GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Posts Tagged ‘Mackay

Losing and Regaining the Plot

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Hoplessness

Hoplessness

I apologise to followers of this site for the delay in new material, but I was not overly concerned as I thought my last subject matter was more than relevant to carry us through. I have had a bit of a rough time emotionally lately as you will see and at one point thought I would not relay this information on to this web page. However Greg has whispered in my ear to remind me, that together we promised to supply on this web page personal information about both the good and the bad, the warts and all stuff. So I have decided to include my latest fight with the devil and lay it all out here in public.

I could have decided not to reveal this personal issue and kept it private but I have decided to be open and frank with my readers in the hope that others that read this article may receive some benefit from my story. It is a truism that you are never alone in life in both good times and bad times. Here it is for those who may benefit: The following personal account of my losing the plot and regaining some semblance of normality. Given more time I would have liked to present this information  as a much more profound account, but that was not to be. So here it is in a raw emotional article of fact.

Recently I spent six weeks in Cairns visiting my daughter and her family. This was made possible because my wife had agreed to house sit her sisters property which is also in Cairns while her sister was away on a trip. The visit went well but was full of stress for a number of reasons which are much too complicated for me to go into in this article. Besides the stress, it was a very successful visit none the less and culminated in a sailing trip for myself and my daughter, her family, an old army friend and my eldest grandson. We visited the reef and Fitzroy Island and had a ball.

As I was out of my normal routine, medication for my newly acquired diabetes diagnoses went out the window as did most of my normal fitness regime along with diet and alcohol consumption. However I returned home in what I thought, was a happy frame of mind looking forward to getting back into my normal regime. I had no idea that within two days my world was about to implode.

The following information is still as weird for me today as I write this, as you are about to read. Within two days of our return I had a minor disagreement with my wife and something snapped inside my head. I stormed off with a packed suitcase, left my mobile phone and medication at home and took off in the middle of the night. I departed on an insane five-hour drive and headed out to my little sapphire claim west of Emerald.

The stuff that was going through my head during the drive convinced me, that It was better if I just up and died immediately, right then and there to relieve my wife and family of all the rotten stuff that may be ahead of me. I felt I could spare them the horrible ordeal that I felt lay in the future. I felt pretty old, passed my used by date, worthless, useless and hopeless. Many times during that manic nights drive, I seriously contemplated suicide by swerving off the road and driving into the nearest tree. However at the last moment I lacked the courage to carry it through. I spent the next week at the camp re-evaluating my position and trying to find some sense in it all. I remained off my medications and refused to eat with the intention of hopefully bringing on a heart attack ( I now cringe at this mental gymnastic of mine.)

My son eventually turned up at the camp in a worried state at the direction of his worried mother and we were able to have a sane conversation. The result of all this is, that I returned home to Mackay in a stunned state and contacted the Queensland Cancer Council. They have a counselling service available free for cancer patients and their families. I decided to contacted them as I did not want to go to my GP for fear of just being handed more medication. The Cancer Council offered me the option of an independant view and as such they have been remarkable.

Thinking back on my emotional state at the time, the main problem for me was trying to understand what led me to behaving and thinking in this way. I still cannot work it out and perhaps I never will. I thought I had my demons under control, but on that night I completely lost the plot and it is so hard for me to understand why. My only straw I can grasp at to make sense of it all, is that it may have been a result of all the stress leading up to the happy Cairns visit, my not using the diabetes medication and ignoring dietary and alcohol consumption limits may have led to an imbalance of my brain chemistry.

At the time of writing this article I still feel embarrassed and at a complete loss as to how this state of affairs slipped through my guard. I have always been, and hope to continue being an upbeat type of person. Interestingly the Queensland Cancer Council Counsellor has assured me that my emotional state at the time is not an unusual event. Cancer patients who can appear to be coping well with their diagnoses for years and years and also for some who have been cured may still fall into a black hole at some later time in their lives.

There is an answer and help available

There is an answer and help available

For those that may be experiencing similar problems, it might be well worth while re-reading my last sentence, that it is not unusual for cancer patients either in remission or cured to crash into depression many years after the event. The trick is to realise what seems to be real is only a state of mind that blocks out the sun and is false. There is help out there to provide support to those who are in need. My hope in relating these events is to show others that these thoughts can blindside us for a time, but there is better way forward.

Lee aka Popeye

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Remission………. Perhaps

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Here I may be

Here I may be

Hi everyone and I wonder who is out there still interested in what is happening to me. Since I last posted the article on keeping things in perspective I have been curious as to who is still reading my stuff and I hope I still have an audience out there. I have not received many comments lately but one I must admit gave me he shivers and I hope Kathy received my reply OK and perhaps I was able to help a little.

I have come to the conclusion with the help of my local GP in a heart to heart talk we had, to drop my attendance with my local urologist as I have lost faith with him. I have decided to  transfer my well being to my local GP as they can monitor my progress/decline just as well, and refer me to whoever if and when I may need to go see a specialist if things go pear shaped. I have had all the major treatments I can have apart from continuing ADT injections and that, along with the monitoring of my PSA can be achieved locally.

At the time of this article I can say that I have not felt this well for at least two years. Despite the ADT and side effects, I have not felt this energetic and interested in my life for some time. I have been mowing the lawn and weeding, I have been up and about and looking forward to continuing my renovations around my house and I have been tree lopping at the next door neighbours place and gardening for her as she attempts to sell her property. I have been out at my sons place west of Mackay helping him with renovations and I am looking to visit my daughter in Cairns. This is the stuff I used to be able to do and looked forward to doing and here I am once again able to get involved, and I am just so happy to have this opportunity.

I guess I feel like I am truly in REMISSION and I am grateful for the chance to enjoy this. Right now at this time and at this place I feel like the last twelve months have been a bad dream.  I have not been given the official diagnosis of remission by the doctors but I know deep inside that I feel like I have another chance and besides my PSA is where it should be. I also just feel so much better.

Unexpected Remission

Unexpected Remission

I do not know what the future holds and if this thing may possibly return, but right here and now I know I am normal. If things change for me along the track I will be happy to accept the fact, but right now I am just so grateful to have had this time of grace in my life. I was going to apologise to all of you for the lack of drama and interest in this article but then again…… I just feel so great I feel like to hell with it, so here is my latest article with no warts, just good news from how I feel right now.

Cheers Guys and Gals

Lee aka Popeye