23 Apr

I’m struggling hard right now.

You all know my mom has had some health issues recently. About ten days ago, she went in for a test. Today the doctor called her to tell her she has uterine cancer. Even typing that makes me feel sick. I came home from PT around 2pm, and by then I knew she would have had her phone call from the doctor with the test results. I had a bad feeling on and off all morning, but chalked it up to me just looking for something to worry about. But when I got home and I called to see what the results were, she told me it wasn’t good. And then she said the doctor said the pathology said uterine cancer, and they wanted to move forward with a hysterectomy sooner rather than later.

I held up on the phone call, and I assured her I was okay. I assured her that we would be here to take care of her, of my father, of their dog while she is in the hospital. They said they expected her to be in the hospital 3-4 days, barring anything unforeseen. We don’t know yet if they are considering laproscopic surgery, but I assume if they are saying 3-4 days, it won’t be laproscopic. But 3-4 days in the hospital–with my dad at her side and my brother at work most of the day–someone has to take care of Cray-cray Lab (and our dogs). I’ll do it, it’s no question…but it means I won’t be able to be with her at the hospital, too, while she’s recovering. Hub has already said he’ll take the day off of her surgery to watch all 3 dogs while I’m with my dad at the hospital. My uncle (her brother) and my aunt will likely be there with us, too. And when she comes home, I’ll be here to help them, too. It’s why we live so close…for which I continue to be eternally grateful.

One part of my brain is settled…yes, we’ll handle this. Yes, I’ll be there for my dad during the surgery…yes, I’ll be there to help Mom with what she needs. One part of my brain is … whirring. Like someone gave it a gallon of Red Bull. And I feel like a junky with regards to Google. I want so much to go search everything. Uterine cancer. The surgery. The recovery. Will there be chemo? Radiation? What’s the success rate and the is this the kind of cancer that spreads? What is the long-term prognosis? What about the doctor? Is he good? The surgeon he coordinates with for this kind of surgery? What’s his deal? The hospital? What about heredity? Is uterine cancer hereditary like they say breast cancer is? My fingers itch. My brain itches.

After my mother called to tell me and I assured her I was okay, I hung up the phone and cried. I cried because I’m afraid of what if… Because this is my mom. Because I can’t do anything. Because I don’t know what to do first. I kept reminding myself to be in the moment, what is happening right now that needs to be dealt with. I changed my clothes, I ate a snack, I tried to trim Le Moo’s paws (did front two, then she ran off and wouldn’t let me do the back paws), I went outside and cleaned up poop. Then Hub got home and he hugged me. And since then he’s been working on stuff for his office and I’ve been itching. Avoiding my laptop because I was afraid that the minute I touched it, I would go Google.

I’m touching the laptop and I’m not Googling. But the urge is so bad… It won’t help me; I know it won’t help me. It will make this worse. And as I consider the “what if” game, the thought of taking that to it’s worst end is almost horrifying to me. I don’t want to play that. I don’t want to talk to my brothers when they find out (and call me to talk). I want to be calm. I want to be strong. I will find ways to do those things for my Mom and Dad. But here in the now, I am so afraid.

I feel rambling and out of it. I’m really writing this for me, for my record of what is happening in my life. I’m not Googling. I’m not going to. Googling things won’t change the outcome of what is going to be….because it will be what it will be. And right now, I need to be in my right brain to help where I can, with what I can. Which means supporting my parents and taking care of the home front. Those things I CAN do. I can’t change the outcome of the surgery or the cancer.

I still feel sick and afraid. And I’m sad. And I want people to understand that “sad” does not mean “clinically depressed.” I want my family to understand that I can be afraid and sad in this kind of situation…but that it’s not panic, anxiety, or depression. If ever there was a situation for sad and afraid (and even a little panic), it would be this one.



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7 responses to “Struggle

  1. April

    April 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Oh my, I’m not going to say I’m so sorry for your mother, because it is the worst thing I hear when I tell people that I’m a cancer survivor, or that I had a not-so-good scan result. I will say that I’m sending you all the positive ju-ju I have, so that you have the strength to make it through this. As you know, I’m an anxiety sufferer, and I must have knowledge.

    Three years ago, a nodule was discovered on my left lung. Cancer. I had quit smoking over 25 year ago, so I thought I was in the clear.

    I went on a Google frenzy. While I don’t think it helps me, it certainly gave me the right questions to ask, and to demand certain things from the doctors. I knew what to look for. Instead of them making me wait and see for nine months, I had the thing removed within 2 months–after pushing through all the protocols they have to do before biopsy can be performed.

    I recently had a follow up scan. Another nodule on the other lung and some suspicious things going on with my liver and spleen. Of course, I Googled again.

    However, after much therapy, I have learned to look for specifics, not the sad stuff. I have to have information so that if the doctor says something which sounds “off”, I know I need a second opinion, or third, or fourth.

    • meANXIETYme

      April 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      That is REALLY what I’m struggling with. I want to know things so I can help ask questions, but I am not able to filter out the other stuff. I know myself well enough that I can’t do it at this stage of my recovery.

      However, I am not the only one in the family who knows how to do research and/or has medical knowledge. So there are others who can help on that side of things. I am trying very hard to stick to the things I know I can do without setting myself back. If those other family members were not in the picture, I might not be able to restrain myself.

      Thanks for the juju. I accept all offers of prayers, energy, and juju that I can get. I am more than grateful. And I send the same back to you as you walk your path.

      • April

        April 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm

        That’s great that you have others to help with the medical side of things. Sounds like you know what you need to do to continue with your recovery.

  2. joeyfullystated

    April 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Oh my God, I’m so sorry for your struggle, and your mom, oh man. So sorry. I will say that I know about it, and that’s if they feel confident that the cancer is all WITHIN the uterus, they will generally not pursue other treatments, such as chemo and radiation. I shall think about you both, with hope and prayers for a speedy recovery and all the strength you and your family need to get through to wellness. xo

    • meANXIETYme

      April 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks, Joey. I appreciate the information. My mom got that same information earlier this evening from the doctor when he called to update her on blood work and the CAT scan she had yesterday. So far he says everything else looks good (and clean). They’ve tentatively scheduled her surgery in three weeks, because apparently coordinating the two surgeons (him and another) is difficult. We’re hoping they might be able to reschedule for earlier, but for now we wait.
      And thank you for the good wishes. I’m grateful for every bit of those we can get.

      • joeyfullystated

        April 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

        Three weeks is a long time to agonize…I do hope it can be worked out for sooner.

      • meANXIETYme

        April 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm

        Very much agreed. She had hoped to have the surgery scheduled for THIS week (which seemed unlikely to me), so she’s really disappointed. I had thought maybe next week. Now they’re saying not for at least three weeks. Ugh.


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