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After Treatment

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

I've read numerous postings here and can relate to a lot of what is said. It's hard for me to keep it all organized in my mind so I have a difficult time posting. Each new posting brings yet another thought or feeling to confuse my already overburdened mind.(LOL) I like the idea of being able to put those thoughts into words so that maybe it will make more sense to me.
Years ago I had some experinece with group counseling and although it helped it was very overwhelming for me. At the time, I was told that I was a very sensitive person and felt deeply the good as well as the bad. it was said that it wasn't a bad thing just difficult at times to deal with it. Boy, it is ever?
Cancer has really thrown me a endless well of emotions that I have been struggling to deal with since it all began. Every time i think I have hit a plateau something raises the summit to a even higher level. It's like climbing a mountain hidden in the clouds with no end in sight.
After treatment and being proclaimed NED ( yeah, okay), it was suppose to suddenly be done. Yet it doesn't feel that way. There are still mountains of physical and emotional problems to be conquered. When you go from being an active, healthy person to one who is down for most of a year with side effects from it all it is hard to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with life. Every time I think, " Okay, you can do this. You are fine. Just get on with your life., something else comes that has to be dealt with again. It isn't always medical either but yet it is a result of dealing with cancer. Cancer affects every aspect of your life and all of it seems to demand attention now. It is so overwhelming that one doesn't even know where to start the long list of things that need to be put into perspective and fixed. I tend to shut down a lot and try to ignore it all hoping that it will just magicallly resolve itself. Is that working for me? Not really!!! Unfortunately, the problems are still there when I resurface to the real world.
I think age has a lot to do with it for me. At 54, which everyone keeps telling me is young,I feel like there isn't enough time to deal with it all and still enjoy the years i have left. I'm single with three grown children and five beautiful grandchildren. They are a huge part of my life but they have their own lifes. After years of devoting myself to my children, I don't seem to have a purpose which I need desparately in order to live each day. It would just help to know that at the end of this tunnel, there is a light worth getting to with a purpose for getting there. Things that I always thought were necessary seem mute and yet there doesn't seem to be anything to replace them. I find myself wallowing in self pity and
undecisive about what will fix it.
I know, now I am rambling on, not making any sense, at least not for myself anyway. I know I need to do this putting feelings into words so that it makes some sense but it's difficult to say the least for me. I'm hoping that some where in all the rambing someone sees something to help me get on track. As you can no doubt see I am not doing very good on my own. I just wanted to try to get a start on putting some of it into words hoping that it will help.
So for now, I will stop and see what comes of it. LOL
Hugs and prayers
Shirley

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Shirley,

Cancer is not easy on anyone. Even when you have finished treatment and declared cancer free, it is still a little difficult to go back to your old life. Cancer changes us in one way or another.

Since your children are adults now, have their separate lives and you no longer need to devote yourself to them, try to find something that you enjoy doing, be it learning something new, volunteering, etc.

Have you thought about getting professional help? I had therapy and it really helped me get back my life.

Hugs and prayers,
Tere

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

TereB,
Thank you for your thoughts and concerns. Yes, I have considered therapy but find that I need to rely on other sources for now. I just don't have the finances to pay for therapy at this point due to being out of work for most of last year. Also, I am currently out of work until the beginning of January after having surgery yet again. I don't usually complain about finances as I know that most people are having financial problems with the economy the way it is these days. Yet it is a source of great concern on my part.
I do have things I enjoy to keep me from going totally insane (haha). Since most everything cost money to do, no matter how little, it is still hard for me to justify spending it. I do enjoy reading and use the local library as a source for that. I love music and spend time listening to that. I do enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and helping out there babysitting or just taking them to spend time with them. The older ones are hard sometimes cause they expect more which usually results in spending some money. The younger ones are easier though and time spent with them is only a matter of time.
Take care
Hugs and prayers
Shirley

Dreamdove's picture
Dreamdove
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2008

Shirley, I have my 14 year old sassy daughter to keep me going. Also 2 beloved cats. I'm 53. I work part-time in a grocery store as a checker so I see and talk to alot of people 4-5 days a week. Other than day, I basically spend my days watching movies (I rent them from the library, video store, or watch the ones shown on the regular t.v. stations), reading books from the library, doing household chores, shopping, walking and biking if the weather permits. Let's see what else.... Ok, I occasionally go to a singles function, depending upon my atitude at the time. I skipped the last 2 single dances and am not planning to go to the next pizza/bowling singles function. I really don't have much of a social life. I no longer have a man in my life. I broke up with someone after finishing chemo in 2007. If it wasn't for my daughter, I'd probably have to think seriously about what to do about having more of a social life. I would seriously consider volunteering. Or joining some activities I am interested in. I don't have the financial means to travel much, as much as I'd like to travel. When I go out I can't spend much money. So I can totally understand where you are coming from. It seems everyone else is out there having fun but probably most are doing the same thing you are doing: just going from day to day. It sounds kind of dreary but it all depends upon your atitude. I try to enjoy the little, simple things. I look forward to my morning cup of coffee. I can't wait to get into bed, pull the covers up, and get the interesting book out that I recently checked out at the library. If it's a decent day outdoors with hopefully some sunlight, I'm anxious to get out of work and get out there. I love to walk along the river and pass the little kids happily playing in the playground. I see Mom pushing strollers and think back to the days when I used to do that when my kids were little and cute. I still remember how my oldest daughter used to point at things and I had to name what she pointed at. And when we used to pass other children (didn't matter their age) my youngest daughter used to shout, "Babies!" I drove by my old house today from years ago and imagined my son still riding his plastic trysicle on the back deck while I looked out from the kitchen window. But don't get me wrong, I get my negative moments, too, when I don't think things are all that great. But I always bounce back and enjoy things from moment to moment. I love to laugh. I even sometimes laugh to myself about things from the past I remember.

hunpot's picture
hunpot
Posts: 90
Joined: Nov 2008

shirley
im happy that you are cancer free congrats and feel blessed. I can only imagine going back to "normal" life after such and ordeal for so long.
Your children may be all grown but they will always need momma it may not seem that but especially what you have been through they see that life is precious. Me being a 34 having just lost my mom to cancer that is just me feeling, i would give anything to have her here again. You say your a gramma if your children are busy offer your services to their children and just be a grandmother if you think that may fullfill some of your time and make you feel well but appreciate your children are grown try to find something that you like and enjoy it is your life now and live it to the fullest as we all know life is precious especially when cancer is involved.
Find something hobby, volunteer, maybe even speak at school join a support group for survivors youll be amazed at the many great people and support you could recieve.
many good wishes

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

hunpot
Thank you for your thoughts. I am sorry to hear that you have lost your Mother to cancer. I lost both my Father and brother, too. It is a very difficult thing to deal with in a family. I know that my children would have been devastated by it if I had not been so lucky to beat it. My daughter had a very difficult time with it. My oldest son handles things better than most so he was there for me but I guess I never discussed how he felt about it at the time with him. The youngest son just didn't deal with it at all. I spent as much time as possible with the grandchildren. It worried me that if I didn't make it they might not remember me especially the younger ones.
I do enjoy my grandchildren and spend a lot of time with them. It's just that i feel there should be more in my life now. All of this is a solution is progress. Posting helps to organize my thoughts and feedback adds a different viewpoint that may just help me to figure it all out.
For now
hugs and prayers to you
Shirley

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi Shirley, long time no see! Your post really hit a chord with me. You pretty much summed up the way I've been feeling. Its so hard to move on to a normal state after cancer comes along and trashes your life for a year. I think that because it is such a frightening, horrific experience we wind up with that condition that soldiers get--post traumatic stress syndrome I think its called.

I sometimes find myself reliving those awful days between diagosis and surgery and how terrified I was and the awful days after each chemo treatment and how sick and depressed I was. How can one possibly go through such stress and discomfort for such an extended period of time and not be forever changed? I guess I don't believe that I will ever be the same.

But Shirley, at the same time, I am painfully aware that life is short and fleeting and I get very nervous because I feel that I am spending so much of it feeling sad, depressed or worrying about the other "shoe" dropping. Lately I have been trying to do things that I enjoy. I have been going to the gym religously, spending time with friends going out for coffee, I had a makeover at the clinique counter at Macys the other day(something I never have done) on a whim--it was fun:o), and despite the financial worries, I still try and treat myself to little things that make me feel good. I am going on an overnight trip to NYC with my cousins the sat. after Thanksgiving. Life is short. I joined a breast cancer support group. We meet every three weeks and it is wonderful. Sometimes I talk and sometimes I just listen. It is comforting to be with others who are in the same boat, but at all different points in the cancer journey. There is a real sense of caring and fellowship within the group.

Its tough this situation we find ourselves in. But I keep searching for the meaning behind it all, that is if there is any. We both have a lot of living to do. Cancer has made me realize that I am going to die someday and that is not something I ever thought about before my diagnosis. I am trying to think of life as an adventure and try to make the adventure as full and enjoyable as possible. I am trying to savor every day. I am not always successful though. Some days I am still depressed or anxious. But I try. Hang in there Shirley. Be good to yourself and try to indulge yourself in little ways that bring you joy. Thoughts and prayers your way, Eil

cboo1974's picture
cboo1974
Posts: 57
Joined: Oct 2008

Shirley,
Hi we met in the chatroom. Wow it's amazing how so many people feel the same way. Tomorrow I go in for my first and ho0efully my only treatment for papillary thyroid cancer. I sometimes wonder what it will be like to get back to work, even though I dislike the job I have right now at least by getting back something can seem normal again. But it makes me wonder if when I do get back if the people will treat me differently. What I wouldn't do right now to just hop in my car and get out by myself. With my treatment I have to go hypothyroid and that slows down my reaction time therefore no driving.
Spend as much time as you can with your family and doing things you love. The one realization that I came to is that I saw that I do not take the time off from work to do important family events or get out enough with my best friend and Goddaughter. Now when I do get back to work I'm going to take the time off for special events that come up. I used to worry that my boss couldn't find someine to cover my shift but now I reaslize life is too short and I need to get out and have some occasional fun.
I sure hope you called today to make that doctors appt.
Cindy :)

nsquirrely
Posts: 50
Joined: May 2007

Hi Cboo
It was nice of you to reply to my post. It's amazing how much writing about things help to bring them into perspective for me. Then the addition of feedback from others here adds even more to it.
Since i don't know what all you had to endure due to your cancer, it's hard to draw paralells between us. I assume that it involved removal of the thyroid or at least part of it. I have a thyroid disorder that resulted in killing off the cells with radioactive iodine. That changed mine from hyper to hypo. It took about three months to get to the point where I could function enough to go back to work. Then the medication had to be regulated to keep it under control. It's amazing now that I recall that part of my life that it took the better part of three years to get me to the point where it was regulated and I was doing okay.
What type of treatment are you having now?
Yes I called to make that appointment. Unfortunately, she is a very busy doctor with lots of patients so the first available appointment was in March. I am not concerned though. My urologists said eveything in that area is healing great and looks wonderful. I will be seeing gyn in December as well so no worries. I was the one who found it to begin with so I will just be aware of things.
Hugs and prayers
Shirley

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