Sunday, July 24, 2011

Psycho Oncology Appointment

'Wisdom is to finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours.'
-Ralph  Waldo Emerson
Recently I met with my Breast Cancer Support Group [Group 33] for lunch. It had been several months since I had joined my friends at the monthly lunches. They found it necessary to summon me! These women are very good at giving me a 'reality check' and deemed it necessary.  It was good to get together! I felt the love; surrounded by people who care, making it good for my soul. It was the perfect opportunity for them to observe my lesion, as well as notice the changes in my manual dexterity. They were shocked!
Vickie, being the outspoken member of the group, with experience in both nursing and palliative care, decided that I needed help. Time for me to see a counsellor! She mentioned the name of a psychologist; fortunately it was one that I had seen previously when she was attached to the chemotherapy and radiotherapy departments at the hospital. A time was set for Wednesday 20 July.
There was much laughter during the 2 hour session; in fact it was freeing. Cath established very quickly that she felt I had a form of Post Traumatic Stress, explaining that it is quite normal, even to be expected, with each new crisis building on pre-existing conditions. I laughingly accused her of putting a label on me!  I felt a tremendous benefit in talking to a counsellor who, although she does not have cancer herself, works daily with patients who do, hence the name 'Psyco Oncology.'

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what we discussed during our session except that Cath indicated she felt it would be good to have a further session focusing on my feelings in regard to the hospital and possibly radiation damage.  It seems to me that with so many positives coming out of my appointments with my Health Care Professionals at the hospital, it is a shame to allow my feeling towards one young, inexperienced doctor, get in the way of all the good. It is possible that education and youth are no match for experience and wisdom. In my case following the text books has meant ignoring the fact that we are all individuals and there is no 'one size fits all' approach. My understanding is that this will change. It will probably not be in my lifetime, however, things are changing. There are approximately 60% of patients that will benefit from the tried and true research,  leaving a high percentage of the population that need to be treated as individuals. I think I know which group I come into! Hmmm...


17 comments:

Kaz said...

Chez it so good to hear when you are with your BC group,as you get the love and support and maybe ideas to help you.saying my special prayers miles across.xo

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I'm glad you had an outing with the Group 33 ladies. They sound like they are providing you with the understanding, experience, and compassion you need. Hopefully they meet often.

Julie Goodale said...

So glad you got together with your Group 33 - they sound wonderful. And very happy you saw Cath. Sounds like it was a very good & needed meeting.

Diana Doyle said...

Your attitude is refreshing and inspiring Chez...I'm glad you have found someone you can truly 'chat' to. Sometimes it's nice just to be able to have a listening ear from someone who understands.

Sending some hot USA sunshine your way and all my love
Diana x

rama said...

I can understand, your sense of relief in going out and meeting your friends sharing ideas, getting new inputs, it always helps. You attitude changes and you see new hope, not only for yourself but also for the future.
Everyday I pray that there is some break through, and gives you solutions to your problems. For we never know things can change dramatically.
All the best.

starzyia said...

I am glad you had a great chat, I think the fact that you can mostly only remember how good it felt is an excellent sign that it has done you a world of good.
Yay for group 33, and Cath.
xoxox love,Starry

Cheryl said...

Kaz, as you are aware we have now been meeting for 5 years. To date, I am the only one with recurrence, but then, I am the only member to lose a child.
Don't work too hard my friend ♥

Cheryl said...

Sue they really are the most delightful group of women; it is a real blessing that we get on so well. It was definitely one of the good things to come out of breast cancer and the Mater hospital.

Cheryl said...

Julie, when they got together for lunch at the time of Jeremy's accident, I was reluctant to join them. It did take some months but it was their persistence that won me over eventually. I think we all feel blessed to belong to such a great group! Statistics do say survival rates increase with membership to a support group as I am sure you are aware.

Cheryl said...

Diana sorry to hear that you are still sweltering in the sunshine over there.
I think I am just about to do at least one post and tell it as it is. Probably like counselling, might be good to get it off my chest.
Cannot have you thinking that I have strengths that I do not have my dear friend.. haha
Hope it cools down for you soon.

Cheryl said...

Rama, every day my friend Kaz posts a YouTube clip on my fb wall. It is 'I need a miracle - plus ONE.
That is exactly what I need!
Tomorrow I see my General Practitioner and I think it may be one of 'THOSE' consultations.
There is a solution out there somewhere, I am continuing to seek answers.

Cheryl said...

Starry, I would never be able to do this without you, my blog buddies, fb friends and Group 33 gals.
Guess even you and I go back a few years now. Have you any idea when you started BigBlog? I am unsure although there have been many times it feels like my salvation. Like right now. Love and Light xo

Diane Rodgers said...

Hi sweet friend, I am so sorry I have missed this post until now. We didn't have our pc back until yesterday and I had to babysit today all day. The lightening strike caused no service for 3 days ....so now I am here & I am so happy to see you have had such a lift in your spirit from your dear friends at your BC meeting.

I think it is a great idea to go talk it all out with a counselor...to seek help from the professionals as the right one can make such a difference. I will pray for the exact right person who can really touch you and help you.

So much is going on here ...I need to share with you...It is keeping me busy trying to help as best as I can. Right now I am stinging all over from bee bites tonight. I am a swollen mess on my hand,inner leg,foot and neck. Darn yellow jackets....

Talk soon my friend, Keep looking for all the help you can find...we will all keep you lifted in prayer and wait for your God sent Miracle! :)

Love always,
Di
xox

Kaz said...

Chez as past post you are unqie.you Have been thru so much,Loss of Hubby and BC And loss of a child,"Which that one I know all so well".but BC again and more so not fair my friend.xo

Will always be here for you girlfriend.xo

Emmy said...

I just read Alli's post and what can I say I'm still tearing up I feel so horrible that I can't do anything for you two! I just can keep you in my prayers and that is what I am doing. I'm happy though that you are keeping positive. Hugs xo

Cheryl said...

Di my love and thanks for your comment. WOW! You have your own battle going on at the moment. Don't you? We have severe reactions to stings and bites in our family. The school once took Jeremy to the doctor with a reaction to ant bites, of all things.
Sorry to hear your service has been down and you are dealing with other things. Will try to get myself organised to ring you when things settle down a little this.
Love, Light and Laughter now and always ♥

Cheryl said...

Emmy I too have just come back from Alli♥s post. It has left me shaken and teary. I was determined to survive my breast cancer so as not to leave my youngest child an orphan. Nothing could have prepared me for his loss.
Emmy, having you in my life is a gift in itself. Thank you for being here with me to share the journey. Love Chez xo