From a cancer survivor:
THINGS I HAVE LEARNED
Statistics aren’t necessarily instructive. Every case is unique.
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Diarrhea and vomiting are as bad as they seem. They’re worse when you’re hallucinating.
Staying positive and not succumbing to depression is worth the effort.
Taking a shower with an IV pole is not easy but it is possible.
Try to do as many things as you can by yourself.
Trying to figure out “why me” is an unsatisfying endeavor.
Miracles happen. Pray. Have faith.
Constant complaining doesn’t help your case.
Sleep deprivation is as annoying as anything.
Keep your chin up. Don’t surrender.
Important things are simple but sometimes simple things are hard.
Nothing worth having is easy.
Trust your gut. The first decision is usually best.
If the enemy looks like it’s retreating, it may be regrouping.
You will experience most of the potential side-effects.
Wear your regular civilian clothes instead of the hospital issued smock and slippers. Be comfortable and pretend things are normal.
Chemo sucks. More chemo sucks more. The impact is cumulative.
Don’t use a bedpan if you can avoid it.
No question you can survive more than you think.
Expect to be subject to routine medical indignities.
Not everyone including family and friends knows how to react, what to do or what to say. Some people will avoid you. You’ll be surprised.
You will be the beneficiary of incredible kindness, care, concern, help, prayers and love. It will come even from unexpected sources.
Good things happen to good people. But bad things too. And good things to bad people. It gets confusing.
Be nice to the nurses. You see them more than anyone.
Nurses avoid the grumpy, nasty, mean patients.
Ask the doctors questions. Don’t allow them to be vague. Know what’s going on.
Don’t box yourself in with sweeping threats or crushing self-doubt.
Love your primary caregiver.
Know that the doctors will try various treatments if they need to, which is another way of saying they don’t always know exactly what to do.
Turn your worries over to God. He’s up all night anyway.