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Emotional

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

I’ve been through two partial nephrectomys since September and my scans have come back clean. I’m 7 weeks post op from My last surgery but I’m feeling so emotional. I can’t seem to talk about my experience without breaking down and shedding a few tears. Is this normal? Have any of you felt this way? I think maybe I should talk to someone but I feel guilty because I didn’t go through half of what other cancer patients have gone through. 

AnnissaP's picture
AnnissaP
Posts: 632
Joined: Sep 2017

Please don't compare or belittle your experience. It is yours and it is extremely difficult. There is no easier or better cancer. It is life-changing. I was having emotional days on a regular. Probably 1 out of every 7 days I found myself very quiet and crying. It is totally normal. Be kind and gentle with yourself. It def may help to speak with someone. Take it one day, one hour or even one minute at a time my friend.

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank you! I’m feeling a tad better but just so emotional at times 

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

You've been through a lot, and it's normal to have emotional responses to that trauma - sometimes when they're not expected. Be kind to youself. Allow yourself to go through these moments and acknowledge that the feelings are real, and legitimate, and that there's nothing wrong with you for feeling emotional about this. Hang in there. It's only been a few months. It takes a while for mind and body to get to your new "normal," whatever that will end up being. In the meantime, let yourself feel emotions without guilt. 

DAC677's picture
DAC677
Posts: 60
Joined: Feb 2017

I think having an emotional response to all this is healthy and normal.

Its only been about 18 months since i was diagnosed and subsequnetly had my surgery. It was 11CM and stage 3B. I a big strong ex Army Cav scout type and i cried telling people about it. I think it takes a different type of stregth to not be ashamed of your emotions or hide them.

I also recently tried to explain to a friends who has another friend recently diagnosed with Cancer the emotional impact of having that word applied to you for the first time. Its like a deer in headlights and turns your blood to ice. No one who hasnt been there can understand the difference of the impact of that word when its random and when its you!

Finally when you hear it later or have a surgery its kind of a PTSD impact on us. Different people handle it differently. Maybe its PTSD recalling a brush with death type feeling and maybe its emotions of joy when you keep living and have a successfull scan or surgery. It doesnt matter. Its all healthy. strong emotions are passion. They are where your zest for life comes from. Its the same source that lets you love and laugh. So dont stress about the tears.

 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank you so much for your kind words! 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

@I’m not dead yet. If I’m being honest with myself I’m trying to rush things. I keep saying I just want to be “normal” again but I’m not even sure what that is anymore 

ImNotDeadYet's picture
ImNotDeadYet
Posts: 244
Joined: Apr 2017

You don't have to know what it is, or what it will be. You'll know when you get there. And normal can change along the way. What might end up the new normal for a few years, could change at some point. The important thing is to try not to judge any "new normal" by comparing it to the "old normal." I know it's hard, but if you can learn to just accept what is new and different without comparing it to how you were before, especially lamenting the loss of the old normal, you will likely be in a better place emotionally. And also remember, emotions ebb and flow. Some days we're riding high, and other days, for no apparent reason, we're down. Ride the coaster and look for ways to enjoy the ride where you can. The ups and downs don't end until we decide we're done going back up. I can only speak for myself personally, but I'm not close to wanting to stay down forever. Allow yourself time to be emotional when  you need it; rely on friends and family, if you can, as shoulders to cry on and to help support you emotionally. And consciously make time to head back up again when you've been through those emotional grinders. It's not always easy. And if you can find ways to find those silver linings in places where maybe you weren't looking before, you might find a whole new way to look at things. You can do this, and we're all here to help you navigate these confusing waters.

 

Jan4you's picture
Jan4you
Posts: 1326
Joined: Oct 2013

So sorry for what you are going through. Even though some here may tell you its normal, I do think there could be more to consider. First of all, we are pumped up with powerful medications to have general anesthesia. Before that is even out of our systems, (half lives) we are given IV pain meds, then oral pain meds. pLUS our bodies just went through the "trauma" (unnaturall occurance) having surgery in the first place.

You may be anemic so have your primary check that. You may be deficient in NUTRIENTS due to surgery side effects and medications. That alone can mess up our brain chemistry. You don't have to have a reason, it bio-chemical.

Have your surgeon or Primary doc check your blood for any other reasons. Then get to a nutritionist, not a typical dietician, to see where you may be deficient. Trust me MDs are not trained in nutrition or even given education unless they do on their own. 

You are healing and I bet your brain/systems are deficient for proper nutrients. YOu want to get the EXACT type so you are not taking unnessary amounts.

I used a nutritionist (or some chiropractors) who is trained in ART or NRT (Nutritional response testing). ART is when you push against your doctor's hand/arm for strength test. NRT is more exact.

Good luck. Let us (me) know what you learn and how you are doing. 

Sending you continued HEALING with HOPE and HUGS!

Jan

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Thanks Jan I actually never even thought of that! I’m definitely going to look into it! 

Wehavenotimeatall
Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

You are one strong lady

You have been through a terrible ordeal and it will all take its toil

 

The physical pain is one thing

The worry of the unknOwen is something completely different

and to be brutnally honest I don’t think you have even hit the lowest point yet.. sorry I don’t want to upset you more

At this stage you are Just  mending your body back again... your mind will take a bit longer

You have been strong for so long .. you now need to relax and look after you for a while

 cry and cry ..untill you can’t cry any more... you need to express your hurt 

Btw.. Yes it’s hard when you see other people being so strong but you are you  and  if your body is telling you to do this then the least you can do is follow its instructions...everyone else will be more than ok with that

I wish you peace and love and hope things start to get better very soon

 

Annie

 

 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Oh dam I think you might be right because I literally cried just reading your post. I’ve been strong for my husband and kids maybe I just need to focus on my mental state now that I’m physically “healed” 

Abunai's picture
Abunai
Posts: 173
Joined: Oct 2016

Any diagnosis of cancer or surgery on internal organs is scary, life-changing stuff!

Don't compare your case against others who you think have had it worse.

It would be surprising if you WEREN'T emotional. The best thing for me has been to vent my fears, anger, self-pitty (nothing to be ashamed of), etc. to my wife and, semi-anonymously, here.

Keep coming around.

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

I haven’t even told my husband how truly upset I feel. I figured I would post here first to see if I was normal or just overwhelmed or even over reacting 

Mandakf's picture
Mandakf
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2017

 I agree with PTSD.  You had to stay strong to do what you needed to do to get through those surgeries.  You made it through and there is some relief and release of emotions now.  I tell you what, I no longer can stand the smell of Lilies ( someone brought me a lovely arrangement)  because I associate the smell with recovery in the hospital room.  I have a hard time with things that remind me of right before surgery or during rough part of recovery.   The more time that passes the less sensitive I am To the triggers.  Hang in there!

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

It’s funny I have some things that my friends brought me but I’ve put them away in a drawer and just can’t seem to look at them again. Eventually I want to make a book with all the cards and pictures people gave me. 

Cinnamongirl's picture
Cinnamongirl
Posts: 199
Joined: Jan 2018

I cannot tell you the major anxiety I had. At one point i just sat up in the middle of the night and just screamed my head off!! I scared the crap out of my family but I just needed a release. Being diaganosed with cancer is traumatizing enough let alone the surgery that follows. Do not feel guilty for the way that you feel. I can assure you it is normal.  As time passes the days get easier however there are still day that the sadness returns. Im sending positive vibes and energy your way. 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Thank you! I appreciate you! 

Bay Area Guy's picture
Bay Area Guy
Posts: 451
Joined: Jun 2016

I've posted here before a favorite saying that my father had.  My dad went through 15 or 20 different surgeries in his life time (he lived to the age of 90).  That includes half a dozen abdominal operations, a quintuple bypass (and his was one of the first ever done), followed six months later by an aortal replacement surgery.  So he had some pretty significant procedures performed on him.  He also had some that the doctors told him were "minor" operations.  His reply to the doctor was "The only minor surgery is on someone else."

So, yeah, maybe your surgery wasn't as complex as some others have had.  Maybe the pathlogy report didn't show an advanced stage of the disease.  But you, along with everyone else on this board, was diagnosed with cancer, and that's one heck of a huge deal.

There was a thread on here a few months back about whether those of us with low stage RCC have the right to call ourselves cancer survivors.  I recall that many of the people that you talk about with very advanced stage RCC chimed in and said of course the rest of us have the right to call ourselves survivors.  We all have stared this terrible disease in the eye and, thankfully, many of us are beating it.  It's hard to realize something like that without getting emotional!

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Omg you’re absolutely right! I remember that thread and at the time I thought nope I’m a survivor and now I question wether I can call myself that. Funny how our minds constantly change. 

foroughsh's picture
foroughsh
Posts: 779
Joined: Oct 2014

It's normal, we all had not so good moments and days during first months post surgery. It's a shocking news and your body, mind, soul needs time to handle it. Maybe talking with a therapist helps. In my case meeting a therapist was a great help.

 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

I was thinking about that...I have a nurse that calls and checks on me (its a service provided through my insurance) and I considered asking her about seeing someone 

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

info in your bio so we can keep up?

As adults we face many life changing events. Family member death, driving license, sex, children, mortage, car accidents, injuries and more. We also learn to move on after adjusting to the changes. Like it or not. But being dx'd with cancer is like knowing you are being hunted. Normal people don't want to die, and we feel there is nothing we can do about it.

Everyone knows they will die someday, but being shot at is a warning call that some will never be ready for. John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." And right now you need new plans. If you believe in yourself, gather your information and you and your caregivers will do everything possible to ensure a good outcome.

At this early stage allow yourself a breakdown to lighten the load. But you have to then pull it together and go to work. To feel your best, give it your best. Be proud of your effort and enjoy life. This is something we all work at. Every day. Learn positive thinking and make it a way of self improvent. It can be better.

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

Thanks fox. I’m actually going to copy your post and keep it with me so I can read it again when Im feeling like I need to breakdown and then pick myself back up 

kiwi68's picture
kiwi68
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2017

Two big ops in a few months is a bit of a doozy to take in.   It has consumed a lot of your time and emotional energy wondering what next, what will you be able to do, what won't you, what will the results be, what if they are bad, what if they are good, what if there is complications, who am I now?   If you had a sense of naievity before - if you haven't lived through major crisis or illness then this is the first time you have had to confront all these emotions.  You may have had to negoitate a medical system, insurance system, negotiate with employers, family about support, you may be trying to understand and define who the new you is?

I went through the whole diagnosis, operation, recovery and found out my RCC was benign, not an RCC at all, so the person I was starting to define myself as wasn't the person I was at all.  IcemanToo let me stay on the Kidney Cancer board though and keep the beanie though. Cool  

If you think you need to talk with someone, then that is an excellent idea. A friend of mine who is a counsellor tells me that most of her patients know what they need to do, the problem is they don't do it.  If you think it is a good idea, it probably is. There isn't really a down side.  An awful lof of issues you can sort out with people who know how to guide your thinking and help you with constructive ways to manage your emotions.  Not to deny them, but to ensure you can see when you are getting anxiety or a bit too sad and ensure you take action to acknowledge and move on where practical.   I am a bit of a fatalist, if I find myself anxious about something, and it isn't anything I can do something about I just block it.  Put it in my mental filing cabinet for 'later'. 

My advice is don't get ahead of yourself, try not to catastrophise, look to the positives not the negatives and look to live as much of normal as you can.  Then move onto whatever your 'next step' is. 

Good luck. 

Jparra48
Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2017

You’re absolutely right. I know I need to talk to someone but I “just don’t” I can’t explain it. Maybe I’m ashamed. Maybe I’m embarrassed or maybe I’m just not ready to truly express my feelings. I somehow can’t find the strength inside to speak about everything I feel. 

stevez
Posts: 51
Joined: Dec 2017

I think we all fully understand and relate to you on your emotional rollercoaste ride.  That is the hardest part I think; at least for me.  I can handle the surgery, the healing, the rest and physical recovery. The hardest part is the transition through the "cancer process".  First just being told you have that insidious disease.  Like being hit with a sledge hammer.  As said here at some point you will settle in and realize you have to progress and it's better to do so with a positive attitude.  This place helps you maintain that because you aren't alone.  I'm 5 weeks post surgery and each day seems better as long as I remember I'll have anxiety at different stages and its normal.  It doesn't have to be debilitating.  Saying prayers for you and all of us in this journey and transition to a new normal. 

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