Sunday, 16 August 2009

a disaster averted…

yay for me. this week I was heading for another of those 'chaos' attacks. You know when you just want to scream, cry, smash stuff, and generally behave like a maniac? well. Maybe you don't. Maybe you do. Whatever.

What happens is this. I wake up one morning feeling odd. My skin is itchy and doesn't fit. My brain is all over the place. My legs jump. I sleep even less than usual [this is bad, as I am an insomniac since chemo anyway]. Over the next few days, odd becomes 'agitated'. Agitated becomes fraught, and fraught becomes extremely stressed. And the worst thing is – I don't know WHY. Plus I am exhausted with it.

I've had four of those attacks [I will call them 'attacks', as that's what it feels like – I am being attacked by my own brain] since the chemo. I have felt dreadful after each one, as every time, I behave badly, and basically abuse [this is hard to admit] my beloved husband. He takes all the grief for everything & anything that is upsetting me. It's not physical abuse – it's verbal – and it's not good. And he just accepts it and deals with it and saves me every time. His feelings must be hurt, but he allows me a huge latitude since I had cancer. He forgives me everything and anything. He is there to hug me better, no matter what I say or do. You can't ask more than that.

But this is not fair, and not right.  And after the last one I decided this is 'enough'. I can't stand it any more. If I am going to batter someone, it definitely should NOT be my husband. He is the best support I have. What is wrong with me? I had to find a way to deal with this. And, yay, I have. [no, I didn't go and murder my neighbours...although I would probably be forgiven if I did!].

Well. Nothing is wrong with me at any rate. Apparently this is a 'norm' for cancer patients [gosh, we learn something every day eh? It's called 'cancer brain' – FFS!! isn't chemo brain quite enough?!]. And I get out of control. I get so frightened I can't think. I don't even know what is frightening me. I have no idea why I have these stupid 'moments' [isn't that cute? I'm having a 'moment', get away or I might kill you type thing – hmm…'moment' is probably a misnomer].

But, I just managed to hang on this time. Through sheer force of will I sat and watched a film [it was crap]. I drank lots of water. I went to bed early. I didn't get into the wine at all – I read my book [which is also crap by the way]. And I woke up this morning feeling great. The thing is, I am not sure why. Is it because I managed to control the 'attack' or is it because I didn't HAVE an attack?

Does it matter? No. What matters is that I know because I managed to control myself this time, there won't be a next time. Which means I am in control of one more thing. Which means I am one step closer to normality.

What IS normality after having had cancer?? Who knows. But it certainly isn't the norm I was used to before I had it. It's different. And it's new. I hate change so for me this is hard. But at least now I know I can cope with myself. A good start right?


  1. Your method of dealing with this was wise. Withdraw and rest, whether it be in a book or in front of a movie. I used to do this pre-chemo...years ago...and I found that withdrawing to aloneness worked. It felt like an anxiety attack but it may have been PTSD due to something that happened earlier in my life. Either way, the brain is under stress...give it quiet time. Bless you.

  2. Thank you. I must admit, I don't feel very wise ;o) but it worked. Phew! Sigh of relief - lets hope I can keep it up!

  3. Awww you poor thing. I'm with Whitestone on this one, i get the same thing happening to me but blamed it on The Menopause!

    I go out with the dogs for a long walk or just set off alone into town or somewhere.
    I'm often found making weird things in the kitchen out of odds and ends that are lurking in the cupboards too ( weird eh?)
    It's good that AJ understands and i'm sure you'll keep it all together xxx

  4. Thanks for sharing that ... this is a terribly difficult journey. We deal with it the best we can ... sometimes, I know I don't do so good.

  5. I actually wasn't going to post this - now I'm glad I did. Nice to know it's not just me, and glad that you all know it's not just you ;o)

    thanks girls

  6. You're not alone, the issues that we're left with as a parting gift come in all shapes and sizes. And you're right, who knows what normal is...

    BTW-I think the hubby's/boyfriends need their own blog, it would be really funny...actuall I think I'll blog about that next:)

  7. I don't think that being in control is all that normal. After cancer, are we ever in control, really?
    It sounds very stressful and like anxiety. I know I'd take a pill. Sometimes you can't will this crap away. You have to pill it away.


  8. lol POD! If I started on pills, heaven knows what would happen! Going to start Pilates soon - try to get a more 'Zenny' head. I will update on progress.
    But I really think I might have cracked it yay.


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