When we are diagnosed with cancer, we are in so much turmoil that making life-saving decisions is so very difficult. All of a sudden, we are inundated with statistics of which treatment(s) are most likely to save our lives. Not to mention the maelstrom that a cancer diagnosis causes in our lives.. So, with a shaky leap of even shakier faith, we cast the dice, … Continue reading the story "All I Need is the Air I Can’t Breathe"
Post Archives tagged ‘radiation’
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 … Continue reading the story "“Safe,” My Ass"
The train eases into the early morning fog. Other commuters are lulled to sleep on their way to work. I slothily lean my head against the window and look out, exhausted. But I cannot sleep. Outside, blurred lights blink past me. All I think is, “What the hell just happened?” The train’s route is clear, … Continue reading the story "Radiation Fallout"
Once upon a pre-breast cancer time, a physician paid me a high compliment. “You do better breast exams than most doctors,” he said. And I think he was right. Every month I performed the same ritual: a thorough breast self-exam, including the look-at-your-breasts-in-the-mirror test. Although I always dreaded the idea of something possibly being wrong, I examined my breasts thoroughly and regularly. Until a breast self exam … Continue reading the story "Re-Acquainting Myself With the Breast Self Exam"
“In the end only kindness matters.” -- Jewel, “Hands” Last week, I participated in a tweetchat about the value of kindness in medicine. While this topic is a no-brainer -- yes, doctors and patients should be kind to each other -- unkindness is rampant in medicine. Being on the patient side of things, I’ve seen firsthand the harm caused by unkind medical personnel -- from administrators … Continue reading the story "Random Acts of Kindness"
Pre-cancer, I was sturdy, strong, resilient. I reached far into the sky, living the myth that mortality was far, far away, especially since I took excellent care of my body. Like many young people, I believed I wouldn’t have to confront death for a long time. I had incredible amounts of energy and an amazing memory, and I was in excellent physical shape, being an avid … Continue reading the story "Aging Ungracefully"