Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear  (Read 482 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline zontar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« on: June 22, 2014, 04:09:24 PM »
I've come to the conclusion that my real fear is not of illness or even death. My fear is that I will be told, conclusively and without question, that I need to prepare to die and that I no longer have a future.

I simply cannot imagine anything worse. Why would I want to continue even living at that point, knowing that I have no future, knowing that all my hopes and dreams are now unattainable, knowing that there's just not enough time to do anything I wanted to accomplish in life anymore.

This fear leads to me dreading ANY physical symptom and avoiding medical consultation, just in case they tell me I'm dying. I actually have a symptom in my right eye, a small distorted blind spot, that needs medical evaluation. There is that possibility lingering over my head that it's a metastatic tumor, or a brain tumor, and that the doctor will tell me I only have six months or less to live. This possibility alone, however rare, is enough for me to not go at all. I'd rather not know, let it kill me out of nowhere, and at least I lived those six months plausibly denying I was dying and living normally and happily.

Every therapist I've talked to about this has always tried to reassure me I had nothing terminal, but what they never discussed with me is how I could ever be OK with the thought of receiving a terminal diagnosis and knowing I have a very short time left to live. If it's even possible to be happy after that point. I see people do it but I couldn't imagine it. Every happy moment of my life from that point would just be tainted with the knowledge of impending death. Everyone would treat me differently. No more future, no more happiness. Just everything in my life being ruined until I finally drop dead in abject hopelessness and misery. I would seriously contemplate ***** after leaving the doctor's office. I don't know how anyone does it.

I feel like if I could ever bear news like this, then I would be more apt to see the doctor more often (even for checkups) and not fear a terminal diagnosis if I got one. That being said, how do I deal with this? Does anyone else feel the same way? What do I do? I need to see the doctor but I'm just too scared.
Bookmark and Share

Offline noella6

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
  • Rec's: 5
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 09:47:14 PM »
I understand this fear, or I wouldn't frequent this board.

But

This is like putting your life on hold in anticipation of a catastrophe that might never happen. Any one if us could get that dreaded diagnosis at some point in our lives, but we cannot predict when or how. It is part of the great unknowable, and this is precisely what anxiety feeds on - the unknown. Anxiety is already a living death. We don't need a diagnosis to accept it, we are already living it here and now. It may not kill us in an instant, nor require a thousand rounds of chemo, but it pretty much annihilates our life force, we're a dead man walking already.

It seems contradictory to survival to halt living in fear of what may never happen. Even if we think we have the symptoms of this deathly disease, we have no medical context to judge it correctly, all we see is the word 'cancer' and our mind leaps ahead straight to the terminal countdown.

To me, HA is the very worst of the mental terrors, because we can never escape the thing that terrifies us so much  - the body itself. We can't avoid it (like flying, swimming) or remove it (like a spider). We can't hide from it (like thunder, trains, elevators) or tell ourselves it can't ever happen (cos it can, sadly). We are stuck with our body, for good or ill. I can only see acceptance of that very uncertainty that we fear as the way to beat HA. We need to accept that we can get unwell, that we are one day going to die (we're doing it right now, slowly!). With most people, they get on with their lives, seeing death as this vague, far away certainty that doesn't interfere with the present, but with HA we have it up against us every minute of our lives. We are THAT close to it every single day. This is a really bad way to live, a wasteful way to live, and it is best to find a way to treat the anxiety first, because for each day we give to this thing, it's another day wasted.

And you know, none of us have any real idea how we'd react to a terminal diagnosis.
None of us.
We can run it through our minds until we pass out from fear, but we will never really know until it happens. And often, we react very differently to how we imagined. I can vouch for that.

Nobody wants a terminal diagnosis, not HA sufferers or anyone else.
I suppose it's like living in terror of being hit by falling masonry - it is not worth ruminating over, but it COULD happen, couldn't it?
Bookmark and Share
"Giants exist to deceive, they retreat if they're clearly perceived"

Offline mollyfin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4368
  • Rec's: 36
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 09:52:55 PM »
That's my biggest fear, too.  I'm more or less okay with the certain fact that I will die someday.  But I don't want to see it coming. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline noella6

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
  • Rec's: 5
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 09:58:12 PM »
Me too, and i wonder if many of us are that way here?

I would rather go in an air balloon accident or something sudden. (so yeh i could avoid air balloons forever, haha!)  :spineyes:
Bookmark and Share
"Giants exist to deceive, they retreat if they're clearly perceived"

Offline Eighty-1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Rec's: 0
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 09:59:09 PM »
I just want to add that those are 2 of the most well written posts on HA........Ever.  Thanks for taking the time on those guys!
Bookmark and Share

Offline greend

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 925
  • Country: ca
  • Rec's: 8
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Okay
    Okay
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 11:23:19 PM »
Zontar, what you have described is how I feel all the time. I have to see a doctor on Tuesday about an abnormal blood result. Believe me, if I hear the wrong thing from this doctor I don't think I would want to go on. Death in general doesn't 't concern me, it is just that I want to go without knowing what is happening, like a big heart attack etc ...

I agree with novella, we have to accept uncertainty, although that is difficult. - for sure. I don 't think I am there yet.
Bookmark and Share

Online bittersweetlife

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 323
  • Country: 00
  • Rec's: 1
  • Mood: Stressed
    Stressed
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 08:24:25 AM »
I am so sorry for what have you been through. You are not alone, we're on the same boat. Everything you said is what i feel or think of. Especially right now is my last year in college and I'll be graduating by next year in March and i fear that all of my dreams are going to wipe out because of my Health Anxiety that i fear that i am going to be diagnosed of my feared disease. I feel so helpless and come to think of it, I've been getting physical symptoms because of my Health anxiety, so much tense and pressure i can't stand it anymore!

But we just have to try that this are all just anxiety! We have to keep moving forward even when we feel down we need to keep ourselves positive and calm. Because i am pretty sure that someday, this too shall pass!

Keep postive and all of our feared diseases are all just Health Anxiety. I wish nothing but a long positive happy lives for all of us!

Hugs
Bookmark and Share
"There's a time & a place to die.. but this ain't it"

Hakuna Matata - "It means no worries"

“Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far.” - Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home

Offline Lindsay2427

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 579
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Worried
    Worried
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2014, 09:05:05 AM »
This is EXACTLY me. I couldn't have made this anymore me if I tried too. I have had this fear since early childhood. It's the most horrible thing to fear. The post above that explains HA and why it is so hard to live with is also spot on. I have chosen to not even seek therapy because no therapist can assure me my fears won't happen. So why seek one. Sigh :( 
Bookmark and Share

Offline noella6

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 138
  • Rec's: 5
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2014, 02:57:56 PM »
And another thing, HA is a disease in itself.
People who don't have HA still fear illness and death (this is normal for anyone), but it does not become a constant threat to them. We feel under continuous threat, unsafe, every day of our lives. There are people out there who DO have the diseases we fear (I know of one here in my town) and they often do not let the disease define them, which means basically many of them simply continue to get on with their lives, work, other concerns, etc. Even thought a threat of death is somewhat still hovering over them, they must realize that the only thing worth doing is actually 'living'. Not sitting around ruminating over their potential end.

This is what separates us from them: we are already living that kind of death threat all the time. We don't 'live in the meantime'. We just keep waiting to die. It's dreadful.
Bookmark and Share
"Giants exist to deceive, they retreat if they're clearly perceived"

Offline ColdHands

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 402
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 6
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Relaxed
    Relaxed
  • Warm heart, strong mind, struggling liver
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2014, 03:37:24 PM »
Yes.  So much here to untangle. 

Yes, this has been my fear most of my life.  That I will get a disease and not have any time left.  I saw my mother told several times she was going to die soon.  The last time was true, but the others weren't.  She got those diagnoses, and she went on with her life.

Fast foward, her HA daughter, me.  I *did* get that diagnosis this year.  I have uncurable autoimmune liver disease.  I take medicine that is supposed to slow the progression, but there are no guarantees.  I face the possibility of liver transplant and even death. 

The thing is, this has cured my HA for the most part.  I still get worked up about things and do the what if, but I don't have the energy or the time anymore to dwell on things that aren't a reality.  Reality is enough at this point. 

But what I have gleaned from the past 20 years of freaking out over nothing, having HA about my mother (who didn't die when I thought she did), is that when you get "the news", you just adapt.  You get up the next morning and you get on with it.   Hurting yourself when  you get bad news isn't the answer.  Would I think about it if I was told I had ALS what my mother died of MSA?  Probably.  Who wouldn't.  But HA seems oddly stupid when you have a real diagnosis.  I don't think you ARE stupid, I just know that I lost a lot of time that I can't get back worrying about stuff that never happened.  Now my life may be shortened and I can do nothing about it.

I am currently grieving over my lost time, but I still get up every day, go to work, and live the life I have been granted.  I hope you can find a way to let some of this go and enjoy your life while you are healthy. 

Bookmark and Share
"There is just one more thing that bothers me."  Columbo

Offline leah2013

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 371
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 3
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Worried
    Worried
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 03:43:48 PM »
I just want to add that those are 2 of the most well written posts on HA........Ever.  Thanks for taking the time on those guys!

Yes, as I am reading the first 2 posts I was like, wow... wow... wow... that's right! very well written!!!!
Bookmark and Share
Going thru a rough patch! Praying for peace of mind and happiness!!!!

Offline nikol373

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Terminal Diagnosis: My Real Fear
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 08:47:05 PM »
It's like my own brain wrote this. I also think about the after-life a lot. Am I the only one? I wonder if I will see my mother again, and that comforts me....but I worry that after this, its just....nothingness. I am so young and have so many exciting and amazing things coming up in life, I need to enjoy that and not dwell on when my time will come. You can't cheat death, and seeking the reassurance is really just wasting away the days. This is all a change that we can chose to make in our lives.



I'll get there. We all will.
Bookmark and Share
"Fight fires in your best clothes,
Touch skin with your eyes closed,
Chase thunder...
With the volume down
Pack a suitcase, wander to the next town..."

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
22 Replies
1823 Views
Last post July 20, 2010, 10:50:15 PM
by Jenfr8801
2 Replies
953 Views
Last post June 30, 2011, 01:12:21 PM
by peepo23
14 Replies
519 Views
Last post May 07, 2012, 08:04:37 AM
by meche
2 Replies
406 Views
Last post May 06, 2012, 03:12:42 PM
by Cattia
5 Replies
294 Views
Last post November 27, 2013, 06:02:37 PM
by tinam7