That might seem like an obvious statement! One thing I’ve found, though, is that once people find out you have cancer, they always know someone who has/had:
- the same cancer as yours, with possibly good (or bad) results
- a different cancer to yours, but they are sure the story must be the same
- the same cancer as yours, but different treatment
- the same cancer as yours, the same treatment, too
Whatever the choice, take this to the bank:
Your cancer and treatment, and your reaction to it all is 100% unique to you!
You’ll see on the forums or Facebook groups that when someone gets a new diagnosis, the first thing they ask is
what is chemo/surgery/radiation like?
They will receive a variety of answers, mostly trying to be helpful. But none of them mean a thing, as someone else’s reaction will not be the same as yours! You can rely on none of these helpful people for a prediction as to how your treatment will go!
This came as a shock to me. After reading various forums and articles, there I was, ready to start some of the worst chemo around for breast cancer, and I was ready for a rough ride. In the end, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. The next drug, which supposedly had fewer side effects, I found more annoying, as there were no known drugs around to counter the side effects (which plague me to this day).
So when a friend was diagnosed, what did I do? Did I keep schtum, with my new knowledge that any info I passed on was useless? No, I did not. Trying to be helpful, I gave her the benefit of my experiences. Note the use of the word “my”.
As I should have known, her experiences have been totally different to mine, rendering my advice useless.
So sorry about that, maybe I’ll be smarter next time, but I don’t think we can count on that.