Recently, I have been asked for advice about cancer. I have been asked to get behind campaigns to help with awareness and nudge the world into donating money for research. I have had friends call me with panic in their voices about a small this-or-that which is causing them worry.
Ha! Yes, I’m an expert in the subject of worry. I can’t say that I’m completely void of all anxiety over my next scan, but I have been working on taming the monster for three years, and I think I’ve got it.
But, can I help you dear friend? No. I can’t take your anxiety away, you have to do that on your own. All I can offer are the words I repeat daily to myself.
—I got up. I’m breathing. I’m healthy until told different. I’m grateful for the day I have been blessed with. I’m trying to be the best me I can be.
Funny thing, I’m no expert regarding cancer. I had cancer, I had surgery, I have been told I should never see cancer again. But I’m suspicious of those doctors, so my advice is to buck up, and ALWAYS be your own advocate. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you, not even your spouse. YOU do it! Of course, it helps to take someone along to catch the information the torturers spew, that you miss hearing. But, you must take a pen and paper with you. Ask every question you have, and don’t leave until you are satisfied with the answers.
If that doesn’t work, act like you’re about to have a panic attack. I can give you some pointers on how to make it look real. Threats such as…if you make me wait nine months to see if it grows, and I die from cancer because it was aggressive—I will come back to haunt you for the rest of your life. Meh, it worked for me. A deer in the headlight look, with huge tears threatening to fall down your cheeks will also help guilt the torturer into giving you answers and avoid poo-pooing your concerns. If that doesn’t work….find a new doctor.
Cancer–I’m not an expert. Unfortunately, it’s the crap swirling in my mind hindering me, that I’m truly an expert. It’s an individual thing, and we all have to reach out for the professionals to help us through this monster.
I find it amusing that my friends contact me–Ms. Anxiety Pants–to quell their fears. It’s a good thing I have mastered the art of putting on a facade, or I would send them off worrying about the state of the world as well.