If given a dire cancer diagnosis, I would first try to clarify the words I just heard. I”m sure I would be in a state of denial and/or shock initially. Clarifying the information I heard would help make the situation more real in my mind. Next, I would write down all the pertinent facts in order to conduct my research. Third, I would pray to God for guidance. I would then contact my family and friends with the sad news.
Making an informed decision about what treatment to do is much more difficult than most would think. I would gather information from experts in the medical field, other patients with the same disease, and groups for this disease. I would also search the internet for more information. The American Cancer Society and patient teaching materials would also be utilized.
After gathering, reading, and studying the information, I would compile a list of pros and cons. I would show my list of pros and cons to my family members and friends. One might think family and friends can’t help make a patient’s decisions. Yes, that is often true. But, family and friends can often give input into a situation by showing a new twist or a new light on the subject.
Once my decision was made about my treatment options, I would begin praying for help again. Praying would help me achieve peace about my decision. I would place my name on prayer lists at local churches. In order to take my mind of of my own problems, I would also begin praying daily for other patients and friends. Other helpful things I would use are : music, meditation and relaxation techniques, and exercise.
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are standard treatments offered to cancer patients. Once I utilized all of the standard treatment options offered, I would then look beyond traditional treatments. First, I would get connected with a homeopathic medicine doctor. I would join any organization for patients seeking homeopathic treatments. The internet would also be a great source of information on alternative medicine. I would make a calendar with my support group meeting dates on it as well. The calendar would also include my daily symptoms in order to show the doctors how much progress I am making. My calendar could also be used to list treatments, tests, medications, side effects experienced, and benefits of medications. I would keep copies of important labs, test results, and any other pertinent information. This way I can take them to all the different doctors I may go to and not have to rely on the communication between hospitals, which can sometimes be faulty. I may pick physicians at different hospitals according to their reputations and expertise.
Finally, I would consider a cancer diagnosis an opportunity in an odd way. I would try to truly know the importance of living every day to its fullest. Never taking any day for granted and living every day as if it were my last day would be very important to do. Family and friends would be a priority over my studies. Each day I would say I love you to everyone I know.
Most importantly, if I had cancer I would live life much differently. I would stop spending so much time at work, and start spending more time with the ones I love. I would also spend less time on meaningless tasks and do things more important to me. I would read a good book, take a fun trip, and enjoy nature more. I would take the time to forgive a friend, and give my boyfriend a big hug every day. I would finally find time daily to pray to God. After all, he is the reason I have life at all.
By: McGrath, Molly