Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beware of the Internet

First, I want to wish my son a happy 23rd birthday and I'd like to thank my daughter for helping me with my blog.

I spoke a little too soon when posting yesterday because I've been extremely nausea the past couple of days. I didn't know whether I'd be kneeling or sitting when I went into the restroom. What a trip!

Lately I've received calls from people who are newly diagnosed with cancer. While they are waiting for their appointment with the oncologist they are consumed with fear and turn to the internet for information. I understand that reaction because I did the same thing but learned it's the wrong move. The internet feels your head with worries, fears and worst case scenarios. You end up convincing yourself you are going to die before you've even been evaluated by a doctor. For example, when researching my specific chemotherapy drug you find that toenails fall off, finger nails fall off, throat tightening up, tightening of chest, etc. Just because these symptoms happen to some people doesn't mean it's the same for everyone.

You need to find a doctor that you trust with your life and you feel confident that they are knowledgeable on your cancer. If you don't feel at ease with your doctor you should find another one. My oncologist not only specializes in my cancer, but she also explained things well. She's been with MDA for years and understood that finding out your diagnosis is scary. She showed us scan after scan, answered all of our questions and even took notes for me so I could focus on what she was saying. She explained things so well I didn't need the internet to look up further information.

There are times when it's appropriate to research your situation on the internet.

1. Research your doctor. Look for reviews, their experience, etc.

2. If they can't do anything to cure your cancer then you could research alternative methods.

The best way to research your questions besides asking your doctor is finding another person who has had your same cancer. Keep in mind that if the person has a negative attitude I wouldn't turn to them for advice.

Don't let the negative information you find on the internet get your hopes down. It's important to stay positive when dealing with cancer.

"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalms 25:4-5

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