February 21, 2012, 6:10 pm
Innocent, but many times on trial. About follow-up check-ups with stage 4 cancer.
The follow-up meetings with the doctor that cancer patients have to go through are not as spectacular as murder trials, but they certainly are as scary and with the same consequences, with a death sentence as the worst case scenario. Stage 4 cancer patients have to go through the trial again and again, if we are the lucky ones.
I have seen men crying and fainting in the waiting room. And I have seen the brave ones. Some accompanied by adolescent children who could not care less, some by spouses who spent the time in the waiting room on their mobile phones working. I have also seen those who cared.
During the first years I had difficulties to focus on anything else about a month in advance. I was not capable to plan anything beyond THE DAY. I could not sleep about a week in advance. I felt sick and dizzy in the morning on THE DAY, and it took me about a week to recover afterwards.
The anxiety in my case is caused by me preparing for the worst case, as a precaution in order to avoid surprises. That’s just the way I deal with the situation.
I try but I will never get used to THE DAY. At the very moment I am receiving the news about my disease, I do not hear them. This is one of the reasons my husband accompanies me on that day. He is there to offer moral support. But he is also there to remind me of issues that I intended to bring up and most probably would forget. He is there to listen with his second pair of ears, and he is there to help me to make important decisions when necessary.
We prepare for the meetings with my oncologist thoroughly. Prior the meetings we discuss about the issues that we need to bring up. My husband also helps me to discard the unimportant ones.
These are my recommendations:
- Bring somebody you trust with you, explain why (for moral support, second pair of ears, remind you in case you forget, help you with decisions)
- If you can, discuss the possible scenarios in advance, and try to prepare for them
- Make a check-list to follow
Share your experience and advice on the subject of THE DAY in our forum!