Patient Power: Getting Diagnosed with Cancer—TWICE! Carol Preston’s Reality
Let’s face it, a cancer diagnosis is probably one of the most challenging events that a person could have during his or her lifetime. But, what if it happens AGAIN? Cancer patient and advocate Carol Preston was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2006, and then was left blindsided with a second diagnosis of a rare soft tissue sarcoma in 2017.
Carol’s sarcoma diagnosis “came out of the left field”. She anticipated maybe a relapse, or melanoma (a common byproduct of CLL patients), or a blood cancer (such as multiple myeloma)—but, a sarcoma? It was the least expected outcome by far.
Through her years of experience with her cancers, she has a notable takeaway for anyone going through something similar:
- Go to the cutting-edge specialist FIRST. You may not be treated by this specialist, but you will at least find the most valuable and up-to-date information of treatments.
- Get a second opinion (or multiple!)
- You don’t have to stick with one medical center for your treatment. You can “mix and match”. Do what’s best for YOU!
- Use resources for emotional support (a social worker, therapist, counselor, support group, etc.) Emotions are part of your health, too! It’s a great asset to “exhale” and figure out which direction you are headed.
- Continue to live your life the best you are able and enjoy the good moments this life has to offer.
Carol looks forward to the day when she is no longer a “professional patient” and doesn’t see her calendar covered with doctor’s appointments, as many can relate. Watch the full video here.