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Having a Bad Day?

rickydrickyd Posts: 19 ✭✭

VE75 was not a good day for me. I didn’t attend any of the celebrations. I didn’t want to be near people. I didn’t want to talk to people. I was having a ‘down’ day. I just wanted to be left alone to wallow in my own misery.

It was one of those days where everything came in on me. All the usual aches and pains that I normally handled without any fuss just ganged up on me and I wondered where all this was heading. After having 6 cycles of Docetaxel ending in October last year, I had thought that, by now, I would be far more physically able than I am. However, it appears that most of my pain and lack of physical ability is now caused by the ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) which is now my only defence against my stage 4 prostate cancer. ADT is all I have, and I will be on it for the rest of my life. It is ironic that the very thing that is keeping me alive is the very same thing that is stopping me from enjoying the time I have left.

I visit a couple of other cancer groups and some people there are always referring to themselves as warriors who are fighting this battle against the scourge of cancer. I don’t see it that way. This is not some computer game where you get to be revived if you are killed. One strike and you’re out! On the other hand, there are others who sent a whole range of images to somebody who is really suffering and they do this rather than give the comfort of a few words of support.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am not looking for sympathy. I can deal with it all today. I am not in despair. The floods of tears shed at the slightest sign of somebody else’s distress have dried. Today is another day and there will be one tomorrow and another after that. I have moved on and will keep moving.

I am posting this to let anybody else who might be having their own bad day to know that you are not alone. It happens to us all. It is OK for you to shut yourself off for a while and have a little wallow in self-pity. Be selfish. Do what YOU want. You can’t keep putting on a happy face if you don’t feel it. Give the “I’m alright, don’t worry about me” a rest for a short while.

But, don’t drag it out. You only get one day. Then you must get back up and get on with living your life the best way you can.

WHAT ELSE IS THERE? 

Comments

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 336 Community Admin

    Good afternoon @rickyd,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your post. Such a good timing for me to read this. I had a really bad morning today, struggling with my anxiety. I logged in to the Community and this was the first thing I saw.

    It lifted my spirits. ❤️

    Best,

    Blanka x

  • rickydrickyd Posts: 19 ✭✭

    Hey Blanka

    I'm glad it helped you. I actually felt better after writing it, so we both got something out of it.Tomorrow is another day and hopefully, you will feel a lot better.

    Take care

    Rick x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,162 Community Admin
    edited May 11

    @rickyd @peter63 @Blanka_C

    Hi Rick

    I am sorry to hear that VE Day was such a bad one for you and I hope you are feeling a little better today.

    I agree with you. We cannot battle cancer as if we are superheroes who can somehow go beyond what surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and medicines do for us. Being told to keep fighting when we are feeling weak or having a bad day isn’t usually what we need. We just need understanding and support.

    Like you, I am dealing with the side effects of ADT and have been since 2016. I was not really prepared at first as I was merely told that I would gain weight. I did not know then that the treatment has its own long list of side effects including fatigue, loss of muscle mass, weight gain, hot flushes, loss of libido, impotence, osteoporosis and depression. Of all of these, tiredness and depression were the most difficult to cope with for me. I had not experienced either before and I just did not know what was happening and neither did my family and friends. There were no obvious visible signs that I was different from before cancer, but I could not concentrate, make decisions, do heavy physical work or generally function in the way I was used to doing. My wife Mary and friends were not sympathetic at first, but following meetings with my consultant and counsellor Mary realised that I could not go back to the person I had been and her support since then has been amazing. At one point two years ago, I had got so low that I told my doctor that I would not accept any more treatment. Fortunately, he contacted my consultant who rang me up and told me that I would be risking my life if I stopped and so I reluctantly agreed to carry on.

    I manage a lot better now but like you, I still have bad days both physically and mentally and I no longer pretend otherwise, I just tell it as it is.

    You are right. We can have bad days and in this community, we know we are not alone. That is good to know.

    Rob

  • rickydrickyd Posts: 19 ✭✭

    Hi Rob,

    So sorry to hear that your reactions to ADT made you consider stopping treatment. That's never a good move. When I was first prescribed ADT (Zoladex), I don't recall anybody going into detail about side effects. All that was said was that I would be on it for life. To be fair, apart from the hot flushes, and a certain degree of tiredness, it wasn't a real problem. I have now been on it for a year and I think it must be a cumulative thing because my muscle/arthritic pain didn't really kick in until a couple of months ago. Maybe its a result of Testosterone being virtually eliminated, maybe is because of muscle depletion, or even that chemotherapy has given my body a hell of a shock. I really don't know. My consultant doesn't seem to want to go into a great detail about side effects of my treatment.

    I guess part of the problem is that prostate cancer affects us all differently and therefore there is no right or wrong way when dealing with it. One thing I do know though, is that it takes a terrible toll on our families who have to stand by and watch us go through it. It is very hard on them, particularly when we have a bad day and shut ourselves off from them. I am forever grateful that my wife cares for me the way she does and knows when to leave me to it.

    Take care and stay safe

    Rick

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,162 Community Admin

    @rickyd

    Hi Rick

    Yes, I am sure that there is a cumulative effect relating to the absence of testosterone. On the plus side, as I mentioned before, I cope much better now after a very difficult first year or so. With experience, counselling, diet and light exercise, I now have a good grasp of what I can and can't do. Mary and I have accepted that and I think it has really helped us to enjoy life and make the most of the extra time ADT has given me. I am sure you will find that too.

    All the best

    Rob

  • LizzyB73LizzyB73 Posts: 109 Oncology Specialist Nurse

    Hi @rickyd

    I hope today is a better day for you.

    Life is very alien at the moment and coupled with your ADT treatment which takes a toll on the male body just adds to everything.

    Please make contact if you need a time to chat or off load

    best wishes

    Liz 🌼

    Liz Bradley
    Oncology Specialist Nurse | Oncology Service Manager @ Springfield Hospital
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