When newly diagnosed it’s very easy to get lost in Google. Trust me I spend the first month obsessively reading every article, blog and social media post about cervical cancer. But the internet is a scary and dark place if you stumble across old, out of date and poor information. It certainly can hinder your positivity. Be careful of reading old and out of date statistics! I discovered that the stats my oncologist told me (of 5% of people living longer than 5 years) was 10 years out of date. Not only that, it was based on women at least 15 years older than me. I later also found out that those who didn’t survive past 5 years might have died of other things, not strictly cervical cancer! What the hell!?
So my advice is IGNORE THE STATISTICS! You’re not a statistic, you’re a person and you’re capable of amazing things.
I found a great support group on Facebook full of women from across the world with cervical cancer. I built my knowledge from their experiences and I was mostly inspired by the positive stories and strength of other women fighting or who have fought this battle and won. I posted asking for stories from other women at the same stage as me who had beaten the odds and I was flooded with comments from women who had won! It was truly inspiring. They gave me tips of how to get through treatment and so much encouragement to fight, it really helped me.
There are obviously some in the group who struggle more than others and I’ve seen notifications that these women pass away……… which really does help cement my view that remaining positive can save your life. They always seemed to post negative comments and I never got a vibe that they believed they would survive and sadly, they didn’t. But all the women who post positive messages of strength and fighting and knowing they will be fine are still here and kicking cancers butt!
So, ignore the negative posts, drink in the positive stories and don’t be afraid to ask questions in these groups. These people are living the same life as you. They will have experienced the side effects of treatment and the rollercoaster of emotions and can offer their advice and support. The amount of times I’ve gone on there to ask if my symptoms are normal and been reassured has been a real blessing.
If you don’t fancy joining a support group, you can look for positive survival stories on Google. I do this for a solid week after visiting my oncologist. My oncologist has been negative from the outset and every time I see her she makes a point of reminding me that she doesn’t believe I will survive. So, to get her negativity out of my head I read and read all the positive stories I can find! I even re-read ones I’ve already seen because it all helps feed the mind and get me back on track with my positive attitude.
I’ve never liked being told I can’t do something, my inner rebel kicks in and makes me fight harder to prove her wrong. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something because I will prove that I can!