My life has been personally affected by cancer because various family members have been diagnosed with having cancer. Unfortunately several of my paternal relatives have succumbed to several forms of cancer over the past few years and throughout my childhood. I’ve also known family friends who beat the battle with cancer and are currently in remission and living a healthy and bountiful life.
As a result of cancer, I never got the opportunity to meet my paternal grandmother because she died of breast cancer before I was born. I have heard great and wonderful stories about her and I sometimes feel cheated because I never had the chance to see her smiling face, hear her voice, and just get to know her. I feel that I have missed something in my life because I never had a relationship with my grandma and I knew it was due to cancer. My uncle was another person who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer and past away when I was a young child. In addition to this, throughout my childhood there were several other relatives who have died due to this terrible disease.
As a young child, I recall the seriousness of hearing the word “cancer.” It brought fear to me because it seemed that my father’s family was diagnosed with this disease quite often. I saw the financial, medical, emotional, and psychological effects of cancer. A families’ future could be changed overnight due to this disease. I remember attending the funerals of relatives who died at a relatively young age. This was frightening and I learned early on that this was a condition that could result in a lost of life and could quickly change a families home life. I have feared that I too would be diagnosed with it, not able to live a long healthy life and unable to live independently or take care of myself because I’ve seen the devastation and affects cancer causes on the family.
Being aware of my family’s health history has made me think that I too may get some form of cancer in my life. If I was diagnosed with cancer the first thing I would want to do is call my family and let them know that I love them. My family means the world to me, so if I was told I had some type of cancer I would want my family to know how much I care about them in case I do not get another chance to tell them. I have a strong family support system and I know they would provide me with tremendous emotional as well as physical support. My second plan of action would be to discuss with the doctor of what my options of treatment and prognosis is. The first thing I would do after leaving the doctors office is go to the library and learn as much information as I possibly can about my cancer. I feel in order to try to fight cancer or any other life threatening disease a person must gain as much knowledge as they can about the condition they are up against. I think another action I would take is to visit other medical doctors that specialize in the form of cancer I have in order to gain a better view of what possible treatment options could be because some doctors may treat the cancer differently that may be more beneficial or successful then others. If I felt chemotherapy was my best option after meeting with several different physicians I would do it. Like many other people around the world, I would be willing to try anything in order to save my life. In addition to trying chemotherapy, I would look into non-traditional medicine. I am not one to think there is only one way of treating an illness or disease there are many cultures around this world that have unique ways of treating the ill such as among the Hmong people and Japanese that have been successful and I feel that possibly some of the alternative elements of medicine could have a positive impact on my health I would do it.
Although I am fortunate not to have cancer today, as long as I continue to live, cancer will always affect me because I have a strong family history for this disease. I know that life is precious and that you can not take it for granted because there are no promises that you will be here tomorrow. Cancer has made me appreciate life and if diagnosed with it I would take on a strong attitude and do everything in my power to not let it take over my body and most importantly my mind.
By: Fowler, Nicole