Does That Make Me a Fraud?

22 02 2011

It’s Week 2 in my new official role as a regular blogger with The Pink Fund. Look for me there every Monday.

Check out this week’s post:
Does That Make Me a Fraud?

Then, help me to answer that question.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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6 responses

22 02 2011
Kimberly Brown

Being a fraud… a topic I can relate to quite well. Diagnosed with stage IIa in one breast, multiple DCIS in the other, I had a bilateral mastectomy. Sentinel Node biopsies were negative. No chemo, no radiation. A little white pill every day for 5 years. It’s been 3 1/2. I have struggled with survivor guilt…and the fact that, since I didn’t lose my hair or have any of the really tough treatments, did I really deserve to be called or think of myself as a survivor?
I know now that any time someone hears the word cancer in a diagnosis…every step you take from that point on is the step of a survivor.

22 02 2011
Monica Lesnau

While pregnant with my daughter, I was diagnosed with a relatively rare complication called Obstetric lumbosacral plexopathy. Although the long-term prognosis was excellent, the neuropathy was not. I had to use my arms to pull my legs out of bed. Physically exhausted, once up, I would randomly collapse, which is especially ill-advised for a pregnant woman. The pain was excruciating. Long story short, once the baby was developed enough to make her entrance into the world, I was allowed off bed rest. Although I could travel short distances, it was necessary for me to use a scooter to do something as “strenuous” as grocery shopping. I looked like a perfectly healthy pregnant woman. I was, after all, very “well rested.” My 2 ½ year old was raring to go; he hitched a ride, hopping down to do all the retrieving of items. We tried to make a game of it, to cover mommy’s condition. Sometimes people stared. I could see people’s questions. I did feel like a bit of a fraud; so many people have it worse. I never took the last scooter, still one particularly aggressive old woman scolded me with a rather terse “Do you really need that?!” Yes. Yes, I do. Make no apologies, for there is no fraud. Picking up a couple gallons of milk is NORMAL. If parking in a handicap spot will allow you this blessed little normal, then so be it.

22 02 2011
Kathy

You know what your limits are. Whatever you need to get through your day is what you should do. We see people all the time who park in handicapped spots then get out of the car and walk, seemingly unimpeded, into the store. But the bottom line is… You never know what battles others are fighting. For those who stare, judge or scold… that’s their issue.

22 02 2011
Lori Parker

On my first visit back to the cardiologist after my crash and surgery, he told me the most difficult part of recovery and gaining strength was that I didn’t look ‘sick’. People did not expect me to be weak or wimpy – yet I was. Here’s a laugh for you…One of my pals took me on an adventure to Costco. She knew I’d never make it walking thru that big warehouse and insisted I use a handicap cart. I was dismayed but followed her orders. (Good thinking on my part!)
I got some looks and stares because I seemed so physically fit… healthy. I was a bit embarrassed. They didn’t know my condition and I did not feel the need to share it with them. I was still getting used to it myself!
My point is – we never know what a stranger is going thru. We can’t compare the way we feel to others. Maybe we should have a bit more understanding and compassion simply because we really don’t know.

What I do know – you are not a fraud. I can think of quite a few words to describe you, fraud is not on the list. You are my little cuz and I love you.

23 02 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

I think a better approach would be for each and every one of us to say a prayer for someone who is in a handicap cart, whether or not we can “see” what’s wrong with them. I love silent, sneak-attack prayers lifted up to heaven above — the ones no one knows you’ve said for them, but God hears it. And that’s all that counts.

26 02 2011
Aunt Doris

Right on, Amy! I pray for you every time in the day God brings you to mind. Little short prayers. But, as you say, God hears.

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