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Dirty Dozen

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

we've all seen that, or similar movies. The folks who are on the fringe of society that suddenly become useful, a team, even, when duty calls. Anyone know of a bridge or a dam that needs blowing up?

That's how I feel right now. I was fairly useless before my husband was diagnosed - I even thought he was working himself up to finding something better - then I was needed. My own personal mix of obnoxiousness, pushiness, dogged "I can find an answer to this problem" nature, not to mention the mix of pharmacy/chemistry/medicine background my family and other experiences gave me. . . .suddenly, they were useful! Not annoying, not boring, but actually useful.

I do believe I got us through some rough times - sometimes just because everyone believed in me and I said it could be done.

But now, it's back to normal life. My special talents are back to being annoying.

I really, really don't want cancer back, just as I think the Dirty Dozen guys really didn't want war to continue. But I do miss being essential.

Is there anything more useless than an out-of-work hero (quoting Heinlein here).

What happens after you ride into the sunset?

PS - Can you really imagine a more whiney person? Isn't happily-ever-after good enough for her?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

Being out of work is difficult. Your skills are still needed. I know many people here have been helped by them. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are not defined by a job, a set of skills, being a caregiver, or even cancer. You are an amazing, bright woman. Take some time now to find yourself. Learn to appreciate the smart, funny, and capable woman you are. Keep talking to us and supporting those of us here who need you. We all go through that let down period after we've been working so hard just to keep everything together. Why should you be any different? Just remember that you did a terrific job. Fay

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

Mary, the first thing that came into my mind upon reading your post was there is definitely a good (albeit temporary, perhaps, until you start "real" work again) place for a person with your tenacity, organizational skills and talent for working toward a positive resolution - it is called volunteering and I think you should look into it.

Plenty of people with no one to help them through rough time - ask your pastor, go to the Red Cross, look around your neighborhood. They are there.

Lots of people need your help and your skills, Mary.

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

which was as caretaker/champion/advocate of my husband. . . he doesn't need that much anymore, and he was not feeling the need for me to make special foods anymore (he's begun to realize that it's hard to get nutritious, calorie-dense foods when I'm not making them for him, however). I do still have a job teaching, although I had to go through a whirlwind of interviews recently, as my school lost positions and I had to find another job in the county - I'm a newbie (3 years) despite my age and so am first cut. It was not a fun time, but I'm not stupid enough to ignore the fact that I am very lucky to still have a job with benefits.

I agree about volunteering - back when I was changing careers, I had a few years where I had too much time on my hands. I volunteered quite a bit, both with kids and with adults. I'd like to find a way to make that happen again, as I want to honor our good fortune (being alive, reasonably healthy and not about to lose our house). I have some ideas, as I'd really like to do something for the vets in our area (we're about 40 minutes from Walter Reed).

Right now, I have to get through mandatory state tests and then final exams (not to mention Prom and college orientation for my daughter). I'm looking forward to June. . .

Noellesmom
Posts: 1270
Joined: Aug 2010

It is hard to leave that job, more than any other.

For now, then, breathe, Mary. You've been busy and need a break for yourself.

Good luck on the tests and final exams, and, certainly, best wishes on Prom!

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

I went back to school and got my teaching credential when I was forty. I always tell people that I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up. Now I'm retired. Teaching jobs here in CA are really hard to come by and many have been laid off in the last few years. So you are right to be glad you still have a job, but changing jobs and locations is always hard. Enjoy your time off when it comes. The end of the year is always stressful for parent, teacher, and student, and you are two out of the three. Plus you are experiencing a bit of a let down as things wind down. Life can sure throw us for a curve sometimes. A fellow teacher once explained to me that teachers aren't just flexible. We're rubber. We bounce back. Fay

here4lfe
Posts: 294
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad I waited to reply. You lost your job as caregiver. GOOD! Need something else to do with all that emotional energy.

Did I understand, or am I still off?

Best

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

I actually don't have that much free time - work expands to fill the space available, and my husband admitted he'd lost weight since I stopped cooking special meals for him. He claims to understand and respect how much time I'd been putting into that; he might have wanted to stop "needing" special food but I'm hoping he'll be comfortable asking for it, so he can gain some weight and get stronger.

So my free time is not so heavy on my hands, and I don't really need to feel "essential" so much anymore.

Still, I'd like to think of something I can do to give back this summer. I know many areas of my life are better because of the volunteer efforts of many others - I think I'm at a point where I can also contribute.

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