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Dave Balch: The Stress of Assumption

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Have you ever made a mistake?

Duh, of course you have! We all have.

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s not your fault. Up here in The Patient/Partner Project’s private laboratories we have identified a new disease that is running rampant among the general population of our country. We call it “C.A.D.”: “Chronic Assumptive Disorder.” This insidious condition causes us to assume things.

The bad news, unfortunately, is that there is no cure. We can, however, put it into remission, so that’s what I’m going to try to do in this article: help you put your C.A.D. into remission

The problem is a serious one for a couple of reasons:

1. People tend to assume the worst possible scenario, which can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. When my wife was diagnosed with nine brain tumors, she assumed that she had brain cancer. Pretty stressful, considering that brain cancer is much more deadly than her actual diagnosis turned out to be: breast cancer that had metastasized (spread) to the brain. Granted, this diagnosis wasn’t fun either, but it was certainly better than her assumed condition.

2. An assumption can cause havoc in your life. When we went to get a second diagnosis, the doctor needed to see the slides from her biopsy. I discovered this on Friday afternoon, the appointment was on Monday, and the lab was 45 minutes away and closed for the weekend at 5 p.m. Plus, due to timing, we would not be able to get the slides Monday on our way to the appointment. I was on a high-pressure work deadline, but I was going to have to drop what I was doing in order to drive to the lab to get the slides in time for the Monday appointment. Stressful? You bet!

So what do we do about this? How can we put our C.A.D. into remission? The key is AWARENESS: be aware of your tendency to assume. It is human nature to make assumptions about people, situations and things. If you can catch yourself in the act of assuming, you’re way ahead of most folks. Then when you catch yourself in assuming something, ASK QUESTIONS.

We asked questions about my wife’s brain tumors and discovered quickly that there was much more hope than we initially thought.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.