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pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

Today my daughter did a 5k race for life to raise funds for cancer research uk. I was hoping to take part myself, but am not yet quite ready to do so.. what I hadn't anticipated was just how emotional I was. Whilst it was wonderful to see so many people participating, it just shocked me, yet again, that I have had a diagnosis of cancer. Although the knowledge that I have rears itself every day, I guess for the most part those thoughts are private as I get on with life. But this event had me quite tearful at times. I realise I am no different to anyone else, but who would have thought this time last year I would have joined this 'club'to which none of wish to belong. It  really felt like slap. Liz

jcruz
Posts: 220
Joined: Jan 2013

I relate so strongly to that shock you describe - that I too have had a diagnosis of cancer.  I am overwhelmed at times, especially in the last few weeks as I go through the anniversaries of hearing my diagnosis, seeing doctors, scans, surgery, and then finally treatment.  As I have had some major meltdowns lately I have also tried to reframe the way I look back and tell myself that this time one year ago was the beginning of the end of the cancer.  I am trying to get on with life too but struggle with depression and anxiety and have found a wonderful therapist who will be with me for this stage of my healing journey.

It must have been wonderful seeing your daughter running in the race.  Take care.

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

I amso sorry that you struggle with anxiety & depression. Having a diagnosis of cancer must exacerbate that &I can understand you feeling overwhelmed. Mydaughter is just recovering from severe anxiety & depression which is why I am so proud of her achievement.  I am surprised I haven't had many of those moments. Maybe that is why it hit me by so unexpectedly the other day. Maybe because apart from this site & another, I have very little to attach me to cancer (except when I visit the bathroom of course). Saying that, I know all the dates of this journey, but being only 6 months post treatment,  I haven't passed any milestones yet, plus still not having the initial 'all clear', so maybe I am in my protective bubble for the most time. My meltdownns come along during the week before investigations & waiting for the results. Not too unusual given the circumstances.I am glad you have a good therapist. Having someone to listen to you, and really be there for you is so important (I hope so.......I am one usually & at least my recent experience is another one I can add to my cv of life). I am also a great believer in using mindfulness (look at Jon Kabat-Zinn) & meditation. & try to up myuse of these when needed. Take care, you are onwards in your recovery, Liz

jcruz
Posts: 220
Joined: Jan 2013

My daughter went through a very bad period of depression and panic attacks two years ago.  It was so hard being hundreds of miles away and trying to assess if I should go and be with her.  Her boyfriend was thousands of miles away and the two of us managed over the phone to be able to convince her to go to her campus health center for treatment.  Sometimes when we talked on the phone all I did was listen to her cry.  It just broke my heart.  But she did get better with therapy and a short-term course of medication.  Then a year later I got my cancer diagnosis.  We're both so glad that it didn't happen at the same time as her breakdown.  I didn't really start to come undone emotionally until I went back to work several months after my treatment ended.  I think it was the trying to return to normal that triggered this period of depression.  Finding the new normal, integrating the old and new me, is going to take some time.  My therapist and I have talked some about memories and trauma and I'll be learning ways to deal with the memories and what triggers my anxiety and fear.  Anxiety is something I've lived with my whole life but have never really gotten help for it.  I've just floundered and suffered.  So I hope that in processing all of the stuff that comes up around my cancer experience will lead to being better able to deal with the other issues that are triggers for me. 

Hope all goes well for you with your scan.  I have a friend who has had three different cancers - she told me she'd thought she'd invented a new word "scanxiety" for the feeling she got prior to each scan.  She googled the word, turns out to be commonly used by patients and practioners.  It is such a descriptive word.  I hope your scanxiety was manageable.

Janet

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I do understand all those feelings. I think maybe all cancer patients suffer a form of post traumatic stress. We did what we had to do to get through it, but when it is done,we look back and feel all the feelings we didn't have time to process at the time. Tears can be cleansing. That is so wonderful that your daughter participated in the run! It sounds like she is taking positive steps to deal with all her feelings that come with the fear of losing her mom! She sounds like a great kid and I am sure a chip off the old block! Give her a big thanks for all of us!!!

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Mary, very proud of my daughter. She signed up for the race to have a goal to help herpast her severe depression she was suffering. Life had been very difficult for her anyway then I got the diagnosis. She is now so much better, & it is fantastic to see who she is again, & some! As for tears, I rarely cry, and only briefly had tears in my eyes on Sunday. But back to smelling the roses etc. I tend to agree about the post trauma stress & our need to catch up with processing it all. However, I think that I processed a lot before I began treatment, I did a lot of research on pelvic radiation & its effects & for a time I did not want treatment as I felt my quality of life would be too compromised. I remember weeping for the old me as they started the mitomycin bolus on 18th December. I think I did my grieving for me before treatment. I had the treatment for my husband & daughter. As far as quality of life is concerned, apart from fatigue and frequent visists to the bathroom (especially if I find I have eaten something that has upset my guts), I am good. Hopefully the scan tomorrow will give me the reassurance I need soo I can return to work (as a therapist I really need to have a 'clear' mind for my patient). Liz

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mp327
Posts: 2879
Joined: Jan 2010

Liz, I just want to wish you all the very best with your scan.  May you get the all clear!

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RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

Sorry, Liz - I guess we all have had a time or two (or three or four) where all of a sudden something hits us in the face and reminds us of the cancer diagnosis and all it entails. Sometimes the meltdown or tears can be very beneficial. 'Beneficial's not really the right word, but what I mean is that it's good to get it out. You went through something big and it's ok to have those moments of shock. But (reflecting on your comment to me about being a putz, which I loved Smile) don't let it get to you for too long, ok?   Take care, feel good about where you are now, not where you were a year ago. It's okay to think about it and acknowledge it, but don't you stay there for too long.

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

I guess it wasn't a cry as such, more like it brought tears to my eyes, it's just my feeling caught me unawares. I guess living with cancer is different tothose moments when we realise the enormity of what has happened and continues to happen. They are still trying to establish if the lymph node that failed to respond to treatment is in fact an ovary! . For some reason I haven't cried properly since diagnosis. I am not a good crier at all, & maybe that's where the problem lies...... but thank you. Nothing gets me down for long. There's always a bird to hear or a flower to smell. There's no point in wasting too much of this precious time on being maudling. I hope you are feeling a bit more like yourself again. Liz

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mp327
Posts: 2879
Joined: Jan 2010

Congrats to your daughter on doing the 5k race!  I am a runner and have done quite a few races and it's a lot of fun and always for a good cause.  Bravo to her.  As for your emotions, it is quite overwhelming to see that many people together who are there because they probably all have had a loved one touched by this disease.  I am always very inspired and motivated by the other runners.  I always think of a race as moving forward--getting further away from the disease with each and every step.  I know that there will be another race that you will be up for in the future.  You have come a long way and will continue to see improvement.  You've already crossed the most important finish line!

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Martha, I was thrilled for Laura. She has never run a race before. This year had been really hard for her with other situations before my diagnosis & she landed up being sevrely depressed.  It's wonderful to have her back & stronger. She feels she let me down, as, when I was still going through treatment and for a couple of months or more after, she could barely get out of bed. Thankfully, what was taking her to that place has now largely been resolved (she had started her first job of her new career & her 'mentor' did not have a clue as to what was needed from her). So, maybe my emotions re cancer was on the backburner as I was so proud of het. Then it bit me on the bum! I am hoping I do get to know if I have passed the finish line. Maybe the scan tomorrow will do that. Liz

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sandysp
Posts: 773
Joined: May 2011

Laura was also my daughter's name. Laura Brooks Ferguson.  I love them (coincidences). They are nothing else but little miracles. It is wonderful you have her back from the terrible things depression does to us.

These scans mess with our heads. I am so glad mine were moved up to this Saturday from September. It will be good to get them over with. I agree that tears are really good for us. Very te-toxifying.

All the best,

Sandy

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

What a beautiful name! Good luck with your scans on
Saturday! Hoping qnd praying for NED for you!

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

Yes! What a coincidence! I am really so sorry your Laura is now only in your head & heart. Losing a child is so hard. My sister lost her son 8 years ago. It's not meant to be like that. 

Good luck with your scan onSaturday.  Hope your results are as they should be.

Liz

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sandysp
Posts: 773
Joined: May 2011

My first cancer diagnosis I was 26. I lived 3000 miles from my family, had been divorced for three years and was the single mother of a three year old. My father had died the year before (as a matter of extreme coincidence the surgery was scheduled on the anniversary of his death) He died from a 12 gauge shotgun wound to the face. They ruled it a suicide but the sheriff had his doubts and expressed them to our family. He didn't leave a note.

As a result I kept my cancer secret from my family. I checked myself into the hospital myself for the surgery. A friend of my daughter's mother took my daughter for the week I was in the hospital. Probably it was good I was anesthesized on that day (the anniversary).

I look back on that and I think how did I do that? Only now am I realizing how I just blocked the impact it had on me. My father died, I had a cancer diagnosis and hysterectomy and went on with my life. But I remember feeling like I had been violated and assaulted by my own body and my mind. I wondered if I had not been punished for the suicide like some old testament belief. I began to read positive thinking books and meditations. I was able to see how hard on myself I was about everything. I began to see "The Secret", so to speak.

I know that in many ways I made the choice to suffer in silence. My insurance offered five counseling sessions a year with a social worker that were so valuable to me but I know how much more I needed than that.

In 1991 my daughter died suddenly and "idiopathically" - no known cause of death. That's one reason why I am having such a hard time with this vertigo/ear thing being "idiopathic". It's a trigger for me to be really depressed. Her death was far worse than my cancer diagnoses and treatments.

I did two horrible divorces and hope to not ever have to go through that again. I realize now how wounded I was coming into this marriage and how determined I am to get spiritually and mentally and emotionally well. No matter what it takes. This time I have been sick has given me time to regather myself. When the systemic fatigue wears off, watch out world! Here I come!

Love,

Sandy

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

You have been through so very much. No person should have to endure such heartache. You are a survivor and I know you will get well! I hope they get to the bottom of your vertigo soon. Prayers and hugs to you.

I wonder if anyone has done correlation studies on life stressors like divorce and death and the link to cancer. So many women I know of that went through horrible divorces and got cancer some years later.

qv62
Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2012

Sandy, I had no idea of all these heartaches you endured, my heart is breaking for you as I read your story, please know I will send extra prayers and positive energy your way, I can't begin to magine what you have been through, sending big hugs as well.

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sandysp
Posts: 773
Joined: May 2011

It's easy to talk here.

Fondly,

Sandy

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2879
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry for all you've been through--however, I'm so glad you feel like you can come here and let out your feelings.  Hugs to you, my friend.

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Lorikat
Posts: 557
Joined: Jul 2011

Lots and lots of hugs Sandy.  I gree the worse thing is to lose a child.  I am proud to (((know)))) you.  Lori

 

pializ
Posts: 258
Joined: Nov 2012

No wonder you have such a big heart! You have been through so much. Still, others might have become bitter having such experiences. Reading your story made me feel sad, humble, & make me want to give you a 'cwtch' (a Welsh hug). Liz

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sandysp
Posts: 773
Joined: May 2011

Thanks!

:-)

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