Monday, January 23, 2012

A little factoid - cancer changes your life especially for younger people.

"Women younger than 50 who survive breast cancer face an array of quality of life challenges: psychological stress, weight gain and decline in physical activity....They also struggle with reproductive issues such as infertility and early-onset menopause.

In studies that were published between January 1990 and July 2010, researchers ... found that overall quality of life was compromised in the younger survivors with both physical and mental health problems."

And it took a bunch of researchers to figure this part out. Us cancer people knew this long before the researchers figured it out. (Maybe the researchers are a little slow?) "Young breast cancer survivors are cured but not okay" is the name of the article but they should really just delete the word breast and let it read 'young cancer survivors'.

A cancer or other 'yucky' diagnosis puts you on the medical roller coaster from hell. It also says 'you are now officially a sick person'. Only sick people get those ailments - meaning anyone but us. Cancer is meant for someone else, someone we don't know. It can't be us. So we mentally shift from being that young healthy person and end up being called a sick person.

The trailer from the movie "50/50" (which comes out on dvd tomorrow), that I haven't yet seen, includes portions of the scene with the lead character is told he has cancer. His responses include 'but I recycle' with total confusion, which sums up the basic reaction to the diagnosis. We don't know how we ended up on this little roller coaster but we did. We will never feel the same way again.

Physical and mental problems - psychological stress, weight gain, decline in physical activity, and the list goes on. Life is never the same after those three little words 'you have cancer'. (Actually I was told 'you have a 1.4cm malignant tumor'.) You can't undo it. Some people talk about finding a new normal but I am not sure there is such a thing as the new normal. We adapt, we change, and we try to go on.

3 comments:

Arla said...

Perfectly stated for my melancholy state today. Another friend not doing so well. :*(

As always Caroline, your writing tops the charts.

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandy said...

I've seen 50/50.
not a bad movie. funny and sad at the same time.

It does change your life indeed. But for me it made me realize that I need to live a healthier life and enjoy it more :-)