update: its either osophageal or gist behind the osophagus. I am terrified. They are saying that its likely that I will need my osophagus removed! Holy moly!!
I have never envisioned myself as an old lady, maybe this is why... I trust my doctor, but I just don't know if I can do this. Family support is low. No real friends. Live a lonely life to begin with. This is just scaring the last few away. Sorry peeps, feeling sorry for myself I guess
I have one friend. Yep, one.
Estranged from broader family, also by choice.
I have three kids and a happy wife, and we share mutual adoration, so I feel supremely, utterly lucky.
And yet cancer has isolated me like nothing else.
It does that to you, it's an insidious disease, it's greedier than most diseases in that it wants to take everything from you. Your sense of place, permanence, hope.
The thing is, any aspect of the disease can be fought.
Clinically, you appear to have a surgical solution. Yep, it's scary - but it's a pathway that will (fingers crossed) get rid of the cancer or prolong your life.
Loneliness and Isolation ? Likewise, that has a pathway. There are professionals who can help, or there are peers who have gone through or are going through the same thing, and I'm sure some of them would be willing to pick up a phone and maybe form a new friendship.
You're still alive, you're still viable, there's hope. Don't allow cancer to eat away at your hope, if it's inside you, try and stay solution focussed. I know it's hard.
Can't sleep ? Exercise more at night before bed.
Can't exercise ? Do other non-physical work to occupy your brain.
No work ? Try reading or computer games.
You know what I mean … isolate any given problem and navigate to some kind of strategy to solve it.
Even if you fail, in the trying, you'll feel better and more in control.
All the best.
I'm so sorry Jubbly. It's a lot to process.
I do have support but my family really struggled for the first week or two and it's only now that the treatment plan is clear that people have defined roles rather than just reacting to the latest crisis.
I did phone the Cancer Council and found them a great resource both in terms of what they can offer and referral to other resources. It might be worth giving them a call. The social worker on your oncology team should also know of local resources and be able to refer you to those.
It's OK to feel sorry for yourself. You've been dealt a crappy hand. The choice of how to play it is up to you but it still doesn't make the cards you were dealt any better.
Please take care of yourself as much as you can while you work through this. And please remember that we're here for you as much as you will allow us to be.
Yeah, I'm struggling with this problem as t the moment too. I've just finished Round 1 of chemo and while I should be pleased that the infusion bottle is off and the side effects were minor, this afternoon and tonight I had racing anxiety I couldn't control and couldn't stop crying. I think it was a combination of exhaustion from the chemo and all the worry and panic I had during it...all the uncertainty of the first time.
I have great support from my family and with the help of Valium and sleeping pills was able to get to sleep for a few hours. But now it's 3sm and my mind is racing again... I can't stop thinking about everything I have to do, all the upcoming appointments, etc, and all the uncertainty.
I don't have any useful suggestions to offer anyone yet about this stress and wakefulness, just that writing this down does make me feel a bit better. Here's hoping we can all find effective distractions/cooping mechanisms in time!
Yeah, it really does help knowing you're not alone going through this stuff in the early hours, since it feels so scary and isolating!
Woke up at 3am again, but listening to a podcast is helping me calm down and fall back asleep.
Be part of this supportive community