I got home late tonight. I’ve been up at Hopkins all week shooting a series on the many faces of “Survivor-ship.” I know, it sounds like such an ‘upper’ doesn’t it? Surviving cancer, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Did you know it is critical to keep your records from any cancer treatment you’ve had because late effects from that treatment could reach out and cause difficulties as many as 30 years down the road? It’s true and those records will give your present day doctors key information about the problems you’re having now and how to treat those issues.
In my opinion, surviving cancer is a combination of strength and luck. Late effects of cancer treatment is round two of a fight that can be just as tough as round one. It’s important to come at it with everything you have to stay in the fight.
These late effects can be related to cognitive problems, psychological issues, even fertility difficulties.
To have beaten the cancer, way back when, was startling. To have survived the treatment, when knowledge of how much radiation and chemotherapy to use on a patient may have been questionable, well that was down right miraculous. Now, some are paying dearly for their survival.
But the good news, medicine today can provide treatment for many of these survivors.
And all this time, I always thought beating cancer meant ‘beating cancer.’ Done. Finished. N-E-D.
Turns out, once you’ve survived it, it’s important to keep that strength and luck close by…you’re not finished with it quite yet!!