Coping mechanisms

Somehow, someway. Kind of my go to motto these days. Slowly but surely I am figuring this shit out.

With the mouth sores under control (hallelujah), depression remained my biggest problem. I had a virtual meeting with a psychiatrist and we discussed the possibility of trauma therapy. I have yet to receive a referral (it was a year wait for the trauma therapists at MGH), but in the meantime she added an antidepressant to the prozac I take daily. It’s called mirtazapine and I am on 15 mg in addition to 40 mg of the fluoxetine. It seems to be working, as my mood and energy level are both elevated.

Stable cancer, manageable mucositis and mood. A week from tomorrow I am scheduled for yet another infusion of DS-1062a.

Yesterday morning I began my book FOR REAL. I am nudging myself into a schedule—art studio in the a.m. (while it’s still cool) and writing the rest of the day, with some walking, exercise, and meal preparation in the mix.

There is a freight elevator in the old mill where my studio is located, but I choose instead to walk up the four flights of stairs daily. I am working on becoming stronger, and those steps are an opportunity.

I am also starting to be out and about more–even going to some thrift stores. Of course I wear my mask and am careful about hand cleaning, but I refuse to remain a hermit for the next year or two. I need to be social, if only in a limited fashion. In fact, this weekend I shall be meeting two of my kids in the Boston Common for dinner—the first time we’ve been together in months. It took some convincing on my part (that it was ok) but again, one has to weigh the benefits against the risk.

Two months ago I didn’t think I’d be feeling as hopeful as I am right now–I came awfully close to saying uncle. The trick was finding the correct antidote to the side effects of treatment. A workable balance between the quality and the quantity.

10 responses to “Coping mechanisms

  1. So glad you are feeling better and more energetic! Antidepressants and anti anxiety meds make life balanced for most of us, even without cancer. Paxil has kind of run out of steam for me after 20 years, but it’s good enough.

  2. Patti helfand

    So good to hear you being more positive. You sure have staying power.. choose lifeπŸ‘πŸ˜Š

  3. So good to hear you are pushing forward, Linnea! And tackling new (or old) projects. What will your book be about exactly? I’ll be first on line to buy.
    Thank you for giving us all hope, and a laugh to boot. XO

  4. Marie Hazelton

    Keep looking up πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–

  5. I’m so happy for you Linnea and none of this surprises me!❀️✊🏽

  6. So happy you’re feeling better! Depression is a bitch. So is cancer!

  7. Please Linnea proceed with the book! No shit I am a publisher and translator of 20+ years here in Russia + stage IV cancer girl (ROS1), so please do the book, and I promise to translate and publish it in Russian.

  8. You share so much of yourself with us unselfishly. I just found you and I am so happy I did. And happy your kids pushed you to meet them in “safety”. We just struggled with whether our daughter and grand boys 6 and 8 should fly out to see us. She was not at all afraid but after being so careful for so many months I was terrified. I prayed hard on it and decided the risk was worth taking because none of us have a guarantee of tomorrow and I wanted to see my daughter and grand boys. It was worth the risk. I know people saying “Stay Strong” is not as easy as them saying it and I know I tire of hearing it but do it anyway. I know you will too. Be well dear one!

  9. This is good! Art in the morning, writing in the afternoon, with meals thrown in. Excellent schedule. Oh, and thrifting, too! Please say hello to your kids this weekend, okay? xoxo

  10. It’s good to hear you are feeling better now, Linnea! Keep fighting!

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