Shocking!

So my oncologist dropped a bombshell on me on Tuesday. 

Apparently…I have anxiety.

image

I know that my doctor cares and is truly only looking out for me. But I couldn’t help but think, “Doesn’t everyone in this situation?  How many of your patients don’t?”

Like is it really that weird that a 30 year old with stage 4 melanoma who is married with 2 little kids and has already outlived her prognosis might be a little uneasy here?  How someone with mets in her brain, hip bone, and lung might be a tad bit curious about what those little turds might be up to? Is it soooo far-fetched that someone whose chemo is taming these mets for the moment might be an eensy weensy bit concerned considering the last MRI showed something possibly suspicious with my brain tumor? And how about the fact that I had a seizure last Wednesday (even on my meds. Not a big one, but a seizure nonetheless) that makes it even worse??

image
Preach it, Mr. Brown

Then tack on the fact that they are, for whatever reason, making it extremely difficult to schedule said brain MRI that I’m overdue for. There is a lot riding on this, so excuse me if I seem a little frazzled! (Sorry, I must have put on my sassy pants this morning).

image

I guess he somehow sensed my slight inner turmoil and began to talk about calming strategies.  It seemed odd.  Not unappreciated, but odd.

What kind of things do I already do?  I’m glad you asked!

image

He also had some fun suggestions!  Like meditation!

image

I almost lol’d at that one. I’m imagining me trying to meditate and be all zen while the kids are doing one of three things: not leaving me alone, trying to kill each other, or teaming up together and getting into mischief while mommy’s humming “ommmm”.

Cancer is a constant mind game. It’s always there in the back of your mind, and I’m certain that even if I would ever hear that I was “cured” some of these anxieties would linger in the back of my mind forever.  Maybe that’s just me, or maybe it’s just how the disease changes you, not just physically, but mentally as well.

I don’t see this as an issue, quite honestly. Maybe a little lack of sleep and maybe some headaches that I wouldn’t have otherwise, but I see this as a normal part of the cancer experience, a normal part of the human experience.  It’s tense and it’s ugly sometimes, but I’ve become more mindful of balance in my life and am afforded what probably looks like a pretty stress-free life if you didn’t know the situation. 

Plus I know I will feel better after I get this MRI. I just need to know, ya know?

image

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Shocking!

  1. Great post, very humorous and self deprecating. When Dr. A says meditation, you should say Prayer ..Having anxiety myself I would suggest that you ask Dr. A about Xanax etc, would definitely help with your sleep. Keep us posted on your upcoming tests.

    1. I agree, Rick, that prayer is a form of meditation. Kim also uses reading scripture, speaking to others about God, and writing this blog to manage stress.
      Kim, it’s true that anxiety is a natural reaction to your situation. When I spoke with my doctor she acknowledged that although my cancer is in remission, it is likely to return. So, knowing my years may be limited, she wants to help me have the best quality of life I can in whatever time I have left.
      Medication for anxiety and as a sleep aid may be helpful to help manage the very natural feelings of anxiety for some people.
      When you feel less anxious and are well-rested, you may find it easier to be fully present with your family and friends, even at this very difficult time.

    2. He has offered before, but I’m not quite there yet. Maybe at some point I’d consider it, but I hate taking all the meds I have to take at this point and dont want to add another. Will definitely update when.I know anything.

      And hey, thanks for the apple dumpling! Looking forward to Saturday for that reason alone lol!

  2. Love the humor in your post. I think we all deal with some stress, but I can’t even imagine how you deal with yours. Continuing to keep you in prayer.

  3. Hi, I’m writing from Switzerland so my English is not so good. I had first stage melanoma in 97 (my kids were 7 months and 2 years) and luckily it stayed that way. I control my skin every six month by the dermatologist. Just to say that I read regularly your blog and love the way you write and the humor that you have with this situation. You are very courageous. I’m thinking very often of you… (sorry for my horrible english..)

    1. Karima, I’m pretty sure your english is better than mine!! Thanks so much for your encouragement and I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing well and staying diligent with follow-ups! (:

  4. Kim, once again you nail it. The pictures say it all. I think what your Dr. is getting at is being concerned about what the process of stress does to your internal organs and nervous system. I like Rick’s suggestion of a little Ativan – that is if it would be compatible with the rest of your meds. When our system is constantly churning, there are hormones ciruculating that can cause some harmful effects – JUST WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR – RIGHT? So it really is important to recognize that your body can be under stress changes you don’t even recognize. However, the good news is this – Prayer ( one awesome way to meditate) actually does reduce the effects of stress in the body. Your brain can be protected when you are in the “zone” of complete resting in Jesus. You are right, changes actually do occur under negative stress. But we can have the mind of Christ. We can take every thought captive and we can demolish strongholds in the name of JESUS. So get to the business of prayer meditation that focuses not on the what ifs or this is so hard, or what will happen next or what will the MRI show? Focus on the person of Jesus, who just happens to be the armor of Ephesians 6. It truly works. Praying in the Spirit on all occasions believing it is ALL part of THE PLAN, you can reduce that stress level in your body. A little proper medication to ease the nerves and help you rest can go a long way to help your mind/body connection heal. Love, Char

    1. Char, I think you should write a book or a blog or something. Your thoughts are always spot on and your words are always very calming and reassuring. Thank you! I may have elevated my snarkiness for this post, but I’m not altogether too upset. It’s just been a perfect storm of unanswered questions recently, hopefully once that resolves rest will find me again. I know that when I’m at my breaking point, God is breaking through! (:

  5. Hi Kim, That is an interesting diagnosis ………you have anxiety. Why on earth wouldn’t you? I would be concerned about getting the MRI and its results, too. Kim, you have shown so many what this journey is like for you…..and even then, despite all of the writing and sharing, you have this “thing” to carry………………….and it is rather , when it comes right down to it……..makes one feel alone. Like sitting in the bleachers, when everyone else is playing the game…………….that sure can produce anxiety for sure. When I was at Johns Hopkins, part of the team that worked with me, were mental health specialists. I went to them even before I had the transplant. They were part of the whole picture. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Love and a big hug……….Adele ( I used to refer to my anxiety about cancer with …..THE MONSTER WHO STARTS TO COME UP THE BASEMENT STAIRS…. Some days all people who have cancer can identify with that one…………..its hard work to keep him down there…………….

    1. Wow Adele, I think that’s the best way to describe this experience that I’ve ever heard, it is exactly like sitting in the bleachers while everyone else play. While still living life, it does feel like it’s a bit in the distance. As much as I hate that others have gone through this or are going through it too, it’s nice to not feel so alone. Really, thanks! You guys are the best (:

  6. Still praying for you keep the humor there it help to get you through. God and positive attitude and humor and you got it made. Minus that little black cloud that keep following you around the little c word. Christ shine some light Kim way love you Kim!

  7. I love all your blogs but your humor in this one about the meditation while the kids are getting into mischief had me in stitches. However, on a serious note I can relate to what you are saying about all the feelings. It doesn’t matter what type of cancer you have, or whatever stage you are in. ….you always think about it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t thankful for the good days God gives you, but you are always reminded of what He h a s brought you through. I still relive the day I was diagnosed …. my life changed and has been a real process of healing for the last 14 years and 5 months. It wasn’t the plan I had for my life, but God has walked with me through it all. Keep the faith,Kim. It’s so neat to see how God is using you for His glory.

  8. The funniest post you have done so far. I had a wonderful laugh at your comments. Florence a floatr @ dejazzd .com

    Florence Gordon Send from my IPad.

    >

  9. Oh…yes…everyday anxiety….with cancer anxiety….like a ton of bricks.
    But I understand where your Doctor is coming from. Finding your own ways of relieving stress and anxiety are important to your treatment.
    For me it’s my good friends, reading ( fiction for me), and just plain keeping busy.
    I also love hiking/walks. Something others can do with you.

    I’m with you in this, in more ways than oone, as I also am going through treatment.
    Keep your chin up!

  10. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s