Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So You Think You Have Stress?

MUSIC: "Don't Worry, Be Happy"

In our adolescent years, the word "STRESS" usually did not enter into most of our everyday vocabulary. We took life for granted and never paid any attention to it's actual meaning. I personally remembered wondering as a teenager, just what adults meant when they uttered that word.

Now move ahead several years and, stress has become an everyday phenomena that our family and millions of others live with. We know it's meaning all too well and it doesn't seem like we'll be losing it very quickly.

You might say that everyone has stress.....and you're right! Sure, there's the stress of life in general as we try to meet our financial obligations, raise a family, and just basically try to survive in our ever busy and fast-paced society. But when a family is affected by a serious illness, that same word takes on a whole new connotation.

Each person is affected by stress in their own individual way. Cancer patients live with the trauma and pressures of the diagnosis, caregivers live with the uncertainty of their loved ones longevity and families lives instantly are turned into a cataclysmic mode. You live from day to day, making the most of every moment you have with each other and even though you consistently remind yourself that life can be over for any individual in an instant, somehow the reality that cancer is right there in front of you, makes that statement seem very insignificant for those of us directly involved.
Those affected by cancer constantly live in a mode of suspension. From the first time you hear your physician give you a report that includes the word CANCER you are instantly transformed. Your once normal life no longer exists, those things in life that you once thought were important, now become so trivial and we all grasp at the most important aspects of life to make them now last.
Why have I chosen this topic today? Tomorrow my husband will receive another scan report ------that in itself is a stressful time for all of us. I compare it to the same feeling one would have if a loved one were undergoing major surgery and you were awaiting news from the surgeon about whether the patient will live or die. Scan reports are a regular occurrence when you have cancer, and high stress levels by all those involved are the norm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you say Debbie, we also know the stress associated with scan reports. It's like something we cannot describe, so I know exactly what you are saying.
Enjoying your writings, and please keep up the great work on this site.