Monday, December 26, 2011

Making choices

Along time ago, I remember being in a junior high class where we were asked to spend the next 24 hours writing down how many decisions we made that day. I chose the easy option and decided not to make any decisions  so it would be easy when I got to class the next day. I think I was laughed at by my class mates when I said I had only made one decision. Basically we make decisions constantly on large and small things. Do we want more milk in our coffee or tea, do we want to sit on the left, middle or right side of the sofa, do we want to wear pink socks or blue ones, do we want to look at this or at that. And the list goes on.Sometimes the decisions are easy and sometimes they are much hard.

Part of being a human being is learning to live with the consequences of our decisions. Sometimes they aren't pleasant - maybe the milk in our coffee was sour or maybe a large 'odorific' person picks the seat next to your chosen one. Do you hold your breath, breathe through your mouth or move and hope they don't think you are rude?

When faced with a nasty medical diagnosis you also get to make decisions that can be life or death. It goes with the territory. You review your options and decide what you think is best for you - what you are most comfortable with. It is your choice and you make it. You don't let someone make it ofor you - you do it on your own, or with our own team of family and doctors.

Then the worst thing you can do is to start second guessing your decisions. You can't undo the surgery you had although you can have it later, but then is it too late? Actually that is the second worse thing to do - second guessing your own decisions. The worst thing you can do is second guess someone else's decision. They made their choices and they are coping with them. So don't tell them they were wrong.

When I had my second cancer diagnosis, I made decisions with the help of my husband and doctors. Sometimes people I knew would basically say 'I don't know why you chose that as I know of something I think is better.' No they wouldn't use those words, they would say things like 'my brother's neighbor's hairdresser's dogwalker's nephew had cancer and their treatment was protocol Z so I can't understand why you are getting protocol B instead.' Maybe they had good intentions but they start causing you to second guess your decisions, causing more stress and further complicating the situation.

Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer for several years. After his death some 'rocket scientist' (and I use them term loosely) says that he may have caused his own death by choosing alternative medicine over conventional cancer treatment. Um, maybe that's what he chose - he made his choices and did what he wanted to do. It is no time for someone to say he did the wrong thing. How do you think that makes his friends and family feel? I think people should just keep quiet at this point.

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