NOTE TO MY FAITHFUL READERS: CANCER MAKES YOU CRAZY. DON’T IGNORE IT, DON’T FIGHT IT AND DON’T BE EMBARRASSED BY IT! JUST DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO TO FEEL BETTER! ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAN BE YOUR FRIEND…AND DON’T LET PEOPLE JUDGE YOU BY YOUR FRIENDS!
The lower portion of this post is one I wrote in mid-April of this year. At the time, Steven was trying to be his own doctor. And, since he aims high, the specialty he chose was Psychiatry. He decided to take it upon himself to discontinue some of his meds, decrease dosages in others and in general, just mix it up enough to throw me into a tizzy. At the time, he was under the (mistaken) impression that he didn’t really need any mood altering supplements because he felt so good. Unfortunately, he didn’t think it through, and couldn’t see that the reason he felt so good was the mood altering supplements. Hence, his desire to re-dose himself! (FYI – his proclivity for doing this has something to do with MY need for mood altering drugs!)
And then I wrote this piece…and it hit the fan. The post had his panties in such a wad that I deleted it because it caused him so much stress. Hmmm? Should that have been a clue? I’m thinking it hit the nail on the head back then. And since I’m about to re-post a deleted post, I’m thinking that nail has popped back out and needs hitting again, so hang on to your hats, kids…because Steven’s panties might be about to wad up again…and the ass-sucking that causes panty wadding could just effect the weather in your area!
WHERE’S WALDO? WHERE’S MY CHECKBOOK? WHERE’S MY MARTINI?
Recently, we reached that period of unemployment where money is getting really tight, our health insurance has been gone for 6 months now and after self paying for medical tests and a few office visits, it’s time to restock all the meds we smartly started to hoard when we knew my job and health insurance were in jeopardy. Until yesterday, I had decided to pull a Steven and just discontinue one of the expensive depression meds that I have been taking since I realized that HIS cancer was making ME crazy.
However, yesterday was a turning point for me when I took a running dive into the basket portion of the phrase “basket case”. Suddenly my stress was sooooo overwhelming that I couldn’t stop crying. Luckily, I was in the office of the manager of my shrink’s practice when I cracked. I was trying to work out the problems with fees and prescriptions when I went off the deep end, and Pat recognized my problem immediately. So she did some quick calculations, miraculously found a credit on my account that almost covered the cost of a visit with the doc, and set me up with an appointment opening that just magically appeared, to see the man with the magic pill pad, for later on in the same day. BTW, this doc also has a magic way of chatting that makes me realize I’m NOT crazy!
TEETERING ON THE EDGE
And once again, another one of our wonderful caregivers came to my rescue. He talked me down off the ledge, prescribed me a newer drug that comes with free samples and company rebates as it gets introduced into the market, and more importantly turned on the light at the end of the tunnel. Steven, on the other hand, is still on self imposed 1/4 doses of meds that he needs. I know he still needs them because he’s been acting snippy…and I know snippy leads to bratty which leads to ass-hole-y. So I’m re-posting this. Take that, Mr. “I’m OK”! And this time I’m not deleting the post….because you’re not…OK! So here we go again.My post from April 2012:
USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE…THE ONE INSIDE YOUR HEAD
Surviving cancer is awesome. It’s a gift. It’s a miracle. It’s a rebirth. And just like any birth, there are always a few dirty diapers along the way! This rebirth of which I speak brings the relearning many of life’s lessons… Ahhh! There’s the rub. Because in many cases, some of those life lessons were never learned the first time around, so you can imagine how full my plate gets at times! We’re talking Thanksgiving full! Which is wonderful when you think of all the great things that come with Thanksgiving…and really uncomfortable when you think of the bloated, exhausted, gassy feeling that comes when you’ve eaten too much.
We’ve made many changes to the way we choose to live our lives now. We try so hard to avoid stress and conflict. But that simple act can backfire like an Edsel sometimes. One of the biggest conundrums is Steven’s new found, and sometimes misguided, need to avoid bottled up feelings. He was always pretty transparent in his feeling before the lymphoma. Even when he kept his mouth shut, he has no poker face so it was easy to figure him out. But now, his thoughts come spewing out like a champagne cork on New Year’s Eve whenever he feels stress. And no matter how ill timed his diarrhea mouth might be, he stands by the reasoning that he does it for his health. Then I get that bloated, exhausted, gassy feeling as I watch things crumble.
Somewhere in Steven’s youth, his parents were busy during the time they should have been teaching the finer points of social communication. It’s not that he doesn’t communicate well, quite the contrary. He sells commercial and residential real estate, he can talk, he can negotiate, he can make deals. He can make deals with indiviuals, families, banks, and situations involving one lawyer, two lawyers or four lawyers. In business, he’s the bomb. He just never learned exactly when to use tact, when to use a gentle approach, when to use that soft ‘inside’ voice and when to just say it in his head and keep his mouth shut when it comes to non-business situations. And that was before cancer. Now he’s a ticking mouth bomb just waiting to go off!
RULES OF LEROY JETHRO GIBBS
So here’s the thing that cancer survivors need to know. Just because you’ve gotten a second chance at life does not mean that you don’t have rules. You still need to be polite in socially accepted ways. You don’t need to bottle up feelings, but you don’t need to blurt either. With this rebirth comes the relearning and it’s part of the deal. You may have to learn to do things differently…or you MAY just have to learn the thing you missed the first time around. But either way, there is a learning process and you don’t get a free pass just because you have or had cancer. Suck it up tumor tykes, your “get out of jail free” card was the miracle of being granted another chance to live. There is nothing on that card that says you get to live without rules.
So this is my Rx prescription for all cancer patients who feel like stressful situations are building up toxins in your system. Take a chill pill and then do what the rest of us do when Thanksgiving dinner comes to an end. If you’re bloated, take a walk, get some exercise, at the very least, unbutton your pants and take a deep breath. If you’re exhausted take a nap, rock out with your iPod or find some mindless task to lull you into a relaxed state. And if you’re feeling like you’re going to explode, instead of blurting out something stupid to someone you love, just let a big one rip. From what I understand, a fart is just God’s way of letting you get the shitty feeling out. And once it dissipates, it’s over. No harm, no foul.
PS – The original post was written after Steven went off on Alexis and Matt. Sorry, kids! The next self-prescribed dose change, Steven went off on Brandi. Sorry, Brandi! I don’t know who’s next…but I’m pretty sure it’s coming. Sorry, World!
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