The other day someone commented about a friend that was not open to conversations about alternate medicine or therapies. It brought up some interesting memories for me and I would like to share with you how I felt during my treatment. I can’t say that all people feel this way, just me.
There is a certain amount of guilt involved with cancer. You start asking yourself what you did or didn’t do that caused it. My cancer was originally diagnosed as cervical so I of course went through the whole HPV thing. Did I do something that gave me HPV and then caused my cancers? Even after all this time I find myself wanting to explain to people, no….I actually had endometrial cancer as the originator, and I do not have HPV.
So then you start treatment and you feel sick, scared, needy, and if you’re like me, you feel a little guilty for feeling those things as well! Not to mention the whole possibility of death thing. What will happen to your family if you LEAVE them! That’s right..more guilt. It’s really incredible the things that are flying around in your head. Every decision you make turns into a life and death decision. Are you doing the right thing? Do you have all of the necessary information? Are you trusting the correct doctors? Please keep in mind that, at least in my case, I went through a major surgery, then got pumped full of all these drugs that are toxic, and was having radiation shot at me daily, my brain was not thinking the way it should be. I understand that a lot of this is my personality type. I make my own decisions, I don’t need any help. Everyone is used to me just taking care of things and so I kept on doing it when I really should have been leaning more on other people. I really wasn’t a fit decision maker.
One person said to me; “I’m surprised you are going through chemo when you’ve seen how horrible it can be and how it doesn’t work”. Really wasn’t any different from punching me. I was so precariously balanced in my head. My psyche was so fragile after trying to make decisions of a life or death nature, that to have someone imply that maybe I was making the wrong decision was just devastating. Now, if I died it was all my fault.
It would have taken a very special approach to talk to me about any type of additional therapies or treatments. Even if it was something as simple as have you tried this tea for nausea (don’t ask – just buy the tea , send it, and don’t even ask if they tried it) my brain was so filled with all the other thoughts, and drugs that I would not have been able to even think about adding another choice in there. I think most of the time I acted fairly normal, but I was not in my right mind.
I wish everyone could get all of the information on the decisions you will need to make before you ever get diagnosed. There are things I would have done differently if I had just had time and saneness to think about it. I’ve often thought that every lab that diagnoses cancer should send along a little pamphlet about what to do next. Step 1 – don’t do anything. Get information first.