Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facing the Unknown

For viewers of my blog who have been down the cancer road now for awhile, feeling anxious about the unknown is all too common.  For first time cancer patients however and their families, there is no other word to describe the start of their cancer journey but terrifying!

We have all been there, that's for sure. Each time I accompany my husband to the cancer clinic, I can just look at someone and know it's their first visit there.  You can see the anxiety and fear on their face, as I'm sure it was on ours a few years ago.

That's what happened a couple of weeks ago while my husband was waiting to see his oncologist. His appointment was late so I decided to go and introduce myself to this couple in hopes that it might help to relieve some of their uneasiness.   Just the thought of going to a cancer clinic is in itself a scary thought, let alone the apprehension of what your first visit to an oncologist will be like.  

So up I get and do the introductions as I hate to see those first-time patients look so fearful about the unknown.  Once the intros are done, I then try to get them a little more familiar with the surroundings by pointing out the blood collection area, the oncologist's offices, the chemo unit, and where there are bathroom facilites and a place to get a coffee or snack.  The main thing I try to enhance is the fact that EVERYONE feels the exact same way on their first visit to the clinic so there's no need for apologies.  My husband and I have visited their so many times, I tell this couple that this place has become our second home of sorts. 

Yes, we no longer feel any apprehension when we go into the clinic, for we know everyone there has a role to play in helping my husband along his journey.  From the receptionist, or the lady who takes his blood, to the pharmacists, nurses and all the oncologists that we have met along the way, it does make us feel kind of like being at our second home.  We feel quite comfortable making ourselves at home and there's never any hesitation in asking questions.

After my short conversation with these first-time visitors to the cancer clinic, it was time to wish them well.  They shook my hand and thanked me for reassuring them on this frightful day!  I'm sure we will cross paths again on another visit to the clinic, but for now, I trust that my attempt to make them more at ease will be passed on by them as well one day when they see another new cancer patient at that clinic.

I trust that on your next visit, you as well will "PASS IT ON........"


karen in ottawa canada said...

there's your kind heart shining through again! what a great thing to do Deb - hugs!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Deb. I remember my first time, I was scared to death. I looked around me and thought "OMG! I am the youngest one here!" I was 44.

Deb, I find you posts to be so uplifting and inspirational. Would you consider writing a guest blog post for me? I am featuring my favourite bloggers every Wednesday. Contact me at
Florence a.k.a. Cancer Warrior

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your advice and suppport. You are a great help for many people battling cancer. It's people like you who make a positive difference. I look forward to reading more posts.