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Thread: Can we talk about illnesses and mortality?

  1. #1
    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    Can we talk about illnesses and mortality?

    Hello ENA,

    I have been thinking about this issue for many years, and wanted to get some insight, input, opinions, comments, etc.

    As a kid, I never really had very many health issues. Never been hospitalized, never broke a bones, never got sicker than a cold or the flu. But as I reached adulthood, I feel like that changed. My mental health really took a nosedive as puberty hit and I never really got a handle on it until I started medication in my early 20s. After that, I started having female issues - irregular pap smears, PCOS, high libido and always had boyfriends that couldn't match it - and I let myself gain a ton of weight.


    Now I'm 29, and these issues have spiraled into this "impending doom" fear. Cancer doesn't run in my family, but I'm convinced that inevitably, I will have to deal with it. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, something. I've had pre-cancerous cells pop up multiple times around my cervix, and although they have cleared up each time, they always come back. Earlier this year I was dealing with nipple discharge issues that doctors originally thought were linked to a tumor on my pituitary gland. It didn't turn out to be the case, but of course, now I'm just thinking that my body is a petri dish for cancer.

    I do everything I can to make sure these things are caught early. I do my annual physicals, pap smears, breast exams. What else can I do?


    I don't know. I'm obese, but I'm very active. I struggle with good eating habits because I have a sugar addiction. I can give it up for a couple of days, a couple weeks. But I always go back to it. I wish there was a pill I could take or a procedure I could have done that eliminates that craving from my brain. I feel physically upset if I don't get a dessert or snack. It's like I'm a child.


    Ugh. Reading back on this now, it feels ridiculous. But I'm going to post it anyway, because surely there's someone out there that feels the same or similar?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Depending on the source, the odds are somewhere around 1 in 3 that people will get some form of cancer.
    For the matter, the vast majority of us will succumb to some sort of illness, stroke, pneumonia, heart disease etc.

    People who peacefully die in the sleep is rare and mostly in the movies.

    So. . what do you? First off, you can't dwell on the inevitable. That's a waste of the valuable time you have here.

    But what you can do is live your life to the fullest and take care of yourself in the meantime.

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    Bronze Member Afireblue's Avatar
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    WithLove,

    Your post made me sigh at myself. As I am getting close to my 40s I have felt similar feelings of impending doom. Breast cancer runs in my family on both sides, and my maternal grandmother died from it at 52. My mom is super careful and has checks all the time and she is fine, but for some reason I've always believe I am going to get it... It's a horrible thought.

    I went into a deep depression after my divorce and I gained weight, it has been a struggle to go back to my normal former self as I think I have some kind of food addiction or I use food to comfort myself.

    I wish I had some advice to offer you but I am on a similar mental boat as you, what I can is offer you my sympathy and wish you well

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    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    I understand these feelings, WithLove. It is natural, especially as you get older, to start dealing with the very real fact that you are mortal. You will die someday. It isn't natural or healthy, however, to allow this fear to dominate your state of mind and cause you to irrationally seek out sources of comfort telling you that you're healthy. In fact, you've been reassured so several times and it hasn't helped. You need to accept the fact that certain things are out of your control and to recognize these obsessive thoughts as what they are, irrational fears.

    Do you think you might be becoming a hypochondriac? I would recommend meditation as a tool to clear away unnecessary thoughts and generally calm you down when the anxiety related to this rears its ugly head. Just simply follow your breath and keep your focus on that. That's all it takes, whether it's for 1 minute or 5 or 10. Just do your regular, recommended check-ups and direct your focus to something better. It really is crazy how easily the mind and body can play tricks on each other. Particularly when there is a separation of mind and body, as in one is a lot more active than the other. These tricks tend to stop when the mind and body are in unison, essentially, when both are being utilized and having their needs met.

    Edit: I've been there, btw, so I hope you don't take this as berating. I've gone to the doc convinced that I had something seriously wrong with me only to be told by one that I seemed perfectly fine and by another that it was just stress and to try to relax. It's hard to accept these answers sometimes but I had to learn to trust that they were right.
    Last edited by LikeWater; 05-10-2019 at 03:28 PM.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    At 52 I have more years behind me than ahead of me. I KNOW I am going to die, it is just a question of what and when. I really only started thinking about my own mortality I guess in my later 40s.

    A lot of cancers are curable if caught early . My motherís family is cancer filled but my mother has never had it herself nor her sibling . My dad has had five heart attacks ,10 strokes and two open heart surgeries . So that would be a far greater worry for me since thatís my biological father .

    When looking at your own mortality I would probably look more to the illnesses of your parents and your siblings . If they are major disease free then try not to worry too much .

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    Very sorry to read youíre having these concerns.

    For the past 7 months, a dear friend had a similar issue with nipple discharge, and like you her doctor thought it could be a tumor. Since this started she has done ample research by exploring various reasons. Something that came up a few times was diet. She has adjusted a few areas in her life - now buying organic foods and products. In short, she feels a lot better. Anyway, just some food for thought.

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    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hiskate81
    Very sorry to read youíre having these concerns.

    For the past 7 months, a dear friend had a similar issue with nipple discharge, and like you her doctor thought it could be a tumor. Since this started she has done ample research by exploring various reasons. Something that came up a few times was diet. She has adjusted a few areas in her life - now buying organic foods and products. In short, she feels a lot better. Anyway, just some food for thought.
    Literally :P

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    How do you feel on a daily basis? If you continue to feel discomfort from the discharge or other types of physical discomfort you may be experiencing distress surrounding your chronic symptoms. This distress can lead to depression over time if you don't seek the correct treatment for alleviating those symptoms or if there are no doctors willing to work with you. I'd suggest a second opinion and start working better on your health, avoid the sugars as much as possible and re-learn how to feel good about yourself. A lot of chronic illness and pain is about managing symptoms and managing pain/discomfort levels.

    If you have sensitive skin stay away from fragrances and dyes in soaps and shampoos. If you are obese have you looked into whether being a candidate for gastric surgery might be an option? Are you willing to make sacrifices in your diet to regain control of your health and help yourself? These are just questions for you - not meant in any way to provoke discomfort or answer on a public forum. I hope you feel better soon.

  10. #9
    Silver Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    WithLove, I'm very sorry you're going through this right now. There's a lot you cannot control such as your genetics.

    When it comes to taking care of your health, no one can do it for you except you. It starts with your mind. I can't tell you how I truly feel like eating whatever my heart desires. I have cravings and if I had it my way, I would never exercise. However, I've already traveled down that road so many times before. It's so darn easy to take the lazy route, camp on the Internet which turns into a time trap, watch TV, putz around and become slovenly. It only lasts so long and I begin to truly feel physically and mentally ill. My weight spiraled out of control, my blood tests were a train wreck, I felt chronically fatigued, became anti-social and a very negative, belligerent person. I no longer even liked myself anymore.

    When it comes to health and regaining control of your health, it's a matter of force. Get up and do it. Make a conscious effort to eat wisely, exercise taking baby steps and do everything gradually regarding exercise. Think of your heart health; not only cancer risks. If you want to live longer and reduce your aches 'n pains as you age, you have to take control of your health. Joint pain from excessive weight gain is nothing to sneeze at.

    When it comes to prioritizing your health, you even have to be selfish about it. I schedule my entire life around my diet and exercise regimen. Everyone else is secondary. In the past, I put everyone before me at the expense of my health. I don't do that anymore.

    Regarding sugar and carbs, the more you eat them, the more you crave them. When you reprogram your body and brain by substituting sugar and carbs with more of a plant based diet, those previous sugars and carbs will grow to repulse you as it did for me. Start taking walks and gradually take longer walks. While under a doctor's care, ask about incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine in the future.

    Drink more water. Often times, instead of food, your body is dehydrated and needs water.

    Many times when I wake up, I don't feel like exercising and eating healthy but I force myself until it becomes a habit. I remind myself of the harsh consequences should I revert back to my former indifferent attitude towards diet and exercise. Maintaining great health requires diligence and self-discipline. It's about mental strength first. I pray for strength and wisdom and it works for me.

    This new lifestyle change looks so daunting and overwhelming so take baby steps with exercise and know your end goal with diet and exercise.

    It's not about eating only carrot and celery sticks. You can eat healthy. It can be satiating and delicious. There are creative, healthy ways to eat. I eat a lot of healthy, delicious food. I can out eat anyone eating cheeseburgers and still lose weight all the while.

    Getting fresh air and taking walks will do wonders to your soul. As pounds shed and your mental state improves, you will be determined to make changes for life. I hope it works out for you. Remember the power of positive thinking.

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    Originally Posted by WithLove
    ...
    I don't know. I'm obese, but I'm very active. I struggle with good eating habits because I have a sugar addiction. I can give it up for a couple of days, a couple weeks. But I always go back to it. I wish there was a pill I could take or a procedure I could have done that eliminates that craving from my brain. I feel physically upset if I don't get a dessert or snack. It's like I'm a child...
    There are appetite suppressants (Rx) out there that can be very effective. Or perhaps you already knew that; I don't mean to patronize you.

    It's understandable you'll feel like you'll get cancer as the statistics "justify" that fear. However, it sounds like you're doing everything you reasonably can to stay healthy and catch any potential issues as early as possible. I think it will be helpful to find a way to look at things from a "I've done what I can" perspective" rather than a "what else is there that could go wrong" viewpoint.

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