I Am Not Sick – I Just Have Cancer 

 Originally Written: April 2, 2013

By  Hanna Trafford

Kathy 2April 2,2013

This was written by my friend Kathy. Let me explain a little: Kathy and I have never met, yet we both feel closer to each other than you could ever imagine. When I found out what I was going to have to do to fight breast cancer, I was talking to my cousin-in-law Vicki, who said that she absolutely has to put me in touch with her friend Kathy, who was going through the same thing. And she was right. Kathy and I started talking like we have known each other all our lives. Maybe it is because we were going through exactly the same treatments – and Kathy was a week ahead of me. Discussing our situations, asking ourselves questions that only two people facing the same thing can ask, laughing through our chemo treatments…. I do believe that we are friends for life.

Kathy is a Canadian (oh yes – she does call herself Canadian Ninja and I do understand why) She lives in Dunedin, Florida with her husband Joe but her roots are in beautiful Haliburton, Ontario.

And just to give you an example of what makes us laugh when being injected with the poison that will save out lives: we collectively came up with a vision that we use when having to face the pain of injections:”Picture Johnny Depp wearing nothing but his pirate hat” Does it put a smile on your face? if sure does on ours…..

Here is what Kathy has to say about fighting cancer – please read and remember:

I’m NOT sick……..I just have Cancer!!

This is a statement that I have made numerous times since being diagnosed with breast cancer in December of last year ( 2012). To someone who is “ healthy” , I am sure that my statement sounds preposterous and crazy….or worse , that I may be in complete denial of my condition!!!  Let me assure you that I know full well what my condition IS and how it is being treated.

Let me explain….. I do NOT feel “sick” and except for the fact that the chemotherapy drugs have made me lose my hair, if  you met me, you would never know that there is anything wrong with me!! Everyone who DOES know me agrees!

When people insist on giving me help when I do not need or want it…..I start thinking that I am “ less than” or “sick” and since I am trying to stay in a positive mindset…..these things are counter productive.  I will ask for help if I feel that I need it but please do NOT insist on “ helping” me when I haven’t asked for it! Having Cancer does not automatically make me incapable of doing things for myself and I cherish my independence. Please don’t take it away from me.

Hanna said a lot of what I would say in her blog on DoS and Donts…..but my other pet peeve is the entire hat/scarf issue. I have continued to work in retail throughout my chemotherapy treatments and you would not believe the stares and WORSE the comments I have received! If a woman is wearing a scarf that covers her entire head or a hat, most sensible people KNOW that there is some sort of medical condition that is responsible. DO take a look, but please DO NOT stare openly like I am some sort of freak of nature! Worse, please DO NOT make insensitive comments. I had a middle aged man YELL at me from at least 15 feet away, “ What’s with the do?” I am normally a very patient, kind person, however, he pushed the wrong buttons that day…. I actually yelled back, “ Chemotherapy!”  if you really want to know, come up and ask me quietly and with some sensitivity and I will most likely tell you. I don’t understand the stares OR the comments as I would never do either another person, even before I had cancer!

To me, the most important thing is DO treat me like you always did……cause I am still exactly the same person that I was 2 ½ months ago….I just have cancer….it doesn’t make me a different person. Lets go out for dinner, meet for coffee, go shopping, just like we always did!  If I am having a bad day, I will suggest a different day, that’s all. I have been fortunate that my side effects have been minimal so far…so I have very few bad days.

I know it’s difficult for the people around me to know what to do or say, I have lots of people who really care and are very supportive, but the best thing to do is TALK to me. I will tell you, believe me! Ha! Ha! If you want to know something, just ask. I will be happy to answer your questions

I will win my battle, I am POSITIVE of that! The best thing that you can do to help, is to be POSITIVE WITH ME.



Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • Ok – not enough sleep – I was thinking of someone who lives near by when I invited you to lunch -lol I would love to have lunch with you but after I hit send – I remembered – duhhh you live in the UK not near by -lol My mind is cluttered with my sister in law also and thoughts of her – but anyways had to let you know the invite is always open to have lunch if you are ever here..


    • I have two grown children and 2 grandchildren who do live in Edmonton…..I am so sorry for all that your sister in law and your family are facing……..I just saw this post now…..I too have been busy fighting…..I live in florida, but I am a Canadian who was raised in Ontario….have been here about 6 years now……next time before I fly to Edmonton, I will get in touch with you and we can meet up for that lunch okay
      Kathy xxoo

  • Good morning – well had to let you know the progress of Mei my sister in law and her battle – it does not look good at all – she has been in China now for a while and in the hospital and I just got an email update from my sister – doctors have her on pain killers and the cancer is all over her body now – my heart aches for her and all I can do is pray – why this is happening to her a young mother and a fighter she is – I have been told her spirits are strong and bright and she knows the outcome and she smiles everyday I am told.. My brother is not doing well he is not happy and his heart breaks every day – he loves her so much..
    Iam keeping busy – work keeps me busy and I plan to bake today – I do know I will be baking bread and I may even do some cookies..
    I hope you enjoyed this great snow we got lol – the roads into town were horrible and slushy – lol I just live outside of St Albert and work on the west end of Edmonton so its a good commute each day.
    Your schedule must be crazy busy – but if you have time one Saturday I would love to meet for a light lunch in the near future if that is possible – if my corrections are right you do live in Edmonton or close by. Well I have laundry calling out my name and will say bye for now and I hope you have a great weekend..


  • You don’t have to put up with cancer. There are many cures for cancer that are natural. There are many things to do for yourself to rid cancer from your body. There are many things to avoid to prevent cancer. Look up on the web The Power Hour. It is a radio show that has many great wellness guests. Joyce Reilly is the hose. I strongly suggest you investigate the show. You can listen to past shows, visit their book store and buy great healthy herbal supplements that will keep you well and prevent illness. Please go there, your life depends on it. Don’t depend on doctors that “treat” you, You want people that WANT to cure you and keep you well and healthy.

    • Thanks for your concern……….I am also investigating alternative cures…including an alkaline diet in the near future…right now I will do what I am doing…and remove this particular cancer from my body.

  • Well said Kathy! So pleased Hanna, that you and Kathy have found each other…as being support for each other will be the strongest support you can have; BECAUSE YOU GALS GET IT!

    Best wishes to you both for your futures!!

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