Friday, 13 August 2010
Sunday, 6 April 2008
I often tell myself ' come on girl..pull yourself together!' and I'm sure my friends and family feel like telling me the same thing at times! I love life but it is hard to motivate myself some days. I suppose that's something that other sufferers of cancer can relate with me. Oh well...keep your chin up girl and go get on with it! Life still has to go on......
Friday, 4 April 2008
It's almost impossible to feel comfortable talking openly to someone at an initial meeting, however my psychologist, who I will call Maureen showed a non possessive warmth throughout our session making it easy to open up. The fact that I WANT to change my cognitive behaviour is half the battle!
It has already helped me to identify things about myself, that perhaps I already knew but wasn't willing to admit. Let's face it, once you acknowledge your problem areas..you have to start the journey to change your life if that's what you want. Maybe to some that may seem an easy task but not to me.
I have recognised the following about my personality :
- I strive for achievement, perfection, nothing less.
- I have an aggressiveness, sometimes repressed.
- I am impatient.
- I feel under pressure most of the time.
- I'm unfulfilled in life.
- I'm restless most of the time.
- I lack self confidence.
- I require approval of others. ( something that I didn't believe. I didn't think that I needed others approval of my actions but I do!!)
- I abstract only the negative comments out of a conversation about me.
There are probably others that I will later think of but for now that seems to be enough to try and work through. Phew!!!!
During the course of meetings and with the homework I'm giving myself, I feel that I need to explore the following :
- My personal responsibility for my cognitive behaviour.
- Blame and self- blame.
- Am I responsible for my behaviour?
- Am I in control or am I controlled?
- If I am controlled, by whom?
The biggest challenge I have to face is ' to change or not to change?' I identify that I need help to replace my 'tunnel thinking' with 'lateral, flexible thinking'.
Cognitive therapy was developed by Aaron Beck, who I really enjoyed researching and learning about during my studies. I believe in this theory. he put forward the view that behaviour is primarily determined by what the person thinks. It works really well in treating depression, where thoughts of low self-worth and low self-esteem are a common feature so I'm positive that it will help me. It is believed that Cognitive Therapy works on the statement that thoughts of low self-worth are incorrect and are due to faulty learning. Therefore the learned behaviour has to change!
Some of my thoughts often centre around...
- I haven't achieved anything good.
- I have nothing to offer.
- I'm such a failure.
- I deserve to be criticized.
- Why should I bother?
As a result I self destruct, which is certainly not the right answer. At least i already identify that.....
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
I haven't written about the cancer for a while, so I will talk about what happened after the diagnosis. Some of it is a bit of a blur, so you will have to be patient.
I got diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma, cancer of the soft tissue and it was pretty large in size. Radiotherapy started almost immediately which was hard going and very scary. I was later referred to a Thoracic surgeon who was going to remove the tumor...he was wonderful! in August 2007 I had the tumor removed along with part of four ribs and had reconstruction of my left chest wall. It was very traumatic but something that I had to do. i just got on with it and seemed to cope...until my second lump appeared. I now have another malignant tumor, again on the ribs. I'm having radiotherapy for this and seems to be effective at the present time.
My psychological state is not good as a result. I have panic attacks, feel depressed, uninterested in anything and very self destructive. My mind is a whirlpool of emotions, which I will write more about later.
Anyway, I had quite a good time in Reading, spending most of my time with a special friend who made me and my children feel very welcome. It's amazing how many people actually offer support when you really need it...I'm very disappointed with my supporting network. I feel very alone sometimes and often wonder what it takes for your loved ones to show you love and comfort? I'm just very glad I had my friend.
Friday, 21 March 2008
I'm diverting from my usual blog entries regarding my cancer to reflect on how I feel as a person who is struggling to cope.
It's a circle of emotions...
I feel alone, like no-one understands my fears. I have apathy, no energy to perform in my roles and no interest! I don't feel as though I'm coping with the everyday tasks and requirements of a brilliant mum! I'm so negative in my outlook to life, I can't make effective decisions and my concentration is poor! Doesn't that all sound alittle self pitying?? Which then brings me to the guilt.....
I feel guilty for feeling the way I do as a mum...not as me! If it was just me, who cares? However, as I get told I am a mum and that should always 'come first'!!!
Guilt is apparantly a common feature of depression... a feeling that you are doing something wrong and pathological guilt occurs when a person adds that to the belief that she is a bad person!! I'm so sick and tired of being portrayed as that! Bad old me....always messing up, not doing the right things, making the wrong choices!! Who chose to give me CANCER???? I didn't want it!! Show me the book where it tells you how to cope with it and live without the fear?? Why isn't it acceptable to make mistakes? Self blame is so natural..."Why did this happen to me? What did i do wrong?".
Saturday, 15 March 2008
I remember feeling numb, I needed to get out...I couldn't breathe! Why was I on my own? I thought everything was going to be o.k.! I was angry with the consultant, angry with everyone and started to cry. I couldn't look at the professional people that were looking at me. On reflection, I can't remember everything I was told that day...it's very vague.
Anyway...the reality was that I'd got a tumor and the possible name of this tumor was a Sarcoma. Cancer of the soft tissue. They needed me to go in for a CT Guided Biopsy in three days. Why so soon?? What would it all mean??
I ran out of the hospital as fast as I could, I needed fresh air. I remember running past a nurse, who asked me if I was ok and I replied..."I just need to get out!". She directed me to the nearest exit.
OH MY GOD!! I wanted to smash the car windows of every car...I wanted to shout at the passers by, I felt so angry! The tears were streaming and I knew that I had to 'pull myself together' as my children were waiting in the car with my partner. They couldn't see my like this! My partner came to meet me, obviously concerned from the call he'd just recieved from me. I couldn't let him hold me tight...I needed to be free! I had to be strong. I smile about being strong today...why did I have to be strong? Why wasn't it o.k. to cry and allow my children to see my tears? I was hurting so bad but I was still protecting others...who could protect me?
Friday, 14 March 2008
The first stage of my diagnosis was an M.R.I. Scan. It is like an x-ray and can take many different photos from different angles inside your body. The consultant told me that once all of the photos were joined together, they would form a complete picture of my body and they would see what was wrong with me!
I was scared! I felt paniced, dis-orientated and out of control. What was happening to me? The scan was strange. It lasted about 30 minutes but seemed like hours. I then waited and waited for the results. I was on my own which didn't bother me until the time for the dreaded answers. As we have three children, my partner had to take care of them and there was no way that i could invite them into the hospital with me to find out about this LUMP! I needed to be strong and just get on with it! That's me.... !
After two hours waiting, I was called into a room! Dogdy, I remember thinking!!!! It was similar to a counselling room and there was a lady in there too. Two chairs opposite eachother...not divided by a table...very informal.
My stomache started churning, my heart was racing, the palms of my hands were sweating. My consultant looked up and gave me a half hearted smile.What was he going to say? I was so scared and felt so alone......