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Confidence

Birder's picture
Birder
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2015

I hear so much about staying positive and confident in an outcome of the treatment I'm about to begin. I have always had a positive attitude and I am entering this fight with a knowledge that it could all fail, yet with a refusal to allow that to happen.

I am not in denial about the possibility of losing this fight. And I know there will be good and bad and up and down. Is there any advice anyone can give about having an attitude of total commitment to winning this thing? Are their hidden dangers to that which could cause problems or create mental setbacks?

Is there a more rational mental approach or should I only be thinking, "Let's get started winning this fight"

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 695
Joined: Mar 2015

I have had many comments about my positive attitude that goes back long before I was diagnosed with cancer. My parents were positive poeple. They would make plans for something and then move forward on it. If something came up that impacted their plan they juat adjusted and moved on. I don't remember them every sitting around complaining about anything event or vacation how it was so "terrible" because of xyz. We didn't live in a fantasy, perfect world. They just didn't let lifes bumps get in the way of living. Problems were acknowledged and dealt with. That is how I handle situations at work and in my life. 

On the flip side my husband's immediate family can be the complete opposite. Several of them dwell on lifes bumps to the point they can't enjoy anything. Sometimes it seems that start planning all the problems that could happen before they even get to an event or carry out a plan. It gets so bad there is one of them that ends up never getting anything done on their own because they KNOW it will fail. Somehow I was able to raise our kids with a more positive like me than my husband's. I won't take all the credit since I know they had friends who came from families like mine. 

So with all of that said this is how I approached my cancer diagnosis. First was to get the info from my oncologist office all the info they had on the drugs used, reactions, side effcts, etc. Then I did research on the cancer and the treatment, finding this discussion board and another one I joined. I didn't look for any info on survival rates but I did encounter some. I mainly focused on articles that were less than 2 years old. Once my treatments started my focus was more on how soon I could get out of the house and back into the office. I didn't want cancer to be my life. Of the 15 work days one round covered I was able to go into the office 9 of those days and worked from home that rest.

I find the more info I have the better I understand the possible paths the fight will take. When I see my oncologist it more of a confirmation of the exact path we are going to take and makes it easier to talk about the possible bumps. 

So Birder, keep your postive attitude they way you have always done in your life. If nothing else, it reduces the stress and helps you to sleep at night. 

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3469
Joined: May 2012

Birder,

I found lindary's thoughts to be excellent.  I would recommend that you get a three-ring binder, and keep a paper copy of all results that you are  given.  Every lab result, ever scan summary -- ask for a paper copy.  Some practices will e-mail everything, but I prefer having it all physically at hand.  Expect information overload; you may leave oncologist's visits thinking you "understand" it all, and realize at home that it has all become a blur.

When the biopsy comes back it will tell you exactly what strain of b-cell NHL you have (there are dozens of differing strains).  Your staging will tell the docs how many "cycles" of chemo you need to reasonably beat the disease. Staging is accomplished mostly from a study of your CT and/or PET scans, and the bone marrow biopsy.  

The most common first-line drug combo used against most forms of NHL is the R-CHOP that you mentioned, but EPOCH and some others are sometimes substituted.  Lymphoma is one of the most treatable of cancers, and you have good reason to maintain that "can-do, let's get it done" attitude.

If you are going to get  long term chemo, I recommend you get an IV port installed in your chest. Some oncology practices REQUIRE this, depending on what drugs you will receive, but some leave it as optional.  Many chemos are vesicants, or blister agents, and dangerous to administer. A port is much safer than an arm or hand IV for these drugs.

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/acronyms/chop-r.aspx

max

Birder's picture
Birder
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2015

My IV port goes in Wednesday. 

Birder's picture
Birder
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2015

thank you lindary and max for your great answers!!

Sten's picture
Sten
Posts: 162
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Birder,

I think that the most important thing is to be sincerely yourself.

We are all different and experience a serious disease in our own way.

My way was to think about my family. The best thing to do about my lymphoma was to fight it as well as I could and keep my spirits up, because that was good for my family. I was not afraid of death - I thought that OK, if I was to die, that was just it, it did not matter much. This way I got through my disease well. I was lucky, now being NED (no evidence of disease) since late 2012.

I agree with lindary that it is good to have information. That suited me well too. I looked into some websites including this one, and I found lots of info. Especially survival rates interested me. I found that I had about 66% chance if I got the best treatment, and I got it.

I arranged our economy so it would be easier for my wife to handle it if I died.

Good luck to you!

Sten

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

What great advice you received!

I too am a positive thinker and quite confident as well.  This road may test your confidence from time to time but remain steadfast, strong and true to yourself.  Surround yourself with positive people, laugh often, it's good for the soul.  Be very good to yourself, take breaks, breathe easy and accept help from loved ones.  

My father and I were diagnosed with cancer relatively the same time.  He didn't know about my cancer and was not at all as positive or confident as I.   Perhaps it has something to do with our age, I had two young children his were all grown??? My father had a much more difficult time, was was depressed for years going into his diagnosis and cancer only perpetuated his depression.  

Within a minute of my diagnosis, I was incredibly grateful that I was diagnosed with cancer and not my children or my husband.   My gratitude helped me every day.  My husband and my Doctor and a few other people were the only ones who knew for six plus months maybe more???  I assured them that cancer never met the likes of me and I meant it.

I will tell you my father's diagnosis derailed to me even destroyed me at times but I remained true to myself, strong and I took on every day as it came with all the strength that I can muster and plowed through it.  I did that for my children, husband, myself and most of all my father (and mother).

 Good luck and God bless you!

Birder's picture
Birder
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2015

thank you, 007. What a beautiful reply

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