Poison. The drugs they use are poisonous and toxic to the body but, they help sometimes by killing off the cancer cells. Sometimes killing off our own cells in the process. I can’t give you a statistic but people die from secondary infections while fighting the fight against cancer.
Nobody who goes into battle isn’t aware of the dangers they will be facing once those chemicals are poured into their body. Sadly it’s the only way. Radiation does the same thing. It burns and sears the tumor cells sometimes harming the host as well.
We know this but there is no other way. Not yet anyway. It is a decision not made lightly. It is a decision a victim doesn’t WANT to make, but must.
I remember when I heard the words ” you have cancer” over the phone no less. Immediately fear flooded all of my senses. I sobbed. I gagged. I raged. And then I made a decision. After all it’s not like I could decide not to do anything. I definitely knew the outcome of that choice. At least the other gave me hope.
After I received my diagnosis I talked to the radiologist who did the biopsy and requested a full body scan, a PET scan. He agreed that it was a wise decision since we didn’t know if there was cancer anywhere else. Remember, I had been ” watching” this thing for a year and a half. He knew and I knew that the chances of it being other places was possible.
After we talked for a bit he ordered the PET scan and set it all up for me. I had worked with the radiologist for years through my job as a sports medicine nurse at a nearby college. I am sure that helped my cause a little.
The scan was done and it showed no other cancers other then in my breast. I was brought to my knees with relief when I heard that report. I was so afraid that the cancer had gone to my liver or brain. What kind of cancer and where it is located decides the treatment regime. In my heart I felt that if it had already spread to multiple areas I would not go through the treatment, but since it hadn’t spread yet, I would.
In one of my earlier blogs I mentioned that I had just paid off the PET scan that I had back in 2004. My student insurance company wouldn’t pay for the PET scan because it wasn’t the recommended screening test at that point in my diagnosis. I didn’t give a shit. I was going to have a PET scan to be sure that I didn’t have cancer anywhere else before anyone decided what course of treatment to start.
Now I know what the specialist will say if they read this. A PET scan doesn’t guarantee anything, it can only pick up a growth or cells at certain sizes etc. If there was anything the PET scan could pick up I wanted to be forewarned before I decided on treatment. The unknown we would deal with later.
My opinion is that it is best to be sure that you don’t have cancer somewhere else in your body before you start treatment. Multiple areas changes the treatment protocol. And, once you start chemotherapy you put your body at risk for infections and other problems because the chemo drugs suppress your immune system. So, if there is a ” tiny” area somewhere once you start treatment it could become a big area because our bodies are in a weakened state and may not be able to fight back. Specialist say that our bodies are constantly fighting off infections and killing cancer cells. My opinion is to be sure first before you start treatment. At least as sure as you can be.
No one can make anyone understand the horror of cancer treatment. Even for the family members who are just as traumatized, they can’t understand the full impact of this kind of treatment. It is awful. It is horrendous. It puts our lives in danger from the chemicals in our bodies, and the infections that may attack and do us harm, not to mention the humiliation we go through when our hair falls out, our bodies go crazy, and we feel like we are losing our minds. Sadly it is something that must be endured if there is any hope of survival.
When the assault began I took one day at a time. That was all I could do. I dreaded tomorrow more times then I can count while I was receiving chemo. There were times when I just didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t want to face more pain. There are so many side effects to cancer treatment. So many things that can go wrong.
But as you can see I MADE it. I survived it all. So far so good!
I want to praise those friends, providers, nursing staff, and all the others who shared that journey with me. Their support and caring helped more then I can ever say. It gave me the strength to go another round, to last another day.
I think that all the money and energy that is going into cancer awareness now needs to go toward helping people TAKE ACTION against cancer. Help the people who can’t afford their treatment, get them the best screening that is out there. And, help them take action now.
Anyone who tells you to ” watch it” should be slapped. Put something in their body knowing the horrors of cancer treatment and see if they agree with “watching it.”
If we can get rid of the cancer faster by doing surgery sooner, or starting treatments sooner it may help and shorten the course of the treatments. It might save a life.
I am very sure that if someone would have gone in and cut out that ” tiny little thing” when I first noticed it, I may not have had to do chemo or radiation. With breast cancer if it stays in the duct and hasn’t spread out of the duct, sometimes the only thing they recommend is removal. That certainly would have been my f–king choice.
So jump on this band wagon and start talking about starting a new campaign, the TAKE ACTION NOW campaign. Remember if we build it they will come. Yep, I stole that line from the movies but, if we start this campaign maybe others will come and help too. Let’s help those who need help now. Let’s not make them “wait.”
Have a great and healthy day today.