Jump to content

I read diagnostic reports myself yesterday--Depressed/Vent

Recommended Posts

I went to go clean/do laundry/organize my fiancee's parents house for them yesterday morning (while they took Anna to treatments--she'd been beside herself at what a mess the house was and she CAN'T waste her energy worrying about that) and sorted through all the papers with her husband in order to set up a filing system for him to deal with bills, diagnostic reports, general information, research, etc. (not to mention the general paying of household bills and all the other things his wife usually took care of) when they returned. Then off to get a second opinion. And back to more cleaning/organizing. I just got back to my home tonight at 11pm.

Thus, I was on hand with them to SEE her films (which they had b/c they were heading to get a second opinion) and READ her diagnostic reports (that had been sent to the onc.). They asked me to come with them to the second opinion--my fiancee and I had a long talk with the onc. (w/o his mom and dad in the room). All of her comments were based on a) what the family had told her during the consultation and B) the diagnostic reports that we had obtained copies of from the first onc. in NYC.

I don't think Geoff and his family had read the diagnostic reports--in fact, I don't think there is any way they could have without realizing that her cancer was far more widespread than they had told me (I was not present for their meetings with the other onc. but he has alwasy been extremely thorough, kind, and honest with my mom--we ALWAYS knew EXACTLY what had happened and where we stood (even when another doctor's labs "lost" my mom's tumor before testing/analysis after her lumpectomy 12 years ago during her first 'bout with cancer). I don't understand how they could have met with the onc. several times, talked with him on the phone repeatedly over the last couple of weeks, and been so off... It's ALL in the reports that he gave them copies of!!!

Even the the pulmonologist's preliminary report (dated 3/4/04) essentailly stated what was confirmed later in the CT and PET scan diagnostic reports (3/18/04)...

I'm just depressed, dispirited, and confused. I know that denial and fear are powerful things--and that everyone reacts differently to scary (terrifying?) situations. I also know that I am prone to "finding" and "analyzing" data--I want to understand. I may not have an MD, and am no rocket scientist, but I want to understand exactly what is going on to the best of my ability.

I know that not everyone is like this. But they had convinced me that they were... Yet they had not read the reports and are now in SHOCK that her cancer is so widespread.

I feel like a deflated baloon after reading those reports (because I thought I "knew" what they/we were dealing with)--and that is not going to help anyone.

And I am a) in shock at the "new but not new" dx B) in shock that they had this information, but I guess were afraid to/unable to process it and c) am bone tired from trying to stay on top of two "moms'" cancers, cleaning/organizing like a mad-woman, and trying to find a way to emotionally support people.

And I am feeling so torn between helping different people (I'm letting down whomever I'm not with at the current moment). And Geoff's mom is the sicker of the two---and needs more help--but my mom is MY mom and I am worried to death about her (even though I am not telling him this). And my father (my parents are divorced) and my sister (she's sick, too--but that is a whole 12 year saga unto itself)--are feeling neglected b/c my energy is being spent elsewhere.


I'm not sleeping, I'm "forgetting to eat" (a problem I usually could only WISH I had), and feeling like every minute I have 6 tasks to accomplish. I feel guilty for "wasting" time on this board!

Oh--and then there's the stuff I have to do for work...

What on earth would I feel like if I did not happen (thank, God!) to "be on vacation" this week (I'm a fifth grade teacher--I go back to school on Monday)???; if I had children??? (instead of the cat that I "inherited" from my mother when she got sick and has felt extremely neglected these last few days)???

And I'm not even the one who is sick!

I don't know how so many of you do it.

Thanks for "listening" to all of my negativity.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melinda, I can totally relate. You feel like you are being pulled in so many different directions. Your fiance is just so lucky to have you and his family must adore you. What a support you are. You do what you can, if people don't understand that, then it's their problem, respectfully so, but you can't be everything to everyone. You also need to remember to take care of yourself. It must be such a hard thing to balance, especially with so many people in your life being sick. Your dedication to each person is probably going to switch as it's needed. This week it's your mother in law, next week it may be your mom. Just take it one day at a time. This news of your mother-in-law is so fresh, with time, you may be able to figure out your priorities a little bit better. Geesh, and I bet your worried about your fiance too! Melinda, we are here for you... Just don't forget about taking care of YOU too. This is going to make your relationship with your fiance that much stronger. It's a horrible way to have that gift, but it's such a different type of relationship when you go through something like this. I feel closer to my husband now than ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You're not being negative . . . you're being HUMAN!! As difficult as it is, stop beating yourself up. And I'll borrow some words I've read from Snowflake so many times . . . take a very deep breath and SLOW DOWN. All that you're dealing with is so very painful, so very intense, and so very personal - I can't imagine being in your shoes right now. But you're obviously a strong, intelligent, caring person, and yes, you WILL find a way to deal with it all. Just be sure to take care of yourself, and call on those of us on this board for any help we might be able to provide.

Did your Mom have her surgery this week? How did it go?

One more thing - your fiance, your fiance's family, your mother, your father, your sister, and your students are darn lucky to have you in their lives. As far as the teaching part is concerned - as a mother, I certainly wish there were more teachers out there like you.

Love and Blessings,


Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'm experiencing some pretty low times myself right now and have been avoiding anything beyond "surface" postings but feel compelled to answer yours...

First, the "givens": Life is NOT fair. Cancer sucks. It's NOT "okay" that this is happening to people close to you in different ways. God must be on vacation. There is too much on your plate. HOW can you decide who is the most important and needs your support more??

Now, the insight:

You are spreading yourself far too thin. Time for a time out. To keep going at this pace is going to cause you to have an emotional/mental breakdown and NO ONE wants to see that. View yourself as a pitcher, pouring out love and support....now, if that pitcher is never refilled, it will quickly run out and have nothing left. You need to recharge, to take time for yourself and let go of all the stress. Allow those that you are supporting to support you, as well. Don't assume that everyone wants your all, sometimes all that's needed is a break. By helping out with the future Mom-in-law's house, you are giving her that break...but once a week should be more than enough or she may feel you are invading her privacy or trying to replace her or worse yet, that she is no longer "needed" (surely not the message you want to send out).

Your future mother-in-law is sicker than you thought. There is NOTHING you can do about that, what is going on in her body is going on in her body. It has NOTHING to do with you, with her family life, her religious beliefs, her past sins - nothing. It's just the way it is. Accept that, fight the battles you can fight and accept what you cannot change. Never give up hope, but don't exhaust yourself on small skirmishes. Give all the fights the attention they deserve, but no more than what is needed. Don't waste any energy.

Your fiance needs you, and one thing you NEED to do here is establish open communication. DO NOT be afraid to tell him that YOU need HIM, as well. A marriage that is only one-sided is doomed to fail...it's give and take and leaning...and it IS possible to lean on someone that is leaning on you.

You may want to visit your general practioner and let him/her know what is going on in your life. Stress has a way of affecting health...chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, depression... Talk to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication and counseling. I have found that counseling sessions help me keep what is left of my sanity...and on the nights that the voice in my head WILL NOT shut up, a Xanax/Ambien cocktail is just what is needed.

Try not to take it all personally. This situation is a random fate SNAFU (one of those service acronyms for Fay A). Hope for a cure, pray for a miracle...and keep on keeping on. DON'T forget to take care of you! You are an important person to the very people you are worrying about - your first priority is to make sure you are well and strong for them.



aka Snowflake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"...and it IS possible to lean on someone that is leaning on you."

This is so true.... When I was a kid my Mom and I were out shopping one day and I saw two little old ladies walking together on the downtown sidewalk. They both wore black coats, black stockings, black sensible shoes, black head scarves, and they had arms linked, and leaned towards one another. One walked with head down and watched the ground, the other had head up and watched the front. I asked my Mom why they were walking that way, leaning in to each other, and my Mom replied "They're elderly, and not as strong as they were when they were young. They're holding one another up. They need each other." I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I had ever seen (I was maybe 8 years old and hadn't seen too much.) It still think it was pretty sweet, though...one watching for what lies ahead, the other for what lay at their feet.

SNAFU: Systems Normal, All Fowled Up (my version, but use your imagination for the official definition. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The first thing to do is to take a deep breath and let it out as slowly as you possibly can....................

How, what your going through is the coruse that a lot of us have gone through. It doesn't make it any easier. Take time for youself. You need to keep your strength up so you can be there when your needed. Talk to your fiancee, let him know what you're feeling. Let him know your fears. He needs to understand your side of all this. Help each other through this. Let the people around you know what's going on. Make a list of the things that you need to get done. PRIORITIZE. Then start at the top and do what you can and to hell with the rest. Make sure that you put yourself on that list (and it should be somewhere close to the top). Reach out when you need help. Please, please, please come back to the board. We need you to help us help you.


(husband of Snowflake)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto to what snowflake said, and just take it one day at a time. You may feel you are carrying the weight of the whole world on our shoulders. It is just too much to do. Please take a deep breath and take care of you first. (and your fiancee)! You two need each other the most right now!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Melinda,

My heart goes out to you, how lucky your family and your fiance's family are to have you. You are such a sweet and caring person not to mention a smart one! I am so sorry things were worse than you thought, what a blow it must have been.

I think that sometimes people just do not want to believe what is happening to themselves or their loved one's, they just can't handle it. I know my husband is enclined "not to hear" what the doctors say sometimes and he often gets an entirely different message from the Oncs explanations than I do. My short term memory is bad these days too, so I usually take a recorder with me to the meetings now. This way I am able to go over what was said afterwards and understand it all more clearly. Perhaps you could get your Mum and future Mum-In-Law to do this and go over it with you and your fiance later. I also make a point of picking up the records and Scan photos from the hospital before every meeting. This way I can discuss anything that I don't understand or that I have not seen before with the Onc. The last time we went to see him, I forgot the recorder and I was so mad at myself because now I can't remember exactly what was said.

Please look after yourself and don't forget to eat, we don't want you sick too!

Love and prayers,


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.