Check-Up: Fighting cancer begins with a positive mindset
Bridgette has a relative who was recently diagnosed with stage-four metastatic cancer. The person has been well all his life and even now, looks well, although he's complaining of decreased appetite recently, and a little indigestion. She is finding the entire event to be unreal. She asks what can she and the family expect to happen.
In times past, the diagnosis of a stage-four cancer was like an immediate death sentence. However, things are different today, because these days we have much better treatment options.
A stage-four cancer is not curable, but in many cases it's now treatable like a chronic disease, and this is how you and your family must approach this illness. Diabetes is treatable, not so often curable, and left untreated can cause death! And the five-year mortality from complications of diabetes is greater than that of most cancers, but we don't throw up our hands and give up on life when we are diagnosed with diabetes.
A good quality of life can be possible for months to years with a stage-four cancer. But chronic means "all the time". You will live with the disease always.
Check Up knows of stage-four cancer survivors who live for one, even two decades and over with their disease.
Treatment will include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and sometimes hormonal and biologic therapy. The goal of treatment here will be to live as well as possible for as long as possible, with the fewest side effects from the cancer, and from the cancer treatment. This will usually involve a team approach involving the cancer specialist (oncologist), the surgeon (maybe), counsellor, family physician, physical rehabilitation unit (physical therapist), occupational therapist and others, depending on what is needed. Getting treatment for stage-four (metastatic) cancer can provide a longer life with good health. It is also a personal decision. Many people fear living with cancer and it's this fear more than anything else which contributes to sudden failing health. If you're a fighter and have much to live for then rally round the cheer, 'bring it on (the treatment)!'
There is no denying that living with stage-four cancer will be challenging, but no one knows for sure how the results will turn out once a positive outlook is taken and treatment is engaged.
During the time of treatment, the individual will not feel well at times as a result of the treatment, and will need a support group of relatives and friends to help out with several aspects of daily life, such as getting around and daily chores. Some people manage to continue working through most of the treatment.
It is hard not to worry that the treatment won't work or about work and daily life restrictions. The person will experience moments of feeling hopeless, especially when they see that they may need to put some life plans on hold. This is when people like Bridgette will come in handy. Be there for your relative and help fill that emotional and even spiritual need!
People live for years with metastatic stage-four cancer, so begin with a positive mindset and keep this going actively until eventually, with good results, there comes a day when the individual will go through it without recalling that they have cancer.
Stage-four cancer is a chronic disease, so expect that it can recur later after treatment. This is difficult but, for most individuals, the nature of stage-four cancer will require repeated treatment. Get on with living your life once cancer control is attained! It doesn't make sense to confront the fear of dying daily, and it's very likely (sad for those people) that you'll be around to see the passage of other friends. This is the nature of life. Life doesn't stop, it changes.
Learn as much as you can about the type of cancer and its treatment. Information helps to guide and plan, and knowledge is power. Some people might say that they prefer not to know the details. These are usually older people who, hopefully, already live by God's grace. They will be fine one way or the other. Never give up.
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