I wrote a blog post earlier this year called “How long do the Cancerversary's last?” Well for me and no doubt many others, the date we were diagnosed will forever be etched in our minds and each year that comes along is a stark reminder of how much we have lost from our lives because of cancer.
I have been accused many times of being “too negative” because I frequently talk about the many side effects of my cancer diagnosis that I have and that I live with daily but that’s just it, I live with the consequences of that phone-call day in and day out. It has completely changed my life for the worse yet I was lead to believe that the treatment would make me better!!!
Many cancer patients are able to recover from a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment and regain most if not all of their quality of life but for some of us that is never going to happen and we need to talk about it.
Patients need to be told about the possibility of long term side effects before they start treatment. This isn’t meant to scare them but to inform them about what could happen. It might not, but surely the Doctors and Consultants who treat us should have a moral obligation to inform their patients of all the possible outcomes and side effects or am I the only one who thinks this?
Knowing what might happen, even many years later, might not have stopped it from happening but at least I would have been better prepared for the many long term side effects I now have that now control my life.
One thing I have learnt over the past 8 years is that we need to ask questions of the people who treat us. Don’t blindly accept what they tell you. Many Consultants/Oncologists are not interested if you end up with long term side effects - all they are interested in is treating the cancer. Job done for them, meanwhile patients end up living with serious long term side effects from the very treatment that was supposed to help them.
So for me, 23rd Dec every year will be a reminder of the day my life changed forever and that is something that is getting increasingly hard to deal with.