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Put On a Happy Face?

There was an interesting article in The New York Times yesterday. It was about the pressure on cancer patients to present a positive face to the world. Give the universe a thumbs up rather than your middle finger. A lot of us feel we need to appear upbeat, courageous, positive, even when we don't feel any of those emotions.

Quite honestly, there are times that I will write something in this blog that is more positive than I really feel that day.

I think we do this to reassure our loved ones, and maybe even ourselves. We hear a lot about how important a positive outlook is. It almost makes you afraid to acknowledge a bad day for fear that it somehow will set you back.

But one of the things I've stressed here from the beginning is honesty — with ourselves, with those close to us, with our doctors, with each other. I think being honest is far more important than trying to present a positive face to the world.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we wallow in depression or anger. I think a positive outlook is important. I just think we shouldn't pressure ourselves to be upbeat if that's not the way we feel.

Living with cancer, you still have good days and bad. Just like everyone else.

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