14 comments on “Control

  1. I hope the results will be good and help allay those understandable fears. You’re very strong. I admire the strength it takes to stay positive. Every doctor’s appointment makes me anxious, too. I guess there’s no escaping that reaction no matter what the therapists have to say or prescribe. Once I heard the cancer diagnosis, I had a whole new appreciation for the Simon and Garfunkel lyric, “Hello, darkness my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.”

    • Thank you, but I certainly don’t feel strong. I feel like all I’m doing is the best I can to survive and lots of the time I don’t feel I’m doing a very good job.

      I fear how I’ll handle the news that the Lupron has failed. Maybe the problems I’m having now are prepping me for it, so it won’t be so bad. Who knows?

      • I do often imagine the worst case scenario to prep for the real thing so I can understand your inclination to do that now, but I am currently working on an entirely different approach to managing my own stress.

        My new approach is to assume I can manage anything based on what I have handled so far. It was an awful year in 2011, and I went through it not knowing if it would end well. At one point I was told I was stage three, then back down to stage one. I have already contemplated the better than 50% chance I would not be here in five years so I have done this disaster planning once (what I now think of as GOING THERE). What I am finding is that worst case scenario thinking every three to six months is debilitating. I don’t think I can pursue that approach the rest of my life.

        So I now practice the thinking that I could die at any moment of heart disease, a car accident, chance even. And, as a result of planning for cancer, I’m more ready in a sense than I’ve ever been before–so I’m covered if I get news the cancer is back. And I’m going to not GO THERE any more. I also am not making big long-term goals. I don’t need pressure. I need to manage.

        I have plans for the week. I know that, absent the unforeseeable calamity, I will manage those plans. And, as I do, I’m trying to celebrate them. This week is my two-year cancer anniversary so I have been having and will have appointments with doctors. I’m aware of the stress that is causing, but I am not GOING THERE. I am just going to appointments.

        I’ll talk about how it is/is not working for me later this week. But maybe you have been spending too much time THERE, also. I have decided to try this because the worst case scenario has always been death and it always will be. I just never felt like it would happen to me so young before. Now I have been spending so much time there that it’s not healthy. Sort of like the way my tongue won’t leave alone a loose tooth. I can never stop looking at a blemish. But some things are better left alone.

        Hang in there. Even if it feels scary and lonely, you are managing. And that’s enough. None of us are in control even if we convince ourselves that this is the case. But managing is a good outcome in life. Let’s manage together!

        • Thank you for such a kind and thoughtful reply. It seems we think about and react to bad things very similarly. You’re absolutely right that it’s not good to spend time GOING THERE, once you’ve made all the arrangement for when you get there. I also restrict how far out I’ll plan. I typically only plan a few weeks in advance. I’ll make exceptions for Xmas and cruises, but only if I know they can be canceled.

  2. there’s anxiety that’s connected to fear and then there’s primal anxiety. I think what you’re talking about is primal anxiety and that is truly frightening. It seems like you’re still able to handle it with some degree of grace and I really admire that. I cannot imagine what it must be like and I continue to send good thoughts wishes and prayers your way.

    • I’ve never really thought about there being two kinds of anxiety, but it makes sense to me. There’s the anxiety that you’re in the wild and might be eaten and there’s the anxiety when you know you’re been identified by a predator and you’re being stalked. It’s fear and anxiety at the most basic or primal level.

      Talking to oneself to calm down does little to help. As I found out last night, neither does alcohol (for me). Xanax was the only thing that helped, that and my wife calming me down.

      Today has been better, but I’ll write about that in a new post.

  3. Anxiety is so hard. I have had my bouts with it myself, and it’s a terrible feeling. I’ve been working through some control and safety issues, too. Such a primal, base issue. You mentioned above that talking yourself down does little to help you. Have you tried any physiological methods such as deep breathing, guided imagery, or calming meditations where you learn how to physically calm yourself down? Sometimes that can help. And though talking yourself down hasn’t helped, there are some therapies such as Biofeedback for physical control and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) that can help with that base issue of your beliefs about control that can be both quick and very effective. Check them out if you haven’t before, it couldn’t hurt. Either way, I hear you loud and clear that you don’t feel strong, but I still see you as a very strong man even in this extremely difficult time. I know very well that to continue to fight/manage is a sign of a very strong person.

    • I have tried deep breathing and standing in front of an open fridge to cool down, both of which work. Unfortunately, when I was at dinner, we were eating outside and there was nothing I felt comfortable doing except gutting my way through it.

      My psychologist is a big fan of EMDR and we’ve used it successfully for a number of issues. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to use this experience in an EMDR session the next time I see him.

      Thank you for your post! I appreciate the suggestions and encouragement more than I can say.

  4. I’m so glad EMDR has been successful for you! It’s encouraging to see, I’m going to be writing about that at some point – I just began training for it a few weeks ago and was amazed at my results in our short practice sessions. Mostly, I’m glad you have some options and good support. I’m happy and humbled to be an encouragement to you :) Take good care.

  5. Hey, I hope you can sort this out. Anxiety is terrible to deal with. I tried meditation and it helped with cancer and many other sources of anxiety in my life. My blog philblog100.wordpress.com tells my story including my experience with meditation. Best of luck. Cheers, Phil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s