Does It Hurt?

Have you ever thought about the crazy things we say when we are nervous, or don’t know what we should say?  For instance, what do we say when someone hurts themselves, when someone ends up in hospital, when someone dies… we don’t always have ready words, but we can’t abide the silence –so we fill it with something–often something trivial.

And sometimes we KNOW we’ve done this,

and other times we are totally oblivious.

Today I watched a video done by a breast cancer survivor.  I’m going to post it here for you to watch.   Yes.  On a site for a guy with cancer.  We’re in this to learn together, right?

The title is taken from a popular you-tube phenomenom… but in spite of this rather colorful and attention-grabbing banner, there’s no profanity except for the “B” word,  so it’s suitable for all to watch.  It’s not so much about breast cancer as it is showing how our attempts to be affirming or comforting, often miss the mark!  And THAT is an issue in many areas of life…. regardless of gender!


Tristan Taylor was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare diagnosis of an infant/early childhood cancer, just before his 16th birthday.

Tristan has been through it all since the start of this 7 year battle with neuroblastoma.  He’s had chemo, radiation, multiple surgeries, painful tests, and had radioactive isotopes pumped into his body.  He’s had nausea, fatigue,  spent hours throwing up or trying not to… he’s had to travel back and forth on the ferry or on airplanes after treatments, when all he wanted to do was curl up in his bed and be alone… he’s lost his hair, lost his eyelashes, lost weight, and slowly regained these things…. but the thing he’s never lost is his desire to be victorious over cancer.

And to Tristan, part of that victory has been to shun the role of “sick kid”... he hasn’t allowed self-pity to overtake his life, he has been determined to do what he could for himself and not have cancer be his introduction to a room.  So he walks in.  Tall, strong, handsome, and he’ll meet your gaze straight on.

Does he LOOK like he’s got inoperable tumors penetrating his spine, threatening to paralyze him–as this enemy multiplies in a deadly effort to take his life?


Tristan has worked HARD to find holistic alternatives to strengthen himself.  His diet consists of radically healthy whole foods and supplements.  He works out to improve his energy level, to keep his fitness as a priority– and he’s the one who gets his “healthy” friends motivated to keep going to the gym at unearthly hours of the morning.  So, no, you don’t SEE him as a guy with cancer.  You don’t see him as a guy who is fighting for his life. 

But he is.

And he’s fighting hard to maintain a balance in his life over a treacherous, insidious chasm.  He’s like a man on a tightrope.  Skilled, determined, focused, and visualizing his goal.  Not acknowledging the yawning, grasping ravine stretching under him…

Does it hurt?

Tristan doesn’t want pity.  He doesn’t want to play the “sympathy card” and allow himself to wallow in all the murmured condolences and stuttered solaces… He wants to move forward, have a plan and plan a future.

If he knows you, and he trusts you, maybe you can ask him…

“Does it hurt?”

And he will tell you.

“Yes. It hurts.”

But still, he is in control, and with that control comes freedom.

Although he may not be able to ultimately control the cancer,

Tristan knows he can control his reaction to the cancer

and by doing this, he really IS controlling his enemy,

his enemy is NOT controlling him.


~ by tristansgiftofhope on March 13, 2012.

2 Responses to “Does It Hurt?”

  1. This is to Tristan and Marion Taylor: Have you seen “The Gerson Miracle” on Youtube ? It has reported many very positive results through organic diet that has even helped people with pancreatic cancer. I don’t know if this is for you but it might be worth looking into.

    • Thank you Carol, I will pass this on to the Taylors. Tristan is very much into an organic diet and ph balanced water, whole foods and specialized supplements and very concsientious about what he puts into his body for fuel. Chances are he’s familiar with this therapy, but I’ll send him your link. Check out our Tristan Taylor Fundraising Page on Facebook if you aren’t already on there! Thanks again!

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