Palmer_ent 2008-01-24 19:16:50
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 h*** 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 d***. 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
Jk 2008-01-24 19:16:58
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?
Mh 2008-01-24 19:17:01
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 www.half.com .
Jk 2008-01-25 12:01:47
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.
David s. 2008-01-25 12:02:04
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.
Mh 2008-01-25 12:02:15
Hehe! Sounds good, David! Count me in! 🙂
Heather 2008-01-26 03:34:33
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-))))
Mh 2008-01-26 03:34:39
Sure, Heather…… but, do you wanna join us guys? you bringing Ron? or
are you gonna leave him at home and just be one of the girls?? ;))
Never had Canadian Club, but I’d be willing to give it a try.
Beverley 2008-01-26 03:34:41
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
Heather 2008-01-26 03:34:55
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. D***
SARS!! That seems so long ago too.
See you on the beach for a Scotch…..grin.
Keith340 2008-01-26 03:35:03
DAVID S……your situation reminds me of a current discussion by the
webmaster at the web site phcagroups.org…..he talks about how men will
say how they studied this disease extensively before they made theit
treatment choice (don’t know about you) only to find out the opposite is
was true…..when dx’d we just wnt this cancer gone “now”, so we take
everything said by others at face value instead of comparing the
data……education, before treatment, has been stressed by this ng in
the 10 months I’ve been lurking here……curtis say it best: knowledge
is power and gowing wise is optional.
Keith Lundy/So. California
40 Proton Beam Radiation Treatments
Loma Linda Univ.Med Ctr..3/03-5/03
Duffer 2008-01-26 15:53:09
Geez I nearly dropped my beer when I heard you were allergic to it. I’m all
for the party guys and gals, but I’m a long way from Key West. Cheers!
Billybob 2008-01-27 06:41:34
For some of us, those who have been through significant trauma,
depression isn’t something we can just talk ourselves out of. I have
only been completely well between the ages of about 13 and a month
after I was 21. The rest of my life has been nothing but pain and
struggle to survive just one more day on limited resources. Place on
top of this a seriously dysfunctional family where your mother is
schizophrenic AND bi-polar and a father who just wants to get away
from it all – and then add alcoholism to the mix – you stay depressed.
The very sever arthritis that stared just after I was 21 has left me
with hellacious pain and on the only pain killer that works for
something this bad – steroids. Started with Decadron then worked my
way down to Prednisone. Of course, one of the side effects of this
drug (besides a host of others, including probably the PCa – I am the
only person on either side of the family to ever had cancer going back
for 200 years, at least) is a continual depression that must be fought
daily as well. Talk about stress!
Just the trauma of continual pain is enough to cause depression and I
have had pain 2/3rds of my life. Being a former alcoholic who stopped
drinking 27+ years ago, I have meet too many people who just can’t
talk themselves out of depression. It is part of our genetic makeup.
My brother in law who was shot at constantly and lay awake at night in
his bunker waiting for the next mortar round to hit his bunker
directly at Da Nang where he was stationed the whole time of his tour,
operating heavy machinery to keep the place going – in the Army
Engineers – came back a changed person. He has never been not
depressed since, yet fights the good fight every day. My dad, who saw
action and was seriously wounded in WW II, loosing his left eye + …,
is closed emotionally and doesn’t even realize he is depressed.
For many of us, depression is NOT something you “just get over by
pulling your self up by your boot-straps.” It is an unfortunate,
continual part of our lives that never leaves. And I meditate daily to
get the relief I need. But when a trauma occurs, such as hearing the
words “you have cancer” or “your PSA is back up” or “you have a 60%
chance of survival if we can find any way to get you the IMRT you must
have to live” depression isn’t a choice we make. It is a deamon we
have inside of us we can control at times but can never master unless
we somehow become fully enlightened spiritual beings, which I am
trying to do. I know a few others in my meditation group who have made
it there. It is what Christ means when he says in the Sermon on the
Mount “the Kingdom of God lies within.” I’m not only a Christian, I am
a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim – all religions have the same end point
if you can brake through the words to the reality that lies beneath
Shiit, depression exist. Some can get out of it with a positive
attitude. The rest of us can’t. My only hope is to pray and meditate
when I can. And it is damnded difficult to do this when you are in
emotional and/or physical pain.
Curtis – let me suggest something for you. Take it for whatever it is
worth. Forget about what other’s expect from you. Pack your wife and
yourself into a car, go to San Antonio to the V.A. Hospital located
in, and a part of, the UT Med School there and get the radiation
treatments you need there. I have met the guy who does it – was it
only yesterday??? Gourd_dancer was right to send me there. And read
Stephen J. Gould’s article about his cancer on the Phoenix 5 web site.
I have considered him to be one of the finest minds since Einstein
ever since I first read his lucid, wonderfully reasoned articles in
first the Journal of the Geological Society of America, then in
“Science” published by the Am. Assoc. for the Advancement of Science
and then everything I could get my hands on. He helped turn me around
and take back some degree of control on my medical treatment. Before I
read that I knew something was wrong sub-consciously but didn’t
realize it what it was. It was the fact that I had an idiot for a
urologist who kept telling my internist when she called about PSA
reports that he wouldn’t do anything until it became “serious.” H***,
I should have had IMRT ASAP after the first post-op PSA came back 0.5.
I just felt defeated and was depressed not to see it sooner. And I
shattered my left leg when just starting to get relief for the
depression after the RRP finding out that I had osteoporosis. Had to
fight that with all that was in me.
So to all of you out there who can do the mental turn around by
yourself I just want to say how much I envy you. I don’t have an ice
cube’s chance in h*** of doing it. God, or my Higher Power, or
whatever you want to call it, has got to do it for me. Otherwise I am
a basket case as I have been today. Its why I am trying desperately to
look on the funny side of this. I might as well have some fun while I
Thanks for reading all of this b.s.
Jim (AKA BillyBob, but only to newsgroups!)
Pre-op. PSA: 5.1
Biopsy 1-3-2001: 3+3=6, only 10% difused cells, left side only
RP: 3-12-01 20% capsular penetration, 20% difused cells, neg lymph & Sem. ves.
Erection – 6 weeks
PSA’s – .5,1.1,.5,.3,.4,.7,.7,.7,.6,.7,.7.,.9
NO ONE, not even my med school Pathology Prof. Step-Sister
EVER said “radiation” – “Wait until it gets to 2.0”
Quote of urologist who did RP!
Can’t beat that deal at ANY price! and I have a 30 year old car with only 26,000 miles on it that a little old lady only used to drive to church on Sundays. Want to buy that as well?
Heather 2008-01-27 06:41:45
Chuckle……allergy to beer is genetic……daughter is too. But it
tastes like liquid soap anyway, so no big deal…….grin. I too am a
long way from Key West, but hey, if you are footing the plane
Palmer_ent 2008-01-27 06:41:49
hi heather – canadian club was what i use to drink and i still have the
bottle that i took my last drink out of.
i use to do some serious drinking.
long story short, i was minding by own business, popped a 12oz can of
coke and broke the seal on a fifth of CC. had less than a fourth of
bottle left and still have some coke left in the can. THEN, i got
involved in a shoot out with armor piercing shells (not mine) and bev,
this was in Norfolk, va.
that was the night, i did some rethinking about drinking and gun fights.
maybe i’ll tell the story sometime. it has quite a story line. armor
piercing bullets hitting engine block on getaway car and breaking block.
another shoot out 2 1/2 hours later. quite a night.
knowledge is power – growing old is mandatory – growing wise is optional
Steve kramer 2008-01-28 12:47:45
The only thing I have to add is I have lived with my wife’s depression all
my adult life — and it’s a b****!!! Hang in there c.
PSA 16 10/17/2000 @ 46
Biopsy 11/01/2000 G7 (3+4), T2c
PSA .1 .1 .1 .3 .4 .8
EBRT 05-07/2002 @ 47
PSA .3 .2 .2 .2 .3
Erection 05/12/2003 @ 48
HT 07/21&09/04/2003 @ 48
Sam stans 2008-01-29 17:00:28
A therapy that is being widely used for profound post traumatic
stress disorder is EMDR (eye movement desensitization and
reprocessing). It is effective in just a few sessions. I’m not
sure if it is applicable to depression but I don’t know why it
wouldn’t be. You should be able to get a copy of Francine
Shapiro’s book “EMDR” from the library. It gives case histories
and describes the treatment. You can find a trained therapist
for most anywhere in the world through the website www.emdr.com