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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ups and Downs -- Part II

My dear, wonderful, warm, caring, friends,

I love reading your insightful, and thoughtful comments. It's fun to see who is reading my blog, and who has what to say. Comments make me smile!

(here it comes.....)

BUT, though I recognize that those of you who recommended therapy as a response to my previous post, did so because you love and care about me..... YOU TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT of my post.

The post was about mood swings. About the ups and downs of living with illness (in my case, cancer).

It is totally normal to have ups and downs.

I am not debating the benefits of therapy.

If I want/need therapy, I will get it.

I am surrounded by people (to begin with, my husband, and my oncologist) who will let me know if/when it is time to seek outside help.

I know therapy is available if I want it.

I appreciate all your comments and emails, I really do.

BUT, I really felt bombarded by so many suggestions that I go for therapy.

I am sure that I can benefit from therapy.

I have LOTS of issues. (I had most of them before I got cancer)

BUT, my TIME is LIMITED. I cannot do everything.

Right now, unless I need it, I don't want to spend an hour a week in therapy, plus travel time.

There are other things I would rather do with my time.

If I only wrote about how great I feel, and how great life is (and life is great), then this would not be an accurate portrayal of what it is like to live with cancer. Because, friends, cancer SUCKS. And, no matter how great my attitude is, cancer still sucks.

And no amount of therapy is going to change that.

And no amount of therapy is going to make the cancer go away.

And that's why, even with the best therapy in the whole wide world, I will still have mood swings.

Because, quite honestly, it is not easy living with cancer.
(Even though I'm doing great, thank God, thanks to all of your prayers, and happy, healing thoughts)

I wish the cancer would just go away.

I really do.

But, I live in the real world. And, for now, my cancer is a permanent, chronic, condition.

I can live with that.

For someone living with cancer, I am proud to say that I have a damn good attitude. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I have an exceptional attitude.

So, do me a favor. If you think I need therapy, then, please, give me, or my husband, a call. Tell us that you are worried, and why.

If not, please don't tell me I should go to therapy, just because sometimes I'm sad that I have cancer.

I am not depressed. I am not in denial.

I have cancer.

Sometimes that makes me feel sad.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


A Living Nadneyda said...

You're right - forget therapy.


The only ups and downs you should know are for the tent.

Apologies if I missed the point. (I was just pushing therapy out of professional obligation. When we get our license, they make us sign this thing saying we'll increase our customer base.... ;-) )

Feel good.

Leora said...

As someone who has spent a lifetime in therapy, I would strongly suggest trying the *macrobiotics* that Klara mentioned (pleaded).

Anonymous said...

Rivka, please check out the link I posted in the comments of the post below.

Gidon worked on an incredible show called "Stand Up to Cancer"--broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS simultaneously--and he heard the stories of women who were in the same place you are in but are now cancer free due to advances in medical treatment. The link I posted is about a drug trial that is working for some women whose breast cancer has spread to other parts of their bodies. They're looking for more volunteers. They NEED more volunteers. Just take a look.

I just donated $50 at the show's website, SU2C.org . Several doctors on the show pointed out that medicine today is on the cusp of curing cancer. They've already discovered cures to some kinds of cancer, and now they feel they are so close to finding a cure for all kinds of cancer.

One doctor compared it to the discovery of the polio vaccine. Before then people just "lived with polio." Today we can't even imagine a world that would just "live with polio." All these doctors think this is what will happen in a few years--cancer will be as much a thing of the past as polio--but they don't want to wait: they want it to be now. Stand Up to Cancer is about everyone joining forces in the fight against cancer to make this a reality.

Today you're just trying to "live with cancer." But what if you could just LIVE?

To learn more, you can check out the website: http://su2c.standup2cancer.org/

As always, my hopes and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I didn't comment before, but I just want to sat both my parents are living with chronic (not deadly..I hope) conditions, and both have some level of depression associated with it.

You are right, it is normal and as long as you and those closest to you are monitoring it to make sure you still have "ups", I'm sure you'll be fine.

Noa said...

In nursing I always try to make the distinction between depression and being sad. Sad is a normal response to something that sucks, depressed is an abnormal response to something that doesn't suck, or maybe sucked once but doesn't suck anymore. Mother who loses small child god forbid and can't stop crying - not depressed, just sad. Mother who loses keys and can't stop crying - depressed (or needs more sleep).

I say keep going with the fun stuff.

RivkA with a capital A said...

ALN – LOL! Thanks!!

Leora – As I’ve told Klara many times, if someone would cook for me, I’d be happy to eat MB sometimes. Meanwhile, though we try to eat a healthy diet (more or less), I have neither the time, inclination or desire to make food the main focus of my existence. I hate cooking and I spend as little time in the kitchen as I can!

Shevi – Can you get me a copy of the “Stand Up to Cancer” broadcast? I know all about SU2C and I was so sorry that I could not see it!

Regarding the study: I am NOT ELLIGIBLE. They need women who are “triple negatives” and I am HER2 POSITIVE.

It is easy to make the mistake of assuming that what is true for one woman with metastasis is true for another, but cancers are SO DIFFERENT.

I am familiar with the drugs in that study. They are not the right drugs for me, at this time. The drugs I get are working well, thank God. It would be DANGEROUS for me to stop taking drugs that work and start taking drugs that might, or might not, work.

If a drug works, you continue taking that drug until it stops working. Only then do you try a different drug.

Safranit -- in my case, I have far more “ups” than “downs.”

Noa -- THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

RivkA, I'd love to get you a copy of SU2C, but I don't know how! I have it on my TiVo, and I've set it to "Keep until I delete." I might be able to make a DVD of it (though I don't know how, Gidon might), but there's the question of how to get it to you.

During our visit, Reuven showed us a program that lets you download recent popular American TV shows. If you ask him, he might be able to show you have to download the program (I think it's free) and find the show. They should have it.

Sorry this drug trial isn't for you, but I'm glad your medication is working. And I agree that it's perfectly normal to be sad sometimes. You don't need therapy, just happy thoughts. Amazon has a Bill Cosby album on sale for just $1.99 for download as an MP3. I know his comedy always makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I found a link to the medical parts of SU2C:


Juggling Frogs said...


If you were depressed, you'd NEED therapy.

Since you're not, although it's still possible to benefit from it, you shouldn't go unless you want to go.

The potential benefits might not be worth the hassles and resources required to obtain them.

I think all the commenters (myself included) from the previous post were reacting to either a mistaken perception of your tone (i.e. thought either that you wanted to go, but didn't think it necessary since you weren't depressed, and needed chizzuk to "indulge" for yourself in something not medically necessary) or to the idea that one can only benefit from therapy if it's necessary.

I'm sorry to have added to the "radio noise".

RivkA with a capital A said...

Shevi -- if Gidon can figure out how to make a DVD, that's probably the easiest. Let me know, then we'll figure out how to get it here (my parents are coming soon, you could even mail it to them).

If not, I'll check with Reuven.

I am davka interested in the entertainment parts of the show. I already know a lot about the medical side.

Juggling Frogs -- clearly, I did not communicate well. I cross-posted that post on another site (for mothers with cancer), and got similar responses.

No apologies necessary (from you or anyone else). I know that all the comments came from a good place!

Batya said...

Rivka, I think that your attitude is very healthy. One shouldn't fear sadness. It's normal. You're amazing; I have no doubt. Concentrating on your moods won't make you better or happier.

Enjoy everything you can. That plus your meds are what you need to stay with us as long as possible.

Eliyahu S. said...

You tell 'em, RivkA!

It's normal to have moods. Having a medical condition like cancer can exacerbate the swings. That's LIFE.

Therapy is for "issues." Being sad when faced with a life-threatening condition is a normal, healthy response to an abnormal, unhealthy condition.

If there are chemical issues, treat them with chemicals and move on.

But if you're still upset about the high school prom, then you should look for a p-shrink.

My two agoroth.