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Yes, I'm whining!!


Debi

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I apologize ahead of time for the length and pointlessness of this post! :)

I woke up yesterday in extreme pain all over my right side..it felt like it must've felt when I first came home but I had the GOOD pain meds then!! I have very mild pain pills now and they are just not touching this pain. The pain is still there now but it seems to be improved since yesterday, so I won't worry...I had told myself if there was no improvement I would have to do something. I felt like I was on fire and had these stabbing pains all day, could hardly walk or breathe. I'm not sure what caused my "relapse" but I do have a few ideas. I think I pushed a little too much this weekend and overdid it..I also wore a sports bra for about an hour and I think I damn near killed myself!! Imagine those headlines!!! :lol: Anyway, my surgeon being 4 hours away doesn't exactly make things easy, its not like I can pop into his office to see him!

I guess I'm really starting to understand the scope of what this surgery has done to my body. At this point, I'm basically useless. It's been a month, and I am more mobile and can breathe so much better...but I am nowhere near normal. I'm sure the day will come when I am close to my normal self, but its not here nor is it around the corner. I had applied for that job that I wanted and the manager made me a great offer which I ended up accepting on Friday because I didn't have to start work till October there. Well, he called back and left a message that he wants me to start next week; I have put off calling him for 2 days now and have to definitely call him today. There is no way I can take the job and start next week; so I have to turn the job down. It's depressing that I am going to have to end up going back to work at my old job but I can't ignore the fact that I am not ready to work at this other job; the timing is just not there. Meanwhile, I've just committed professional suicide since I already told this place I would take the job...now its going to look wonderful backing out. I have no idea of what excuse to use; am thinking of telling the truth, have wanted to all along but know that it would guarantee me never getting the job.

I also don't know what to do about an oncologist. My surgeon said that when I see my Pulmonary Specialist in August, he will most likely refer me to one. Since they are 4 hours away, the Oncologist also will most likely be 4 hours away and I am not doing that. We do have Oncologists here in town and I am wondering if I should just call my regular doctor here and have him refer me to one now. When I was at the hospital, they didn't do any scans or anything and the more I read on this Board, the more nervous I get. Should I wait till August, get my records from Tulsa and then see an Oncologist or should I see one now? DO they suggest a wait after surgery before seeing one? Would appreciate if anyone knows.

I still havent seen any disability checks although according to their touch tone menu, I have been approved for 3 weeks now. This is pissing me off. Obviously, if I am not at work, I need the damn money...why do these people sit on their hands?? I call every 3 days or so and of course, my case worker is never there. Today I found out that it was mailed out the other day but I also found out that my disability had an end date of July 14th so I have to reactivate it. More BS!! My check is for 3 weeks and is a whopping $411. :shock: I didn't realize they took taxes out of my $170 a week. Being sick is so fabulous!!! Oh, and I also got a letter today from the IRS who wants to audit my 2001 tax return!!

Well, sorry for the rambling post that actually says nothing! I'm just slightly depressed with the speed of my recovery and this "relapse" hasn't helped any; its just reminded me of my current limitations. I want to drive up to visit my daughter who lives 3 hours north of me but am afraid to commit myself because I'm not sure I can sleep with any comfort in my grandson's bed. My sister is coming to see me August 8th..I haven't seen her in 5 years..and she booked a hotel room in Ft. Worth so that when I pick her up from the airport we can go out and "do the town". That's only 3 weeks away and I'm not sure I will be able to "do the town". Every day that I'm home is frustrating because there is so much I could be doing here, painting, heavy cleaning, etc and I'm unable to. I'm one of those type A personalities..or whichever one it is that is constantly moving and this is so difficult. Its just so hard to get used to not being me. This recovery is so damn slow!!!

Debi

Age 46

NSCLC-Stage 1a

Surgery June 16, 2003- upper and mid lobe removed, right lung

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HI Debi, Hang in there, it gets better. I know for myself my surgeon wanted me to wait at least six weeks after surgery before I started radiation, not sure if it is the same with chemo.

My body lets me know when I've done too much, with either pain or fatique so I have to pace myself. You have had a major surgery and it is probably going to take time to heal so you can get back to being your old self(not that 46 is old).

Come here and complain, air it out it helps me. Hope to see you in chat tonight.

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Gosh Debi----- :(:(:(:(

I know how frustrated you must feel-----first off, if the job said you would start in October, would it be a problem to say that because that was your impression, you cannot start that early due to other plans---do they know you are not working? You could say you need a little extra time to train someone? If you really feel you will lose it, perhaps you can say you cannot accept due to the start date but would love to reapply at a later date? I agree , I would not say I had lung cancer---people with little knowledge will assume you will be out sick alot---(even though I have had only 2 sick days this year from a cold) However, if I was the employer, I would have thought the same thing prior to my lung-cancer knowledge and not have hired someone ---(very sad but mostly true)

cannot help you with the Dr. part----I only went to an onc once for a consultation---I still see my wonderful surgeon and he prescribes the scans---he is great----so far have not had a pulmonary Dr.

I remember now, how depressed I was several weeks after the operation----I thought I should be my old self---Reality hits when you realize you cannot (now anyway) do the same things you did----I remember crying daily (I totally forgot about that)--then I realized how very lucky I was and it put it all into perspective for me (The onc said to me "you are very lucky", I obnoxiously replied that I did not feel very lucky---then I saw a very young woman in the office with all her hair gone)

The money worries also are a strain---it is not easy to heal when you are worried about bills----are you able to take out a loan? I know people say don't worry about money, but I did not want to lose my house and live in a tent

hope you feel better soon

Regards Eileen

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Sweetie, been there myself. Doctors tell you you have a great prognosis, so why do I feel so crummy! That's where the zoloft helps, with an ativan chaser.

I did not have chemo, but see an oncologist because of the breast cancers too. Can you make the trip for a consultation? I saw mine every 2-3 months for the first two years. They apparently are a very critical time for us.

I had chemo with the breast, and chose for oncology what I call "the local yokels". I will not set foot in their office again.

Keep whining and sharing-----that's why we're here.

gail

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Two things strike me from your post. First, kill the pain. My wife's onc said when we first visited him that taking care of the pain is the primary goal. So find a med that works. Second, get the name of a local onc right away and go see him or her. You need the best treatment you can get at hand. Good luck. Don

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Thanks all...as always your replies help!

I dealt with the new job dilemna finally...lied through my teeth and will probably go straight to hell but the guy actually told me to call him the end of August and hopefully he will have something available for me. So that sort of worked out...he could have just thanked me and hung up..he didn't have to ask me to call him when I was ready to work.

Don..thanks for the advice. I tried calling my surgeon for stronger pain meds but he will not give me anything else. Doesn't help that I was upfront with him and told him that I'm a recovering addict and alcoholic.. he probably thinks I want the pain meds just to take them. I actually am quite the opposite...after not taking anything for 21 years, I hate to take something. However, this pain has been a bit over the top and the darvocid he gave me isn't touching it so I dont even bother taking it..no sense. Does anyone know anything over the counter that works for pain?

My surgeon had told me from the start that he doesn't like to prescribe anything after 3 weeks post op.. he feels that the pains are "phantom" pains from nerve damage etc and pain meds are unnecessary. Easy for his butt to say!!!!

I think as far as the Oncologist, I am going to get a name from my GP here and line one up for the same week (first week of August) that I see the surgeon and Pulmonary guy. That way I can see them, get my records and then see the Onc. Even though this is a small town, there are Oncologists that come down from OKC once a week and practice here so I feel a bit safer where they are concerned. According to both the Surgeon and Pulmonary guy, I will not be needing follow up chemo or anything. In fact, according to them, I am deemed "cured" at the current time. As much as this board is so supportive and I wouldn't not come here for anything, in some ways it has made me neurotic. I guess thats where that old saying "Ignorance is Bliss" stems from... if I never came here and saw the stories and the reoccurences, I would probably be a happy camper right now. Then again, I wouldn't have the support that I do, or be able to get the answers I need. And its better to be informed than not be...I just have to find a happy medium and balance my life. I need to learn how to be vigiliant but not neurotic. Good luck to me!! :lol:

Gail & Eileen...you guys are my heroes...I swear. You always say something that I can identify with. I have been crying almost every night lately...I hadnt cried for a long time and now anything sets me off. Even just hugging my 4 year old son will make me cry. He will come up to me when he sees I'm in pain and hold my hand to give me his "magical touch" because when I came home from the hospital I used to ask him for his "magical touch" to make me feel better. So even that brings me to tears. God, I HATE being this weepy!!! :roll: But I'm glad its just not me and that this seems to be almost "normal". Thanks for your answers!

David..will try to make it to chat..I have to watch my reality shows though..those people are more screwed up than I am!!!! :wink:

Debi

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Dear Debi,

Oh, boy what a post. I thought I was the only one in the world with work,money, problems. I feel so bad for you :cry: But on the up side, this other job in August may just pan out at just the right time. Maybe the Man Upstairs thinks you're not ready just yet for a move? As for pain, the sooner it ends the better for you. Don't worry about addiction, YOUR PAIN IS GENUINE and needs treatment IMMEDIATELY. What a battle!But it will sort itself out eventually. If you read my posts under Financial, you'll see you're not alone. But with a little faith, you'll make it thru a little bit at a time. I really hope your pain stops soon and you get the financial relief YOU SO RICHLY DESERVE. Try to smile, ok? Hugs.

Joanie

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Debi,

I cannot offer you any advice since my husband has the lung cancer and isn't eligible for surgery. I DO want to tell you I admire your courage. Seems like you made quite an impression at the job interview and I'll bet they will have something for you when you are able to work again.

I think you are expecting an awful lot from yourself. And excuse me for saying something about your sister - but she is expecting too too much of you. You have just been through life threatening surgery. I'm glad she is coming to see you but it should not be for her entertainment on the town.

Just my 2 cents.

Blessings to you,

Peg

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Thanks Joan & Peg. To tell you the truth Peg, I do feel a little put out with my sister wanting to spend her first night here in the city. After my little "relapse" this week, I know not to force myself to do anything. If I am not feeling up to it when she comes, I intend to just stay in the hotel room...maybe do dinner. Guess I'll just play it by ear!

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For me, Motrin helped as much as the narcotic pain killers. Motrin is the same (according to my doctor) as Ibuprofin that they sent me home with. Instead of 1 pill (600mg) two or three times a day that was the prescription one, I took 2 pills of 200-250mg a day as needed and following the bottle directions. It really helped because it is to help muscles.

Hope you feel better. I, too, was very depressed for a while but it will lessen. Glad about your job outlook.

Sandy

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Debi, take things slow...the more you allow yourself time to get back to "being yourself" the more of a chance you give yourself for that to happen. And as far as your sisters visit, you just had a major surgery not too long ago, maybe instead of going out and "painting the town red" she could help you out by 'painting your place'. You said you have alot of work to do, maybe she could give you a hand. Whatever you do, listen to your body, rest when you need to and try not to overdue it-or else you might set yourself back again.

Sorry about the pain meds. Maybe your primary care physician could help out with some type of pain management?

I hope all goes well with your new job offer, and that you are feeling up to the new challange when you need to. But if you can't, just remember that when a door closes, somewhere a window opens.

I love reading your posts, you have a great sense of humor and I enjoyed chatting with you a few weeks ago during the chat session. Long island is the same as usual...a deli/laundrymat/pizza place in every shopping center, and you still can't beat the bagels and pizza!!!

Please take care of yourself, Debi-enjoy your sisters visit, and keep us posted!!! Deb(i) too!

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Hello Debi -

Forget the bra...No matter the construction of it, the dern thing will rub on your incision and make you miserable. It's been 2 years since I wore one of them, and now I wonder why I ever started to in the first place. ...back in 1951... Of course, now my husband has to get onto his knees to "see my puppies."

I can hear your frustration with the "new you." But, the "old you" is still there, you just have to work "all of you" a little differently. Water has a way of finding its own level. Listen to your body, it will tell you what you can and cannot do, but its ok to challenge it, too!

Jobs...because of insurance coverage, you gotta tell the truth to your prospective employers...but I think (not sure of this) that it is discriminatory to not hire a person because of being a cancer survivor.

HOpe you took your sister up on doing the town...the new you will just have to take a little longer to oogle and doogle...and who knows, slowing down a bit may be just the thing that was needed to enjoy something really special.....onward! Ellen Lilja

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Sandy...thanks for the advice on the motrin, I did pick some up but right now the pain is manageable...will keep them for when its not!!

Deb...thanks for the reply. I enjoyed talking to you too and you know I enjoy reading your posts..not sure if its the name or the LI thing! :D Anyway, please don't mention bagels or pizza again in your posts, ok? 8)

Ellen...thanks for shooting straight from the hip!! :D I guess I'll start thinking layers when it comes to clothes!!!

Debi

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Guest marciaatl

Just a quick note on the legal issue. It is absolutely a violation of federal law for a prospective employer to even ASK about whether an applicant has a medical disability. And if you can prove (not always so easy) that you were rejected because of a health condition, you could sue.

Once a job offer is extended, the employer can require a physical examination, or a medical questionnaire, IF they require suchexaminations or questionnaires of ALL applicants. But even then it is only to be directed at making sure the person is physically and medically capable of performing the job (i.e., doesn't have fainting spells while driving a truck or something!).

Most larger employers know all this and pretty much shy away from asking medical questions altogether. And the applicant has no legal obligation to expose their personal business during the application process. In my personal opinion, there is no moral obligation either - if you know you can do the job.

This short paragraph is right off the federal agency's website: "Before making an offer of employment, an employer may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform job functions. A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the examination is required for all entering employees in the same job category. Medical examinations of employees must be job-related and consistent with business necessity."

All that said, just because Congress passes a law doesn't mean that all employers obey it. Anybody in this situation should get a pamphlet on the subject of the "Americans With Disabilities Act" from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and look it over. Similar information is also available at their website, www.eeoc.gov. At least that way, you know what your rights are.

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