← Return to Anxiety due to Cancer

Bob, Volunteer Mentor (@grandpabob)

Anxiety due to Cancer

Cancer: Managing Symptoms | Last Active: Sep 5, 2020 | Replies (27)

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I have always been able to deal with problems in the past. I have been “strong” and confident I would persevere whatever obstacle lay ahead. One of the biggest challenges was my dads illness. I was living in another state when I received the news that my dad had suffered a stroke. I returned home and dealt with selling his house, assuming power of attorney, taking care of him after his hospitalization. He had a second stroke and had to be placed in a nursing facility where he was eventually placed on hospice. He died in the nursing home. That was 9 years ago. That was very difficult for me but I made it through somehow. Two friends died this year from different cancers. I had followed their struggles. May 2019 I had a nephrectomy for RCC. Now it’s been 5 months since my surgery. I have changed as a person from this experience. It was life altering as it is for everyone. Cancer makes a huge impact on ones life. When my dad became ill I became depressed. But I knew I had to be strong for my mom who was struggling. My friends were each struggling with her cancers and that depressed me but I remained strong to be there as a could for support. When I became ill and had surgery I felt lost. Another challenge life dished out for me. After my surgery I felt panicked. The tumor was gone but I was left with a cancer diagnosis. The panic quelled down I went back to work. But my life is not the same any more. I am depressed again and I also have anxiety. I am often irritated by things that never bothered me before. People in general annoy me at times. Certain people I work with annoy me beyond words! I tend to avoid those people. I am losing some friends but it’s okay because I don’t like them anymore. I have changed. I am evolving into another version of myself. Since I am more of a private person only a select few know about my cancer surgery and that includes family. So some people are confused with my new “behaviors” which manifests as “avoidance”. I just can’t be around certain people right now. The man I had been dating flat out told me he couldn’t deal with my being sick and he walked out of my life. I didnt care! I don’t blame him. I told him it was fine and I felt relief because I wouldn’t have deal with him anymore. I knew that my cancer diagnosis had scared him and he couldn’t deal with it. I feel most comfortable with a few friends and very close family members and my dog. I want things to be simple from now on. Lately I find I can’t stand crying infants, small children, teenagers, and dramatic adults! I don’t like to be in the general public because there are too many annoying people. I don’t like my cancer center and most of the staff. I like my new oncologist. Don’t like his nurse. There is a nurse I trust at my cancer center she is a nurse navigator and she helps me contact my cancer team. She is like my “go to”person. I need to be more involved with my PCP and I don’t particularly like him or his staff. Nothing personal. There are just too many people for me right now and I need distance. I just recently learned how “smothered” I feel at times. I also really hate it when people ask me how I am because depending on what’s going on it can differ greatly. On my way to my MRI I ran into an acquaintance and she stopped to talk. She asked me so many questions! I wanted to scream! I was on my way for an MRI I had been dreading. I was full of scanxiety and I wanted her to disappear! I don’t feel the need or desire to explain my business to anyone! I am having trouble sleeping again because I am worried about my scan results. Then the cycle will repeat. I have hospital bills to pay and I owe thousands of dollars that my insurance isn’t covering so I have deal with that. Cancer is expensive. I will take one day at a time and hope for the best! That is all any of us can do! I am grateful I am not worse off because I know I could be. I need to address my depression/ anxiety because I don’t want to get out of hand. I am grateful for this site because I receive good advise and ideas from people who have been there. No BS here. I appreciate that emmensely!

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Replies to "I have always been able to deal with problems in the past. I have been “strong”..."

Good morning @azkidney57, Your very genuine self disclosure statement is a great step in the process of letting go. You are evaluating your life. This is a perfectly transparent example of what it means when you LET GO. Many of us have trouble accepting the realities that emerge e.g. your sensitivity to crying babies.

My decision to simplify my life was both disturbing and rewarding. Last February I made the decision to sell my home of 20 years and to release my hold on “things”. I gave away almost everything in my home….to friends, family and customers. Everything I own would now fit in a very small dresser. And I moved 1500 miles away from my family and many friends.

I turned the corner when my role on Connect was upgraded, if you will, to Mentor. I have found my new opportunity to make an impact, to use my years of experience, 77 to be exact, to assist others somewhere along this journey of letting go, moving on and living life with an anticipation of some rocking, joyful days, May you be safe and protected…..Chris

@azkidney57 You're absolutely right that cancer puts a different color on your life! Some days that tint is pretty dark, some days not quite so. Do you find that, also? I have read your post a couple of times. I am presently going through my fourth type of cancer, and just this morning had another kidney biopsy before they decide which treatment plan to go with. That has nothing to do with your situation, except that I can relate! We each have the power to choose who we want in our lives. That's a heady feeling but it comes with responsibility too. There's nothing wrong in wanting to limit your exposure to certain types of people and we shouldn't have to explain. We have to do what is healthiest for us physically, emotionally, and mentally. There are some who will get it and many who won't. That's not our problem. We already have enough to deal with on our plates, right? Take care of yourself in whatever manner that maybe. Those who are our true friends and supporters will be there for us on the bright and dark days. You sound like a very giving person, having been there for your dad, your mom, and your friends. Unfortunately, sometimes that same support is not there for us when we need it. You deserve to surround yourself with those who will hold you up and lend you a shoulder or ear. I'm glad that you have found people here at Mayo Connect that you can share with, as we do try to make sure we are supportive for everyone

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