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What gets you through?

MeMeJoy
Posts: 68
Joined: Apr 2013

I was recently chatting with someone and the topic of my new favorite song came up - Thistle and Weeds by Mumford & Sons. It became my favorite during my whole ‘You have cancer’ ‘No you don’t’ roller coaster. The last part of the song’s chorus repeats “I will hold on”. If you don’t know the song you should look it up – quite powerful indeed! Like trying to maintain sanity in chaos. Imagine driving down the interstate in the rain, volume up, playing that part over and over, after contemplating whether or not the next few years may be your last. That was my emergence from the depths of self pity. 

 

I don’t think this is something that's cancer specific. Everyone has or needs that "something" to pull them through the rough spots.

 

So I was wondering… What gets you through? Many say Faith and/or Family, but what else? What do you hold onto when times are tough?

 

Will you share some things/places where you find strength?

 

My list:

1)      Song: Thistle and Weeds by Mumford & Sons

2)      My happy place – The Lake

3)      My grandmother’s necklace

4)      Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes

5)   My wedding band – This, and my grandmother's necklace, may count as family but I often find myself playing with them when I need strength

6)   Storms

  

Think I’m going to ask the blog world as well….

 

http://thelaundryhamper.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-gets-you-through_8.html

 

 

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

I hope these don't seem too trite, but they are my honest responses.

My list:

1)      Song: Centerfield (aka: Put Me In Coach) – John Fogerty

2)      My happy place – My Garden or, when feasible, the Chesapeake Bay

3)      My dog named Precious (Only a 15 year old would do that to a dog.)

4)      Movie: Somewhere in Time or, oddly, Deep Impact. Yes, I am a romantic, incurably.

5)      Working in my kitchen, distracted by my mistress, cooking!

6)      BIG Thunderstorms with lots of lightning and thunder. (Much to the chagrin of     Precious)

 

There are other things-I often retreat in my memory and relive times when life was simpler and tomorrow always promised another day of hope and expectation.

You asked!

Michael

elpasorudy's picture
elpasorudy
Posts: 78
Joined: Jan 2013

I have had a lot going on in my life over the past year. My father died November 30. My wife Mary Ann lost her five-year battle with uterine papillary serous carcinoma June 1. My mother died four days later. I was told Friday that I probably have kidney cancer. When Mary Ann was alive, I used to pray that God would keep me healthy until after she died so that I could take good care of her. When the urologist gave me his tentative diagnosis Friday, I said to God: "Really? You couldn't give me a few more months of good health." Music keeps me in good spirits as does yard work.

Music: "I Gotta Feeling" by the Blackeye Peas, Lady Gage, Journey, Dixie Chicks, Marvin Gaye, Dire Straits, "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners.

Exercise: Walking (I was doing four miles a day on treadmill), have started walking in local park. Enjoy mowing the lawn, landscaping and other yard work.

Calming influence: I wear my wife's baseball cap. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. She handled her cancer with tenacity, courage, dignity and tears.

Movies: "Beasts of the Southern Wild", "Defending Your Life," "Little Miss Sunshine"

 

 

 

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Thumbs up on Defending Your Life

A great film!

I'm sorry that life has handed you so much strife.  Quoting another wise friend here named Texas Wedge, who quotes yet someone else, "Accept the change and keep moving forward."

Embroil yourself with this group of fine people!  They are quite unlike any I've ever met. They have, each one, found a special place in my life.

(I think my wife is beginning to suspect!)  Smile

Michael

FiatDriver
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2013

The song "Swim" by Jack's Mannquin.  It is about the lead singer's struggle with leukemia so it might be a little "on the nose" but I focused on it during some long nights.  Moving as much as possible helps too.  The nurses would laugh because I was doing laps in the hallway at 3am.

 Also, I focused on things I wanted to live for from being around to see my kids grow up to seeing the next Star Wars movie in 2015 or surviving long enough to see the Mets be good, although that might be a stretch even if I live another 60 years. :-)

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

 

Sources of strength for me (as caretaker) are friends, family, and,  of course, John. 

 

But I think you’re talking about the places I  go when no one is looking or at least when no one suspects I need that extra infusion of whatever it is that ignites my courage and inner  strength.   Personal refuges for me are quiet times at water’s edge, particularly at the Ocean where the quiet is only interrupted by the sound of the surf on the sand, but the Inner Harbor  and Chesapeake work too. Then there's the thunderstorms and the tin roof lullabies that come with them.  And I can't forget the love and company of animals, both at home and in nature.  All  provide me that zap during down times. 

 Music also holds a strong spot for me.  And I find myself at moments craving to hear the words of songs  I love, though the words are not always relevant.  There are way too many to mention but ones that immediately scream VOLUME UP are Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”  But I also never  get tired of forever classics like Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow”. Another one that always inspires is Dan Fogelberg’s “Run for the Roses” . “Run for the Roses”, as most realize, was written for the Kentucky Derby, but I so love the  chorus,  And it's run for the roses as fast as you can. Your fate is delivered, your moment's at hand. It's the chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance. . .” That’s one of those songs I instantly loved first time I heard it and  still do to this day. . .

 

MeMeJoy
Posts: 68
Joined: Apr 2013

I can't believe I left my 4 legged baby off my list!!! Our dog ( Luke "sky walker" - the most awesome Great Pyreneese in the world) is a huge source of strength for me! The week after I came home from the hospital he laid by my side and never moved unless I did. Animals are amazing. He is definately a rock and if I ever need a good cry, like a really good all out boo-hoo ugly cry, he never judges :)

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

My Wife and Grand-daughter put up a kennel for Precious to keep her from jumping up on me or rough-housing, as we are wont to do, following my surgery. It lasted a day before I put my foot down.

Precious somehow knew I was fragile and was as gentle with me as I suspect she would be with one of her own pups, if she were allowed to have them. I've had many remarkable dogs in my 66 plus years, but she ranks at the top!

Gross as it may seem to some, big sloppy dog kisses have the greatest emotional healing power I've ever known.

It would be a very dark world indeed wthout them!

dme59's picture
dme59
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2013

My list:

1)      Spending time with family. 

2)      My happy place: ballpark, Toledo Mud Hens or Cincinnati Reds.

3)      My dog Sasha, longhair dachshund. She is my baby. And Michael..she is much like your Precious...Sasha is a kisser. Very affectionate little gal.

4)      Movie: Forrest Gump, Green Mile.

5)     Computer on Facebook, and/or checking up on this forum seeing how my new friends are doing.

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

I couldn't agree with you more. You guys might enjoy this clip that a friend sent to me. Remarkable animals. Don't have a dog now but I did.  When he*(Magoo*) died, it almost destroyed me. And to this day, I cannot bring myself to get another dog, and it's been 13 years. I do, however, still have a cat that he rescued 14 years ago as a tiny kitten, one of many he rescued during his time with me.  So Magoo's memory is alway close at heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jb8qMM-bXs

 

I'm with you Michael, no therapy is better than dog therapy.

 

 

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Amen Alice!

I was the same way for a long time.  I lost a lovely, smart, loving border collie back in 1995 to cancer. I didn't wnat anymore of the loss and hurt that went with having a dog, that is until 2009 when Precious was thrust into my life. LOL  I am so glad it didn't take even one day longer!

It was a hard lesson well learned. If it ever comes to that again, I will not wait that long. The love given is far more powerful and postive than the loss and heartbreak.  Plus,there are lots of dogs ending up in shelters these days, being "recycled" as it were, out of need or simple inconvenience to their owners.  There is a whole lot of love wasting away, or being put down, in shelters.

Never again!

Michael

 

 

 

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

Michael-I agree with everything you say. Most of my volunteer time is going toward cat and dog rescue and whatever it takes to lower the euthanasia rate of healthy animals. The current euthanasia rate is a national disgrace IMO. The thought that our society continues to think cats and dogs (and other animals) are disposable is horrendous. I've fostered a couple of dogs (and one was a beautiful border collie) over the past few years and may do more in the future. But prior to retiring in February (2013), my days were too long to have a dog full-time. After losing Magoo, I slowly began volunteering in rescue projects that eventually lengthened my days to  11 or 12 hours a day.  

I know one day I'll adopt another dog or one will adopt me. Magoo found me many years ago in a local park. Could never find out where he came from though I advertised, but I''ve come to think of our meeting as something other than mere coincidence.  Even after finding Magoo a new home, the new owners enacted the return policy and I ended up with him again. In retrospect, Magoo was the best things that ever happened to me. Right now, most of the dogs at local rescues (in Baltimore) are pitbulls or pitbull mixes. I have no problem with them personally. (I've never met a dog I didn't love.) But, unfortunately, many pitbulls cannot  be trusted with cats. And I can't put my cats in harm's way.  But everything you say is right; it will happen and maybe sooner than I expect.

Dan-Magoo was a Dachshund mix, but looked and acted 99% Dachshund, so my heart melted when I read about your dog. A dear friend has a pair of them that I visit anytime I have the opportunity. i'm  so jealous.

 

I apologize to other members of the Board for going off topic here, but get me talking about animals,  and I don't shut up.  Hope I haven't offended anyone.

 

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 360
Joined: May 2012

My rescue sheltie always greets me when I come home.  It is my daily pet scan.   The only problem with her is that anything that remotely sounds like walk is walk, including (for example (guac), as in who ate all the guac?  She goes and grabs the leash and starts whining. 

dme59's picture
dme59
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2013

Thank your for sharing the video Alice. My dog would fit in with the dogs in that clip. She is such a loving little gal, on me like a shadow if I am around the house. My baby is a 7 1/2 year old longhaired dachshund.

Dan

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 360
Joined: May 2012

What gets me through is first and formost remaing focused at the the present, and not thinking past the next scan....that works for 2 1/2 months; the last half month becomes problematic (I am 1 week away from my next set).

Specific things:

Driving my car hard

Spending time with my family

Baseball (Go Nats, please win a few in a row)

Music (Bruce!:  No Surrender)

For those owie days, pain meds

 

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 1858
Joined: Oct 2011

When it comes to dogs. I don't have any. But my wife has 5! This week it's 6 as we are sitting our daughters while she is at the beach. Also we are sitting her fish and 4 birds. Plus a cat of our own. What a zoo. My interests have not changed. Most important are my 2 granddaughters. My motorcycle, golf, and guitars are next. I continue to exercise but find weight training hurts the rib mets too much. Jogging less but bicycle riding more. I'll be unable to do much with upcoming treatments so I may just let it all slide for awhile. Then start over ..again..One thing that I really appreciate is being retired. It has allowed me to dummy down. More time to stop and smell the roses. I don't care about the date, politics, or weather. I like that alot. Also and very importantly, I have not slipped even one notch in maintaining a positive attitude. I live every day as if I have a million more in front of me. (I don't buy much new stuff though. Still working on using up all the stuff I got.) Maybe being half brain dead from the seventies makes me oblivious. But don't care. Life is good!

MeMeJoy
Posts: 68
Joined: Apr 2013

I've never had that many dogs at once, but for a a few months growing up we had 13 cats (one cat had 10 kittens before we were able to get her spayed), 3 dogs, 2 hamsters, 3 fish and a bird. Only the hamsters and fish were contained. The bird could come in and out of his cage as he pleased and oddly everyone left everyone else alone! Except the bird loved to get into the trash can...Undecided

When I was a bit older my roomates and I had 2 dogs, 3 iguanas, 3 horses, and 2 stray cats that were kinda ours - we fed them at least.

 

 

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