Skjolaas, Mary – Surviving Mesothelioma

Skjolaas, Mary

What If I Had Cancer

There are so many ways to treat cancer these days. From chemotherapy and radiation to spiritual health and positive thinking, people will tell you what they think is the best treatment. The truth is, there is no one “best treatment” for anything, it depends on the person and the prognosis. Personally, I rely on many different people, facts from the internet and God to assist me in making all of my medically based decisions. Cancer treatments, being a medical decision, would follow a plan that started with research and asking questions, asking opinions, and praying to create a successful cancer treatment that I believe would work for me. After all, if I do not believe that the treatment plan is going to work, it probably won’t.

Had I been given a horrible cancer prognosis, I would have been very upset at first. Strong emotions about the thought of death only make the possibility of death immensely higher. Therefore, the first thing that I would do is reevaluate my mindset from an “I’m going to die” to an “I can get through this” attitude. Just like visualization, telling yourself that you can do something, makes that something more probable.

With the correct mind set in place, I would then look at my lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle of eating a balanced diet and getting the proper amounts of physical exercise will not only increase your fitness level and confidence, but it will also assist in making your body stronger to help you in the cancer battle. It shows that you care and that you are not just throwing in the towel. On a good workout, endorphins are released in the brain which increases a positive mood and makes it easier to think clearly. With a good eating plan by my side and a workout under my belt, I would then proceed to go online and conduct research about my cancer and its possible treatments.

After completing my own research, I would take what I learned and form questions to obtain a deeper understanding of what is happening to my body. Asking questions is by far the best ways to learn why and how something, like cancer, is happening and how you can go about defeating it. Having done the research and asked the doctors the right questions, I would then ask the doctors, friends and family their opinions on what treatment plan they think is the best for me and why. Opinions from a variety of other people are important in making a decision as large as a cancer treatment plan, because they may see things differently. Most people in this situation rely on just the opinions of their immediate family and their doctor, in other words, they limit the people that they talk to about and trust with the knowledge their diagnosis. In doing this, they might miss seeing a possible treatment plan a certain way that might have made more sense than the one that they ended up doing. For example, the negative aspects of chemo might not outweigh the positives in your mind and the minds of the few people that you asked, but a distant relative that you did not even think to ask might have a different view in it and be able to explain why they feel the way they do. Also, the opinions of the people that you didn’t ask might end up making the most sense for your treatment plan.

It is always important to weigh the positives and negatives in any situation, especially when it concerns your body and extreme treatment measures. Introducing poison to your body through chemo or burning away cells through radiation can have an amazing outcome, but they can also have some very severe side effects. Personally, I would be unable to make a decisions based on straight facts and opinions. I rely on friends, family and doctors, but I also rely on God through prayer to help me make such important decisions. Being spiritually healthy is a part of a healthy lifestyle that most people just skip over, because they ran out of time today or they will have more time tomorrow. They put God on the back burner because there are other people or things that are “nagging” at them and they just can’t handle all of the stress of that current situation, yet they try to handle it by man power. Sometimes, things take more than man power and giving the problem to God is what needs to be done. I would place God in the center of my circumstances, put my cancer in His hands and let Him help me through.

There are so many different ways to deal with and treat cancer these days. Treatment plans need to be specific to the person and the situation. Between questions, facts, and the opinions of doctors, friends, family and God, this is how I would handle my cancer diagnosis. It does not matter if anyone else thinks that a treatment plan will work or not, so long as the person utilizing the plan believes in it. A positive attitude towards the treatment plan and in general is a huge part of a major and depressing diagnosis, all because attitude can make your break your success of defeating a prognosis such as cancer.

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