Losing One’s Filter
A Facebook post gets me thinking…
I was recently invited to join the Prostate Cancer Men’s Support page on Facebook. It’s an active group with lots of lively talk and advice given between men who are dealing with all the issue of prostate cancer. It is refreshing to see more men actually talking about their experiences and sharing their frustrations. As the male sex, we are making progress.
As I scrolled down this morning’s postings, one entry particularly caught my attention. It was from Brett S. in Ohio. He wrote: I lost the filter on my mouth since my prostate was removed. Anyone have the same? Wonder why? Possibility of death?
I will admit, I chuckled to myself when I saw that one. It wasn’t out of insensitivity to Brett. His is a valid observation. But I thought, Possibility of death…? Make that possibility of everything!
I think most of us will agree that the possibility of an earlier than expected death does alter our perspectives. Our priorities are magically reordered and simplified: Paint the room pecan wood or fresh linen? Whatever… it’s all tan. Certain chores or activties are suddenly less pressing compared with time with family and friends. Along with this comes the loss of personal thought filter of which Brett spoke. I’ve experienced it. Just the stress and anxiety of dealing with cancer can do it alone. Never mind other factors.
Radiation and its fatigue can make us grumpy and more direct. Hormone therapy and its side effects including mood swings and possible depression can throw filters out the window. Chemo will certainly reorder one’s priorities and filtering system. I am the first to admit that during the past year and a half, there are times I have been a real he-bitch. I’ve also lost my filter on crying and laughing. I’ve been witnessed to do either at the drop of a hat and often with little or no provocation.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned through all of this is to, as much as possible, ACCEPT AND JUST BE. I’ve learned that this is how life works and I can’t control everything. I might as well just focus on those things that are most important to me and that I can actually influence. With this perspective, I find the need for filters less of a concern.
The real question in all of this is not if we loose our filter, but how do we deal with it? I suspect there are nearly as many answers to that one as there are patients.