Learning to live with cancer or any other illness is indeed about “learning”. (depositphotos_173920254)

Ten years ago, I wrote this piece but didn’t publish it. I was too afraid to talk about all the screw-ups (learning opportunities) that happened as my late husband and I entered the world of living with cancer. I suspect I’m not the first person to feel this way. And yet, until I and others share that which we’ve learned this situation will remain unchanged. That would be a bad thing. Let’s instead tell it like it is and support one another so that we all move forward.

Things I didn’t know

1. I didn’t know that if you have cancer and the doctor put you on steroids (ex.Dexamethasone) you should have your blood sugars monitored weekly.

2. I didn’t know that when you are prescribed drugs it is always a good idea to ask if the dose you are taking is considered low, standard or high.

3. I didn’t know that if the dose is considered high that you should, not only discuss possible side-effects with the doctor prescribing the drug, but you need to also ask about how your body will be monitored to ensure that the side-effects (ex. Liver damage) are well managed and if possible avoided.

4. I didn’t know that for a minimal cost I could pay to have bloodwork done by a registered nurse.  Staying home for the immune system compromised is a far safer, more efficient and low stress alternative to dressing, driving and waiting in a clinic filled with others during flu season.  Breakfast at home (afterwards) in pyjamas is also always a good thing.

5. I did not know that sometimes those expected to die, live, and those expected to live, die and that no one (even extraordinary oncologists) knows why this happens.

______________________________________________________________________* Note: I do not have, nor have ever had cancer. However, I have, more than once, been a caregiver for those who were ill and incapacitated.                                   ______________________________________________________________________

Till next time, stay well, stay safe
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