Thursday, February 18, 2010


The pool is closed at the YMCA today so we are home. It was a good morning and Emma enjoyed time outside with me. She is such an angel...a snow angel at times.

Special friends of mine are facing a cancer diagnosis. For any chronic health diagnosis I think the following advice might be helpful. I thought I would pass it on to you in case you are interested.

Having gone through 4 times cancer and 5 surgeries - these things helped us cope. I know each situation is unique and Greg is not out of the woods as he might get cancer again due to the type of cancer and how it keeps on coming. I wish i could spare you all the pain and anxiety of this journey but like I said these things helped us.

1. Don't look too far ahead. Focusing one day, one week at a time can be a god sent to help you cope.

2. PRAY = pray for the Lord to guide the medical staff to give you wise consultation, to have good skills and for the love you share in your family and among friends will help you.

3. Knowledge is power. Know your options.

4. Trust your doctors. If you can't trust them or they don't take your input seriously change doctors.

5. Consider the Mayo Clinic if you don't find what you want in the Cities here or for a second opinion. In our case we found they were very leading in the field of Kidney Cancer. You might find places up here are better for this specific type.

6. Very important - LET OTHERS HELP YOU. It is comforting to them. Let there support surround you like a warm quilt.
Grandma's Dr told her this when she had cancer. We found it true for us. Meals for example may not be urgently needed but if that is a way someone wants to help LET THEM> You will find the food is secondary to the moral support you will get from them making the effort. Accepting help can also deepen your friendship and family ties.

7. Gregs survival tip - TAKE TIME TO GO TO DE NILE - OPPS it is denial. Don't think about it every minute. Take time out from cancer. Do fun things. Act like it isn't a serious situation once in awhile. You deserve that break.

8. KEEP LIFE AS ROUTINE AND NORMAL AS POSSIBLE - sometimes that is impossible I know. For kids for example. for you, and your mom and Rick. Thinks like going to the grocery store (my husband the cook's favorite routine) or whatever is a normal task or activity do it. Sometimes in a "crisis" that is not possible but even small breaks of normal can help you through this. Like watching your favorite tv show...any of those things that help.

9. IF you believe in prayer (I do) ask your church, and your friends to put you on prayer chains. Your church community will want to know and prayer helps. Helps you not feel alone...among other things.


LOOK at Grandma Gundersen she had a bad prognosis at 60 and lived to be 86. The world is full of cancer miracles and journeys where cancer did NOT keep people from enjoying life , having years with families. Some doctors we found can be so matter of fact and somber that it can be so depressing. No matter what the prognosis hang in there.

Feel free to pas this along to anyone it might help.

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