24th January 22:16
hi folks - last week was a rough one. in one word - depression. and
this is why i'm posting this.
before the pca, i didn't have major bouts of depression. since the
surgery, it has come home to roost and brought with it, all the years
and years of repressed feelings from everything from viet nam to some
other unfinished feelings on situations in my life. it is like a domino
effect and it's tough to put a stop to it and say enough, i wanted to
get out of this depressed state. it doesn't happen.
of course, the wife's condition doesn't help either and this weekend, i
got negative news of a son who needs surgery. what i'm saying is we all
have our share of problems, and troubles.
for the first 7 years on this newsgroup, i never heard that much brought
up about depression. it was like it's a best kept secret. my wife has
had various major surgeries in her life and she would tell me that it
was a shock to the system when you are operated on and it doesn't make
any difference what kind of surgery it is, it takes time to get over it.
physically and mentally. she told me it usually take 4 to 6 months
physically to get over the operation, but sometimes the mental part may
or may not take longer.
well, i had the RP 4-15, so, today is my 5 month post op and i can say
that - physically - i feel pretty well, that i'm almost all the way
back. now, i say this with tongue in cheek, because my energy level
doesn't last like it did before the RP, but then i could sleep most of
the night, and now, i do well to get 120 minutes of sleep at any one
time. you know that has got to play a role in your overall energy and
well being. but a nap or two in the waking hours, help gets me through
to the night and i'm up most of the night because of the mental part,
not physical part.
which leads me to the mental end. before surgery, if someone was to ask
me how's my depression overall and a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the
worse, i would have said, about a 1 or 2.
then a week before the surgery, the stress of pre-surgery set in.
depression shot up to about a 7 and stayed there. after surgery, i was
so relieved to get the cancer out of me, i was elated. depression was a
1. two weeks later, the hormones played hell on me and depression was a
9. the catheter didn't help any, because it was a reminder of what was
to be. after the catheter came out, and i started feeling like i had my
"freedom" again, my depression would back down to around 2 to 3. i was
having to adjust to my 'new body' and thought that the changes were just
temporary. the incontinence, the impotence, the lack of energy. then
life's stresses entered the picture - bills. and family starts making
demands on me like you are back to yourself and don't understand why you
feel like you do. feel like you got to do something, but don't feel
like it - depression shoots back up.
try to focus - stay focused, that is the key. wanted to do something
good for the cause. prostate cancer awareness. depression level back
down - felt useful, helping others.
complications from the RP, the lack of sleep, the constant getting up to
pee, no bladder capacity, weak stream, stopping up. depression starts
the operation - catheter again - instant flashback. just like viet nam.
the same emotions you get as if the event just happened. can't walk 100
ft - pain. felt just like having RP, depression soars - is this what i
have to look forward to? now, questioning - did i do the right thing?
was my thinking flawed?
a few days later - stream is good. pain is almost gone. stress level is
coming down. been talking to self - logic says i made the right
decision - depression level back down.
a few weeks later - stream is as bad as before operation. can't been
seen for almost a month. what am i going to do until then. nobody in
family gives a damn. they think that since you can walk and talk like
normal - you are normal. NOT!!!
depression slowly starts rising as the stresses set in. having trouble
shaking it, but keeping it under control.
get news of wife's condition and the final seeya!!!! from the heart
specialist - nothing can be done. already know the end result, and
can't stop it. depression hits the big one zero!!!!! couldn't handle
that one. felt like life just slapped me hard. always been able to
bounce back. felt like spring was broke.
over next few days, did a lot of TM and soul searching. found the inner
strength to pull myself up and put it back together again. and so, i'm
back - stronger than ever.
it is only lately that we have been talking about depression, but i
think it is a lot more common, then we think. people trying to go to
work, outside stress, dealing with internal stress, and family stress,
takes it's toll.
we may be a rag-tag bunch, beaten on by life, given a lousy hand of
cards dealt by life to play out, but we are a strong group of people who
have given me far more support than you can ever imagined. with that -
i will say - a very big thank you!!!!
if anyone has more to add about this depression issue, please feel free
to chime in.
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional
24th January 22:16
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of A Guide To Rational
Living by Albert Ellis. (This is the old title that may have changed over
the years.) I'm paraphrasing here...... He goes into the theory that it's
actually what we tell ourselves subconsciously that creates our outlook on
various situations. We do this because it's how we were trained to think
growing up. ie "oh how terrible as opposed to oh how unfortunate". This
accounts for the fact that 10 people experiencing or viewing the same event
will react to it in many different ways, despite it being exactly the same
thing. Bottom line is that we can actually retrain ourselves, by examining
what we say, to have a brighter and in the very least, a more even outlook
on the events in our lives that we don't have control over. It's a very
interesting read, and I've found it very valuable over the last 30 years
when I find myself dipping down into the abyss of depression. I think he has
a website someplace?
24th January 22:17
As has been recently mentioned here in the newsgroup, depression is a very
real part of this illness. No, not every person will react the same. Some
will be able to *bounce back* more easily just because of the way they are
programmed. But for many of us, this may be the first time we have had
surgery.... and certainly the first time we have had someone sit down with
us and look us in the eye and say, "You have cancer." That took the wind
right out of me, and I don't mind who knows it. It was the first time I had
come face to face with my mortality. Oh, we all know we'll die one day....
but I had never had to confront that before. I made the decision to live...
and chose the treatment I thought was best *for me*. Have I second-guessed
that decision? Yes! There have been some really *down* moments when I
realize that my life will never, ever be the same again.... and the
depression is looming large... that I have actually *wished* to have my
diseased prostate back again! Sounds crazy, I know. But I'd be willing to
bet I'm not the only guy who has *thought* that at some point in recovery.
I have struggled with depression all my life, so it's not new to me. This
illness was just another weight that was added to the pile. JK had a good
suggestion about the book: Guide To Rational Living. It's a good read.. I
read it years ago, and still have my copy somewhere. Maybe I'll pull it out
again! Albert Ellis has a lot of good ideas. For anyone iterested, the Web
site is http://www.rebt.org/ . The books might be found for much less if
bought used on http://www.half.com .
25th January 15:01
Compare my ordeal with others. PCa at 52.... 3 young boys. Surgery 1 day
before my 25th wedding anniversary. Broken wrist after diagnosed. etc etc. I
don't say that my lot is any harder than the rest of you, but it was
certainly challenging. Using Ellis's ideas has kept me from being too down,
and helped me to adjust to my new life with a minimum number of bumps.
Feeling sorry for yourself is a choice, not a reality. No one can make you
try to change your views, if you don't want to.
JK Sinrod NY
Sinrod Stained Glass
Coney Island Memories
25th January 15:02
I confess that I have thought a lot about what my life would be like now
if I had investigated the radiation route more seriously.
In the visit where I was given the results of the biopsy the uro told me
that the side effects of radiation and surgery were about the same. I take
it from what I have heard here that this is not really true, i.e.,
incontinence and impotence?
Sore bottom came back this afternoon. When will this end?!
We need something to cheer us up. Why not all get together this weekend
in Key West, drink beer and watch the girls? I buy the first round.
26th January 06:34
Bigger Heh heh........I want to join in and watch the guys watching the
girls.......(snicker) And I am allergic to beer, would you
believe.....so I would be a cheap date.........or maybe not, if you will
buy me a CC & Coke. (Canadian Club.....the best rye whiskey ever) Heather 8-))))
26th January 06:34
Me too, Heather! But I like dark ales and stuff like that. I don't do the
Clydesdale stuff. LOL
I am more of a scotch drinker. Of course I love a lot of the other stuff
(gin, tequila, etc.) it just doesn't love me. LOL Besides we've got some
pretty good looking men on this group! I can watch them while they watch the
gals. Oh, what the heck, we can leave the guys on the beach and we can go
26th January 06:34
Shopping......now that's the ideal pastime!! And I think it would be
quite safe to leave 'the boys' on their own.......they can look, but
can't touch, LOL.
And congratulations on your good news. I am so glad to hear how well
your husband is doing. Ron has 7 more treatments to go......and then we
will take a week and drive down to Quebec City.....my favourite city in
Canada. Not so many tourists at this time of year. It can be quite a
madhouse in the summer.
Hard to believe that we are almost through it all.......seems like a
year ago we were waiting and waiting for test results and stuff. Damn
SARS!! That seems so long ago too.
See you on the beach for a Scotch.....grin.