If you haven’t seen the movie Fight Club, you probably still know the first rule of Fight Club: don’t tell anyone about Fight Club. Well, Covid-19 (or in my case cancer) Fight Club turns this rule on its head: tell everyone you know you have Covid-19 or cancer. Don’t keep it to yourself.
I am not one of those folks who likes to talk about my illnesses. My general reaction to someone asking about my day or my health is just to brush it off and say I am fine. What is challenging is to be able to just come out and say it. “I have prostate cancer.” See — that wasn’t too hard, right? But it is. You want to develop your “club” of people whom you can go to for anything — a sympathetic shoulder or ear, to run an errand, for things both trivial and important. The Cancer Fight Club knows no boundaries.
Why bring everyone to your pity party? Well, if you look at it that way, then yes, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. But if you look at it with the “fight club” lens, you need everyone on your side, to join your own personal club, to help you fight this disease. Don’t keep it mum. Start recruiting now, with those difficult phone calls, emails, texts, or sending up smoke signals. Do whatever it takes.
There is another reason to tell everyone: you may find out that someone you know well has been going through their own cancer or Covid journey — after all, a high percentage of men will have prostate cancer, or have had it, according to the latest stats. You could be helping someone else figure out their treatment options, or even to getting them motivated to take that initial test that will start them on their own journey.
One of the most important members of your fight club is your wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend. I am fortunate to have a very supportive and caring wife. She is definitely in my corner, and I try to tell her everything to get her perspective and to keep her up to date about what I am learning about the cancer’s effects, its different treatment modalities, and what will happen next. Many of you might not have as supportive a spouse or partner: they might not want to hear about all the various decision points. If that’s the case then I am sorry for you, I really am.