Wise women of the board-please help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wise women of the board-please help...
16
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 11:33am
I find myself totally numb since the diagnosis of four brain tumors instead of one brain tumor. People ask how I am doing and I just shrug and say fine. I haven't cried or wept since the diagnosis which is highly unusual for me. I usually cry at commercials or at church or in my car and it just has not happened. I heard a story on the radio about a boy that died of cancer which would normally bring on a crying fit and I just listened and sighed.

I guess it is my body's way of keeping it all together. I have just shut down and am going through the motions. Is this normal? How long does it last? I know none of you are psychotherapists but I didn't know if anyone else had experienced this.

Please e-mail me if you don't want to emote all over the board. I am worried that I am so unnaturally calm.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 11:45am
Calm is good. Your body knows that the family needs you to be calm right now. You have papers to fill out, schedules to make, appointments to keep, plane to make. YOu need this calm. I think it shows that you do

"get" just how serious the situation is.

This is not quite on par with what you are facing, but here's an example. My middle child was born with multiple heart defects. He went undiagnosed until he went into heart failue and had his organs shutting down. Suddenly, our normal (we thought) month-old infant needed emergency open heart surgery, and extended NICU stay, and even more extended hospital stay. There were papers to fill out, arrangements to make regarding work, arrangements to make reagrding care of our older son, who was only three and a half. After a brief cry as we were hearing the diagnosis, I didn't really have time or enbergy for tears and panic.

I almost fell apart at one moment--when the surgeo took him out of my arms to go back for surgery. But otherwise, I didn't cry. Maybe a brief tear here or there as i was doing something else, but other wise you just deal and go on.

Months later, when he was home and relatively healthy, I nearly had a nervous breakdown, suffering severe depression. Only after the crisis moment had passed did my mind allow me to fall apart. You will probnably be strong for a while. but at some point it will hit you. When that happens, please call on all those people who are so ready to help now.

You are in my thought.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 11:49am
You know, I have been thinking about this since we talked last night. Like I told you, I would liken what you are going through now to the grief one feels after the death of a loved one.

After mom died, I was very numb. Except for my initial breakdown at her bedside, I had virtually no showing of emotions at all. I remember reading a poem at her funeral, and thinking it was odd that I wasn't bawling during the funeral. I'm not sure how long it took me to get through that part of it. Life at that time is such a blur in my memory.

What I do know is that it will come for you. And it will come in YOUR time. All of us are different. I would say that you have so much going on right now, your body knows that it doesn't have the option of emotionally grieving right now. It knows that you have to carry on to take care of your darling babies, continue your job so you can support the family, be the "strong" one for Devon and the babies, take care of all the insurance and money issues, etc. Right now you don't have the time or strength or energy for any emotional breakdowns. And when you do....it will come.

((((((KRISTI))))))) I wish I could be there closer so that I could take some of the burden off of your shoulders. Whatever I can do from here, please let me.

btw...how did the kids handle last night without daddy?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 12:00pm
They did not do well at all. Alex was really tired and crying. He would not go into the high chair to eat and he kept trying to pick at my plate. I finally put him to bed at 7:00. Zak fell asleep in my bed at 8:00.

Zak, this morning, just cried. I told him he did not match and to change clothes. He cried. I told him that he had choir tonight and he cried. I asked him if he was worried about daddy and he cried and shook his head. He won't talk about the situation and he is keeping it all cooped inside. I don't know what to do. We take him to Gilda's and I have him talking to the school counselor. I am trying to keep his routine as normal as possible but he still won't talk. He has it all bottled up inside. It doesn't help that Devin and I are so calm about it, either. I just don't want this to change his life but it is. He will remember all this to his dying day.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 12:05pm
As everyone else has said, you are just handling it the best way you can. My thoughts are with you and your family.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 2:31pm
It doesn't matter if your reaction is "normal" or not . . . what matters is that you're being true to yourself and your feelings. While deliberately keeping everything inside is not healthy, neither is forcing out emotions that you don't have. And they will probably come, just not now.

Different situation than yours, but I can relate somewhat - my Mom died of cancer about 7 years ago. While she was sick I just went through the motions and did what needed to be done. After she died, at her funeral, the pastor's wife had the nerve to ask me: Are you mad at God? *That's* when I lost it. "You bet your A** I'm mad!" etc. I felt SO much better afterwards (she probably didn't!) but my point is: as long as you are not hiding your emotions and you have an outlet for them if you need to, you're being normal. And the emotional outbursts that you seem to expect to have may come later.

Everyone reacts differently in situations like this, so please don't be worried about how *you're* reacting. (and don't let anyone tell you that you should be reacting differently!) I think you're doing amazingly well.

Loves.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 3:02pm
i dont know you or anything about your health so I dont want to bardge in on you but I would like to offer your some understanding, strength and admoration.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 3:14pm
Perhaps your brain has already processed through this, back when the cancer came the first time or back when you had to think about what would happen long term or some other time. So maybe your subconscious is not all that surprised by this latest bad news. You may have already spent years stressing and grieving which is why it isn't happening now. I remember when my grandfather went into the hospital for gall bladder surgery and he wasn't doing well in general at the time. I cried for two straight days thinking about his eventual death (which could have been two years or ten years down the line for all I knew.) When he died two weeks later, I was as calm as can be. I had already had my sad time.

That probably isn't a very cheerful little story (I'm sorry) but I am just trying to help explain your reaction. I think that eventually you will get a trigger (when you are ready and probably at a totally illogical moment in time like paying for your gas at the gas station) and you will let it all out then and it will be a huge relief. But I wouldn't worry about your eerie calm. It is probably a good thing that you are able to function at all. You sound like you are being the best possible support for everyone. Your time to fall apart will come. It is very healthy that you are aware of it. If you weren't aware of it, then you'd be in trouble.

That's me playing amateur psychologist. Praying for you and your family.


Suzy

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 4:22pm
Sometimes you just realize that the situation is out of your control and there is nothing you can do to change that. You're also probably in shock. When the time comes to cry, you will.
Avatar for homesicktxn
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 7:54pm
When I would nurse Thomas (born with tetralogy of fallot and had open heart at 5 months old) at night when everyone else was sleeping, I would sob for hours. I had a lot of time to think about it, too. In a way, I kind of envy the way you found out. I had a long time to *think* about what would be happening to him. Completely OT, but I just wanted to relate a bit. ;-)

April

Avatar for homesicktxn
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 7:59pm
I agree. When it came time for Thomas's surgery, I was very numb. I was nervous, but that was about all I felt. He just turned 1 in June. The surgery was in November. I am just now "dealing" with it. When your brain/heart decides it's safe, you will feel again.

{{{Kristi}}}

April

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