Thursday, May 12, 2016

So What Would You Do Differently?

We cannot afford to beat ourselves up for 'woulda, shoulda, coulda' moments. The past is the past. It is a different world than now. Everything that happened in the past is no one's fault, especially your own, But we can make changes based on what happened before so that it becomes better in the future. So if you don't think you handled your cancer (insert other nasty disease name here) diagnosis well, you can make sure you do it better if there is a next time.

I already had a 'do-over'. I screwed up my first cancer diagnosis and did it better the second time around. But I still would do some things differently if there is a next time.

My first cancer diagnosis I did everything wrong. I didn't seek additional emotional support. I didn't talk about it. I couldn't didn't research the crap out of it. (To be fair, it was 1981, there was no internet, and the few times I was near a medical book, I didn't really understand anything I read.) And I was miserable about my cancer for years.

At my second cancer diagnosis, I said I am in control. I joined a support group before my second surgery. I talked about it. I blog about it. I researched it. I put myself in control of my medical crap. I was not going to let cancer suck any more life out of me. I took some time to figure out how I was going to deal with it.

But have I learned anything that would help me with another cancer diagnosis? I think so.

I do need to say that since my second cancer diagnosis, I have had a couple of other not so good diagnoses. Nothing that will kill me but all will work to try to make me miserable for the rest of my life - degenerating disks, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. I think those count as 'life changing'.

How did I handle them? Pretty well. I researched them. I talk/blog about them. I did work on some emotional support. I didn't let them suck any enjoyment out of my life.

So if another cancer decided to try to suck some fun out of my life? I think I would do the following:
  • research it
  • talk/blog about it
  • find emotional support as I feel I need it
  • plan a vacation to go get grounded and develop a plan to take care of my sanity during treatment.

I think that last one is something I would do differently. I would take a few days/weeks to focus myself on a plan for coping. Then spend a few days at the beach to 'rest up' for treatment. Going to the beach is always very important. And I am always happy at the beach.

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