Cancer and its treatments complicate life. I’d say, “understatement of the year,” but it’s been quite a year! When cancer comes at you, much of what happens is overwhelming. First, medical professionals are saying, “You have breast cancer.” The oncologist visits begin, and there are many appointments throughout the process. it’s about tests to go through, finding out your cancer stage and specific type of cancer. Echocardiogram. Bone Density. CAT scan. Decisions to make. Which way to go with lumpectomy or mastectomy. Whether to go through with the chemo recommended by my doctor, because my number on the gene test (Oncotype) was on the edge. There are surgeries for the cancer removal and port surgery, common for breast cancer patients. Then the treatments start.
The above paragraph is chock full of information! It’s written in that way to show how dealing with cancer can be so overwhelming. There’s so much to deal with. By the time my treatments started, my mind was reeling with all I had to do and learn.
As I’ve said before, I love finding out every detail of things I want to learn. I researched my medical issue online, in addition to reading what the doctors sent home with me. I read about the disease, the tests, the surgeries and the treatments. I read about side effects and how to guard against them. I tried to find out about survival and recurrence rates. I needed to know the facts about cancer.
I had many questions that I couldn’t find answers to online. Some Facebook friends had experienced breast cancer and provided a good resource. Everyone was so kind and helpful. One person (you know who you are) answered many questions, even some that were very personal. Ironically, I had never met her before we spoke. She’s a friend of a friend who reached out and became my consultant and friend. The pink sisterhood really does form a bond between people, I think more than for any other cancer. I wish that weren’t so.
I took all this in and took in more and some more until I just had to take a break and say, “That’s enough, just be.” My mind was racing too fast, and I had to slow it down, pet my dog, Sasha, talk to Jeff or one of the boys, call my mom, or rest. I found things that made me smile and not require thinking much. It cleared my mind, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Some of you may be information junkies like me. Others may prefer to get all the information from the mouths of doctors and nurses. No way is right or wrong. If you’re like me and you have cancer or another serious illness, remember to take a step back each day and just be. Jump off the cancer merry-go-round that overwhelms you. Knowledge and understanding are important. You still have to go to all your medical appointments, but those don’t happen every day. Take the time to enjoy your family, pets, and friends. Read. Catch up on Netflix. Watch a good Hallmark show! Relax as much as you can because the merry-go-round is still spinning, and you’ll feel better when you have to jump back on.
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