Deepest Indigo

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Depression is having its way with me.

Yesterday I took myself to Five Guys for lunch. A small cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate malted. Not so bad, as I am working out again.

But then dinner rolled around and so did my gloom, just like a bank of fog. I started with a glass of white wine (that bottle was staring at me so I just decided to kill it). Some black licorice. Five olives. A beer and a banana. Cereal with goat milk kefir and frozen blueberries. My repast all over the place, just like my mood.

I feel as if my schtick is strength and positivity. For the curriculum vitae I am putting together I have Adversity Expert as one of my skills (given my lack of actual substance, I am taking some creative license with my CV). And honestly, I feel as if I am letting some of you down by so openly sharing my current depression.

However, in the name of keeping things real, this is part of it. Any one of the stressors in my life (emotional, financial, physical) is enormous and when you add them all together, it is, on a good day, extremely challenging. And on the bad days–overwhelming.

What I am describing is OTSD–ongoing traumatic stress disorder.

Yes, I am unusually resilient. However, almost thirteen and 1/2 years of dealing with this shit has taken its toll. Last night I managed to waken myself from a nightmare because (and I distinctly recall saying this to myself) ‘I don’t want to see where this is going.’

If only it were so easy to walk away while awake.

So please bear with me as I move through this tough place. As my Granny B was fond of saying, ‘this too shall pass.’ And so it shall.

34 responses to “Deepest Indigo

  1. I have struggled with PTSD, depression and anxiety all my life. I don’t have cancer. But I do know depression and it’s twin, anxiety. Meds help. But by sharing your struggle, you will have so many individuals relate who walk down that same road with cancer or other conditions.
    You drive home the point that with long term survival, there is a price to pay. I followed your blog initially because of a friend with lung cancer. Now I follow you for your wisdom and lessons learned. So share all of it. And keep on keeping on. BTW, with your past insurance issue, I would have married you! ( with no strings attached LOL)

    • Anne, I am so touched. And there is always a price–however given the alternative, this one is not so obvious.

      xo Linnea

  2. …and another.

    >

  3. Please always post what you feel. You are helping other people by being honest. I recently had a reoccurence of my lung cancer after having good checkups for 9 months. I was told last week, I only have a certain amount of time to live. I, too, have always through this cancer journey tried to have strength, courage and being positive but it can also can get depressing and overwhelming. In one way or another, those of use who are going through this cancer struggle, feel the same.

    • Linda, I am sorry. Recurrence sucks. Is it true that there are no more treatment options though? Big big hugs to you tonight.

      xo Linnea

  4. Oh Linnea,
    You are a human being and your depression is allowed. No apologies for
    Your feelings. I can’t imagine enduring
    What you have been through. Clearly,
    God is with you as you live each day.
    This to shall pass. My mom taught me that. It’s always the truth.🌔

    • Linda, it does all pass. All of it. I can’t even tell you why I am so low right now–this week is no harder than last. Sometimes it really does just hit out of the blue. But thank you. This group hug has been amazing.

      xo Linnea

  5. I agree when reading your feelings about the challenges we have faced through all these years. Friends and family only see the quiet, strong outside. But yet, on the inside, it takes a toll that can not be explained. The next scan, next MRI, next medicine to try—it becomes overwhelming and you sometimes want to say – enough. But, for them, more than for us, we trudge on, smiling each day. So, here’s to you and all the rest of us who don’t mind listening when someone needs to vent. Beautiful Autumn is around the corner – wait for it.

    • Roni, I feel autumn and I love it (my favorite season). And yes, most of that toll is internal, making ours a sometimes silent disease. Sometimes it all gets to be too much. Give it a few days, maybe a week and I’ll be back in fighting form.

      xo Linnea

  6. I figure sharing of oneself, whether publicly for the good of all; Or with family,friends is better to share what’s “real” in our lives. It’s not always a bed of roses 🌹 or a box of chocolates. Lol.
    You just keep it real! Your human. 💖🤗

    • Gwen, real it is. I love nothing better than sharing the good times/feelings but sometimes that bad stuff just won’t keep quiet.

      xo Linnea

  7. Thank you for being real. There are many of us that need to know that even though you have been on a long journey, it isn’t always an easy journey. Hang in there! Better days are coming!

    • Shelly, they always do. And sometimes it’s the very length of my journey–obviously a positive–that makes it all seem to pile on.

      xo Linnea

  8. This too shall pass and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You can’t always be the poster child for resilience. Think of all the uplifting messages you have provided for people like me. Know that you are appreciated and are here for a purpose.

  9. You are not letting us down, not letting me down. Important to share. Group therapy and meds if you can. It is extremely important. And sharing and asking for help. Keep your closest people informed and in the loop. I feel silly writing all this advice you probably already know. I should just say thank you for sharing, and you are in my heart this morning!

    • Thank you. I am on meds and have seen the same therapist (actually a thoracic social worker) for almost a decade—she has been a lifeline. Sometimes these things are not enough. And I am gratified once again for this group hug.

      xo Linnea

  10. It shall indeed pass Linnea – I’m glad you shared – The blues is part of the territory I think – I too am a survivor – 6 years post stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis – over 2 years since last treatment – The chemo has always worked for me to date – I too have an incredible female oncologist who just gets it and who I adore – I too know I’m resilient (to date) – Got another clean scan this week (NED) – Oncologist said I’m her best patient (all relative I’m sure) – My 22 year old daughter told me she thinks I’m invincible – Can be hard to live up to all that – I too write a blog on this journey – But not as regularly as you – not as insightful or poignant as you – I too get the blues and I too have been known ‘kill’ some bottles of wine (red in my case) – The bottles do stare at you – Even this week post NED – Keep blogging, keep being resilient and keep as well as you can – I so admire you – You have always echoed what I feel about fucking cancer and treatment and all the rest – Remember to drink the best wine first xx

    • Tom, I drank that good wine long, long ago. I am down to the $4 bottles from Trader Joes but that’s ok. There will be good wine in my future–of that I am sure. Congrats on the clean scan—always a good thing. A keep your 22 year old a believer. I mean, why the heck not.

      xo Linnea

  11. Linnea,
    I just wanted to let you know, that yours is the ONLY blog I follow, since my lung cancer diagnosis, last July. I am stage-4 Ros 1. I am currently on Crizotinib and doing really well.
    I find that your posts are honest and inspiring, good or bad, and I look forward to your posts and updates.
    You have lived with this dreaded disease for almost 14 years!! You have basically been a human guinea pig, participating in many studies and taking medications that have helped so many, including myself, tremendously!
    Like anyone else, we all get down or depressed. Don’t beat yourself up if/when it happens to you. You have the distinction of looking in a mirror and telling yourself that you have lived nearly 14 years with lung cancer and you are still living!! That is a remarkable accomplishment, and one I am striving for.
    You are my personal hero, whether you know it or not, and I am rooting for you and everyone else who suffers from this disease! It’s too late to give up now, for we have a lot to live for!

    • Scott, I am touched and honored. And gratified that you recognize my guinea pig status 😉 Yeah, it’s been a privilege but at times a burden too. And worry not—I shall grouse now and again but I am not the quitting kind. Were I, that towel would have been thrown in long ago.

      xo Linnea

  12. Thank you as always for sharing…I can completely relate (8 1/2 years in) and it’s sadly relieving to hear. Same here with schtick strength & positivity but i know it’s so hard, so very challenging! Most people don’t understand or realize especially after so many years! We need a big red reset button! Hit that s*@t daily! Take care of you and know your loved appreciated and needed! We fellow battlers get it and you never let us down! You always seem to write exactly how I feel but don’t have your talent to put jnto words! Thank you! My secret reset button and anthem song blast it – American rejects move along !!

    • Chrissy, 8 and 1/2 is amazing. And hard–don’t I know it. Good to have a secret reset AND an anthem. You go girl!

      xo Linnea

  13. Linnea, thank you for sharing your…humanity. It’s nice to know you aren’t the 24/7 SuperWoman I keep trying to live up to. My CEO friend told me the best leaders can show humility. You did and you are. Know how much we love you. You will be OK. Trust me. ❤️

    • Greta, I imagine myself super woman at times as well. Frankly, those fantasies can be useful but the real shit always hits the fan regardless. I love you back darling–thank you.

      xo Linnea

  14. kusum malik tomar

    hi linnea
    one of your great quality being so open l lacked it but wanna to be everyday there are so many different tide waved in my heart and mind but can’t out side.. your post give a relaxation through this uncalled cancer journey with honesty and openess how you could

    • Thank you Kusum. The emotions are like waves/a tide in our heart—as you say so beautifully. We are all on a strange journey and sometimes it is difficult to find the words to describe it.

      xo Linnea

  15. Courageously putting deep thoughts into words force me to examine the vulnerabilities I keep hidden.

    On Sun, Aug 26, 2018 at 11:11 AM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:

    > linnea11 posted: ” Depression is having its way with me. Yesterday I took > myself to Five Guys for lunch. A small cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate > malted. Not so bad, as I am working out again. But then dinner rolled > around and so did my gloom, just like a bank ” >

    • Thank you. Sometimes it is difficult to parse the courage from the desperation but either way, they are forces that keep me moving forward.

      xo Linnea

  16. Hello Linnea,
    I so understand the feeling and I like your description of OTSD….this is what it is!! For me it has been 7 years at….Stage 3a, I work fulltime an eventhough the cancer is indolent it continues to grow and moved fronm pure GGO to part solid GGO…..anyway all that to say that I find it tough to live a normal life as nothing is normal in my body!

    • Babie, it is, in clearest language, a real mind-fuck. Good on you that you are yet working and giving that normal life thing a go—although you and I both know how difficult that actually is.

      xo Linnea

  17. Hi Linnea, I think everyone else has said it all so well. You are my hero too, and even more so now, for admitting your moment of faltering. You are a Wonder Woman, for although I was a only a caregiver for my husband Peter, not a patient, I know what it’s like to feel depressed and overwhelmed with the fucking elephant in the room, that’s there when you go to sleep at night and still there when you wake up; every fucking day! I have so much respect and pride for you, Peter, and all of your fellow readers who are going through this fucking hell. Stumbling is normal and only temporary, as long as you get back up. Like every challenge that life throws at us, its always hardest when you’re in it and I’m in it right now, too. I’ll get back up, if you do! XXOO

    • Aw Jon, I wish we could kick that damn elephant to the curb. Can’t be done though. Depression is just one more very real aspect of this journey—cancer is some depressing shit no matter how you parse it. Let’s make a pact to hold each other up.

      xo Linnea

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