Oct 28, 2011 - 9:37 am
Just got validation that most likely points to Chemo Brain from my doctor and it prompted me to write this particular posting about the importance of validation in our journeys with cancer.
Any symptoms you experience you have to report to your doctors no matter how small they seem to be. Document them and report them without exclusion because you never know what symptoms might be a clue as to some new stage in your cancers or some side effect that might be resulting from treatments or medications you may be on. Validation of your symptoms medically can go a long way too in not only properly diagnosing your conditions but also in validating how we are truly feeling by the medical profession itself and that can ward off a whole ton of emotional issues like depression (at not being believed perhaps) or simply feeling that we are 'imagining medical issues. Validation is sooooooooo important.
Too it is very important to stand your ground when you see a symptom that is new and get the testing you feel is necessary. Trust your gut as to whether there is something wrong or not that should be investigated. After you get the testing done make sure you get copies of the doctors/radiologists reports for your files. That might all help down the road in creating a clearer picture for new specialists in the future. Too it will document your medical diagnosis for things like disability if you need it for payments if you can't work.
Let's not forget the huge issue of validation of our conditions and symptoms from friends and family as well. So many times if too much time has passed since our treatments/diagnosis validation wains as people closer to us might assume we should be 'moving on' by now or say things like 'gee your treatments were so long ago' - insinuating that by now things shouldn't be that bad and we feel invalidated. That's tough on a person who is dealing with medical issues that are being sloughed off due to a poor understanding of the actual survivor's medical situation. It's hard enough to deal with cancer and it's side effects let alone not be believed or validated on top of it all. It happens all the time so don't feel alone in it all.
All in all in life validation is something we crave to confirm our feelings and situtions and when it comes to our own health and wellbeing the anti is upped as this is about our ultimate survival.
Just validating how important validation truly is in our journey with cancer. Stick to your guns if you think something is wrong it needs to be investigated. I fought for nerve conduction studies that I knew would confirm my nerve damage from chemo drugs and got it and now fought for a head CT and got that validation too. It makes a difference. I was telling my doctor of symptoms for the last 25 years that I knew were related to my treatments and only in the last 10 years have I seen the shift to actually believing more survivors and I suppose one of the reasons is that they are simply seeing more long term survivors with the same symptoms - hard to ignore the masses. With improved treatments today hopefully alot of these side effects will be all but eliminated with the move to less invasive treatments if at all possible - trying to target only the tumours and leaving other healthy tissue out of it.