We are all mortal. We will all die. Somehow most of us mange to forget about that and live like immortals.
Until one day, when you see your doctor and watch him start to remove his glasses every couple of seconds, trying to buy time to find out how to tell you that you have cancer, that you are doomed , that some nasty stuff is growing inside your body and is taking over your life.
Your doctor is professional; he will get over this and move on. What about you? Well, your life as was until now is over. And it finished the moment you heard the most dreaded word in the world.
We are all different. Everyone will take it differently, but all of us will experience pretty much the same feelings. A violent storm of intense feelings will hit you with unbelievable power and speed. And this is only the beginning. How will it be from now on depends only on you.
My friend's neighbor shot himself the other day. He left a note, saying he couldn't take the pain anymore. I didn't know him well, just met him few times; he looked like a nice person. I hope his doctors were taking care of his pain, but I don't know about his other pain. Was his soul screaming? Did he need help? I will never know, but that's why I am writing to you now.
Don't freak out! Suicide isn't the answer. Don't give up! There are more and more cases of people "miraculously" cured. Why shouldn't you be one of them? Yes, this is the hardest time in your life, and no one deserves this, but now everything depends on you.
Are you going to lie on your couch, waiting only for the time to take your pills and feel sorry for yourself? You know that this will lead to one thing, digging your grave with faster speed, helping your enemy to win.
I know everything is overwhelming and unbearable, but this is the time to see what are you made off. Not that you asked for it, not that you wanted to know, but you don't have a choice now.
The thought that you are left out of control was for me one of the worst, until I understood that I still can control my life. I can control my disease by deciding what action I will take. Do I want to give up? Is there anything in my life worth living for?
Wake up, snap out of it, now is the time to think a lot. Almost like the people who are in the"middle crisis" of their life, but worse. It's worse because, now you know that your clock is ticking and you don't have time to feel sorry for yourself and get depressed.
Yes, you are allowed to cry, it may help, but you have to move on fast. You have to look deep inside yourself to make the decision to fight for your life. This is the first step.
Then you will need to get organized, because you have a lot to do. Even if you have a master's degree, the studying during your student years is nothing compared to what you will need to do now. You must get every possible information about your cancer, everything you can find.
Then choose your doctor carefully. If you don't feel comfortable with him, look for another one. Get a second opinion, to be sure for your right diagnosis and treatment.
Once you have gathered all the information about your cancer and you are happy with your doctor, make decision for your treatment.
Don't forget this is your body and this is your life. You are responsible for yourself and no one else. If you don't take the matter in your own hands it will be harder on your way through this "journey".
Try to have somebody with you during your doctor appointments. No one should go through this by themselves!
Write down questions before meeting your doctor, so you can ask everything what you need to know. Start a log book to record your appointments, tests, procedures and bills. Keep everything well organized; this will come in handy later.
You may loose some friends and find new ones. Try not to judge the ones you lose. Some people can't take it like you. Some people are not strong like you, others are scared. You need to be above all of this. Losing friends will hurt, but you can get over it. Just think they don't know any better and forgive them.
Try to live every minute in full. Enjoy the nature, listen music, find a new hobby, keep yourself active as much as possible. Watch funny movies, put smile on your face (doesn't matter you want to cry), keep smiling and finally you will start smile naturally.
When feel down, reach for your friends, or find a support group, or therapist. Use everything that you can to take control of your life. Don't let the disease to take over!
You are strong, but maybe still don't know it. During your struggle to survival you will have ups and downs. This is normal, after all we are on the roller coaster ride, but eventually it will finish. How the end will be depends on you. It's up to you! And you can do it!