Why Dr Google is the Worst Kind of Doctor

The waiting. The W-A-I-T-I-N-G. It is such a killer. It starts from test one and from what I gather it does not ever really stop.

You try to carry on with life as if everything is normal but you know in a few days everything is going to be drastically different. You need to know exactly how different and the doctor’s appointment is seemingly a lifetime away. You think, ‘maybe Google can give me a quick answer right?’. Wrong. So so wrong. Before you know it you’ve been there for 4 hours comparing conflicting survival rates, researching only the worst case scenarios, having more questions and being more frustrated than you were before, all the while sobbing your little heart out and feeling utterly in despair.

If you don’t have all of the facts, just don’t. There is a difference between being well-informed and being hysterical. As part of the support team, you have to keep it together, avoid indulging your own fears and just remember: We are all more than statistics.

My mom is more than a statistic.

There are so many factors at play that it is impossible to predict, plan and anticipate the possible outcomes. Cancer is is so ridiculously complex, as is every single person’s physiology. Predicting the nexus between the two is impossible., and beyond that, it is unhealthy.  It does not help you or the person you are supporting.

Take a step back and just breathe. There is nothing you can do to change the cancer or the situation you are all in. What you can do, however, is use this opportunity to get your both out of your skin and just ENJOY everything before the real struggle begins. Go for a four hour lunch and really talk. Go do that thing that you keep putting off. Have cake for breakfast and go shopping all day.

So get off Dr Google and just make the time to laugh and love each other.

“It’s Bad News I’m Afraid”

It’s all so surreal.

This time last week I was in London on a date with a pretty great guy. I drank my first martini, went exploring around the weird and wonderful world that is Soho, and was loving the feeling of spring finally creeping into the cold London air. I was excited and happy about my life and everything the future held. I was a few months away from completing a Masters that I adore in a city that I love, optimistic about potentially working for an NGO that makes the world just a little better.

A few days later, on the 9th of March, I was in class. At 10:28AM I received the message that would change everything: “It’s bad news I’m afraid”. I rushed out of class to call her, totally unbelieving, and once I heard the word ‘cancer’, my whole world just collapsed. I left for home, alternating between crying and sobbing, unable to process anything or knowing what to do. It’s as if a whole new dimension had been ripped open where everything important had faded into oblivion. A dimension where trivialities reigned, and no one in the streets of London getting lunch, sightseeing or rushing about realised it.

My mom. My best friend. My constant support when I’m at my worst, and my biggest cheerleader when I’m at my best. The one that gives me more credit than I ever deserve. The one that loves me even though she understands the very depths of my being.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

I’m now sitting in my parent’s house in Dubai, unable to sleep and terrified about what the future holds. I just want to push ‘pause’ on life so desperately. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want my mom to have to face this. I don’t know how I can be the strong support she needs when I’m constantly on the verge of tears.

We’re waiting on MRI results to determine the stage of the cancer and see what the treatment plan will be. Petrified doesn’t begin to cover it.