When it comes to education, most lung cancer patients can be divided into three groups.
The first type is the “Actives.” They are on the cutting edge of research, read medical journal articles, and are probably more knowledgeable than many oncologists. They are the experts on the cancer forums, and they know their current liver values as well as their birth date.
The second type is the “Observers.” They contribute in the forums but not with the level of confidence and expertise as the Actives. They are familiar with the various treatments and know enough to be dangerous. Many Observers, however, won’t know their stats.
And finally, the “Sleepers”. This is a purely hypothetical group since I cannot prove their existence. The Sleepers do not participate in forums and use their doctor for all cancer education.
Twenty years ago, the Sleepers would, by far, dominate the population. With the development of the Internet, however, I suspect the Observers are now the most largest group. I believe they are followed by the Sleepers, then the Actives.
As for me, I’m an Observer. I need to know about the available treatments, but I’m just not that into my cancer. I don’t know what my liver values are, nor do I know my blood count. I do know that if something looks concerning, my doctor will tell me. And I think I can be lackadaisical (compared to an Active) because I trust my doctor. I’m comfortable with not knowing and tracking everything; that’s what he’s paid to do!
You might think my desire for information would propel me to be an Active. Truthfully, though, that’s too much cancer for me. I need to be able to take a break from it. Learning more doesn’t make me feel like I have any more control over the situation.
Nope, I’m just not that into my cancer, and I’m completely okay with it.