Re: [MOL] Emotional side of cancer [00054] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] Emotional side of cancer

In a message dated 05/01/2000 6:24:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
>  I've found that I've become much more stressed, can't handle stressful 
>situations like I could before I had cancer.  I think it's because I realize 
>  how precious life is, how short it is, and when people gripe, complain >  
continuously about things I see as petty, it drives me up the wall!  These >  
things that irritate me are the same things that were going on before I got > 
 sick -- situations at work, etc.

Brenda, this part of your letter I (a caregiver) can relate to. I think much 
of what you feel my father also feels. This msg will ramble a bit because I'm 
not sure how to focus it...

Our whole family thought my stepmother was being selfish and self-centered 
when she continually complained about her own well-being - almost immediately 
after my father's diagnosis.  We even TOLD her so - in the hospital hallway 
while my father was undergoing lung surgery. At that point, my father's only 
(visible) concern was for HER; though we could see his own fear in his eyes.  
Several months later the poor woman collapsed and only then did we learn that 
she was extremely lucky to have survived those months - her heart was so 
damaged it was only at 15% functioning! I have worked very hard to make up to 
her for the shabby way I treated her feelings during my father's "crisis" 
And I also feel "stress" from little things much more so than before my 
father's (and my stepmother's) illness(es).  I work for a counseling agency 
and our clients are people in need of emotional help (therapy), but their 
whining and sniveling over (what *I* perceive as *little things* (things that 
they really don't WANT to fix) drive me up the walls as never before! 
    My mother died so young (43) when I was only 21 - and it was unexpected 
and shook my psyche so much; but the upside is that it made me aware of how 
precious time is with those we love.  Even my parenting was geared toward 
spending as much time as possible with my son (I was a divorced mom when he 
was only 3).  I was so acutely *aware* that he would grow up much too soon. 
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that once mortality has slapped your 
face, you never again take life (time) for granted.  But not everyone knows 
that yet and it's hard to be patient with them until they do. And they will - 
we all have to face it sooner or later.  God be with you.  -chris
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