How does one start a story about cancer?
I am not sure, but I am going to attempt to give you some brief details, especially for those who are going to have to go through this in the future.
Accept that it is a beast, confront it head on, encourage the support and love of family and friends and go forth with courage.
To be honest, there is nothing concrete I can tell you about this horrible disease because everyone is unique and their experiences are totally different. This is just what I’ve learned from what I went through:
• To discover one has cancer is very stressful, beginning with shock, anger, disbelief and finally acceptance.
• It is very important to do research on the subject and understand it better.
• The unknown and therefore the inevitable anticipation of what is going to happen is a hard part. One only experiences each step of the way as it arrives. So much is unknown until one has gone through each experience and is able to comprehend what has happened.
• I cannot overstate the importance of the love of one’s spouse: mine was simply terrific, always by my side, there to support, love and guide me. He is my lover, my husband and my best friend!
• The hard fact of visiting doctors’ offices is that they are always sterile and stark and one spends so much time there, much of it spent just waiting. Despite their surroundings so many doctors are warm and helpful. Remember: speak up – you are the patient and your doctor can best help you if you communicate your feelings with them.
• Pain is an inevitable part of cancer; sleep is the best form of avoiding part of it.
• Family are never more important than when a person is down. It makes all the difference in the world to have the love and support of family however they are able to give it. Our New Year’s Eve was a special one when some of our children came home to celebrate with us – all dressed in scarves in solidarity with me.
• Friendship is of the utmost importance as well. Welcome family and friends, they can give so much love and support. It is important to be able to laugh and live life to the best of your ability. If one can laugh even during hard times one is better off and most certainly it is much easier for family and friends.
• Many cancer patients – but not all – lose their hair. Luckily there is an abundance of wigs, hats and scarves so you can make this time into a fashion statement.
• As you start to heal you will become more determined to confront the ordeal and make it work the best way possible.
Guest Artist Sonia Adam Murray is an mixed media artist with a deep-rooted love in abstraction & impressionism. You can view more of Sonia’s work at her artspace site or her past contributions here on aamora.