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.
There isn't much to laugh about when it comes to breast cancer, but I made the decision when I was diagnosed six months ago to make it my business to try and distract myself from all the treatment and doctors and side effects. To wit, I offer up a poem.
Ultimately, various cancer treatments from all over the world should be available and put into practice. Not for one minute did I want to do chemo, obviously. But within the span of one year something totally undetected became very palpable indeed.
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.
Here's a newsflash: they don't give you a medal for going through childbirth without any drugs and they don't give you a medal when you finish chemo or any type of cancer treatment. There are no medals for "being brave." What does that mean anyway?
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.
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.
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?