Growl...When You Have To!
This is one of those days that I just have the feeling that I just want to scream. I don’t have those days often, but today is a zinger.
I just returned from seeing my oncologist for my lung cancer and my urologist for my bladder cancer. (Yes, two separate cancers!) While my lung cancer is stable, it is complicating my second cancer. My bladder cancer was found in April, surgery in May, and I've started immunotherapy for my bladder.
My title for this information is 'Growl…When You Have To', but I really feel I should have titled it – 'Make Sure Your Doctors Talk to Each Other'. Unfortunately, for me, my lung cancer oncologist has one protocol for therapy and my bladder cancer doctor has another protocol for me. Luckily, I mentioned to my lung cancer team what drug I was on for the bladder cancer.
It appears both treatments I am on are immunotherapy and once the two doctors spoke to each other they realized they cannot give me two immunotherapies at the same time. WHAT??? I’ve been doing this for three weeks. And, to top it off, the health teams now concur that I need to have a biopsy of my bladder (again) that goes deeper into the muscle wall before starting a new “chemo” drug in my bladder.
So, because of my lack of thoughtfulness, I have to have the bladder surgery over again to take a much deeper biopsy so we can determine the “chemo cocktail” of choice. While I’m screaming on the drive home, I truly have no one to blame but myself. So, I yell…well, scream, not so nice words.
Coping with Stress Is Not Easy
My way of dealing with such stress is really to laugh or make jokes about it. Otherwise, I just end up a grouchy mom who no one likes. Dealing with stress, for me, is the hardest part of having lung cancer. It affects so many parts of our lives. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I pride myself on being in control, dealing with stress, and overall, enjoying my life as best as I can.
But, there are still days when we just can’t take it anymore. Giving up would be so much easier but as a cancer survivor we know, that can’t happen! Take a walk, cook, do some gardening, find something that can take your mind off what is bothering you so you can use positive energy to deal with stress – and not trying to deal with it when in a “funk.”
I know this sounds so much easier to say than do – but for me it works.
How do you deal with anxiety and stress? Let’s gather some ideas to help each other make it through each day and survive in a positive environment!
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
Do you considered yourself to be a well-informed lung cancer patient?