Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

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Jules_68
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Hi, jules_68 here. Have just had post surgery check up and surgeon happy with my diagnosis and progress. I havent really cried or been upset. Apart from quick spurts of tears, nothing. It has only been 1 month from diagnosis to surgery and now 5 weeks post op. Ive seen my dad go through cancer and remember feelings of a jigsaw and missing pieces and now on the other side and understand where all the pieces fit. Basically i also feel that i dont have the right to complain because my cancer was contained and i do not need any treatment. Also i was born with abnormal kidney, yep cancer took the healthy one and egfr is now 35% and eventually i will be on dialysis....i do feel a little angry about this.... How do i explore my feelings and when will i know when im ready to go back to work? I really am clueless about it all....i know there is no right or wrong way to do this? I would like to know how you all have dealt with this??? Thanks for listening. Jules

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samex
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Hi jules,
i believe that we all react differently so I guess this doesn't help at all!
I thought that I would be able to work on and off while on treatment (as a teacher) but after 2 attempts I gave up. I was fortunate that had loads of accumulated sick leave so finance wasn't a problem.
When I returned I went back I feel, about a month too early. I think I was keen to get back to "normal' without fully realising that normal was no longer there. My Principal was great and she actually suggested that I work part time after watching me struggle for a term. This I continued for 2 years and I am very grateful to her for allowing it. Even now, 3 years out of treatment, I still struggle with the full time workload and the pressure.
Are you able to work part time when you are ready?
I'm not sure what your surgery was but you need to give your body time to recuperate fully and you also need time to process emotionally and intellectually what has happened to you.
Do you have a good GP that you can chat to?
The Cancer Helpline may also be able to help.
i guess my general advice is not to rush it. Take time to smell the roses.

Samex

Jules_68
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Hi samex, thank you for replying. My diagnosis is stage (t2) renal cell carcinoma (grade 3) contained. So surgery was treatment. To answer i have income protection so finance not a problem and yes my employer has arranged for assistance with returning part-time. I kept my cancer quite at work from collegues so not too many questions when return. As for gp, well no. My gp before surgery wasnt helpful and told me i was emotionally predisposition when asking for ultrasound on kidneys, i knew something was wrong and found cancer myself by eliminating rash and lowered egfr and occassional back pain. So looking for new gp. Have fantastic physician and surgeon. You have given me food for thought with intellectually healed. Physically dr removed 17cm x12cm x 7cm Lump of kidney, fat and cancer so muscles very sore ( no support in there). Im beginning yoga in 2 weeks time and do 1/2 hr meditation regulary it is a struggle to still the mind at the moment. Thank you again for sharing and i will take my time. Bless you and what is your diagnosis samex. Jules

samex
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

hi Jules,
Sorry, but have just been jumping on and off here and aven't really been keeping up.
My diagnosis was stage 3 bowel cancer in August 2007. I had an emergency hemi-colectomy as my bowel had completely shut down and then 6 months of chemo. I returned to work in April 2008. I have had a struggle with depression and anxiety but I am being weaned off the anti-d's at the moement and while I still struggle at times, things are looking much brighter.
My long term prognosis is very good as I have made it to this point with no recurrence. I have 18 months to go before(bloods, scans etc) before I am given the all clear. In saying that, I'm sure that it will never go away completely - at least in my head.
I have an amzing yoga teacher who helped me through the chemo and beyond. With my cazy job and looking after a family, it is the only me time that I get - twice a week. I love it.
It's a pity that your GP isn't more helpful - mine has been fantastic and laughs with me when I come in about something minor that I would never have gone to him about before.He is very compassionate but constantly at me (in the nicest way) about exercising and weight.Ho Hum.

I hope that you are feeling well and if you have Insurance, take all the time you need. One thing I learned is that no-one is indespensible and that we eed to learn to care for ourselves more.

Samex.

harker
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Hi Jules_68

I knew for four years or so that dialysis was lurking just over the horizon. At first it was pretty confronting but I managed to steer clear of it until late last year. My eGFR had not been above 15-20% in the four years but a bout of pneumonia and the stress of trying to keep a place in the workforce took their toll and I ended up in hospital feeling very relieved that dialysis was eventually going to start.

I did feel angry at the start. I had a couple of people I could reveal that to and that helped. And it is a huge lifestyle change to deal with but I am pretty accepting of change anyway so I haven't resisted in a warrior kind of way if you know what I mean. It still pisses me off, of course, but I have options as to how I view it.

For me the trick has been to accommodate the change. By doing that I feel I am still in the centre of my own life and there is nothing to complain about. It is not a matter of comparison with other people. It is a matter of getting into the middle of it all and start calling the shots as a person with a life just like anyone else. That works.

H

Jules_68
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Thank you Samex,

Thank you for sharing your story, I get the "in the head" comment. As for GP have found myself a new GP at Samford, I have appt next Monday and looking forward to it. I do have insurance and trying to take day by day. I think my problem is not slowing it down and taking things minute by minute and then increasing daily. Im having problems with motivation but this is due to not being in control of my thoughts. Thank you again Jules

Jules_68
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Dear Harker,

Thank you for sharing your story, My hubby, mum, but especially my sister understands. She has advanced lupus. Wow, what you said about no comparison with another, that is what susie said yesterday. She rang this morning to say sorry for being so hard, but I told her it was the opposite...I needed to hear it.....everything you said about it's my life, so get in the middle of it and start calling the shots......

I have affirmations on the fridge but susie suggested, put them where there is a reflection, like when cleaning teeth and you look in the mirror, have your affirmations there, because this is where reflection happens in a subtle way........

I know susie hasn't had cancer, but its not always cancer that brings us all together here, its the grief stages and being in control of our thoughts.

Thank you so very much Harker, I have just had a lightbulb moment.......I have translated from you to not look around corners too often and keep on track because it is MY TRACK.........

I will go forth now, thank you again Harker and take care love. Jules

harker
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

Good on you, Jules. Reading your response I did notice the assuredness in your language compared to the first post. That is surely a good sign for you. All the best.

H

samex
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Re: Waiting for emotions to catch up after surgery?

I agree with Harker that you are sounding more self- assured. Good on you!

I think I must be feeling a lettle more confident as well as I spent half an hour this morning writing an e-mail to my Principal as I beleieved that an extra workload imposte that she has decreed to our faculty is unfair and inequitable.

A while ago, I just would have cied and accepted it! It probably won't change anyhting but O had my say.

i also agree that it isn't just cancer that can be so awful. This is what we know but for many others like your sister, other diseases can be equally as confronting.
Our situation somtimes allows us to lose a little perspective.

Take care, Samex

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