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Am I over-reacting? Am I over-reacting?

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Unread 04-29-2002, 11:12 PM
Am I over-reacting?

I am currently unable to work due to back pain after my hyst and radiation. I can get around ok, but need pain meds and can't do my chosen profession, which is hairdressing, because it's too much strain on my back. I'm going through physical therapy, but it's slow going. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do hair again, but I'm ok with that. My life has changed plenty just with being diagnosed. After all that has put me through, a career change isn't such a big deal.
Well, because of all this I have had to move back home. I'm getting started in a network marketing career that has proven to be very successful to my mother and sister. I'm grateful for their support, both now and since all this started, but tonight I'm afraid my mother over-stepped her bounds. I attended a meeting tonight, and as people are coming up to share their success stories with the business, my mother proceeds to tell over 100 people about my going through cancer! I had stage 1b, and even though they suggested (and I went through) radiation, my chances for survival are very high. She made it sound like I was terminal, telling everyone how terrible it was! Then as she wrapped up her little speech, she asks me to stand up to be noticed! I know where she was coming from in telling that story, trying to give 'encouragement' to others, and I told her how I feel about what she did, but now I feel like these people are going to associate me with my cancer, not for who I am. I had to leave after that. I know that it was hard on her to watch helplessly as I went through my cancer experience, but I almost feel like that whole speech was more for her than anyone else. I don't want total strangers to look upon me with pity. It's one thing to tell people who know you about it, or even to talk to someone you just met about it should it be appropriate, but she did this without asking me how I would feel about it, and now it's too late to change it. I cherish the days that go by that I DON'T think about how I had cancer. Those days are few and far between and now I may have to deal with a whole new group of people that I haven't even met yet walking on eggshells around me to not 'say the wrong thing'. Or worse, ask me a bunch of questions that are none of their business. I want to be seen as any other person, not as 'the person who had cancer'.

Sorry to be so long, but I had to vent. I know this is a different situation, so ANY input from any kind of similar experience will be helpful. I'm so glad at least I can know that you ladies can relate, even when others don't 'get it'. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I don't feel like I'm 'brave' or 'courageous' or any of those types of terms people use. I use those terms for people who WILLINGLY put themselves in the way of danger in order to help another, like a firefighter or rescue worker. I did not choose this battle. It chose me. I'm not downplaying what I went through, I just feel like I never would have chosen it, so 'brave' is not a word I would choose to describe myself. I was a wreck and cried every day! I'm not sure if there is a word that truly works. I know I am lucky now to have it past me, hopefully for good!
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Unread 04-30-2002, 04:29 AM
Am I over-reacting?

s Steph

Glad to hear you are doing well, with the exception of your back problem. Tread gently with your Mom. It sounds as though she has been very supportive of you during this journey. I really do think she meant well. Your success in fighting cancer is probably still just at the top of her thought list.
I can tell from my support group that some people are much more private about their cancer than others. And that is to be respected. But I think in general, people will react to you according to how you present yourself.
Best wishes in your new venture.

Unread 04-30-2002, 04:38 AM
Am I over-reacting?

Hi Steph, I havent really been through anything like this . But my mum ( as much as I love her ) does have a tendency to dramatize things , like ' oh my daughter had cancer and she has been through so much before that. Just look at her,she is amazing , wonderful , then she goes on to tell people how she coped with my cancer . Like I said, I love my mum so much but sometimes :hair:
She forgets that it was stage 1a and very curable. I think maybe she is like this because of the way I coped while going through my treatments . I admit I was strong most times but sometimes I just about fell apart at the seams.

I understand completely about the 'being brave ' bit. When I was going through my treatments , I had a friend who ' was there for me' but she told everybody about my cancer and how 'brave ' I was. I dont feel brave at all, either, I admit I did hold it together in front of most people as I didnt want to be a quivering mess in front of strangers and besides when I cry lots my nose and eyes go red not a pretty sight. I too, think people who fight wars and put their life on the line for others are brave, not me who also had this thrust upon me . Who would choose to do it .

Oh she ( my friend ) said , I think you are so brave going through this ..............

I understand completely how you feel and about what you are saying. Maybe it is their way of coping with the situation that they have no control over but the ones who really annoy me are the ones that say " oh well, its all over now. You can get on with your life " Helllllllllo ?????? I am trying to get on with my life, but it is different life now, a less stressed one ( or trying to be ) , a more understanding one and a more peaceful and spiritual one and one unfortunately that has cancer head in it every now and then.

Steph , I dont have an answer but do try not to let it get the better of you. Try to rise above this. You are a strong woman. Like all of us here Please anytime you need us, come post , you will be amazed how similar we all are x x love always xx
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Unread 04-30-2002, 07:58 AM
I Could Identify Here

First, I think too that your mom meant well. Not having been in your situation, she, as "mom" and well-meaning as she is, doesn't realize how things change, how we feel, what we may or may not feel at any given time, and what we really want others to do/say. I also agree with Robyn about those who think we just go on as before once treatment is over, because we're OK or whatever. You do what's comfortable for you. Some are open about talking about the cancer; others prefer to be more private. Both are appropriate, because they reflect that individual. I know what you mean about being the cancer person too, the nosy questions, the walking on eggshells--we've all been there to some extent as well. I just try to be myself--whoever that is at the moment. Sometimes, I'm very anxious (as before checkups), sometimes down, most of the time just a very average person doing ordinary daily things just like every other average person, sometimes a dreamer (hey--if there's no air service to Santa Rosa and I can't get to the Schulz museum when done--those shows about Las Vegas on Travel Channel are beginning to interest me). You had a really good post and this is a good place to discuss hard topics--so come in anytime.
Unread 04-30-2002, 08:36 PM
Am I over-reacting?

Thanks for the responses. Yes. It is a strange situation, but I'll get through it. We had a good talk today, although a little stressful, about the situation. She wants to 'protect' me, which is completely understandable. I mean, after all, she's my mom, but she can't protect me all the time and I'm staying here because I cannot afford to live alone right now, not because I need protection. It will take time. If she could protect me from things like cancer, I'd take it! But we all know it just doesn't work that way. Oh well. One day at a time.
Unread 04-30-2002, 10:14 PM
hi steph

Hey girl! My mom is the same way. It sounds like you have worked it through in your mind and soul. So, that is good. Does your mom also under-react at times? My mom is both ends of the spectrum. Just curious, because what your mom did sounds EXACTLY like something my mom would do. Then, the next day, have a total narcisistic breakdown about how she can't handle my cancer. She even flipped when I had my surgery and didn't come to the hospital. Ya know, they love us, we are their baby girls and sometimes, I think they get so scared and confused. Just like us!!!
Unread 05-01-2002, 08:04 PM
Am I over-reacting?

What you described could have been my mom! Actually, my mom told my entire dentist's office that I had "the worst" kind of (drama) cancer, etc.etc. (I am a stage 1b ovca). :burning:
The receptionist started crying when I called to make an appointment later! Finally my mother told them the REAL deal (that it's an early stage)and now I feel like I can go back and get my teeth cleaned (following labs, of course)without a death watch.
Hang in there. I am trying to be patient with my mom, too. It's hard, but what can you do. They mean well. I don't know if I could stand it if my kids had cancer. I try to think of that when she starts in.
Unread 05-01-2002, 09:20 PM
Am I over-reacting?

My Mom has been pretty good about not freaking out :eyes: but I'm having to deal with this NEW stress, and the whole point of me coming home for a while was to AVOID stress. My mother assured me that moving back home would not be like when I was a kid (I'm 32) but I'm finding the opposite to be true! Today a friend of hers asked if I was working yet. I told him "No, not yet..." and before I knew it she jumped in and finished telling him my situation as if I couldn't say it for myself!! :hair: I pointed it out to her once I could pull her aside as to not embarrass her, but this needs to be nipped in the bud! Otherwise, I'm going to hole up in my office just to avoid her and I don't want to do that. When my (ex) boyfriend and I were moving out of our house, I was upset with him about something and started to talk to him about it. Next thing I know, SHE steps into the arguement! NOT the way to handle a situation, especially when it's MY situation. And you know, that's just it. This is MY situation and I hope she starts to respect that I'm the one that has to deal with it when she tells a personal matter to a room full of strangers. I'm not that private about what happened. I don't mind talking about it when it's appropriate. I just didn't feel that a business seminar full of strangers was an appropriate time. Had those same people been to a health or cancer group seminar or something like that, that would be appropriate. And please, no drama. My Dad, however, treats me like an adult. He 'gets it' and he was just as upset as my mom when I got cancer, I promise you. But he understands that the worst is over (fingers crossed) and life moves on and I'm trying to move on with my life. Oh well.

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