Have you ever been taking a shower when out of nowhere, whammo, you're hit with an epiphany? This is a phenomenon known as a shower thought. Shower thoughts are a real thing. Do you know how I can tell? Shower thoughts have their own Twitter page. So they must be real.
Here are some examples of shower thoughts that I've read on Twitter.
"My adult years have made me wonder why anyone would go big when they can go home." Or "Everybody wants you to work hard, but nobody wants to hear how hard you work."
Down the shower thoughts rabbit hole
Those are examples of funny shower thoughts. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, shower thoughts aren't that humorous. We go down rabbit holes of thoughts that just aren't productive, and we end up worrying about all kinds of stuff. It might be mundane stuff like, "After I get out of here, I'm gonna have to check the laundry for some clean socks. I think I'm out. I should've started a load before I got in here. But then I might have run out of hot water. So, good call on taking the shower first."
Or, something more substantial like, "If time and space started 13.7 billion years ago, what was before that?"
See what I mean? We can go from questioning the age of the universe to wondering if we have any clean socks. Well, at least I can. I'm weird like that. Sometimes I go so far down these existential rabbit holes that I forget if I've even washed my hair. Maybe that's why Albert Einstein's hair was always so crazy looking. If he came up with the theory of relativity while standing in the shower, maybe he completely forgot to put any conditioner in that unruly mane of his.
With which stage of prostate cancer were you last diagnosed?
And then, I felt guilty about my cancer
Anyway, the other day in the shower I was thinking about how crappy I've been feeling about, well, everything. And all of a sudden, bam, a shower epiphany clobbered me like a rhino taking out a Subaru. I feel guilty. Guilty of what, you ask? I feel guilty about having cancer.
My first thought after the epiphany? That's ridiculous. It's not like I can control what's happening with all these health issues I'm having. I didn't ask to get cancer. It's not my fault!
But, then I look around my house and realize that we need new carpet in the living room. We need a new cooktop in the kitchen. My backyard has gone completely wild. I'm pretty sure there's a family of prairie dogs living back there.
Cancer's financial burden
You see, every time we start to get a little ahead, something happens. My PSA goes up so here come the tests, each one costing money out of pocket. I see my oncologist monthly now. Last year was chemo. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching. My stupid cancer keeps taking money that could be used for normal, everyday upkeep of our house and yard. Not to mention how tired I am. Doing stuff like ripping out bushes or landscaping around the house just ain't happening.
And, I feel bad about it. I feel guilty that my health keeps taking money out of the family budget. I feel guilty that I don't have the energy to do the things I once did.
These treatments affect my marriage
I also feel bad about how the medications I'm on are affecting my marriage. Once again, I know it's not my fault. But that doesn't make me feel any better when I mope around the house feeling sorry for myself, or when I get overly angry at stupid everyday stuff, or that I have absolutely no interest in sex. I wasn't exactly a garden party to be married to before I got cancer. Now? Sheesh.
Feeling sorry for myself makes me feel guilty. Feeling guilty makes me feel sorry for myself. Wow. That's a shower thought loop nobody wants to be in.
To fix a problem, you have to acknowledge it
But, like most things, in order to fix a problem, you have to acknowledge a problem. And I have a problem with cancer guilt. I need to stop feeling bad about things I have no control over. I need to give myself credit for going to work every day and trying to live my life as normally as I can. And I also need to give myself a break. If I do that, maybe I'll be a little easier to live with. Maybe then the guilt and the anger will start to subside. That would be nice.
Well, that's it for this blog. Time to get in the shower. Or maybe I’ll start a load of laundry. I think I'm out of socks.
Thanks for reading.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?