Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Yes, our family has cancer: managing your diagnosis

Yes, our family has cancer. It *IS* a family issue. My most important job is taking notes at doctor's appointments. That is the best piece of advice I could give. It focuses me, and it means I need clarity and figure out questions as we go.

No, we are not 'fighting', we are managing it. If you have had such a diagnosis, you will understand. The appointments will begin, you gear your lives around dates on the calendar. We live each day to the fullest, living in the present moment.

We are not being brave or strong. We just deal each day as best we can. Some days are better than others. Prior to another test, we gear up. Afterwards, while we wait for the reports to get to our Urologist, and then await the follow-up appointment when he interprets the results, we keep busy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This is a great technique. When dark thoughts enter my mind, when I get sad, I acknowledge them, and then dismiss them. When I am tired, I rest. We treat each other with kindness. We spoil each other. We enjoy EVERY DAY, and do not dwell on the possibilities, such as 5 weeks of radiation treatments. You cannot spoil today with worries of tomorrow. When it enters your mind, let it go.
We give one another permission to have a bad day, provide total support, and get through it.

Our journey so far

Two MRIs, two bone scans, three CT Scans,  PSA tests every 3 months since 2013, 3-month check-ins with the urologist, one colonoscopy (negative), two cystoscopies. It's all a management and a waiting game.

Yes, you can read about the survivor's groups. You can read all about the battle terminology, and fighting, and if you make your way through getting rid of the cancer cells, you can claim you've won. This isn't the case for many. People die from cancer. You take each day one day at a time.

You have to remember that this is YOUR body making these rogue cells. Cancer cells happen due to invasive trauma, like smoking, or poisons, toxins, but most of the time (60%) they don't know why we produce cancerous cells. Cells which grow out of control, sapping the 'normal' cells of nutrients, morphing into new adaptations, and changing their DNA.


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