One of the interesting things about major life events like my cancer diagnosis is that there really isn’t much of a change in life for just about everyone else on Earth. There’s definitely a big effect on close friends and family, but things don’t suddenly change at my kids’ school, or the grocery store, or my bank.
No matter how I feel when I wake up in the morning, my son will still have diabetes, we’ll still need money for food, and most importantly, my close friends and family will still need love and support.
That last one isn’t usually a problem, as I’ve been pretty good about keeping things upbeat and positive. But between last month’s negative comments from my medical support team, the uncertainty of where my cancer is at and what affect we’re having on it, and new actual physical symptoms like my facial numbness, it’s been getting harder to keep that forward-focused attitude lately.
There’s also been quite a bit of confusion regarding scheduling, mostly regarding appointments and visits from family and friends; None of it has been bad (in fact, it’s all for great reasons like new treatments, or having friends and family come into town), but the fact remains that I’m the final decision maker when it comes to everything, no matter how much energy I have, or how I’m feeling physically.
There’s also the matter of the medications themselves. I’ve had some serious issues dealing with stress in the past, and I was prescribed anxiety medication months ago. That medication helps quite a bit, and I haven’t had as many issues with anxiety and anger since getting on a regular medication.
However, there’s also now a lot of new medication related to my cancer, including some that have behavioral changes listed as a common side effect. That’s not something that I think would be a problem by itself, but when piled onto other potential problems, and the fact that life’s daily stresses don’t just stop and wait for me to feel better, feel a little like an anxiety attack just waiting to happen.
I bring this all up now because yesterday morning (Monday) I had some issues dealing with a situation that normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It was a fairly normal problem with my son’s diabetes, but I wasn’t able to react to it in what I like to think of as my normal even-handed approach. Instead I got fairly angry and stressed out and turned what should have been a relatively smooth morning into a bunch of people angry with each other.
Why? What happened? Is it stress from very recent events? Is it issues with my old medication? Problems with my new medications? I honestly don’t know and that’s a problem. The only thing worse than the stress is not knowing where that stress is coming from, and I honestly just don’t know what’s happening. I do know that there’s currently nothing currently on the table to mitigate that stress, or help my close friends and family deal with it, which all just adds to the anxiety.
I have an appointment to review everything with my oncology team tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, and I’m hoping to speak with them about what’s happening to me and what I can do about it, but I’m not feeling too hopeful at the moment. We’ll see, I guess.
In the meantime, all I can do is try to relax and avoid doing too much damage to my relationships with friends and family. Of course, even that solution feels like a cop-out… if I’m the problem, “relax” feels like a pretty half-assed solution.
Having said all that, this is still the beginning of the week. There’s always room for things to get better.