To be given the news that you have cancer is probably the worst news a person can be given. It is a very complicated disease process that is often times fatal because it is diagnosed once it has become widespread. Cancer doesn’t discriminate or take presence in one culture more than the other which makes it impossible to foresee. Cancer patients are often given very few treatment options with side effects that can be devastating and painful. If I were to be given that a deadly prognosis, which I pray that I never will, I would handle things similar to the way James did. Cancer is such a complex process that one of my first actions would be to gather a better understanding of what was happening to me. I have to admit my first resource would be the internet, but I would follow up with an oncologist just to gain some further insight on the information I had discovered. I would read as many articles about new cancer treatments in medical/nursing journals as possible; weighing the pros and cons of each potential treatment. I would be sure to refer to my doctor when considering a new treatment plan. I would also perform a statistical analysis of the different ways the disease affected other patients. I would do this with the knowledge that each person presents with different symptoms pertaining to the area of the body that is involved and how far the disease has actually spread. I would analyze aspects such as how long they lived after their diagnosis, where the cancer cells metastasized to first, and treatments they tried. Although I’m sure the burden on my family would be increased; I would not want to enter hospice care. I would not want to get supportive care; instead I would want to continue curative treatment. I would not give up on trying to find a cure.
The physical body is what is being attacked, but it is important not to neglect the mental aspect of a person. I believe it is important to have peace in such a trying time. Having cancer greatly affects not only the life of the ill, but also everyone around that person. I would do my best to make amends with lost friends and family. I would try to right all my wrongs and continue to live a heaven bound life. I would definitely enjoy the days I have left on this earth. Taking time out to appreciate the little things in life that are often taken for granted. I would travel as much as possible and see as much of the world as I possibly could. Spending time with my family and friends would be number one on my list. I would also take as many pictures as possible to leave something behind something for my family/friends to look back on and reminisce about the great times we shared. I would want to do something to give back to my community, so I would start a college fund. My memorial scholarship would be offered to future nurses. To qualify for my scholarship I would have them explore new cancer treatments and write a paper documenting pros and cons. I would want the entries to be available for future cancer patients to read in order to gain much needed knowledge on this disease process. It would be extremely important for me to give knowledge to and spread hope to other cancer patients. I would also gain hope and knowledge from cancer survivors. I would achieve this from becoming heavily active in cancer support group and by starting a blog. I would take advantage of the convenience of the internet and use to spread awareness of the desperate need to find a cure for cancer. I would update the blog weekly with new information and feature a different survivor each week. I would attempt to spread hope by featuring a different survivor every week to help keep cancer patients in a positive mind set. I would feel content with the life I had lived and feel great about to giving back to my community. I would try my best to stay emotionally grounded as well as living each and every day as it was my last.