Cancer treatment today is a bit like being a letter carrier for USPS. Every accident that a carrier is involved in, either vehicular or lifting or walking or just being alive, is reported to some little minion in a cubicle whose living depends upon coming up with a plan of action to prevent that accident from ever occurring again. The result is a maze of ridiculous rules that no human being can possibly follow and get the job done.
Likewise, with cancer treatment; every possible thing that has ever gone wrong in someone’s treatment plan, any potential side effects end up in pages and pages of warnings of this and that disastrous result. Watch for allergic reactions, itching, flushing, dry mouth, watch for nausea, diarrhea, constipation, tooth decay, dizziness, irregular this or that. For natural born worriers, all these warnings set off a cacophony of alarm bells and scenarios for the brain to pirouette through deep in the night. Anxiety builds like cancer cells dividing.
Knowledge is power. But perspective is power over anxiety. Perspective reminds us that there are a huge array of problems that may arise in some patients. But no one patient will suffer from all these problems, some patients may suffer from several or even many problems, but there are other patients who may suffer only small inconveniences. Hyper-vigilance is the enemy of equanimity.