One of the “never say this to a newly diagnosed cancer patient” is the statement “I know how you feel.”
It’s impossible to know how they’re feeling.. But for those of us who have been front row care givers, it is OK to say that to another care giver. In fact, I think it’s important to reach out and offer to help with some guidance.
We all remember where we were when the world turned upside down. We were ‘newbies’ at that moment, but not for long.
Chemotherapy orientation was a blur. Talk of radiation and its effects were scary. ‘ Gamma Knife’ was modern medicine that filled pages of my notebook. I had so many questions for so many doctors, they didn’t know what to make of me! The same went for the surgeries and the ‘RFA’ (radio frequency ablation) that turned Leroy’s lung tumors to ash. How did that work? I needed to know every detail.
But with all this information came knowledge and as the months and years moved along, it all came in very handy. Some of it was as simple as noticing a change in behavior that signaled a raging staph infection. Care givers are always on alert.
I carry this book of cancer care giving in my head still and I’ve been able to share it as a means of support to many who are just entering this frightening place.
Support on so many levels is a must when fighting cancer. Support means everything.