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« My Bad? | Main | Plan Beyond Cancer »

August 23, 2011


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Jonnie Hickman

I agree with the straw man concept. I have always had problems with writing an outline for research papers. I spend a lot of time writing and re-writing to make the paper finish addressing the concepts and things I want highlighted when I started it.

I do the same thing in my cancer fight. When I was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer before even knowing what I was dealing with, I told the people in my circle that I wasn't going to do any treatment. Even though with my actions I was seeking a doctor, researching my disease and finding support, my words were saying NO TREATMENT.

People were very confused when I started chemotherapy. I was then not only having to explain my diagnosis with very little knowledge about it, but I was spending a lot of time having to explain why I changed my mind.

As time went on, I realized that I needed to write an outline for my diagnosis and list what was acceptable and what was not. I also realized that announcing things in my care before I had thought them through was just confusing my loved ones more. Now as I am making decisions, I seek out people who have been here and my medical team before I open discussions with my loved ones.

Another thing I did was to tell my doctor to not bombard me with what was coming next. It's nice to know that we still have options, but the details could wait until I got to that point. This gives me a chance to not get ahead of myself and stay focused on right here and now.

Thank you,
Jonnie Hickman

Wendy S. Harpham, MD

Dear Jonnie,
Thanks for taking the time to share all these excellent examples for others of the pitfalls of the straw man (i.e., confusing family and friends) and the value to you.
With hope, Wendy

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