The C: Section Chronicles - Reflections - 18 months on

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Bob Watt
Bob Watt Member Posts: 60 Member

Hi everybody, I've been down in the dumps the past few months so hadn't been around to catch up with people on this board. It's been 18 months since I had my last radiation, and so far the oncologist has given me the all clear.

To recap; I've had sepsis twice in the past two years, and throat cancer inbetween. The first sepsis was caught just in time and just narrowly avoided the last call up. I'm usually quite creative, but found that wained for sometime, and was just getting back into doing things when I was diagnosed with the cancer that was slowly throttling my left carotid artery as well as a primary tumor where my tonsil had been.

After radiation and chemotherapy I struggled to get my creative juices flowing and was getting there when 4 months ago I had another bout of sepsis which has played havoc with my short term memory and subsequently my creative side is struggling to emerge.

I try to stay positive, and on the whole I think I'm winning the battle. Having said that I have been diagnosed with PTSD and every pain, lump or discomfort causes anxiety. Fortunately I have a very supportive family and a circle of friends who are very understanding.

I went through a period of nothing seemed to matter. That was five months after the cancer treatment when I realised that what I had gone through was life threatening. It has been a trying time adapting to the dry mouth and constant reminder that I dodged  couple of bullets. Loss of short term memory from the sepsis is also bothersome, along with the brain working harder with some menial things like typing.

Anyway I figure I'm using my nine lives up pretty darn fast, but hey I'm still here and that's what matters.

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  • momall25ofu
    momall25ofu Member Posts: 81 Member
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    Bob, hang in there.  You've

    Bob, hang in there.  You've fought so hard .... don't give up!  I hope your hardships are past and good days with light and sunshine ahead.

  • SuzJ
    SuzJ Member Posts: 427 Member
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    I know

    I really do, I know how you feel.

     

    It makes no sense, I'm cancer free, clear, and.. I'm depressed.

     

    I guess we use all the positive stuff to keep ourselves going in the fight, and when its all over, your brain has time to catch up and say "oh man, that was freaking scary as hell! I can't believe I made it.

     

    I realized how bad I was when I found myself sitting on the floor crying, saying my puppy hated me.. So I took myself to the Dr. Now I take meds and I have to get up the nerve to go talk to someone about it (Ick!)

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,333 Member
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    Bob Hang in there

    You went through some tough times and so did I but even with the left over stuff like dry mouth, PTSD, Neuropathy we still came out on the other side and were still kickin. The treatment was bad enough but now we live with the leftovers unfortunately.

     

    We certainly go through many feelings and emotions from start to finish with our cancer diagnosis and treatment. Went through the why me question a bit but decided well it is me that has this cancer and I’ll deal with it as best as I can. Certainly wouldn’t wish it away on someone else. I may have been a bit depressed at time but did not need meds other than what I had like Ativan and Hydrocodone etc. You go from diagnosis to a bunch of tests and scans then I had to get a port and feeding tube put in. Then you get a treatment schedule and not long after that it’s treatment 5 days a week so you are busy, busy, busy. Then finally and suddenly the fight is over. Treatment done. Now suddenly you have nothing to do all this free time. But wait you realize you feel lousy and you have a recovery period to go through you don’t know how long it will be just estimates you have read about. Finally after several months or more you are starting to feel better but recovery is slow.

    So I would say many of us go through your feelings and situations or at least some of them and we wonder is the cancer all gone, will it come back, will I get a new cancer? Always a remnant of this in the back of our minds.

    I was blessed with God watching over me a church family praying and supporting me.

    So from reading this forum with the many intelligent and knowledgeable people on here and my medical teams were great supporters and I got strength and support from them. And from reading the folks on this forum I was told recovery is a long slow process and it is I can vouch for that just be patient and give it time and if you need some meds or counseling or whatever to get you over some humps in the road by all means use it. And another thing I learned from the folks on here-actually I credit Skiffin for it-NEGU- “means Never Ever Give Up”.

     

    And lastly here is a link to a 17 minute video addressing the treatments over now what do I do-treatments over and living afterward-very good video called “Lost in Transition” and you may have to copy and paste it in your browser address window.

     

    A short film/video by the Institute of Medicine about the problems that come up after cancer patients successfully end treatment and look into follow up.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhuqWM3dNAw

     

     

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,771 Member
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    share with others

    Have you checked out local support groups? It may be worthwhile to chat with others having similar post recovery struggles. I'm sure you have plenty to offer to help others as you've experienced a lot of rough road. Hang in there.

  • Bob Watt
    Bob Watt Member Posts: 60 Member
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    Thank you

    for your kind words. The weird thing is I don't feel depressed or anything like that but lately I often find myself not caring about anything at all. In the past 2 years I have experienced a wide gamut of emotions. Mostly I've kept them to myself, mainly because the expectation is "you have been through a lot, you've been fixed up and you should be grateful."
    Yes I am grateful that I am here, but understanding the other feelings is very hard to express. Sometimes, mentally I enter into a 'nothingness' state which can last from several minutes to several hours to several days.
    I have read several articles from people who have had cancer (or sepsis) and their experiences are the same as my own. I am trying to understand it all... Hopefully, one day I will.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,333 Member
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    Same Boat

    Bob, you are not alone I was in the same boat in 2013-14. In respect to your statement " I have experienced a wide gamut of emotions " I was in that situation and it is certainly nothing, I experienced with anything else in my life till cancer treatment. It definitely puts a load on your system and beats you up and the recovery is slow stretched over a long period of time. I think really that I had what they call chemo-brain and still have a little of it although greatly diminished. Another big issue for me was I had an extreme lack of confidence to do things that I had done before in life unless it was something simple and straight forward and a short-term project like raking leaves in a small area or vacuuming some rooms. Stuff like replacing a faucet assembly where I would have to change plumbing fittings and hoses and maybe run back and forth to the hardware store a couple times was just too overwhelming I would just call a plumber.

    I have gotten through all these things but to let you know it is part and parcel of this cancer journey not just for you but others went through the same things. So Bob just takes care and stick to it and it seems to me that time seems to take care of a lot of it.