Friday, March 15, 2013

Knowing When the Hard Part Starts

Good Morning Cancer Patients and Caregivers;
There is no good time to be diagnosed with cancer and there isn't a good time to start cancer treatment. When you are diagnosed with cancer, you think - nothing good will come of this - and sure enough, as you go down that treatment process road, it begins to look like nothing good will come of this, all the while your cancer treatment team is trying to cure you. During the course of being diagnosed, going through treatment, surgery, more treatment, then recovery, it becomes difficult to know when the hard part starts because each step on the treatment journey path seems to be the next harder part.

You may say the hard part starts at diagnosis. But the reason you need to recognize when the hard part starts is because when you reach that point where you just can't go on, doing no more would be a blessing, you have had enough and you can't take it anymore, is when you will need to "Buck Up", dig deep into your inner strength, and muster every ounce of determination and grit to go on. That's when you know the hard part starts. Everything was easy up to this point compared to what you need to do now.

Knowing when the hard part starts will help you during the treatment journey to decide where to spend your energy. You will know you're there when you are ready to quit. Thats when you decide what to do and whether to go on, not before.

I had several times during my treatmet journey when I reach the point I decided I wasn't going to be able to continue. The mind was willing but the body was not. I knew I wasn't dying yet because my body hadn't told me it was dying. I felt I didn't have the energy, strength or stamina to do any more. The treatment made my body ache from head to toe. I couldn't sleep because of the pain and the steroids to tolerate the chemo.  The pain from surgey and the energy to recover was intense. I had a choice to make as every cancer patient does, succumb to the cancer and treatment or buck up and push through it. I knew I wouldn't like the alternative if I didn't buck up.

Knowing when the hard part starts is difficult to determine when the entire journey is tough. But when you make the decision you need to buck up is when you will know the hard part has started. That's the time you need to throw every ounce of energy and determination you have in you, at the treatment and cancer. It may happen several times during the course of the treatment. Conserve your energy and strength for the time when you will need it most, when the hard part starts.

Stay strong, keep your sense of humor and never give up.

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