RA Fundamentals
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evolution of a cancer mind

On Thursday I go to the Caring Hearts Cancer Support Group. This is at the Presbyterian Cancer Center in Albuquerque. It runs in blocks of six weeks. Lunch is served and discussion is 1.5 hours. Since I have been going, the hospital chaplain has been the facilitator. She is excellent. I have benefited immeasurably from my visits.

The discussion turned to how we felt about our diagnosis. I never had the moment. I seemed to slide from one revelation to the next. I was not angry. I was too confused to be scared. I was always recovering from a treatment. I was exhausted and fatigued. My concern was having to spend my life in that state.  I am inclined to believe what people tell me and they did say fine fine fine. First  it was the severe rheumatoid arthritis (seven months to become manageable). Next was thyroid cancer. Not bad you will do fine. Next it was breast cancer(small but invasive) You will be fine. Next was more tests. More cancer. We need to move along with treatment. What does stage 4 actually mean? maybe not fine.

As you can see, it would seem I have had no opportunity to adjust my mind.  However, as grueling and hard as it has been, I have.  Each new revelation involved a series of steps. I am good at problem solving. I have great endurance and a very deep reservoir  of optimism. My first thought is to investigate the situation, determine my odds, do what needs to be done and optimistically plod along.

I know from my experience that I have great faith in my ability to adapt to my situation and optimize it. I understand that the medical community can do only so much.  I can do only so much. The rest is in God’s hands. It is good enough for me.

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