Hi I am newly diagnosed and I know alot of people rely on their faith for support and find great peace with that, however I am a atheist and was wondering if anyone else here was also.
agnostic which isn't quite the same, but have run across others who are atheist. bc is equal opportunity terrorist. hope all works well for you.
I think that science, not faith will cure me. Yes, it is hard to be a non-believer when so many do believe.But I've felt just as strange because I had a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy, when it looks like such a large portion of the women here went for the more drastic surgery.
I don't consider myself a "person of deep faith" so I can identify. It's not to say I've closed my mind to the idea; it's rather that I prefer to think that faith and spirituality come from within. It's rather difficult when you read a lot of posts that reference prayer and the will of God. I have nothing against that; it's just something I cannot relate to. I wish you the best of luck.
I'm not sure about the faith thing. I think bc is just random, as is so much else of life. I think I'm going to live as well as I can for as long as I can. My little daughter has always said, "I'm not worried about after I die--I got that figured out--but how come no one talks about where I was before I was born?" Mysteries that I'll just let be. Take care.--Hattie
Oh year--massive untidy lumpectomy here, and no recon.--Hattie
Faith and belief in an intervening god are not part of my worldview. I don't know what we are, why we are here, etc. For me this is part of the mystery of life. I don't think that faith or belief of the traditional sort would be of help to me in dealing with the bc diagnosis. I have faith and draw strength and comfort from life- nature, people, animals, etc. that are right in front of me. I don't feel a need to "know" what happens after we die or to create a story about that. This is an interesting question you've posted. Are you looking to connect with people who will not suggest you rely on religion to get though this experience or did something else prompt the question? Allyson
I do not belong to any structured religion however am a spiritual person. From what I am hearing being in a structured religious environment does provide a lot of support while one is going through all the motions of bc especially if you do not have your own strong personal support network.
And my hats off to those who can be at peace at whats happening with us using any medium, cause I can not be at peace. A most personal war from within our bodies have been declared against ourselves !!! Peace... dunno.. acceptance,adaptation, moving on with life maybe.
Dudess, I am agnostic but don't rely on a religious presence in my life to cope with bc. I feel as Trigeek does, I'm a very spiritual person inside and strongly believe it comes from within.
For those who said prayers for me while undergoing treatments, I welcomed them because I think it made them feel better. But it also made me feel uncomfortable...how am I supposed to respond when someone says "I'm praying for you". My standard response was a simple 'thank you'. And these are people who know my religion stance.
A very interesting topic.
Just an addendum- I actually have been engaged in Buddhist practice for much of my adult life- Zen and more recently Insight Meditation- however Buddhism (in these forms anyhow) is not a faith based or theistic religion. This could be hard for some people to get their minds around, but that's how it is. The teachings and my practice have been a major stabilizing force in helping me deal with this bc diagnosis. With all the extra time during my treatment I discovered some great podcasts of insight meditation talks- very down to earth, practical, psychological- that have been a huge source of enjoyment and help to me. Allyson
At least I am not so alone, and yes I would love to connect with someone who feels and thinks similair to myself, that would be great. I appreciate everyone that has replied I know it can be a funny subject for some. My parents are coming over today first time I have seen them sence I found out, it is gonna be awful my mother is gonna make me bawl, oh well once I see them it will be done and over with. Why is it so hard to see the ones you love hurt? I should be worried about me
I can totally relate. I had a very hard time dealing with my mom's upset and fear when I was first diagnosed- overwhelmed by it really. We both got through it though. Best of luck with your parent's visit. Keep in touch. I found that the beginning part of this dx trip was the worst. BTW I had lots of offers/ statements re: people praying for me- which was fine by me- Novenas were said, Tibetan Buddhist monks on the other side of the country were deployed to pray on my behalf - all sorts of stuff. I didn't find this a bad thing, just a bit weird- what really counted for me was the kindness and good intentions/wishes for my well-being that went into this- Hope it worked. Allyson.
Even as a lapsed Catholic and beliver, I do not depend on my faith to get me thru bc and all that's involved with it.
I give and ask for prayers, but am not dependent on that for outcomes, only requesting strength to handle what is comming.
Or thankfulness when things go as I desire.
I find it uncomfortable when others "know" their faith will "heal" them. I do not accept that except to hope that God will guide the brains and hands that treat me and have them to truly listen to me and consider their treatment and diagnosis.
When I questioned the path report of ER neg, I don't feel that God let me to get it retested< I feel that my intelligence and study of my diagnosis made that possible for my gut to question.
Faith may help greatly to wade thru this swamp, but I do not believe it heals or cures. Lourdes could, of course, be the exception. LOL
Dudess, I know exactly how you feel. No, that was dumb of me--nobody can know exactly how you feel--but many of us have found ourselves in a similar situation. Your comments bring out two important points that make our interactions with other people so awkward at this time.
First, I also am having a hard time dealing with the impact my diagnosis has had on the people I love. My mom got pretty distraught when I told her about my BC. I had to tell her by phone because she lives a thousand miles away and is caring for my elderly father. She told my sister, who called me last night and said mom is having a terrible time because she cannot hug me from a thousand miles away. I know it sounds weird, but I really gain much more comfort knowing that my mom is there, caring for my dad, than I would if she was here and dad was in a nursing home or something. But, hugs are often therapeutic for both participants.
As for the other point you make--yes, I am at best an agnostic. It's not that I am not spiritual--it's that I can't connect with organized religion, especially the "freestyle", casual kind that's so popular today. Also, I analyze things too much--I always need evidence to convince me of things, and I find it extremely difficult to believe in something without evidence to support it. But, never mind about that. I am not offended if people say they're praying for me or offer some other comment that's meant to be spiritually uplifting. After all, I don't know for sure who's right about all that stuff, and maybe it will help! And, their attempts to help me through their spirituality will probably make them more comfortable with the situation, and that's good. I would be very uncomfortable if someone wanted me to pray with them, but nobody has asked me to do that....at least, not yet. I do live in the Deep South/Bible Belt, though, so there's a fair chance that someone I know will make such an offer in the upcoming months. I'll deal with it then.
That is what was so strange about the conversation I had with my mom the other day, when I told her about my BC. After telling me how sorry she was, etc., she said, "I'm praying for you" several times. When we talked about my upcoming treatment (of which I know nothing yet, except I'm having an MRI next week and will have either lumpectomy/radiation or mastectomy, plus who-knows-what), she said she wanted to be here with me, but, "Thank the Lord that your husband is there." She is not a religious person--I doubt she has been to church, except for funerals, since I graduated from college many decades ago. And, she has NEVER said anything like she's praying for somebody, or thank the Lord for something, EVER. It kind of creeped me out a little.
So, I don't propose that we start a new club or anything (atheists with BC), but you should not feel alone, either. Thank goodness our doctors are well-trained in the science of medicine, whatever their personal religious persuasions might be.
Thank you so much, I have had many people say they will pray for me and I am fine with that. I have never had a problem with other peoples beliefs and I find if it brings them peace more power to them. I did have a funny (i thought it was funny, wasn't offended) incident yesterday before my biopsy. The doc was ready to start and said at this time alot people like to say a prayer, if you like to we could do that. I looked up and said thats o.k I will pass, I am an atheist but thanks for asking and laughed. So he laughed and then the nurses laughed and then I said so I guess I have no one to blame! and we laughed harder. I wonder if he will still ask patients that question?
My parent left earlier and it went great, they are wonderful people, strong and unconditional loving parents. If the stuff I did when I was younger didn't kill them I don't this will either. The first hug was hard but then we spent next five hours with my husband and our son and laughing and it was just like it always was. After they left I realized what a great distraction it was, how normal I felt when they were here. Laughter is truly the best medicine! I appreciate everyone who has responded what a great place to find support I am so glad you are all here.
Shelby- I am laughing out loud at your biopsy story. THAT would have completely freaked me out. Geez! Glad it went well with the parents. Fun and distraction are our friends! Allyson
On the other side of that: My daughter's doc would say let is pray whenever he didn't want to ans. my questions. As a mama bear, I was furious.
I finally said we'd ask the Lord's intervention After he ans. my questions, until then I expected to hear from HIM, the doc, and not God.
Dudess, I am so happy you posted this thread. It is so comforting to know that you feel comfortable with your place on this planet. I am like you, to each his own.
You are loved here and treasured as the person you are, with a nasty disease we all hope will go away and not bother you anymore. And you have every right to think this will be the case.
I am happy to know you and touched by your graciousness.
Gentle hugs, Shirlann
OMG (pardon the pun) this is just a great post. Since my dx I have often become so jealous of people who just place their fears and pain in the hands of their g-d. I am not an atheist because I just do not know. If there is a G-D, then I am thinking he/she is an agnostic and so if asked, I'll put my money there....there may be a G-d and he/she does not endorse any one religion.
I got so afraid after dx and treatments that I started reading the bible and I tried to pray. It just didn't go anywhere and I wondered why prayer is so natural for other women. I am wondering if we are "wired" to be religious just like some people are wired to be good at math and others at poetry and I am just not wired to be religious.
I cannot tell someone I will pray for them when they say things are bad for them. I just actually believe that what is will be and my prayers are not going to change a thing. When people tell me they are praying for me, I say thanks, but in reality, I would prefer they write out a check to the American Cancer Society.
Again, what a great post~
I did begin to question alll the crap in the world and my onc, of all people, got to talking to me about the G-D.
Welcome Shelby! Too bad you had to join us here but this place is a font of support and information.
I'm pagan - solitary, and NOT Wiccan either. One of my good friends and I were venting about that the other day, as a matter of fact - "why does everyone automatically equate pagan with Wiccan? WE'RE NOT WICCANS!" But I digress. I welcome prayers and healing energy from anyone, and practice alternative medicine; but I also turned to science and went through the whole chemo-rads-Tamoxifen thing. And science has done well by many women. My mom, for instance - diagnosed when her BC was advanced and thanks to Arimidex, is NED six years out. In fact we just visited the Asian Art Museum in SF today!
Mom is an atheist, btw. And she got through her journey just fine without any spiritual leanings whatsoever. As for me, while I do have a spiritual path, I know that the thing that made the most difference for me was the LOVE of my friends and family. Love knows no denomination!
WHAT A WONDERFUL OPEN MINDED GROUP OF LADIES!
You have made my day and renewed my spirit.
Thanks so much,
thanks all for your posts, Its nice to know I am not alone
Shelby--what a terrific question...and the responses--I can't add to what anyone else has said...guess I put myself in the agnostic group. I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but I'm really wordy--so, will just say, "What a nice, refreshing breeze you created!
Best wishes to you!!!
Shelby - I'm not, but I have absolutely nothing but respect for you. To know yourself and to be honest about it is wonderful. What I believe or don't believe hasn't had much of an affect on how I dealt with BC. In fact, Dotti (iodine) sounds like a kindred spirit as I approach things in much the same way. An abundance of faith or a lack thereof makes no difference; BC is an equal-opportunity bastard. Trust in the talent and ability of the doctors to pull you through.
LOL at your biopsy. I once had a manager suggest we join hands in prayer before a difficult contract negotiation. I threw up a little in my mouth at that one.
I am so proud to be part of a group of wonderful, open minded women who are living what this country is all about. You can have your own private ideas, speak of them, and not be persecuted, looked down upon or upset in any way. This is what they taught us in Kindergarten, and I get upset sometimes when I run across people who just are not happy unless everyone agrees with them.
AND I like being able to bounce these ideas off of each other. Nothing takes the place of honest diaglogue, especially at times like this when we are facing a serious illness.
I am proud to be on this site with all of you.
I am not agnostic or atheist (i suppose you could have figured that out from my signature line...lol!), but agree that bc does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone.
I did want to add to your discussion, though. I am sure that you will come into contact with many people throughout this journey who hold different beliefs than you. I hope that you can understand that when I say "I am praying for you," that it is a truly sincere offer of support. We all come from different places with different life experiences and beliefs. We tend to offer support to others in the way that we would like to be supported. I hope that, whatever your beliefs, you understand the meaning by offers of prayer (or other religios practices to convey support) and know that the person offering is not wanting to offend you.
I'll take any offer of loving support I can get! I hope you don't mind if I pray for you.....it means that you and your wellbeing are on my mind and I am hoping for the best for you.
I find your post close to insulting, of course you have a right to your own opinion and I respect that. I have stated I do not have a problem with other peoples beliefs however when they simply disregard my own feelings, it shows to me they really do not care about my own. You state "I hope you understand", I also hope you understand. I am in no way wanting to start a stink, I have enough on my plate today, just didn't expect to find this here.
I'm trying to figure out what badboob said that offended you so?
And now I'm trying to find out what I said that offended you so. No worries...will leave you to your thread.