In letting ourselves take risks we will develop more confidence in our own ability. It doesn’t matter if we make mistakes along the way. Mistakes are a part of living. Mistakes are actually our teachers if we are willing to learn from them. If we don’t learn from them, we repeat them in one form or another.

At each step we can take what we need and let go of what we must. The development of the self is like the birth of a child. We need to be protective of it. The conscious feel of it will be so new, it will feel vulnerable.

People around us will not be able to understand our inner pressure. We are meeting the push for growth head-on, and at this stage we are doing it for our self. This is all that matters at this point. The question of selfishness may come up again. Is being free from the disorder selfish? Is wanting to develop our full potential selfish? Look what happened last time we didn’t!

This may be a time when counselling can help ourselves and our families get to know and accept the person we are becoming.

The ultimate answer and the ultimate resources are within us. It can sometimes hurt and it can sometimes be frightening. It can mean different things for all of us, but ultimately it is the path to freedom. It is the path of self determination.

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Many surgeons recommend that the two steps are carried out separately but under the same anaesthetic. For example, patients with suspected breast cancer are often asked to agree to be put to sleep, following which the surgeon takes a sample of the suspicious area. This is rapidly examined under the microscope by a process called frozen section. Once the diagnosis is made, the surgeon immediately proceeds to carry out whatever operation he or she considers best.

It is neither necessary nor best for you to do things this way. In the case of breast lumps, the diagnosis can be made pre-operatively by a needle biopsy. With most types of cancer it is possible to make the diagnosis and carry out any surgical treatment in two completely separate steps. This has two major advantages. Firstly, it allows time for the biopsy to be fully processed and examined. The rapid frozen section method used during operations is fairly accurate. However, it is not as reliable as the usual process, which takes several days. The pathologist can usually tell whether or not is cancer but it less likely to tell the exact type of cancer on frozen section. The type of cancer is often very important in determining the best type of treatment. The other big advantage making the diagnosis separately is that this gives you the opportunity to decide on the best possible treatment knowing all the important facts.

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