I must admit that so much has changed since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. At that time, social media consisted of MySpace and Twitter. When I searched for information about breast cancer, all that I found was on WebMD. And I didn’t even know about blogs and if they were even being written at that time. What little I did find was mostly information that was extremely out of date and if there were other resources available, I never found them. Therefore, my choices for treatment were limited to those that were being provided 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
Now just nine short years later, the amount of available information is incredible. 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 and so much more. 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 offering conflicting information? How do we know 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 someone wants to make some money? How do we know that if we follow a certain course of treatment that we won’t actually do more harm to ourselves than good? Information is everywhere! Now we start to wonder if all of this is a really good thing. Perhaps we even wish 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, and more comfortable on so many levels. When you are in this position, you are willing 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 came from a real desire to improve some aspect of your new life. But the truth is there will never be anything that will eliminate all of your problems in life no matter what the claims may be.
Rather than relying on all of the information that you find on the Internet, go to those sources that you trust. When it comes to the medical aspects and pain and discomfort, seek out the guidance of your medical team members. More than likely, 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 you would like to explore, talk to your doctor first. Give her the information that you have found and let her assess it and make a recommendation based upon her knowledge and expertise. If it is a new medication or therapy with which she is not familiar, she will most likely be more than willing to do her own research in order to provide you with the best advice.
If an issue pertains to your personal life and/or mental well being 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 help. There are specialists who have worked with others who have dealt with the same issues that you are facing and they 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 aspect of treatment.
Most importantly, know 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. Be careful in whom you put your trust. After all, this is your life and why would you ever take a chance on putting your health 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.