I recently read something written by some wise person, just can't remember who said it,
"Pain and suffering are a given in life; misery is a choice."
Rosie is right, that is exactly the same advice I was given when seeking help for depression-which kicked back in with a vengence when I stopped using anti-depressants. The therapist said, "Spend more time with animals and babies," and I actually took that advice.
I got a dog from the shelter and spend much more time with my best girlfriend, she is 4 years old now, I've been her #1 'babysitter' since she was born and it's the first time I've been involved with a baby/little kid. I always lived far from my family and nieces and nephews and only saw them sporadically, and never had kids myself. I thought I didn't like them...until now. I think I was scared of them, but surely have learned how pure and beautiful they really are. I feel lucky to have made this new little friend. And my dog is tops...different than the cats (who didn't give me enough attention!).
I also learned that my depression stems in large part from 'living in the past' and ruminating over hurtful experiences. So now, when I find myself beginning to ruminate over things past I try to stop it immediately and do something positive and pleasurable.
Living in the present can be hard sometimes, but living in the past is plain stupid. I find pleasure in planning wonderful vacations (living in the future, somewhat).
Jenny, I am so gratified to hear my comments have been of help to you. It is tough to get away from the "mind shuffling" to past and future when being treated for cancer without having some type of words, phrase or meds that can immediately bring us to the present now where nothing is really harming us. Lately, I have been singing the refrain of a song that was popular a few years ago when I am feeling tense. It goes:
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. We can only enjoy the passage of time when in the present.
Rosie, I've just found this thread and I'm finding your comments really helpful! I am awaiting another poke'n'peek (I love that expression, we just call them flexible cystoscopies over here and that sounds much less fun!) in just over a week, and I have recently been in a very bleak space where all my depressions relating to the past and all the 'what if's for the future had all crammed in and were all I could think about, and although I am in relative good health at the moment (just had 3 more side-effect-riddled BCG sessions, and my chronic fatigue is lifting but still kicks in) I don't seem able to enjoy the 'here and now'. Thanks to your comments (which I can see myself re-reading a lot!) I'm starting to reconnect with what's happening NOW, and I'm trying to not let that little black monster that creeps up on me from becoming a big black monster again!
PS I was treated for depression about 8 yrs ago with pills, and this time I have decided to 'go herbal' because I didn't want to deal with the unpleasant side-effects - it's really hard work and as you can see from the above it doesn't always work, but finding positive and life-affirming comments from people like Rosie is really helping!!
Best wishes to everyone who's surviving BC, and especially those who have the additional burden of depression and anxiety thrown into the mix as well....... It clearly IS possible to get through it, and I will be keeping that in mind!!
Dx 2005 age 32 T1 G2-3, lots of ops & intravesical Rx since, now having BCG as a preventative treatment 'cos I got the ALL CLEAR just before Easter 07! Yippeeeee!!
You are all so right. I'd just like to give myself some space to deal with things happening day to day. I know meds don't make things all better right away. i am also seiing two counselors and have been since this ordeal started.
Alyssa...all I can say is WOW!.. Sounds like you definitely overcame some serious obstacles and my hat is off to you. My wife is a rock and i really don't know what I'd do without her support.
Rosie...I'm definitely doing a lot more holding and hugging with my daughter Madeline. That seems to ground me more than anything else .
Bubbles...I haven't gotten my copy in the mail yet. I ordered it two days ago so I'm hoping it'll be here tomorrow. I'm anxious to read the cystectomy parts. Let me know if you find anything particularly interesting.
Thanks for the support guys. It helps out more and more everyday!
Vin, It is true that we are suddenly faced with our mortality when we have a cancer diagnosis. We want to feel confidant and happy again. Normal. You are experiencing spirit depletion and overwhelming feelings of a threatening future. Medication does not take all the feelings and fear from you, it just helps you to better put it in perspective and not be so much on pins and needles. I find the best thing for me is to CHANGE MY MIND. I am having to do it again since my newest urine cytology came back as positive. I found myself contemplating a higher grade, type, serious complications etc. Then I came back to the NOW and told myself don't project forward nor backward stay in here and now and enjoy what you can that is around you. Take that little baby, hold her, hug here, get wrapped up in her actions and sounds. Recognize and act now on what is desired rather than waiting until the focus problem of your blc is resolved. Counterbalancing brings upward spirals. The more you are able to concentrate on spirit energizers while in the midst of spirit depleters the sooner healing takes place. Healing is being the true expression of yourself. Often times a look at our mortablity through a cancer diagnoses, accident, death of someone close to us etc. does us the favor of giving us just that.
I was on anti-depressants for 2 years after the birth of my second baby. I took Elavil (Amitriptyline) which is a blood level drug. It was extremely helpful but side effects like dry mouth, weight gain, etc.
I don't even know if they use it anymore, cause I never hear about it. When it's time to go off (you can't stay on it forever), you have to be weaned by slowly reducing the dosage so your body gets used to being without it. I had no trouble with that.
It was a life saver!
Age - 55
T1 G3 - Tumor free 2 yrs 3 months
Dx January 2006