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Refractory Period

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

I've read several discussions about the emotions of a cancer diagnosis and the roller coaster tide of emotions that accompany fighting it and even beating it. I saw the below article talking about the SHIFT of emotional changes and how it changes you physically and emotionally perhaps FOREVER, quite possibly making you a better person on the other side. Johnny Imerman calls it the Refractory Period. I know dealing with a cancer diagnosis carries with it crazy periods and the weight of questioning your sanity at times.

But more importantly, it supports--what we all know to be true--the importance of groups like this in fighting this battle. Thought you might find it an interesting read and an endorsement of this "kickin it" board.

http://mynewyorkminute.org/?p=3042

DMike's picture
DMike
Posts: 238
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks for suggesting that article...a great job of describing the journey we're on. And yes, this forum has helped me tremendously!
--David

rae_rae's picture
rae_rae
Posts: 267
Joined: Oct 2010

For me, it was AFTER the nephrectomy that my life seemed to have changed dramatically. From the diagnosis until the surgery, life seemed to be in a whirlwind, scrambling to dig up information, doctors and so on. After the surgery and "clean bill of health", I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. People think you should be overjoyed and get back to normal. I felt like "what just happened here?" I was depressed and the thought of recurrence and my own mortality weighed heavy on my mind.

Connecting with others that have gone through this was my saving grace. I found out I wasn't the only one that had the anxiety, depression and all the emotions one goes through after a life changing event such as cancer.

My brother and I have always been very distant. I haven't heard from him in over four years and have no means to contact him except email. I email him on occasion and never hear back. I just got an email from him today. Seems he has had cancer last fall and I think it scared him. Perhaps now we will have something to keep us connected, especially knowing how important it is for those of us that have or had cancer keep connected.

Rae

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

There, in 3 short paragraphs, Rae has said all that needs to be said on the subject!

One Lucky Girl's picture
One Lucky Girl
Posts: 68
Joined: Feb 2012

I found it really interesting. A few months ago I never expected to be on the other side of cancer -- indeed I never expected cancer in my life period. Rae, you have summed up the experience beautifully. It is a journey even for those of us who hopefully will never have to face this demon again. My only question... if it's a journey... are we there yet???

Limelife50's picture
Limelife50
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2011

cancer is only a test we are dealt with,the end of all of our journeys is when we are no longer amongst the living and i feel having been dxed with cancer is just a reminder that one day it will end

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1920
Joined: Oct 2011

....That got your attention. They say a man thinks about sex every few seconds or minutes, or whatever. But I'll tell you that there is not a minute that goes by that I don't think about having cancer. Still seems surreal.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

That should really do the trick? Surreality here too, but different. I spend a lot of time thinking about cancer but also a lot of time when I've forgotten about it altogether, for hours at a time, particularly over the last few days, when I've completely forgotten that I'm a stage 4 grade 4 RCC case.

I played Carnoustie on Friday and did several hours of gardening on Saturday - an hour or two with a big petrol strimmer, doing the grass verges of our lane and mowing our lawn. Too cavalier, after several hours, on a steep slope, i ran the tyre off the back wheel of my lawn tractor. Trying to get the machine into a position where I could work on it I did what I usually do and lifted the front end to swivel the machine and I was surprised to find it heavier than I expected (it's 220 kg.) forgetting that I've recently had 2 major open operations and haven't been in training for many months. After lifting it a number of times I found myself unable to keep doing it and was thereby reminded that I have kidney cancer and so decided to quit while ahead.

Yesterday I played in my WInter League annual outing - 2 rounds on a hilly parkland course that I'd never played before. After the hours of macho gardening my co-ordination was a bit off on my putting. In the morning round I won the nearest to the pin prize and then made a 5 instead of slotting the 2!! We had a phenomenal carvery afterwards at which I happily ate a huge meal washed down with a welcome pint of excellent draught Guinness. My fellow players weren't aware of my having been rather ill and most of the time I'd forgotten about it myself.

After the 36 holes yesterday I must admit that I found the Medal course at Carnoustie, off the whites, hard going this morning. However, I didn't put that down to RCC but to being out of condition.

Presumably a lot is down to what you're having to endure. Nobody who's been through what you have could possibly forget their circumstances. So far my situation could not be more different - no pain, more or less no discomfort of any kind, eating well, sleeping well, seldom feeling the least bit tired, mentally or physically. I guess this may be about to change dramatically with my next CT scan. It's possible, likely even, that I'm about to suffer an explosion of mets all over my system. If so, there won't be much chance for me to forget my plight. In that event, I suppose I'll be following in your footsteps and hoping to find a silver bullet like MDX-1106! Be that as it may, I'm delighted that you're doing so well as to be able to contemplate that book which we'd love to see you write.

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1920
Joined: Oct 2011

I know which cave you live in Wedgie. Yesterday I went out for a ride and met friends where we all put on a hundred miles or more to meet for a couple beers...... Anyone dwelling on kidney cancer is wasting time that they can't get back. Move forward... My biker trips are coming up soon.....Right after my melanoma surgery....But I did play with my clubs tonite, and look forward to my round tomorrow.

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

And that philosophy will have to go into your book.

Enjoy your round today but watch out - if you persist, I'll 'wedgie' you at the first opportunity :) Let's hope such an opportunity will become possible. Trusting your melanoma surgery is as successful as your MDX trip and that my upcoming scan isn't too devastating and that we'll both be able to keep on enjoying life to the full.

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