Patricia Bateson

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: Massachusetts
Cancer: Breast

"Remember to FEEL how things FEEL. Your body knows, ask it, take in all your information and then make your decision."

I was an oncology nurse at the time of my diagnosis. Never expecting to hear the words, “you have breast cancer,” it completely rocked my world and sent me into fear mode. Having been the caregiver for so many years as a nurse, I was not remotely prepared to be on the other side, as the patient. I had the best medical expertise and institutions at my fingertips, but I also knew way too much. It is said that nurses make the worst patients. I just may have to agree on that one.

When initially diagnosed with cancer there is a lot to comprehend and deal with. A myriad of tests, appointments, surgeries, all become part of the daily routine, and it can be overwhelming to say the least. My head was initially so foggy and my thinking clouded, so I made sure to bring a family member to all my appointments. Bring a health care binder to keep everything in one place,  take lots of notes and record your visits if you so choose, to help you make positive health care decisions. And remember, there is no silly question.

A “yes” today can be a “no” tomorrow. You have the right to change your mind regarding your treatment course on any given day. When my radiation treatments were finished, I declined the next suggested therapy. I had done my homework, weighed out my options and decided it wasn’t for me TODAY. My oncologist was in full agreement with my decision and I have never looked back. Remember to FEEL how things FEEL Your body knows, ask it, take in all your information AND then, make your decision. Your life is that important!!