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Something weighing on me

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

This post has been brewing in my head for the last couple of days and I finally decided I wanted to post it. We all need to maintain a lighthearted mentality in the face of cancer. A good attitude and positive mindset go a long way. However, as someone that has spent my career in and as a professor of medical imaging, the joking about follow-ups have gotten to me. Again, I understand everyone can make their own choices and agree that maintaining a lighthearted mindset is helpful. However, ignoring or not having follow-ups is absolutely irresponsible to yourself and anyone in your family that cares for you. Not knowing it is there DOES NOT make it go away. Do you know what not knowing it's there does? It gives it a free pass to overtake your healthy organs and it gives it free reign to take your life. If someone chooses not to have further treatment because of quality of life or because they have made a well informed decision, more power to you. However, that is someone deciding whike KNOWING they have cancer and WILL die of it. I encourage everyone to inform themselves about what type and grade cancer they have. There is no such thing as having it out and that being the end. Cancer doesn't work that way, though I wish it did. It's invasive, it's microscopic, and it can propogate into the body and take root long before we even see it.. Being informed is not the same as letting it control your life. Quite the opposite, being informed is the ONLY way we take back our lives and MAINTAIN control over a horrific disease. I cannot tell you how difficult it is as someone in medical imaging to scan a patient that's talking about the cruise they will take next month or discussing the new grandchild that's on the way, knowing that they will likely not be around for those events because they are in advanced stages of metastatic cancer and have no idea. Joking is fine, ignoring your health so that you can't be there for others and enjoy your life isn't. We are all cancer patients, for our entire lives. Keep control.

Sslee723
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2017

Very well said!  I couldn't have said it better.  

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

Thank you! When you see this stuff everyday and realize how much it doesn't discriminate, you realize the only way to bet it is to know more ans be faster than the cancer.

marosa's picture
marosa
Posts: 333
Joined: Feb 2015

Thank you very much Kat, you are so right!  It is a big time reality check... your post.

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

I just want everyone to get the best care possible and cancer is a nasty disease that doesnr care who you are, it can and does consume people. The only way we have ANY control is knowledge and being faster than it is!

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1326
Joined: Oct 2013

I understand your point Kat. But, as I understood it, he mentioned he didn't want any more scans, as not thinking about it to the point you lose enjoying life at this moment. He already had several good scans and how I understood it, he's now past needing any more (like me). He'll  probably only have the labs/xray type of monitoring if scans are no longer required. He's at peace with that from what he told me.

Yes, I think many took his post as denial rather than he's not worrying  about it any more. He and I talked about it.

Jan

 

 

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

Hey Jan,

 

My point was not to talk about anyone specific but to make a general statement. I've seen people have no clue what their tumor grade is and some say they have no idea what/if any follow-up is necessary. This was in no way to get into a "back and forth" regarding one person's choice. If it were, I would have commented on that post. I think ALL thoughts and feelings should be welcome and everyone should be allowed to post without fear of backlash, including myself. 

Again, anyone should feel able to make a post without feeling any sort of negativity. Mine was simply stating that everyone needs to stay informed. I'd appreciate support for my thoughts as well. 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1326
Joined: Oct 2013

I respect your knowledge and help for us on this site, Kat. I though you were speaking of another poster. My mistake.

Jan

 

Kat23502's picture
Kat23502
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2016

No apology needed at all Jan!

Max57's picture
Max57
Posts: 167
Joined: Mar 2015

wooow that was a very impressive...thank you 

lobbyist0724's picture
lobbyist0724
Posts: 418
Joined: Sep 2016

Thanks Kat, can't agree more with you. To fight this kind of disease, time is the most important factor. From my research, I also realized that some countries recommend adults ober 40 to include ultrasound as part of their yearly body check up since it is low cost and effective. Giving the slow growth rate in small size RCC, everyone should be diagonoised as early stage one. If it is not the radiation, I will do CT every month just to be on top of it.

Do I afraid about the scan, no since it is a tool to safe me; but am I nervous to see my report card, yes. But so what, we are nervous/afraid of so many things in life, so many things that are out of our control. Like having cancer, all man must died, but we can control about how it is gonna end and minimize the impact to our loved ones.

daisybud's picture
daisybud
Posts: 490
Joined: Jan 2016

Great post

Kim

beemurguia's picture
beemurguia
Posts: 57
Joined: Mar 2017

Hi Kat,

I agree with you...we need to be be informed so we can make a proper choice of treatment.  I also think that our Drs need to be more blunt and clear when they explain cancer.  My Urologist seems to contradict himself..on one hand saying In his opinion "im cured" and then on the other hand saying how worried he is becuase cancer grew into my lyphatic vein....Im like what??? your confusing me!!! your cured but go see oncologist! I dont have a significant biology background only a BA in Biology but even my basic knowledge tells me that cancer is ever evolving in our body...our immune system is constantly keeping it in check...when we are off balance in our health it can be oppportunistic and take over...take root...why has my Urologist not explained that to me? Its scary to think that sometimes many take what Drs say for face value! 

This cancer journey is such a life lesson thats for sure! Im still a student in my cancer journey and Im open to any suggestions and tips.  Kat I thank you for your frankness!

BoondockSaint's picture
BoondockSaint
Posts: 242
Joined: Mar 2017

Very good post Kat.......I agree with everything you stated. That is why we, in my wife's case have consulted with an Oncologist to head up her follow up routine instead of the Urologist. Not to say the Uro couldn't do it but the way I see it is like a car. I wouldn't take a Ferrari to a Ford dealership.

 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

of follw ups that I have had is remarkable. I keep finding new tests to help me stay ahead of this game. I wouldn't be here without them. Yet I have a neighbor who had rcc surgery maybe 20 years ago. She has never had a follow up. She does not know what kind of cancer or what stage it was. Same thing with my sisters brother in law. Anyone who posts here should be concerned about proper care or what is the point of being here?

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1987
Joined: Mar 2014

Great post, Kat. Couldn't agree more.

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 236
Joined: Mar 2017

First of all, I'd like to say to Kat, bless you for the work you do. I would not want to do what you do. People don't get to choose to get cancer. People don't choose when to live or die. Things just happen. Can we alter the course? Sometimes. I know a guy who's cancer started just like mine. He's now having his second round of mets to his brain. He has chosen to go untreated. Before my cancer experience I did not understand this, now I do. Who are we to judge? Life is a precious thing, but death and decay are natural things. It's coming for all of us. For some reason in our western civilization, death has become a foreign thing, something to be feared. We are wrong in this. I no longer fear my temporariness. If all I get out of life is 53 years, so be it. It's been nice to know you. As far as educating myself, I've read the report. I know enough to satisfy myself. The cancer is either killing me or it isn't and if it isn't, I have better things to do.

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

It can't be easy doing that job. I remember joking with the technicians as I was going in for my CT scan and noticed their serious faces when they came in to inject me for more pics. It is humbling and serious stuff. Thank you for your post and for all you do!

Hugs

Jojo

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

Same happened to me

JerzyGrrl's picture
JerzyGrrl
Posts: 760
Joined: Jun 2016

This is a lot like boating is for me. Boating is cool. It's fun. It keeps me fit. It's an adventure. I like being out and about. I have no idea how many years I'll be able to continue boating, especially since it requires a certain level of mental and physical fitness.

I do know, however, that I'm going to wear a life jacket when I'm on the water. Sure, I can swim, but what if something knocks me out that results in my being unconscious? My being able to swim a mile is suddenly of no use. Nor is my body's response to cold water or severe pain going to help me swim well. Not to mention, if the hardly-not-sinkable boat does sink (and there is a slight chance of that), it could take a while before somebody besides me notices. Life has a 100% mortality rate, but I prefer not to rush things. Throw me a rescue buoy and I'll grab it, send a Newfoundland rescue dog in my direction and I'll happily be towed back to shore in spite of how much I seriously dislike Newfie drool. It's a quality of life thing (the drool is only temporary).

That's my decision, of course. YMMV (as may your life jacket wearing choices). 

Mighty Frog's picture
Mighty Frog
Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2017

Well said Kat! I also trying to puzzlling back my life.... my bathtime, seem was the most difficulty moment for me.....these scar incision keep remaining me about cxxxxx.... Nevertheless I need to face it........ TQ! Kat for the Good post.....

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

Very well said. Thanks for posting

Angiebby75's picture
Angiebby75
Posts: 207
Joined: Aug 2017

Good info Kat what scans should I make sure I have prior to surgery and after Surgery?

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