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Posts Tagged ‘discouragement’

     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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        When you have given your all and feel like you have nothing left to give…that is a great time to do a little Rest & Renewal.   Stop, don’t make any decisions; or, take any actions when you are feeling burned out and overburdened.  Stop, take a few deep breaths and re-evaluate the situation when you are feeling more refreshed.   Rest, eat healthy, drink water; ponder the blessings in your life and be thankful for them. 

         Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negatives.   It is too easy to feel discouragement or weariness in that frame of mind.      When your vision is clear you will be in a better position to see things as they really are…assessing both the positive and the negative; allowing you to act accordingly.

        Emotions and physical limitations can blind you to your actual situation.  Give it a little time and remember to recharge your batteries.   No one says that you have to do all and be all things to everyone around you.   It is a wise person who takes the time to make sure that their own physical, spirtual, and emotional needs are met…then, and only then, can you continue to pour yourself out, or give to others in a real purposeful way.  

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         Today the interview with Christina Applegate aired which told of her diagnosis of breast cancer…she apparently has the breast cancer gene BRCA1.  She seems very upbeat and proactive in her approach.  Her mother is a breast cancer survivor…so, Christina has been getting testing since she was thirty years old…she is 36 now.  So she knew early on that she was to remain vigilant in her testing because of family history.  This is a good thing because she was able to be diagnosed very early.

        Christina chose to be very proactive and had a double mastectomy.  It sounds as though people with BRCA1 are at more of a risk of developing cancer in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the prostrate.  It is thought that with the BRCA1 gene (there are over 600 mutations that researchers have discovered) that it some how develops a protein that doesn’t work properly to suppress tumor development. 

           In reading some of the comments left on ABC’s website in regards to the interview Robin Roberts did with Christina…some of the people were skeptical of her declaring herself 100% cancer free.  Many of the commenters are cancer survivors who also thought themselves free of cancer and they have been through multiple levels of treatment and surgeries.  If it is an encouragement to herself then, so what?  Encouragement and discouragement are seperated by just a breadth of a hair width! I think the consensus is that after only a month; some of them felt it was irresponsible of her to say that she is cancer free.  While i understand that it is a milestone for her to say that and feel it…it is important to also remind people…that being cancer free after a bout with cancer is about remaining vigilant; about testing, and, about follow up with proper medical advice and guidance.  Christina is not an ignorant person…she is just choosing to focus on the positives of the moment.  What cancer patient doesn’t try to do that?  It is a survival skill to be thankful for the positive things in a negative situation!

          Some of the commentors were just a little shy of hostility…some, i think were hinting that she is in denial…there were also, well wishers.  What i liked when i heard the interview, was that Christina is pledging to work towards raising funds to go towards funding genetic testing and MRI’s, for those who can’t afford it, which is extremely helpful in early detection.  She is also going to be involved in a televised special called “Stand Up To Cancer” which will include many “stars”.  Raising awareness and funds, i believe will be the goal. 

            One thing to remind ourselves of, is that cancer doesn’t discriminate between people of wealth and those who have none.  It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  However, finances can make all of the difference in diagnosis, treatment; and, the ability to eat right to heal; as well as, having enough money to afford insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.   This is all real life issues for people around the world. 

        Let’s remember for Christina, this is all new…she just had the surgery 3 weeks ago.  If she is choosing to be hopeful and positive that is a good thing.  Yes, to be fair…not everyone has the money to get the diagnostic testing available to her…nor, are most people able to get surgery scheduled so quickly and have “experts” on treatment available for immediate consultation.  Let’s not begrudge her, or anyone, that blessing.  

          Christina is saying that she will have reconstructive surgery and have “cute boobs when she is 90”.  Many people don’t have the funds for that either…Christina is blessed and i think she is aware of that.  It is unfortunate that we all don’t have that financial blessing as well.   In an ideal world, any person afflicted with the disease would be able to choose treatment and reconstruction without regard for cost; unfortunately, it is sad that it is not so! 

           It is hard enough going through diagnosis, treatment and the physical and emotional ups and downs without being able to have reconstruction surgery if you want it.  Grieving the loss of your breasts is very natural but, if you want the reconstructive surgery and can’t afford it; it only adds to the pain and loss.  Healing is more than body; it is mind and spirit as well.  Christina will understand that in giving interviews, sensitivity directed towards other patients who aren’t as blessed financially is important too.  Of course, none of us knows what was edited out of the interview, by others, because of time constraints…all i am saying is, give benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.    Here is a link to a foundation that Christina is behind:  http://www.rightactionforwomen.org/

        What Christina has going for her is her youth, early diagnosis, family support, and a platform to educate young women that they are at risk even though they are young.  I say, don’t bring doom and gloom on her for how she handles her health.  Yes, she can educate in a variety of ways…and as long as she has a platform; she needs to do her best to pass accurate information on to others if she is going to address the issue.  It is wise to point out, that she says she was not ready to go public with the information about her battle with breast cancer…but as always…rogue media was breaking the news and they were also publishing random rumors, many without truth.  She felt the need to correct those. 

         People should have a right to privacy if they choose it in regards to their personal private health information.  As she adjusts to the changes in her life, she has the ability to be an amazing advocate for cancer patients.  In the meantime, wish her well…help her fund-raise to educate, inform, and enable those who cannot afford genetic testing and MRI’s which both can be very expensive and exclude many patients from taking advantage of them.  

          Life is too short to spread negativity…in your own life as well as the lives of others.  Cancer is a thief and has stolen enough from us all…let’s channel energy into fighting the real enemy…Cancer!  See also:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/christina-applegate-robin-roberts-interview/ or topic related to breast cancer:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ or https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/women-are-dying-for-size-of-level-d-when-it-comes-to-breasts/

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