How you handle it depends on who you are. I'm an Eeyore and wish I was a Tigger.
Not everyone follows the same path. And yes, you go back and forth on the path, it's not a straight walk. It's been over 2 years now, and I still can't believe I have cancer; yet I often imagine how I'm going to die from it.
A nurse, who knew I wasn't handling my diagnosis well, hooked me up with a terminal patient with brain cancer. She told me she felt "lucky."
"Come again?" I asked. She then told me about
all the lucky things that had happened to her in the years after she fell to the ground and learned she had a malignant brain tumor: A paramedic nearby, a doctor who knew a surgeon at NIH where a new treatment was being tested, a job she could retire from, a supportive husband, grown children and grandchildren to visit, then a remission.
"Change your perspective," was her advice to me.
It was great advice, and it worked for a few days, but then I went back to being an Eeyore.
Since then, I've found other things to cheer me up, but they only last (at most) two weeks. That winner was the belief I had a chronic illness: when one treatment failed, they'd have another treatment to try. I would let the doctors worry about
the next treatment. That made me feel better until I read a book about
cancer, that set out my probability for living five years - a lot lower than I expected.
I find talking to people lifts my spirits. All my friends, neighbors, and colleagues at work, know I have cancer. And they haven't shunned me. But I find that reading articles about
prostate cancer treatments depresses me. However, sometimes "Science Daily Prostate Cancer News" gives me hope.
We are not in the same boat, but I may be there in five years. Experiment. Find out what makes you happy, and then do it, even if it's only a temporary reprieve.
The most recent hope is Dr. Eugene Kwon's talk at the 2014 PCRI conference:
AGE: 48 at Dx, PSA: 4.2 July 2011; 21.4 May 2013;
June 2013 MRI targeted 18 core biopsy, 12 pos. (one at 95%), 3 lesions; Gleason 8;
S-F Scan negative on bones. CT guided biopsy confirmed lymph nodes pos. Surgery called off.
2 years of ADT: 7/24/13 - 5/19/15 Casodex, then goserelin (Zoladex).
IMRT 10/17/13. 44 treatments, ending 12/19/13. ~83 Gy. PSA <0.04 (Feb. 2015)
Post Edited (ksargent) : 7/9/2015 11:04:49 AM (GMT-6)