Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Where's my checklist?

You wouldn't think that flying by the seat of your pants through the diagnosis, surgery, and subsequent treatment for breast cancer would happen to anyone. But it is.

There's been a number of extremely important things that almost slipped through the cracks here because I simply didn't know or wasn't informed that a test, report, or visit to someone was necessary. There's no checklist of things that need to be done with a breast cancer diagnosis. No list or order of events. And there needs to be.

Case in point: checking the rest of me for cancer.

This would seem like a big deal. You would think someone would direct me, somehow, of what came next during the month long recovery after my surgery. Nope. I found out that I should have a bone scan and a PET scan to check the rest of me for cancer. But I didn't find out from a physician. I found out from a friend on a message board that I frequent. Imagine that.

And I had to ask for these tests to be done.

So this post is to remind me to compile a list of necessary things every breast cancer patient must know, and do, from start to finish. Every loop must be closed, every part of you must be checked. Everyone might have questions but not everyone's questions are the same. So even seemingly stupid things like "Can I get dental work done during chemo?" needs to be asked and answered.

So I'm mentally compiling my checklist and I'll post it on every blog and site I write for. Plastered across the internet, I'm hoping it will help someone from feeling the complete depression I've felt over the last few weeks as I sat here wondering if something was wrong with the rest of me despite the removal of both breasts.

This whole thing might be tolerable looking at it one day at a time if I knew that I was only dealing with cancer in my breasts.

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