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 Post subject: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:20 am 
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The funny thing is I'm not even all that upset, or at least as upset as I imagined I'd be. Don't get me wrong. I've got my share of worry and fear. I fear pain. I fear incapacitation. I fear death. I have no shortage of fears.

Mostly I'm worried for my dear wife, who's such a sweet, generous spirit. It kills me to see the pain and loving concern in her face.

But I'm 66 years old. People get sick, People die. Even me. Even you. I've already seen a good half dozen friends leave this world courtesy of some dread disease: cancer, heart disease, Parkinson, ALS, diabetes. My neighbor, just about my age, has dementia. 5 years ago he was a successful businessman with a contagious laugh and a love for working out. Three years ago he was still hopping on his bike and riding to the shore, and going for long walks. He was in all ways a vital, powerful fellow. Yesterday I saw him shuffling around his front yard like a man in his 80's, a look of anxious confusion on his face.

My point is it's important to accept certain of life's grim realities if we're to have any real peace. I'm not so much speaking to you young folks in your 20's and 30's. I have no trouble at all remembering how old age and death seemed so far away that they didn't really apply to me. And that's how it should be. OTOH, it can't hurt to reflect every once in a while on how time moves on, swiftly and uncaringly. You too...if you're lucky...will get old. And much, much sooner than you think.

Of course the painful joke that nature plays is that in many ways, we remain unchanged inside. I look in the mirror (an activity I keep to a minimum these days) and wonder who the hell that old guy is.

I think my favorite quotation of all time is from Saul Bellow: "All my decay has taken place upon a child."

i'm not going to get into details. And I don't want to get carried away. It might not be cancer. I'm guessing at my age and with my symptoms and my medical history, it's about a 50/50 shot. That's a pure guess. But I've been lucky all my life, far luckier than I deserve. The drunken car wrecks alone. So we'll see.

The point of this post isn't to make a grab for sympathy. Sympathy is nice because it shows people are kind, but it's not what I'm looking for. What would be helpful would be to hear from those who've been through some sort of illness or physical trauma and how they got through it, especially but not necessarily if you were on bupe at the time.

Of course bupe is a factor. I started on subs last November at a comfortably high beginner's dose, and have gradually weaned my way down. Yesterday I dropped from 3 mg/s to 2.5 and outside of very slight restlessness when I woke up this morning, I'm perfectly fine.

I take no credit whatsoever. Buprenorphine's a near miraculous medication. I tried for years to taper off my DOC and of course found it impossible. Had I managed to pull that feat off somehow, you can bet I'd be bragging about it!

But bupe has the twin virtues of affording no high (for an addict) while still preventing all WD symptoms... while also eliminating the frustration that would normally cause by repressing cravings. It's true I'm below the ceiling effect now, but I still have zero desire to add a little bump here or there "just as an experiment." A friend on the forum with lots of experience has told me that it's very possible to taper all the way down without having a return of cravings...if you go slowly enough.

But now of course I've an increased motivation to get down as far as I can in the event I need surgery. Or need pain management as a consequence of the disease process. I'm still not going to rush it, but will continue as I have been at a steady pace. If cravings return I'll have to reconsider.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the forum. You guys have been there every step of the way for me. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Best wishes,
Godfrey


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 Post subject: Re: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:00 am 
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Godfrey, hold on tight my friend. You ll get though this whatever it may be.
I too shair your fears at 59 years of age. Every word you ve written is ture I just wanted to tell you that am a praying type of fellow.
I pray for strength for you
Im sure Rule will be aloug to shair his experience, he s had some in this.
Sorry so short, at work...hang in there man...

Razor


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 Post subject: Re: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Razor, you're a rock ribbed forum stalwart. You've been a power of example since the day I got here. Of course at 59, you're still a young pup as far as I'm concerned. :)

Thanks most sincerely and most humbly for all your kindness.


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 Post subject: Re: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Forgive me for being late on responding.

Godfrey I'm so sorry to hear this! My friend I pray everything goes in a positive direction. As we get older, we start worrying about things we never had to even think about before. It's humbling and scary. I know ur a wonderful person and ur definitely in my prayers too. I pray a hundred times a day and u will be in those prayers.

I've watched my father go through cancer and everything turned out ok. He's cancer free today. There's always hope and we always need to stay positive. I know ur a positive person so u got that covered. Please keep us updated on what happens or what u find out.

Even if something were to happen and u had to have surgery and were still on buprenorphine, it'll be ok. Dr J or docm2 can explain how that goes plus rules been through it I believe too.

Good luck Godfrey, stay positive!!

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 Post subject: Re: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:28 pm 
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godfrey wrote:
Mostly I'm worried for my dear wife, who's such a sweet, generous spirit. It kills me to see the pain and loving concern in her face.


Godfrey - This statement reflects the kind of gentleman you are. It's something that stands out when I read your comments here. Your ability to be compassionate and worry about those around you. You're very rarely focused on yourself. It also seems like you've had more than your fair share of ups & downs recently with the passing of Jack your beloved Greyhound. I was touched by your tenderness in the thread you started after you said goodbye to him.

You are one of the first to respond to a cry for help, you give people good information and always try to lift them up in the process. You are someone that likes to give back and that has been documented here... among your friends. Friendship and kindness are some of the most noble pursuits in my opinion, and you go out of your way to see that newcomers feel welcome here. You make a difference. Regardless of the medical findings, I just wanted you to remember that.

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 Post subject: Re: could be cancer
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:16 pm 
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I can only imagine what you are going through, Godfrey, but I really care about you. We care about you.

My husband was diagnosed with an early prostate cancer and went through radiation treatment. Next, we tackled his arm problem. He has pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling down his right arm. Tom's orthopedic surgeon recommended that he have a cervical fusion to take pressure off those nerves, which he did. At one point, however, I spoke to his neurologist and asked what else could be causing his symptoms. She told me that he could have ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease!! So I thought my husband could be dying for a few days until we met back with his surgeon who gave me the odds of him having ALS, which was super slim.

But I understand how people with a diagnosis feel uncertain about things and how they feel like they have an invader in their body.

I hope for you that you get a clear picture of what is going on in your body and how to fight it. We are here for you to support you and encourage you and distract you in whatever way you need us. We are here for you.

Amy

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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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