Advice from Will Shadish:
NO, YOU'RE NOT ALONE
(In response to my post of 1/28/00.)
No, you're not alone in feeling like that. I found myself going
cycles (I was diagnosed 6/1/99), with lots of anxiety surrounding any
treatment decision, followed by lots of recovery time after doing the
treatment, followed by some stability for a while, until the next
hits (I've just recurred), and the cycle starts again. It is very hard
take emotionally. I wish I could say I saw an end to it, but short of a
cure, I don't think there is one. Perhaps some guys learn how to be
laid back about these things, but I'm not a laid back kind of guy.
I should be.
[I wrote him a few months later to see how he was doing and got this response.]
Good to hear from you. I do remember our brief interaction.
perfectly fine to use my observations in whatever form you want, with
without name. Makes no difference to me.
There is a definite change to the way I view life now, though. I am
much more "present-centered," and much less "future-oriented." I'm
better at letting stress and conflict go away. I'm a bit more forgiving
than before. I cry when I don't expect it, and I've never been one to
(I saw the end of "Saving Private Ryan" last week, for the third time, and I cried
this time though I hadn't the previous two times.) I guess I'm more
sensitive to the pathos in life. I think I'm a bit more spiritual than
before, and perhaps more generous and giving to others. I view each
get as a gift, and am grateful for it.
And I've learned a lot about how
be realistically optimistic in the face of a recurrence that I
took as a death sentence. I still cycle up and down emotionally, but
are more ups and fewer downs. But I also know that when more bad news
comes, I'll go down again. All in all, though, that's a list of things
are pretty positive. There are some gifts that come with all this, I
I just wish I didn't have to have cancer to learn them.
[name used with permission]
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