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The straw that broke the camel's back

grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi all, Hope everyone is doing well. Well I had the appts with my surgeon and neurologist today. I'm so tired of being full of doom and gloom. I know everyone gets tired of me. Heck, I'm even tired of me. The surgeon did the cautering on my butt again. It's still bleeding some, but better than it was. I don't go back to him until the 29th of this month, so no chemo yet. Still not healed enough. Well, the neurologist blew me away. He had all my tests that I'd had done. He says that I have had a stroke. That is causing the dizziness and numbness in my left heel. He says I also have weakness on my right side. I didn't even know that. He said I probably had it during one of my surgeries. He also said I have positional vertigo. And that I have a disease of the nerves that is causing my foot to be numb too. He's scheduling me for an MRI of my brain(to rule out cancer mets and check for damage of stroke)and an MRI of lumbosacral spine(whatever that is) and he's also putting me in physical therapy(when I'll have time for that, I don't know) and he will be putting a brace on my left ankle. This is terrible to say, but I feel like just ending it all, before all of this takes me. Selfish I know. Crazy maybe. I'm sorry to put this on all you nice people. I feel like just going away and never coming back. I'm sorry I posted this, but I guess I needed to get some feelings out. Love you guys, but don't ever know how you could love something as #$@&%# as I am.

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Please do not give up. You have been through so much. Hopefully you will get some good news soon. Have you thought of counseling? It might help you through this difficult time.
I will continue to pray for you.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Oh, Judy,
I was so sorry to read your post. You must be numb from all this. Neurologists can be such very thorough docs...it does sound like this one is paying careful attention to all of your symptoms, which can be a good thing. Please remember that he is just finding the reason for some of your troubles, and possibly a way to help. Continue to stay the course and find out more; I know from my work that IF you have had a stroke, some damage is done BUT the healing can continue for a very long time. Is the foot numbness a neuropathy? Many folks get that from chemo, not necessarily from a disease that is progressing. Keep talking to this guy about what he is finding and what you can do. MRI's are one way of getting more definite info, so hang in there through the testing.
Keep us posted; it's good to hear that your butt is better, but I can see how you must be feeling so overwhelmed. We are all pulling for you. You have gone through so much, I pray for better days ahead. the other Judy

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I appreciate that when given news like this our first reaction is of despair and hopelessness. You have been through so much this year and this on top of it must seem so insurmountable. But I hope in time you will be able to look at it another way.

You have had symptoms of numbness and dizziness that have not been able to be attributable to a clear cause. You now have information about what is causing these symptoms and can now begin to do something about them. If your symptoms are due to a stroke it has been a small one that you may well recover fully from- hence the need for physical therapy. In fact getting access to this is another bonus- many of us could do with some physical therapy in our recovery from bowel resections etc but it is not available to all due to cost and resource issues. You now have access to it and it may well help a lot of your problems- not just the ankle but helping you build yourself up again physically.

the MRI that you aren't sure of is a scan of teh lower spine (lumbar and sacral regions are the lower two sections of the spine). They are doing tis because any problem with the spine in this area can affect teh spinal cord which carries the nerves related to the ankle and foot where your numbenss is. Your neurologist is just being incredibly thorough in checking all possible causes of your symptoms which is good.

You emotional feelings are also understandable. Many of us have had periods through out our own journeys where the situation seems so bleak and the fight seems so hard that opting out of it all seems an option. You are a fighter though that has got through so much i have faith that given some more support and a bit of time you will find the strength to fight again. But your feelings of not wanting to at present are perfectly normal.

If they do persist however it will be important ot talk to some one about them as they may represent a depression that needs treatment. This is very common in people with chronic health problems and is even more common after strokes (there seems to be something physical in teh brain that predisposes people to depression after a stroke). Keep an eye on yourself- if these feelings of hopelessness persist or you get other symptoms of poor sleep, poor appetite, reduced energy, poor concentration and not enjoying the things you used to- talk to your docs about this and consider whether it needs treatment either with a period of therapy or antidepressants (or both).

I hope that with a bit of time things improve for you Judy. I have been impressed by your caring attitude to others and your strength throughout this year. You are a valued member on this site adn we need you to be around for some time yet to help us through our own ups and downs.

Let us know how things progress and sorry for the ramblings,

Posts: 185
Joined: Feb 2004

grandma47....I know that all this news must feel awful...but it is all fixable!! My guess is that even if you had a slight stroke, some of your symptoms are related to the chemotherapy..I had numbness for almost 2 years in parts of my hands after chemotherapy. Moreover, people recover from slight to moderate strokes EVERY DAY!! At least you have a reason for the symptoms you have experienced. My father had several small strokes (he was diabetic) and recovered wonderfully from them to live until he was almost 72. You are doing O.K...it is just hard to realize it from inside your situation. You have been dealing with symptoms for so long you are simply fatigued. That's O.K..I was there too. I remember just giving up one day when I kept trying to get ready for work and had to keep running back to the bathroom before i started myone hour commute to work. I sat down and cried in a chair. YOu are doing a great job of following up, and the removal of your catheter was a big step. Find some peace in your day, and know that we all are pulling for you and keeping an eye on you. COURAGE!!

Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi Judy....You sound exhausted, and it's no wonder with everything you've been through lately. I agree with what the others have said, your doctor sounds incredibly thorough...a very good thing. And he's finding out what's going on, another good thing. And the causes all sound fixable, even more good stuff! I'm sure it all sounds very overwhelming from your perspective, but stay as strong as you're able and every day you'll be feeling better and better. As for being "#$@&%#" go ahead and be #$@&%#. We'll understand and stand with you until your not #$@&%# any more!!!

Have a good Christmas and start the New Year strong.


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001


No one I know is tired of you. Please understand that this is what the boards are here for....we come to share info, problems, joys, silliness, sadness, our lives, because each of us on here understands what living with a cancer diagnosis is all about. Do any of us really think that it's always going to be rosy for all of us. We are going to have hard times and you have had more than your share. My heart goes out to you.

I really like what steve posted. He hit the nail on the head. You seem to be under some really great care and they seem to be thorough.

Have you thought about taking some Omega-3 oils to help boost your mood? It's all natural and fish oils are known to boost mood and alleviate the feelings of depression without having to go on psychotropics which have harmful side effects. Vitamin B is a good one too. Considering all the stress you could be going through I would make sure to be taking vit b's too.

I truly hope you do not go away. I mean if you leave cuz you have outgrown the need to be here or move on to other activities I understand; but if you leave cuz you are worried what we think about you or that all these "nice" people don't want you posting anymore....then I am going to have to send Stacy over to kick your hinder. :-) heehee.

Seriously, talking about "ending it all" is nothing I take lightly. Please gather as much strength as you can from here and keep plugging along. I cannot imagine walking a day in your shoes, but I hope you are willing to keep on the journey.

Of course we love all the #$@&%#'s around here! :-)

You remain, as always, in my daily prayers.

peace, emily who can be a #$@&%# too

johnom's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Dear grandma047,
On April 19, 2004 you wrote a message to another semi-colon and told her "never give up." That message is being sent back to you now in spades. You are the toughest woman I believe I have ever heard of. Keep posting here. Read everyone's replies. Tell the illness to go #$@&%# do its worst, because you can beat it.
Too many people are praying for you to quit now. God bless you!

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Judy!!!!---you are such a spirited fighter here--you have been a godsend to many including me!!!I have followed your journey from the beginning and I know, as we all do that things really get the better of us and want it all to go away.
Remember when you were so ill in hospital?--You emailed me thru Stacy that you wanted to give up then. I wrote back and told you that I sat here and cried when you had such a setback--I really did 'cos Jen was sitting right next to me and was wondering what the hell was upsetting me. Judy, you have battled for so long and we have all encouraged you along the way, as you have for me. Babe--I really wish that I could comfort you--but I can't. Don't ever come here and say you think you are an annoyance to us--How the HELL do I convince you that you are always never far from my mind!!!!
I think it is time you needed kangas rainbow.
Now you close your eyes and follow the colours--DO IT!!!!!
See in your mind and think of me hugging you--see in your mind that we care --and find our love at the end of that rainbow because it is there for all who needs it.
Words???---no!!!!!there are no words that I can say to help you Judy--but whatever I do say comes from the heart!!
Ross and Jen

btw--this old sensitive sod got that bad emotionally he went and saw a clinical phsycologist--best thing I ever did sweetie!

Posts: 29
Joined: Nov 2002

Grandma (may I call you grams!)

Your fighting spirit inspires me, please don't give up. We need to keep hearing from you. Rest assure that you are mentioned often in my daily talk with my Old Man.

We love you,

Noel and your10,000 friends

taunya's picture
Posts: 392
Joined: Jul 2002

Judy, repeat after me...."I am wonderful and my riends love me!" I am so sorry that your health is giving you such fits. Sometimes it feels like it doesn't pay to get out of bed, but don't fall for it. It pays EVERY day. Hang in there chiquita, I am sending mega doses of BiG Fat Cancer Survivor Love and Healing Potion over the airwave to you. Feel that big hug? No, well close your eyes and try again, 'cause I am sending them bulk mail! Hang in there sweetie.

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