Teflon for the mind

I don’t like being depressed and I don’t like depressing other people at least I think so. This being said I have spent a good deal of time this last year writing and posting about quite depressing topics and my own depressing situation. Through that I have been able to try and pull the positives out of each day I have posted despite some of the horrific moments I have dealt with. I have had some pretty uplifting and even a few inspiration post, especially when I was posting on CaringBridge. At least I was told they were inspirational. My real guess is that people could sense my stress, my anxiety, my deepening sadness over dealing with Leukemia. Multiple times along this never ending mountain of crap I have had many false summits. Excited to think I may actually be improving only to see the goal stretched out of reach and far above me. Those moments are the hardest. Many times I believe people thought I would be able to handle it and just trudge on toward the next rise. To my own credit I think I have actually done just that.

The recent turn of events with my liver slowly showing signs of impending trouble has been one of the toughest pitches yet. I am told I look pretty good, I was feeling pretty good, I was pretty positive, I thought I might actually make it through this ordeal. Silly me! Why would I ever think that. I should know by now that every time I think I am moving forward some other issue arises which kicks my ass at worst and at best leaves me shell shocked with fear for the next few months. I have to admit that I am really getting tired of the feeling. I am constantly thinking of all the patients I have had over the years of doctoring who must have felt like this when I broke the news on them of yet another problem.

I have no qualms about expressing my anger with my situation at times. I have made it clear, I think it is reasonable to freak out for a few moments before collecting oneself to move on. My ultimate supporter Brooke doesn’t really agree, mainly because she has to listen to me loose my mind before reconnecting with sanity. The further into my disease I get the more I wish I really could abide by her wishes to just let stuff roll off my shoulders, see where the shit lands before I freak, because I might not need to. The problem is that I am a worst case scenario guy. I would much rather be told the wait at the restaurant is 20 minutes and find out 5 minutes later they have a table than vice versa.  

The worst case scenario plan has served me well in medicine I think. Telling people what the worst to expect prepares them and eases the blows when I come up with a plan which may be tough but is some how less traumatic. As a patient though this method of coping is really tiring. I don’t know how I am going to change my workings and mind set with this but I know I have to find a way. I spent a long time today thinking about how to accomplish this paradigm shift. I am sorry to say I didn’t come up with and answer but I did come to the conclusion I must change. I figure I have changed a good deal of my thought processing this year. I think in the last month I sort of reverted back to the old me. Maybe that is the ultimate lesson of cancer. You just can’t go back to the naivety of health.

As I said, I don’t want to depress any readers but I hope you all enjoy the now. If you have the blind eye towards health you better enjoy it while you can. If you have lost that path may your new trajectory be smooth. If you have a bottle of teflon for your minds worries please let me know how to get one and how to apply because I am really getting to the point I need it.

Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure 



2 thoughts on “Teflon for the mind

  1. Hey Matt, I wish I had some amazing words to share, but I can’t. I have been up and down so much over the past four years I can only commiserate with you.

    We have had two tough conversations this week with our Oncologist and we chose quality over quantity. We talked with our Palliative care doc today who explained what we can expect and gave us a short book to help.

    Regardless of all of it, you are breaking the greatest rule. Please dont pre-worry what hasn’t happened yet! You can try to avoid it, you can be pissed, but dont spend too much time being pissed. It doesnt change anything and it steals your happiness and upbeat attitude!

    Thid disease just sucks! It brings some good, but really mostly it sucks!


  2. Matt, I’d love to talk with you about this sometime. I’ve been thinking a lot on this same subject. Let’s hang out soon. And in the meantime, you have really been doing what seems like the best things to cope with the dread and misery of all of this by continuing to get out and do the things you love, revel in your family and in life. You’ve inspired me so much over the last year. But of course you can’t keep that up all the time. It’s totally ok to be depressed and down and anxious sometimes. That is part of the way to acceptance of what is, even when what is totally sucks. Anyway, I’d love to talk with you sometime about this. And I hope the new day this morning is bringing you a little bit of peace. Love, Thea

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