Does Breast Cancer Have Rules? Maybe.

I’m hooked on the New York Times for a lot of reasons. I love their book and movie reviews and the work of some of their op-ed writers. Now that I’ve gotten up close and personal with breast cancer, I’m equally hooked on their health-care coverage. Dr. Pauline Chen is a surgeon and an amazing writer. Dana Jennings, who shares his journey with prostate cancer, is so good I have to stop and reread him. I’ve also become hooked on Tara Parker Pope’s Well blog.

Earlier this week Well discussed a set of 10 rules for cancer. I related to just about all of them and you might too. They don’t strike me so much as rules, which imply you must do something, but useful guidelines that can help you navigate the whirlwind of emotions, recommendations and treatment options that hits you after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. I won’t go into all of them here because I’m not interested in becoming a plagiarist. But I will touch on one that resonated with me–a cancer diagnosis is not an emergency. That doesn’t mean you can stall indefinitely. But you can and should give yourself time to think, and to weigh your options. I remember the sense of urgency I felt to do something RIGHT NOW and I did leap into one thing without thinking–but that’s a topic for another time.

The other thing I’m not going to do is point you to the Well blog, because it only included three of the rules. Instead, I’m including a link to the Web site of the woman who created them, Kathryn Gurland, because it has all 10. You may notice that it’s a consulting Web site but don’t be too quick to judge that this is someone trying to make a buck off cancer. She lost one sister to melanoma and another one to lung cancer and she knows whereof she speaks. God bless her for turning something so awful into something that I think will help a lot of women. Check them out and let me know if you agree.


4 thoughts on “Does Breast Cancer Have Rules? Maybe.

  1. Jackie, you are an angel within the cancer community for having the devotion you have and the courage you clearly possess to author this blog! Keep up your compassionate work and thanks for mentioning my Survivor's Compass. I hope it is helpful to some of your readers. With much gratitude, Kathy G.

  2. Pingback: Women Touched by Breast Cancer Turn Lemons Into Lemonade « Dispatch From Second Base

  3. Oh my goodness Jackie I SO agree with this statement that a cancer diagnosis is not an emergency! As a young woman of 34 at the time of my diagnois of DCIS I felt rushed into treatment without the time I needed to make vital decisions regarding my fertility options. For younger women there exists a window of opportunity to deal with this which should not be overlooked.

  4. Thank you for your comments and you raised some excellent points, particularly about issues you face in your 30s. And no matter how old we are, no one should make us feel rushed, whether it’s a doctor, family member or ourselves.

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