Thursday, July 28, 2011


So you were told once you had _____ (fill in with any nasty ailment, top of the list is cancer). For the rest of your life you try to balance the fear that you could be told you have it again with the rationale that the odds are on your side. The diagnosis turned you into a pessimist - I'm gonna die mentality - instead of being a healthy optimist.

There is some theory that if you think you have something long enough you can actually give yourself the condition - I think that's a load of crap. But I do think that its all about learning to cope with your fears.

This woman writes about trying to cope - of course swollen lymph nodes, sore back, and cough mean her cancer came back everywhere. When she finally reluctantly gets to the doctor she is told she has the same virus that is going around.

Me, I'm a little different. I think I run to the doctor too quickly sometimes and over react. Of course its going to be something bad because I've already had something really bad (twice). Maybe I am a pessimistic hypochondriac?

But its a matter of balance. Yes we are all going to die some day but that doesn't mean every time you go to the doctor you are going to get bad news. My primary care decided that after seeing me monthly for three months that I am not going to die for the next three months so she can wait to see me until then. She did want to see me every month for three months because I am 'complicated' (her word) and have many issues that need to be dealt with.

This made me feel healthier just because she didn't want to see me in another month. But she doesn't think I am healthy enough to wait a year to see her again.

Every doctor visit becomes a 'what if they find something' visit. I need to channel my inner optimist to accompany me on my visit and leave my inner hypochondriac at home so to retain my sanity.


Malignant cancer said...

Thank you for informative post guys...

Richard Monfries said...

Hi Caroline

First of all, thanks for your blog.

Cancer is endemic in my family:

It's sometimes the monster in the room that we can't see but can certainly feel the presence of.

I am not symptomatic yet, although I do expect a serious diagnosis will come my way in the last half of my life. How one deals with it at the time can't be scripted. How you try to live your life before and after the event can, I think be prepared for.

Without bordering on hyperchondriasis, I try to live a preventative life each day.

The only time I've been diagnosed with a vaguely serious cancer (an SCC on my neck), because of the strong history of cancer in my family, when walking away from my dermo's clinic I felt like I was about to embark on an eventually terminal career in cancer treatment.

It didn't turn out the way, but even though I will always expect the worse, I have to live my life to the fullest in the meantime, and after the fact, as well.

To use an Australian colloquialism, cancer really can be a 'bugger', if you fear it, that is:

All the best


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