These are all good suggestions, thanks for your piece.
My personal reaction was first to wait, to give myself time to observe how I felt, then I went into research mode and began to understand more about what had transpired. Thank goodness for online research! Once you become adept at sorting the wheat from the chaff in result lists, it can be very helpful and supportive to feel like you understand your unique situation fully.
We often neglect to do the things that matter most to us, and one of the greatest benefits of hearing the 'You have cancer' declaration is that from that moment on, you have a sense of how precious every moment is. That doesn't mean that small inconveniences won't still
Excellent piece, Beth. There is no doubt in my mind that the careful presentation of information by one's oncologist is crucial to successful treatment and must be considered by anyone in such a powerful position. We patients start out doe-eyed and afraid. How we progress can be largely influenced by everyone on our medical teams, from the receptionists to the MDs.
Thank you for this inspiring story.
Yes, of course it should be a patient's right to decide when she wants to be a patient and when she wants to be a human. In fact, the real challenge is to be both, simultaneously, since being a patient often includes having your power stripped away by the very system that is working to fix you.
Ah yes, the rush to get back to normal, as though the hands of any clock ever move backwards. Nope, doesn't work that way, BUT there is hope and light up ahead, just like when you used to go to the beach with your family as a kid and the spot to drop all of the heavy belongings was just a few more steps up ahead ...
Most of us have tried to lift something, tried to go someplace, or any other act that seemed perfectly doable pre-surgery or pre-treatment when, in reality, the body just wasn't having any of that. Not yet. But the time came, for those who waited, and the joy in returning to ordinary, boring tasks was palpable.
There's no rush, despite how ...
Redrock, I am sorry to hear about your frustration with the way the medical system works, and am certain that you are not alone in feeling this way. It is confounding to all of us that test results can be made available to practitioners almost instantly, while conveying to patients the information they provide can take so very long. Surely doctors and their staff know how anxious we all are to learn what is happening with our bodies and lives.
I cannot imagine why things work this way and would appreciate input from anyone who knows what's behind it. I realize that we live in the "busy age," but surely everyone in the medical arena is aware of the urgency factor that automatically accompanies any critical ...
If you have a car you can get in it, head out on the highway and scream at the top of your lungs with the windows closed, or not, as you see fit.
I have done this and afterward, felt a strange yet wonderful peace in the silence.
No need to hold it inside - isn't that what cancer is to begin with?
You can do this, as evidenced by the fact that you wrote your story here. It's a start, and a very good one. Many of us are here to help, because, very simply, we understand. You are not alone.
Be well and fingers crossed for a good outcome all around.
Thank you for telling us your interesting story. To answer your question, yes, having cancer definitely made me more aware of uncertainty, plus it reminded me that having expectations is always risky and generally sets on up for a fall. Now that I belong to the unofficial club made up of those who always listen for that other shoe dropping, never knowing if or when the sound will come, well, life is different, more meaningful and sometimes confusing.
I've been very lucky with no recurrence since the initial cantaloupe-sized malignancy (GIST) was removed in July 2011. The experience encouraged me to drastically change my life for the better. I had twenty strokes that put me in the hospital back then, during which time an astute ...