Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hindsight is always 20/20

So now that you have been down the cancer road once, what have you learned? What would you do differently if there was a 'next time' (if you were so 'lucky')?

I am sure you are saying all sorts of things to yourself about how you would do more research, find more specialists, get a third opinion, make sure you dotted your "i's" and crossed your "t's" and had  a bit more style while in chemo. There would be so many things you would do differently.

This man had cancer and then twenty years later thought he might have it again. He did learn from the first round but it was still traumatizing.

I can tell you at the second diagnosis, it is still just as shocking, upsetting, scary, and traumatizing as it was the first time. You might be slightly better prepared to act to your hindsight but you still have to get past that trauma.

I did make some resolutions - one that cancer wasn't going to suck the life out of me for a second time. I did start this little blog and I have been more proactive in my health care. But still I face the same fears and anxieties.

A few years after my breast cancer diagnosis my husband had a little brush with colorectal cancer. I remember sitting in the doctor's office with him. My husband had already been in the other chair where he was the caregiver there for support to take notes and ask questions but he was now the one receiving and digesting the information about his body. The doctor was trying to form into words what he needed to tell us about surgery, treatment, and options. I spoke up and said I have had cancer twice so we are already familiar with a lot of this. The doctor relaxed a little and started giving us  information and options.

Without cancer twice, would I have spoken up? Probably not. I would have been the little blob in fear with all the stress. But I had learned to ask questions and not accept medical advice from only one source.

Hindsight is 20/20 and we can paper our walls with "woulda, shoulda, coulda's" but we hope we learn from our life experiences so we can have a better experience the next time.

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