Instead of focusing on having a great day, focus on doing something great for someone else today.

Instead of focusing on having a great day, focus on doing something great for someone else today.

Spend time with those who need your love and support.

Help someone in need, even if it’s just a smile or a kind word.

All the time spent alone with my thoughts made me realize that nothing brings me more joy than spending time with friends and family, taking in every moment together.

In this time of my life, I’ve been forced to evaluate everything that means anything to me. I have had the opportunity to reflect on what really matters most in my life. Through all of these thoughts and emotions, one thing has become abundantly clear: nothing brings me more joy than spending time with friends and family.

I am not alone in this sentiment; many people feel the same way about their loved ones. However, there are also those who don’t realize how important they are to those around them until they are gone—and by then it may be too late. As we grow older and go through our own experiences alone or with others, we begin to develop certain habits that define us as individuals. Those habits will eventually make up who we are as people; however, sometimes the wrong actions can have negative consequences for both ourselves and those around us—especially our loved ones!

Conclusion

In the end, I believe that all of us have a story to tell, and I would like my story to be one of hope. My hope is that we can all find joy in the simple things in life, even when it feels like there’s no reason or point anymore.