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3 surgeries in 6 weeks - when it rains it pours

Posts: 32
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi my dear compadres,

I am writing because I have had three surgeries in 6 weeks, and I need help understanding my emotions - one surgery for a D & C, one for my ear (the only one I really planned)
and recently one for breast cancer (I had the surgery yesterday).

I am a very upbeat person and very warm and postive but lately I am angry and cry frequently.
I recently find I am using profanity with my doctors and friends out of pure frustration (previous to this I never have said a single cuss word). I guess I am frustrated with all the doctors appts I have had all summer. One doctor contrdicts another as far as treatment is concerned and I can't take one drug or another because its good for one condition and bad for the other. I get very anxious because I feel I have to make the decisions regarding my treatment (and I don't want to). To complicate things I have a blood clotting disorder and all the doctors magnify it even though I haven't had a blood clot in many years.

Has anyone out there had everyhthing happen at once like me? If so would you kindly describe your emotional state of mind and how you have learned to cope.

Thank you so much for sharing.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I had head/neck cancer surgery in october of '05. They replaced half of my tongue with stuff from my left arm, which left my left arm with less than it had before. They also did a radical neck dissection, and put me in an induced coma for four days following that 15 hour surgery.

I was happy. But I was not you. That was just one thing, while you are describing many at once.

In June of 07 I indicated to my doctor that I was still coughing while I hadn't smoked in a couple of years, so he had some scans done and the results were, according to OncoMan, agreed to by ENTMan and GP, that I had 10 months to live, maybe two years.

I was not happy, but, still, I was not in your boat.

When in August of that same year they reversed the diagnosis, saying that I wasn't dying after all (unless I stepped in front of a bus, or some such), but 'simply' had a node that had to come out, I was happy. But I was not you. That was just one thing, while you are describing many at once.

When they took the node out in January of 08, deciding they could not tell if it was new cancer or metastasis, I was happy. But I was not you. That was just one thing, while you are describing many at once.

When, as a complication of my surgery I incurred MSSA, a staph infection that is a cousin of the dreaded MRSA, when I ended up going through another surgery, when they thought this would kill me rather than cancer, when this kept me in the hospital for nearly a month (rather than the originally projected four days), I was happy. But I was not you. That was just one thing, while you are describing many at once.

Despite the fact my speech is a bit different and there is much I used to eat that I can no longer eat, I am happy. But I am not you. That was just one thing, while you are describing many at once.

I guess it is what it is.

I wish you the best. We are here for you, and venting is part of the deal, completely understood.

Still, my advice would be: buck it up chick! This is not the end but the beginning! Treat your caregivers well, both professional and personal, and they are apt to treat you better too.

It sounds as though you are up for that.

Hope and Humor!

Take care,


Posts: 32
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Joe,

I read your story and I think if he can go through all this surgery I can too.

Thank you for your honesty and you are right "buck up to it". And even though there is a lot of mistrust (at least on my part) of my doctors you are right again I must trust them.
I haven't gotten the results of my biopsies yet. But if it bad news I will think of you and be grateful that you were so kind to share.

You sound like a pretty remarkable guy, going through all what you described and still keeping your hope and humor.

I wish you the very best in good health and life.

I see you are playing the guitar. What kind of music do you like? I play the violin.
Isn't music great therapy?

Do you mind if I ask how old you are?

With the very best wishes,


soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Actually, Jeanne, YOU are now among the very many remarkable folks who, for whatever reason, end up on this site. I am blown away in here on a regular basis by the stories I read of people defying and defeating cancer, either as survivors or caregivers.

I play the guitar, Jeanne, to answer that question, but not as well as you play your violin, I am willing to bet. I have eclectic taste in music, as my friends will attest. I enjoy the blues, jazz, folk, country, and rock music, but largely play the likes of John Prine, Neil Young, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, and a bunch of rock and country stuff I've picked up along the way.

If you want to start a band, let me know. I've met one or two others in here who play, all better than me, it seems, but I am willing to give it a go. What have we got to lose :)?

Most importantly: Hope and Humor, Jeanne!

Take care and best wishes with your results,


lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

When I came to this site, early in my diagnosis, terrified and heartsick, I too was blown away and humbled by the love and courage of the people sharing this cancer journey with me. You'll be amazed how quickly that haunted shock of dispair that you are wrapped in at first, EVOLVES into determination, and soon afterward, into HOPE. When you stop reeling in horror and settle down, you'll get your 'game face' on, and join the battle as an active member of your cancer-fighting team. I remember well in the beginning thinking "I just can't do this; kill me now." And now, after almost a full year of surgery, chemo, and radiation that finally was completed July 1st, I am in remission and greeting each day with a joy so intense that it brings tears to my eyes. I'm not home free; my cancer is statistically VERY recurrent and 5-year statistical survival rates fairly grim. But I live each day with joy and I will fight on to my last breath to stay in this beautiful world as long as I can. Remission is a chance to re-build strength and reinforce my immune system, and I take this opprtunity seriously (eating well, exercising, LIVING). You can do this; dig down deep into your resolve. You've ALREADY done and been through so much. You're meeting the "STRONG Jeanne" you may never have known existed. Big big hugs!! I'm so sorry you are going through this.

hollyberry's picture
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear JG,
In the past 22 months, I have had four surgeries, interferon therapy, chemotherapy, a clinical trial, radiation for the mets to my brain and am now starting a new clinical trial. Cancer treatment can be frustratingly slow, fraught with fear, anger, depression and overwhelming in more ways than we ever imagined.That being said, your attitude will make a huge difference in how you cope day-to-day.
It's not easy keeping a good attitude, and some days near impossible, but you will find that inner strength that Linda so eloquently described. Life is worth the fight and you are strong enough to find the strength you need to fight this battle; I know that because you already took some very big steps by reaching out to people that can help you.
My best advice to you is this: revel in the good days and walk through the bad days with the determination that you will win. I try to do this every day, and yes there are still some crumby days, but over-all this attitude has helped me tremendously. I, also try to keep certain goals at the front of my mind; like seeing my baby graduate high school (something the doctor's didn't think would be possible!) and watching all 3 of my kids grow into their adult lives. Finding and working toward goals can help in many ways. You get your mind off of your pain, if even for just a short while,you remember why you're still here and any achievements (no matter how small) will give you more strength and self-confidence. This is only my take and you will hear from others what they have done to get through the worst days.
I wish you all the best and will pray that everything gets better for you.

Sending you hugs and peace,

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