My Battle with Cancer was Not Only a Challenge, but a Course in Life Lessons

Discover How My Personal Secrets Became Unveiled

We have all heard about the trials involved with battling this disease. Read about how this fight uncovers some of the innermost feelings and attitudes the patient as well as the support team including medical professionals, friends and relatives.

The Initial Shock and Emotions

The impact of hearing a cancer diagnosis sets most individual back in their seats. People react and respond very differently as you will discover as this story is disclosed. There is no right or wrong way to react or respond, however the reactions can be varied depending on the individual, and the type of personality or attitude of each person.

The Medical Team

My very first experience with a mammogram can best be described as quite dramatic. This took place back in the day, before digital mammography was used and involved several retakes with many different angles. The doctor that was consulted regarding the suspicious areas that appeared on the films was extremely consoling and comforting. Considering that my upbringing did not include much of the touchy-feely hugging type of behavior, this was enough to throw me off balance when combined with the thoughts and possibilities that were going through my head. I would soon discover how fortunate I was to have such an understanding and consoling medical team, who were soon to become best friends.

Revealing the News to My Family 

Being a single mother of three, two adult boys and a young teenage girl, I spent some time contemplating how I would share this information with my youngest son and my daughter, who were the only close relatives I have. Being an only child with most of my relatives previously passed, or had become disengaged, my daughter and youngest adult son were my only close family. My son, who had always stood by my side and was incredibly supportive responded with “we will fight this,” and he was right. My daughter was the only other person who lived with me, and was basically raised by adults. She accepted the challenge very maturely. As a matter of fact, when my hair started falling out from the chemo, I was anxious to shave my head in an attempt to stop the itching from dead hair follicles. My son brought over his hair clippers, but could not bear to shave his mom’s head, so my daughter bravely stepped up to perform the task.

The Reactions from Friends 

Friends and associates were dismayed as is expected. All expressed concern and offered to do whatever to be of assistance. The most help and assistance by friends came from many of whom I least expected it. I guess the same theory applies as I learned while I volunteered in the Boy Scout programs – if you want to find a good helper, go to the busiest parent around who will make time to assist you. Most people respond in a manner that I have personally never understood. Example; when passing on the street they will greet you with “how are you?” as they never lose pace and keep walking right past you. Why do they ask if they don’t take the time to hear your answer? We know the answer, they all mean well. Saying and doing are definitely two different things, but they both are important and have value.

Lessons Learned Personally 

You can fight successfully, especially with a strong support team. Appreciate the consoling and supportive words and use them to fuel your strength. Take people at face value, your true friends will shine through.


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