Cancer Truth Note: #333
Stand in the power of your choices. Trust AND verify. If you have questions, make sure they are answered before you agree.
This might seem a little over the top. When it comes to cancer treatment our doctors are experts. They also have a very clear goal. Keeping you alive.
It’s a great goal. I am a fan.
However, we are only now looking at how to keep people alive AND enable a strong quality of life in survivorship. The Department of Health and Human Services updates the Healthy People goals every 10 years. In Healthy People 2030 the physical and mental fitness of cancer survivors is in a research phase because there are no benchmarks. There are over 18 million cancer survivors in the United States today and we don’t understand, at a research level, their quality of life in survivorship. That is a huge problem.
When I was really sick from Tamoxifen and did not know why, my doc said, “I really need you to stay on this.” This answer to why was basically because you need to. That was not a satisfying answer. In fact it was the only appointment in my entire cancer journey that I left in tears. As I checked out I had silent tears running down my face because I didn’t know how I was going to continue working in the state that my body was in. I don’t say this for sympathy. I say it because it was where I was in that moment.
As it turned out I was allergic to ingredients in the drug. I am celiac and the drug and most other aromatase inhibitors at the time had gluten in them. The first contraindication… Do not take it if you are allergic. That ended up being the answer I needed, unfortunately I had to figure it out for myself.
There have been several times over the years that I have had to remind my doc that I didn’t defy him. I was allergic to the medication and that could have caused me worse problems in the long run. I have to continue to stand in the power of the decision to stop taking the medication.
Have you experienced a time in your journey where you had to ask deeper questions and stand in the power of your choice?
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