Pancreatic cancer changes everything
Cancer changes every thing
Cancer certainly changes everything, once you hear the word "cancer" come out of your doctors mouth everything changes about your perspective on life quickly. I suspected something was wrong when I started getting sick in May 2010 , I did not want even to consider the possibility it might be cancer though.
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2010, my doctor told me I was one of the few lucky patients he was able to help, the odds are frightening with only two patients out of every ten having options for effective long lasting treatment.
Even with these odds, I still faced the possibility that once they opened me up they would find one of the most serious types of this disease and would not be able to remove it, in a day and age when technology is so advanced it seems we are in the dark ages still for certain types of cancer. There are virtually no early effective detection methods for any type of Pancreatic cancer, I have read there are some promising options on the horizon.
The Whipple Procedure
I was extremely fortunate the doctors were able to perform a procedure known as the Whipple and remove the cancer . Unfortunately A routine MRI scan in March 2012 found that there were tumors once again on my liver and lymph nodes, I am now taking the chemo pill sutent daily hoping to keep the disease at bay for as long as possible.
I have to say it seems to be working but in life there is always a price and this is no different, I battle all kinds of problems that relate to taking this drug. The decision to take this drug was a hard one, I had consider the long list of side effects that are attached to taking it.
I learned some valuable lessons during my hospital stay and I thought they could help some people get an idea just how hard having cancer can be.
During the initial days in the hospital, I learned I had a lot more strength and perseverance than I thought. I believe unless you have had major surgery you really cannot appreciate how difficult the simplest acts can be after the operation. I had to struggle to just adjust myself in the bed or sit up.
Quickly I learned that performing simple acts tired me out and left me exhausted. Becoming depressed or giving up can be easy at this point, pulling you into a downward spiral of depression and despair.
The power of believing in yourself
I now have begun trying to focus on the parts of my life that have real meaning, my family and friends, you are always going to have people trying to mess up your life you have to learn to shut them out of your life and tighten your inner circle.
I have stopped wasting time and energy on worrying about things I simply cannot change.
There is a wonderfully powerful saying, “it is what it is” to put it simply do not waste your time trying to move a mountain, instead find a way around it. This may sound simple on the surface, how ever you will find its almost instinct to dig in and fight instead of finding a different path to take.
Through the course of your life, you will find a lot people pushing that mountain with all their might and wondering why they can not get anywhere. The cold hard fact is there are things you can influence or alter in your life but the reality of the situation is change is not always in our hands.
Life can easily become routine and give you the false impression things will continue forever you simply cannot trust this.
I am not saying you should live your life in fear of death, just the opposite celebrate each day and make the most of it.
Realize this, life is all about change this can be a good thing if you view with the right perspective.
Enjoy yourself and do not let others ruin your life. I am guilty of letting others become a negative force in my life,this has changed since I have seen the bigger picture with clear eyes.
Sometimes finding the strength to change is more difficult than the change its self, we all have our personal comfort zone we hang out it like a comfortable chair, sometimes finding the courage to change is more difficult than the change it's self.
There is no magic formula or pill to take to make you want to change how you live your life. Wanting to make things better is the best kindling you can use to start this fire, the reason most people fail is because they never truly start trying to make meaningful change in their life.
I show my battle scars proudly
My battle with cancer no doubt has left me scarred and I gladly display theses scars they define who I am and what challenges I have overcome. The longer this fight continues the more I realize how unaware I was of how precious our time in this world is, believe me I now pay attention to how fast life is trying to go by.
You will find out the biggest problem in your life can be your own perceptions, I cannot tell you how much stronger I have become just by looking at the world from a different angle. You will find that there will be people who believe they are trying to help you who are causing more harm than good.
I know it may seem harsh but you have to tell them in a nice way they are not helping. A great idea I would recommend is before approaching them think of something they can do that will help so you can give them an option to help so they do not feel hurt by the your words.
Remember,not every one who smiles at you is a friend.
You get a new perspective
When you are alone in a hospital bed for an extended time you end up with a lot of time on your hands to really think about things, I quickly realized that I was a very fortunate person and every day really is a gift. You must be thinking that I sound like a cheesy greeting card when I say this.
I do not believe anyone can survive major diseases or near life ending event without it changing them somehow. Your whole perspective shifts quite a lot when you realize your very mortality was at risk, and you really are not bullet proof or immortal.
When I got home from the hospital realized that I was not able to live at my normal pace, this adjustment was not easy.
Knowing that I could not even walk to the kitchen to get a drink without running out of energy was not a good feeling to say the least. Honesty the changes in our lives that look like terrible on the surface can bring about the most powerful changes for us.
This lead to the discovery of the most powerful lesson I have learned, never stop believing in your strength or courage and keep trying no matter what happens.
Time for a Quizz
Are women or men more prone to get pancreatic cancer
The big picture
When you really think about how cancer can change your life you start to see the world in a different light, try not to forget your support group of friends and family is going through the same change of perspective.
I have tried to make sure I take into account what my support group is going through and I try not to be a pain in the neck or be demanding,this is important because the people that really care about will pick up on this and trust me it goes a long way.
There is no doubt in my mind that part of this battle is in my head, a positive attitude can be a very effective weapon to have, this is called mind and body medicine I am a firm believer in this and encourage you to look into how it can relate to your fight with cancer.
I wish you luck in your fight and never stop believing, it is truly mind over body.
Always consider a more medical options
You have to remember that you have a right to a second or even third opinion so you know you are in the right place for you,time usually is not in our corner so wasting time with the wrong hospital really is not wise.
When you are considering where to seek treatment you really need to weigh the options, believe me not all hospitals are equal. I leave in southern Massachusetts and we have some excellent hospitals in Boston and I ended up going to a hospital in Zion,Il. so it is not always the closet that is your best choice.
Every patient has their own unique needs so what is good for me may not be good for you,research is the key to finding the place for you.
How to choose a good hospital
Need help? This is my Hospital
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