Walk a day in my shoes. Feel my fear that I'm going to lose this fight. That I might never see my children grow up, go to school, win their first competition, really talk to them, dance at their weddings. Feel sad that my children might never really know me.
Cancer rehab has given me my life back. I am no longer afraid to speak with others or give a speech to a room full of people. I still use many of the things I learned from speech therapy and they help me in some way almost every single day.
Like Walt in Breaking Bad, I have health care insurance from my employer, and like Walt's wife, Skyler, discovers about their insurance, I'm still liable for the deductible, copay and coinsurance portion of the medical fees.
When on cycle two, day two, I told my nurse she was joining my angels here on earth, she told me that one of her previous patients had claimed coming into the infusion room was like going to hell -- now I have a Hell's Angel by my side.
If you're going through it, know that you're not alone and if it's causing you distress in your everyday life then talk to your doctor about it. Your brain cells have taken an ass kicking, along with every other cell that was affected by chemo and now you and they just need some TLC.
If you've been through cancer treatment and you are struggling with memory or concentration issues, you may be hoping for that doorway back to your pre-cancer self. One area researchers are investigating to whisk you there is cognitive (re)training with specially-designed software.
Historically, a frustration among researchers has been that neuropsychological testing is not sensitive enough to confirm a patient's complaints of memory issues after chemotherapy. Brain scans, on the other hand, can successfully detect cognitive impairment after treatment.
While individual health care decisions in the wake of a cancer diagnosis belong to the patient, there are some questions that my mother asked -- or didn't know to ask until things went awry -- that may be helpful for others to keep in mind when chemotherapy is presented as an option.
Does any of this sound familiar? You're halfway through what will be six rounds of chemotherapy when you notice a dense fog rolling over your brain. You grow forgetful. The responsibility of making even small decisions overwhelms you.
If the professional association that sets standards for oncologists doesn't seem to concern itself with timely disclosures, is it any wonder that clinicians in their hospital and community practices dismiss their patients' concerns as frivolous?