How do you stop feeling sorry for you... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?

Newyork6264 profile image
42 Replies

How do you handle fluctuations in mood and attitude? Some days I'm up and thinking that I'm going to kick this things ass. Others days I don't want to get out of bed, just stay in there and feel sorry for myself. This is especially true when the pain flairs up. This virus stuff just adds to it all. Makes me feel that the time I have left is being taken from me.

42 Replies
Horse12888 profile image
Horse12888

Are you on ADT? That's an extremely common SE.

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to Horse12888

Yes it is ! 💪💪👍👍

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264 in reply to Horse12888

Yes I am. Lupron and Zytiga. Guess just gotta just keep pushing through.

Horse12888 profile image
Horse12888 in reply to Newyork6264

Well, this is extremely common, not that it isn't a horrible SE. I hated being alive. I cried through most of the day, and then it got worse when I'd start drinking at night.

Recs:

Get a DNA test to determine which antidepressant would best and get on it. They don't work for everyone, but they sure did for me.

Kaliber mentioned benzos, which I suppose will make you stop crying. I don't like them, but some people do.

In the UK they use high-dose estradiol instead of LHRH agonists (Lupron) to lower T. It has a far more tolerable SE profile. It's not FDA approved here, not that I give a s*** about that. If I have to get back on ADT, I'm definitely going in this direction.

I did a variety of other things: counseling, yoga, qigong, and meditation. Did they work? I'm not sure. I quit ADT and got on antidepressants at the same time. SOMEthing worked; that's for sure.

Stay active, and lift weights.

Here's a piece of advice a counselor have me: Don't indulge yourself with crying all day long, and letting your mind go into dark places. If you want, pick a time during the day, and let yourself cry your eyes out, but then discipline yourself to stay away from that place until the next day.

Limit drinking, because it breaks don't your willpower to stay out of the dark place.

Best of luck! Please keep in touch.

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264 in reply to Horse12888

Thanks for answer. Good suggestions

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber

It’s pretty hard sometimes ... after the horse is out of the barn ....so to speak. But try to remember you are taking powerful drugs that nearly always have strong mental side effects .... that you are using pain pills that “ always “ have even stronger mental side effects. .... plus you’ve got cancer. All that messes with all of us here ... some more than others. It not a good idea to make major judgement calls when your abilities are somewhat impaired.

If “ things “ become very strong and / or unmanageable...ALWAYS talk to your medical team about those issues. Fixing them is fairly easy and straightforward and improves your QOL dramatically. I have a morning dose of Xanax if I want / need it ... just to help those strong mood and attitude issues that we all have crop up. How many days do you just burst out crying ... for seemingly no reason ? Of course I know it’s the missing T and hormone changes pushing that , and I deal with it knowing and expecting it.

We’re, nearly all of us here, in the same boat with you brother .. sometimes it can seem you are rowing upstream with one paddle .... but it is all just part of the scene . Discuss this with your medical team first and foremost, then ....like you have wisely done, hop on here and we’ll joke and insult you out of it yayahahahaya this besides offering you our own advice and experiences.

💪💪💪👍👍👍

🦠👀😷

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264 in reply to Kaliber

Thank you. Just reading the replies helps a lot. I do same as you with music. Thank you again.

ctarleton profile image
ctarleton

My experience has been that it helps to talk to someone close to me in my daily life. It takes a little bit of a leap of faith and some courage to go against many decades of socialization to be "strong" and "independent", but, for me, just saying something like "my eyes are leaking" is a start. While I do hold some things inside sometimes in the middle of the night, or during the ups-and-downs of ADT and PSA swings, my overall experience has been that sharing my emotions with my beloved caregiver usually turns out better for both of us than if I try to keep things bottled-up. Having some sharing prostate cancer friends or peers in support groups can help, too.

ctarleton profile image
ctarleton in reply to ctarleton

I can also identify with the sense of loss of Time, Capabilities, and life Roles that come with an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis. The first year I was really sad and mad about probably losing 10-15 years from my life expectancy, compared to how long my parents lived. I was fearful and sad many times when I contemplated or experienced not being able to do things with my body the way I formerly did, due to the side effects of ADT and other treatments. It took some time to share those feeling with others, and to learn to live my life in other ways. I was sad and mad about being less able to do my part in the stereotypical life roles of the idealized alpha male in my general life and in my family life, due to the side effects of ADT and other treatments.

In my experience, I was able to do some appropriate mourning and storming about those things, and to mostly move on. Some 6 1/2 years in with advanced disease, I no longer worry so much about a lot of the stuff that really vexed me during the earlier months and years. I've perhaps learned some more humility and patience as I found ways to work smarter, not harder.... or to plan alternative ways to do things.... or to be less adverse to ask for help from others, or to delegate certain things to others. A bit more Gratitude and Compassion for what I can still do, and for myself and others seems to have slipped into me, too.

All easier said than done, of course.

I still have ups and downs. I still shed tears sometimes. I still wonder at beautiful things in this world.

Charles

Kaliber profile image
Kaliber in reply to ctarleton

Well exactly brother ... I too try to share with my sweetie beloved caregiver and it always seems to help. I’ll burst into the room covered with Emotional tears that the hormone imbalance adt and strong opiates brings and share my emotional pain with my sweetness CG. She’ll put down her 40 ouncer and motorcycle magazine and get up and reach out and .... Shove me to the floor ( of course I try to avoid breaking out more teeth on the edge of the coffee table caused by brittle Zometa treatments ) .. and she’ll give me a precision placed shot on my already inflamed liver ... with the steel toe of her harley boot ... all the while mentioning what she sees as my most positive attributes such as “ you sniveling little whimpering piece of dog XXXX “ stuff like that. Then when she leaves the room , I drag my adt ravaged framework up on a nearby chair and ponder the meaning of reality. I usually decide that “ things could be worse ( since she’s out of the room now ) and life really does have its “ up and downs “ . I always feel better remembering that things could always be worse . Yes brother I think you have something there. Yayahahahaya yayahahahaya

( of course I’m using literary license in this narrative and it doesn’t doesn’t represent actual circumstances .... just in case my sweetie reads this yayahahahay oooof )

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger .... right ? 💪💪💪👍

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to Kaliber

Well calibrated narrative Kaliber.

All any of us have is today, being alive (still!) and filled with wonder.

👏👏👏

tom67inMA profile image
tom67inMA

It's tough, particularly on rainy days when the body has more pain than energy. I find it impossible to "fight" the disease every day. If the aren't any appointments to keep, sometimes the best strategy is just to survive the day and fight when conditions are more favorable.

And in the same way it's impossible to be positive all the time, it's also impossible to feel sorry for myself all the time. On bad days I'll listen to sad songs and have a good cry. It's cathartic and eventually I reach a point where a few brain cells remind me that I'm far from ready to go into hospice, and there's a non-zero chance I could have many good years ahead.

Today I'm exhausted after a number of good days in a row. I have a urology appointment shortly and he's probably going to want to scope my bladder. That's painful for me and there's no opportunity for modesty. On the bright side, when somebody asks me about my day, I can enjoy watching them cringe when the hear the details :-)

Currumpaw profile image
Currumpaw in reply to tom67inMA

Hey tom67inMA!

"cringe"! I like that!

Currumpaw

olloreda profile image
olloreda

From a son perspective, I would say it is not only ADT, because I feel almost the same and I am not under treatment. My mood and my attitude towards life change from one day to another just because I know my dad is sick.

Just now I came to this page because I was wondering the same: Sometimes I am likely to forget the situation and feeling good, but suddenly something come to my mind and remember eveything and I don't fell good anymore for a while.

I guess this is a feeling we have to deal with. It is like I cannot feel "too much good" because my dad is sick and I have to worry about it, even when there is not too much -medically- that I can do to improve his health.

So, I feel some relief when I come here and see that we are not alone, that there are many people on the same fight, and that we can go through all of this.

For me has been good to read no-modern philosophy, like Budism, Taoism, Ubuntu, Sumak Kawsay, among others. They show you other ways to understand the path of life/death.

The Best for You!!

MateoBeach profile image
MateoBeach in reply to olloreda

I honor your caring and empathy for your father. But keep in mind that you do not have his cancer and you also need to live your best life in every way. You do not have to carry the whole burden in your heart. Empathy means to feel and understand (his) suffering. Compassion is what it calls you to do about it, the actions you take out of love. He must be very proud of you.

olloreda profile image
olloreda in reply to MateoBeach

Hi Mateo! Thanks for your kind words. I am aware of what you said and I have told the same to other Friends who previously went through similar processes, but now I see it is not easy to just live my life the same way I used to. Sometimes it is like we are the same and I can feel like it is happening to me too.

Of course, Covid19 quarentine allowed me to focus on my dad 24/7. But I have been taking care of myself as well, not only phisically but emotionally. Of course, right now, for me, it is like everything is about prostate cáncer, and I spend many hours reading and talking about it. I know I have to change that pattern, but I have only one month a half on it, and this is time to make decisions, so it is the time to be well informed.

When post-quarentine comes, I have to "move" to my life again. You are right I cannot take the whole burden, because it makes me feel tired and frustrated; but so far I think I know how to handle this, and I have support from many friends and family as well (not to mention this space that make me fell not alone).

Thanks again...and the Best for You!!

Thanks for your willingness to share this. A lot of us are go through this so it helps many here to know they are not alone.

We are all doing the best we can to keep our heads up and not burden others, but we also have to allow ourselves to have these times when we are down and feel sorry for ourselves. It's OK.

When I have these times, I just try to work through it gently and not judge myself. I try to see if there anything specific going on that can be pinpointed and try to deal with it.

You can also get a counselor to help you. I did this for a while and found it very helpful just to work through things. Just having a professional therapist to talk to helped me to express what was going on and often that was enough. There's a lot going on inside us with this disease and it's not easy.

Wishing you the best.

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264

Thanks everyone. Always nice to hear from others going thru it and how they handle it. Will probably cut and paste these replies into a note and pull them out when things get sucky. I wish you all strength in fighting this and will be more than happy to offer any help in the future.

tom67inMA profile image
tom67inMA in reply to Newyork6264

Thanks for posting. This topic doesn't come up as much on the forum as it should, IMHO. In retrospect, my earlier reply was very cathartic to write.

Tall_Allen profile image
Tall_Allen

You don't stop feeling sorry for yourself - why should you? You got a raw deal and you deserve some sympathy for yourself. I had a much milder diagnosis than yours, and what drove me crazy was that I couldn't stop thinking about it. I would just ruminate about it endlessly. As if the disease wasn't bad enough, my mind was annoying me all the time. What I did was:

(1) I got a scrip for sleeping pills to get through the night - a sleep-deprived brain makes the ruminative thing worse,

(2) I got a scrip for some anti-anxiety drugs. You may want to take antidepressants instead - whatever works!

(3) I met with a psychotherapist once a week for several months. Just devoting a fixed amount of time to talk about it and examine my anxieties seemed to help, And

(4) I learned to practice mindfulness - it took doing it everyday for 3 months until it became habitual. I won't say it stopped the annoying ruminations completely, but it helped me become more aware of it, which somehow made those "spells" briefer.

Currumpaw profile image
Currumpaw in reply to Tall_Allen

Hey T_A and all!

I find that this emotion still works at times--"Anger is more useful than despair".

youtu.be/jeIy2MHZ0xE

Currumpaw

Magnus1964 profile image
Magnus1964

I had those feelings at diagnosis. My first surgeon told me I had 5 to 10 years. I was 47 at the time. What a downer.

I was moping around for weeks. The my wife son came to visit. When my wife told him why I was depressed he said " so what are ya going to do be depressed for the next 10 years ". I laughed and thought about how ridiculous that would be.

It get better, honest.

in reply to Magnus1964

He sure did make a point. 😎✌️

I Welcome you Newyork to the club. I’ve been on this castration train five years now of the same. I’d say the first two years are the worst. You can adjust to it all in time. We must not fight ourselves. Us hormonally deprived fellows ride the coaster up and down . We are in hope of keeping APC away for as long as we can . This is just one price that we pay . It ain’t just you. It’s the drugs that drive castration .. Exercise is one help. Hang in there . It should get better or you will

Just adjust to the new you .. Take care Scott

garyi profile image
garyi

Hate to disagree with Whimpy, but 'it shouldn't get better'.......

It will get better, much better. Mindfulness helps, as is looking at all those who have it much worse. While I was going through SRT, seeing the children and young people having radiation and chemo, but still smiling was inspiring. So is going out of your way to assist others, as many around here do.

Lots of great suggestions above....don't dwell on feeling sorry for yourself. Fight it, and focus on the many positives of life. Good luck to you!

in reply to garyi

👏✌️

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264

Thanks so much. This group is amazing.

addicted2cycling profile image
addicted2cycling in reply to Newyork6264

Newyork6264 asked >>> "How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?"

I believe we are on the same boat during this prostate cancer cruise; however, we are in a cabin of choice on different decks depending on diagnosis, progression AND attitude. I liken it to being anywhere from bridge to bilge. We are either in the bridge in command of our destiny plotting and piloting our journey with research/action or along for the cruise looking out at the passing seas/time from our verandah simply accepting what we are told to do by doctors and those having been educated and having treatment experience or in the bilge not aware of our location/time of day and stuck in a dark-self isolation-depressed mental state.

Drugs/treatments can result in differing outcomes for the exact diagnosis because as a fellow journeyman >> Dr. George Sheehan, world known cardiologist-author-marathon runner-1 mile time record holder who died from PROSTATE CANCER had said with undeniable truth....

​“We are each an experiment of one. A unique, never-to-be repeated event.”

georgesheehan.com/bio

One must look within and dig deep to find the chutzpah to simply say "screw you cancer" and continue on the now altered course that interrupted all ports of call previously made yet still leads to the arrival at the final port at which we drop the final anchor.

I did not allow myself to dwell on the "why me" from a Gleason 10 diagnoses but instead took immediate command telling my doctor to "castrate me" instead of introducing drugs into my body, found a progressive doctor whose "thinking outside the box" resulted in a unique treatment protocol that has me continuing my 100+ mile endurance bicycle riding while others would be relegated to golf cart transport as they occasionally swing a club.

As I respond to your question I am healing from a bicycling crash following being hit by a 150+ pound wild pig at the 33 mile mark of a 100 mile overnight ride 10 days ago that resulted in a cracked scapula, 2 cracked ribs and a punctured lung. Believe me when I say that at approaching my 70th birthday I DO NOT bounce like I used to when hitting the ground at a younger age. While some might relinquish control of their ship at a time like this and settle back into the lounge chair on their verandah, I resumed control with a 5.5 mile bicycle ride a couple days ago, a 1.55 mile walk this morning and am prepping my bike for a 15 mile ride after I enter this post.

Having had 1 recurrence has not altered my course but instead has caused me to act even harder to enjoy what time I have before another recurrence or worse and the final port of call.

I'm in agreement with D. Thomas >>> "Do not go gentle into that good night Old age should burn and rave at close of day rage rage against the dying of the light? .... "

Be well, TAKE CONTROL, rage away, and I believe that many are here to listen and provide advice from their own experience.

Drphil1938 profile image
Drphil1938

Don't make yourself the focal point of your life. Dote on your children, grandchildren or both. Don't forget your wife or companion. When you focus on others you won't have time for yourself.

Please dont misunderstand, you must take care of yourself but it doesn't take all day. Another thing, when you get up in the morning go straight to the bathroom mirror, smile at the guy there. If he smiles back you are in for a good day. Try it you might like it.🍸🍸🤠

ron_bucher profile image
ron_bucher

Many years before my diagnosis, I lost a job during a tough job market. My career advisor made me write a list of 50-100 things I was grateful for. After initially struggling in writing the list, I completed the homework. Ever since, I’ve been a “glass half full” person.

Having said that, depression and anxiety (which are both very common with cancer) can be managed well in most cases by a good psychiatrist who can find the best drug(s) that work for you.

Exercise is almost a must, and a healthy diet can help emotional health.

Haniff profile image
Haniff

Hey Newyork6264

Cheer up mate, Life is Wonderful ❤️

When I was first diagnosed in October 2017, I was stunned and could only laugh, as though the whole thing was a joke or a wrong diagnosis. I hit the ground real hard when my wife, who was with me at the time, burst into tears. Cause we promised each other we would hold each other’s hands and walk into many sunsets together when we retire. But I guess it was really the initial shock of receiving the damn news. And to make it worst, what flashed across my mind’s eyes were all the Hollywood and Bollywood scenes that kept playing over and over again about Cancer...silly ol’ me 😊

However with the love and support of my Sons, Daughter-in-law and especially my Grandchildren, plus all the wonderful Brothers and Sisters and Caregivers on this Forum, I have taken it as a challenge rather than a dreaded burden to enjoy each and every moment be it in pain or in happiness, to the max. Oh I do have mood swings like crazy and am always, always wondering about how long more I have to live, but I guess no one actually knows the answer.

So long story short, Life happens to us, we have to take the ups and the downs and make the best of it ❤️ And I do still cry like a silly old twat at every silly emotional moments. And yes I do miss my libido like crazy but these are some sacrifices I have to make to spend a little more time with all of you and my beloved family.

Have fun today and take good care, you’re definitely not alone in this journey ❤️

Haniff

EdinBmore profile image
EdinBmore

So, you're "on" ADT, yes? The thoughts and feelings you describe are common among men who are on ADT. For whatever it's worth: despite my reading/research, I had no idea of the impact that low T would have (as a result of Firmagon and Lupron). It was devastating in so many ways: hot flashes a go-go; fatigue; sleep disruption; no sex drive; wt gain; genital shrinkage; loss of muscle mass and increase in blubber mass; and an emotional roller coaster ride that was full of lows, crying spells, fearfulness, thoughts of suicide. 12 mos of this (and many men take ADT for years. Don't know how they do it.) Granted, there are many men who take ADT in stride and kinda shrug when asked about side effects.

I started exercising as soon as I started ADT (and I'm no gym rat at all). It was really difficult to motivate myself to get to the gym (machines, elliptical, and treadmill) but I felt much better afterwards; sense of control, I think. Not sure if all of this made any difference at all in long term outcome but, at the time, I did feel better. No gym because of the pandemic but am taking long walks and trying to be positive and optimistic. It's a tough road.

Oh, and "discovered" medical marijuana (edibles/gummies) for "chilling" and as a sleep aid. Works well for me.

Btw, prepare yourself for withdrawal from ADT. It takes MONTHS. My last injection was in May 2019; 3 mo duration. It's been 9 mos since the time when Lupron was supposed to begin to leave my body. Yeah, well...I'm still feeling the effects of low T (last test showed that my T had come roaring back to 70! LOL) Here's hoping that the side effects will continue to abate.

So, yes, I hear you. It's rough. It's depressing as hell and your feelings are shared and understandable.

Good luck to you,

EdinBaltimore

Break60 profile image
Break60

Switch to estradiol patches if you’re on ADT and your blues fade away!

Muffin2019 profile image
Muffin2019

At first it is a downer, this site has been full of others going through this curse and have gotten alot of valuable information. My next door neighbor has ALS, a terminal disease, she has maybe 3 years and is only in her 50's, nice person. I got online and researched so much about treatments,diet it was about a foot tall and read everything I could. I still work part time, will be 69 this year, 2 years into this new life. You might have to adjust to a new norm, keep active through exercise, having a hobby like gardening and keeping active to keep your mind off this beast. The life expectancy depending on your age can be longer than you think, some on here has done multiple treatments and have lived for years, some more than 20 years and still doing well. Find something to look forward to every day, if you have a pet it helps, I have 5 cats, volunteer work keeps you active and keeping you thoughts off the problem. Keep social, my oncologist would not let me stop working, said he wished for more patients like me with a great attitude, this will not defeat me my faith is strong and just too stubborn to lie down and die.

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264

Thanks again everyone. Extremely helpful. Nothing I can do to change fate but as many of you said I can fight like hell to make sure I enjoy life to its fullest. Todays a good day and I'm off to see if I can find a trout or two in a local stream. Peace brothers. Again many thanks.

Hotrod65 profile image
Hotrod65

I think that's the general consensus for us all right now..being robbed of our lives and the time we have left to try carry on living...it sucks for sure...maybe get prescribed an anti-depressant to take the edge off.

Maleko808 profile image
Maleko808

It took a while but I finally reached the subconscious notion that instead of dying from cancer I'm living with cancer. That has slowed the ups and downs a lot. I still let myself have a bad day now and then. Way fewer than the good days.

addicted2cycling profile image
addicted2cycling in reply to Maleko808

Maleko808 wrote >>> " It took a while but I finally reached the subconscious notion that instead of dying from cancer I'm living with cancer..."

Outstanding approach. From the onset I have always felt that I am "Surviving and LIVING with my cancer" to the absolute best of my ability and instead of being a "survivor" I am a "LIVIVOR."

Hoping your "good days ahead" continue to out number those you have had.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n

"How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself?" questioner: Newyork6264

Just feel sorry for me instead. answerer: j-o-h-n

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 05/08/2020 5:35 PM DST

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264 in reply to j-o-h-n

Deal.

j-o-h-n profile image
j-o-h-n in reply to Newyork6264

Thank you.... I feel better already......

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Friday 05/08/2020 9:55 PM DST

Newyork6264 profile image
Newyork6264

Glad to help. Stay safe and well.

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