Cyclone-ISU's above post reminded me of a thread he started here some time ago,
It was an excellent thread ("Letters to the Newly Diagnosed") back in July 2016, which, as the title suggests, consisted of hypothetical letters sent by us to others who were just finding out they have this illness, and offering them ways, based on our own experiences, to cope.
Here it is, and much of what was said there is still very relevant to this current thread:https://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=3675218
And if I may, I would like to repeat here my own post in that past thread, hoping it might offer a coping technique that might prove useful, as a way to deal with the issues being raised in this current thread.
This is what I said back then:I'm going to do a slight variation on this theme. I'm going to send a letter to a newly diagnosed person. Namely MYSELF on December 21, 2011.
I suppose I could ask you how you are doing at this moment, but I already know. It's the afternoon of Wednesday, December 21, 2011, and one of the hardest things you've ever had to experience has just happened. You have just emerged from Dr. C.'s office on a cold, dark, rainy day. Very appropriate weather for the occasion, as you have just been told by Dr. C. that you have prostate cancer. You are numb and in shock. No tears, no hand wringing at this moment, just numbness and shock.
You make it to the car in the parking lot, unlock the door and get in (at least it's good to get out of the rain), and you just sit there, unmoving, staring at the dashboard. For maybe twenty minutes, maybe longer. Finally you regain enough control of yourself to take a very deep breath, start up the car, and drive out of the parking lot towards home. The constant thumping of the windshield wipers seems louder than it ever has before. You start to think. How will I tell Jeff and Darrell? How will I tell Mom? But most important, you ask yourself, what's next? Dr. C. had been doing some talking, something about radiation, but after hearing the "C" word, it was all a jumble after that. Oh my, what's next?
Get a hold of yourself, Steve, you can handle this! You don’t know it yet, but you have lots of options and possibilities ahead of you! Fortunately for you, Dr. C. called it a lower-grade cancer, Gleason six something, and he said your outlook is not as bad as you might think it is! "But it's cancer" you say, and it's scary. Well, yes, I suppose so, but Dr. C. was already talking about options, such as radiation, and he also stressed that you do have time to make a decision on what to do about this.
You start right now and begin doing a lot of reading, a lot, about this! You've got the whole world of the Internet as an information source, and with your years of experience as a librarian, you will be well equipped to evaluate sources, and start building up a very good knowledge base of the things you will be needing to know and do.
For one thing there are lots and lots of first-rate doctors and nurses out there who specialize in this illness, people who will be there for you, before, during, and after your treatment. You already have good insurance, and, if needed, you will have support options available to you through the Veterans' Administration.
Don't worry about the boys and Mom. They are a lot stronger than you seem to think they are, and believe me, they will be more than ready to assist you through this, and to see to it that you will want for nothing in the coming months.
Above all, keep the faith that it’s all going to work out well, because of all the things that you are going to have going for you.
Do be careful in your decisions, because whatever you do is what I will become. But always remember that there will be forces, good forces, at work to make you better in all this, and forces likely more powerful than those forces that would bring you down.
I can't tell you the specific way you will go now, but I do know that I got to where I am right here and now because you made the right, positive choices, as best you could, with what you knew at the time.
If I could somehow come back right now and be you again, would I do things differently? Actually, there are a few things I would change. But as I look back on them now, and as you look ahead to them, quite honestly they will be minor things, while the overall pattern of the big decisions that you will make will turn out pretty well.
All in all, you're gonna do well, Steve.
(I actually found writing a letter to my former self in this way surprisingly helpful, even cathartic. Maybe something others might like to try).
So maybe writing a letter to one's former self, as unrecognizable as that person may now be, would help.