Life after cancer diagnosis

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I've been away from here for a while, trying to pretend maybe.  I know it's real and as I lurch from 6th month scan to 6th month scan interspersed with an Oct to Jan wait for a successful colonoscopy (3 attempts at it!)  I wonder how I can really start again.  Just still stuck. Unsure how to find motivation. 

How do we do it?

  • Good morning  and good to hear from you..... although not great that the roundabout keeps on going.

    "Unsure how to find motivation....... How do we do it?"

    In reality we just have to keep on walking into the storm....... at times we can find ourselves in the eye of the storm and I am told that the centre of a hurricane is actually a peaceful place....... so we need to keep looking for that place of peace.

    My incurable cancer is still asleep (8+ years now) and my aim is not to kiss any princess and wake it up again Wink

    But over the past year or so it's been full of 'other' tests (Colonoscopy, CT, MRI, Prostate Biopsy......) all done slooooowly....... to eventually say that nothing new was found!!!! 

    It turns out that my massive Hiatus Hernia, that developed way back in Oct 2015 when I was violently sick during my very last 30 mins chemo, was 'moving around and changing!!!'

    I got to see a 'fly through' of my Hiatus Hernia for the first time and wow....... it completely encloses my stomach and more...... but it's would be dangerous to operate on so we have agreed that I 'live' with the new challenges that it is bringing along....... but on reflection, compared to my very challenging days of 10 years back....... I can deal with this.

    I am unfortunately a total 100% optimist....... but this often is not good when others are struggling around me with their journeys..... but looking for that small thread of peace, contentment, hope, encouragement........ can helps us then look again and see a way forward.

    When we were navigating the 'challenging days' I was in basic isolation for about 4 weeks for both my Stem Cell Transplants...... but every day my wife and the rest of the family.... and our friends made sure that I received a at least one new building block of encouragement and support......

    A new picture of one of our 4 granddaughters, a picture one of the girls had made, a facetime with one of the family or friends (I was in Glasgow for my treatment, we live in Inverness so 3-4 hrs away from our friends and our close family were 100s of miles away).... these building blocks were so important in getting me through.

    I am 8 years out from my last treatment but the rhythm of encouragement keeps going to this day....... I will be getting a cake  with 9 candles on it in Oct as it will be my 9th re-birthday.

    But the rhythm of encouragement slowly turned my eyes outward focused and here I am encouraging you......

    The lessons we/I have learned over the past 10 years..... infact it's coming up to 24 years since I was diagnosed is encapsulated in this thought….

    The road we navigate on our journey has two directions to follow. There are two signs along this road one sign is pointing to Pessimism, a mindset that always sees the worst will happen, not appreciating that the many treatments available can do the job, where stress and worry controls every aspect of life and as a result the journey is made extremely hard and draining.

    The other sign points to Optimism, a mindset that is full of hopefulness, determination, confidence about the future and appreciates that the treatments available can turn the Lymphoma tide….. even in the most challenging storms. It’s important to continually seek to choose the optimistic direction as this simple thing can define how you walk out cancer journey.


    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hi Alottment lover

    So sorry that you are feeling stuck and unable to move forward. I see in your profile that you suffer from long term depression and you have had some tough times with your daughter who is also having issues. I do hope that you have sought help for the depression as it is hard to rise above things when anxiety and depression is left untreated. The right medication can at least put you on a level playing field to start with. I have 2 daughters who  suffer from anxiety and depression and have for a long time .(Bad genetics I'm afraid as they take after their father) It took them some time and it has been tough for them and for me as their mother being unable to help, but they are now on the right medication and have sought help from a psychologist and that has helped enormously. They realise that for them they will need to be on  medication long term.

    You may have already had counseling but if not you can get counseling support through Macmillan which may assist in you moving forward.

    I have a long history with jaw cancer and have had 3 big ops and 2 lots of radiotherapy. I am fortunate as like Mike I am an optimist. I have definitely had ups and downs and gone through some tough times but have managed to move forward with my life as I did not want to spend my life dwelling on negative thoughts.  I have found that making my life meaningful has really helped. I enjoy volunteering at my local library, belong to my local Bonsai society, enjoy pottering in the garden and helping out with my grandkids. The possibility of cancer returning is always at the back of my mind but that is where I try to keep it

    If you can find an activity that you can lose yourself in that really helps. I have also found finding something to look forward to really helps. For me that is planning a short holiday, planning an outing with my grandkids, re- landscaping part of the garden anything that gives me joy.

    I figure I have been given 3 chances at life now thanks to my wonderful medical team and I don't want to waste the opportunities that they have given back to me.

    I do hope that you can start to find some joy in life again.

    Sending you my very best wishes