What Willpower?

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, May 19 9:46am

Good morning everyone.

I just finished reading an article by Yasmina Rebani in CURE TODAY.(https://www.curetoday.com/view/the-role-of-willpower-in-battling-cancer). He questioned if his father died because willpower only goes so far. Really?

I have been thinking about this too because I have another CT scan coming up in another couple of months. A lot of you know that I have had cancer for quite a while. And like many of you, I am tired of getting up and down off of the CT table, getting poked and prodded and my blood withdrawn or saturated with contrast. And the worry before and after! I want it all to stop. I'm tired.

But I know that I won't stop. It's not in my nature. But is this willpower, is this positivity or stubbornness? And if it is, is there a time limit?

As Yasmina asked, " Is willpower enough to endure the harrowing rounds of chemotherapy with all its side effects?" And he asks further if willpower is an example of a survival instinct?

I sure hope that it is. But I am also busy, very busy. I am remodeling my house and have yet to order a new sink, an undermount at that, and a new faucet. Work starts at the very beginning of June. I still have to pick out paint colors and look for inserts for my drawers to keep them organized.

And yet, I still have to go to my hospital, by train, to have my CT scan in the middle of July. I know that I have another cancer. It has grown and if it changes one little bit then I will need radiation AGAIN. It will be my 6th lung cancer.

I know that I sound spoiled or whiny. I also know that I'm so very lucky to have this multifocal adenocarcinoma rather than another type of lung cancer. But I am tired. Of it all. I wonder if my willpower will see me through?

Is willpower innate? Is it part of a survival instinct? I keep putting one foot in front of another and don't even think about it.

Do you have willpower or positivity? Does willpower have a place with cancer or is it something else? How long do you think that it will last?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Lung Cancer group.

A friend asked me some time ago why I thought I was still here.
My answer “you grow up with a bunch of brothers where you fight every day, physically, emotionally, for space, for food, for time, and for everything else you learn to just keep fighting”.
Merry you are an inspiration to all who encounter you. Sometimes putting one foot in front of another is all you have. Sometimes there is so much more. I don’t know how long it will last, but does anybody know?

REPLY
@auntieoakley

A friend asked me some time ago why I thought I was still here.
My answer “you grow up with a bunch of brothers where you fight every day, physically, emotionally, for space, for food, for time, and for everything else you learn to just keep fighting”.
Merry you are an inspiration to all who encounter you. Sometimes putting one foot in front of another is all you have. Sometimes there is so much more. I don’t know how long it will last, but does anybody know?

Jump to this post

Thank you, Chris. I grew up competing with a twin sister. We are not identical, which became more apparent as we grew older. But she jumped into drugs at 15, and I looked elsewhere for competition.

That was quite a question that your friend asked. I'm sure that it was posed during a deep conversation. No one in my family, except my son, has asked me anything like that. Death is such a no-no topic because almost everyone is frightened of something that no one knows about, but everyone does.

But I think that people have innate qualities that drive them. If the term willpower describes it then so be it. I just hope that it lasts a long time!

Thank you for responding to my post.

REPLY

There is a will, which is important in the drive to get us through the poking and prodding, the fatigue and treatments. Modern medicine has come a long way, but it can only take some of us so far. Not every cancer is curable. I feel that its just as important to know when to let go of that will, when it’s time for a peaceful passing.
Of course, we all hope that time comes years into the future! Thanks for sharing your story Merry.

REPLY
@lls8000

There is a will, which is important in the drive to get us through the poking and prodding, the fatigue and treatments. Modern medicine has come a long way, but it can only take some of us so far. Not every cancer is curable. I feel that its just as important to know when to let go of that will, when it’s time for a peaceful passing.
Of course, we all hope that time comes years into the future! Thanks for sharing your story Merry.

Jump to this post

Wonderful insight, lls8000

REPLY

@merpreb Merry, I have been thinking about this ever since you first posted this here. I read the article you referenced in "Cure Today". I've personally been encouraged by your stamina (willpower?) and wonder how you persevere after 20 years. All of us, our personality characteristics, are so different from one another and you have a remarkable resilience. You may go "kicking and screaming" to each medical appointment and get on and off the table for those CTs. Anyone who believes a person should "be strong" and paste that smile on their face must still be living in the early 20th century. I'd like to think we get to have our emotions, we're allowed to be angry and irritable but we still get on with it. I remember my ex-husband saying to me one time that "You shouldn't act angry. It's not ladylike". What? What he was really saying is that HE wasn't comfortable with my anger. But that's another story and reflects his family who never expressed much of anything except superficial pleasantries.

So, willpower? Yes! A person can accept the reality of all those appointments and scans but it doesn't mean you have to like it. But you do it anyway. You go, Merry! That IS why you are still here.

Thank you, Merry, for reminding all of us what it takes to live each day and keep moving forward.

REPLY
@naturegirl5

@merpreb Merry, I have been thinking about this ever since you first posted this here. I read the article you referenced in "Cure Today". I've personally been encouraged by your stamina (willpower?) and wonder how you persevere after 20 years. All of us, our personality characteristics, are so different from one another and you have a remarkable resilience. You may go "kicking and screaming" to each medical appointment and get on and off the table for those CTs. Anyone who believes a person should "be strong" and paste that smile on their face must still be living in the early 20th century. I'd like to think we get to have our emotions, we're allowed to be angry and irritable but we still get on with it. I remember my ex-husband saying to me one time that "You shouldn't act angry. It's not ladylike". What? What he was really saying is that HE wasn't comfortable with my anger. But that's another story and reflects his family who never expressed much of anything except superficial pleasantries.

So, willpower? Yes! A person can accept the reality of all those appointments and scans but it doesn't mean you have to like it. But you do it anyway. You go, Merry! That IS why you are still here.

Thank you, Merry, for reminding all of us what it takes to live each day and keep moving forward.

Jump to this post

Oh, Helen- There are so many answers that I can give you. But one is that it's in my nature to keep going until I can't, and then I keep going a little more after that. The second thing is, what option do have? I don't want to die.

But your question is more specific. After twenty years, why would I not still fight after all of the money, time, expertise and support, and love that I have received and give it all up? What an insult to everyone that would be!

So far I haven't been ill enough to lay claim to what is down the line for me. I know that my COPD is worse and that I am likely going to lose some more lung tissue because of this new lesion. I try not to think about what will happen even in the near future. I have so many plans.

My husband is almost 80 and not completely well. I'm 75. But we have plans as long as Dave holds out. My folks never talked about death or dying, never. And I don't go around thinking of it. And I seem to only think about it when it gets in my way.

This didn't happen overnight. It took me a long time to come to this understanding of myself and my cancer. So if this is why I'm here then I am honored beyond belief!

Thank you, my friend

REPLY

Wow I just read your posts. They are inspiring to me and people like you keep me inspired. I will be scanned again in July to see status of my stage 3cancer which was treated with radiation and chemo almost 5 yrs ago. Always nervous and scared with each scan. Will be 86 in July but I keep on fighting. Now with unusual back pain I’m scared again, but I’m hoping a strain since I did som3 things I should not havw.
But I’m rambling when all I wanted to say was Thank You.

REPLY
@susankaplan1

Wow I just read your posts. They are inspiring to me and people like you keep me inspired. I will be scanned again in July to see status of my stage 3cancer which was treated with radiation and chemo almost 5 yrs ago. Always nervous and scared with each scan. Will be 86 in July but I keep on fighting. Now with unusual back pain I’m scared again, but I’m hoping a strain since I did som3 things I should not havw.
But I’m rambling when all I wanted to say was Thank You.

Jump to this post

Good morning @susankaplan1. It's nice to meet you. It's been a while since you've been on Connect and it's great to have you back.

I'm 75 and believe me I'm still scared before each scan too. It's natural and I really hope that your back pain is just a pulled muscle. You could ask for an e-ray too!

Thank you and you are very welcome. WOuld you please tell me a bit about your lung cancer history?

Merry

REPLY

This was also inspiring to me as well . I get almost terrified when I have to take those CT's, MRI 's and that PET scan for my Liver Cancer that started in my small intestine. I had a CT in January and everything seems essentially well I was told and I am scheduled for another in August and I am already nervous but it is what it is and TODAY by the Grace of God I'm still here.

REPLY

We all get nervous and terrified. Think about how you have handled other traumatic situations and rely on your inner power to get you through. Remember, there is no pain- so that's a plus with the scans. We get to rest a bit lying down. We get to be the center of attention and everyone is nice to us! We should all crave these tests! WHat's wrong with us? lol

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment