Wish I could go back

Eil4186
Eil4186 Member Posts: 949
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Well, I hate to admit it, but I am just not liking this new normal thing. I still think a lot about cancer and worry about the chance of a recurrence---even though realistically the chance is very small. I don't sleep well and have not had a good night's sleep since chemo and that is over 2 years. So I am tired all the time. My libido also has gone the way of my ability to sleep through the night. I am sad about this because it is a part of me that is gone along with my fertility and peace of mind.

I think a lot about cancer and have a huge fear of death now that the old me never did. I obsess about things and my mind is never at peace. At my oncologist visit last week, he told me that after 2 more 3-month visits, I will drop down to 6-month visits. This has really thrown me. Ever since then I have been ill at ease. The doctors have become a big part of my life and I feel that when I am there I don't have to pretend that the cancer never happened. The doctors and nurses are kind and caring. Friends and family are long past the point when they are ready to hear these things. They have moved on and do not have the patience to hear me still talking or worrying about cancer. I have a feeling they think that its long time that I should have put it all behind me.

I did not express my anxiety to my doctors about the visits because I don't want them to think I am unstable. But just seeing them on a frequent basis, makes me feel more secure. When I am there, I kind of put on a calm, positive face and I am sure they think I am fine. But inside I am very unsettled. I don't feel like the old me, and I don't feel like a new me either. I just feel tired, anxious, sometimes depressed and afraid of death. I feel as though I just cannot let go of my cancer experience. I know that you guys are not miracle workers and you all are going through your own feelings about cancer. I guess I just wanted to this all out and in words. I don't want to take yet another medication and I don't know about seeing a psychologist. I've done that twice over the last few years(once when my Dad died and once during treatment) and either time helped much.

Thank you for listening, Eil
«1

Comments

  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    Totally Understand
    Eil,
    I totally understand where you are coming from and I finished my chemo June of 2007. I hate to say that these feelings will not go away totally ever again. It is much like a death and as time goes on, the pain, anger, guilt, fear, etc get better but then there are times it is like yesterday. I posted a few days ago and several of the "sisterhood" jumped in and helped pull me to a better place in my head. I have not done any journaling but think maybe that will help. I figured I might color code it so I can actually see the good days vs the tough days. I guess we all feel your pain in one way or another and you definitely are not alone but I find that this is the only place where people understand. I wish there was a magical answer but actually writing to us does help or at least it helped me. We are here, so rant, vent, share, be a helper and at times be the needy one. That is what the sisterhood is all about. Sending you girl power and many hugs through cyberspace. Angela
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    I don't like it either Eil.
    I don't like it either Eil. I'm trying to be a phoenixrising but I'm afraid I won't make it out of the ashes sometimes. That's why I chose that name, hoping it would give me strength and optimism. I also fear death more now than I did before dx. I don't venture out into the bush (forest/nature) as much as I did as I'm afraid of running into mountain lions or grizzly. I used to camp by myself and travel wherever the spirit took me. A huge disappointment to myself. I realize that not seeing your docs as much anymore can make you feel like someone has taken the floor out from under you and you don't think you can fly. But you will fly, we all will fly and have nothing under us and I think in that flying we will gain more confidence and eventually like it and fuss at going to the docs.

    I think my friends think "times up" lets move on too. They don't understand and unfortunately I don't think I would either if I were them. I call our situation "walking with death" because the axe can come down at any time. And although we could have been hit by a bus before dx, life and perspective changes when you see your name and cancer together on a piece of paper. Then you go through tx and then you deal with all the se and then you worry and worry some more. Esp our cancer. Many cancers, if you get enough years behind you you can breathe a little easier, but unfortunately we can be at risk for many many years, not just 5.

    I don't know if it will help you but when I've had enough I hand it over to the Gods and say you figure it out. I take the attitude that what will be will be as I have proven that even though I thought I had control over my life I really didn't so why do I think that all this worrying is going to help anything. But then I worry some more :)

    You're not alone Eil, this psychological maze is one many of us are dealing with. You didn't mention if you were on anti-depressants. Have you thought of taking some for a little while?
    And remember the meds we are on can cause huge disturbances in our well being.

    Thinking of you and sending you tons of hugs
    love
    jan
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    I relate
    Eil, I have been feeling this way, too, now that my treatment is over (I finished chemo on June 20 of '08). In many ways I am happy: I have more friends than I did in the past, am involved in a lot of hobbies and activities, and now have much less frequent doctor's appointments (I only have one plastic surgery left in April: the nipple tatooing for my breast reconstruction). However, cancer is always in the back of my mind and I, too, think about dying and how horrible it would be having to leave my children, who still depend on me. I actually AM a therapist (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and I agree with you that I'm not sure talking to someone will help: I think it's just a reality that we have to live with the uncertainty that 'the other shoe could drop' and there's not much we can do about it. I'm sure like me, you're doing the best you can, and don't think about it every second, but it's always there. It does help a little sharing (at least for me) sharing my feelings with people on this board who feel the same way.

    It's not easy, is it?

    You're in my thoughts,

    Ohilly
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    I relate
    Eil, I have been feeling this way, too, now that my treatment is over (I finished chemo on June 20 of '08). In many ways I am happy: I have more friends than I did in the past, am involved in a lot of hobbies and activities, and now have much less frequent doctor's appointments (I only have one plastic surgery left in April: the nipple tatooing for my breast reconstruction). However, cancer is always in the back of my mind and I, too, think about dying and how horrible it would be having to leave my children, who still depend on me. I actually AM a therapist (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and I agree with you that I'm not sure talking to someone will help: I think it's just a reality that we have to live with the uncertainty that 'the other shoe could drop' and there's not much we can do about it. I'm sure like me, you're doing the best you can, and don't think about it every second, but it's always there. It does help a little sharing (at least for me) sharing my feelings with people on this board who feel the same way.

    It's not easy, is it?

    You're in my thoughts,

    Ohilly
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    I relate
    Eil, I have been feeling this way, too, now that my treatment is over (I finished chemo on June 20 of '08). In many ways I am happy: I have more friends than I did in the past, am involved in a lot of hobbies and activities, and now have much less frequent doctor's appointments (I only have one plastic surgery left in April: the nipple tatooing for my breast reconstruction). However, cancer is always in the back of my mind and I, too, think about dying and how horrible it would be having to leave my children, who still depend on me. I actually AM a therapist (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and I agree with you that I'm not sure talking to someone will help: I think it's just a reality that we have to live with the uncertainty that 'the other shoe could drop' and there's not much we can do about it. I'm sure like me, you're doing the best you can, and don't think about it every second, but it's always there. It does help a little sharing (at least for me) sharing my feelings with people on this board who feel the same way.

    It's not easy, is it?

    You're in my thoughts,

    Ohilly
  • EllieJV
    EllieJV Member Posts: 16
    Oh I am giving you a BIG
    Oh I am giving you a BIG HUG! I know how you feel, and I am just starting the walk! I am scared of everything...the full diagnosis, the surgery, the follow-up treatments, the medications, the healing, the "look" from those that know, but don't REALLY know! Someone wise, told me to take every single minute, as it comes. Ground myself in "now", no NOW. Wait, NOW! You see, if you are concentrating on the "now" you can get thru it. And, you can see that we are ALWAYS going to be afraid of something. But, it isn't going to stop us from going forward, and trying to live life again, the way we want to.

    You will be losing your "security blanket" when your visits with the MD are a little less frequent. But, they are still there, if you need them. They aren't going to shut the door on your butt, as you leave. They will open it right back up, if you need to be in there. But, you don't want to be there all the time. You want to "get out there and live". And, for those times when it just seems a bit overwhelming, stop by HERE and NOW and we'll help you thru it.

    I'll be here for you, for whatever support you need. If you are looking for a butt kick, bend over, I'm here. If you want a pat on the back, I can do that. If you want that Hug, anytime, you'll get one. Now, get a little closer to the monitor, so I can reach...

    Ellie
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    The winged monkey likes to sit on our chest. Make it back off!
    Eil - You have given me so much encouragement. I gotta write to tell you that you have touched me with your honesty. You never have to pretend that the cancer never happened, but I know that friends don't understand. Mine keep asking me when we're going to celebrate my done with treatment party and whew, treatment may be done (October), but I sure don't feel like celebrating!

    One way I get the winged monkey off my chest is by some exercises my therapist taught me. She said that I have to grieve and deal with the feelings. If I stuff them down, they'll never go away. She asks me if I can welcome the feeling, not fight it. This is very hard. It's OK to say no. But if I can welcome the feeling and be there with it in the moment, sometimes it diminishes. Then I go through the process again, until it's totally dissipated. Doesn't always work. Other times I just need to cry. I have found music that turns my spigots on (Jackson Browne, for one), and after the rain I feel some serenity. It is really hard.

    It really helps to know that others share these feelings; it makes me feel less weird. When I expressed my feelings to my onc he said, if you keep feeling this way, you are letting the cancer win, even if there is not one cancer cell left in your body. He has no idea how hard it is to let go of the fear.

    I hope tomorrow is a good, good, good day for you. Love, Lynn
  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    lynn1950 said:

    The winged monkey likes to sit on our chest. Make it back off!
    Eil - You have given me so much encouragement. I gotta write to tell you that you have touched me with your honesty. You never have to pretend that the cancer never happened, but I know that friends don't understand. Mine keep asking me when we're going to celebrate my done with treatment party and whew, treatment may be done (October), but I sure don't feel like celebrating!

    One way I get the winged monkey off my chest is by some exercises my therapist taught me. She said that I have to grieve and deal with the feelings. If I stuff them down, they'll never go away. She asks me if I can welcome the feeling, not fight it. This is very hard. It's OK to say no. But if I can welcome the feeling and be there with it in the moment, sometimes it diminishes. Then I go through the process again, until it's totally dissipated. Doesn't always work. Other times I just need to cry. I have found music that turns my spigots on (Jackson Browne, for one), and after the rain I feel some serenity. It is really hard.

    It really helps to know that others share these feelings; it makes me feel less weird. When I expressed my feelings to my onc he said, if you keep feeling this way, you are letting the cancer win, even if there is not one cancer cell left in your body. He has no idea how hard it is to let go of the fear.

    I hope tomorrow is a good, good, good day for you. Love, Lynn

    Everything I am reading here...
    sounds soooo familiar.
    I am a 22 1/2 year survivor. 3 cancer dx between 1986 and 1996.
    But here I am, 60 years old (was 38 at first dx), and still kikkin (just not as high) lol. I do remember feeling just as many of you do.
    I think time is a huge factor in our emotional healing. I just don't see things as I did 10, or even 5 years ago. I know you are all saying, 'ok, but what about TODAY?' I think for today we all just need to work on keeping things in perspective. One way I do that is to look real hard at others who have so much more to deal with than I do and try to, first of all, be thankful for where I am, and secondly, try to make somebody else's day just a tad easier.
    I am not homeless so I am helping out a family whose house burned the other day (five kids...mercy me!), and I am able to get around so I take care of my dad, who can't. Just stuff like that. We can't save the world, but working on one little piece here and there is very therapeutic.
    And, trust me, we do regain confidence in time. Not just confidence that we will be allowed to live as long as we choose to, but confidence that when we do stop living we will have done what we were put here to do and so it's all good.
  • Aortus
    Aortus Member Posts: 967
    zahalene said:

    Everything I am reading here...
    sounds soooo familiar.
    I am a 22 1/2 year survivor. 3 cancer dx between 1986 and 1996.
    But here I am, 60 years old (was 38 at first dx), and still kikkin (just not as high) lol. I do remember feeling just as many of you do.
    I think time is a huge factor in our emotional healing. I just don't see things as I did 10, or even 5 years ago. I know you are all saying, 'ok, but what about TODAY?' I think for today we all just need to work on keeping things in perspective. One way I do that is to look real hard at others who have so much more to deal with than I do and try to, first of all, be thankful for where I am, and secondly, try to make somebody else's day just a tad easier.
    I am not homeless so I am helping out a family whose house burned the other day (five kids...mercy me!), and I am able to get around so I take care of my dad, who can't. Just stuff like that. We can't save the world, but working on one little piece here and there is very therapeutic.
    And, trust me, we do regain confidence in time. Not just confidence that we will be allowed to live as long as we choose to, but confidence that when we do stop living we will have done what we were put here to do and so it's all good.

    Wow
    I read just about everything I can find here so I can be the most possible help I can be for my beloved Moopy. I get my questions answered, I learn about possible pitfalls, I feel crushed, I feel uplifted... and sometimes I laugh out loud. But this thread was perhaps the most unnerving thing I've encountered yet - even at the end of a successful battle with the Enemy there are doubts and worries and fears. Again, I need to know about these feelings so I can be there for Mopy after *her* successful battle with the Enemy. So thanks to ALL of you ladies for your courage in sharing what is going on, in a place where even guys can read it. And a special tip of the hat to you, Z-Lady for giving me my newest motto. Still kikkin, just not as high!

    Joe
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    Aortus said:

    Wow
    I read just about everything I can find here so I can be the most possible help I can be for my beloved Moopy. I get my questions answered, I learn about possible pitfalls, I feel crushed, I feel uplifted... and sometimes I laugh out loud. But this thread was perhaps the most unnerving thing I've encountered yet - even at the end of a successful battle with the Enemy there are doubts and worries and fears. Again, I need to know about these feelings so I can be there for Mopy after *her* successful battle with the Enemy. So thanks to ALL of you ladies for your courage in sharing what is going on, in a place where even guys can read it. And a special tip of the hat to you, Z-Lady for giving me my newest motto. Still kikkin, just not as high!

    Joe

    Eil I'm praying
    HI eIL , i AM STILL STRAINING MY EYES to see the light at the end, I know now that might not happen until I reach Heaven. Maybe the darkness will diminish a little each day.. as I reach the acceptance stage. I think i have overcome the denial stage but the Anger, bargaining, and depression seem to rotate around. Fear is the reason for the anger. Fear that comes from that f###### cancer trying to steal our lives and tormenting with our loved ones. THAT IS what keeps me angry and gear up for the biggest battle of my life.
    This does not mean i do not want to live with peace love and joy in my heart, Of course i do! I am trying to stay positive and do things to make me happy, but sometimes our thoughts can be the scariest thing of all. I find I have to hurry on to something else,,sometimes even leave the house, call a friend, or just put my head on my husbands shoulder to distract myself and look the other way. I don't think this is denial but instead a way of coping.
    Today is my real birthday and i have made it to 54! I plan to die in my sleep at age 90 something.. hope this is what God intends also..but whenever
    it happens i know i will see the most beautiful light at the end of the tunnel i will ever see!

    God bless all of you today and every day. and thanks for such caring support.
    Jackie
  • kbc4869
    kbc4869 Member Posts: 159
    Honestly, Eileen, at two
    Honestly, Eileen, at two years, I was still reeling. At 5 years, I was able to breath a little better. I know everyone says it and it doesn't help you now, but it does take time. There are still days when I feel unnerved, but they are less and less. But when they hit, they hit hard, and I start all over again. All we can do is focus on today. We are here today. We are healthy today. Tomorrow is out of our hands.

    I wish I had a way to make it better for you. Just know that you're not alone. This "new normal" thing should come with a user guide, some cliff notes or a map. It's hard to find your way with no direction.

    And I know your're tired of meds, but the antidepressants have helped me. They've helped a lot. I really think in order to heal you have to get some sleep. Things look completely different after a decent night's sleep.

    (((((((((Hugs, Eil)))))))))))))
  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    Aortus said:

    Wow
    I read just about everything I can find here so I can be the most possible help I can be for my beloved Moopy. I get my questions answered, I learn about possible pitfalls, I feel crushed, I feel uplifted... and sometimes I laugh out loud. But this thread was perhaps the most unnerving thing I've encountered yet - even at the end of a successful battle with the Enemy there are doubts and worries and fears. Again, I need to know about these feelings so I can be there for Mopy after *her* successful battle with the Enemy. So thanks to ALL of you ladies for your courage in sharing what is going on, in a place where even guys can read it. And a special tip of the hat to you, Z-Lady for giving me my newest motto. Still kikkin, just not as high!

    Joe

    Thanks Joe
    My grandmother lived to be 100 years and 4 months old. I am determined to break her record. And speaking of kikkin, she fell and broke her hip at age 85 or so and did not let that daunt her...she got it fixed and got up and got on with things. This was the same woman who carried twins during the depression and there was so little to eat (she already had 4 kids) that she almost starved herself to death in the process. I mean, I have had NOTHING like that to hold me back...shame on me if I don't do SOMETHING with what I have to work with.
    But for now you and your Moopy and every other lady and man here who is in the midst of the battle need to concentrate on 'getting it fixed', then move on to other things. We can't help others till we help ourselves.
  • Chellebug
    Chellebug Member Posts: 133
    rjjj said:

    Eil I'm praying
    HI eIL , i AM STILL STRAINING MY EYES to see the light at the end, I know now that might not happen until I reach Heaven. Maybe the darkness will diminish a little each day.. as I reach the acceptance stage. I think i have overcome the denial stage but the Anger, bargaining, and depression seem to rotate around. Fear is the reason for the anger. Fear that comes from that f###### cancer trying to steal our lives and tormenting with our loved ones. THAT IS what keeps me angry and gear up for the biggest battle of my life.
    This does not mean i do not want to live with peace love and joy in my heart, Of course i do! I am trying to stay positive and do things to make me happy, but sometimes our thoughts can be the scariest thing of all. I find I have to hurry on to something else,,sometimes even leave the house, call a friend, or just put my head on my husbands shoulder to distract myself and look the other way. I don't think this is denial but instead a way of coping.
    Today is my real birthday and i have made it to 54! I plan to die in my sleep at age 90 something.. hope this is what God intends also..but whenever
    it happens i know i will see the most beautiful light at the end of the tunnel i will ever see!

    God bless all of you today and every day. and thanks for such caring support.
    Jackie

    Happy Birthday, Jackie!
    I hope this encourages you.

    My great grandma had breast cancer in her 50's. She lived an incredible life for over 45 more years and died in her sleep at the age of 98!!

    Here is my birthday present to you....a tribute to my Great Grandma Vivian. May we all have an interesting story to tell through this process we are in:

    Vivian's 5-Day Pineapple Upside Down Cake
    If there's one thing I loved most about my great grandma, it was how she could tell a story. She had the knack for drawing you in, giving just enough information, knowing when to pause, and when to sum it all up. There was rarely a time when her stories didn't include her humor and her wit.

    The following is a story that Grandma Vivian told me in September, 2005. On this day we were celebrating her son Jude's 80th birthday. Now, to be fair, my memory's not always the sharpest when it comes to details, but I'll try to remember it the way it happened.

    Grandma: Hey, have you tried my 5-Day Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?
    Me: Not yet.......how do you make a a 5-Day Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Grandma?
    Grandma: Well, I'll tell you. You see, on DAY ONE, I looked around my kitchen to see what ingredients I needed to buy. I had only one egg and the recipe called for two. And, I was out of crushed pineapple.......but I heard that the Dollar General down the way had some fresh cans in stock.
    Me: When did you get the crushed pineapple, Grandma?
    Grandma: On DAY TWO. You should of seen the lady at the check out when I told her I was making my son's favorite dessert for his 80th birthday. She looked at me and asked, "His 80th birthday? Well, how old are you?" I told her......98.....and walked out of the store. I think she was surprised to see me drive myself away.
    Me: I'm sure she was, Grandma. I bet she'll never forget you.
    Grandma: So, on DAY THREE, I borrowed two eggs from my neighbor.
    Me: Why two eggs, Grandma? I thought you already had one and just needed one more.
    Grandma: Well, what do you think I had for breakfast that morning?
    Me: Oh.........
    Grandma: Well, on DAY FOUR, I got out my mixing bowls and pans. Then, this morning..... which was DAY FIVE........ I had that cake out of the oven before 9:00 a.m. And it's in the kitchen if you want to give it a try.
    Me: I can't wait.

    Every time I think of that story, I think about how a mother, even at the age of 98, desires to share her love with her child. I think of my independent, energetic, and witty Great Grandma who loved to perform, loved to bring us together with games, and loved the Pacers SO much that each year she would cover her apartment door with every single newspaper picture about them that she could find (oh, would she be disappointed in them today!). She stopped driving her car just a few months after that birthday celebration in September 2005. She'd always said that when she gave up her car, then she'd be giving up her independence. It was only a few months after she'd 'turned in her keys', that she passed away in March 2006.

    Grandma's 5-Day Pineapple Upside Down Cake also reminds me that it's okay to slow down. Waiting can be good. Taking as much delight in the process as in the end result can be very fulfilling. Who knows who I might meet along the way? Who knows what I'll learn? If I try to do it too quickly, chances are I'll miss something important. I might still get the same 'end' result......like a pineapple upside cake....but maybe I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I would have enjoyed it had I just slowed down a little bit. And of course, if I take my time.....I may have a much more interesting story to tell when I get done.
  • dbs1673
    dbs1673 Member Posts: 203
    kbc4869 said:

    Honestly, Eileen, at two
    Honestly, Eileen, at two years, I was still reeling. At 5 years, I was able to breath a little better. I know everyone says it and it doesn't help you now, but it does take time. There are still days when I feel unnerved, but they are less and less. But when they hit, they hit hard, and I start all over again. All we can do is focus on today. We are here today. We are healthy today. Tomorrow is out of our hands.

    I wish I had a way to make it better for you. Just know that you're not alone. This "new normal" thing should come with a user guide, some cliff notes or a map. It's hard to find your way with no direction.

    And I know your're tired of meds, but the antidepressants have helped me. They've helped a lot. I really think in order to heal you have to get some sleep. Things look completely different after a decent night's sleep.

    (((((((((Hugs, Eil)))))))))))))

    new/old???
    I don't know if it's the "old me" trying to be the "new me" or the "new me" trying to be the "old me". Either way it is all unsettling. I remember this past August going a whole 10 days without seeing the Dr and wondering if it was really a safe thing to do. Then I started radiation and those daily visits for 7 weeks really become your "routine", your final life saving action. Then, "what do you mean I'll see you in a month". It's now been almost 3 months and I go back for appointments starting next week. First the surgical oncologist, the following week the radiation oncologist, then the next back to the plastic surgeon. Funny, now I'm not feeling I'm back in the comfort of appointments, I'm back into being reminded that this is inescapable. I'm torn between needing to hear that everything is OK vs well let's just check a few more things. I so want to move into the next phase of reconstruction (my life and my boobs!) and get rid of these expanders yet I dread/get scared of more surgery. Unlike the begining of this first post, my friends/family see no need to cry anymore yet sometimes I still do. For those that are dealing with the always crying friends, I did tell mine that cancer is not acceptable in my life, this is not a dress rehearsal, it's the real thing and I plan on doing it right the first time so stop crying!
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    Eil, everybody has said it
    Eil, everybody has said it all. I can't add anymore. Just want you to know I'm in your corner.
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    I'm right there with you
    I'm right there with you Eileen. You've expressed my feelings to the T. Just want you to know, I'm in your corner. Hugs, Lili
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    Chellebug said:

    Happy Birthday, Jackie!
    I hope this encourages you.

    My great grandma had breast cancer in her 50's. She lived an incredible life for over 45 more years and died in her sleep at the age of 98!!

    Here is my birthday present to you....a tribute to my Great Grandma Vivian. May we all have an interesting story to tell through this process we are in:

    Vivian's 5-Day Pineapple Upside Down Cake
    If there's one thing I loved most about my great grandma, it was how she could tell a story. She had the knack for drawing you in, giving just enough information, knowing when to pause, and when to sum it all up. There was rarely a time when her stories didn't include her humor and her wit.

    The following is a story that Grandma Vivian told me in September, 2005. On this day we were celebrating her son Jude's 80th birthday. Now, to be fair, my memory's not always the sharpest when it comes to details, but I'll try to remember it the way it happened.

    Grandma: Hey, have you tried my 5-Day Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?
    Me: Not yet.......how do you make a a 5-Day Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Grandma?
    Grandma: Well, I'll tell you. You see, on DAY ONE, I looked around my kitchen to see what ingredients I needed to buy. I had only one egg and the recipe called for two. And, I was out of crushed pineapple.......but I heard that the Dollar General down the way had some fresh cans in stock.
    Me: When did you get the crushed pineapple, Grandma?
    Grandma: On DAY TWO. You should of seen the lady at the check out when I told her I was making my son's favorite dessert for his 80th birthday. She looked at me and asked, "His 80th birthday? Well, how old are you?" I told her......98.....and walked out of the store. I think she was surprised to see me drive myself away.
    Me: I'm sure she was, Grandma. I bet she'll never forget you.
    Grandma: So, on DAY THREE, I borrowed two eggs from my neighbor.
    Me: Why two eggs, Grandma? I thought you already had one and just needed one more.
    Grandma: Well, what do you think I had for breakfast that morning?
    Me: Oh.........
    Grandma: Well, on DAY FOUR, I got out my mixing bowls and pans. Then, this morning..... which was DAY FIVE........ I had that cake out of the oven before 9:00 a.m. And it's in the kitchen if you want to give it a try.
    Me: I can't wait.

    Every time I think of that story, I think about how a mother, even at the age of 98, desires to share her love with her child. I think of my independent, energetic, and witty Great Grandma who loved to perform, loved to bring us together with games, and loved the Pacers SO much that each year she would cover her apartment door with every single newspaper picture about them that she could find (oh, would she be disappointed in them today!). She stopped driving her car just a few months after that birthday celebration in September 2005. She'd always said that when she gave up her car, then she'd be giving up her independence. It was only a few months after she'd 'turned in her keys', that she passed away in March 2006.

    Grandma's 5-Day Pineapple Upside Down Cake also reminds me that it's okay to slow down. Waiting can be good. Taking as much delight in the process as in the end result can be very fulfilling. Who knows who I might meet along the way? Who knows what I'll learn? If I try to do it too quickly, chances are I'll miss something important. I might still get the same 'end' result......like a pineapple upside cake....but maybe I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I would have enjoyed it had I just slowed down a little bit. And of course, if I take my time.....I may have a much more interesting story to tell when I get done.

    Thanks Chelle. Your Grandma
    Thanks Chelle. Your Grandma Vivian was one very special lady. Hugs, Lili
  • kbc4869
    kbc4869 Member Posts: 159
    kbc4869 said:

    Honestly, Eileen, at two
    Honestly, Eileen, at two years, I was still reeling. At 5 years, I was able to breath a little better. I know everyone says it and it doesn't help you now, but it does take time. There are still days when I feel unnerved, but they are less and less. But when they hit, they hit hard, and I start all over again. All we can do is focus on today. We are here today. We are healthy today. Tomorrow is out of our hands.

    I wish I had a way to make it better for you. Just know that you're not alone. This "new normal" thing should come with a user guide, some cliff notes or a map. It's hard to find your way with no direction.

    And I know your're tired of meds, but the antidepressants have helped me. They've helped a lot. I really think in order to heal you have to get some sleep. Things look completely different after a decent night's sleep.

    (((((((((Hugs, Eil)))))))))))))

    p.s.
    I wanna go back too. If I find a time machine, I'll let you know. ;)
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Your words ring true
    And what more can I add that others haven't? I'm not post-treatment yet, but I certainly identify with your feelings of being unmoored and the fear of death. When we are diagnosed, the healthy innocence of "everything will be OK" is taken away from us and a veil is lifted from our eyes. Even after treatment, I don't think you can ever go back to that pre-cancer time completely. The suffering and fear we have been through preclude that. But I also think that "the new normal" can have its own joys and rewards, some of them greater than before. Even so, I'm scared too. I think maybe just let yourself feel what you will without judgement. Who says you are unstable? Is it unstable to fear the recurrence of something that was so frightening and hurt so much the first time? I think it would unstable to never think about it. If you find that you cannot find any joy in your life though or that the worry is overwhelming, then I agree that a short time on anti-depressants is worth thinking about. They might help take the edge off of the anxiety so that you can concentrate on other things and once you do, it becomes a habit. Anyway, when I told my doctor that I had overwhelming anxiety she did not think I was unstable. She understood completely and tried to help. That is what doctors are supposed to do.

    I know that you will be fine. Your cancer was caught early and dealt with aggressively. There are many, many survivors who started out at more advanced stages and are doing fine years later. I know your post was more about emotional issues, but just putting this out there. I hope you are feeling better.

    Mimi
  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    Don't let it rob you
    I can understand how you feel. When I first had cancer seeing the doctors and being in their care was like a blankie. It was reassuring to know that they were there and that I saw them often and they would take care of me and I would be okay. And even though I knew I could call whenever I needed to between visits I didn't because I "didn't want to bother them". And then I was going to see them less often and that blankie was being taken away. And it was scary but I realized that it meant that I was doing well and that was the goal. By the time I was up to yearly visits I still missed the blankie but I didn't really need it. And I learned to call when I had concerns between visits. And when I had a second cancer, I started the blankie process all over but it was actually easier for me. This time I am doing better right from the start not because cancer is any less scary but because I have gone through it before and I felt more prepared and I know that my blankie is there. I also learned one thing during these years, If I let this dreadful disease rob me of today because I am so worried about tomorrow, then it wins even if I stay well. I ain't giving nothing to this disease. If it wants anything then it's going to have to fight me for it. And I am one tough cookie. I will not borrow trouble. It doesn't mean I don't have bad days and yes, there comes a time when everyone else thinks, GOSH AREN'T YOU OVER THIS YET, IT'S BEEN YEARS and that's hard because you never completely get over it. That's why places like this are a godsend because these people understand. And whether it's been a week, a year or half a century as a survivor we need each other. I would echo what several others have said, If you are having these feelings, talk with your doctors about using something. Reactions to our cancers are as varied as the cancers themselves. And know that it is so "normal" to feel this way. I hope I don't sound too preachy. Use what helps and ignore the rest.
    Stef