By: Katie Austin
Have you ever wanted to find out the answer to a question and reached out to Google, Bing or one of the many search options available on the worldwide web? I love to google items and see what results are returned! The internet is an open door so if I need to know the answer, it’s just a google search away. It has become so popular that the art of “googling” has its own definition. What I encounter often is when to google and how to avoid over-googling. We have all tried to self-diagnose ourselves at one time or another by searching the internet for answers. I am completely guilty of googling the many online medical resources to see if I can figure out what is wrong with me. During one search session, I found myself leafing through two books and browsing the internet at the same time, googling every key word combination I could think of, which left me with 10 separate windows open on my computer screen. I reached a new level of multi-tasking and it was only adding to my anxiety level!
You see, at the time, I had this unidentified “thing” inside of me and it had taken residency in my left breast. I didn’t remember inviting it and I wanted find out what “it” was so that I could send it packing! I was bracing myself for what I didn’t know and trying to gather everything I could to make sure I was prepared for anything. I quickly reached information overload and had to turn my computer off. There were only so many discussion boards, websites and everything in between that I read and now panic attacks, aided by many cups of coffee, started to set in. I soon realized that I did not know what I was searching for so the results I was bringing back only sent me in new directions (felt like I was going in circles). I didn’t know enough about what “it” was so I realized that my first step was to make an appointment with a specialist. Then I would know what “it” was and then I could google it to learn more about “it”.
What did I learn from all of this internet searching? I needed to find a balance between what I would google and how much time to spend googling it. I ended up finding out that Monday two years ago that “it” was Stage 2 breast cancer and after completing my treatments, I am now in remission (Yay!). I continue to google related items to keep up-to-date on the type of cancer I had and how to keep “it” from coming back as the internet is a great source of information. The Every Woman blog is a great example of that! In the end, I found a balance that works for me and I leave the diagnosis part to the experts. They have done a great job treating me so far and I am confident they will continue to do so!
On a side note, my googling did provide me with several website links for “motivational quotes” and one quote in particular jumped out at me. It is this one quote that I would read periodically that empowered me to conquer my fears, preparing me for the road I traveled every day in fighting my breast cancer:
“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.”
It is amazing how one quote can give you strength to move forward, even if it means walking into the unknown. I hope that this quote gives you strength and I am glad that you have found your way through the internet to our Every Woman family!