So much has changed since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. The world of social media consisted of MySpace and Twitter. When I searched for information about breast cancer, I went to the only source that I knew and that was WebMD. And if there were blogs being written by others who dealt with breast cancer, I sure never found them. What I did find was mostly information that was extremely out of date and I am not even sure that I was savvy enough in this technological world to take advantage of what resources may have additionally been available because I never found them. Therefore, my choices at that time were limited to what I was being advised by the team of doctors that had been put in charge of my care and I did exactly as directed.
“The best answers will always come from your medical team and those organizations that help others by providing the support that you need in order to successfully deal with whatever your situation may be.“Barbara Jacoby
Fast-forward to what is available in information now. You can find everything you might want or need from doctor referrals, treatment options, the latest technology, treatment programs, products, services, equipment, financial assistance, support groups… the list goes on forever. But now a whole new situation exists. With all of this information from literally thousands of websites, how are we to know who and what to trust when there are so many different claims that are often conflicting with one another? How do we tell what really works and what is just another attempt by someone to sell us something that we really don’t need or that doesn’t work just because they may want to make some money? How do we know that if we follow a certain course of action that we won’t actually do more harm to ourselves than good? Information is everywhere and now we start to wonder if all of this is a really good thing. Perhaps we even yearn for “the good old days” when life was simpler and all we had to do was just do what someone else decided was best for us.
For anyone dealing with breast cancer, we are always searching for anything and everything that will make life easier, less painful, more comfortable and more helpful on so many levels. When you are in this position, you want to grab on to any hope for an improvement in the quality of life that you can find. You want to believe in every promise made about every product, program, therapy, diet, etc. that you encounter because you hope that these things have evolved from a real desire to improve some aspect of what you may be dealing with in regard to pain, discomfort, therapy and so much more. But the truth is there will never be anything that will eliminate all of your problems in life no matter what claims may be made.
Rather than looking for answers in all the wrong places, go to those sources that you trust. When it comes to the medical aspects and pain and discomfort, seek out the guidance of your doctors. More than likely you have a whole team of them and if one can’t help, another might be able to do so. There are so many promises and claims being made everywhere and if you have found something that you think might help you, talk to your doctors first. Give them the information that you have found and let them assess it and make a recommendation based upon their knowledge and expertise. If it is a new medication or therapy with which they are not familiar, they will most likely be more than willing to do their own research in order to provide you with the best advice.
When it pertains to your personal life and mental well-being, if you find that you can’t deal with your cancer on any level or if those around you are not providing you with the care and support that you need, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral for professional help. There are specialists who have worked with others who have dealt with the same issues that you are facing and will be able to help you based upon their experiences. There are organizations that can help you with support groups or in finding whatever resources you may need in order to receive the help that you may need in any arena.
Most important to remember is that you are not alone and you do not need to rely on what you are being told on the Internet. The best answers will always come from your medical team and those organizations that help others by providing the support that you need in order to successfully deal with whatever your situation may be. Just be sure to put your trust in those who you know you can trust and you will never go wrong. After all, this is your life and why would you ever take a chance on putting your future in the hands of someone who may not have your best interest at heart!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.