Beating cancer is a victory to a race no one wants to run. For those that survive, it can be life-affirming. For care providers, nothing is more rewarding than saving someone's life.
Major_Blackbird asked: Doctors of reddit, what was the best reaction of a patient after receiving the message that they're cancer free?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Cancer is no joke.
He came to his last chemo dressed as a clown wearing a sash that read 'Last Chemo Today.' Not gonna lie, I cried. I'd lost 5 patients that week, two of whom I'd become very close to.
My very charismatic and optimistic friend got cancer in high school, and his nurses cried in front of him multiple times because they were sure he was going to die. He said it was unreal being surrounded by people dying all the time, especially because he was in a children's hospital.
Is he ok now?
He survived the cancer.
Flying to victory.
I'm a medical student on the pediatric oncology floor right now, and yesterday a 2-year-old just had her last chemo treatment. She got to ring the bell (for kids who finish treatments) and she was wearing fairy wings and went around and hugged each nurse who cared for her. She had a tough course - a year of chemo, stem cell transplants, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy - and it was so wonderful to see her celebrate.
2 years old, one year treatment. Half her life was a battle. It is unimaginable to think about it. True warrior.
Yeah she's such a rock star. She was a big Frozen fan and always had me listen to her Elsa doll's heart after I'd check hers!
Party in the ward!
Not a doctor but I'm an oncology nurse and the best reaction was when one of my favorite patients put on his call light and when I went to see what he needed he had his provider in the room. He asked her to repeat what she just said to him which was "the scans are clean - the masses have gone." We both freaked out and basically screamed and cried together.
His wife recently just sent our unit a photo of him and their first child just born in February and wrote that he's still cancer free!
Hey mom, I won.
Not a doctor. But one summer I cleaned in the hospital.
Everyday I would clean the room of a woman with cancer, and the second I walk in she would ask if her hair looked good. Always pointing to her wig at a fake head and laughing.
One day I walked in when she just hung up the phone while crying. I apologized and asked if she needed a nurse or something. She told me that she just shared the news with her mom that she was cancer free.
Who put these onions here?!
Ding dong the disease is dead.
I literally saw a video just yesterday either on FB or here of a woman just ringing the f*ck out of that bell and it was one of the happiest things I've ever seen. I mean just banging it and giving it whiplash lol
My cousin is currently going through radiation and chemo treatments so hopefully this will be her one day soon!
My aunt passed just over a year ago. She never got to ring that damn bell. I'm so happy for the lady you described in the video. But dammit, I miss my aunt even more right now. Best wishes for your cousin!
For some, the win is unbelievable.
They asked if I could check again.
Well, did you?
I'd check as many times as they would ask.
MyChart is the Xanax of medical apps.
Not a doctor, I'm a survivor.
I wasn't actually told in conversation of the good news. I finished treatment, had the follow up scans, and then radio silence.
I kept telling myself that if it was bad news I'd definitely be getting a call. There's always that nagging "what if" though. Weeks later I see that medical notes from the last PT and CT are available for viewing through MyChart (an app for health services stuffs).
I begin scouring it discerning English from Latin based medical terminology, and there it was.
"No evidence of cancer"
It's now been two years since I finished treatment, and it feels like another lifetime ago. A different me.
For those of you going through this. I'm sorry. It's a thing. But it's just a thing. A thing you will get through and conquer. Keep that focus pointing positive and surround yourself with it. You can do this. It's hard, not impossible. You are enough. You got this.
Samsies. They don't wanna tell you, just in case they are wrong. I learned when the check out receptionist didn't schedule a future appointment. I kinda wanted a ceremony, a certificate of merit or something.
Never got it. So I made up a bunch of my own rituals. Jumped naked into a freezing swimming hole. Drank one of those bloody marys with an entire meal on skewers on to. Bought myself a gaudy gemstone ring. Told off the 4 docs who told me nothing was wrong while the tumor grew. Camped overnight by myself for an entire weekend. Bought exactly $200 of my favorite songs for a portable playlist of happiness. Overshared to strangers on reddit.
That just happened.
I'm fine. We're fine. Don't need no stinking badges.
We're outta here.
Not a doctor, not even a patient. I'm the daughter of the patient. I remember standing in the hospital bathroom waiting to use the hand dryer and asking when we'd come back next ( I was very young) and my older sister gave me this little smile and told me that we didn't need to come back again.
Pathologists are unsung heroes.
Pathologist here, who are the ones that actually diagnose whether or not a patient is "cancer free."
I guess it depends on whether you are asking whether the patient has gone into remission, or been told a suspicious lesion was actually non-cancerous all along. I cannot speak to how the patients feel, but it certainly feels personally good when this huge suspicious-looking mass that comes in from surgery and is actually benign.
Thanks for doing what you do. I often reflect on the fact that pathologists have a huge amount of responsibility that does not get recognised by the rest of the medical fraternity, and certainly not by patients.
The truth is very powerful, even if it's bad news.
I mostly diagnose people with cancer, but had one gentleman, who I thought was totally screwed, come back to give me a hug in my primary care office.
I have only been practicing for a few years, and while I was actually very scared to diagnose people with cancer, I now find it to be one of the most rewarding things that I do, even if the patient dies, and especially if the oncologists and myself can get them to die peacefully. Everyone is very appreciative.
It must be hard to be the messenger of one of the worst things they get told in their lives.
People are appreciative to you because you give them a clear answer I guess. And that answer isn't always negative ^
America is in quite a state right now.
We are hurting in ways we've never hurt before.
And getting better doesn't seem like an option on the horizon.
America gets a lot wrong everyday.
But, maybe let's try to focus on what America does right.
Maybe it can be a little comfort in times of struggle.
People from all over the world want to live here.
Redditor Ulrich-Stern wanted to discuss the best of America. They asked:
"What does the United States get right?"
I think America certainly has a strong work ethic. We know how to work and win.
Getting AroundCivil Rights Equality GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
"Accessibility code for buildings. I come from a country where disability is looked upon like a crime or fault. USA does an amazing job making things accessible. I haven’t seen all of USA but majority of the places has amazing system."
"Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country."
"Andrew Carnegie's groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn't fathom today but couldn't live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aid, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities."
"Plus they're one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.And I feel like they've adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places."
"'A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.' -Andrew Carnegie"
'restore' or 'create'
"Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks. Here in England, they will 'restore' or 'create' natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained."
"And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the architectural design is sympathetic. Here, 'countryside"'means farms. There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development."
"The rate of smoking cigarettes. We do very little well in the US when it comes to overall health, but we are light years better than most places when it comes to the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Hardcore anti smoking adds + laws of inconvenience + social stigma really did work."
HollywoodMovie Theater Reaction GIF by CBSGiphy
"Films. Don't get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones I've seen are usually American."
We do do films well. That is a big plus.
FamilyKids Playing GIF by moodmanGiphy
"The United States adopts more children than the rest of the world combined."
"Burgers. Motherfreakin' burgers."
"I'd expand that to sandwiches in general. Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po'boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum. Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them."
"I've always envied your wildlife. I'm from England and the only large wild animals (other than fish) we have are deer, boar and foxes. And they're incredibly rare. I've always thought it was so cool one country could have bears, moose, cougars, alligators, panthers, bison/buffalo, etc."
"Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on. In other countries -- you're not gonna believe this -- their gas stations only sell... gas."
POWERbill nye GIFGiphy
"The US is an absolute science powerhouse. The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet."
"I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt. But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country."
Maybe America isn't the hot mess a lot of people think it is. We'll see...
Sex is an important part of life.
That is just a fact.
But sex is also about connection and intimacy.
So it's not a surprise when many relationships take a hit after the sex dries up.
It's not something to ignore.
It's the biggest problem in the world, but partners should discuss it.
RedditorItsyBitsyJoxywanted to hear about reasons to stick around with a partner when there is no sexy time. They asked:
"Would you be in a sexless relationship? What circumstance would you find acceptable for this?"
Sex is fun. And when the sex stopped in my relationships... so did the fun. But that is just me.
A Certain EraVery Funny Oops GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy
"I'm over 80."
"There’s a lot of people that are going to be real shocked once they hit their 70s."
"Our second child has ruined her sex drive. Intimacy is still there but extremely infrequently. I've learned how much that intimacy brings to the relationship, it feels very lonely and although I know it's not her fault, it can still make you feel like she's not attracted to me anymore. It can be pretty lonely too if you go from a romantic relationship to borderline platonic one. You can't help wonder how much is body changes and how much is you."
"I had rectal cancer and because of the surgery I can no longer get an erection, it's very lonely."
"Not sure if one exists, but a site to just make friends to be cuddle buddies, or whatever, should exist for people like you & me. I lost my sex drive & would like a relationship for that occasionally."
"In my case, it's not wanting to see someone very often, as well as the lack of sex drive, that I think would make it difficult. I also don't like people over to my home as it's too small for a couch & we'd be hanging out on my bed, which is weird to me."
"I'm in one now. My husband had a stroke... no sex is not the big problem for either one of us."
"This comment brings a lot of perspective. My gut reaction to this question was no. Sex was and still is pretty significant in my relationship with my wife. We’re in our 30’s and have been together over a decade. But if something happened to her and it was no longer an option? I would never leave her and love her too damned much to imagine it, no matter how much we love sex."
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"I have a near sexless marriage. The love is strong, but the desire is one-sided. That hurts."
Sexless over loveless is definitely easier. So there is that.
Over time...up s GIFGiphy
"I am happily married to my good lady for decades and decades. There are times when it has been sexless for whatever reason but never has it been loveless.I wouldn’t have lasted 2 days in a loveless relationship."
You play the cards you are dealt
"I’m dating a man who got diagnosed with prostate cancer a year or so into our relationship. Prostate had to come out and it’s a hit or miss whether or not sexual function comes back. In his case, it was a miss. He wanted me to move on because he got very depressed over it."
"He’s so pleasant and a real decent human being so I stayed with him. Who would abandon someone due to a health crisis? Unfortunately he got bladder cancer next so this is another hurdle to go over. You play the cards you are dealt. We are together in this."
"The reasons for the 'sexlessness' and the depth of the relationship are key factors. My wife got breast cancer at 40 and while she lived another 8 years, the chemotherapy nullified her libido and made intercourse impossible. And yet I dearly wish we could have grown old together whether or not this would have changed. But that’s completely different from cohabiting a loveless marriage or even facing such a situation in one’s youth only a few years after marriage. That would be hard."
"A sexless relationship is better than a loveless relationship, as long as I'm loved and we share physical affection like cuddling and kisses and I'm allowed to beat my meat when I need too I wouldn't care. Just a heads up to all the people who take this personally enough to comment how wrong I am."
"There's no such thing as a wrong option, my opinion is in regards to myself and myself alone I'm not answering for anyone else. Different opinions aren't wrong... OP asked a question to be answered from your own point of view..so there's no reason to call anyone else wrong... it's about you, answer for YOU I've answered for me."
Love is there...Checking In I Love You GIF by Seize the AwkwardGiphy
"I'm in one. Not happy about it, but love is still there so that's nice."
"Same. Maybe had it once in the last 12 years. Finally decided to go to couples/sex therapy this year. Not sure it is helping, but at least I finally brought up that I wanted to try something. My wife is my best friend and I love here with every fiber, just wish there was more intimacy there."
it never happens...
"We haven't had sex in five months due to numerous reasons. Never have alone time with my mom and daughter here. We're both too tired. Our bed we have sex on is where my mom is sleeping. Our waterbed is difficult to use. We always say next weekend and it never happens. We're still going strong though. We love each other and that's what matters."
Well I guess some people can make it work. More power to you.
We all have things which get on our nerves.
Some people have a fairly high tolerance level, and are only truly perturbed by things which are beyond the bounds of common decency, or which are universally accepted as annoying or inconvenient.
Others are not so lucky, and tend to be set off by things which might go completely unnoticed by everyone else.
Redditor Onatic420 was curious to learn the things which instantly make others want to pull their hair out and scream, leading them to ask:
"What do you find annoying as f*ck?"
Is it so hard to pick up after yourself?
"Habitual litterers."- SuvenPan
"When people don’t clean up after themselves."- cheeto_has_spoken
If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
"People that can dish it but can’t take it."
"I work with a dude like this and it’s terrible."- MF_GhidraTea Time Reaction GIF by Kamie CrawfordGiphy
Never judge something by it's size.
"When skin tears near your fingernail and that teeny tiny wound hurts way more than it should."- BlackCaaaaat
"When mosquitoes fly by ur ears."- AxcesDrifter
Back to where we started...
"The Reddit app when it scrolls back up to the top of the 65 TRILLION FKN articles you’ve read."
"It should burn the articles as you read them."- Deathdar1577
Take some responsibility!
"A person's inability to say sorry."- rohankentsorry kristen wiig GIFGiphy
Get out of the way!
"People who leave the f*cking shopping carts in middle of the f*cking aisle!"- otherm0ther
But enough about me, what do you think of me?
"People who make it all about themselves."- ExtensionAir7Proud Drag Queen GIF by CameoGiphy
A lost cause
"Willfully ignorant people."- KingZaneTheStrange
Be it the way another person behaves or common, every day occurrences, we all have things which get on our nerves.
Most of the time it's best to grin and bear it.
But next time you see someone litter, it might be a fine opportunity to let that anger out.
For your sake, and everyone else's.
How many of us heard the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" as a child?
Or were told by their parents that watching too much television would make your eyes fall out?
Needless to say, these, as well as other sayings and superstitions, were not 100% accurate, possibly even having no truth to them whatsoever
Rather, these were merely a way to encourage, or scare, children into better eating habits, or getting away from the TV once and a while.
Some however, have, took these and other unsubstantiated pieces of information literally, and continue to believe them to be true.
Redditor wste96 was curious to believe what other falsehoods people continue to believe, in spite of proof to the contrary, leading them to ask:
"What's the biggest lie ever told that we, as a society, still believe in?"
Justice will be served... won't it?
"What goes around comes around."
"Sometimes it doesn't."- Recent_View6254
"That people get what they deserve, or must deserve what they get."- HugeMcAwesome
It's just a phase.... or is it?
"That acne will go away after your teen years."- One_Arachnid_1256Scared Freak Out GIF by Lillee JeanGiphy
Better cut back on those TV dinners...
"Microwaves give you cancer"- Salt-Significance702
Absolutely no justification.
"That torture is an effective method of extracting information."
"Every ten years or so, some three letter agency or another is forced to admit that their torture program yielded nothing but false leads and wrecked lives."
"Then goes straight back to doing it."
"The general population shrugs and says 'if it's the only way to get intel' as if they weren't just told point blank that it doesn't work."- barnfodder
A little kindness goes a very long way
"That being nice and accommodating is a sign of weakness."- AidilAfham42Be Nice GIF by Susanne LambGiphy
"Square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don't lose their shape..."
"Diamonds are rare which us why they are expensive."
"They're very very common, their price is kept high by controlling how many enter the market by the De Beers group, which basically has a monopoly on them and hoards them."
"Synthetic/lab grown diamonds are the exact same as natural and even cheaper to make, but people are still convinced they're not as good as 'real' diamonds."- no_ps_wow
Unrealistic expectations on society
"That we need to work tirelessly and wear ourselves out in order to have a good future and stay happy."- iambigego
"Go to a great college and get a great job and have a great life."- MewsikMaker
When you just can't hold it any more...
"That there is a chemical you can put in pools that turns blue when you pee."- Sad_Cherry2884GIF by South Park Giphy
As the saying goes, you can't believe everything you read.
But for the sake of others, still best to avoid peeing in pools.