Topic: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Hey guys, I hope you don't mind me posting this here, I just need to get it off my chest, and I guess here is as good as anywhere?

The last few years have been kind of rough for me and my family, I am a man in my 40's now, in January of 2010 my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer caused by chronic acid reflux, throughout the same year my wife was going through numerous medical test to try to find out what was causing a range of visual and nerve related symptoms, then one Friday in October of 2010 she received a diagnosis of MS, the very next day I fell and broke my back (L2 split compression fracture) in a freak household accident, I spent 3 days in the hospital followed by 4 months in a full turtle shell like back brace , had numerous X-rays, CT scans, etc (thankfully I had no nerve damage, it continues to slowly improve, but still my back hurts most days).  In Feb. of 2011 my father lost his fight to the cancer, radiation and chemo got the primary, but it was too late and had spread to his lungs and liver.  While in the hospital with my broken back I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, so a year ago this week in May 2011 I went in to see my doctor to get my blood pressure medication RX renewed, that was when I just happened to mention to him that I had been experiencing some itching in the week or two leading up to the visit.  This of course started the great roller coaster health adventure of the summer, with blood test, ultrasounds, various specialist, MRCP, ERCP, spyglass ERCP, biopsies, drains, a week in the hospital on IV antibiotics, and then the big Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy surgery to remove my bile duct (thankfully benign tumor) and gall bladder with gallstones, and of course the long recovery process afterward.

  There are not words to express the range of emotions I have felt through this whole process, ranging from depression, to hope, to dispair, to joy to be alive and so on.   I guess I am at some type of milepost, a year out from the doctor visit that started the events that dominated my life for so many months, the first three leading up to the big surgery, and the next 3+ getting back to a semi-normal life.  I am now faced with limitations on what I can eat, the good side is it forces me to eat healthier, and I will have to go for checkups and liver tests every 6 months for the rest of my life, sure these are minor compared to what it could have been, but everyday I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop.  If I wake up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach, I wonder if I should go to the emergency room, every time I find myself scratching I wonder if I have an obstruction in my reconstructed duct.  I try to look for the good things, enjoy life, etc. but still there is that nagging feeling in the back of my head, just waiting for the surprise of the year this year.

Anyway thanks for listening, and I am hopeful 2012 will be better than the last few years, or at least will have fewer surprises.

Ike

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Hello, Ike, so good to see you again. Hte to tell you this but what you are feeling it perfectly normal after all you have been through. I know it is hard but try to just take each day at a time and be ever so thankful. I know it's not easy but maybe the following will help:

                                      I asked for strength.
                     God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
                                         I asked for wisdom.
                              God gave me problems to solve.
                                        I asked for prosperity.
                         God gave me brawn and brain to work.
                                         I asked for courage.
                           God gave me dangers to overcome.
                                         I asked for patience.
            God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
                                         I asked for love.
                     God gave me troubled people to help.
                                         I asked for favors.
                               God gave me opportunities.
                               I received nothing I wanted.
                             I received everything I needed.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Ike.. your posting expresses the thoughts of many and presents itself as a great topic for our Dr. Giles.  Please, feel free to contact him, as he is here for us to understand, to help us sort through our emotions, to guide us, and to support us.

It is difficult to feel better about life when having faced so many disappointments.  In order for us to feel protected from expected loss, lack or failure, we have a tendency to look for some type of emotional cushioning. 

There is the danger of self-fulfilling prophecy and as Peter Wastholm quoted: “Always expect the worst, and you will never be disappointed.”

These wildly negative thoughts are difficult to control, and at times the best we can do is to dilute the positive imaging as well as the negative one.  There is no specific formula, Ike, we just try our best.  We try to understand that the feelings within our hearts not always coincide with those of our intellect.  And, we try to understand that, as John Allen Paulos quoted:
“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” 

These all are good words, but putting it in practice is a different matter. But so many of our actions in life we have accepted.  A good example is when we purchasing a life insurance.  Here we prepare for the worst case our family and yet we call it “responsible.”
You had the incredible good fortune of presenting with a “benign” tumor. Fear, I have learned, truly is a state of mind and as time goes on you will also come to understand that your fear of it becoming “malignant” is unwarranted.  But, it takes time, as time truly is our best friend. 

Hugs to you,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Hi Ike,  Sounds like you are on the right track already. You are doing things to heal physically and you recognize your fears. Your fears are understandable but you don't want them to get in the way of enjoying your life. Maybe there is a support group you can join? It's always helpful to get support from people who really understand. Sending lots of hope to you and your wife for a more healthful year! Nancy

Loving my husband from afar.

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Well it is now New Years Eve at the end of 2013, a time for reflection in many ways, and I thought I would revisit this old post.  Overall health is good around here, a few minor issues, but nothing too bad, just a few more daily medications to take, ah the fun of growing older.  The first year after my billary surgery was marked with milestones on abilty to eat this and that, first it was crackers other than saltines, then lightly buttered toast, within 3 months it was 3 or 4 french fries, by 6 months I was able to eat a small slice of pizza if it was not greassy, but would regret it later .  Now I can at least eat a nibble of just about anything I want, even a bit of that bad for me fried food, last week I managed 4 out of 6 chicken nuggets from a fast food place for lunch and last night I even managed a couple of slices of a store bought frozen thin crust cheese pizza.  So for those of you out there that may be going through such surgeries, know that there is a chance that one day not too far away you too might look back on those days when a Club cracker was too greassy to imagine eating as just a long bygone memory.  My mobility recovering from my broken back keeps getting better every month as well, now over 3 years out there are plenty of landmarks, although I still have  a ways to go, and can easily over do it.  There  those little things to appreciate, like being able to chase a paper caught in the wind across a parking lot and actually catch it, or  the first day I was able to sit up in bed without complicated bracing and lifting.  Still it is easy to over do as I did just last weekend with a 4 hour ride in a cramped car with poor back support which resulted in being barely able to get out of bed the next morning.  Well I guess I am rambling a bit, so I will close wishing everyone a good New Year.

Ike

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Hi Ike! I am happy that you are slowly but surely getting better. Please don't take any more 4 hour car rides in a cramped car with bad support!! Wishing you a wonderful 2014!!

-Pam

My beautiful daughter, Lauren Patrice, will live on in my heart forever.

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based on my experience as a caretaker for my daughter, Lauren and from reading anything I can get my hands on about Cholangiocarcinoma. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Ike! Good to see your smiling face and so happy that you checked in with us. I am glad that everything is looking upward even though it is taking time. I wish for your progress to continue and also wish for you a HAPPY and HEALTHIER NEW YEAR!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Ike,
Reading your old post and then today's really shows how far you've come! It seemed like you had PTSD like symptoms after so many scary surprises 3 years ago.. No wonder!  You're sounding so much better and managing the back problem with experience (like knowing what to avoid).
Here is to a wonderful 2014!
Willow

Willow

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Ike.....thank you for checking in with us.  Your kind words are very much appreciated.  May the year of 2014 reward you with continuous healing.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Waiting for another shoe to drop....

Ike,

Thanks for the update.  It's good to hear that you are improving every day.  Hoping it continues in 2014.  Happy New Year.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.