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Regression

ShayNicole's picture
ShayNicole
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2008

I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia on my 13th birthday. That was almost 9 years ago now. I am currently working on my master's thesis in English on my cancer experiences. I experienced a kind of regression while I was in the hospital, I only wanted to watch little kid shows, and color, and paint, and do arts and crafts projects, like I didn't want to think about anything grown up. I am wondering if anyone has experienced the same phenomenon, or if anyone has read about this, or knows where I can find information about regression in cancer patients, especially demonstrated through writing, artwork or anything of that nature.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

It was actually the opposite for me, but then again, I was a little kid when I was diagnosed at six. Don't get me wrong, I liked to play and draw and stuff, but I felt like I matured more through my experiences. I remember once I was in the hospital, and I was actually helping the nurses answer the call intercom. I hated when people patronized me and treated me like a little kid. I didn't feel like I was. I also tended to watch and take interest in things that other kids thought was weird. I was the kid in fourth grade who could dissect the complexities of the conflict in the Middle East because I watched public television all the time. When I hit high school was when it got hard becase i couldn't relate with anyone. Cars, girls, getting drunk...none of those things interested me. I often wonder if it would be the other way around if I'd been diagnosed as a teenager or adult. I look forward to whatever you come up with.

P.S. I got my degree in english too.

ShayNicole's picture
ShayNicole
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2008

I remember one time, when I was actually allowed to go home after a chemo treatment, I was visiting my mother who was about 8-9 months pregnant in the hospital...and I had to wear one of those stupid surgical masks that I had to wear everywhere so I wouldn't get sick...and this lady in the hospital asked me if I was playing doctor. I got so mad at her, I just turned around and walked away. I wanted to curse at her, scream at her, tell her that I was not playing at all. But mostly, I just enjoyed being babied while I was sick, people care a lot more about you when you're dying.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

Don't get me wrong. I loved being babied too. One of my favorite things was when I would lay in my mother's lap and she'd tickle the growing bald spot on my head so I'd relax. If I was completely bald I could probably still get her to do that to this day.

I remember the mask as well. I had it for a year, and the only place I could go was my grandma's house without having to ear it. Really, they didn't want me to go anywhere. I had a home school teacher who came to the house in a full gown and mask and taught my lessons. When I finally got to stop using the mask my father thought he would try to be more figurative than literal. He called me downstairs and my mother and he were standing by out trash can. He took a mask and threw it in the trash, as if to say, "You can throw these away now." The problem is that the message I got was, "Hey you left this mask laying around and you should really try to clean up after yourself." Sensing my confusion he finally just said, "You don't have to wear these anymore." I was delighted, and the next day we went to the mall where my parents bought me the Ghostbusters car.

srisko's picture
srisko
Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2008

I had ALL when was five and I'm 24 now, and I love kids stuff. My DVD collection is mostly animated movies and my dorm walls have Harry Potter, Happy Feet, and Family Guy posters on them. I still watch the Disney Channel and I have some stuffed animals on my bed. My problem is I the mind of 37 year old but emotionally I'm 12. I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

i can't speak for shay...but there are times when i want to be a kid again. as complicated as everything was for me (and for you guys as well i'm sure)...things just seemed simpler when i was a kid. there are many kids things i enjoy as well. i still draw pictures...many believe i carry a PhD in muppets because i know so much stuff about them...and i'm a big dork that loves cartoons. that being said...i like being an adult too...i get to sleep in on my days off...buy whatever i want...and eat cookies for dinner if i want...you can't beat that either.

ShayNicole's picture
ShayNicole
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2008

I am the same way, emotionally I am a kid. I feel so far behind everyone else, like those years that I missed, while I was sick, I missed some valuable life lessons. I feel awkward and out of place...I get sad a lot, and cry a lot too. I loooove animated movies. I'm working on my disney collection for my future kids. So far I have The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and A Bug's Life. I want to get the old Winnie the Pooh tapes on DVD if I can ever find them. I like being an adult too, but sometimes I just don't feel like I am. Do you guys remember if your writing or art work regressed when you were going through chemo?

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

i was young anyway when i went through chemo...i wasn't writing, and my art was mainly cartoon characters...transformers...superman...he-man...etc.

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