Re: [MOL] Emotional side of cancer [00052] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Emotional side of cancer



I've been reading with much interest the opinions expressed, from everyone's 
hearts and souls, about the impact of cancer on both the patients and the 
caregivers.

I was dx'd with both kidney and colon cancer in October, 1998.  God gave me 
such super strength before, during and right after the surgeries, that I was 
consoling everyone else.  I admit, I did have some horrid moments/days when 
I was petrified, and I cried.  But in general, I was very, very optimistic.  
So much, that my doctors and family thought I was being TOO optimistic, and 
they were worried about that, in the event that things didn't turn out as 
well for me as I was hoping.  Of course, they didn't tell me this until 
after the original surgeries.

Looking back at the last year or so, I can see how many emotional roller 
coaster rides I have been on.  Just six months or so after my surgery, when 
they did get all the cancer, a "good" friend of mine told me "Your cancer is 
old stuff now.  It's no big deal because you didn't have to have chemo -- 
you just had surgery.  Look at me!  I need to have my gall bladder out 
sometime."  To me, it seemed like everyone else got back to normal, and I 
didn't feel like I was back to normal, even though the physical part of my 
cancer was over.  It seemed to me that I, for whatever reason, needed to 
talk about it -- to talk about my fears/insecurities that maybe they didn't 
really get it all, that it might come back, etc., and nobody wanted to 
listen to me.  That really bothered me alot.  I would get comments like the 
above, or the subject would be changed midstream, and this really hurt and 
bothered me.  And, I just want to let you all know that I'm not a 
complainer, nor one to run something in the ground.  I don't like people who 
are hypochondriacs, so I have always been very aware of what/how/when I say 
something so it doesn't come across like that.

Sometimes, too I think maybe they've been this way because, since I was so 
strong and brave before and during the surgeries, they think I'm still 
strong, brave, and shouldn't need to talk, shouldn't have fears/insecurities 
of recurrence.

I've found that I've become much more stressed, can't handle stressful 
situations like I could before I had cancer.  I think it's because I realize 
how precious life is, how short it is, and when people gripe, complain 
continuously about things I see as petty, it drives me up the wall!  These 
things that irritate me are the same things that were going on before I got 
sick -- situations at work, etc.

Immediately following my surgeries, I was THE happiest person in the whole 
world, and no one, nothing could get on my nerves.  I loved everybody, 
everything.  That changed, and it really bothered me, and still bothers me.  
I feel that I should be able to more easily handle stress, let go of things. 
  But it's just the opposite.

I do value life, and I thank God for my current health.  Has anyone else 
experienced any of this?

Brenda



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