Sunday, August 26, 2012

3606 I can be very nasty

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We must never confuse dissent with disloyalty.
--   Edward R. Morrow  --


Here's where I say what I'm thinking.  I just hope the person I'm saying it about never finds this.  On the other hand, maybe she needs the kick in the pants.


A while ago another blogger linked to a blog about a couple currently fighting the husband's brain cancer.  Having familiarity with that particular situation I read the blog, starting from the beginning.  I didn't get very far before I had to take a break from it, because I got so very annoyed with the wife - and I avoid annoyances these days. 

I had to think about my annoyance, distance myself from it, and I think now I can go back to it sometime.  Let's face it - I'm very curious as to the husband's treatment and the course of the tumor.  Given the continuing search hits on my own "brain cancer timeline" post from a few years ago, a lot of people likely facing the same diagnosis are curious, too.  We need to know what to expect.  I'd like to know what is different now from when Jay was being treated.

It's amazing how different people handle things in different ways.

When Jay got his diagnosis, we were stunned the first two or three days.  Mostly we did internet research.  Then one evening we sat against the headboard with our arms around each other and cried.   That was the first and last time we cried, and the last time we used the word "cancer".  From then on we referred to it as "the tumor".  That sounded beatable.  Just a pesky lump.

Doctors were privately frank with me about the likely course and prognosis, but they seemed to be aware that Jay was intent on maintaining a positive attitude, and they never mentioned life expectancy to him.  They were very positive and supportive.

The only time I mentioned death to him was when he had an especially rough recovery from his third craniotomy, and I said, "Sweetheart, would it be ironic if you beat the tumor, but the treatment killed you?"  His response, "If the treatment kills me, then I beat the tumor.  It didn't get me."  The only time he brought up death himself was when he told me that he didn't want to "die by surprise".  He asked me to promise to tell him when he was on the way out.  I promised.  And I did in his last few hours, when there was nothing else left.

Given that, perhaps it's understandable that I had difficulty with the way this other couple handled it.  The wife wails that her husband is DYING!  She has already given up.  She constantly reminds him that he's DYING!  She constantly reminds herself that he's actively engaged in the process of DYING!  She seems to want support from him (!), because her husband is DYING!  Now, he's young, and with constant reminders from her, he's seeing his life leaking away.  What about all the things he'd wanted to do?  What about his dreams for the future?  But she seems less interested in his feelings, and is focused on what on earth will happen to her when her husband DIES!  "Oh, oh, poor meeeeeeeeee!  My husband is DYING!"

I hoped that this was just what she said to the blog, just letting it out, screaming to the wall, that in real life she was much more concerned with her husband's feelings and much more positive.  And that's ok.  I used to get in the car and drive out to the middle of the farm fields, roll up the windows, and scream as loud and as long as I could, until I couldn't scream any more.  I screamed for the unfairness of it all, for what was happening to Jay.  Then I could drive home and be calm and positive with him.  Maybe the blog is her place to scream. 

Nope. My hopes were dashed when her birthday came around.  Stand-up comedy is a dream of her husband.  It gives him joy.  He had an opportunity to appear on stage at a comedy club - on her birthday.  He wanted to do it, he was excited about it, and she freaked out.  That he would dare to ruin her birthday!  She argued with him about it.  I was shocked.  My head spun.  Doesn't she realize that she can look forward to more birthdays, with luck more with him?  But his chances to do standup might be dwindling?  Nope.  It's all about meeeeeeee!  My husband is DYING on meeeeeee, and now he wants to destroy my birthday, too!

Sorry.  At that point I couldn't read much more.  I wanted to strangle her.

I gather that she has some kind of chronic medical issues of her own.  I understand that she depends on him.  I guess she thought he would be there forever to help and emotionally support her.  And now all that came crashing down.  Ok.  Understandable.  Self pity is ok.  That's when you scream in private.

But, he needs her emotional support right now, and she's failing him.

I'm having a lot of trouble with this.  Poor meeeeeeeeee.

I'll go back and give her another chance.  I hope she gets a grip.  (Oh, by the way, she tends to exaggerate.  Like when she talks about the gazillion pages of the application for SS disability.  I dealt with that.  Mostly the doctor says yea verily, provides a diagnosis and prognosis, and that's about it.  I don't remember more than one page I had to fill out - or maybe several pages, but only a few simple questions per page.  Not a big deal when the topic is brain cancer.  But well, that doesn't get you pity.)

I'm pretty nasty.  Arrogant and nasty.  And, of course, perfect.

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