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Keeping everything in perspective

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 237
Joined: Mar 2013

i had a bad day at work yesterday - actually made a mistake - had to hear a lot of cap from a lot of people . A year ago I would have thought that this was the worst thing that could have ever happened. I would have had someone's head even though it was actually a team mistake. Instead I accepted the responsibility and explained to everyone that no matter what anyone says its an excuse as the job didn't get done And as the head of the team I accept the blame. A year ago I was the center of the universe and now I realize that as an individual , a human being we are all just little satellites revolving around our universe. Although work is important being a fair and truthful individual who is honest with yourself is more important . We do our best every day - if it's not good enough, we get to do it over the next day. Cancer definitely gave me a different perspective on life and work. I am not saying I wasn't pissed off, because I was - what I am saying is the most important thing is living life and mistakes are part of that, and it's a gift to be allowed to make those mistakes - I don't know if I will ever be the same as I was before cancer. But in some ways I think I may a better person- everything happens for a reason - stay strong my fellow warriors

MarineE5
Posts: 746
Joined: Dec 2005

Roar,

I don't think any of us will ever be the person we were before cancer. Some of us may reach the levels we were physically prior to cancer and mentally we may even be stronger. We have been through a tough fight. Things changed for us and we have a different outlook in our lives. A nice little booklet that I read some time ago was helpful. It is called " Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and after what we have been thru, there is a lot of small stuff that used to upset me, and I don't pay any mind to it now.

When I shave, I ask myself if I can be a better person today then I was yesterday....doesn't always work, but I try....

My Best to You and Everyone Here

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

If I could only pick up your wisdom. What you said is so true. Rick.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2859
Joined: May 2012

Roar,

(Positive) Cancer perspective, I would hope that I get something good out of this ordeal. I struggle to get back to where I was both physically and mentally pre-cancer.  How and where I fit in the business world, my personal world and the H&N world is still evolving.   I have always known I am just one of many, but having cancer puts urgency into current and future decisions.

Matt

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1836
Joined: Jun 2012

We certainly do come out of this journey with a different perspective on life...anyone who tells you different is not being honest. 

HobbsDoggy
Posts: 165
Joined: Feb 2013

Wish I could pick up on your attitude.  I have changed and I don't think anyone touched or should I say slamed by cancer will or can ever be the same.  I find I tend tobe short tempered adn grumpy more than I like.  I get tried easily and somewhat down and I take it out on others.  I am very much trying to change for the better.  The one thing I agree has changes for the better is that I am slowly and very slowly learning to not get too head up about smaller things.  Also to take pleasure in small things and small accomplishments. Today I did work on my sister in laws yard and our yard and that felt good. 

I just have to get over worring and get over being so short tempered.  I made it though treatment and so far so good and know how greatful I should be and some of the time I am greatful, not as much as I should be for sure.

I appreciate what you wrote and gave helped me to rethink about where I am.

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1490
Joined: Nov 2011

A few things I experienced....

Certainly changed me for the better.  I don't pass anyone anymore, never frustrated to "hurry up and pull out of that intersection" ...and I love to stop at an ice cream shop on the road to anywhere (to the frustration of my wife at times)...lol, seriously!

However, one day I was a bit humbled and felt guilty after my wife said to me "your so grump lately" ...I realized the grumpiness was from the pain.  The pain wore me down and took all my energy.  Pain is something that seemed to come and go with me many months out of treatment, being the stubborn and proud type I for some reason did not like the idea of taking pain meds.  After my wife said that to me I realized that going forward if I was in moderate to severe pain, that's just part of the process and I would take my pain meds.  Now, due to quite bad elbow pain I take one tramadol in the am with an aleve, and the same routine later eveing..and all seems to be much better.  Of course I love my wife and felt terrible I had been grumpy with her, I guess I did not realize how bad I had gotten.

Thanks Roar and others for posting your experiences on this subject....I truly like to think I have always loved my wife and kids very well, but no doubt I love them even more after  my cancer dx.

Best to all,

 

Tim

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

What once seemd to be a big deal, now is not so much... The things that were of little concern, are now huge...

JG

cureitall66's picture
cureitall66
Posts: 842
Joined: Aug 2012

Finding a way to wrap our heads around what has just happened with dx and tx is a challenge to say the least. I don't think there is a good answer on how exactly to move forward and adjust to the future. What I've found with my loved one is that we try to take it a day at a time. I know early on after tx that it's hard NOT to think about what the future may bring....but, in reality, before cancer, none of us knew what the future really brought.

I think you stepping up to the plate and admitting your mistake, is proof of an accomplishment. One that you may have learned in dealing with cancer. I find myself apologizing for most every little thing these days. I smile more often and I often wonder what others may be going through in their daily lives. No one really knows what someone else is or may be going through. I do, however, get disappointed quickly with others rudeness for no apparent reason. I'm in insurance sales(personal lines) and it's a necessary evil that no one likes to pay, yet they take out their frustrations of having to pay it on me ......It's a very thankless job and hard to stand most days. But, somehow I manage to keep a smile and explain things the best I can.... I'm doing my job. I was like this before, but somehow I try to look past the negative and remind myself of so many positive things that are brought in my day. I feel for many people that have a challenging job and yet have to deal with this life setback.

I know that there are not any two people alike and people deal with things differently and at their own pace. I do know that I love and cherish life so much more now then I ever have. I hug and tell my loved ones how I feel more often. I can see my loved one still fears the unknown, and some days are harder to get through then others. But, for the most part we strive for positives. We don't talk to deep about the future. We talk about the present and things we may want to do someday (not keeping the future completley out of reach and feel like there isn't one) and seems to get us through our days.

I would never wish cancer on ANYONE, but I do wish that some people knew what it was like to fear it and what it does to lives. Even if they just knew someone close to them that had to deal with it....they would be kinder to others and realize just how precious all of our lives really are.

Some days may be a challenge for all of us, but always realize you are NEVER alone with this. It is obvious here on this forum that we have so many caring people that want to help one another out.

Prayers for all of you to gain comfort knowing your are never alone.

~C    

 

 

 

 

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1104
Joined: Jan 2013

Roar,

Thank you for this post.

This week will mark 4 weeks out of Tx. Finally, I'm beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I certainly have not turned the corner but I can now see where I've been and where I'm going. Most will attest to the fact that you have a lot of time to think during your recovery. There are those times between sleep and the fog we live in during our waking hours that we find lucidity. We go through a plethora of physical and emotional states on a constant and daily basis. It frankly leaves me exhausted!

Our lives change when we hear the words "You have cancer". Our experiences mirror each other yet are as unique as we are as individuals. Our perspectives on life change as well. Over these last 4 weeks, I've posed that question to myself. How have I changed? How has my perspective changed since cancer?

Having faced my mortality twice in the last five years due to cardio vascular disease, I experienced much of the emotions I'm feeling now as a cancer survivor. I'm struggling physically and emotionally as I recover from my treatment. The physical difficulties are contributing to my emotional struggle. What the surgery did to me is apparent. My left shoulder and arm have been compromised by the surgery to remove the cancer from my neck. Movements I took for granted my entire life are difficult at best. You need only look at me to see how the treatment has affected me from a physical standpoint. I weigh 60lbs less than I did this time last year. I lost the majority of my muscle mass. I "look" like someone who has dealt with cancer first hand. Not being able to eat and swallow as I did is weighing on me as well. Having to nourish and hydrate myself through a tube was something unimaginable just a few short months ago. I take these factors and toss them around in my mind and the changes become all too apparent. I've battled mood changes and still do. Some were induced by a bad reaction to steroids and the some I can attribute to frustration, pain, narcotics and many other factors we encounter while we fight this disease. I don’t like the negativity this has fostered in me.

I read a blog from a H&N survivor the other day. Several parts hit home emotionally as I read it. He too struggled as I am struggling. He offered a perspective that made total sense as it was what I'm currently feeling. Now, there are 3 "T"s. There is the "T" before cancer. The "T" with cancer and "T" the survivor. The "T" before cancer is no longer with us. He passed away the moment he heard "You have cancer". I’m mourning his passing and I miss him.

At that moment "T" with cancer was born. He was consumed with what was taking place in the here and now and his life became one of the warrior fighting this awful disease. Just about every waking moment was spent focused on treatment, appointments, nutrition, hydration and pain management. Marcia became my "caretaker". This woman who I love with all my heart and soul watched as I dwindled away physically and changed and struggled mentally.

Now there’s “T” the survivor. I’m recovering at home from what has been a brutal journey through cancer treatment. My life, for all intents and purposes, is on a time frame. With cardio vascular disease and the stresses cancer treatment puts on the heart, the chances of another cardiac episode have increased. The cancer, as far as we know at this point has been eradicated. I hope to get a good report the end of July when the first post treatment scans are done. However, as we all know, there's the chance that we didn’t get it all or it has spread. Many of you are faced with that as well.

Being bedfellows with death is not the most pleasant of situations. I know I’m on a shortened timeline. I’ve been on one since the first heart attack. My perspective changed then and it only has been reinforced by having cancer. I still live my life by the words of the wisest of Israel’s kings.

“Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live. Love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless…Like chasing the wind” King Solomon

“T”

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 526
Joined: Feb 2010

Very well Spoken "T". The minute your told you have cancer you now become part of the "Twilight Zone" and you now find yourself facing the unamaginable. The Survivor series on TV can't hold a candle to what we went through. They were rewarded with money..........us life.......which out weighs all but the last Powerball jackpot that I believe John won. He does live close to the area that the winning ticket was sold.

Funny how treatments allow us the time to do alot of thinking on subjects we took for granted. Thanks for reminding me of the battle and now I must tell my Katey how much I love her and need her. Without her I would have never weathered the storm.

Enjoy today...........it's practice for tomorrow

      Jeff

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 2010

I get up in the morning and look up and mutter," thanks for another day."  I will try to make today better for someone else too. Smiling, holding open a door, saying thanks twice, leaving a big tip, etc.  Every morning we have a choice, good day or bad day.  It is our choice for the most part...

All the best,

Steve

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

or even sharing a few stories over a couple of Starbucks in the upper hills of the San Francisco Bay Area with a fellow survivor...

JG

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 237
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you everyone- all the posts made great reading at lunch time today. I by no means meant to say I am perfect as I am still a work in progress- I have a hard time staying positive- I am told I am grumpy at times and sometimes even nasty. I battle side effects constantly. And I get strength from all of you to keep pushing forward. Lets keep fighting my fellow warriors. Thank you - RALPH

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 237
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you everyone- all the posts made great reading at lunch time today. I by no means meant to say I am perfect as I am still a work in progress- I have a hard time staying positive- I am told I am grumpy at times and sometimes even nasty. I battle side effects constantly. And I get strength from all of you to keep pushing forward. Lets keep fighting my fellow warriors. Thank you - RALPH

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm at Starbucks!  where the heck are you?  LOL

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

Order me one up Steve..., I'll be right there...

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1163
Joined: Dec 2012

you two ditched me Cry

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 2010

Never meant to ditch anyone, life just moved fast and we got together for a very brief time.  Almost didn't due to work and flight times...Next time we'll make sure word gets out to all......

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1163
Joined: Dec 2012

Just trying to angle for y'all to feel so bad you gonna buy all the beer next time. lol

no worries - there are enough of us NorCalers we can meet up this summer.

 

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2859
Joined: May 2012

Ralph,

I don’t know if you are perfect, positive, grumpy or nasty, but mysterious you are.

I can’t decide if you made bad coffee, forgot  to zip your pants or left the new iphone 6 in a bar, but understanding only goes so far.  I would not be a good H&N participant if I did not allow you to unburden yourself.  If it is “bad light” you may PM me, if it is “bad heavy” you may want to PM Skiffin (he is smart).

Humor me I’ll humor you,

Matt

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