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Debaroo

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Today I stopped in Old Navy to pick up some swim shorts for my husband and a couple of shirts for my dad. The cashier was talking to the woman in front of me, they were complaining about all of the parties they have been invited to and of all of the obligatory gifts they've had to spend their money on. I was listening and also feeling dumb for getting Daddy shirts, I wanted to get him something that showed how much I love him.. something sentemental, I'm so worried about him. He sits and stares into space, he still isn't able to eat, the meds aren't really helping to increase his appetite, and hes getting stomach and back pain. Time for more tests, I fear.

Anyway, listening to them complain about the baby showers, birthday parties, graduations, communions,etc. I wanted to say "Hey, at least they're HAPPY OCCASIONS, not funerals or something!" But I stopped myself. I stopped because I realized that it is completly normal to feel the way they do, I remember feeling that way too, once. All the money that you have to shell out for this and that party. but mostly I didn't say anything because I realized that if I did, it would be because I'm jealous. I am jealous of being able to take life for granted.

I know that we're "not supposed" to take life for granted. That we are supposed to be wiser than that, and to "live each day as if it were your last', but honestly, after all of this with my dad and mom, I really think that the opposite is also true. That if we sat and really thought about it, the death thing might just paralize some people. That, maybe, just maybe, SOMETIMES you SHOULD be able to take life for granted, to witch about the small stuff, not to waste time, or to waste love or anything. But to NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF 'WHAT'S NEXT'. I know this subject was touched upon in the Grieving forum, and maybe I should have posted there, under Katies topic about mourning our old lives. But, to be honest, I'm too lazy and tired to start over.

So, this is what I'm offering. RELISH those moments where the cancer slips your mind...CHERISH them...don't be angry with people that "don't get it", try for a minute to take a step back and appreciate things now...things can get worse, sometimes they will, and sometimes they won't. Hell, they can even get BETTER!!! Who knows. I know that we cant forget the cancer, thats impossible and I'd never say to try to do that. But, maybe, if we try to appreciate the moment, and take it for granted and not try to see what is lurking around the corner-just sometimes-we'll remember what it was like before...before our lives were rattled to the point that we sometimes don't recognize ourselves, or our families.

Maybe I'm rambeling. I'm not sure. I'll probably read this tomorrow, its almost tomorrow now, and say "WHAT THE??? WAS I THINKING".

I hope that this post dosn't offend anyone. I DO NOT TAKE LUNG CANCER LIGHTLY, nor do I think that we should take it lightly.

I know I can't do like Genie did and "think and blink" it away. I can't do that Samantha from Bewitched nose twich and zap it away, if I could we'd never need this board, wonderful as it is...

I'm just tired. I want my Daddy and Mommy to come to Disney World with their granddaughters; I want to not feel guilty for buying my dad a few stupid shirts for fathers day, for fear of missing an opportunity to get him something with deep meaning...for fear that it might be my last fathers day with MY DADDY. I don't know. Maybe some sleep will help. Take care everyone, LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Deb

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Yes, a perspective we can all relate to... I used to just think I had problems... now, they are trivial distractions. It really changes the way you view everything.

We are pulling for your dad and hope that more tests will bring more answers! Thanks for welcoming us aboard.

-Jack-

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Deb,

I hope you dont read this post tomorrow and regret it. I know exactly what you mean. I was getting annoyed the last two weeks when I would hear someone complain or talk about something trivial. My friend was going on and on about her cat getting old and possibly dying. In a store I heard two people going on about how terrible it is that they are taking smoking out of bars here in NY. Another friend was sorry she hasnt called me lately but she is swamped starting a new class. And yes, when I see people with healthy parents older than mine, I think, why my special father????

Yes, this disease does make us look at life differently and appreciate the more important things in life. I have a better relationship with my mother and sister than before as it is not worth arguing about certain things. We do make an effort to celebrate everything (today was not only Father's Day but my daughters' piano recital) and do a lot more together. But, I agree, Deb, do we always have to be waiting for the other shoe to drop? Holding our breath between scans?

I could go and on because I really related to your post in many ways. You have really been hit with more than me. Just know youre in my prayers.

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Hey Deb. I had a bunch of stuff lined up to say to you, but I don't think I can, with all the tears in my eyes. Your post makes me sad. I think mostly because in the years since my operation, I have been one of those

"taking it all for granted" people you speak of. Until I found this site last November, I didn't give it a second thought, but now, and ever since my father had his bout with lymphoma, I realize that what you, and others here on the board have to deal with can be so overwhelming. I wish I could just twitch my nose, or have Scotty beam me up to where you live so I could give you a REAL BIG HUG (as opposed to a cyber hug). You deserve one. Take care Deb,

David

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Hey Deb, your post reminded me of why I've been in therapy for two years. Wtith the third diagnosis, I needed extra help on living with cancer as the world continues to evolve. And it does help. I've learned to "compartmentalize."

Sometimes cancer comes out of its room, but then it goes back in and I close the door for a while.

The door is open right now. Had a CAT scan on Wednesday, and decided that since some people are being restaged right now, why should I be any different? When I woke Friday, I couldn't decide whether to get results Friday afternoon, and possibly ruin Father's Day, or wait until Monday.

I went into school and talked with my very best friend about the options I had. As I gave them to her, I realized it wasn't about Father's Day, it was about me, and what I needed. If I was getting bad news, I would want the weekend to sit quietly with it. So I was calling from school, and she would be there waiting.

At lunch I was explaining this to my friends, left the room and thought, "I can't believe I am calmly discussing this, like people would discuss shopping" I could only imagine the conversation when I left the room.

Turned out it was way too hot to stay. (No AC thank you). I went home and called from the car, leaving a message. By the time I got home, they had called back, saying results were not in.

All that thinking, and yes, worrying, and it was taken right out of my hands. Sign from God.

Cancer is real, and people have to realize that stuff is going on. For me it is cancer, for someone else, it is something else. I feel good when I speak openly about it. People around me are starting to share their lives as well. After watching the US Open, and Tom Watson's caddy (ALS), I thought good--people are seeing and talking about it, and going to a more personal level.

Today is a beautiful day, and I am putting cancer back in it's room, and closing the door.

You hug those kids today. Post a picture of them !!!!

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Deb, you said it all. What I and I am sure lots of others think and feel when we see the world go on. How dare it go on so casually while we are living in this nightmare! Why me? How come now? What did we ever do? All the bad people in the world are fine why not my husband who is so good? We do not have the answer but I believe that there is a plan and we are a part of the plan. There is nothing to be gained from the anger we feel, but the anger is still there. No one can understand what we are going through and I mean the person hit with this horrible disease and the caregiver as well. I could not imagine the devestation before January when Gene was Dx and we have had close friends dealing with the same illness. I felt terrible pain and sorrow for them and helped as much as I could but my life was still "normal". This Board has been a continuing plate of strength for me, just reading the posts makes me feel I am not alone and I can reach out what evertime of day or night it is without feeling like I am bothering someone. Hooray for you all!!! Thanks Carol

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Gosh Deb,

I thought I was the only one that thought this way, even after all this time (seems like years, these past 10 months) but I feel that way so often. It's like a tug of war in my head and I feel like I live in a bubble as the world rotates without me.

What kind of stupid person whines about the traffic or which outfit to wear or what they are going to do for Friday night, etc...what kind? A NORMAL person. I realize I'm just angry, and jealous, and remind myself that my normal has changed.

NO we didn't ask for this, NO we don't deserve this, NO it's not fair and gosh dangit WHY the "bleep" is this happening to us? My dad doesn't deserve this.....

I went thru a time when someone was really annoying, or I'd see a newscast of a criminal or derelict on TV, I would say....Give it to HIM, he deserves this! It's been hard keeping the anger under the surface.

I've let alot of friends and aquaintences go because I feel like I don't have the time or patience to deal with their petty ways or self-centered lives when people in this world are suffering and there are SO much more important things to focus and worry about.

The only thing that gets me thru is the smile of my son, the support of my family and doing everything I can do for my dad while I have him here. I know that is what you do for both your parents, you are a fantastic daughter.

Thank you for starting this post that allowed us all to vent. We are beside you in spirit, holding your hand.

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Thoughts about this subject are just shooting through my mind.

This is a devasting disease. Treatments can be gruesome and the waiting for the results are torture.

But my thought is that Earl is alive. I will do anything and everything to help him beat this disease and as I have posted before we live with LC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

HOWEVER, as I said Earl is alive and thus being we need to live this life. LC always there but hopefully not dwelled on. Yesterday we spent Father's Day at our daughter's house surrounded by our children, their spouses and our 8 grandchildren. (New picture coming). LC was not mentioned one time. Everyone told Earl how well he was looking but that was it.

Just my thoughts.

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One of the things about this board is that we CAN ramble, vent and bare our innermost feelings because everyone here knows how each other feels. Its good therapy, at least for me, to be able to sit at my computer and bang my typewriter keys knowing that I will get support when I am done - even if what I have typed is self pity, complaining, venting or rambling. It always amazes me that it seems like every post I read is one I can relate to. I once heard a person (suffering from cancer) refer to the "gift of cancer" I didn't understand it then, I do now. As much as I despise this disease it has given Hugh and I a greater appreciation of all that we took for granted for so long - big things (each other) as well as little things (watching the birds in our back yard). Last week when my sister was at my house and Hugh mentioned the hummingbird at our feeder she never even turned to look. Hugh remarked later that she didn't take time to think about the little things in life. Hugh and I might spend the better part of an afternoon sitting on the deck watching the pair feed off and on and just enjoying nature. We probably wouldn't have sat for so long BC (before cancer).

As so many have said before on this board - none of us know what will happen tomorrow, just because we are healthy today doesn't mean something tragic won't happen tomorrow. I regret that I didn't appreciate life quite enough before this all happened to me.

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wow, this is freaky...do we all swing the same way with emotions of what??? I was just thinking to myself this morning these very same thoughts. Its like...YES mom is alive and fighting but there is always a damper of the pute "Happiness High" that comes because she is winded, or tired, or nauses and it brings the tone down a notch.

Not how she is acting but how much better the joy of whatever moment would be if she was cancer free. Like yesturday Fathers Day. My step dad did not want to go out to dinner because mom was tired and weak from chemo and he would not let her stand in line or be bothered having to get up, get dressed, travel, wait for a table, then eat (if she can get it in) then come home.

We all understood this and had no problem getting food and BBQing but mom got weepy thinking she ruined everyones day because she is weak. It could not have been further from the truth...we wanted her to be WELL thats what brought the day down.

I understand that no one is gauranteed anything in life. I understand that we could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But I am watching my mom, in pain, she is tired, she is sick,she is weak, she is depressed and I cant do a damn thing about it. Thats what brings me down.

What really sucks is that even if she gets to NED...this disease is cruel, most times it will come back....what then...how can she take more chemo. And if they say chemo looses its effectiveness and she would need different chemo...whats to say that chemo will work at all. I live in fear, mind numbing, chilling, all consuming dreadful fear every day that the alternative to all my worrying is her dying...

I cant live like this cause this (what I do daily) isn't living, its existing, its taking air in and out. There may be a moment when dread lifts for a day or two depending on mom having a good day or a bad day but thats it.

Cancer is living hell and I for one am tired of it.

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Now that I am the one with the illness, LC, I don't want my family to focus on it. I have lived with the illnesses of my husband for most of my adult life. He has been hospitalized and had more surgeries than most people will ever have, many of them severely critical. When I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer my daughter cried a lot and stated its not fair that this should happen to you after all you have been through with dad. My answer was that life is not fair and some of us get more than we deserve and others get nothing. Her in laws for instance are in their seventies and their biggest worry in life is what country to visit next! I have given up trying to analyze why some of us are handed crisis after crisis and illnesses and others are just given joy, what did we do to deserve this? I don't know the answer my friends. I just try to live each day and not complain to my family or friends if at all possible, I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I am sure that someday the mystery of life wil be revealed to all of us and until then we can only wonder why. I am grateful just to be alive, to enjoy the little things while I can. The laughter of my grandchildren, a good book, a nice movie, a pleasant dinner that I am not to sick to eat. I too have no patience with my friends petty compaints but I never have had. I have just learned to block them out and to think to myself "if you only knew what problems are all about" and pray that they are never faced with any serious problems because they could not handle them.

Bess B

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Hi Deb,

WELL, I READ YOU TWICE AND ANSWERED YOU ONCE THEN HIT A WRONG BUTTON AND EVIDENTLY IT GOT LOST. IT REALLY TOOK A LOT OF THOUGHT AND WITH THE TOUCH OF ONE BUTTON IT WAS GONE. THAT IS HOW LIFE IS. WE LIVE TODAY FOR IF NOT TOMORROW MAY NOT BE HERE ON EARTH. I CAN TELL YOU ARE REALLY HURTING AND I WISH I COULD HELP YOU DEAL WITH ALL YOU ARE GOING THOUGH. I CAN ONLY COMFORT YOU BY SAYING AS I FEEL. HELPING A SICK ONE THROUGH LC IS A HORRIBLE THING FOR WE CANNOT SEE TOMORROW. WE DON'T KNOW WHEN TO BE HAPPY. WE ARE AFRAID NOT JUST FOR THEM BUT FOR OURSELVES. WE ARE AFRAID WE ARE NOW DOING ALL WE CAN. WE CAN ONLY DO EACH DAY WHAT MUST BE DONE, LOVE EACH DAY ALL WE CAN NOT ONLY TO THE SICK BUT TO EVERYONE. SHARE OUR THOUGHTS WITH OTHERS TO TRY AND HELP EACH OTHER.

WE HAVE ONE SON AND KNOW THAT HE IS HAVING A VERY HARD TIME DEALING WITH HIS FATHER BEING DOWN WITH THIS LC. hE WAS JUST A LITTLE BOY WHEN MY MOM AND DAD WERE GOING THROUGH IT BUT HE DOES REMEMBER SOME OF THOSE MOMENTS AND KNOWS THAT WE DID ALL WE COULD AS HE IS DOING FOR HIS DAD NOW. JUST LOVING AND ENJOYING WHAT TIME IS LEFT ON THIS EARTH IS ALL WE HAVE. NO REGRETS, NO TIME FOR GRIEVING WHILE THEY ARE SICK. THAT TAKES TO MUCH ENERGY FROM EACH OF US. MY HUSBAND HAD SAID AND I HAVE SAID THAT IF THE LORD WERE TO TAKE US TOMORROW, WE HAVE HAD A GREAT LIFE, SURE WE HAD SOME BAD MOMENTS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART ALL WAS GOOD AND NO ONE CAN ASK FOR MORE. WE RAISED A GREAT SON, WONDERFUL FATHER OF THREE TERRIFIC GRANDCHILDREN AND A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WHO IS THE MOTHER OF THOSE GRANDCHILDREN. SO NO TEARS WHEN WE GO ONLY GOOD THOUGHT. LIFE DOES GO ON FOR THOSE LEFT ON THIS EARTH TO BUY ALL THOSE CRAZY PRESENTS AND COMPLAIN ABOUT ALL THOSE PRESENTS THEY ARE BUYING. THAT IS WHAT MAKES UP THIS WORLD. (tears are running down my face but i really mean all of this.)

LOVE TO ALL OF YOU TODAY.

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I agree and feel exactly what you say. I only think about cancer almost 24/7, its not fair for my wife, but I pretend that it doesnt bother me too much. I think the rest of my 6 siblings are in denial or fear of getting to close to dad because they know he may fade very fast. They dont want to see him in pain, so their visits are kind of short.

I dont care too much about most things in life right now and I am jealous of others "normal lives". However, I try to have a normal moment when I watch sports on TV or WWE wrestling. I may even go to a dodgers game tomorrow and enjoy it, why not, dad may be here much longer than everyone thinks. So, maybe i am wasting my time thinking about cancer so much? However, I need to be thinking about it so I can be on top of my dads future treatment options. I dont know what to think, but I resent some of my siblings for not going all out to help dad.

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