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stressed out

hope4thebest's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi, I am tired of being so sad, this is really getting me down.  I started with antidepressants a few months ago, and they just increased the dose.  Dr's tell me to, "go, live, be free", but I am not able to fly, broken wing(I am still very sore on both sides).  It is hard to do the things I used to do.  I am having a hard time working, and the job seems to distract me (good), but also creates some pressure (insomnia).  I do not know what I should be doing, but I find myself extremely frustrated.

My family is thinking that I am 'better" and "over it', that it is 'behind me".  I suppose that I should let them think this.  I am still healing inside and cannot do the simple things like cook and cleanup after a meal, it all takes alot longer now.  Having a conversation is hard.  My vocal chords are still strained, and my chest hurts when I do too much.  They do not want to hear it, they do not want to know that I am still in recovery.  I am not living my life for them, but get angry when they do not understand my point of view.  My relatives have extended conversations, but I am not included.  When I reach out, I get a text saying that they "wanted to call but didn't have time".  I cannot take this-- part of me wants to call them out and just tell them not to bother.  Part of me thinks I should just shut-up and let them think what they like as it makes them feel better.

My PCP says to give myself a break and take it easy.  I don't know why, but after all of this, I am unable to relax.  

My mother and her boyfriend live next door.  She looks out for me, but also makes it hard on me at times.  I am 42 yrs old, and she gives me no privacy, just walking in my apt.  I spoke up to her about it and she snapped back at me about how 'difficult' I am to get along with.  It should be obvious that bc recovery is not easy, but she seems to tell the rest of the family that I am doing 'great'.  This is my house, I bought back in 2000.  It is a 3 bedroom home, plus an apt.  I live in the small apt and it feels like they are taking over my space.  I have told her to please respect my privacy, but they always cross boundaries.

When I bought the house, I was engaged and in a different space.  I never did get married.  Now, I am recovering, and am seeing that I will not have my own children, and do not need such a big house.  It is comfortable, the idea of selling it and moving into something smaller is pretty scary, but I know I do not need all of this space.  I used to rent it out and make some money, but mom and her friend are here now.  They threaten to move out when up I speak up about the house rules, that idea scares me.  I am not sure if I can make it all alone.  It feels like I am doing that already but having my mother around all the time reminds me that I am not.  


Posts: 1266
Joined: Oct 2011

I am so sorry you are feeling this way. It is my opinion that recovery to the body often comes much quicker/easier than the emotional recovery. Unless someone else has actually walked in your shoes they just have no way to know how you feel, including a doctor telling you to take it easy and relax. On the outside you may look "better" and "over it" but only you have vision to whats going on inside!

I am 2yrs post treatment for Stage3b anal cancer with permanent pelvic radiation issues and a colostomy, and 1yr ago had a double mastectomy for a rare secretory carcinoma of the breast. I am able to put myself physically together pretty well (fresh hair cut, partial dentures,padded bra,creative "bag covering" shirt, sanitary pad 24/7 for pelvic drainage issues, support hose,)......well you get it! So once this is all done, people see me and think it is all behind me and I am "cured" also. In a sense I guess I am and am truely blessed to hear "stable" after a scan. Emotionally I am healing, recovering, moving forward, etc., and think that is an ongoing process and probably always will be to some extent. I have just recently reached the point where I'm trying to take their (other peoples) side. If they say I'm better, than I'll be better! Ok, I know its not that easy, but does get easier in time.

I don't know for sure where you are in recovery, but sometimes a move and fresh start, though scary, can be just what is needed. I went through a period of needing to be alone and just by myself. Fortunately my dad had an empty condo on the market and I was able to chill out there when needed. This month I have enrolled in college (54yrs old but never graduated 35yrs ago). I may never finish, but doing something new and a little scary has been great for my mood.

I am in a couple different support groups, and would be lost without people who "really get it".

I truelly hope your days get better, and will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 242
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm sorry you are having to go through this. Yes, we all look better on the outside than inside. My bout has definitely changed me mentally and phyically. My only

advice to scale down, tell mom she's welcome to go with you. They are holding you hostage (in a sense) well, if we don't like it we will move out and then you cave.

Tell them what you have told us, no they not understand but you have to have rules that help you also . You are an important element in this arrangement. I can in

no way do what I did 3 years mentally or physically. I"ve quit trying. I do what I can do, if others don't pick up and help well so sad. Guess they will next time if they want

it. I would think it would be easier to do the stuff just for you than having to worry about them too. You might find if you do what you need to for you then you might out 

what the problem was. I hope this helps.



ladyg's picture
Posts: 1577
Joined: Apr 2010

If there is one thing I learned from my journey is that I need to do what is best for me. I do the best I can for my family and they do what they can for me. Before I started my journey I never did anything for myself. I worked really long hours because I felt it was what my job required and I wanted to do my best. Then I would do what my family needed....softball games, dance team etc. I finally woke up and said what about me? I don't know if I could make it without my family but now they realize I am important!

I hope all works out for the best for you. If you need to try and make it on your own then that is what you should do. Your family will understand.






































































Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

Sounds like RAYMOND (everyone loves) living near his mom. Sorry you have no privacy-IT must be hard! I am sure she means well but over stepping her boundries.


I hope you are feeling better...like you said you must heal from the inside out, as well.


Take care of yourself..


Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

This is your life and your chance to live it.  Don't let fear of anythiing keep you from being who you want to be.  And, don't let people scare you into maintaining toxicity in your life.  We have been given a special gift as survivors -- we can be brave, strong, and independent.  Make this process about you and discovering what you want.  Here's your chance to live!


jendrey's picture
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

I suggest a trip to your local Home Depot or Lowes to pick up some new deadbolt locks for your doors. Yes, it's a bit over the top but sometimes that is just what it takes. You can tell mom and who-all-else that you read/heard about some such horrific event involving unlocked doors and it has terrified you into keeping your doors securely bolted. Then actually keep 'em locked. This should work for now and give you a little breathing space.

As for your relatives excluding you from having extended conversations, I'm not quite sure what you meant but being excluded from anything and especially by relatives is just plain mean. I'm thinking that they are of the belief that what you're experiencing has somehow hit a little too close to home for their comfort level. Basically excluding you amounts to out of sight = out of mind, i.e.; It's so much easier for me to not have to think about you because if I do I might have to ask how you're doing and I really don't want to hear about it and/or having your cancer intrude into my life.

It's almost like they think having cancer is contagious. (I had what I thought was a really good friend of many years suddenly stop being my friend because she couldn't handle my having cancer.) You can literally call them on it to tell them what you think about their behavior and then, as painful as it is, just let it go and move on. No matter how hard we try, we cannot change people. We can only change how we act or react to people.

You mention that you used to rent out the house but now your mom and her boyfriend are there. If the boyfriend, at least, isn't paying any rent then he most certainly should be. It'd be really hard to get mom and her boyfriend out now that they are established so nicely in your home and apt by the sounds of it. I'd hazard a guess to say that pretty much it's an empty threat about mom and boyfriend moving out - they aren't going anywhere fast if at all.

So, yeah some new ground rules need to be in place. For your own sanity, I highly suggest investing in a few deadbolts and then keep 'em locked. Just stick to your sensational story, they'll eventually get it that this is the way it is now.

Hope this helps.


hope4thebest's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you so much pink ladies!  The support from each of you and as a group has helped me understand myself better.  

I like the idea of a deadbolt, and have a large rope that I have to put out (but I don't do it)-- the trick is that I MUST draw the boundary.  I also must accept that I cannot do all the things that I did before my surgery, my abilities are still limited.  So, I have to adjust.  It is really hard to think of selling my home, I love it.  Realistically, I am single and do not need all of it, but I can rent it out so I keep it as an investment.  My Mother lives next door and she is very good to me.  As most of my old friends have faded, she has made the effort to take care of me.  It is strange how things work out.  She says she will move out if I decide to sell the house.  The idea of packing things up, or finding a new tenant is simply too much for me to handle right now.  (But I do think I will start to sell some items on ebay)

With any relationship, we have our disagreements.  I am sorry that I used this board to vent about my Mom.  I realize that I am afraid, I have a new fear in my life that was not here before.  Aside from the cancer, and its potential side-effects, recurrance there is a new element of insecurity wondering if I ever will 'get it together' and thrive like I used to.  These fears seep into my daily life as I look into the future and try to see what my needs will be.  I live on an island, the hospital where I got my care is a few hours away on another island.   It seems that the idea of either of us moving or relocating will not happen.  (Maybe it was wishful thinking)  I just had a hysteroscopy, and Mom was there to take me through it.  It has not been easy, I am realizing that a new fear is being out there all on my own whenever I do 'get better'.  

All in all, I think we have a fair trade:  they do pay some rent, but also give me some meals, and listen when I need it.  I give them a good, reasonable living space.  I am happy living in the small apartment.  They keep on telling me to go and visit some people on the mainland, but I am still tired from the ordeal of bc and the hysteroscopy (low iron), and just want to figure out who I am again.  

I am realzing that when I try to plan too far ahead, I can get frustrated, and scared.  So, I am taking it down to day by day, and then will go for 6-12 mos.  It is uncharted terretory, but I am becoming more comfortable with the new me.  Like so many entries I have read here, before I was all about doing things for other people.  I have never really thought about the idea of doing just what I want.  

Thanks again, it has been very enlightening.  Yes, I will focus on my heart!  


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