Today's task for WEGO Health's Day 12 Health Activist Writer's Challenge was to think about if you could go back in time and talk to yourself on the day you were diagnosed what would say? Also what have learned about being a patient that has surprised you?
I seem to be starting off most of these the same way that I have a hard time when thinking about the topics. I guess that is a good sign that they are making me really think about my experience with cancer.
I have to say that as far as my "choice" in cancer center, medical team, out look on treatment, and general attitude I would not change a thing. Despite the fact that my chemotherapy regimen was incredibly intense and draining on my body I actually went through it quite well with very little side effects that couldn't be controlled and were really just more annoyances than anything. My medical team was and continues to be fantastic! So I guess the only thing that I would tell myself is to take advantage of the services out there. I found out much later that my cancer center has amazing programs like music and art therapy, various exercises, social workers, support groups, etc. I never took advantage of them and wish that I had. Also I would have loved to have been given the LIVESTRONG guidebook at the beginning of my treatment cause it would be useful for all the reasons I mentioned in my post from yesterday about their app. So I guess the one thing I would really tell myself is don't think you have to go it alone, get involved in your environment because I know it would have helped me and probably would have made some new friends too.
As for what have a learned about being a patient that surprised me is just how vulnerable I was and still am. Having this experience has made me unsure about my health. I think I know what's going on with me and then I find myself and then seem to always second guess myself. It is often find it frustrating just how much it effects me emotionally, it is still a roller coaster ride. I am hoping with time I will develop more confidence in myself and medical knowledge so that I second guess myself less. Luckily I have an amazing oncologist who always makes sure I feel good about what is going on and reassures that I do know what's going on and I am right!