I get it. But gosh when a new side effect, issue, or worry comes about I always say why didn’t I know about this?
My moments I wasn’t prepared for…(side note- everyone is different and don’t stay awake worrying and obsessing)
1. Pain drugs are great in the moment, but are awful to come down from. I can totally see why people get addicted. Minimize taking them.
2. Fertility will be affected: Time doesn’t allow for much, but make sure you see a fertility specialist. I asked from day one. I saw a fertility specialist too late. There are grants for fertility treatments later on.
3. Radiation causes minimal pain in the moment, side effects kick in about a month later. The radiated part has become like a Charlie horse in my muscle.
4. Finances: Your dependency totally shifts. Keep receipts for everything-parking, drugs, food, supplies, etc. Apply for grants. Talk to a social worker at the hospital-ask for one because they don’t offer one-social workers are often taboo for young people. USE THEM–they know where to get some money from–I wish I did early on.
5. Insurance companies become an annoying family member-they just don’t get it. You will find that you know more than most representatives you speak with. Never take no for an answer. Never pay a bill until you are healthy-usually takes months for them to have the correct statements anyways. Don’t let them harass you. Get to know one person dealing with the case- they are human and they do care about your wellbeing, but they have a nasty job to do.
6. People have crazy expectations—Don’t care! Trim the fat-don’t feel obligated to see, be kind, or deal with those that bring you down. No one else will understand all of you- but you can pull yourself out of it. Depression is inevitable. Take care of yourself and no one else.
I have been thinking of all the things I wasn’t prepared for when it comes to cancer. The doctors and nurses do their best explaining all the immediate worries, but they often leave out the long-term side effects and all that happens when you leave the hospital. I have come to realize that this is because they want to reduce all worries and concerns, and really emphasize focusing on the moment.