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When I'm Afraid to Take a New Medication

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Everyone has probably heard about chemotherapy. When you hear someone is going through that treatment, you immediately want to help them. I shudder, too. I’ve watched my mom go through it several times. Each time made my stomach twist in knots and my head feel full of buzzing bees.

Then I found out there are medicines that can be just as scary to me as the chemotherapy process. I honestly had no clue there were such medicines. They’re not as common, but a lot of serious medicines are used to treat diseases that can have side effects just like chemotherapy. I’m currently taking one of those kinds of medicines.

According to WebMD, some of the side effects of my medicine can include nausea, loss of appetite, headaches and stomach pain. Other side effects can include hair loss and hair color change. That’s just a few of them. They scare me.

For awhile I refused to look at any information about my medicine. I didn’t want to hear my hair might fall out, I didn’t want to think about what it treats and I didn’t want to wait six months to figure out if it’s working. I was upset and only wanted to hear what my parents had to say to me.

I was so scared to start this medicine that I cried. I didn’t want to accept that I was really ill. I didn’t want to accept the reality. A scary medicine? A team of five doctors? Handling this myself alone at college? I knew I needed to take the medicine, no matter how much I didn’t want to, because I was tired of not doing anything.

My parents were with me for homecoming weekend, and I made my mom check my hair because I was afraid it was thinning. I barely held the tears back, so I wouldn’t scare my poor roommate. I know it sounds gross, but I pulled the hair out of my hair brush and kept it just so I could compare it to this week’s hair to see if it’s actually thinning. I asked my boyfriend if he cared what happened to my hair. His response: “It would be cool to see you as a blonde.” That made me laugh and feel better about things.

But when a medicine scares you, you no longer want to be the brave warrior who fights her disease with honor. You want to curl up in a ball with your head in your mom’s lap and have your mom and dad reassure you as you ball your eyes out. You want to scream, kick the walls and let the world know how unfair life is. You want to call the drug company and beg them to tell you that it’ll work. You want to be upset.

Even though all of this is running through your head, you have to pick yourself up and brush yourself off. Go get yourself a Gray Owl vanilla latte, put on fancy makeup and play some really awesome music.

When your medicine scares you, you have to think of all of those who took it before you and had success with it. Your doctor spent a really long time in school and is trustworthy.

I believe you have to let God know that you need him to walk you through this and that you need his companionship more than ever as you take on this journey.

You remember you have hope and it is your anchor. Finally, remember that you can do this.

Follow this journey on Walking Through the Fog.

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Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

The Mighty, in partnership with Fuck Cancer, is asking the following: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten or a mantra that spoke to you following your diagnosis?  Find out how to email us a story submission here.

Originally published: November 1, 2016
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