Cancer comes with so many conditions. The diagnosis brings fear, anxiety and sadness. But that’s just the beginning. It’s hard enough dealing with all of these emotions, we don’t see what’s coming around the bend. Maybe that’s because we don’t know what’s coming around the bend.
Patient, care-giver, doesn’t matter which one…we’re so thrown off our game by just hearing the words “You have cancer,” that we’re not even thinking about all those unknown conditions this beast has in store for us.
There should be some kind of pamphlet handed out on your first visit to the oncologist, that says, “BEWARE” aside from the chemo, radiation, and surgery down the road, here’s a list of other conditions cancer comes with.
What about ‘chemo brain’? That fuzzy, scattered feeling that comes with all that chemotherapy. What about the overwhelming fatigue that goes hand in hand with radiation? And, what about the depression that sets-up shop and can completely alter a person’s outlook on living?
The depression that comes with cancer is real. It alters healing. It alters relationships. It alters the will to go on. In the middle of fighting cancer, one of the most life disturbing events in a persons life, comes this sneaky condition known as depression. Oncologists keep an eye-out for it in their patients and there are drugs that help, but many times, it’s just not enough. Family members and friends are left wondering what to do.
We’ve come a long way in the ‘treatment’ of cancer. Patients are living longer because science has discovered some of the secrets cancer has been hiding as it’s moved through the genome. Researchers know where to look now to stop this disease or at the very least, slow it down.
But are we prepared to treat the other ‘conditions’ of cancer? They are just as important as treating the disease itself, because if a patient is so depressed about his condition, he’s lost the will to fight, science and medicine might as well call it a day and lock-up the lab.