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Old 05-15-2015, 05:30 PM
  # 241 (permalink)  
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That's great news about your sister, EndGame - and good news about your near normalness too.

you mentioned a process before and that's exactly what all this is - a process - and it's hard to get perspective sometimes about something when you're in it.

I think you're doing great though

D
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:31 PM
  # 242 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
I was attempting to respond to each of you individually last night, and then had to stop myself, realizing that, though I got a great deal out of doing so for myself, I was again trying to do something that was creating additional stress, as per many of your comments. So I'll address all of you and your comments here and now.
Well, I'd sure say you're learning from your experience. Recognizing when you're over-doing it is NOT at all easy, so to see you post this shows that you're definitely getting something out of all of this.

I'm glad to hear that your sister is doing better. I hope your back heals up soon as well! Hopefully a weekend of relaxing can help with that.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:19 AM
  # 243 (permalink)  
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Hi there.

I missed all the posts here in the last couple days. Glad to hear that Mary Ann is going strong and that your are on the mend. Of course it's a process; I also don't believe that most of us just recover from emotional traumas overnight, or magically. What can (and often does) happen is that we are suppressing the feelings in order to survive and go on living in the moment (or keep on drinking, those were great note from Dee and Venecia)... But what's beyond that sort of "coping" usually comes back later, sometimes in the least wanted context. Much better to deal with it truly. If you feel that getting lots of assistance is what can help you most effectively, then do it!

Hope you are indeed having a relaxing weekend
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Old 05-17-2015, 03:12 PM
  # 244 (permalink)  
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Yes, haennie, I've been able to relax and enjoy myself.

My seminar/class yesterday was outstanding. As in many other things, when you work on the basics in martial arts, a lot of other things fall into place, as long as you're willing to work at it.

Later on in the day, Mary Ann and I ate outdoors at a seafood place situated at the end of an inlet. She had a lobster roll, and I had crab cakes. Today I'm simply relaxing and preparing for what's to come during the week. But mostly just relaxing.

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:34 AM
  # 245 (permalink)  
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Well EG

Going into Tuesday, hope all the dust has settled and you have returned to 'normal' once again. Glad you and sis are able to get out and enjoy lunch under the sun. Hope you week improves as you go.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:51 AM
  # 246 (permalink)  
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Hi EndGame, I've been away from SR for a bit, so just saw this thread and wanted to say I'm so glad for good news for your sister. You've responded to some of my threads with so much insight and I've always valued when you took time out to write to me.

Hope all is well.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:37 AM
  # 247 (permalink)  
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I wish I lived in NYC so you could be my counselor Hope you both have a great week!
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:27 AM
  # 248 (permalink)  
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Mary Ann continues to be as well as can be expected. She continues to be very active, and gets a lot done between four and eleven AM. Later on in the day and evening, she's in and out of sleep while watching TV (something she rarely did in the past) and sitting at her iMac.

She's been on short-term disability, and will begin LT disability in September. No thoughts at all about going back to work, which I think is a good thing. If all goes well, she can think about that if she wants at some later date. And if she does return to work, she'll likely get involved in something that she loves. She's acquired a range of skills and competencies during her life and, given her quietly strong personality, has much to offer. She might even start up her own business, but that's for another time. Or she may just travel.

She's had a huge appetite since her surgery in the beginning of March, and I'm the beneficiary of her trips to the bakery, restaurants and grocery stores. I thought I'd gained weight during the winter, when I typically don't eat as well as I normally do. I went yesterday to buy summer clothes for work (the summers can be brutal in the city), and discovered that my waist is actually smaller than when I went last summer to buy fall clothing. Must be all the working out.

So the pattern that's emerged for me goes something like this...I start work very early in the morning and am finished late in the evening from Tues. to Thurs. This is a significant change for me, and it's naturally taking time for me to adjust. The days are long, but the weeks are flying by. I'm fatigued and tired for those three days, until I'm up again on Friday mornings. I'm still not working from Fri. to Sun. (I planned it this way from the beginning, and I'm unwilling to let go of it), so there's that.

Beginning in about three weeks, I'll only be working early mornings until September, at which time I'll be able to arrange a more serviceable schedule. I've been doing very well since I got back to working in September of 2013 and, as a result, I've been getting some positive attention, usually in the form of job offers and/or offers to increase my hours where I'm working.

I also started napping when I'm tired, something I haven't done in at least fifteen years. I don't fall asleep naturally at night, but I nap when it's difficult to keep my eyes open. A good nap seems better than some nights when I sleep for hours.

Thanks again to all of you for your support. IRL, people who know about Mary Ann don't seem to know how to talk to me or otherwise engage me (with a couple of notable exceptions), and that's fine. I'm used to carrying the conversation when need be, and I truly don't want or need to talk about this all the time.

I've also experienced mood swings when reading many of the comments here. I wish people who are so reluctant to put down the drink could know, truly know, what they're missing; how precious a single life is, that we can never get back the time we sacrifice to our drinking, that meaning and purpose in life can only be had after we put down the drink. This makes me sad and frustrated. At other times, what I see are people whose suffering takes them far beyond despair, who don't even trust their own thinking, and who struggle to find a way to trust people who've been where they've been. Either way, it's just more heartbreak.

Oh yeah...no cravings here, no thought of drinking. This is now more out of habit and lifestyle than about any obligation to myself or to other people. If I'm going to suffer in life, I'd much prefer that I do it sober.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:57 AM
  # 249 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
I've also experienced mood swings when reading many of the comments here. I wish people who are so reluctant to put down the drink could know, truly know, what they're missing; how precious a single life is, that we can never get back the time we sacrifice to our drinking, that meaning and purpose in life can only be had after we put down the drink. This makes me sad and frustrated. At other times, what I see are people whose suffering takes them far beyond despair, who don't even trust their own thinking, and who struggle to find a way to trust people who've been where they've been. Either way, it's just more heartbreak.
You betcha. Nicely said. I'm glad you & your sister enjoyed that seafood lunch. City Island?
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:33 PM
  # 250 (permalink)  
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Glad to hear Mary Ann is doing well.
Take care EndGame , proud of you for not drinking.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:44 PM
  # 251 (permalink)  
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Hi, EndGame,

Thank you for the update on Mary Ann. It's good to hear that she is doing well -- and that she is looking at some long-term options and maybe alternatives to returning to her work. The way you described it, I got the impression that she is one of those super-competent people, but also in a job that requires an awful lot from her.

Chances are, I've said this before but it bears repeating: It's good she has you, her devoted brother, in her corner.

Napping? Sounds good. Getting skinnier? Hmmm. I've wondered what it's like to walk a mile in your shoes these days. Being a devoted brother is honorable. And, I'm sure, every bit as emotionally exhausting as we can imagine. Damn cancer. I'm thinking there must be time when you're wondering whether this period is a "honeymoon" break from it. Or if Mary Ann is going to come out of this on the survivor list. (Of course, we're all rooting for the latter.)

That's a weird limbo. No answers, but lots of hope. Please be very good to yourself. The way you have described yourself makes me feel you're very self-aware and I'm glad to read that there are no thoughts of drinking. But the total you needs care, too. (And the sadness and frustration you noted is wholly understandable, especially against the backdrop of your life since Mary Ann's diagnosis. You're also not alone there.)

We'll be here for you to help in whatever way we can offer. Heavens knows, if we could be there for coffee and hugs IRL, the SR community would set up residency in Starbucks and you'd start to feel like a human teddy bear. (PaddingtonNYC?)

There is grace in your presence here. Thank you.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:06 PM
  # 252 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Della1968 View Post
I wish I lived in NYC so you could be my counselor Hope you both have a great week!
I saw this earlier, Della, but neglected to respond.

All I have to say is, be careful what you wish for.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:07 PM
  # 253 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by courage2 View Post
You betcha. Nicely said. I'm glad you & your sister enjoyed that seafood lunch. City Island?
Thanks, courage.

It was Island Park, in Long Island.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:09 PM
  # 254 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by aussieblue View Post
Glad to hear Mary Ann is doing well.
Take care EndGame , proud of you for not drinking.
Thanks, Aussie. I'm not at all complacent about my affliction, but I'd be truly shocked were I to drink again.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:10 PM
  # 255 (permalink)  
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Thank you, Venecia.

I've had a great deal of difficulty when it comes to crying since I've been on SSRIs, but I came very close while reading this.

Originally Posted by Venecia View Post
Hi, EndGame,

Thank you for the update on Mary Ann. It's good to hear that she is doing well -- and that she is looking at some long-term options and maybe alternatives to returning to her work. The way you described it, I got the impression that she is one of those super-competent people, but also in a job that requires an awful lot from her.

Chances are, I've said this before but it bears repeating: It's good she has you, her devoted brother, in her corner.

Napping? Sounds good. Getting skinnier? Hmmm. I've wondered what it's like to walk a mile in your shoes these days. Being a devoted brother is honorable. And, I'm sure, every bit as emotionally exhausting as we can imagine. Damn cancer. I'm thinking there must be time when you're wondering whether this period is a "honeymoon" break from it. Or if Mary Ann is going to come out of this on the survivor list. (Of course, we're all rooting for the latter.)

That's a weird limbo. No answers, but lots of hope. Please be very good to yourself. The way you have described yourself makes me feel you're very self-aware and I'm glad to read that there are no thoughts of drinking. But the total you needs care, too. (And the sadness and frustration you noted is wholly understandable, especially against the backdrop of your life since Mary Ann's diagnosis. You're also not alone there.)

We'll be here for you to help in whatever way we can offer. Heavens knows, if we could be there for coffee and hugs IRL, the SR community would set up residency in Starbucks and you'd start to feel like a human teddy bear. (PaddingtonNYC?)

There is grace in your presence here. Thank you.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:17 PM
  # 256 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
I saw this earlier, Della, but neglected to respond.

All I have to say is, be careful what you wish for.
I do not expect to always be responded to

And V is correct there is definite grace in your presence. You are very calming. I am so glad your sister has that.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:31 PM
  # 257 (permalink)  
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Thank you, Della.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:14 PM
  # 258 (permalink)  
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Good news!

My sister went to see her medical oncologist today, the guy who coordinates with her neurologist and all other staff working on her case. On her last visit, she was told that nothing had changed, and that was a good thing. Today, he basically told her that the cancer in her lung has all but cleared, that the tumor on her adrenal glands has shrunk dramatically, and that there are no longer signs of cancer in her brain. She texted me earlier today to let me know, but I came out to see her and she's ecstatic. I don't go for guarded optimism, nor do I expect the worst in order to avoid feeling let down. I'd rather relish the moment. Disappointment is disappointment, so I'm ecstatic too.

She said she intentionally wore no makeup today...that either good news or bad news would make her cry. Her doctor started out by saying, "Before we start...," and then she burst into tears. He couldn't contain his feelings, and his broad smile told her everything she needed to know. She said she was crying on and off for about four hours today. You can only imagine her relief. She hadn't told me or anyone else prior to today, but she was told in the beginning of her treatment that the most optimistic prognosis was for her to live another twelve months. That would have meant some time next March if everything went well.

She was told today, for the first time, that the toxicity of her chemotherapy most certainly would have started breaking her down and affecting her internal organs at some point. To date, the only problem she has following chemo is being very tired. Her doctor told her that she has an extremely powerful immune system, and that all internal organs are in perfect working order, one of the reasons why treatment is working so well. They've now decreased her treatment sessions, and have eliminated the more aggressive, more toxic chemotherapy.

My sister's been telling me lately that I've been looking very tired a lot of the time. Why would I tell her that this is wearing on me? That's between my therapist and me. So my relief is exquisite as well. And not even a single thought of drinking along the way. Mary Ann described for me today what it's like knowing you're going to die in about a year, every single day, and then being told that she's headed in the right direction, and that all her doctors are startled by her progress. Of course I didn't tell her that there was a time when I wished and hoped for the anticipated release from my suffering that death would bring.

I don't know what else to say, or that there is anything else to say. As is true of so many others here, I've genuinely benefited from the tremendous support here on SR, both giving and receiving. And I can never thank you all enough for that.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:20 PM
  # 259 (permalink)  
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That is remarkable news EndGame!

I'm so pleased to hear it for MaryAnn and for you
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:47 PM
  # 260 (permalink)  
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How wonderful!!!
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