A picture speaks a 1,000 words

by on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:08
This entry is filed under: Ulcerative Colitis

*Be sure to send Cynnycal your best wishes, being on her 2nd round with colon cancer – you can never get or give too much support*

Through sharing Mark’s surgery, we learned the power of images can really say what needs to be said and words aren’t needed.  And I’ve been haunted by this image that is attached here.  I think it is the first time I really conceptualized “colon cancer” or even “cancer” for that matter.  The woman in the photo is on her 2nd battle with colon cancer, and in her blog she is so raw and honest about what these experiences are for her.  About this photo she writes in her blog Cynnical and The Colon Chronicles “And this is how I normally can be seen while on chemo:Don’t I just look thrilled. There ya have it. I guess when I’ve bitched in the past about how people don’t seem to fully grasp that you’re “sick” or not well, if you don’t look like the typical chemo patient…didn’t lose your hair, no outward signs of illness….Guess this time around chemo made sure I got some outwardly visible signs.”

Mark and I would always joke (went from said seriously to eventually a joke) that if you are going to get sick with something chronic and life altering, you better make sure it is a mainstream disease like cancer, because people don’t respond to your struggle if they don’t know your disease. So having UC is kinda obscure, we found most people knew Crohn’s sorta but not UC.  And as Cynnical points out people not grasping your sick unless you fit the stereotype of what sick should be.  I guess this is a HUGE reason why need more advocacy on chronic disease.   

Also, it is time we all start addressing the very real issues of self-esteem and the related symptoms of disease:

Self-esteem and IBD is discussed “Some of the emotional challenges that are typical of those diagnosed with IBD are:
1. Self Esteem
2. Self Image
3. Depression
4. Anger
5. Grieving
6. Sense of loss that your life isn’t ever going to be the same
7. Feeling alone
8. Feeling different
9. Shame/Guilt
10. Embarrassment
(*Some of the items on this list were offered in Sherry Porat’s presentation at the IBD conference on Nov. 3,2007)”

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2 Responses to “A picture speaks a 1,000 words”

  1. avatar

    Mary says:

    June 19th, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Yes, you are right that a picture can indeed speak a thousand words. What is so powerful about this is that she is so young and lovely and then there is the cancer to chemo doing its damage. Thanks to Cynnical for being willing to share her experience. May she kick that cancers butt (obviously no pun intended).

    [Reply]

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