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what's wrong with me??

pmd1490's picture
pmd1490
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2011

Every time I look at my mom, I wonder how much time I have left with her. I wonder how many peaceful evenings watching TV are lined up for us. I wonder if God has a bigger plan for her than I could ever have. I wonder if breast cancer has match point. Will my mom be well enough to celebrate my 21st birthday with me in two weeks? What about the birthday after that? What about HER birthday??

It's been a month and change since my mom was diagnosed with brain mets stemming from breast cancer. Why are all of these these negative thoughts hitting me like a ton of bricks all of a sudden?? Am I a bad daughter for LETTING these thoughts sneak in? What's wrong with me???

I think this whole brain mets thing is finally causing me to burst at the seams. I've been so upbeat and positive throughout this whole ordeal, and finally tonight, I just went up to my room, locked the door, and broke down in tears.

Some great words of advice from my fellow caregivers are greatly appreciated...

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

There's nothing at all wrong with you except you have a broken heart. It's okay to cry and rage in private. We all do it. Sometimes a parked car in a vacant parking lot is the best place to be.

I'm so sorry to hear that your mother will soon be getting her angel wings. My mother is on her way, too, but she's quite old and has had a wonderful life. Cancer is such an unfair monster, dangit.

You will find plenty of support here, so please keep coming back. hugs to ya, hon.

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Barbara!

What a great suggestion! Now I know who is in that parked car...LOL I shall join you in the parking lot and cry! I hardly ever make it to the car from the store doors before the tears are blinding my view and I can't remember where I parked the !@^%$#$%@ CAR! But I do keep kleenex in the glovebox! Now if I could figure out how to fog the windows up intentionally!

Hugs,
-Michelle

ddpekks's picture
ddpekks
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 2011

Except a broken heart, tired body and aching soul. This is normal. What is not normal is the horrible disease that is kicking our loved one's butt! And there is nothing we can do about it. But, we can take care of ourselves, as our loved ones would want us to. Get those emotions out. Scream, cry, yell and talk about it. Come here and say it out loud. This is my only source for talking about my pain and my problems. I can't burdon him with it and the kids are in their own world of hurt. Yes, we are there for one another, but things that bother me, scare them so they shut down.

I pray for you and your Mom that you both feel the peace and warmth of each others love and that you get the comfort of the many memories the two of you share. In the mean time, let the emotions flow.

(((((((hugs)))))))
Deb

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Deb,

Glad to see you today my friend! You said it! It is too hard on the kids to lean on them becomes too much of a burden! You are strong for sure and I just wanted to say you are so insightful to see that! Here for you and know you are here for me as well!

Love to you!
-Michelle

palmyrafan's picture
palmyrafan
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 2011

You are doing exactly what you need to be doing, which is also taking care of yourself. I am always encouraged when I see caregivers doing that and for not being afraid to ask the difficult questions.....like is God's plan for her bigger than mine?

I believe His plan will always be bigger than yours or anyone elses. What is going on with your mother is not meant to punish her or you or anyone else. But this is His plan for HER and for whatever reason, she needs to go through this.

I am the patient, my husband is my caregiver. I have learned many things over the years, including patience (hard with my scottish heritage), compassion, understanding, love, etc. that I really don't think I would have understood without my brain cancer diagnosis. That is MY cross that I have to bear that God gave ME, just like he is giving your mother her cross to bear.

Hang in there sweetheart. You will find many kind souls on these boards who can offer wonderful support, friendship and love. You are not alone in this journey. You and your mother are in my thoughts and prayers.

Teresa

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Teresa,

Happy to see you today! Hugs to you and your husband! Beautiful post, just beautiful!

My love to you!
-Michelle

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Hello PMD and since we have not connected before now, I am pleased to meet you!

Please know that my opinions I state here are just that...my opinion. And I am not a therapist or a qualified individual to professionally advise anyone. I can however, share a perspective from my view that MAY be of assistance to others or even become prophetic for myself as writing can sometimes allow you insight to the thoughts you are in need of "unlocking" in your own mind. That being said, I will address you in your request for advice from fellow caregivers.

A broken heart is what you have indeed. You are human and there is NOTHING wrong with that. As humans we have the innate ability to protect ourselves emotionally from the trauma of emotional pain. This is done through a variety of behaviors for each individual. For some this comes in the form of Denial, and there is NOTHING wrong with that, so long as you are also preparing yourself for the worst and hoping for the best. You are an angel of promise for your mother as I read in your 'about me' posting. Your emotional support to your mother is being her angel of promise. Regardless of the outcome, know that your mother will see you get married, have children, fulfill your dreams and live a loving life as you are already doing! I will copy here a segment of an article I read on Denial and how it works for some. I think it is most appropriate for you.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Denial

Denial is our emotional buffer. It's an unconscious mechanism that cushions us against the painful events in our life. It's a way we can feel safe from threats to our survival. Some people are able to accept slowly the seriousness of their illness. Others can't seem to accept their dying, and will ignore facts as caregivers and physicians present them, or change the subject. Some patients may accept, to some degree, their impending death, but they can't clearly explain how they feel. Denial may also help some patients [and caregivers] get "over the hump" and through the worst part of what's happening.

Because denial allows us to maintain a feeling of safety, don't "break down" or challenge the patient's denial unless it interferes with the patients ability to function. Often a patient will accept the severity of his or her illness while family members remain in a state of denial. It's best to be truthful, but when a patient doesn't wish to acknowledge information, persisting isn't valuable---it is just a reflection of an unsatisfied need of the person pressing the issue.

Examine who needs to recognize what before continuing with an attempt to destroy a patient's denial for there are times when patients are so overwhelmed and gravely ill that delivering bad new is useless.

If we take away denial, we'd better have something better to replace it.
________________________________________________________________________________________

I believe that you have been in denial of the possible outcomes of your mother's cancer. And this is perfectly okay. Now that your brain is meeting you with the possibilities that lay ahead, you are transitioning your emotions and you should. Cry as much as you want and whenever your heart tells you to. Embrace your mother through your tears as she can comfort you as well. You are strong, but human and need support too. As your mother she loves you and wants you to 'be o'kay' and it will help her to help you as well.

Tread carefully in verbalizing your agenda for your mother to see you marry or have children in the physical world, as sometimes being caregivers we want so desperately for our loved ones, with cancer and a possible ending to their journey here with us, to recover and "stay" with us. "Just hold on and be strong! You will get better and all will be o'kay." That is our agenda and most times their own agenda. As your mother progresses through her journey, please know that things MAY not go the way you WANT them to and she will need your support emotionally for her transition to her new home. We should always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You can prepare to be there to help her adjust and be at peace with this and having that pep talk be focused on being here in the physical world may become a burden of guilt and will make things harder for her emotionally. Just rephrase the focus on something like, "I know you will get to see my wedding, my children, and my life. Either way you are going to be my guardian angel and I will feel you with me always!" You don't have to change the dialog now, just be prepared to change it when things become eminent and she needs to have peace knowing you will be o'kay.

This is not to say that she will not get better through this, she may very well get better as none of us know what is to come under any guarantee! It is what we would all want and desire in an ideal world. My heart breaks for you as I write all of this for you! As it is my reality with my husband's terminal diagnosis and I as a caregiver need to be there in the most effective ways I can for him. We live for the moments and glimpses of joy and love! We try not to focus on the 'end' of our journey here, and focus on making the best of what we have and what we do have is NOW. We have no guarantee for tomorrow, yesterday is passed, and all we have is NOW. But I am preparing myself for that change in dialog so that I may be a pillar for him at that time and let him have the peace he so deserves, that I will be alright knowing he is watching over me.
I hope this hasn't been too harsh to hear, it is the best advice I can give you in my opinion. Please keep us up to date on your progress and your mother's progress. Vent it here and know that you are safe here. No judgment, just several people walking the walk with each other and contributing and sharing in the hopes that we help someone and get the much needed support we as caregivers need for ourselves.

You are in my prayers and I pray that you may find balance and peace in your journey ahead.

-Michelle

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Sounds normal to me. We humans tend to think ahead, plan for the future. Then we get hit by this disease that scares us and defies all our planning. One of our pastors said to me, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him what your plans are. " Yep, cancer reminds us that we are not really in charge, and it is frustrating. More than ever, just when we want to predict the future, we realize that's above our pay grade. Crying is a good thing. It helps us move forward. One of the most valuable things I learned from my husband's six year battle with cancer was that we truly do need to live each day as if it is the last one we will have with our loved ones. Make memories now. Hold each other and say I love you now. Hopefully, you still have many of those days left, but cancer teaches us that we can't count on that. It is ok to make plans, but stay flexible and open to change. Other great advice I was given was to be like a rubber band. Have the ability to stretch but always be ready to bounce back. Crying sometimes gives us that bounce back ability. your thoughts are normal in this very abnormal world of cancer. Even us old ladies have had them. Take care, Fay

LilChemoSmoker's picture
LilChemoSmoker
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks Fay! "It is above our pay grade." I love it! Thank you so much for my phrase for today! And as for the part of your age......the human condition knows no bounds of age. Chronological age is man made...God has guaranteed us eternity when we are finished with this chapter.

Much love,
-Michelle

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