My friend Anita, who told her story in BRAVELY BATTLING THE BIG C had many people reach out to her after they read the blog, to tell her how much it had helped them. Hence she decided to share a few things which might help them further. Here goes…
1.Do not panic. Take action as swiftly as possible. Time is of the essence. Once you have got the diagnosis, there is no time to be wasted. It is a disease which anyway presents itself very slowly and sometimes not very typically. That is why many a times, it is not diagnosed until last. So don’t waste even a moment once you know.
2.Choose your oncologist with care. This is extremely important as you are going to stay with this doctor for a very long time, at least 4-5 months for sure! So it becomes imperative that you have a good rapport with your him/her. Believe me, that’s half the battle won ! Once you have taken the decision, have firm faith in your doctors.
3.Solicit help of your near and dear ones. It is hard to accept the situation any which way. But to face it alone without the support of your loved ones makes it that much harder. You need a lot of emotional strength during this period and there is nothing like having your dear ones encouraging you, looking after you, supporting you.
4.Take care of your nutrition and exercise. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation..all of this take a heavy toll on our body. The only way to throw out the toxins is to have good nutrition. Healthy fresh food during the entire period of treatment is an absolute must. This helps guard against secondary infections which can delay the treatment. So it is important to take good care of food. No eating out during this time should be the mantra. And of course, exercise is a must. I know the energy levels are depleted beyond imagination but half an hour of brisk walking is essential…if only to remind ourselves that we can walk! The hormonal treatment adds quickly to body weight. And don’t forget the chemo dose you get is directly related to your body weight. So why not reduce some weight and save money too, besides feeling fitter!
5.Cry buckets behind closed doors but put up a brave front when you face people. Crying is inevitable when you have such a big disease to tackle. The chemotherapy and its side effects only make it worse. You tend to become emotionally unstable and cry for no apparent reason all the time. It’s okay, cry it out. But wipe your tears when you are with people. For you get courage when you show courage..you don’t know how strong you are till being strong is the only option.
6.A s in pregnancy, with cancer too there are many old wives tales .People will tell you it’s your karma and blah blah. Or of some miracle cure. Do not listen to other people’s stories. You need only positive inputs and positive attitude. Surround yourself with people who can make you laugh and make the situation lighter. Concerted efforts of scientists are focused on understanding the disease and cure, and it is unlikely that some diet or herb or cure is likely to be the answer ! Listen only to your Doctors.
7. Have faith in yourself and modern medicine to combat the disease. Your happiness and wellness depend only on you. If you bravely, resolutely fight it out ,the disease will soon be on its way out! Just treat this as another challenge in your life which has to be dealt with and vanquished, and so it will be!!!