Interrupting the Cultivating a Relationship with the Divine Series to bring you exciting news. My new book, the ABC Workbook for Cancer Patients: Healing One Letter at a time, was just released on Amazon.com. You can get your copy today. This book is written by a breast cancer survivor times two to help cancer patients have something positive to think about during treatment or while they are in the waiting game. As cancer patients know, there are long periods of weeks, to wait for results of testing, appointments to see other specialist, and time after radiation and chemotherapy for the three-monthPET scan to see if the treatment has been helpful. Waiting to hear is one of the hardest parts of treatment. Speaking of waiting to hear, brings me to another important piece of this cancer journey. Do you feel heard?
Let’s admit it, cancer treatment is big business. But I do believe that most if not all oncologist, radiologists, and medical cancer professionals go into this career for the same reason I became a psychologist, to help people. In the helping people industry,there is a lot of overwhelm, busy schedules and an overload of work to be done, from reading lab results, to consulting with team members and ordering more tests to actually seeing the patient. It is overwhelming and if you are the 3 o’clock patient that is seeing your doctor (who has yet to grab a bite to eat and has been running on caffeine all-day) you may very well be in that slot that is invisible. Meaning that, by that time in the day,the doctor is on auto-pilot and your story is blending with the 18 others he/she has already heard through-out the day. Thus, when you ask your important question, “Will this treatment cause my hair to fall out?” You may very well hear; most chemotherapy patients lose their hair. I suggest you buy a wig, if that is bothersome to you.” Well, that really wasn’t the answer you were looking for. You were hoping for something more empathic like, “Yes, being concerned about losing your hair is a really important question and I imagine the answer is not one that is going to help you feel comfortable. Yes, you probably will lose your hair by at least the third treatment. There are several options that you have for this unpleasant side-effect of treatment.”
Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky depending on how large of a treatment center you are attending. Many clinics today have a cancer care co-ordinater. That person is assigned to you to walk along beside of you and answer important questions like, “Will my hair fall out?” Other facilities are understaffed and over-worked (I think they are all over-worked regardless of how many staff they have) and regardless of how hard the staff try, it is difficult for them to attend to your many questions. Thus, that is why is it is so important that you develop an attitude that you are the captain of your treatment team. You do the research on line, find support groups, and find key players as your cancer resource team. From there you get what you need because you pursue the information. In my book the T letter of the alphabet is TALK. Ask for What You Need. That short helpful chapter acts as a reminder and a permission giver for you to use your words to ask for what you need. You may not always get an affirmative answer, but I promise you will never get an answer if you don’t ask.
I have three cancer related books on the market, In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer, which is a story about what it was like to get the diagnosis and go through treatment in 1999. Then last year, I published Breast Cancer A-Z Mindful Practices. It is a great assistant to someone recently diagnosed and in treatment for breast cancer, similar tomy newest book, ABC Workbook for Cancer Patients. Each book keeps getting better and each one has something to offer to the reader. I encourage you to check out each book on Amazon.com today.
WEBINAR TUESDAY 30. Don’t miss it. All are welcome.
Dr. Robin B. Dilley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
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