Thursday, August 14, 2014

The C Word, Facing Difficult Decisions With Cancer

No one wants to get that call from their physician asking them to come into the office to receive the bad
news.  I am sure, from the other end, they dread making those calls. 

I am not an expert.  I have no medical training or education, but I have had front row experience from the bleacher seats. I hope that you and no one you know receives the dreaded call, but if they do I hope that these 5 tips help.

1)  Find a doctor you trust and like.

Everyone you talk to will know someone.  They will recommend doctors, hospitals, advice.   "This one is the best", "I heard this one is the worst".  Unless they have had the same condition as you, stick with referrals from your physician.  Keep looking until you find someone you like and trust.  My husband really liked his doctor and I know that it has made a difference.

2)  Remember that medicine is big business

Advertisements that have been running for weeks, months, years without you noticing will now stick out.  It will seem like every time you get into the car or turn on the TV you hear an ad for cancer treatment.  By all means, be curious and check things out if they sound good to you, but remember they are trying to sell you.  Medicine is big business.

3)  Don't self diagnose using the internet

The internet is an incredible tool and there is a lot of information out there.  Unless you are searching credible medical sites, such as  Mayo Clinic and Cancer.org, don't use it for research.  You may be reading false information or information that is sponsored by a drug or insurance company that is trying to sell you something.

4)  Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

When researching your options always consider the worst case scenario when it comes to side effects and recovery.  No one wants to fall into this category, but you must consider "is this the right option for me" when there is a chance that 'x' is a possibility.  It's too easy to hear what the best case recovery statistics are and stop listening.  No one thinks that they will take the maximum time to rehabilitate, or that the risks apply to them, but you must consider them when choosing which treatment is best for you. 

5)  Let go

Once you've had the treatment forget that there were other options.  Focus on your rehabilitation and getting well.  No regrets.  No looking back.  Rehab is frustrating.  Don't make it worse for yourself.  I believe that attitude is everything including your health.  Keep positive.  Watch positive videos on YouTube, read positive books, call an optimistic friend.  There are lots of resources, if it isn't coming from within, to help keep a smile on your face.

"Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity,"
~Hippocrates

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