Surviving Cancer Treatments A patients view

Is the medical profession doing enough to help cancer survivors live a full and happy life?

Once they (the medical profession) have slashed/burnt and poisoned you, it seems as long as you’re alive, that’s okay by them. The quality of that life and the late effect problems encountered, seem to receive very little attention, certainly not the sort of attention that should reflect the often chronic and devastating effects survivors are facing. You are on your own, left without support, scared, often in pain and not knowing which way to turn.

The impression is, that once the job is done (we are still alive with no apparent cancer), we simply get tossed back to our family GP who is left trying to cope with undocumented and complicated chronic issues. Part of the problem appears to be that no one wants to admit cancer treatments can cause the sort of late effect problems patients are left with. There is a closing of ranks around the issue, which is somewhat scary and very frustrating if you happen to be the patient.

Being sent from one specialist to the next, to get a diagnosis, is not uncommon. No single medical professional, wants to start naming names and pointing fingers towards the treatments as a cause. This leaves patients feeling like we somehow must be imagining it, or that we are odd or unusual in some way but that is not the case. Recent research by the University of Michigan, for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, shows that more than 40% of cancer survivors are in chronic pain.

Survivor’s like Lance, whose Live Strong campaign is shining a light on quality of life issues, is a start but we all need to get on board this train. We need to stop pretending that it’s okay, that it was a fair trade and we are fine with it. In some people, one life threatening condition has simply been swapped for another life threatening condition OR more frequently, for a life altering and disabling one.

There are an alarming number of survivors (and I use this word in the sense that we have survivor cancer treatments’), who need our issues taken seriously. Many of us are left to find our own way forward. Our family doctors can hand out a few pills but many of us are turning to alternative treatments and therapy to make life bearable. Some are quietly suffering in pain because they cannot take the hypochondriac label that is being hung around their neck, or they are self medicating with drink and or drugs.

This has to change!

We are all still people; we do not want to beg for someone to listen, for someone to actually hear what it is we are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. We need support. We need the cancer professionals to turn some of their attention to what is happening to us because of their treatments. We need them to acknowledge the damage done both long and late-term to our radiated bodies or to the damaging effects chemo has on our Central Nervous Systems and Brains. We need them to start taking some responsibility for what they are doing, not just to our cancer, but to US the people behind the cancer.

We have to stop looking at this as a fight against cancer, because that is a fight against ourselves and any fool can see that is a no brainer. We need to change how we look at cancer and how we treat the people who have it.

It is simply not acceptable to eradicate cancer cells at any cost and then wash your hands of the consequences’.

Now I ask you, do YOU think that the medical profession is doing enough to help cancer survivors lead a full and happy life?

Author Coach Lin


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