Jump to content

They say I'm in denial


Recommended Posts


Hang in there. Denial to me always suggested that there was some kind of moral imperative that you must dwell on your own fate in order to be true to yourself. I don't agree with this. If you feel relatively good and able, you're living, and you shouldn't stop living just because of what might or probably will or definitely will happen. Leave that for the times you feel like crap - and we all know there will be those.

I've been coming to understand that for everyone, all those schleps I see on the streets of New York, oblivious to our pain and our suffering. Even those people have health problems, some very serious. Life, for most of us, is a constant equilibrium between health and disease. Unfortunately, CANCER is such the grandma of disease taboos that its looming presence exerts that awful, depressive power over us, but often times without much teeth - although the fact that I have advanced stage IV lung cancer, this past week I felt almost 100% normal.

My point is that that normalcy, even if its not 100% and run it as far as it could go. Lean on your friends, tell them you really want to have a blast and achieve a place where you can expertly balance the terror of cancer (much of which is historical and, I've found, so far to be rather toothless) and your health. You have great health as far as I know. You're able, you're walking around doing things. Don't start dwelling. Live, live, live, that's the cancer's worst enemy. Learn to live with a little nausea or some headaches. Learn to live with an incessant aching nodule in your back that can go from discomfort to yell out loud pain.

Its a new reality and its tough and it sucks and you and your family don't deserve to have to go through with it. Just try to remember how far you've come and the times you exceeded your doctor's expectations and perhaps even your own.

One last thing, about the family. Jules and I were at a family thing two weeks ago, specifically my big sister's wedding, which was pretty awesome. I, unfortunately, was less than a week out of chemotherapy and you know how that could be. We had to drive to Philly. And since my bro in law didn;t have any best man, not even a groomsman, I became the default problem solver/organizer/go to man for anything that went wrong. To top if off in the evening, I was volunteered to "take care of" the remaining liquor that we had bought. Case and cases of booze. Find a car (didn't have one), load it into car (pain from back metastases acting up) and drive it to hotel (no directions). I'm ususally not like this, especially at my sister's wedding, who I adore, but I couldn't help but scan around the room at all these other young men sipping their wine. "couldn't they have given this job to to the dude who hasn't had chemotherapy in the last week and is without cancer invading his backbones.

I guess I looked so good, everyone thought I was fine. :wink: Tracy, you too, judging by your posts and your picture are a strong beautiful woman. People will think that you can do and deal with stuff like a normal person. Don't be afraid to lay it out for them, just those dark secret scary stuff that all of *us* have to confront regularly - just as a friendly reminder on how different we are.

I'm not sure if this or any of these topics were relevant but at least know that I know how difficult it can be to deal with family who is not on the same page.

Good luck Tracy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tracy,

I think you can see that a lot of us here can relate to what you are going through.

I have a brother who continues ' as normal' whilst I am constantly looking at ways to cheer mum & dad up and take them out etc.( my dad has been battling stomach cancer for over 12 months - currently in remission) I have two toddlers yet my brothers children are all grown up so he has a lot more time to spare. Even when I talk to him about mums condition he change the subject. He obviously cant deal with it right now so I just focus on what I can do. I DO have a wonderful husband who supports me in every way and gives me the strength to support mum & dad.

I have chosen not to expend any further energy trying to jolt him into action and focus on the reality of the situation and how I can help mum & dad each day.

We are all here for you and it sound like you are blessed with many great friends who are doing/saying the right things

Take care & god bless


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tracy,

I can relate to you on this subject. It's hard to understand how some people operate, I have just come to accept that is the way they are. The way they cope doesn't help me in any way, but nothing will change that.

I have a younger brother (my only sibling) and he was great when I was first diagnosed. Him and his wife offered financial support because I had to give up my job and I was really touched by that. He has never really been one to show emotion, that was as much as he ever has, but I was glad for the support. He has never called me to ask how I am or to find out how any of my scans have turned out. I spent a week in hospital, he never visited. At family gatherings he never mentions my illness, never asks when my next scan might be or how I am feeling. It just doesn't exist for him.

18 months ago it all blew up. We were out at a family dinner and his wife made a not so nice remark to me. Totally unnecessary and I showed a lot of restraint, which is unlike me I must say. The next day my mum speaks to him to find out why his wife was in such a foul mood and he blames me for everything. Said I was probably under stress because of all my scans and tests. Things have never been the same since, I really can't be bothered. Apathy. I just accept him for who he is, he is not the person I thought he was. That's the key to my thinking now. People are not going to be who I want them to be during this battle. I just expect nothing now from anyone.

Sorry to ramble on, but I totally feel for you because I have lived it. I am more independent now than I have ever been. There have been others who have let me down, I don't give them a chance to do that anymore by expecting nothing. It's taken a long time to get to where I am, sometimes I wish I had somebody I could call my rock, but I know now that everybody has their own way of dealing with things.

You are a fighter Tracy, you have got a long way to go yet. You are strong and courageous and have handled everything so well. Go for the trial, your Aunt is a fantastic woman, take up the offer of support.

Will be thinking of you,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Tracy, I am so sorry to hear of your struggles. I haven't been around for awhile and thought I'd check on you. I'm just bummed the news isn't better ALL the way around.

I SO get what you are talking about. My hubby left me AGAIN in April, and just does not seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. Sometimes I get frustrated as well, when someone doesn't seem to understand how SCARY THIS IS, and it is no fairytale - not everyone gets their happy ending... Positive thinking is good, but sometimes you just need an acknowledgment that it BITES!!

That said...I AM sending ALL of my BEST thoughts and prayers to you, Tracy. Hang in there!!! Thank Heavens you have your dear Aunt Kasey on your team!!! :wink:


Yours in HOPE!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'm sorry I had not read this post sooner, I have only been online for very short periods as I have been very busy with the kids getting out of school.

I hope you are able to try this trial and hope it works well for you.

I'm sorry you were disappointed by your family. Through cancer I have learned what people are really made of. I am fortunate because in my life I have maintained 7 really close friends. They have been my friends since elementary or junior high school. They are huge support for me now and I know I can count on them when needed. I am also fortunate because 90% of my family has been great. I include aunts, uncles, cousins etc. I only have one brother and he is absolutely in denial but he loves me and does anything he can to help me out. He just expects I'll live forever and I guess I'm okay with that because I know he cannot handle to think anything other than that.

But I have the same family problem as you but I guess in reverse so to speak. What I mean is that I have convinced myself that my husband's family cannot wait for me to check out. My sister in law said to me last week "you have done good, you made it to a year which is more than most people with lung cancer". I got the impression maybe I disappointed her. Looking at the glass half full, this behavior keeps me stronger because the last thing I want to do is kick the bucket now and please them somehow.

I love my husband but he has disappointed me on many occasions and he sometimes looks at me as if I'm making this up and using it as an excuse not to clean and cook more than I already do. The other day I actually screamed "I have f...g cancer, yet I have to do everything around here". Gets me nowhere though..he just gets mad that I have the audacity to accuse him of not being supportive enough. I give up on that.

Tracy, I'm sorry for rambling, what I want to say is you need to worry about you and the kids and if people are jerks, than they are jerks. When you are able to distance yourself from those that cause the most stress, you should do so. I know that you will somehow probably need family to help with the kids but if you think your friends can deal with that better than don't be afraid to utilize them.

Tell your grandmother that she has to wait for you and you are not ready yet so she needs to keep healthy. Keep fighting and stay positive.

If there is anything that you think I can help you with from Connecticut, please call me and I will do what I can. You, your husband and your kids are in my prayers and thoughts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.