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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Thanks endme for your support!

Wow, Rule, your post really touched my heart. To be honest it brought tears to my eyes. I can't thank those of you who have supported me enough for that. Here I was wondering where all the support was from so many people and you come up with this. I adore you Rule.

I'll get through this. Only the good die young, right? HA HA.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:14 pm 
YO FOR REAL U BE COMPLAININ ABout a bitch azz docter . dont u no they all like that. i aint meet eva once in my life a down ass nigga dr. they all fuckin snoody ass fags. take the money and run. ask a question to them they never answer it strait. Always givin u da run down. Yea i did time in the can , slingin lil dope. I manned up and said yea i did it. These crooked ass nerrdy dr;s cant man up and say, "yea i do's it for the $$" they just have people fooled thats da only diffrance. so whoever be writin and bitchin bout there DR. Alls i gotta say is grow up, they all like dat.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:27 am 
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I have an update.

I spoke to my new pulmonologist today (finally, he was supposed to get back to me 6 days ago; nothing like taking one's sweet time!).

This is the plan: He's referring me to radiology for a CT-guided needle biopsy BUT, only if they think they can do it with its size (1.4 cm) and if they think it is worth the risk/benefit ratio. There are many possible complications with this kind of procedure, especially for smokers and those with COPD (ME...dumb ass).

The thing is, with the PET scan results, it's not likely it's cancer, but considering my family history and the fact that I'm on two heavy duty immune-suppressants, we really need to know what these are. Me especially, because it's turning me into a stark-raving mad woman. I barely sleep anymore and I can't go far from the bathroom due to IBS, which is in high gear at this time (STRESS ANYONE?).

If they cannot do the biopsy due to the small size and the high risk of complications (it'll be the radiologist's judgment call), then we will repeat CT scans every three months for TWO YEARS. That means my life will be in a permanent state of not knowing!! THIS is what I can't live with. The not knowing is tainting every possible part of my life - everything I do and think, it's always in the back of my mind.

I will have to work with my therapist to find a way to re-work my mind so I'm not doing this to myself every day, all the fucking time! This is no way for me to live. Without enough sleep for days on end is fucking with my life in the obvious ways already....

I just hope they will do the biopsy so we can get this over ONCE AND FOR FUCKING ALL! Complications or not, I need this to be OVER ALREADY!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:59 am 
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I can't even imagine how crazy-making this situation must be. I hope you're able to get the biopsy and get a definitive no on cancer soon.

I've never been in a situation like this but I do know how stress and anxiety can start to take on a life of their own, becoming this horrible negative feedback loop that escalates and escalates. Hopefully your therapist will help you figure out how to break that loop and get you feeling better.

I know how easy it is to focus on the worst possible outcome and how scary and horrible it could be. But I know, and I know you know, that freaking out about things we have no control over just adds an extra layer of crap to an already shitty situation. Sometimes it helps me to focus on things that I can do something about, but other times that's easier said than done. Ha Ha.

I do know you to be a strong person though, and I wonder if you could just decide to be ok with not knowing for now? You have seen a few doctors now and none of them have been like: HOLY SHIT, we need to get you into surgery yesterday! It seems like the chance is greater that you don't have cancer than that you do...so maybe try to roll with that for a while?

I feel like I'm coming across like some asshole who's all: Don't Worry Be Happy! but that's not what I mean at all. I know you meditate so I think you're probably familiar with that feeling of being able to observe the separation between the emotionally reactive part of yourself and the part of your consiousness that's kind of outside that; the part that decides how to respond to the emotions. Sometimes I have to almost forcibly put that part of myself back in charge of me so I don't go down the rabbit-hole of anxiety or depression. Usually I can do it by talking to myself or setting a time limit for myself to indulge in whatever feeling it is and then making myself move on to do something to make myself feel better. So if I'm going down the rabbit hole because my husband has been unemployed for 2 years, we are living in his grandmother's house because we are broke, I am never going to finish college, blah, blah blah...I give myself 20 minutes to cry and then I tell myself, look, I can't fix any of this shit right now but I can do this....and then I do whatever that is.

I don't know if any of that is helpful. I hope you are able to get some sleep soon and get some answers soon. In the meantime, take care of yourself.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Hi Hatmaker! I've been reading your thread now and following what you've had going on, and I feel like there is nothing that anyone can say really, that is going to make you feel better. What diaryofaquitter said is the best I could do. But she's pretty much said it all.

I know that this doesnt mean a lot to you, but for me it means a lot...I will keep you in my prayers. I feel like it will help me to help you....if that makes sense.

Anyway, I hope that everything turns out for the best for you. Maybe trying to focus on the fact that they dont see it as SO BAD, that they are able to just do CT scans, will help settle your mind at least a little. Like, if it was a difinitive on cancer, it could be so much worse. I am not trying to minimize it, I don't know....I'm just trrying to look at it from a different angle I guess. Just know that there are people on here that care about you and are here for you. Me being one of them.

Keep your head up and keep on posting, it'll help to get it out and get some other peoples perspectives. Especially people who have been there. You have gotten a lot of support from some really great people on here....Taurus, Rule, Diary, and you should lean on those people all you can. Feel free to use me too.

Keep us posted on how everything progresses, and best of luck!

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 Post subject: Out of Control
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Hat,

Looks like you're between a rock and hard place. I believe what you are experiencing is the inability to control the situation. Most if not all of us need to know that we control our own lives. If it's broken, we fix it. Well this time it can't be fixed right away and you may just have to wait it out. That is causing the anxiety and insomnia. IMO, it would be better to wait than to have the biopsy. It's risky and no fun. By giving it some time they may be able to figure out what it is.

So what can you do to feel more in control? How about tackling the smoking issue. This time you have a lot of motivation and you should succeed if you put your mind to it. That way, in a few years your lungs will have cleared up a bit and they may get a better CT picture of your lungs to know what it is. Just a guess on my part of course. If they have ruled out cancer then what else have they said it could be? At least by quitting the cigs you give yourself a better chance of fixing this or increasing your survival rate, don't ya think?

I know you've heard it a thousand times before and constantly feel guilty for not being able to stop. But I really think you can do it this time. I smoked from age 12 to age 36 and tried a dozen times to quit and failed. If you want to know how I finally did it, PM or e-mail me and I'll write it out. It may or may not work for you, but it did for me and I'm a hard ass addict as you know.

None of what I said will make you feel any better, I'm just trying to be pragmatic about it. Keep on venting, at least that takes some pressure off.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:12 am 
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Hat, I've been a little absent from the forum for the last 5 weeks, so I'm just catching up on your updates now. First of all, I'm glad you've taken the proactive step of getting yourself a new PCP. I'm also very happy that you finally got your referral and have proceeded with the PET scan and potential biopsy. I know that the idea of not having the biopsy and continuing to go in for CT scans for the next two years scares you to death, so I hope the radiologist gives the go ahead.

If it does end up that you have to "wait and see", please, please, please, find some way of keeping yourself calm. It's really bad for your body if it's constantly having to deal with the adrenaline from high stress levels. Maybe your psychiatrist can help train you to employ biofeedback when you feel yourself spiraling into fear and worry. If your immune system is overtaxed, you're going to be more likely to get sick and hasten any disease process.

I'm worried about you! Everyone needs sleep and some level of comfort. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible, but if it doesn't, you need to find some new tools to help you remain calm and somewhat relaxed.

You're in my thoughts and prayers,

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Hello, I'm baaaaack. As some of you may have noticed, I took about a 3+ week break from the forum. I just got way too stressed out and needed to concentrate on myself and getting a handle on my stress and anxiety over this whole thing. I had to find a way to accept the fact that I have ZERO control over this thing and the docs have all the control. And I'm happy to say that I think I managed that. Other than one or two short bouts of insomnia, I've also been sleeping again and that's a huge plus (no shit!).

As for the lung situation, I had my 3-month CT follow up scan about 1.5 weeks ago and just got a copy of the report today. I'm thrilled to report it's GOOD NEWS! Of the two masses, the largest one SHRUNK!!! That of course means no biopsy (which they said no to before due to the high risk of complications for the small size of the mass). And the largest mass is starting to calcify, which, I believe, means that it could very well just be a granuloma (which is no big deal and requires no treatment). I'll confirm that with the pulmonologist who I see this coming Monday.

This is obviously a HUGE load off of my mind (as well as my husband's and my mother's). They will continue to do CT scans every 3-4 months to keep watching them for changes, but I'm not nearly so worried and freaked out about it like I was before. I feel like I can breathe again. I just found this out today, so I'm hoping that tonight I'll sleep even better than I have been lately.

Lastly, I want to profusely thank those of you who have reached out to me during this ordeal. I've been around here for quite some time, but to be frank, I've rarely posted about myself. Now that I have shared all this, those of you who have kept up with this thread and responded to me have truly given me extra support that I wouldn't have had otherwise and so I thank you all so, so much. :mrgreen:

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:50 pm 
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I'm so glad to hear all of the good news!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Hey that is great news hat! So glad to read this from you.. I havnt posted much here but do like reading your posts. Theve been a help to me. Well have a great day! Oh and a good nights rest too.. one more thing,becuz of your fast taper I tryd it myself. Less is more! 16 to 8.. now working on 6. Thanks for your thread......


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:17 pm 
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razor53 wrote:
Hey that is great news hat! So glad to read this from you.. I havnt posted much here but do like reading your posts. Theve been a help to me. Well have a great day! Oh and a good nights rest too.. one more thing,becuz of your fast taper I tryd it myself. Less is more! 16 to 8.. now working on 6. Thanks for your thread......


Thanks, razor. It means so much to me right now to know that my time here has been appreciated as well as helpful to someone. There have been times when I've downright doubted myself in that regard, so your comment comes at a really good time for me. :-)

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Good to see you post again hat. I noticed when you disappeared, and it didn't take a genius to figure out why. You caught some unfair grief, IMO, and it's good to see you posting again- but more importantly good to hear your health is doing well.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:08 am 
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Just the other day I said to myself 'I hope Hatmaker didn't quit the board!'.

Glad to hear you are doing better and that your lungs are ok and glad ur back.

:)

Glen b


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:47 am 
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[font=Comic Sans MS]Every now and then, we come accross people in our lives that make a difference. You have made a difference in mine. You may not know it, but when I first joined this forum and was having a horrible day about my daughter, you were the one who told me to "meet me in the chat room, I'll wait for you there". That made such a huge difference in my life. It really did.

I know that you get a lot of unfair shakes on here, and so does anyone else who can read English. I think that the break you took, was deserved, needed, and did not go unnoticed. We all knew why and didn't have to ask. The fact that you needed a break, tells me that you truly care. If you didn't, it wouldn't have bothered you, and you wouldn't have needed a break.

You truly are an asset to this forum, and I appreciate all of the hard work that you do. All of the moderators. It is a thankless "job", but you show up everyday. I can't help but think, that even while on break, you still thought of some of us and hoped that we were well. It's just how you are. So, welcome back and congratualtions on the good news!!!!!!

I wish you the best and keep charging forward![/font]

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:35 pm 
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no groovin', glen bee, and goinstrong, I want to thank you for understanding the difficulties I've faced lately around here, but mostly for supporting me during all of it. I means more to me than I can put into words. Especially lately, I've really wondered about my contributions to the site and if it might be time for me to turn in my stripes and leave the forum. But then I thought about it and took a break and that seemed to do the trick.

And now the support I'm receiving from you few, but very special people, is reminding me of why I have stayed here for this long. So thank you (especially goinstrong) for pointing out how I actually did make a difference in your life. I really needed to hear that.

Thanks! I love you guys. :)

-----------------------------------

As an update, I saw my pulmonologist on Monday. He interpreted the CT scan the same way I did, that based on the larger mass shrinking and the fact that it's calcifying is indicative of it being or forming into a granuloma, which is harmless and requires no treatment. He is putting off the next CT scan until March, which is fine with me. Doing CT scans every 3-4 months is excessive and a nurse and her doctor husband both were concerned about me getting that much radiation. Therefore I'm comfortable waiting for the 6 months.

Oh and guess what? I'm back to sleeping like a regular, normal person - like a full 8 hours of sleep a night. And it nearly happened overnight after getting that CT report. Amazing that I didn't even realize that I was still so worried that it gave me insomnia so bad for so many weeks. Thank dog it's over now.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:18 am 
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Hi Mel, I'm just now catching up with some of the threads I had missed. I'm so glad your medical issues were not a serious as you had feared and that your prognosis looks so good. And good for you taking some time off to step back and take care of YOU. I'm glad you didn't leave the forum. You have supported and helped many, many people here and your presence would be missed. Please continue to be proactive about your health, and keep that balance where you don't let the stresses of the forum or anything else compromise that.
Sending you healing thoughts,
Lilly


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