Unfortunately, when the time comes to begin the intimate and sometimes awkward conversation of "I have/had cancer," it will produce mixed reviews. While the majority of feedback will be positive and supportive, the brash among us will offer slightly hurtful responses instead.
Medically, the first hospital did everything right. I am grateful for that. The surgeon who removed my son's tumor was one of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the U.S. The nurses on the oncology floor did their job well. But I was miserable.
Finding ways to help people coping with cancer to sleep better is an important goal of sleep research and clinical treatment. While short-term use of sleep medication may be useful, it's critical to identify strategies for improving sleep that don't rely on long-term use of sleep medicines.
Four weeks ago life was normal. My husband visited the doctor for his annual physical and went through the motions of carrying liquids in a cup down the hallway and having blood drawn while carrying on that awkward conversation that occurs when trying to ignore needles piercing your skin.
Of tantamount importance in the cancer lexicon is some acceptable name of a group of individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer. Far too frequently this nomenclature has been applied to, rather than derived of, this amazing group of folks.
After my fourth round of chemotherapy, I went into what I now refer to as "The Funk Zone." What helped me the most was my ability to put on my nurse's cap (being a nurse was definitely a Silver Lining during my treatment) and assign myself some healthy coping mechanisms.
I think we're unified in coping, hoping and living in the present. I guess this is the new normal. And while it sucks to have cancer, we have each other, and that's never bad. In that we are always lucky.
Even though I have the label "terminally ill," I know my chances and my time is what I make it. Medical knowledge has been doubling every ten years and maybe, just maybe, I'll be here when my cure comes.
Diseases and conditions that once proved quickly fatal no longer are. Instead, individuals and their families are increasingly likely to find themselves mired in a protracted process that only begins with a diagnosis.