You Are Not Alone: Life After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Today’s guest post comes from Andrea Schneider, author of You Are Not Alone: Life After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
I believe that when diagnosed with breast cancer, or any serious illness, a patient must become her/his own advocate and arm oneself with the knowledge needed to make an informed medical decision. I believe that my book empowers women with easy to understand, vital information to guide them through their breast cancer experience.
It is very difficult yet necessary to make important medical decisions. Doctors may not give us as much information as we feel that we need. If you do not know the right questions to ask, you won’t get the right answers.
It is shocking to hear that you have breast cancer. Your mind may even want to shut down when you hear the word “cancer”. My book will help the reader understand the medical jargon and sift through the vast amount of information she is receiving and make the decisions that are right for her.
My book tells my breast cancer journey. Including getting diagnosed with multifocal DCIS at the age of 41 and being shocked at my treatment choices of mastectomy or radiation followed by tamoxifen. I share my feelings, procedures and the years of research that I put together to help other women get through their breast cancer journey a little easier. The more I researched the more I realized there was important information that all women should know, but yet they don’t.
Part of being empowered is making the treatment choice that is right for you! I believe my book will give guidance on how to make the treatment choice that is right for you. In a nutshell, my theory on making a treatment choice for breast cancer or any illness is this:
(You will want to write all of the answers to the below on paper and review them many times.)
Weigh out all of the treatment choices for your particular diagnosis.
Consider the benefits of each treatment choice.
You must also consider the possible side effects of each treatment choice (Some things sound easier than they are. Talk to others who have had that particular treatment.).
Then ask your doctor what your risk of recurrence (she/he should be able to give you an actual percentage) is if you go with each treatment choice.
Ask your doctor what your rate of survival (she/he should be able to give you an actual percentage) is if you go with each treatment choice.
Consider picking the treatment that will give you the best chance of survival with the least chance of recurrence while considering the side effects of the treatment.