Being a two-time cancer survivor, I would rather be the one with cancer instead of a family member, relative, friend or even my greatest enemy.

Find a Cure imageI know I am not exactly in control when I have cancer, but I have a sense of being in control. I understand my diagnosis, treatment plan, risks, etc. I do research, ask questions and prepare myself. I pray. I know when something is not right and call my doctor immediately.

I can handle setbacks. I can control what I tell my caregivers and what they see, at least to an extent. There are plenty of times I have fallen apart, even briefly, but kept those moments to myself. Maybe I feel like I can protect my caregivers in a way. Maybe it's because, even during the lowest times during my cancer journey, I have been able to maintain a positive attitude the vast majority of the time.

Or ... maybe it's because I don't want to be on the "other side." I do not want to watch someone experience what I have. I don't want someone I love to go through chemotherapy and basically have poison pumped through their veins. I don't want them to deal with hair loss, though that may seem vain. However, what many don't understand is that hair loss is not due to the cancer itself, but due to the chemotherapy to eradicate the cancer.

I don't want them to be scared. I don't want someone to have surgery and go through the recovery process. I don't want to feel helpless when they are in pain or struggling. I don't want to feel like I have no control because in that situation, I would not. I don't want others to experience what I have been through.

I want a cure!


Share Your Thoughts

As a cancer patient or cancer survivor, have you had to watch someone else go through a cancer diagnosis and treatment? How did it affect you? Share your thoughts below.

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About the Author

Jennifer Pichelman was born in Racine, Wis. She graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with an undergraduate degree in business management and communication. She recently celebrated 25 years with a manufacturing company in Racine and currently works in marketing. Jennifer was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1994 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Due to the radiation to her chest, Jennifer was told she had an increased risk of breast cancer, which her oncologist diligently screened for with mammograms and breast MRI's. She remained cancer free until December of 2012, when she was diagnosed with a secondary cancer, breast cancer. When a small mass was discovered after a mammogram, deep down Jennifer knew she had breast cancer. After biopsy results came back, Jennifer was formally diagnosed on Dec. 28, 2012 -- 3 days after Christmas.

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