Book Club: Everything Changes, Chapter 8

chapter-8

Welcome to the comments and discussion of Chapter 8: The Myth of Eternal Optimism of the book, Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Catch up on Chapter 1: RamenonmicsChapter 2: When G-d Things Happen to Sick People, Chapter 3: Single, Chapter 4: Human Spectacles, Chapter 5: Malignant and Indignant, Chapter 6: Something in the Air, and Chapter 7: Mortality Bites.

Let’s get started!  Chapter 8!

Mary:

Hi guys! I have been MIA for several weeks now dealing with my own health issues. But I am so excited to be able to return, especially for this week’s book discussion. At the end of this chapter, there is a reference section that talks about palliative care. I have been in palliative care for over a year now and it is the best thing I have done in quite some time. I go to Emory’s Palliative Care Clinic and work with the professionals on the Supportive Care Team. I really can’t say enough wonderful, amazing, fabulous things about this clinic. Palliative care isn’t just about pain management. It’s about caring for you as a whole person.

After reading this chapter, I have realized a few things: that I am not alone in thinking some doctors have absolutely no filter to prevent themselves from making snide comments, that patients need to realize if their physician treats them badly or doesn’t provide them with the support they need it is okay to find a new physician, and that your physician should never cause you to feel poorly about yourself. Your doctor is supposed to be there for you. Not only is he/she there to prescribe the appropriate treatment for your condition, he/she is there to revise your course of therapy and provide additional or alternate treatment depending on your response. A good doctor will ask you how you are doing, understand what you are saying, and help you come up with an action plan without judging you for the way you feel.

Be honest with how you are feeling. With living in the South I find myself automatically responding “good” to the question of “how are you?” Even if you are in the grocery store and you run into your neighbor or friend, be honest. If you aren’t honest, people won’t know you need help with laundry, cleaning, yardwork, childcare, etc. It is totally okay if you feel like death warmed over or if you want to crawl under a rock and never come out. I have been there and still have days where I just want people to understand that I don’t feel well.

Finally, if you are contemplating suicide please contact your physician, social worker, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Thanks for joining us for our Chapter 8: The Myth of Eternal Optimism of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Join in next Monday for Chapter 9: It Girl.

If you’re just joining us, here are some logistics:

We will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done.  Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss.  Join in, in the comments every week!  Also, there will probably be spoilers.  Read along with us!

How are you enjoying our Everything Changes book club?