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Jumping into the blender

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 883
Joined: Feb 2009

With the whirl of the 2 posts that Fox started-his update, and his statement/plea to keep on posting- it almost has seemed off subject to share what I consider good news.

First:  I went through a tremendous and very black time earlier this summer after the death of my mother-in-law.  It wasn't just wearing myself out physically, mentally, and emotionally; I was the support person for my husband, kids, and grandkids.  When it was time for dealing with her death and then the estate, my husband was not equipped to deal with it and we could not trust his sister (numerous reasons), so it fell to me to be the go-to person for probate, attorney, banks, spread sheets, piles of bill paying, bank statements, etc. I finally came to the realization that I was the "physical presence and representation" of everything my husband did not want to deal with, i.e., impending death, death, memorial service, arrangements for interment, his sister, the attorney, the will.....you get the idea. I sat him down and explained what was going on and we came to a truce.  Cooperate with me and I'll do all the grunt work so you don't have to deal with your sister, but don't blame me for the situation your mom placed you in.  We are moving thru the probate process; I prepare the requested documentation, put it in front of him to sign and the attorney has a separate copy sent to his sister for her to sign on her page.  Works pretty well.

But this summer was a different story-Dx'd with major depression as a result of the above, and all of the little things that could have meant another recurrece of cancer gave me scary symptoms.  Weight loss (20 pounds), cough, muscle aches, fatigue, bad attitude, etc. Saw Dr's-oncology and PC-took regular meds and increased dosage on 2 of them.  Began to feel a bit better and also began to reparticipate in life events, which I had not wanted to do for months.

Second: saw PC two days ago.  My depression level has dropped to a 1, where it had been at a 10 on a 10 point scale.  I've kept the weight off because I want to, not because a surgery or illness has caused the yoyo effect, My cholesterol earned me a happy face on the lab results, my BP and all my one kidney functions are in range, thyroid is normal, Vit. D level is normal, and even my fasting blood glucose cooperated by being below 100.  My red and white cell counts were a little lower than range, but they were before I reached this age or status in life.  When I used to donate blood, sometimes my hematocrit was low.

Forging Ahead: Sometimes we don't have anything to add to a post; sometimes we've never been in the situation (I don't have much advice for a Stage 1, Lap surgery for a partial nephrectomy patient) -other than you lucky bas----.  I came to this board about 4 years ago after most all the major stuff of this era was over with...three invasive surgeries for cancer; a dislocated foot with three broken bones in the ankle/tib-fib; hand surgery to remove the tendon nodule caused by being on crutches with the ankle surgery; and hospitalization while on vacation in Mexico with acute bronchitis.  My Cancer Survivors Support Group tells me I'm not allowed to go on vacation again.

My college education turned me into a teacher for health and physical education and biological sciences.  Had I done my masters it would have been in research and/or public health.   So a bit like Fox, Nano, and others who came to this board with educational or career backgrounds that can help them, we continue to share what we can and when we can.

For those who are just beginning the fight, I know you've read this prior. Be your own advocate, research-research-research, get another opinion, eat a healthy diet, exercise, develop and share with your support system, get copies of your reports.  Be aware that if you can post on this board, you have the capability to look up any word, diagnosis, or comment in your reports that you don't understand. Believe some of it and disregard the advertising that comes with it.

If you're in the fight-and that is until the last breath, keep on fighting.  Thanks to you who have been able to be here in an era of IL2, Votrient, Nivolumab and other treatments.  You are pioneers.  Eight years ago, I was given the option of palliative surgery or 5-7 months to live.  There was no other treatment they could offer.  I chose surgey..."they got it all,", and I had 2 more surgeries.

And tomorrow, I'm going to my eight year old grand-daughter's 3rd grade volleyball game.  question? Why do they call it "volley"ball, when the only one who can get it over the net is occassionally the server?

If I don't get here next week, have a Happy Turkey Day.  My regrets for the nasty weather in Buffalo and all you others who may be snowed in.  That's why I like the Oregon coast; you can't shovel rain.

Luv and hugs,

Donna

 

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 898
Joined: Mar 2012

Donna,

Couple things:

1; Thank you for starting a new thread. I know I’m likely to have a virtual golf club hit me on the head as this was something Tex and I good humoredly spatted about. I hate going through  extremely long threads tryng to find the last post or any post I’ve missed.

2; Sorry things have been so difficult but I’m thrilled you have turned them around. You’re such a strong person.  Your coming to post after the dark clouds have lifted is so Donna like. You don’t post during the darkness; you post when the sun starts peeking  through.

Keep living it forward Donna. You inspire us.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 923
Joined: Mar 2012

Donna, you have been through A LOT!  They say men are strong, but I think women don't do so bad either. The problem with women is that the abundance of strength that we have to muster up, will always stress our immune system; which  leads to depression and other things.  But then we recover from that as well. I am so sorry that you had to go through it all.  I went through something similar when my husbands dad died. His mother had onset dimentia and no one knew how to do anything, alas it all fell on me. I had to care for her, my new pre-emie son and i had severe fibrymyalgia and fatigue.  I had to go through 30 years of statments and bills the dad had kept, to find out what was going on because his wife didn't have a clue. Only to be told I wasn't doing it fast enough by my mother in law.  I went through some of the same things you posted about regarding the estate, finances and what not.  To say I had SEVERE depression is an understatement.  I lost the will to live. But, that too has all passed and here i am.  I say this because i can sort of relate and I am glad that you posted that bit of information.  I can't imagine how hard it is to do and also deal with your health issues.  I am glad that you are doing better now.  I see you as a strong, strong, smart woman.  You will overcome anything that is in your path. keep up that wonderful attitude and strong spirit. Thank you very much for sharing and for being an encouragment to others. Wishing you the best of health! You are remarkable!

 

That is a good question about the Volley ball.  Too bad TW isn't here to decipher that!  LOL  Hugs!

Ange

foxhd's picture
foxhd
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

One thing that we all can count on. You will be here tomorrow. Throwing in the towel is for losers. You may have raised it up, but then you snapped life's a$$ with it. Take care of yourself. We are in a situation where I worry about how much my wife can take also. But one thing I know. You guys always handle it.

Jojo61's picture
Jojo61
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Donna, you are an inspiration. In your fights with cancer, depression and estate lawyers - you always come out on top!

I am glad to hear the dark clouds have moved on and that you are back to feeling yourself.

Hugs

Jojo

todd121's picture
todd121
Posts: 1422
Joined: Dec 2012

All in all, even with the bad in there, I'm thinking "Yay Donna". You go girl!

Hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving. 

Todd

donna_lee's picture
donna_lee
Posts: 883
Joined: Feb 2009

Once the word Depression was said by my doctor, it all made sense.  I had been so wrapped up in the process and afraid of a cancer event that I was too close to even recognize it in myself.

Many people, and especially younger ones, find it difficult to admit to having depression and the need to take medication to control it. Just as Type 1 diabetics don't make insulin, Depression can occur if the brain does not manufacture adequate serotonin.  That's when adrug can aide the body and mind. Taking an anti-depressant, in my case Paxil (Paroxetine) an SSRI is not something I would run around bragging about, but I certainly don't hide it, either.  Once put on the drug in 1993, I noticed a big difference.  And as I read and researched the symptoms, I became aware that some of the affects of depression had been present in a very mild form since childhood.  No traumatic event--just born that way.

One of the positive outcomes from all of this is that physicians are now allowed, and in fact compensated, for their time in evaluating patients for screening for depression.

Amongst those of us on the board, we see and hear evidence of depression.  That's what cancer can do to you.  It could be a temporary situation brought on by recent happenings in your life, or a more major event that has accumulated.  Let yourself be willing to admit there may be a need for help, say something to the nurse, talk to the doctor

Speak out, just as I have.  Hey!  Who would have thought I'd be promoting mental health issues.

And yes, I'll have a great Thanksgiving.  We'll pick up  the college freshman as we pass thru that part of the state and spend the rest of the week with our daughter and family.  I'm ready to enjoy life again. thank you very much.

Donna

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