JULY 17, 2023
Sources: Steve Holmes
The aftermath of a cancer diagnosis is often a tumultuous storm of emotions. It’s a sudden and personal attack on our mortality, an abrupt realization that we are not invincible. This is the type of news that happens to other people, not us. Yet, as reality sinks in, so does a paralyzing wave of shock and fear. In my case, it was as if an avalanche of chaos and confusion had buried my ability to comprehend or think clearly. I found myself asking questions, yet the only responses I could register were faces of pity and sympathy reflecting my own bewilderment.
In this turbulent time, questions become our lifeline. They are the shovel that we can use to dig our way out of the mound of fear and uncertainty. As cancer patients, we need to transform into warriors armed with shovels, using our questions to carve out a path forward, one query at a time. With each question, we chip away at the daunting mass of the unknown until we begin to see beyond the paralyzing darkness of our diagnosis.
Questions are not just tools for clarification; they are gateways to emancipation. They unlock our minds and release our inherent strength to rise above the fears holding us down. It only takes one question to set this process in motion and start envisioning new possibilities and pathways to better outcomes.
A cancer diagnosis does not steal our right to search, to delve beyond the diagnostic certainties that often seem more designed to comfort the medical system than the individual patient. It is our life at stake, our journey to undertake, and asking questions becomes a vital part of this odyssey.
The act of questioning is a testament to our will to fight, and our refusal to succumb without understanding. It represents the critical distinction between merely accepting what we’re told and actively seeking to understand our unique diagnosis. This can be a game-changer in our battle against cancer.
Questions accelerate our learning, bolster our critical thinking, and arm us with the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of cancer care. They empower us to better understand our condition, evaluate treatment options, and to make informed decisions about our healthcare.
Each question amplifies our knowledge and resilience. It carves out a sliver of power from a seemingly powerless situation. It is this power, borne of curiosity and the pursuit of understanding, that we need to harness. The process starts with asking the right questions and not ceasing to do so.
As we embrace the power of questioning together, we reinforce our collective strength. The pursuit of knowledge becomes a shared journey, a unified struggle against cancer. Our questions bind us together and remind us that we are not alone in this fight.
Our diagnosis may be individual, but our fight is collective. Together, armed with our questions, we are stronger, more resilient, and more empowered. So let’s focus on the power of a question and continue to ask, learn, and push forward because the power to overcome begins with a question.
Finally: Questions Unveil Opportunities, Questions Empower
As a survivor of Stage 4 Cholangiocarcinoma, I learned a defining lesson: Be open, be willing, be consistent. This mindset served as a strong foundation for asking questions – one question at a time – one step followed by another until momentum engaged my effort.
For a Stage 4 CCA diagnosis, blindly following the system only provides a palliative countdown. Changing this outcome starts with a crucial lesson: Harness the power of questions, and interrupt the countdown. Question your truths, question their truths, and shine a light on ALL the possibilities beyond THEIR diagnosis. Questions create higher focus they unveil potential opportunities, give us control, and empower our effort. This battle is won by the brave hearts who question, learn, and persistently seek better outcomes. As a patient you are not breaking the law by only seeking curative outcomes – it was my right – it is your right.
Looking for Cholangiocarcinoma Support?