Bell Lap Blog

Cancer's Bell Lap Blogs are secular and practical guidance. For opportunities of a spiritual journey in a life with cancer, see the Cancers' Windrunners Blog.

20 - Catching Your Stride But Time to Revaluate

Near Corner Reevaluation

When you are a few months into treatment and coming through the near corner of your bell lap, it is time to re-examine the assumptions that guided your decisions at the very beginning. Do this again each and every time a change in therapy is indicated. After the opening campaign in any war a good general will reevaluate their initial assumptions. By then the scope of the conflict is emerging, as is the character of the disease and the impact of therapy on stamina and lifestyle.

21 - How Can I Prepare for What Might Happen Later - and Sleep Better

 If the disease progresses requiring a change in therapy, the risks, expectations and prognosis are often not readdressed with the same diligence they received early on. Many patients really don't want to know. They would rather live with outdated information than have to deal with new unfavorable information. Unexamined assumptions can misinform one's decisions.


  In 2009, my son Trevor and I were working in a destitute refugee squatter’s village in Zambia near the border to the embattled Congo. Our goal was to figure out how to improve the health education of children in a mission school in hopes of both affecting their generation, but also of creating an inroad through the kids’ literacy to their illiterate parents. We had a chance to talk with a pastor and a healthcare worker about the response of these people to the threat of death often from AIDS, TB or malaria.

23 - HOMESTRETCH HOLIDAY OPTION – start considering it now

Cancer rarely takes a life suddenly, so most everyone will get a homestretch but few recognize when they are on it. No one looks forward to it, but if run well, it can be an extraordinary time that no one would want to miss. You can get up from the table after the main course, but why skip dessert if you don’t have to. 


 When it seems that cancer is taking everything from you, you still have choices to make: critical decisions that will ultimately determine the length and quality of your life.  You better make them well. You will need to make them again and again every time there is a change in disease behavior or treatment. Therefore, it is essential to understand the decision-making process.