Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Readers express concern, hope, and offer positive thoughts regarding personal health

   Thank all of you so much for your kind words, thoughts, prayers and suggestions about how to move forward.
   Last Monday I wrote about a personal health issue-bladder cancer-that has recently decided to invade my life.
   It's been a big test for me to try and sort through all of this not only physically, but maybe more so, emotionally.
   I think each day gets a little better. My thoughts are finally moving in somewhat the right direction. As I explained to someone recently who asked me about my feelings are referred to the pain scale used by medical people.
   You know give us a number, one being the lowest or least pain to ten, the highest pain being experienced.
   I offered the number seven. The reason for seemingly such a high number I described as feeling as though I'm walking on egg shells. Or better still, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
   Any new little pain, tingle, or whatever else that I feel, my mind already makes the jump to bladder cancer.
   Over reacting? I'm learning more and more that I'm not the only one. I joined Gilda's Club in Royal Oak on Monday. Tuesday I was back for a 2-hour session called a wellness group.
   It's open only to those with cancer. This group meets each week. They talk about where they are at with their treatment, anything new they are doing-new meds, exercise, etc.-and the group individually listens or asks questions.
   Everyone gets to know the rest of the people in the room, from what kind of cancer they have, how they are doing, to how they have been feeling.
   It's no holds barred. They explained to me that some days there is a lot of laughter and other days there  are tears. Today was a generally happy day.
   My friend and longtime Gilda's very active member Evie Bos was working on one of the gardens, weeding it in preparation for springtime mulching.
   She asked how I was doing. When I explained the sleepless nights, the worry, and the depression that goes with all of this, she nodded her head and said she understood.
   A 3-time cancer survivor she has had and still has many of the same feelings. For me, the chat in that garden did a lot for me knowing that others have gone through much of what I'm experiencing.
   My allergist, Ulrich Ringwald told me today in his normally loud voice that fills a room: "Roger, you should get up each day and say to yourself, I'm lucky." I wish it were that easy.

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