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physically back to work mentally ive changed since the onset of cancer

eldon53
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2009

hi guys i need some feedback on this one i had my prostate removed via the da vinci route on nov 13 of 09 and have just returned to a very physically and pressure filled job that offers no relief from ongoing stress that is inherently part of the job i work at a mental hospital and have to deal with patients in everywhich way including fighting feeding counseling and so forth but since my return ive noticed im really not into the stressful aspects nor do i want to continue to be part of it though due to the nature of the job i dont have a choice until i can transfer which may take awhile so if any of you have had this after a return to work or if you could give me some advice on how best to deal with it id really appreciate it thanks for your time in advance take care eldon

jmchugh's picture
jmchugh
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2010

for me excercize has always done the trick, specifically i started doing spin.... an hour a day after work... you have a motivational instructor , music, and young people.... i've done for two years now ....for you maybe something else that you enjoyed.... i hope this doesn't sound too simplistic, but sweating has always been therapeutic for me.....i wish you well jm

shane59's picture
shane59
Posts: 86
Joined: Jan 2010

I think your right you just have to hang in there help those that you can , when you go home leave your work at work ,and do somthing for yourself when you get home walking bowling vidio games whatever it takes to relieve the stress. Remember youve had a big op and the bodys still recdovering thats stressfull enough take time at work to relax if you can at your breaks cat naps and meditation whatever it takes talk to co workers or close friends and unload it helps . Be patiant that transfer may happen sooner then you think,
all the best take care prayer can help dont get me wrong best wishes for your future Shane

randy_in_indy's picture
randy_in_indy
Posts: 493
Joined: Oct 2009

Of course, I'm a biut biased as I have used that my entire life as a distance runner. Physical activity frees the mind while at the same time puts the body into a calm state following the exercise. I recently bought an indoor Far-infrared sauna and find this very relaxing spending 20-30 minutes in 130-140 degrees then a shower and wham...feel totally calm.

Hope you find what you need to cope and thrive until the transfer happens!

Randy in indy

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Eldon,

Attitude is the trick. You are lucky. Your cancer is likely gone and you will live so you may enjoy your life, family and friends. (Some here are not as fortunate and may not have much time at all.) As one who has a 24/7 job with 60 direct reports and laden with politically unpopular policies to enact, I keep my head above water by understanding that I am doing the very best I can in a stressful environment and .. that I am alive and lucky to be here. In my case, I was fortunate that a small bladder tumor ( just removed) was a low grade cancer that was/is not life threatening. My PC cancer is very low grade as well so I have time to move on that. I expect very positive outcomes..

I know the stress and BS at work can be overwhelming for all of us at times.. Again the key is not to empower it so it ruins the precious 2nd chance you are given.. You have been given the gift of life and health.. Open it and be happy. If work gets that bad, move on.

Best wishes.

15thClub
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2010

We're on the same page. I had post op complications which had me out of work two months versus the "normal" one month. While I still like my job and I still have of a sense of urgency to get my job done, the "stuff" of unintended consequences just does not bother me anymore. Ya do your best and make no mistakes but sometimes it still fails. But something more insidious happened...DEPRESSION. I went to work but really did not feel like doing anything else, including getting things done around the house, going to the golf course/driving range (I'm a passionate golfer). I knew everything around me was OK, life was good so why was I feeling so d@mn miserable? After about two weeks, I got back to my Urologist and he concurred to the high likelihood of depression. How the depression happened I don't know because people know me and I know me to be a very happy guy. I got help. When depression occurs GET HELP and get help as soon as you realize something is amiss.

Look gents, take it from one who "loves the smell of napalm in the morning." It's nice to think we are the unbreakable granite to whom our loved ones look to when the small and large hurricanes of life blow by. But what happens when the granite starts to crack and fissure? I am far from suggesting any of us should diminish our roles...but the facts are whether we like it or not...men do break and in all too many cases, when men break it's a big break that cannot be ignored.

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

I wonder how eldon is doing?

As for me, not speaking for everyone, I am both the same and much different after cancer.

Cancer may not change everyone, but it does change some.

gkoper's picture
gkoper
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

While I have never been 1 to sit on my duff waiting for my ship to come in.......when I finally accepted the fact that I had CANCER... I determined to fight it. And..I got serious about my "bucket list" I am ticking it off! Anyone remember the Tim McGraw song;
Live like you were dying? Some day I'm gonna ride that bull named Fu-Man-Choo!!

luckyman2's picture
luckyman2
Posts: 54
Joined: Sep 2009

Wow! I thought I was the only one who felt like this after PC. I talked to my urologist/oncologist about how I was feeling and the fact that we tend to concentrate on fixing the ED and incontinence... and (of course) beating the cancer. However, being "men" who would think that we would ever get depressed because we got cancer... and having the depression surface only after a successful treatment?

I kept the depression to myself for more than a year before acknowledging that there was a problem. After all, how could this be? ED and incontinence were no longer an issue and they got the cancer out. Welllll, the body is an amazing survivor! We cope with trauma by stepping outside and being a spectator of the events during the most severe moments such as getting the "news" that we have cancer and then going through the surgery or other treatments we have chosen... and then the healing process. Then a strange thing happens: "post tramatic stress disorder". That's when your mind finally realizes that you were not a spectator, but that it did indeed happen to you!

Here's how I've been coping with the depression:
1. Talk about it with someone who has been there... and remember your partner was there with you all along and can probably offer some insights you may never have considered.
2. Exercise... choose any form of activity that makes you happy and fulfilled.
3. Bucket list... there's no better time than today to start doing all the things you kept leaving until someday soon.
4. Help someone... no matter what it is, such as volunteering in the community.

It may not be the right solution for everyone, but each day gets better for me. Oh, I'm going to play the new Djembe drum that I just got for my birthday! You'll have to yell if you want to talk to me.

bdhilton
Posts: 756
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree and could not have said it better…plus I even printed what you say above-thanks and best to all

bdhilton
Posts: 756
Joined: Jan 2010

In your honor I have opened my window, plugged in my favorite Fender, plugged it into my largest amp and will play ‘Hey Joe” to my neighbors after I post this…I do this once in awhile to let everybody know I am alive…Oh and if you want to talk to me you will need to tap me on the shoulder…

My latest crazy thought I am planning to attend Furthur Festival (Bob Weir/Phil Lesh (can you believe that Phil turned 70) May 28-30…I am making the best of this “awakening” post surgery…Life is good

Phil Lesh is one of our brothers with Prostate Cancer.... http://www.furthur.net/flash/phil-bday-2010-03-12-speedway-stream-server.swf

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Hy BD hearing you loud and clear. As a bass, guitar, banjo and keys player of many, many years and who played with some players from the national acts of our day with my trusty Precision bass.. I have come to realize that music is the medicine.. I always have something to play when I get stressed out with this PC crap.. Still havin fun at it and play out a couple times of month doing acoustic renditions of some old blues, southern and classic rock as well as our own music that is getting some airplay here and there across the states.. Not enought to make me the next Eric Clapton.. but enough to substantiate that the music is pretty good.. (: Here is our link.. click on the links for our music, pics etc.

http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk_body.asp?epk_id=184631&poll_id=&name=&skin_id=&submission_id=&lv=1

And love Phil.. but missing Berry Oakley my hero (:

luckyman2's picture
luckyman2
Posts: 54
Joined: Sep 2009

I've been playing 12-string acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, harmonica and the autoharp (same 1952 Oscar Schmidt model as played by June Carter-Cash) for many years... and some of them professionally. I've recently been playing the bodhran (Celtic drum) and now just picked up the Djembe drum. Only problem... I can't play them all at the same time. Maybe it's time to start jammin' with other PC survivors! We can call the group, "Hard times again"!

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Lucky man..

That is awesome.. Then you certainly agree with me that: Music is the medicine !!..The best part of the music thing is my Dad was a fantastic guitarist and writer. He played a 1956 strat and did anything from Chet Atkins to the Eagles to Merle Haggard to Andy Williams... and taught me all of it along the way. Told me to switch from the guitar to bass in the mid/late 60s .. I did and it served me well.. Sadly, I lost him at 74 to prostate cancer 10 years ago..( gleason 9 and spread when caught)..So playing music kind of carries his spirit along for me if you know what I mean..

As far as you me and Hilton jamming and writing a hit prostate cancer song.. I bet we could do a great job with it.. Maybe one of these days(:

Hang in there my friend and stay in touch..Check out my band site and let me know what you think and would love to hear any recordings of your own stuff.

Frank

gumbyrun's picture
gumbyrun
Posts: 52
Joined: Dec 2009

I'll try and keep up with my Takemine "Lawsuit" guitar that I bought on ebay for $72 and invested another $65 in strings, bit of maintenance, gig bag, and stand. Sounds sweet even with my fat fingers.

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey Gumby your invited too the big PC jam as well. One of these days(:

Hang in there.

Frank

luckyman2's picture
luckyman2
Posts: 54
Joined: Sep 2009

Guys:

My dad got me started playing musical instruments. He played the harmonica since his days in WWII. He would bring out that harmonica when he was feeling a bit down and we would all sing along... (even the dog)... and when he was finished we all felt a lot better. Unfortunately, I lost my dad to cancer, but I inherited that harmonica and think of him every day with a smile. My dad had the right attitude and passed it along to all of us.

Len

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

Len, Good memory to share with others. I don't sing- actually pretty close to can't sing- don't have an ear for music other than listening, but a good song will do wonders.

Like Bonnie Tyler singing I Need a Hero! Stirs up the blood when nothing else is working to do it.

A Toast: to us heros all! (whether we feel like it or not.)

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey Trew..

Cant sing any worse than me.. True story.. Back in the day when I used to play clubs and bars... the only time the band asked me to sing was when the bar was almost empty at 3AM less a half dozen of the hardcore drunks and their lady friends.. A coulple of em yelling "one more".. Never failed.. I would begin to sing and even the drunkest drunk would somehow struggle to the exit and vacate the place.. We would then be able to pack up and go home..

Hang in there Trew.

Frank

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey Len,

Sounds like our Dads had similar stories and background.. Mine too a WW2 vet who got hooked on the music when in the service. Like I mentioned a big hearted man with an immense talent as musician and a man who exuded warmth and love like no other person I have ever met.. Like you, I think about him and miss him everyday. He lost his battle to PC..his son will not.. I owe him that..

Hang in there brother and hats off to our Dads... those great men of the WW2 generation.

Frank

bdhilton
Posts: 756
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes we can really sing the blues now...love it

bdhilton
Posts: 756
Joined: Jan 2010

Frank,

I checked out your site…The Atlanta Café Band…cool I love the blues the root to all…
I have only played with my boys and their friends and their garage bands the last 10 years or so (ages 27, 25, 19, 17)…I love to blow their minds (I am sure you know what I mean)…I have been a percussionist for about 45 years off and on but it drives my wife crazy when I set of the house alarm when I play my kit…I have been playing the guitar for a little more than 25 years…Very therapeutic.., I play Blues, punk, heavy metal and my stuff…My baby boy (17) has been taking lesson from Tommy Carlise (almost famous) for some time from the ERIC QUINCY TATE Band from Atlanta years http://www.ericquincytate.com/

Rock on….

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Great playing with the sons. I have one who is 21 and he and I play sometimes. He is a fantastic James Taylorish, Dickey Betts, Leo Kotke type player. He and I do some great stuff when tuning to drop D...and he loves the Allmans, Skynyrd, Taylor, Dead and so many of the bands we grew up with.. Kinda nice..

Best,

Frank

eldon53
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2009

hi guys havent been on in awhile but thanks for asking trew im doing ok still the same job working out when i can looking for something different thats not so much of the constant stress trying to figure out where im headed but thanks to you guys on here ive had a constant and continuing reference point to check out so thanks everyone ill be back soon eldon

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Eldon, I know what your talking about. I had my surgery almost 1 year ago....May... I work a physical job, Technician w/Harley Davidson. Some days I think I am losing my mind, and others I am fine. Have had some problems w/scar tissue growing....been talking w/counselor and they are saying PTSD.. go figure... I have always loved my job. Never been one to sit back, very physical, work out, I am a diver, love to wind surf, etc...always been a work-a-holic , like I said, LOVE my job. Now all I want to do is retire, spend my days with my wife, and travel with her for what time we have left. I guess I found out I am not immortal after all...lol...Lost the love of work I guess....Some days I am content to stay home and just chill with the little woman. I might add that she was diag terminal in 1996...and so far she has beat the odds...still here and holding her own...So maybe those feelings are normal after cancer...
Jim

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Me too Jim.. My job is mega stress and I really need to relax with my wife and family after the surgery.. lost a little something with this disease but gained something else I guess by realizing that I need to redirect my time back to them

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks...maybe I am not so nuts after all... the stress and demand of my job use to drive me, knowing that if I forget something, or don't catch something, that someone could get hurt... the work load is intense...I am one of 2 at work w/ over 37 years on the job, and they tend to load us heavy with jobs...I usually bill 20 - 27 hours per DAY...sometimes I have 3 lifts going at once...now, I just don't want to work that hard anymore....your right....turn that effort towards the family....5 girls, 11 grandchildren...so far...lol
Jim

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Jim, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you realized you weren't immortal after all. I recall the first thing that popped into my head when the urologist told me I had PCa was, "Oh, so this is how you die..." I suspect that we all think we are immortal. PCa really moves us from young (and dumb) adolescents to manhood. It wasn't until later that I realized I probably wasn't going to die from this but the whole thing causes us to change our priorities. Things that used to seem important no longer seem so critical. Why rush to catch that plane for another meeting in DC when you could have spent the time holding hands with your wife or visiting your kids while they work on a PhD thesis, or put that grandchild on your lap and read them Sam I Am for the fifteenth time.

If there is an upside to this I suppose it has to do with appreciating each day as it comes and making every day count.

randy_in_indy's picture
randy_in_indy
Posts: 493
Joined: Oct 2009

Just the other day on a medical program on TV they said (who knows if it's really true or not) that if you volunteer once a week in your community your life expectancy will increase by 10 years! Reason:

You will be busy worrying about others and forget your own problems and stop dwelling in your own misfortune - this makes a ton of sense to me. Also the cathartic effect of helping someone else in life should create a very good and healthy feeling about yourself. I'm thinking we could test this theory by seeing if Pastors live longer than the average person. Although maybe too much of helping others could have a detrimental affect as well. Who knows maybe someone else has more information on this...or could google it...I'm going to try.

gkoper's picture
gkoper
Posts: 174
Joined: Apr 2009

I've no doubt volunteering is a win-win activity. I moved here (central Fl.) from the Fl. Keys to be next to a beautiful State park....where I volunteer as a river patrol, park patrol & best of all They call on me to provide my limited musical talents for Christmas celibrations & the Sunflower fest.......where they bring assisted living & nursing home residents. To see people in wheelchairs get up & dance...with a slight assist....is priceless. And I get to walk in the park early...before the crowds...drink in natures beauty & think I doing my part to sustain one of Gods masterpieces.
PCa and its consequences seem so far away.

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