Topic: Is anyone else an atheist with BC besides me?

Forum: Life After Breast Cancer — Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Jan 18, 2008 05:39PM

Posted on: Jan 18, 2008 05:39PM

thedudess wrote:

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.

thanks

Dx 1/7/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 09:20AM paige-allyson wrote:

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.

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 03:12PM iodine wrote:

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

Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul
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Jan 19, 2008 03:18PM otter wrote:

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.

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 04:33PM thedudess wrote:

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.

Thanks Shelby

Dx 1/7/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 04:51PM paige-allyson wrote:

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

Dx 5/18/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 05:06PM thedudess wrote:

I am so glad I made you laugh todayLaughing
Dx 1/7/2008, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 05:51PM iodine wrote:

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. 

Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul
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Jan 19, 2008 07:01PM Shirlann wrote:

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

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Jan 19, 2008 07:49PM zap wrote:

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~

Susan 

 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.

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Jan 19, 2008 08:14PM QueenSansaStark wrote:

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! Cool 

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!

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2007 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2007 Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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