With the breast cancer, I took the approach of being open about my journey particularly on social media. I live in a small community. I did things like setting up a photo album and post a picture of a new hat I debuted each day. It became a game for my friends to wait for the next edition. I talked about the ups and downs. This wasn't my first rodeo with cancer having been diagnosed with colon cancer 10 years earlier at the age of 39. That too stunned our small community. I don't have history in my family of either and got both cancers young. I was 49 with breast cancer. Many in the area often told me if it happened to me it could happen to anyone. I became a 'go to' person for many who approached me with questions, recommendations of doctors, and sometimes just encouragement. I think being public and open about it, seemed to break the ice for others to approach me. I participate in a lot of Breast Cancer Awareness events and wear a lot of pink! I was kind of hoping for the pretty pink ResMed S9 AutoSet For Her
... I got the silver one. Not even the pink Swift Fx pillows for her
My diagnosis of breast cancer was in Fall 2009, my husband was coaching high school football (American Football). The team was making a run for what turned out to be winning the first of three consecutive State Championships, which put us in the spotlight state-wide and even nationally. We were 3rd in National rankings. At the State Championship game, the media picked up on the story and broadcasters discussing it during the televised game. The kids on the team were wearing pink mouthguards, wearing pink towels with my initials, pink wrist bands, etc. Photographers getting pictures of me in the crowd with my turbin on. Articles were written by a NYS Sports writer as well.
I don't approach others and push anything on them but with so many knowing my history, I am often asked. When I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, I had no clue what other symptoms are associated with Apnea. Now I have a whole new bank of knowledge on another important issue. I knew that people stopped breathing but that was the extent. If I can share symptoms such as nocturia (which I had and blamed on too much water in evening), weight gain and fatigue which I blamed on post cancer medicine and now know may not be the complete culprit, chronic headaches (which i never had, but know others that complain of it as well as depression), lack of energy that I blamed on old'er' age and a slight thought in the back of my mind of more cancer? (even though my follow ups are all fine), I am kind of relieved to know Apnea is probably the cause of that too.
I do think it is odd that I have had 8 surgeries in my adult life under general anesthesia, and so many colonoscopies I can't count, and significant amounts of time in hospitals with all kinds of medical machines hooked up to me and no one ever picked up on sleep apnea with me. The last time I had a colonoscopy a new doctor did inquire in general questioning if I had ever been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I thought it was odd as I had never been asked before. I hadn't been diagnosed at the time though and still wanting to deny I snored much less accept it was loud, I check marked no as my response. Guess those records will be updated next time I see him.