Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Depressed, Hopeless & Angry

I'm surprised it's been 14 days since my last post, but now that I think about it, it's been 21 days since my last systemic chemo infusion, so there hasn't been too much to say.

What's at the forefront of my mind today is the power this chemo drug, Folfox, has over my emotions. With each systemic chemo infusion of Folfox, at some point I feel depressed, hopeless and angry. It has happened following every single systemic infusion since this treatment cycle began last November (the pump chemo has yet to have that effect). This time it showed up on Saturday March 17th and lasted through Sunday the 18th.

While the boy and I had dinner, watched a movie, then got ready for bed, I experienced a background of hopelessness. Not with him of course. I still laughed with him at all of his silliness and jokes. And we had a great time reading stories before bed. But the background thinking never ceased. It just wouldn't quit. After he was asleep, I immediately put on my headphones and did a hypnotherapy session and after it was complete, the negativity and hopelessness were gone and I felt good about my treatment and grateful for my life. On Sunday, we visited friends. The boy played with the kids and I watched basketball with friends, noticing these miserable thoughts as they passed through my head. Then when we got home and my little man was asleep, I did another hypnotherapy session and got back on track again. I did a third one early this afternoon.

I guess what amazes me is a) how I can always count on the depression and hopelessness to show up after a systemic chemotherapy infusion - guaranteed, and b) how intense it is. If a person were to show up and speak to me the way my thoughts show up at these times, I would be shocked at how ruthless and unkind the person was. And what equally amazes me is how effective the hypnotherapy is at represencing me to who I truly am; to my highest self; to the awareness that life is a gift and an opportunity to find love & gratitude for all things. And those are extraordinary moments.

And I do mean moments. Because it was an hour after my hypnotherapy on Monday that I was at the Department of Motor Vehicles, feeling very frustrated because after 3:30 PM, they don't provide the services I was in need of. Aaaaaaaahhhhhh! Yes, in the moment, I was a little frustrated. Hypnotherapy didn't turn me into an angel...at least not yet!

Fortunately, I went out to my car and just sat quietly. After about 10 minutes, I went back in and asked the person at the information desk if she could review my documents and make sure I had everything in order so when I came back on Tuesday, I would at least be prepared to complete everything and not have to go home and retrieve additional documentation. She happened to be in charge of the office and not only confirmed that I had the proper documents, but then she went ahead and processed all my info and handed me off to a cashier who completed the transaction.

Well, I chalk that up to the hypnotherapy, that is, my choice to just sit quietly and not go anywhere. I'd normally say that kind of inclination - to stop reacting and just sit quietly - was a result of what my morning meditation brings me, because it's definitely not my default reaction when things aren't going my way. But on a Monday morning coming off of a chemo infusion, my morning meditation is more hysterical than anything else. My minds just racing away judging and criticizing faster than I can keep up with. In fact, I can barely even sit still with all that chaos going on in my mind. It's like trying to meditate while someone's sitting next to me watching a battle scene from Platoon! Hahahahaha! So, again, I am grateful for the moments of gratitude and happiness I experience as a result of the hypnotherapy sessions which I'm clear I have been blessed to have in my life right now.

And in other news, Bert Scholl & Friends will be performing this Friday March 23rd at O'Toole's in Auburn. A little something I've been itching for to say the least!


  1. Hello Bert: I am so glad the hypnotherapy is helping. I know I experienced real changes in mood and temperament with chemo (and even after chemo stopped) - we should talk when you get to the end of chemo...would be good to be prepared.

    All said, my friend, you are on my mind this evening. I am sending you warm wishes and love.
    -Elizabeth M. San Francisco

  2. Good luck. Nice blog. You might like this poem about life being a gift. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/marge-piercy-poem-that-appealed-to-me.html