In my last post I discussed my possible lung damage from radiation therapy for breast cancer. I am still hoping for the courage to accept this possibility. Someday I will accept that I made the best medical decision I could have, given the misinformation I was given about radiation’s so-called “safety.”
Today is not that day.
Frankly, I’m having difficulty with acceptance. I am angry with my then-radiation oncologist right now. She and her staff painted a golden picture of radiation and blamed my side effects on chemotherapy, which I received simultaneously. Did medical personnel know how radiation could damage the lungs and even the heart? My radiation oncologist had to know something: she joyously told me that because the cancer was in my right breast, my heart would be safe from the damage radiation can cause.
I don’t believe the bullshit I was told anymore. I’m exceedingly worried about my lungs right now, and I’m also nervous about any possible heart damage. What if I do have COPD? My aunt died of complications from this condition, and I fear I will eventually follow suit.
A diagnosis of cancer years ago left me reeling out of control, and I’ve since struggled to gain some control of my life. I have spent my entire pre- and post-cancer life taking care of my health the best way I know how.
I am trying not to allow my bitterness to house itself in my psyche. Lately, I’ve been wanting to take up boxing and belt a punching bag. Yet, I’ve recently decided that anger is not the way for me. Anger would eat me up alive.
So, instead, I went miniature golfing. The paths to each hole were winding and hilly. I had some difficulty breathing as I navigated the steps and inclines up to the next hole. The pneumonia is almost gone, and I managed. A huge victory.
Miniature golf is peaceful because it makes you slow down. You often have to wait your turn while the people before you play a certain hole. Then there’s patience. You have to be patient as your golf ball continuously misses the hole. (I’m not so good at this game.) Nevertheless, it is a relaxing environment that forces one to walk slowly and take in the beautiful surroundings. The particular course I was on had an abundance of waterfalls and ponds. At times I crossed small bridges with the water trickling below me.
That made me feel better.
But I’m still pissed off at my radiation oncology team.
Have you ever been misled by medical professionals?
Tags: breast cancer, COPD, pneumonia, radiation, radiation and breast cancer, radiation oncologist