I am 63 years old. I am now cancer free. Bowel cancer and liver cancer. Chemo and operations. Now 7 years remission. I should be happy. The effect of cancer on my life has changed it forever. No career, no normal way of life. The side effects have destroyed all of that. "Get up and walk", "you look well", "keep positive", "watch what you eat" are all great words of wisdom, but to me they mean nothing. I am tired, I have no energy all the time. How can one lead a "normal" life when a toilet is a constant worry. Yes, I am on medication, yes I have tried counselling (even to be told there is nothing I can do for you!). I even joined a gym, only to panic when I had to find a toilet quick! I am fearful all the time that the cancer will return, so avoid invasive procedures.
I am here, because I have a very loving, caring family. The one thing in my life that I live for!
I read other posts and gain stength in their journey.
I will survive.
Welcome to our forums, it’s good to hear that you have a loving and supportive family by your side. These forums have many different stories to reflect upon and often follow similar feelings or patterns to relate too as well.
(Just in case but knowing the fact I'm most likley incorrect), if you don’t mind me suggesting have you tried adult sanitary pads? They can be discreet and catch any emergency flow as well, giving you more efficient time to seek privacy if needed. Sometimes people tend to avoid these things.
I am 62 going on 63 in a few. I was fortunate to literally dance thru the chemo and Radio weeks on just acetaminophen pretty much due to a high tolerance for pain.
From week 5 on life was hell...and after treatments, it simply got worse. The side effects, the loss of strength, inability to gain weight. Lymphoedema on neck and throat...No insurance and unable to work, so no way to get medial help or advice except Internet info and disinfo.
Is the cancer back? Was the question first thing in the morning and last before bed...the over and over as I struggled with pain no longer ameliorated by acetaminophen.
Scary and yes depressing to feel less than a man for a loving wife. I sometimes came across those two bottles of oxycontin (never opened) and mused that putting an end to the uncertainty, pain and fears would be easy enough.
I mean-to live so far below one's potential, where even eating became a challenge, no energy, no drive, no socializing to speak of, inability to work. Seriously, to me that was not living.
But then it occurred to me-hey, I don't know if cancer is back. My refusal to throw my family into further debt may be a doubtfully noble quirk worthy of a Drama King (or queen) but the fact that I continue to get out of bed every morning does not give me the right to make life miserable to those who love me and stand by me.
It should have been a No Brainer but in my case it was an epiphany.
FIND A WAY TO OVERCOME THOSE DEBILITATING SIDE EFFECTS.
-Accept that your body will never be the same AND learn to surpass the new limits.
-Accept that your mind is in a space you do not want to be in and LEARN to look for a direction towards where you can be and thrive.
DO it because you choose to live! Do it because it will improve not just your life condition, but that of those WHO LOVE YOU AND STAY WITH YOU when most would abandon you...just to keep their Sanity.
I can understand where you are coming from with your feelings and fear of Cancer returning,but it has not ,it would be hard to deal with always being afraid of soiling yourself,as has been suggested in an earlier post there are sanitary pads,I used them before my surgery it’s not the end of the world ,your energy levels and fatigue may possibly lift with exercise,you just need to try and change your mindset and take some small steps one at a time.
Try to find another counsellor the other was to negative to say they couldn’t help you, the right one will help you achieve higher than you think is possible.
Absolutely agree with Kj on changing counselors!
Anyone who has to live intimately with cancer has to be agressive in his or her fight against negativity! It night be said that that for too many of us, we walk next to the precipice from the moment we waken, and exposing ourselves to the winds of negativity does naught but increase our uncertainty and, yes, fear.
My name is Colin ( I am 67, fighting cancer since I was 50) and I am also new to this online community, I can also pretty much echo all that I have read above, Yes I have been there a few times myself and life is pretty uncomfortable post cancer, I can remember wearing 'big boys nappies' for many months but fortunately I shed all of my inhibitions and care about what people thought of me (even when I had an 'accident'), with the first one. And the things you mention, all the positive comments (tick, still get them, if only they knew how I felt!) chronic fatigue (tick, still got it) normal life (tick, I have a new normal now) medications (tick, by the truckload) Gym (tick, did that to). Now to the crux of the matter 'fear it will return', (big tick, every time I have any test done I go into a type of panic mode). So how do you cope, I don't know you just do, you have to not just for your family but also for yourself. Sometime life throws you a curve ball and you get hit, you have to get back up, dust yourself of and keep going. How do I do it, well a loving family is certainly the best medicine, great GP, specialists and all the others who help you get through this especially now that I have (PTSD, just another 'legacy' item) a good Physiologist, the right one, change until you find one you are comfortable with, talk to them, talk to them all.
So who is this bloke babbling on, well I have had three major cancers, two terminal diagnosis (to be fair one was wrong) although it had a still had a dramatic effect on me and my family, the other one was actually right, more chemo than I can remember (70+ doses) whole body radiation, countless colonoscopies, scans, x-rays and a mind numbing amount of other tests, to top it off a stem cell transplant ( it was harder to deal with than the cancers). Lost my career, had to give up my last job, just could not do it anymore but I cherish every day that I have, still here, worry about the results each time but I think I just accept it now, nothing is worse than the first time I was told I was going to die, they can't hurt me anymore.
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