Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Getting through without antidepressants

Yesterday I had a talk with a friend about anti-depressants.  Do I need them?  I don't know but I don't want to get involved in another pill taking regimen.  Cancer is stressful and I am depressed in some ways but that is the nature of things.  I am in a situation that is not happy, fun or pleasant.  Most of the time I am scared.  What if...  they find the tumor has spread, or the radiation permanently damages me, or the surgery leaves me marred etc.... By crying I release the stuck emotion and allows me to come back to the present so I don't have to dwell on the anxiety.  Sometimes,  I cry when I call out to god in desperation "please stop my leg from hurting",  But most of the time I cry when I am triggered by the slightest provocation.  For example I cried yesterday when I had to go to the chemotherapy infusion area to get  a blood transfusion because it reminded me of when I was chemotherapy and how horrible I felt. I will have to go back to chemotherapy again. 

I read books I cry.  These are all cathartic sobs to release the stuck emotions.  It works.  I feel better after I cry.  I don't have to medicate that.  This may be hard for other people to see a grown man cry but that is how it is.  I am unapolegetic for that.  Besides they are more short bursts than long drawn out sobs. 

Lance Armstrong refers a few times in his book to the blessing of cancer.  What he meant is that in the depths of suffering and pain  personal growth changes you.  My emotional life, my constructs of who I am and what I thought I was doing in this life have been shattered by my struggles.   My gratitude and empathy for others sufferings has gone through the roof and my desire for life is now something that I don't take for granted.

I am motivated by wanting to live my life differently when this is over.  A few of the things I want to do is have a big party when I am cancer free.  I will invite lots of people.  I want to go to Bali or an exotic location in Thailand and after watching so much pastoral golf on TV I want to learn to play golf. 

In the meantime my day-to-day is tough, full of uncertainty and stress and that is just the way it is.

Thank you all again for your love and support