Survivorship – 1: Proactive stance

Survivorship presentation on myeloma survivorship, my first four months.
Part 1 of 6. Proactive stance

1. Survivorship Pro-active stance.
Before I could move forward and fight my disease I had to address issues that would hold back my progress. There was to be nothing holding me back.
Ownership: I had to take ownership of my illness, it was my disease no one else’s. It was then I created my saying “my body, my illness, my treatment.”
Denial: When my doctor told me I had cancer, multiple myeloma, I did not want to believe him. I told him he was wrong, it was some one else’s results. Denial was short, I faced the truth quickly.
Emotion: Tears flowed; at times I could barely talk. I learnt not to let the emotions build up too high; it was that “C” word. I learnt how to release the emotion early, I learnt how to cry.
Anger: I was angry, why me, I have too much to live for, too much to loose, too much work to do. Talking it through with others helped. Like emotions I learnt to deal with anger as it happened, don’t let it build up.
No abuse: There was potential for abuse from me: mental, physical, emotional. My life philosophy of no abuse was reaffirmed. No abuse, not negotiable.
Confront death:
Myeloma is a cancer with no cure, a consequence of myeloma is death. I was young, only 53, thought I was bullet proof, never considered death, had no time for it, death was for other people. I had to confront death, bring it out into the open to move forward.
Be a pro-active patient: I wanted to know everything about myeloma, treatment, the hospital system. Being a passive patient was not for me, I wanted to be pro-active.

Links to previous relevant postings:

You have cancer.

Decision made to be a myeloma survivor.

Confronting death from myeloma.