The Good Side of Bad - Living with Cancer

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My mom was diagnosed with metatastic adrenocarcinoma last week. On my birthday! What a day! It was devastating and caused so much heartache and worry. We made it through the week and visited the oncologist yesterday. The news was very bad, Stage 3 lung cancer, but in that bad news is a blessing. The doctor believes they can manage it with chemo and medication. It was such a relief! A month ago, you would have never found my mom and I high-fiving in the kitchen because she had Stage 3 cancer! Heavens how things change in such a short time.

What I have found through all this is how much I am loved and how many true-blue friends I have. These are the ones who walk in when everybody else is walking out. My family is scattered all over the country, but it is amazing to know how close we all are. I have such a great support system to lean on and with the red-alert message, they all roared into action. We are so blessed. I know that through all this, I am not alone. No way will my friends and family let that happen. Plus we have tapped into an absolutely amazing healthcare network. I appreciate every bit of it and thank God that we have superb healthcare and long-term care insurance.

I am also leaning on Spark hard. The only way through this is to take care of myself. I'm doing this by tracking all my food; I need to eat enough of the right things even when I am so depressed and crying. Plus I need to make sure my stress and emotional eating aren't taking over. I'm also walking an hour a day; 30 minutes is enough to break the stress and 60 minutes is enough to get me totally out of thinking for a little while. I am also telling anybody who will listen everything that is going on. There is so much support and so many stories; I had no idea until bringing up the topic of my mom being sick. And I am fast tracking my grief. No way am I letting any of it well up. I am blasting through these emotions head on. If I feel bad, I just let those sad tears flow, the anger well up, the fear take over, and wallow in my regret. By doing that, I am finding ways to let it go. Because I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to spend with my mom. I want to make sure there is enough time for the good, without being buried in the bad.

Living with cancer. There it is.

Thank you so much to all my spark friends! You all got me through so much this week. Just knowing there are people who are caring and praying for me meant so much. Many times I was reading your well wishes and messages through tears. That is helping me get through this. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart. I am on the mend!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    you are handling this awful news very well you know that by taking care of you you will better be able to take care of her. you are using exercise dont forget music to take away the stress. and talking and letting all your emotions out. you are being the best informed that you can . and it is good that you have good insurance to handle all this. know my prayers and thoughts are with you and your mom, emoticon
    3926 days ago
  • no profile photo ALEMAPO
    It is great you have good insurance and long-term care. That can be a real hardship if you don't have those things. It is good that you are getting all that walking in. I say - do whatever it is that keeps the stress down. If you are stressed you will only stress her out. It is good that you are managing your stress. Having gone through the treatments for cancer myself my biggest advise is to read everything you can on the subject and educate yourself. I'm not saying to second guess the doctors but I researched all the drugs they gave me and procedures they did on me. It made me feel empowered to know what they were doing to me. It also made it easier to communicate with the doctors. A positive attitude will get you there. I will be thinking of you both!
    3926 days ago
    You're definitely not alone, Danette. We are all here for you.

    I think that you are doing an amazing job dealing with the diagnosis. It's definitely difficult (My dad's in stage 3 also.), but it's also manageable. You and your Mom will get through this, you're a great team!

    Keep your spirits up and keep on taking care of yourself. You can't be there for your mom if you don't take care of yourself first.

    emoticon emoticon
    3927 days ago
    So glad you and your mom will have an awesome support system during this difficult time!
    3927 days ago
  • MOM23JS
    Sounds like you will be a wonderful support for your mom as well! Keep up with the wonderful attitude

    3927 days ago

    It's good to know there are some positives, such as hopefully being able to be treated, and having an excellent health care network and insurance including long term care. Thank goodness you have a strong support system to help you and your mother get through all of this!

    It sounds like you are handling this whole situation as healthily as you can. I'm so glad you are letting your emotions out and trying to get as much exercise as you can!

    How is your mother handling everything? You are both in my thoughts and prayers.

    3928 days ago
    Danette, I can only echo the sentiments expressed by our other Spark friends. You must allow yourself to grieve and be angry about the blow that life has dealt your beloved mother. Your tears and dismay are not only natural, but also necessary. I must tell you how much you have impressed me with your wisdom and your attitude toward this devastating diagnosis. You are truly a force to be reckoned with--one extremely strong woman--and you have my greatest respect along with my fervent prayers for both you and your mother.

    Your friend, Kris
    3928 days ago
    I'm in awe of the way you are handling all this---keeping up w/ your food tracking, and lots of walking! I'm happy that you are taking care of yourself, so that you can help your mom. And it sounds like you've got a wonderfully supportive family--and of course, your friends here on SP.

    I'm thinking of you and sympathizing, because I remember what it was like when my step-father--who I was very close to---was battling lung cancer back in 1989. Lots of turbulent feelings ---and it was hard for me to focus on the things in my schedule that I really had to get done--my job, taking care of my kids, my husband, housework, etc. I was always in the grip of some big emotion--and it was hard to live that way for months and months. But you sound like you are handling things maturely. Thinking of you, and praying for you, my friend! emoticon
    3928 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/28/2010 2:42:42 PM
  • no profile photo CD4419646
    Danette, We are here for you. I'm sorry you and your mother are going through this dark time. I have had many friends diagnosed with cancer but luckily never had any in our family. I'm sure it is devastating news to hear. You are right that you need to take care of yourself, because by taking care of "You" you will be able to take care of your mother.
    3928 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/28/2010 1:33:03 PM
    emoticon Having been where you are, I can honestly say I know exactly how you're feeling. You're doing a great job of taking care of yourself through this difficult time. Keep that up. You'll need your strength when you don't expect it. You will get through this. Having friends and family to support you will help tremendously. My prayers are with you and your family. Keep walking emoticon
    3928 days ago
    Danette, I am so sorry about this diagnosis, but happy that they are working to deal with it. Much of your blog, I could have written about our own experiences. It is amazing how cancer completely changes your life and you live with it every day. It sounds like you really have your head together and are taking care of yourself. It's certainly okay to cry and be angry; those are natural feelings and you are so right that letting them flow helps to let them go. My prayers are still with you and your family as you go through this difficult period in your lives.
    Cindy emoticon
    3928 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3928 days ago
  • no profile photo INKEDSHUTTERBUG
    So sorry to hear of your news, but I am really glad you are looking at all the positives; its a bit of a roller coaster but I am sure you can find the strength to get through this. My sister is battling cancer at the moment and I honestly had no idea just how hard this is. Keep us all posted, the support you will find here is a true blessing.

    Adding you both to my prayers, I'm really proud of you for facing your emotions as they come, it seems to be a healthy way to get through all the changes you and your Mom are facing.

    3928 days ago
    I'm glad you are taking care of you during this difficult time! My thoughts are with you and your family.
    3928 days ago
    Dear Danette,
    I'm in awe of you and how you are handling your self! I have the greatest admiration for you and being able to take care of yourself by walking and tracking your food. I'm so happy that the walking is providing some stress relief for you, and that your finding stress relief in a healthy way. You are a very strong person. I'm relieved to hear that the cancer is treatable and that there is hope. Good thoughts are going yours and your mom's way!
    3928 days ago
  • NHGRL68
    You're really doing great. I think you really have a great attitude, in spite of all you are going through, and that is definitely going to help you along. We need to stay strong and take proper care of ourselves. And that's exactly what you are doing. I also think it's great that you are letting all those emotions out. We all know how bad it is to keep them locked up inside. Enjoy your time with your Mom. She is SO lucky to have such a great daughter and a great family. I'm sure she takes great comfort in that. emoticon emoticon
    3928 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4664429
    Both my father and mother had cancer, so I know about those day to day struggles and how those emotions can sometimes creep up on and get the better of you. You're doing well to face them head on and to try to appreciate all the good things and time you have with your mom. It also sounds like you're prioritizing your own self-care, which is VERY wise. I'm here if you need to talk.

    3928 days ago
    I live with cancer ... I wouldn't have consciously chosen it but it is what it is and it hasn't been nearly as bad as what I thought it would be. Treatment has come such a long way ... in fact I never even had nausea with the chemo ... the drugs have gotten that good.

    It's so important that you take care of yourself at this time and keep your support system. I would also suggest that you include the Cancer Wellness Center, if there is one close to you. The resources that they have have benn invaluable to me and my husband. emoticon
    3928 days ago
  • LADYDI2049
    My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Thank God that you have a good support system, that makes all the difference in the world. It sounds like you know what is important and that you will take care of yourself as well as your mother. God Bless You.

    3928 days ago
    What a great job you are doing in this dark time for you and your family! You are taking care of yourself so that the best YOU shows up for your Mom. What a loving daughter. My heart and prayers go out to you.

    Nancy emoticon emoticon
    3928 days ago
  • TINYC887
    you definatly have my prayers. I am living with cancer, it hasnt won yet. It does change how ya look at things and you realize whats really important. your mom is lucky to have you. Remember to take care of you!
    3928 days ago
    My brother had been dealing with lung cancer, then adrenal cancer and then chemo for the last 6 months. This past Thursday after numerous scans and tests, he got an 'all clear' from his oncologist. I will be praying for the same good news for your mother. emoticon
    3928 days ago
    I'm glad you aren't giving up on yourself during all this sad horrible craziness. We are thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers.

    3928 days ago
  • JLITT62
    What a healthy attitude you have! You are very wise to not let your healthy habits slide in the face of such stress. It will help carry you thru all the challenges ahead.
    3928 days ago
    i'm so glad to hear the good news. time is so precious! emoticon
    3928 days ago
    Dearest Danette,
    So glad you are taking care of yourself in the midst of all this sadness and grief. The walking will certainly help, as will the crying! Crying is so good for just letting it all out. Very unhealthy to stuff your feelings. I will pray for successful treatment for your dear mom.
    Sending lots of emoticon !
    Your friend in the Pacific NW.
    3928 days ago
    Take care of yourself. Hugs to both you and your mom.
    3928 days ago

    It sounds as though you are putting on a brave face, yet allowing yourself to feel your emotions. I am so glad to hear that you have such a wonderful built in support system with close friends and family that have rallied round you now.

    Please do continue to take care of yourself as you march through this. There will probably be some roller-coaster days ahead. You and your mom remain in my prayers and best wishes.
    3928 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4155065
    Awww Danette....I am so so sorry that your family has to go through this right now. I will pray for your mother's recovery. I am so proud of you for facing this head on and continuing to care for yourself, cause that is so important. Not letting it bottle up inside of you will help you get through this too! Sending you lots of hugs!! ~ Kris emoticon emoticon
    3928 days ago
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