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While telling your children about your cancer diagnosis is indeed a personal decision, it is my professional opinion that children should know about your cancer diagnosis and be told in an age-appropriate way. Your child is a part of the family, and your cancer diagnosis is something that will affect the whole family.
Damn right she did not lose her battle with cancer. I immediately felt a... shared dislike for the language of cancer that labels those who survive as "winning" their battle while those who die as having "lost their fight". What, those who die just didn't try hard enough? Never.
Over the years, many friends, neighbours and relatives have been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, too many have lost their battles. I have two close girlfriends who are currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Very recently, two of my closest friends -- both young, health-conscious individuals -- fought valiantly but succumbed to the disease.
When it comes to fighting brain tumours, having a strong and supportive team is the greatest weapon. I've been a social worker on the neurosurgery floor of a hospital for over 26 years. As one of the first people to have contact with a newly diagnosed brain tumour patient, I can attest that a strong network, a resilient team, is one of the greatest assets a patient, and their families, can equip themselves with as they begin this new chapter of their lives.
From 2010 three of my friends and I have racked up cancers of the tonsils, lymph nodes, bowel, intestines, prostate, lungs, liver and bone. So why with all this recent health crap do we still look happy? There are many reasons, but three stand out.
A few months back, I found a lump in my breast. Where the hell did it come from? My husband and I made our way to my doctor's office. She chit-chatted a bit, and then got down to business. "Unfortunately, I don't have good news today. The biopsy showed that you have cancer." What. The. Hell. And that was the beginning.
I vividly remember the light-hearted conversation my sister and I as we waited impatiently in the hospital waiting room. "Oh, it's nothing," I told her. "You're too young. And besides, benign tumors are a family affair." In the end, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. A frightening diagnosis for even the most adequately prepared patient.
I received a call in early January 2006 telling me that I had prostate cancer and suggesting a treatment -- surgery. As a 49-year-old healthy and, yes, hockey playing Canadian, cancer was the last thing on my mind Well they say things happen for a reason but I was having trouble figuring out just what that meant.
The theme of National Oncology Nursing Day this year, "Partners in Care: Advocating for Excellence," highlighted the very important role that oncology nurses play in Canada's health care system. Onco...
I remember the car ride home from my oncologist's office that day. My head felt twice as big with all the new information I had just received, tests that were required and phone numbers to schedule surgery, all stuffed in there like a sock drawer with too many socks. But to all those newly diagnosed sisters and brothers out there, take heart. It will not always be this way.