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just worryin'

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi gang,
cher in again.
i am worrying about the dumbest things this morning.
actually the bigggest worry is not the cancer but that someone I confided let the information slip to
my mother's entire family. Since my mothers death 17 years ago I gradually distanced myself
from them since extended contact with any of them caused havoc in my mental health..

Maybe it is just worry over nothin' cause I am a much stronger woman than I was the last time
that I had any contact with them.

But it worries me that just having someone let them know is bothering me so much.

I have been fighting a cold for 3 days now. It has to get better before chemo. Only 8 more days to
start date.
I have read everyones advice to everyone else and I plan to be well ready.
Plenty of bulk in my diet this week, picking up stool softener in case I need it cause the nearest
pharmacy is 30 miles away on twisty mountain roads. Get ice chips in a cup to take to suck on.
(If my onco team doesn't already know that one I'll share it with them.)
I am still much too fat but hopefully I won't gain too much on chemo.
Why is it the thin, svelte ones worry about losing weight on it and we chubbies just gain more.

Actually writing this has helped the worrying. But any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.
I have prayed so much about this, but these people are just toxic to me.

Hope everyone is in good spirits this new year.
hugs and prayers,cher

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi all, yes this is me replying to myself. But I burnt some phone lines
and talked to both the people originally involved. I knew I wouldn't be able
to shut them out for the entire disease, after all there are multiple rounds of stuff
already scheduled.

Since I shared to site address with the one cousin I talked to this morning
( she is a survivor of a cancer of the bladder of a squamous cell type)
I figured I will be seeing lots of the family on here...her father is currently in a third recurrence
of lung cancer...

She says the family is pretty stoic about cancer...they deal, but don't say a lot.
I don't do stoic...I fight, vociferously for I will survive.

This has all been a learning experience for me so maybe it will turn into
a "learn how to not let the family pull my string" lesson as well.

I have found that I did not sink into depression as so many people warned me I would when
diagnosed, or after surgery. I have listen to all of you described the ups and downs of chemo
induced depression so I'll be ready for that...I already warned my hubby.
After 31 years of marriage he is used to my moody spells but doesn't like them.

Hey, HAPPY NEW MILLENIUM to you all (as you can see I am a mathematical purist on some
matters...it is just where the start talking about my odds of beating this that I put down the pencil
but then I believe God knows when, not the docs, or the statisticians.)
goodness me, I really am rambling today.

Much love and prayers to all of you and great big hugs across this whole world
best group of women around, all around the world.

cher

lucy
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2000

Dear Cher - Good luck with your chemo treatments and we are all here for you if you need us. The Good Lord will help you through all of this. Hang in there with the family problem - things will work out for the better. Family and friends are very important at this time.
Take care.
Love, Lucy

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hey Cher, you know they say it is ok to talk to yourself,but once you start answering yourself,you are in real trouble!! Well, I think you just crossed over the border baby!!!!! Thats ok, being a little crazy is what gets us through life. I talk to myself all the time, nobody else listens to me!!! My husband is currently cursing at the playstation, worse than a kid sometimes that man is!!! I know what you mean about family poison, I grew up as an abused child, it was always a punch in the head, finally when I was 18 I walked out and moved in with my boyfriend and his family. He is now my hubby of almost 12 years. I was a good kid, never got into trouble etc,my mom worked as a waitress to support us, my dad was retired when I was four ,with a broken back, I wrote him a letter about eight years ago telling him how I felt, and how I had to see a psychiatrist for the violent temper I had, He wrote back saying I was crazy,that none of it happened. So we had almost no contact for years, I hated my parents,their views, opinions etc. Then when i was diagnosed,I told them and they fell apart, I said ok, do all your crying now,because from now on I want happy, strong positive people around me. They stayed with us for six months last year, and my being open and talking honestly about the cancer and my feelings and my positive,strong outlook on everything,really changed things. My parents are different now, they are more open,and less negative about things. Maybe being open with your family will help them realize they can open up and be strong too, and help to dissolve some of the tension you have with them. It will go a long way in helping you fight this,and hopefully help them too. You are a strong woman,share some of your strength with others and you will feel even stronger. I hope all goes well.
Hugs from Tiger xoxox

jane38
Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Tiger - I knew you were a really remarkable woman, and your story just proved me right again! You know, lady, you have been up against adversity almost all of your life. You are the perfect candidate to beat the devil out of this ***** beast. I admire you! I am in awe of you! Jane

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Tiger
Ditto for me too. My son's favorite animal is a tiger - he has pictures & books & tapestries everywhere & he says he looks forward to meeting you as you sound his kind of woman - a fighter. Love & hugs. Pam

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Well ladies, I thank you for your wonderful opinion of me!! Jane nailed it on the nose with "***** Beast" Everytime I read that on here I laugh, it is so appropriate!!! Right now I am feeling really down in the dumps, pms has set in and I had to say bye to a really good friend of mine today, her husband got posted to the west coast and they are leaving Saturday to drive out, I said I would not cry,but as soon as I hugged her kids and her I started, I am just so sick of loosing good friends to the military way of life. Last summer my friend,who is like a sister to me, was posted down to colorado, we vowed to meet in four years back home in Nova Scotia for our last career posting, My sons were watching a homevideo last night and her and her family were in it, boy I never felt so lonesome in my life, so I think everything is building and I am getting a little low, but Thank God for you all, you probably know exactly how I am feeling. Can you imagine a man going through pms? Ha Ha Ha, they turn into whiney little babies if they get the sniffles!!!! But we just suck it up(literally) and get on, it takes alot more than a little cold, or a little cancer to stop us from going on!!! Which is why we will all win this battle,our men need us!!They are too old to go home to mom,and she probably doesnt want them back anyway!!!!
Have a wonderful evening ladies,and Thanks for always being there.
Hugs from Tigerxo

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hey, Tiger,
I know that loosing friends thing all too well,
We were military when got married (Vietnam era) and I had just
left college friends behind moved 800 miles and as soon as I made
a real talk to friend there, they either got posted elsewhere or out.
That was the one reason my husband got out after tht tour was up.
I would get so depressed and he would come home and find me crying.
We had a neat tiny cottage about 8 miles from the base but the only
military who lived there were officers and sargeant-mojors, and lowly
wives of spec-5's didn't fit in.
I must have read a thousand books in the 18 months I was with him there.
We both thought it would be a good life for us because we both like to travel,
but it just was difficult for me to lose friends so quickly.
If I had known that the problem I had was long term depression (what they had
diagnosed it as in college was depression in reaction to loosing my great-grandfather,
heart attack and breast surgery for my grandmother and my mother being hospitalized
for depression all within 12 months). Little did they know that when I found a good
psychiatrist he would figure out that the problem had begun in early childhood and yes
depression occurred after incidents like this but I had big chemical problems in my
brain and every where else that depended on nerve synapses and once those got
straightened out I could manage to control the outside force depressions much more
easily....the fact that they didn't really have any good meds for depression then either
didn't help...they gave me amphetamines and tranguilizers...take uppers in morning,
and downers to get to sleep at night.
I had quit all that before marriage and was busting my mental butt to stay alive and content
without goofy pills at that time.

Goodness I do ramble off the topic.
I just wanted to tell you that I have that problem (leaving friends, and friends leaving) now,
too, as I just moved to West Virginia, from Pennsylvania about a year and a half ago.
Now one of my good friends from PA is in Arizona, another is in northern Minnesota
and doesn't even have electricity or obviously web access so I get a little card by mail once in
a blue moon when she gets out for groceries.

See you just have to cry and love them long distance, and make new friends.
Remember that friend will have to have a replacement on base and you'll find someone
new too soon.
Must shut off these typing fingers,
Rember, I have been to all of that too (what you said about your childhood,etc, it is all there in my
past too)

I will keep you in my prayers and send lots of emails (I am determined not to get sick on chemo next
week)

love,hugs, and many prayers, cher

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hey Tiger,
I know about that "real troublle" since I have alsways talked to myself.
Often answered too.,
Itsn't it wierd about how the people who created the big mental problems in our lives
don't see themselves as the problem.
I emailed the one person that I had made contact with, but haven't heard back from her.
There are several people in the family who are being really helpful. One has mailed off
a package with a Bernie siegal book on how to survive between dr visits and a new
microcassette recorder to tape my dr visits.

As you know it is too late for me to tape the surgeon.
That would have been one to save for posterity.

I have no intention of letting the people who cause unhealthy mental states to
hang on my shoudler during this battle, because that's what it is.
A big-time full scale war to save me. And I'm going to win it.
That's why all of you here are so important to me.

Keep your spirits up and keep on fighting,
cher

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

Cher, you mention the people who have caused you great mental problems in your life. I used to think like that too. I used to think others were responsible for my pain, until I finally figured out that I am the one who chooses how to react to what others do. I no longer attribute motives to others, I accept that they are probably trying to do their best, just as I am, and I focus on the choices I am making that can make me miserable if I choose. I could not resist responding to your comments becasue, right now, i have discovered the most special person in my life has chosen to go back drinking. I could blame him for how I feel, but I refuse to stay on that course of blaming others, becasue I know the only person it will hurt is me. And i need to get well, be strong, if I am to beat this cancer. I will, if I can, change how I am reacting and behaving, to change how I feel, keeping my love for him in my heart as a treasured gift that I was lucky to enjoy. He may come back, but I will go on as if he will not. Andn know that he never intended to hurt me. He was, and is, a wonderful person. But so am I , and I have work to do......love Susan

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Dear Susan,

I know what you mean about not blaming others.
I used to be a heavy drinker, quit, and blame only myself on the
situations I got myself into.

I don't blame these people for my mental states, for my problems,
but for dumping their problems on my shoulders, unasked and unwanted,
and for criticizing every move I make, because, they have done this since
I was small. Needless to say that no two of them order me to take the
same course, and needles to mention that they are all certain that their
advice is the only correct one.

I take responsibility for my decisions, for my health and well being, and
live a good full live with those of my immediate family and a few
selected ones among the cousins who are willing to listen and share.

As one cousing told me, I was strong enough to quit smoking 30 some
years ago, I was strong enough to quit drinking 17 years ago, I was strong
enough to survive mental illness for 48 years before some one discovered
that I had a chronic problem, not minor bouts of the blues, survived the
terrible grief of losing my brother and mother in a car accident caused
by a drunk driver (which convinced me that I had to stop drinking)
and she knows I can survive this with style.

In contrast another cousin, said I feel so sorry for you being so far
away from all your family. If I were closer I could be there and do all
your cleaning and dishes for you, and give you a shoulder to cry on.
She feels that I will just continually go down hill from here and die.
I don't want or need that attitude close to me. I pray every day and night
to stay off alcohol, to keep my mind intact, and to be an inspiration and
help to anyone that I can. And these are prayers that have gone on since
long before I was diagnosed with cancer.

Sorry for the diatribe. I hate it when I get on my "I" soapbox. But I was
just like my negative cousin before the struggle with alcohol and can
get back to that any time I neglect to care for my nervous systems
chemical imbalances. And every time they nibble away at my dearly
earned confidence, I have to struggle to regain that confidence again.

I have prayed to forgive them, and to be able to mingle with them freely,
but since most of them will not admit their real problems, and whine about
extraneous symptoms, and the bad lot that life has dropped on
them, I just have to stay away as much as possible.

Must close this,
I really appreciate your input. I know that we have so much to share,
my deepest regards, my prayers, my chuckles, and lots of hugs,
cher

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

Dear Cher: Yes, I too am an alcoholic, sober 13 years now. and yes, I choose who I will be around too, convinced that it is better to be a butterfly and light only on the flowers that sustain me. It is unfortunate that I, yet again, managed to become involved with a practising alcoholic, but all I can do at this point is wait and see whther he takes action. He says he will, but, then, he is a drunk! My family is riddled with alcoholism. I am very grateful that I experienced that problem before this cancer came along. I am applying many of the principles that I have learnt in the last 13 years to dealing with the problem I have now. I think the principles of recovery from alcoholism can be applied to any problem in our lives. My main difficulty right now is complete and total exhaustion from the chemo. Am managing to keep the other side effects at bay, but i hate this helpless feeling. My family are being wonderful at helping me out, and friends too.Just one more chemo to go Jan 22. Can't be soon enough for me. I noticed in one of your posts that yu said yu can sometimes catch people on the site for a chat. Is the chat function working now. I tried several times without success. regards, susan

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

No chat it doesn't work
I even tried setting up an entire chat topic room and then can never even
get back into it.
It makes me feel like a total non-techie. Since this has been my job off
and on for 37 years I can usually cope with any program glitches.
After I get through tomorrow's minor surgery, Tuesday's chemo(1st), and
Wednesday's consultation with the radiologist who will be doing that, then I
will tackle letters to Tony about the glitches on this site.
I am not ready for the side effects but I have gathered all the tips from everyone here,
and plan on applying them as needed.
I really wish they had started my chemo sooner, but with the difficulties of exercising both arms
extensively, it is probably good that they didn't. At least I have reversed the shrinkage,
and have almost as good arm motion again. I still can't reach back over my shoulder
on the right to scratch the middle of my back but that will come. I just got comfortable
doing that with the left. (my right incision is over an inch longer than the left).
I am doing my best to cope with the family although luckily I live farther away from many
of them than they drive. So I only have to field phone calls and emails.

I'll keep you in my prayers for your energy as well as healing.
cher

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Cher

Isn't it great to ramble without fear of judgement here. Just remember you choose your friends - your family you are stuck with. Some of us have great families some don't. I have a mixture & those that aren't great is their problem not mine. I choose only to be with positive people. As for shaking the cold. Tru colostrum & echineacea & golden seal extract to boost your immune system before chemo & to shift the cold. Did I get it right that you live in West VIrginia. Although live in New Zealand we visit the US often & in 1995 spent 3 weeks touring PA, WV & Virginia & DC. Went to Luray caverns & all the civil war sites from Gettysburg down to Richmond. WV was very beautiful Very much like NZ in the mountains. You can't help but be at peace in such beautiful surroundings as you know you are close to God. Praying for you for your chemo. Love & hugs. Pam

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi Pam,
Guess what my real life job is? I sew uniforms and mid-victorian era
dresses for all those people who run around on the battlefields in
living histories and battle reenactments. I have wondered over all those
battlefields too. my younger son learned to read by reading over and
over a mid-grade reading level book called the Civil War. When he
got older and still liked it he became a reenactor, doing a first person
impression of an young confederate private who mustered out of
Wheeling WV in 1861 and actually survived the war to become a
doctor. (my son is now a US Navy hospital Corpsman , rank HM3,
with plans to go on to a permanent career in some medical field after
service.

When I was told I had cancer I was working on an officers frock coat
for a portly gentleman with a 62 inch chest and a 64 inch waist.
I still don't have it finished. The poor man has been waiting 3 years
for someone to make this uniform for him...the first seamstress he asked
to do it already was fighting an advanced brain tumor when she began making it
and she passed away in April. Now he has me to contend with, and
has begun to think his coat is a jinx.

I will probably post a picture of my whole family in our reenacting
gear on my web page when I get around to it.

By the way my dream vacation for years has been to visit NZ.
I used to read every tour book I could get my hands on and read
and re-read Essie Summers sappy romance novels because the
descriptions of the country-side were just great.

Some Day.!!!
Thanks so much for all your support.
I pray for you each morning devotions,
I split my list, cause if I do the whole list, both
night and morning I just don't make.it through.

I've been taking echinacea since this started.
also ginger/lemon tea.

Don't have any goldenseal now, it is very
expensive here and little money. However I do
have a small patch beginning to spread on my
hillside here...I got it from a friend about 10 miles
away early in the spring this year.

Since we moved here just in July 99 I am starting
herb garden all over again, but it was sooo good
for us to get away from the surburban rat race to
our little West Virginia shanty (not quite) in the hills.

Both my husband and I need hills and forests to
stay healthy, and we certainly have both here.
I have only a small patch of nearly all day sunshine
for the non-woods herbs.

Sorry for rambling on again, but I am always wordy.

cher

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