P M A and the individual

Most of my readers know how I feel about PMA, Positive Mental Attitude, something I have had by the lorry load since September and Humphrey’s short-lived existence, demise and subsequent treatment.

pink-ribbon-3Attending the hospital every day for the past three weeks, yes really, it’s not surprising that you see familiar faces and strike up conversations with new, albeit it short-term, friends.

I know I can be OTT most of the time, totally in your face, loud and brash.
It’s my way of dealing with my nerves, and I’ve joked that the reason I’m seen quicker than some is because they can’t cope with me so get me over and done with asap.

Whilst Hubby has been waiting though, he has chatted amongst the other patients who have enquired as to whether I am ‘always like that’, ‘what medication am I on and can they have some,’ and even ‘she’s like a breath of fresh air’.

We have become particularly chatty with two people this week, each having radiotherapy for their cancers, as our appointments have been within half an hour of each other.
We have laughed and joked about treatments and time delays, generally making light of the situation, which in turn raises a few smiles from other patients waiting to be seen.

J has prostate cancer and opted for radiotherapy rather than surgery and chemo. He has told his family the basics, but not gone into any other details until he knows exactly what is happening. The last thing he wants is for them to worry about surgery that may not be necessary and something that may turn out not to be worrisome afterall (sound familiar?).
He’s doing OK but has been mucked about a bit with delays and so drinking the necessary amount of water before therapy throws everything out as he’s desperate for the loo before he’s seen!
He went in shortly after we arrived today and waved us goodbye with a grin and promise of  ‘see you tomorrow’ a quarter of an hour later.

F has had a breast cancer like me, though her treatment is only 15 sessions, the last of which is next Wednesday. She has never been accompanied, has to rely on public transport, and from our conversation today, I learnt she has 2 cats and perhaps lives alone.
She does however have a sister and brother with whom she has regular contact.
Sounding weary, she said she is feeling tired and asked me if this was normal. I replied that everyone was different, but yes, according to the literature package we’re given, tiredness/fatigue is one of the side effects of radiotherapy.
She also confessed that she hadn’t done a single one of the recommended exercises and asked what they actually did. For me, they kept me supple, got the mobility going and thus reduced the build up of fluid in the breast tissue after surgery (though I did have some drained off the last time I saw my Consultant Surgeon at the clinic) and for the first time in my life I actually have a toned bust instead of two baggy sacks hanging about on my chest.
She laughed at that, and then I was called in.

She continued chatting to Hubby though, and apparently was curious as to how I was dealing so well with the tiredness. Hubby said that we shared the household tasks, and I got plenty of exercise by walking the dog, as walking is one of the suggested remedies for fighting fatigue in the book. She said she wanted to get home before she felt too tired to do her housework, but had to wait for her review which was running late.

I am certain there are patients out there who are afraid, shy, embarrassed and/or bewildered, as well as those who are angry that Cancer dared to invade their bodies.
Hubby and I were both angry at Humphrey’s appearance, but we faced the challenge together, and neither of us were afraid to ask questions or request clarification on things we didn’t fully understand.
I had my second review today, and have passed on my thanks to all the staff for their kindness, respect and care, apologising for being ‘Ms Brash’ and no doubt they would be glad to see the back of me.
They said it made a nice change to have someone with such a positive attitude.
I see it that if I can make someone smile every day, then it has been a good day.

Today was the end of my first treatments, and tomorrow sees the first of the booster ones.
Apparently I am down for five, not four as I thought, and I will be put under a different machine which by all accounts has blue knobs so will match my nipple perfectly.
smurf smurfswmbo smurfs
The stencil taken when we saw Mr Hurry-up-and-wait (the only negative part of this entire thing, my feelings of which will also be passed on) will be used to concentrate the radiation on the surgery site. I have visions of a Madonna type cone being attached to the machine as I lie there on my side with my arm around my head like some failed movie icon or beached whale.

madonnaThis time next week it will all be over.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and have a terrible sweet tooth. Best friends are Hubby, our dog Maggie, Bro in NZ, MSM and MOH (and his dog). I am also a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! Due to a nightmare of a house sale in 2014, 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat until April 2017. We made strong friendships both on and off the water, and enjoyed swan and duck families for neighbours. Sadly times change and we were once again house hunting until September. We now reside in a small bungalow a short distance from the beach on the Lincolnshire coast.
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7 Responses to P M A and the individual

  1. colinandray says:

    A Positive Mental Attitude is so important in dealing with life in general and, I would suggest, critical in your circumstances. A PMA can in general change a rainy day into an opportunity to do something different. It can make a frustrating job be a reason to appreciate the regular income, or perhaps provide the incentive to look for greater opportunities. It can make a forced frugal living standard into an opportunity to be more fiscally efficient but, most importantly, whereas a negative view of life will impact ones health, so will a positive view prove beneficial.
    Much as placebos are proven to work in many circumstances, it is also proven that the recovery process from various medical conditions can be considerably enhanced by simply staying positive. Whether we are fighting a medical condition, or simply the aging process, the quickest way to leave this life is to simply give in to the negative aspects. Fortunately, we also have the choice to look forward to a better life; to realize that however our condition leaves us, there are opportunities to still contribute to our world.
    We have so many examples of people who have turned adverse circumstances into opportunities to leave their mark on this world. PMA is probably one of the most under-rated life-style perspectives. Keep it up Di! Your body will thank you for it!

    • You are so right Colin. I have seen first hand how negativity can affect people. It’s even worse if they have to face things, such as cancer, on their own, and that is why I feel the support that is made available in these circumstances is terrific. I cannot fault anything or anyone (apart from Mr Hurry up and Wait who may well just have been having an off day) in the treatment I have received.
      The young man who conducted my review (under supervision) has also given me treatment occasionally and is under training for this aspect too. Throughout all of this, I have been surrounded by positivity, be it people or attitude, and for my part, how could I possibly react with anything but? I am feeling great. I really am, and it’s not just the weight thing. It’s everything. It could all have been so very different. I’m still here. I am whole and I appreciate so much more than I did.

  2. Bernadette says:

    You have a remarkable attitude for what you are going through. I hope this treatment ends with a cure.

    • Thank you so much! I am indeed cured and this is just a formality really. Humphrey was small (about an inch) as we found him early, and the 4 lymph nodes and surrounding tissue taken away with him during surgery were all clear. They sent a bit of him away for further analysis too and chemo would not have been beneficial in my case as his score was so pathetic on their charts (hurrah) so radiotherapy it is and medication. OK, the menopause-in-a-box sucks with the hot flushes, but at least I’m keeping Hubby warm on these chilly nights. I have been so damn lucky, and we are convinced that if I hadn’t lost the weight, we wouldn’t have found him when we did and it could’ve been such a different story. I shall be monitored regularly as part of the after care treatment, but those first three words when diagnosed summed it all up : Small, Treatable, Curable. 😀

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