Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 Things I Would Tell Someone Who Has to Face A Cancer Challenge

Recently my brother-in-law encouraged me to document ten things, items of advice, that I would give to someone who has to face this cancer challenge.  Here are ten that I thought of today.  
1) Have a doctor buddy-someone who goes to all your appointments and is the designated listener.  Everything is so overwhelming and it is easy to shut down.  Having another ear and someone who can ask questions is so helpful.  
2) It is okay to have help.  Even though you won’t want to admit that you need it, you do.  3) Bandannas are the best.  Scarves are pretty but heavy.  Wigs itch when your hair is falling out and growing back.  A light weight bandanna is best.
 4) The Internet can be your friend but it can also scare you to death.  Everybody is different and reacts differently to the treatments.  Just because something happened to someone else doesn’t mean it will happen to you.  Just wait and see.
 5) If you feel like you need to take a nap, you need to take a nap. Just do it.  Getting enough rest is crucial in helping you recover. 
6) Your eyelashes will fall out but they will grow back too.  Mine are better than ever! 
 7) Be prepared to talk about it where ever you are.  Just face it, people are curious and they want to know.  It is part of the way they deal with it.  Just have a positive attitude and know that you will be asked about it. Sometimes you just want to do or talk about something else.  Have a friend come watch a movie with you or talk to your husband or children. 
 8) Drink lots of water.  Water was really the only thing that tasted good.  I did not like any flavor whatsoever in my water.  Diet Coke still tasted good but it had to be plain, no mix-ins.  Staying hydrated helps you feel better.  Drink!
 9) “Chemo-brain” does exist.  It is actually post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment or short term memory loss.  Embrace it, if you can’t remember someone’s name or something you read, say it’s chemo-brain. It is part of the fatigue you will experience. 
And last 10)The doctor says that if you exercise and eat right you will do better with chemo.  They are right but you won’t feel like it.  You will crave things and want to eat them.  Mine was Quarter Pounders with Cheese-YUM!  Just do it but not every meal.  Exercising doesn’t have to be complicated.  You will be exhausted and you won’t feel like it, especially if you work too.  A simple walk does wonders.

The cure has been hard and expensive but I will survive and see many more years with my family.  I have had so much support and care from all kinds of people.  My husband and children have been so amazing and have taken care of me.  Robbie and his friends wear pink once a week to school. My sisters cooked for us and spent time with me, which I loved.  Live wElle Foundation paid for my wigs.  People have brought meals, quilts, scarves, money, or just come and visited with me.  I am consistently reminded about how good people are. 

My grandmother passed away at age 78 from Leukemia, her fourth type of cancer.  She went through surgeries, chemo twice, and radiation. She was brave and strong and determined to handle things well.  She said, “I have to deal with it but I can choose to deal with it poorly or deal with it well.  I chose to deal with it well.”  I didn’t choose cancer but I did choose how I was going to deal with it.  Like my grandma, I chose to deal with it well. 

1 comment: said...

Youre an amazing person. So blessed to have you in our lives. Big HugS love you.