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Advice from Sheryl Wetzel:


(In response to my post of 1/28/00.)

Hi Robert:

Sheryl Wetzel here again. I think I replied to you once before about another one of your posts - still not one of the guys but one of the guys' wives.

Couple of thoughts - whenever I am angry I remind myself that anger is fear acted out then I try to identify what it is that I am afraid of. Example: after David was diagnosed with PCa, I was angry at our family physician for not telling us 2 years ago that his PSA was 3.5 which was high and that he should come back and be retested in 6 months. Two years later, PSA 8.5 Gleason 7.

What I finally figured out was that I was afraid that the next time he either overlooked something or chose not to tell us that it might cost one of us our lives (this one still could) so my solution was to no longer take anything he does or says as being the gospel truth. Now at our annual exams or whenever tests are run I ask for copies of the results and I make sure that I understand them.

Now in regard to things getting overwhelming with information overload, I find that also happens to me. So I have a 3-ring notebook binder that I have started and have put dividers in it, identifying different categories and one of the categories is "look at later." Then when I have a little bit of time, I go back and research one or two items.

Remember you did not get this disease yesterday and you do not have to make one single decision today. Only make decisions when you are comfortable with them. Sometimes with just a little more time and reading a few more of the posts things begin to get a little clearer without having to do a whole lot of research. I also found that once we got what we considered enough information to make an informed decision the load got a little lighter.

I read recently that it takes about 60-90 days to begin to settle in after diagnosis. You are just about there. David was diagnosed on 11/18/99 and we are just now getting comfortable with fighting this monster. Would rather not do it but we are adjusting.

Remember if you have faith it is easier to live your life in trust and not in fear. Gradually gaining information has helped to dispel my fears a lot. I joke that I could now pass a test for an Internet degree on everything I never wanted to know about prostate cancer. Just relax today on whatever is overwhelming you and deal with it in a couple of days.

I think the last time I sent you a note I forgot to tell you about a couple of things that have helped David and myself. First we joined a Tai Chi class together and are getting a lot out of it. Tai Chi uses the mind and the body to help heal the body. The other thing is I sent him to the acupuncturist that I saw before [an operation] and she is really helping him.

Hopefully by now you have acquired yourself the following - 1 primary care physician - 1 urologist - 1 radiation oncologist and most importantly 1 medical oncologist to be the head honcho overseeing all of them and your overall picture.

Good luck.

[name used with permission]


This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.