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Cleaning out!

Kazenmax's picture
Posts: 453
Joined: Feb 2016

So I cracked the whip today and made my husband work with me to clean out our walk in closet. What a job! There were things shoved to the back that we had not seen in 15 years! 

However, i have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it feels wonderful to purge away so much stuff! On the other hand, it feels awful to let some things go.

for example, I got rid of high heels... I finally came to terms with the fact that i will not be wearing them again. I had jeans on the shelf that I know I will never wear again because of my colostomy. It hurt to part with some of these  things. Like the pencil skirts that I wore to work. The dress slacks.... i work from home now. It very convenient to just get up and work in my sweats. I’m thinking I may retire this year some time so no more need for office attire.

So this is a new phase of my life and it sucks. In my mind I’m still young. The mirror does not support that thought. What will I do in retirement? I’ve worked since I was 15. My husband will most likely work for another 5 years... what will I do?

before cancer when I thought of growing old, I always saw myself as one of those classy old ladies. i no longer have that self confidence... that joy for living, that sense of adventure. Now I just see myself getting through each day.

how do I get it back? I’m 66. how do I define my life Post cancer? My body has been chopped and scarred. My energy is gone. What’s the next step?

just venting... feeling a little lost. I’m tired. Feeling old. If you are struggling with things, know that I’m with you.

thanks for listening.


Btw.... I’m happy that my closet is finally clean. At least I accomplished that! ;)


Posts: 149
Joined: Jun 2018

pfffft. work is overrated. Why would you want to be a slave to work clothes/'the office' if you don't have to? you have been through some awful stuff & now is your time to heal & reflect on what you, and only you, want to do. 

You are still young , a baby, old is the 90 - 100 year old ladies that shared the nursing home with my mum!!!!

i am going through similar re work, i am lucky enough to not have to work full time. just had a month off chilling.  i am not sure what i want to do but i know what i don't want to do which is my last job, work with toxic people , work stress, or be forced to continue with my work even if i know it is hurting my body. i used to feel i had to rush around like i was still 15 but life is to short to waste on anything but yourself & the people you love

you will be okay. enjoy the release from the rat race . xx


Kazenmax's picture
Posts: 453
Joined: Feb 2016

Ha! You’re right! Work is overrated. But it is what has defined who I am for so long. I’m two months out from my last treatment and impatient. I guess I just need to heal. When I feel better, I hope to have the energy to go through my house and purge all the accumulated junk. That should tak me about a year! Lol then I will feel better. It’s funny. You reach a part of your life where all this accumulated junk means nothing. You thought you had to have it and now it just feels like it’s all choking me. 

And you’re also right about the BS that god with work. since my cancer,  there’s very little that I put up with. I’ve always had a tendency to say what I think. Now I feel like I have nothing to lose. 



SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1186
Joined: Apr 2017

I can relate.  About 15 years ago I had to reduce my possessions to what would fit in a pickup truck.  The most painful part was going through the papers: books half-written, dreams that would clearly never be accomplished.  It is painful, but it is also liberating.

I have been thinking about writing a post about having a passion.  It seems like the members of the board who have one (hiking, kayaking, visiting the mountains, going up a specific desert canyon) are closer to finding peace.  Perhaps you can re-connect with a passion you had in years gone by, or develop a new one?

When I stopped working, I thought I would devote 4 hours a day to writing.  That never happened.  I am so darned busy every day that I never get through my to-do list.  When you are free of work, there are so many interesting things you can pursue.  It takes a little adjustment at first, and maybe a dip into depression.  But when you adjust, I am confident you will be much happier retired.

Post-cancer, I have developed a number of stock sayings--philosphies, almost; that I repeat frequently.  One of these is, "it beats the alternative."  Cancer aged me a decade and took away much of the endurance and flexibility I cherised.  I am wrinkled, my teeth have yellowed, I have hard time tying my shoes, but hey, it beats the alternative.  I still have the ability to get up and walk every day, to hike extensively, to see the sunset and anticipate the coming of Spring.  Another saying I repeat every monring is, "it's good to be alive."  

Periods of adjustment are necessary.  But I hope when you give yourself a little bit of time, you will find life as sweet as ever, despite the changes.

Kazenmax's picture
Posts: 453
Joined: Feb 2016

Simplification is what I’m looking for. And you are right! this does beat the alternative! It is good to be alive.



Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5491
Joined: Jan 2013

Every now and again, put on those work clothes, even if your staying home, or going to the shops.  While it is lovely to slop around in comfy clothes, it is also good to get all dressed, it makes you feel good. 

I do know how hard it is to let go of the past, and I REALLY know how hard it is to slip into old age, well, our bodies at least.  Even thuogh age is just a number, there is no denying that the body starts to slip slowly, and of course this disease helps it along the way. 

I agree with everything that Sandia said.  You will find your new place, just keep looking and don't give up. 


Butt's picture
Posts: 355
Joined: May 2018

My body aged a lot after the treatments. I am not anyway close to where I used to be. I wish I could find at least 1 good doctor who would say we go for a cure and come up with a decent plan. I threw away a bunch of cloth it is a reminder if a life before. The life I wish could get back and it is my biggest wish. I am not too old. I am very home sick. I don t have any family in the US. I like it here but used to travel to Europe when I wanted to. My life, work, treatments are here and it is ok. I just wish I could go there more often. I had a very short remission that didn’t last but when I got that clean scan it gave me so much hope. Butt.

KarenMG's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2017

This whole business of dealing with this disease is a lot of sadness. I do not mean to be totally negative but it just is. Getting your body chopped on, burned with radiation and then definitely aged with the poisonous chemo. It's all barbaric treatment in my view. But we have to do it to survive.

When did you get your clean scan? I am so lost and behind with everyone on here. I feel just overwhelmed with everything all the time. Thank goodness I found a good therapist!

Do you have a prognosis? My oncologist seems reluctant to give me any sort of idea.

Take care, Karen

Posts: 149
Joined: Jun 2018

that must be very hard being homesick as well. Can you not go home & be with family & find another Oncologist there? there is a big cancer conference happening here in New Zealand this weekend. I will post if anything new comes up . 

This may be of some interest to you as well




Kazenmax's picture
Posts: 453
Joined: Feb 2016

It must be awful to not be close to family. I hope you get well soon and can return. Its hard enough to fight the fight but to be so lonely must be the pits. if you are anywhere close to Maryland, i would love to meet you. I live on the Potomac river. It’s cold right now but the scenery is relaxing. 


Sestra17's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: Jan 2018

All I can say is that it takes time. I was so depressed, tired, and fed up I wrote my last wishes, and letters to all my family and friends. Then one day I woke up and was like FThis. Sent in applications for part time jobs ( have two interviews this week!) , went shopping with my sis for nice clothes that minimize my "bump", and started taking horseback riding lessons. I am a retired RN and may go back to that in the future, but for now just keeping things easy and fun. Sending you positive thoughts and hugs!

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

Did the same thing.  Threw out old clothes, shoes, old life before cancer stuff and put my book of appointments and surgeries up in the attic.  Because of all of my surgeries I've had on my stomach I'll never be able to wear zip up pants again (also comprised by the need to go poop really fast so a zipper won't work) and it hurts if it's not stretch pants.  It's hard to let go of the past and throw away memories.  The future is so much the unknown and of course after this disease we don't see things the same.  Glad that you were able to throw some things out though.  Makes room for more memories to come.


beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1166
Joined: Aug 2013

Making it simplier has been on my mind for awhile. After 11+ years of fight and work and caring for, I find myself free to pick what I want to do. At diagnosis I was a 49yo contractor who liked work, socializing, hiking, etc. Now I'm 60 with a scarred body that needs ankle replacements, as it turns out, so I'm at a juncture. I lost my partner-in-life/crime, which stole the joy of a lot of things, but my mind is still hungry, and there's a world to see and know. The battle consumed our savings, so I can cripple myself chasing a new pile of cash, or learn to live simply and cheaply, mostly retiring, and letting the 23yo slowly take the biz over. Change is hard, but it does have enticing things about it, and considering where I've been, just feeling like I have a choice is something new, and a bit exciting.......................................................Dave

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