I am Michele, Dr Kehoe’s Practice Director.
For the better part of 13 years I have navigated patients and their families through their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, today I am unfortunately navigating myself through my own cancer.…
I am now experiencing both sides of the cancer experience. Compassion is of the utmost importance. Additionally, I have found that cancer treatment must be fast tracked. I took the same advice I give my patients and applied it to myself. Once diagnosed, I moved quickly.
In my capacity as Director, I have worked closely with Dr. Kehoe’s social media consultant, Melanie Acuna. I have learned that social media is a brilliant tool if used correctly. Correct information is priceless. Support groups can be wonderful.
On the negative side, some information on social media is incorrect. And online support groups can expose one to personalities that may not be useful or helpful.
I have now journeyed through both sides of the cancer experience and have accessed social media sites as part of this journey.
This is my cancer journey and my personal entry into social media as a cancer patient:
On 11/5/18 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. 10 days later on 11/15/18 I was in surgery with a PET CT and an MRI already done. Fortunately, there were no signs of metastatic disease. I was diagnosed with stage 3A and 2 lymph nodes were involved. I also tested positive for Lynch Syndrome which is a hereditary colon cancer syndrome.
On 1/2/19 I had my first chemo treatment and went into anaphylactic shock. I spent 2 days in the ICU—that’s when I decided that chemo wasn’t for me. As my body went limp and I was unresponsive in the chemo suite, I felt as though I was watching everything unfold from a different plane, perhaps a near death experience if you will. There were 3 nurses and 1 PA working hard to revive me as my husband watched helplessly.
On the bright side my surgeon did get all the cancer out with clean margins. I am now cancer free.
Moving forward I thought I may try the chemo pills. As soon as I decided this, my diverticulosis became active and I was put on antibiotics for 15 days. The Powers That Be don’t seem to want me on chemo so I shall heed that warning.
I joined 3 different colon cancer support groups on Facebook. I found other people were getting the same bad side effects from chemo that I was experiencing. Being able to share my chemo experience with others and finding that they are having the same reaction was a big relief for me and extremely comforting in such an odd way.
Researching different chemo drugs and trials are everywhere on social media. They are there for our benefit. However, you must realize only our medical oncologists know the correct drugs for our particular case. Always consult with your health care professional in person not through social media.
Cancer and social media can work well together…..Health and happiness to everyone….