I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.
Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.
Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.
Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.
Life is an amazing journey. I my lifetime I have married, raised children, sent them out of the nest, welcomed grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. I have worked several jobs, had a great career and ended doing the one thing that married my vocation with my greatest passion.
I have lived but I (God willing) have years in me left to pursue other goals. Those of you who have been reading my blog know that one of my goals is to share experiences, offer solace and kindness, information, and ideas that I have gained over the years.
I have also made strides in controlling my tendency to worry myself into anxiety. I continue to grow each day and owe much thanks to the others who deal with this issue and have offered support and suggestions for conquering it.
In the scheme of things it is probably that something fought with over a lifetime will not disappear entirely but learned skills do help in catching escalation to the “tipping point.”
The trick is to keep trying things and find what works for you. Each of us will have different things that help. Just keep trying. There is something out there that will be the thing that helps you turn the corner. Our mental health issues can, many time, be lessened or averted with the right tools.
Never give up. Just keep on trying. Also don’t think you are alone. There are many of us and we truly understand.
From my own experience in the hospital recently and now with my granddaughter’s stay it is interesting how things have changed. Following my surgery the doctor was reluctant to give me any pain medication that could be addictive. The same thing was true with my granddaughter. The government has cracked down so hard that it is causing problems for patients who genuinely need some help following surgery. That is the problem with doing things that give little discretion to the people involved.
I know we have serious drug issues here but I’m not sure that what is being done will solve the issue. I don’t know that legislation can solve the drug problems in the US. The problem is to complex for that. People who want to abuse drugs will get them elsewhere. Admittedly physicians overused RX’s in the past and people became addicted but I hope that trend is past.
It has been difficult to find time to write in the last few days. We have some family here from out of town and finding time alone is not easy. I miss it but I am also enjoying my family. This has been a good holiday but I will be glad to get back to normal.
One of the things that can be hard is to not be in a normal routine. It throws us off and makes it harder to relax. I will work through it in order to enjoy the time that we have together.
The holiday season can be stressful for most of us. It is easy to obsess over shopping and wrapping and cooking until we are worn to a frazzle. In the new year it is time to check how you are feeling and take some extra time to de-stress. The time after holidays can also be a let down. When we were living at West Point the cadets called it “gloom period.” If you live where the trees have all lost their leaves everything looks gray. It can make your life feel gray.
Find something to brighten your life. Go out to lunch or dinner. Treat yourself to a bubble bath or eat your favorite food. It will help you slide into the new year ready to embrace it.
For years the common thinking among physicians was that anxiety and depression caused digestive symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea and possibly even Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Now the pendulum is falling the other way. the Brain/Gut connection is becoming more important in treating people with such problems. I have long realized that my IBSD causes anxiety and if bad enough depression. I am glad that treating the whole person is becoming part of how medicine thinks.
We are definitely complex beings and anything that affects us physically or mentally cannot be separated out into one or the other. Physicians have divided up into specialties and seem to focus on that area. It is understandable as medicine has become so complex. You can’t know everything about everything. We need a different specialty the “wholeness doctor” who tries to put the pieces together. I know that there are now DO’s and other categories of people who look more at the whole person but we need more of it.
I hope that in the future we have those physicians who take the information from all of the specialists and put it all together. This is what Internists would like to do but getting the reports and information from other doctors is like pulling teeth. This has to be worked out also.
We are not parts stuck together but a whole just waiting to be understood.
Today I am again using the Dragon software so forgive any grammar errors.
This has been a quiet day. I did have to attend the funeral of the young man with children who died. The funeral was a real tribute to him. There must’ve been at least 300 people there. Sad though it was his funeral was a celebration of his life.
There is always something so much sadder about the death of a young person. We feel as if there are things that are unfinished. Someone told me many years ago that in truth the death of a young person is not a life unfinished. That each of us has our own lifespan. It is a lifespan set for us alone. For some reason that gave me comfort.
Death is something that we all come to. It is something that we all have to face. Many people fear death. For me death itself is not frightening. It is the dying that we don’t look forward to.
There are so many things in life that can frighten us. For those of us who suffer with anxiety it seems that we can be afraid of almost anything. Although I think each of us has certain things that trigger our anxiety. I know that some things that might disturb me might not be bothersome at all to someone else. I think each of us has to discover what are the things that set us off.
Over time with help we can learn management of our own triggers. The thing is we have to practice and keep up by exercising those tools frequently. If we think we can just use them when we are in a panic it won’t work. I think that is the hardest part. Reminding ourselves daily to meditate or pray or whatever it is that works for us to use it. Consistency is the answer.
No matter what we have to keep on going, keep on working, keep on hoping, and keep on living.
Writing tonight is difficult. I did a dumb thing today. I went out to finish the small amount of hedge, wore shoes that were not appropriate and fell. Fortunately after I finished. The driveway is rock so I have some lovely scrapes, cuts, and bruises but no major damage.
It pays to wear the right gear when working in the yard. I won’t write more since my left arm is sore.
It is a beautiful day. That frequently happens after a storm. The air is clear and everything seems so much brighter. The yard is clean. I am tired but I am brighter too. It was hard just sitting and waiting for a storm that was determined to stay in place for so long. My heart cries for those who have been so hurt by the storm.
I think I am physically and emotionally drained. It is actually not a bad feeling but I know I need rest and time to refocus. Some time spent in silence and meditation will do me a world of good.
It is so important to allow ourselves time to regroup. Too often we leap into the next thing without time spent in absorbing what has happened. In this case nothing really happened and that is the odd part. How does one absorb nothing? Maybe by understanding that much emotional energy was spent waiting for nothing. And so, there was something after all. The emotional battle of waiting takes it’s own toll. Just because it was intangible doesn’t mean it didn’t matter.
We often think that we don’t have to restore ourselves when it it important to do so. Take time to understand before again taking on everything else.
Today I have been down. When I worked in the garden the other day I carried around a sprayer that was quite heavy. It was slung on my right shoulder and now I have a pulled muscle next to my shoulder blade in the back. The strange thing is it has caused some anxiety since I can’t breathe deeply.
This minor problem has made me appreciate what it must feel like to not be able to breathe properly. It is scary. I know that I can breathe just fine but a deep breath hurts. That make you want to take deep breaths.
Everyone has their physical problems. Some more than others but each of us has some part of our body that is weak. There is so much research that shows that even our mental health is physically connected. I wonder when everyone will realize that we are whole people and that our physical, mental and spiritual health is linked Medicine has grown in such a way that doctors know mostly about their own area. It is nice to see some practitioners using a holistic approach to treatment.
We all must take care of our whole selves. It is a “holy” task.
Sometimes we build walls around ourselves to stay safe. We wall out anything that hurts us…whether physical or mental. An extreme example of how the walls work is the patient written about called Sybil. Dividing yourself into separate people puts up walls between the root person to help her. Another example is Howard Hughes who physically walled himself in.
Our various forms of mental illness can be walls. Ways that we have adjusted to the world in order to survive. The illnesses seem negative but at some time they may have been essential. (this may not include some types of illness)
The walls are hard to pull down. They are worse than masks. Masks seem more temporary but the walls have been built with bricks and mortar. Our anxiety can cause us to retreat from the world. We only seem safe if we stay under the covers on our beds.
When we are suffering it is very difficult to pull down the walls and move out of our comfort zone. When I am anxious I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I curl into a fetal position mentally and physically. I have erected a wall around myself.
I have been working on the things that help me to remove the wall one stone, one piece of mortar, at a time. Meditation, remembering to breathe, focusing my mind, distraction are all things that help. With persistence these tools help me to keep the wall from growing and even begin to keep sections down. Progress is happening which gives me impetus to keep on keeping on.
Don’t give up. That wall can be knocked down a little at a time. Just keep on!