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Advice from a survivor....


KatieB

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I would say. Research, research, research the more one knows, the better one is. Don't leave any stone unturned. When in question, seek a second/third opinion. Stay positive. Focus on living, not dying. Focus on what one can do, not what one cannot do. Will be good days and bad days. Will see the best and worse of people as one goes along. Will be a roller coaster ride to say the least. Join a support group, see in person how people are dealing with it and what they are doing. Don't get caught up in the blame game, anger, what ifs etc. Keep moving as best as one can. Don't sweat the small stuff. Take it one step, one day at a time. Attitude and perception goes a long way. Never give up!

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What they all said - plus this:

Keep copies of records -- hospitalization, lab work, scan reports, and if you can get them, a copy of your actual scans on a CD. This keeps you "portable." If you should decide to change doctors or get a 2nd opinion, you will have much of what they need if you keep copies. It can get cumbersome, so get a big notebook and organize them into sections that make sense to you. This has also been helpful to me as sort of a medical "diary" to look back and see where I've come from -- I make lots of notes on the reports!

Most of all, don't give up. Don't crawl into a corner and think that you are automatically doomed.

Di

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The first thing I'd say (and have, on several occasions, to newbies in my onc's office) is that what we ANTICIPATE about treatment is often far worse than the REALITY. Don't fear the treatment. Welcome it.

Second...get a pocket calendar and keep track of everything on it....appointments, dates of scans, MRIs and other tests. Make note in the calendar of headaches, nausea, any significant symptom and when it occurs.

Write out a sheet of ALL the medications you take and the dosage. Then write down ALL the medical conditions you currently have. Then write ALL your prior hospitalizations, surgeries or significant illnesses. Keep a copy of this with you at ALL times as you'll be grateful when you can give it to someone to copy instead of having to fill out 27 forms each time you see a new doctor OR have a new test scheduled.

Hospitals like to do things over and over again :roll: ...like having you fill out the same blinkin' form EACH AND EVERY TIME you have a scan or MRI. I circumvent this forced writers cramp by keeping a copy of meds, conditions, procedures in my wallet at all times. Update it periodically.

Most important....don't succumb to the fear. Fear is a part of this diagnosis and journey...but it doesn't have to RULE it. Deal with the fear and then focus on the positives...there ARE treatments, there ARE compassionate medical people who WILL fight for us as hard as we fight for ourselves...and more and more, cancer is becoming just another chronic illness to treat.

Ignore the stats. People aren't stats...we're individuals. A good spirit, some humor and a positive outlook can carry you a long way, even with a diagnosis of cancer.

And give something back, somehow. Whether it's a donation of time, money or a craft....there are lots of ways to "give back"...either to your local cancer center or hospital...or a support group. The idea is to simply to give something back because it's a good reminder of how blessed we are to still be here! :)

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All the above posts are good ones. I would have to say 1) stay positive. It is a death sentence only if you want it to be. 2) keep a good humor and laugh a lot. This will help to take your mind off of things. 3) Pray. God can not answer a pray that He does not hear. Miracles do happen everyday. I, as well as lots of others here, are living proof of that. 4) talk to others. LCSC is a good place to do that.

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hmmm this is a tough one....

first I would say its okay to cry and be madder than hell... then.... take a deep breath and regroup cos you need that energy for positive things.

I agree with those before me who say RESEARCH... you can never know too much and you can never ask too many questions of your doctors. Be an informed patient or caregiver.

Also, try not to spend the days you have here on Gods great earth worrying about the days you might not have here in the future.... its a waste of time.

I did that when Daddy was sick... and I regret it to this day....

my last piece of advice is probably the most important... Pray.....Pray with every ounce of your being... God is always, always listening.

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