As all of you that know my story, I have not been well enough to work since my
open RP back in late 2008. Since then, and I won't bore anyone with a repeat, its just been one thing after the other, and it left me being a perpetual patient one way or the other.
When I was dx. at age 56, I was at the top of my game in my world as the CFO of a Foreign Exchange Company, grossing over 600 million at the time. I had no intention of retiring or stopping working until I was 68 (my choice). I have always worked hard, and enjoyed what I did.
Just prior to my original operation ,I simply expected to heal in a few months at best, be able to work at least partially until healed, beat the cancer, and that would be that. It never occured to me, that it would be life changing event.
Now that I have been deemed 100% disabled under Social Security, the reality that I am never going back to my "old world" of high finance and all it entailed. I never anticipated being in this situation, no back up plan, not even remotely.
As much as I have suffered as the result of all the ops, the messed up radiation, my catheters, the pain, and most recently, the urostomy I have to live with, I have been fighting a different kind of mental purgatory. The one I rarely discuss outside a small had of people I trust.
When I couldn't work, I have immense amounts of boring time on my hand, healing from this or that, and it can really play tricks on your mind. I reached some dark moments where I felt I no longer had any worth or self value, because I wasn't working. I was starting to feel invisible to my former business community. Was no longer important to anyone outside of my family.
Even though I couldn't work, I still pretended I could, and as recently as 2 weeks ago, was still sending out resumes even though I knew I wasn't cleared to work.
Now that the SS disability came through (and trust me, its just a pittance of what I made in the hay-days), I am just now coming to terms with all of this. I told my wife, that I know consider myself retired, 10 years before I had planned. And now that some of the financial burden has been lifted, my mind will now allow me to think of myself, and what I want to do next with whatever life I have left.
I don't have it all figured out, but I am ready to start writing a new book, try to further my fledging independent filmmaking group, and hopefully do some consulting work on a limited basis. And this weekend, I bought a small sailboat (17'), and for the first time in a long time, something made me happy and feel good about myself.
You really do have to deal the cards you are dealt. And ultimately, it truly is what it is. I am just now coming to terms with my own reality. Cancer is a funny thing, when I think of all the living hell I have endured, its all been based on numbers on a piece of paper. I don't see or feel the cancer. In my case, its been the "cure" that has kept me in bondage all this time.
Sorry to ramble, but I hope this may help someone else with similar thoughts or doubts about themselves.
David in SC