Some of you may have felt that my last column was insensitive. In that essay, I was suggesting that you might not have cancer that needed treatment, and so I didn’t pay attention to the very real fears that you have – whether or not you were seriously ill.
But I do take cancer seriously. Having had it twice, I know how bad the midnight anxiety can be;
I know that the mere word itself can send shivers through the bravest man. So let me devote a few words to those fears. Let me name some of them:
• I’m going to die.
• I’m going to be impotent.
• My wife (partner) is going to leave me.
• I’m going to be incontinent.
• I’m going to be in pain.
I’ve felt all of these fears – and more. And I’ve learned how to deal with them – at least partially.
As I suggested in last week’s essay, the first thing to do is to get a firm grip on the facts . Do you have cancer or just an elevated PSA ? Is it a serious enough cancer that you need treatment? If so, what kind of treatment do you need?
Being a middle-age woman can really mess with your life 24/7. Lately, I’ve been waking up around 2 a.m. and have had difficulty going back to sleep. Sometimes it’s due to night sweats, although most times it’s because I have too much on my mind and I can’t seem to find the “off” switch for my brain. I’ve been tossing and turning for up to 1-1/2 hours before I can get back to sleep.
This restlessness is especially scary when you learn that a new study has found that less than six hours of sleep at night on a regular basis may lead to premature death . A research team led by Dr. Francesco Cappuccio of the University of Warwick reviewed 16 studies that involved more than 1.3 million participants around the globe who were followed for up to 25 years. Cappuccio’s team discovered that sleeping less than six hours a night was associated with a greater risk of death in comparison with those participants who slept 6-8 hours per night. The re...
The first time I remember having a Migraine attack was when I was six-years-old. At the time, I didn’t realize what it was. There were these spots floating around in my vision that I couldn’t see through. Then my head started hurting so badly that I began crying. Crying just made it worse. It was a summer day, and the light coming through the window in my bedroom hurt my eyes, so I closed the curtains and buried my face in my pillow. I couldn’t stay that way long because I needed to vomit. My father brought a large bowl from the kitchen so I didn’t have to get up. Vividly, I remember him wiping my face with a cold cloth and gently rubbing my back until I fell asleep. My mother had these “headaches,” too. At the age of six, I didn’t really understand them, but I knew my mother would sometimes be in bed with her headaches for days. My parents have told me that the pediatrician said I was “high-strung” and had Migraines li...
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