Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Coping with cancer

 We were talking about how different people we knew coped with cancer. My mum had breast cancer but was also severely disabled with rheumatoid arthritis and she never mentioned the cancer at all, almost pretending she didn't have it. Col's Mum had breast cancer which later spread. She was in hospital several times over the years and we heard every detail of every operation. Each time Col's Dad came back from visiting hospital he would spend a couple of hours on the phone ringing everyone to tell them the latest news. After Col's first chemo session his Dad rang to find out how he was and spoke to Col. But then he phoned again just a couple of days later, when Col wasn't here and I had difficulty telling him that Col was the same as he had been two days earlier and there just wasn't anything more I could say. I really hate having to go into all the details of illness. Tell people it's cancer, a bit frightening and worrying, yes, but then get on with coping with it. I'm not good on the phone unless it's a business call so if I answer the phone and it's someone wanting to know how he is I pass the phone over to him! I may even avoid answering the phone when he's not here! I asked him how he thought his way of coping was and he said "probably grin and bear it and moan a bit!" I don't know if this will change as we progress through.


 I'll miss this when we move.

 It works a treat over the Rayburn to finish getting things dry on short winter days. In the bungalow we will be gas and electric. We will miss our Rayburn and wood-burner but after doing all the wood hauling, fire cleaning and laying, by myself, for the last couple of months maybe I won't miss them as much as I thought!

Thank you for all the comments yesterday. Only John at Going Gently could have left the comment he did! Honestly that man has a 8 year old's toilet humour!

Back Tomorrow
Sue

31 comments:

  1. I am fortunate enough not to have to have coped with any cancer details, but we have had other illnesses and very difficult situations in our family of a similar nature. Might not work with your FIL, but might work with other members of the family and friends, in our family one e-mail is sent out and until there is more information that is it. So everyone knows the current situation and knows that when there is more to know they will find out. We are a widespread family - around the world - and this works well for us in many ways. I totally get your reluctance to answer the phone and the desire to endlessly discuss something that there isn't actually anything to talk about at that time. As I have said before I am sure, if you want to share here we are ready to listen and support, and if not we are still here if you need us! Hope that perhaps one day you can get another stove and drying rack, that is something I would love too! xx

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  2. I'll take that as a complement x

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  3. Yes, the email is a good idea. Jon had a cancer scare just as we were in the throws of buying Bronllan and I sent an email for my sister to pass to family and friends saying we would be in touch as soon as we had news. I, too, couldn't face going over things with people. Of course not everybody took the advice but it did make things easier. Love to you and Col.xxx We had a drier over our Rayburn when we moved in but had to take it down when a new supporting beam had to be put in. Hope to use the pully mechanism for opening a window in the greenhouse when it is built.

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  4. Curiosity got the better of me, I had to go back and look at Mr Grays comment. Ha ha, some men never grow out of 'toilet humour' do they! My nephew is the same at 36. I'm lucky I don't have cancer in my family as such but we have rampant 'heart disease'. All my mother brothers and sisters had bypasses and lived fairly good lives. Most have passed away now. Some people find any sort of illness a private affair. You will always have people who have it far worse than anyone else, its human nature! Regards to you both and do whats right for you both.

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  5. I'm terribly naughty as well!

    My mother had cancer four years ago. She was lucky, single mastectomy was all that was required. Didn't bother with reconstruction. Operations not a majorly good idea as she'd had a triple bypass a couple of years before that.

    She is a born moaner, lol like everyone on that side of the family, me included, but she got on with it and coped really well.

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  6. Your post has really given me something to think about today Sue. I don't know how I would cope in the face of a serious illness either for me or a member of my family. I have never yet had to face it and I am so sorry that you and Col are having to cope with this-x-

    I've seen those drying racks advertised as Sheila Maids....ha, ha. I'd love one but as our fire is in the living room I don't think hubby would be very impressed with laundry hanging in there.

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  7. I am visiting a friend today who has had a mastectomy since Christmas for breast cancer. Everyone reacts differently to cancer - those who have it and their nearest and dearest. I was scared witless before I started my treatment, but once I started that, mentally I adjusted, just got on with it as you would for any other illness ... that was eleven years ago.
    So I hope to cheer my friend up, if she needs cheering that is ... just speaking to someone who has 'been there' will, I hope, reassure her.
    Again, all the best to Col, and to you.
    Margaret P

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  8. We've got two Sheila Maids like that - one near the Hergom for wetter stuff, and drier things get moved to the one nearer the door to finish off. Wouldn't be without ours here.

    I can understand your reluctance to discuss the cancer and the treatment - it's not exactly a cheerful topic. Col seems to have the right attitude. My best friend has stage 4 cancer so I go and see her as often as I can. Treatment is letting her hold her own for the moment.

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  9. When Dad had cancer I was the 'call centre' for people to ring in and ask how he was. No texting or e-mails back then. Looking back I've no idea how I did it, I was only 27 and devastated at the diagnosis myself. But Mum just couldn't spend hours on the phone dealing with all the relatives and didn't want to either so somebody had to step in. She just wanted to spend her time with Dad. I think when you're living with it that's enough to go through without having to go through every detail again and again. It's a fine line for people not immediately involved and by trying to get it right sometimes they get it wrong. Nobody wants to be a nuisance but then they don't want to appear as though they don't care either. I think Col's 'grin and bear it and moan a bit' is a pretty good attitude to have. xx

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  10. For those who are at a distance, email updates really are useful. We've done that in the past. It's trickier when nearby folks Want updates. I flew out to stay with my mom when she had her mastectomy and it was a revolving door with folks stopping by. They don't understand how tired a patient gets. My sister kept hand sanitizer at both front and back doors for all guests to use, and though it might sound rude, I wouldn't wake mom if she was napping. If awake, my mom put a cheerful face on and tried to be sociable, but it would wear her out and impeded healing, so my sis told her friends to call her (sis) for updates, and eventually gave updates to one friend to pass on to the others. There are worse problems than having so many people who care. :-)

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  11. I did not speak too much about my treatment, on days I felt ill, I wanted to be left to myself, other days I got on with life, my sister was not happy because she wanted all the details. You both need to deal with it in the way which helps you both, because when all said and done it's about you and Col, you with support Col with his personal battle.

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  12. It is a difficult time for you both, I remember my hubby repeatedly going over to details to anyone who asked.
    So I know how you feel x

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  13. I know from my own experience that people cope very differently when it comes to cancer. My sister was diagnosed with it and she was absolutely terrified. Saying that, she wanted to discuss every little thing, dissecting and analysing everything that was said to her by the doctors. She was in torment from the moment she was diagnosed to the day she died. I was diagnosed with cancer a year later and I was adamant that even though I didn't know what the future held, I wouldn't allow myself to be put through that pain and so I made myself look on the bright side. I'm sure that's what got me through it. I could talk about things, in fact, I wanted to talk about what would happen in the worst scenario, I could discuss this matter of factly for the most part, that's not to say that I didn't have my down days. It was a different story for Mick, he didn't like to talk about it at all, he went in to a depression and was referred for counselling (though he didn't go) which I thought was strange at the time as I was the one going through it. I do think that it can be much harder for those watching someone go through it than those actually going through it. Since then, my mum's had a cancer diagnosis and got through it and my dad's currently going through it. We've all dealt with things very differently. I think a disease such as cancer is very personal, there's no right or wrong way to deal with it and we're all so different that none of us will deal with it in the same way. You must get through it the best way you can but the main thing is to try and support each other. I'm sorry this comment has gone on but if you want to talk or sound off about anything at all, you know where I am. Sending lots of hugs to you both. xx

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  14. My hubby has cancer, not a word I can use often. I usually call it by its full name pleural mesothelioma ( asbestos cancer). I know how you feel about answering the phone, at the moment he is going through a fourth round of chemo and is finding the tiredness very hard, he is on one of the strongest, cissplatin and permextrede. We both roll with it and support each other. Life is not easy for us as I have pulmonary fibrosis with only a two to five year life expectancy. Considering I could have been diagnosed three years before I was as the doctor never listened properly when I kept presenting with breathlessness issues. He just kept saying go away and lose weight. May I say through your blog please if anybody out there really feels that they ought to see a consultant speak up. Doctors don't want to refer you as it costs!!! When I got to see the consultant with the doctors words ringing in my ears "don't think that you will necessarily get a definitive answer" I was diagnosed within minutes, he took one look at my clubbed finger nails (all I knew was that they had changed shape but I thought that was down to ageing like liver spots).
    I have just read this back and don't want people to think that this is all doom and gloom I have much to be thankful for - good family and friends, three gorgeous grandchildren.

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  15. To 'grin and bear it and moan a bit' is probably a very good way of coping, I think that is what I would do.

    I understand completely what you mean about phone calls, I would much prefer to see the person I'm speaking to in person., I'm better at explaining myself and reading their reaction to see if they understand just what the bloody hell I'm rambling on about if they are stood opposite. Phone calls like, comments and emails can be misread and misunderstood so easily.

    John is John is John .... it's a good job we love him ;-)

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  16. There's no easy answers is there. A lot of good advice from your readers X

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  17. Yes Sue - I too have a SheilaMaid - and I wouldn't be without it for the world, especially this weather.

    As to speaking about cancer - my first husband was one of twelve children. He had kidney cancer and he just could not cope with all his brothers and sisters phoning almost everyday to see how he was. In the end he nominated one brother to call and told all the rest to ring this brother - it was certainly much easier for him than repeating the same news over and over again. Chin up down there - hand on in.

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  18. Sorry Sue - of course I meant 'hang on in'

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  19. Hi Sue thanks for visiting my blog as its so new I get very excited to receive a comment lol. Some people love illness I know that sounds horrid but they just do. I know several people who spend hours talking about all the nitty gritty of other people's illness and their own ailments. There are others on the other hand with a much more positive view on life who make the best of the hand they have been dealt. Your Col sounds like he's in the second group and I know where I would wish to be if I were in the same circumstances. I wish you both all good things. I have just had my house extended and along with a walk in pantry in the kitchen my pulley maid is my favourite new piece of equipment l just love it so I'm sure you will miss yours too.

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  20. However you and Col decide on how to get through this is the right decision for you. No two people are the same and there are no right and wrong ways.
    When I was growing up we had "the rack" in the kitchen and it always had wet or dry clothes on it. Over here we don't even see washing lines or whirly things any more. Every body must have a dryer!

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  21. We all cope with our cancer diagnosis in different ways, don't we? I don't mind talking about it, but I tend to minimize things. Daughter will ask me how I feel and I'll say, "OK", or "fine" and she has to go through the "on the scale of 1 to 10..." and I have to tell her "4 or 5" or whatever it is. I continue to keep you both in my thoughts and prayers and wish you both the best as you go through this time in your lives.

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  22. Sending our best from the Alviti family xx

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  23. Now I have to go back and check Johns comment. I love him. X

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  24. Just do what feels right for the both of you...in your own way...at your own pace...explain once only to others your wishes and enjoy yourselves as much as you can being positive and making beautiful memories together...none of us know our future...And I will be missing the old Esse when I move to the cottage...it will be the first time in my entire life that I'll have been without either a Rayburn or Esse to cook on and keep warm by...shudder! Take care my dear...Jackie x

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  25. People treat cancer in very different ways, for me it was a blip on the horizon
    Julie xxxxx

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  26. There are half full and half empty people, and it affects how they react. One friend had breast cancer and was awfully upbeat about it once she had got over the shock. Then one day, she texted me saying she was at home if I wanted a cuppa. She hadn't done this before, and so I went round. Was in a right old state, so we put the world to rights and then she felt a bit better. Now recovered and reconstructed. We are all so different. Best Wishes to you both.

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  27. its true that everyone has a different way with , your husbands reply is priceless, lol, honest too!I would love that drying rack when we lived in the house, mine took up too much room,

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  28. There is a chance that your FIL is scared of the potential outcome and needs some reassurance. You know him best but something to think about.

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  29. I have a long time friend with cancer she never talk about it. My other two friends talk about quite often. I guess we all deal with cancer in different ways. No matter what it is shock and then having to deal with the treatments.
    I don't have cancer but some major life changing and challenges. Close friends know about it and others not so much. I usually pretend I am OK. Works for me.

    cheers, parsnip

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  30. As everyone has said, everyone deals with it differently. When I had my scare, Pete and you were the only people I told as I didn't want to worry anyone. I guess if things had turned out differently I would have told more people, but as far as my children are concerned I think I would have only given them any positive news xxxx

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