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lacking coping strategies, help!

Posts: 544
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Everyone,
I am having a lot of difficulty coping with my situation and the need to make a decision about treatment. I am trying to keep really busy with my kids and friends, but nothing is really helping. My brain just doesn't want to stop. I'm surprised at myself because I usually choose the most aggressive treatment and cope fairly well. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Jamie,

Bless you! It is overwhelming, I know. One thing I find that helps is putting EVERYTHING down on paper, no matter how small or apparently silly. Every single fear and concern, every single positive you can think of. Go through the list, item by item with someone you trust, who can discuss them without falling apart. This way, everything can be sorted out in your mind. This usually works for me and I find making an important decision easier.

I am praying for you.


usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hello Jamie,

You're going through a lot - coping with your cancer, future surgery and treatments, and maintaining all the responsibilities of life, not to mention the disappointment of having to possibly delay your Alaska cruise. What Kirsten suggests is good stuff - sometimes when you break down everything you're going through into smaller more manageable pieces, it makes it seem less like climbing Mount Everest.

Something you might want to consider though, instead of making yourself busy, slow it down and allow some time for reflection and meditation. There are ways or methods you can achieve this physically with massage and reiki.

During my fight I was feeling upset and overwhelmed after I was discharged from a three day hospital stay due to side effects from chemo. I was confronting the suggestion from my onc to change my chemo cocktail that would extend my treatment an additional four months, which would mean nine months of chemo, a nine month hurl-fest. My mind was whirling with excessive thought and emotion and it was affecting my ability to make good choices.

My cousin and my uncle came for a visit and we did a twenty minute reiki - laying of hands session. It was a beautiful experience and I was blessed with renewed clarity.

Something to consider...

Oh, yeah...I've read your posts and I get the idea that you're a strong woman. Tap into that inner super-hero, wonder woman we all know is inside you!


scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Jamie,

I completely understand how you feel. When I find myself with a difficult decision that involves lots of emotions, I have to sit down and write up my list of pros and cons. I work on the list a few days to make sure I have listed everything......the list usually makes my decision for me.

Lisa P.

shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Jamie,
I too am very sorry about what you are going through. I have been there and I have to tell you to just go ahead and schedule your surgery and get it over with. The sooner you do it the sooner you can be cancer free and get on with your life. If you can do it tomorrow, do it then. Seriously. There is no reason why it should interfere with your cruise. After all, you just have to sit there on the ship, eat, and enjoy yourself! If by chance it does disrupt your plans, Alaska is not going anywhere. You can come another time. It is just a cruise and we are talking about your life!
As I told you before, I had this surgery and now I am NED. There is no "magic bullet" or guarantee, but you can be cured from Stage IV colon cancer. You have a wonderful opportunity to rid yourself of this disease once and for all.
As for relaxing and keeping your mind off of all this stuff, my suggestions are.
1. go get a massage or reikki like Katie suggested
2. get a facial, go with some girlfriends to the salon
3. exercise! funny Katie mentioned Everest. climb a mountain
(can be a small mountain!)
4. Ask you doctor for some anti-anxiety meds, like Ativan
5. Perhaps consult a therapist who sees cancer patients

So, I am not sure what else to say, those are things that worked for me, they can work for you too!
Stay strong,
Susan H.

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Jamie,
Not much that I could add to what's been said. Getting everything down on paper, pros & cons, life priorities, options, implications of each option is very helpful for me. I then try to let things be for a while and engage in some of the activities that Katie and Susan have suggested. Our own inner wisdom can only emerge once we've slowed down the analytical side. Meditation, healing touch, and prayer all help this to happen.
Sometimes it takes a little work to get our brain to stop. It can become like a tree full of chattering monkeys. We need some practice to quiet all of the hurrying anxious thoughts that race around.
Blessings... Rob
"In the sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way." Angeles Arrien
"A Cancer Journal" www.rob-pollock.blogspot.com

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

My advise for you same as before: see if you can go on the cruise before any treatment. The best way would be for you to go to this cruise sooner than August, even though you may go with just your daughters and no frieds. This is better than nothing. Then when you come back, you can proceed with surgery, treatment, etc.

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