Cancer, what a horrible word, it makes even the strongest person shutter with fear. The word creates a picture of a slow agonizing death. With the advancement in treatment and understanding the effects of cancer, you can have a good quality of life with cancer.
I remember sitting on the examining table in the doctor’s office when I heard the words “I’m almost sure we’re dealing with cancer but we need to do a biopsy to verify it.” Five minutes later, tears were running down my cheeks, my breathing was hard and I was panicky. I was just short of getting up and running
down the hall and out of the building because I was terrified, but not of the cancer but the needle used
in the biopsy. The minute I heard “biopsy and needle” my mind pushed the word cancer out of my brain and into never-never land. I denied having cancer until after the biospy,even then I found it hard to believe I had cancer,
The American Cancer Society has pamphlets and books on dealing with cancer. Read them and have
your spouse and family read them, it helps to know what to expect. Changes happen constantly and
each change brings doctors closer to a cure and makes the life of the cancer patient better.
Cancer treatment is not fun by any means, but a few things can make less frustrating.. First, talk to all of your doctors. Cancer may affect where they take your blood pressure or give you a
shot and your medicines may not agree with each other. Don’t assume all doctors know about cancer treatment, communications with all your doctors is essential.
You will have good days and bad days. Give yourself permission to go to bed on the bad days but not to stay in bed and fell sorry for yourself on the good days. Walk and move on the good days to keep your muscles strong.
Food may not taste good, but I found that fruit helped my bodily functions and stayed down better than most other foods. However, what works for me may not work for you. Find the food that works for you.
If your food tastes metallic, try eating with plastic spoons and forks.
Know your limits, do not balance your checkbook, write bills or go grocery shopping on the bad days. If
it’s necessary to do these things ask family or friends to help you. If you are away from family, the
American Cancer Society can help you find a support group in your town. I once went grocery shopping
on a bad day and bought $100.00 worth of candy, cookies, chips and soda. The bad part of this is I
only remembered part of the trip.
Chew on ice or drink something cold during chemo to help prevent sores in the mouth.
I’ve lived with cancer for almost eight years, I’m still receiving treatment, and I travel, paint, work, garden, enjoy life with my friends and family. Choose to live your life to the fullest and you will feel more in control.
Resource: American Cancer Society