Day 6 – The Wall

No, not the classic Pink Floyd album. The emotional wall that I hit about 6 AM this morning.

I think the adrenalin rush from the last few days finally ended, and I came crashing down. I just wanted to turn a switch off and have the constant thoughts about all of this go away. And when I say constant, I mean every-freakin’-waking-moment constant. It’s exhausting.

Rather than reading my not-so-best seller book last night, I took a pad of paper to bed and wrote down a dozen questions for my follow-up visit with the urologist. When I woke up this morning, I wrote down one or two more amplifying questions. Go to bed thinking about it; wake up thinking about it. Not good. But, I suppose that’s to be expected this early in the diagnosis and treatment game.

When I got to work, I really wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to function effectively. But a couple of attentive listeners passed by my door early in the day and let me vent. (You know who you are… Thanks!) Not long after, I was able to plow through the emotional roadblock and begin work on a weekly report that I run. The simple act of concentrating on spreadsheets and numbers was enough to slowly put some of the thoughts out of my head (or at least to make them appear less frequently).

Three-quarters of the conversation at lunch with a friend was about something other than cancer, and that was refreshing. A couple of meetings after lunch also helped put the thoughts to the side for a while. The moral of the story: Keep busy with other things.

Still, I have research to do, test results to wait for, and decisions to make, and all of those require thinking about this so I won’t be able to shut this off for the foreseeable future.

So what do I keep thinking about? Oddly, it’s not the Big Question. I don’t worry about death or dying. It’s going to happen to the best of us no matter how hard we try to avoid it. We can’t control how or when, so why get worked up about it? I just focus on the here and now: How do I get through today? When do I get my next set of test results? What’s the next step? Thinking too far ahead of the next set of facts won’t do me any good.

Now, back to Pink Floyd…

Before I started working in manufacturing, the first thing that I would do when I came home was turn on the stereo. But after a few short years of working in the constant din of the shop floor, I opted for pure silence when I came home. The stereo stayed off. Now music is playing once again to help soothe and distract. The only drawback is having to crank the Victrola every ten minutes…

So the day started pretty rough and ended much better… I think I’m at the beginning of settling into the new norm for me. And thanks to all of you for your words of support. They mean a lot to me.

Next event: Bone scan results Thursday around noon.

2 thoughts on “Day 6 – The Wall

  1. Anonymous

    Dan –
    My thoughts and prayers are with you as tomorrow approaches. THANK YOU for sharing your intimate thoughts and feelings while dealing with the diagnosis you were given. I'd been sitting here for almost 3 minutes trying to think and rethink about how to write the prior sentence and found myself struggling with writing the word “cancer”…..I can not even begin to imagine all that you are going thru….all I have to give you at this time is my thoughts (positive), prayers and Love.


  2. Hey Dan. I have Caught up and am signed on as a follower. I posted a picture of me which on the surface seems what? self indulgent. But it is a picture of me wearing one of your Dad's hats. Somehow we got one of his sailor hats and I just always kept it. I know I look like a duffuss in it which is why I would have joined the Marines if I had joined. You sir are in my prayers. I am confident that this time next year you will be reflecting on your journey and if pressed you will say “I wouldn't change a thing”. For now – you are in our prayers.


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