#7 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Losing hope

Today, they took away our hope.

I can’t breathe. My hands are shaking and I feel dizzy. I’m losing  control, I’m losing my hope. I panic. It feels as if someone’s pushing a cloth against my mouth, as if someone’s pressing a hand upon my chest and I scream but there’s no sound. I kick but I don’t get free. I’ve been pretending to be strong for everyone but I’ve been struggling to cope since last Thursday, a worry slowly building inside my chest.

Being yelled at on the phone by a client (we work in the construction sector) because of something I couldn’t do anything about, shattered me. She called me rude and unfriendly while I apologised multiple times for the delay. Told her I’d be able to give more information this week but she wouldn’t accept it. Something stupid as that, something so ridiculous, has knocked me down and ever since then, I haven’t been able to crawl back from that thought that I don’t matter and I’m just one piece of shit trying to please everyone’s life but getting nothing in return.

I know that’s selfish. I know but – and don’t get this wrong – everyone’s asking about my mum and she gets all the support one needs going through this and of course everyone cares about her, I wouldn’t want it any other way – but I suffer too. I’m scared that I will lose my mum and end up alone without my best friend. I’m the one who tries to motivate her, listens to her and hold her when she cries, be with her 24/7. Staying positive for everyone all the time, is exhausting. I sleep 3h a night and even then, I wake up in cold sweat, hyperventilating. Everything hurts. I’m stressed but the moment someone sees me, they don’t ask “how are you dealing with this?” but “how’s your mum?” and I don’t mind but I could use a hug too. I could use someone to listen to me too. I could use a shoulder to cry on too. And if they do ask how I’m doing, they don’t expect me to say “Crap. I can’t deal with this anymore.”, they expect me to say “Okay. Fine. Considering.” because I’m not entitled to feel crap. I’m not the one with cancer. I’m the one who should stay positive and help my mum out as much as I possible can.

And it is okay for them not asking because my mum deserves all the support in the entire world. But it’s just…I’m feeling desperate and alone and crap and it’s killing me ever since that woman yelled at me and told I was unkind and rude (while I never yelled and only tried to reason with her). I don’t think I deserved this.

And it makes me wonder: if people are allowed to yell for something as stupid as a screen blocking flies from getting inside her house being delayed by one little week; then I’m bloody well allowed to stab her with a knife and tell her to shut the fuck up and get a life. Seriously though, where has respect gone these days? I deal with people like her every single day. What makes them so special that they are allowed to yell at me? Call me names?

So with that being said, this is how I’ve been feeling since Thursday. Yesterday, I got a panic attack during work. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. I shut down. My mum’s started to lose her hair now and I knew this would be a difficult moment. It hurts to see this happening. It just hurts and I can only imagine how it must feel for her.

Today, she had to go back to hospital for blood samples and see if she can start another chemo session on Monday. Luckily, she can. There’s not a problem. However, the oncologist-nurse started talking about something; an evil word was mentioned: palliative care. Our world fell apart. Palliative? She’s not dying. They told us she isn’t. Why, why, WHY say this?! WHAT IS GOING ON?!

It’s for research. If they could follow her up perhaps. But she’s not dying? Why would she need palliative care then? It’s confusing and it hurts and right now, I could be sick just by the idea of her dying. I don’t understand. My mum’s hope is completely gone. She’s pale and I am panicking. How can I interpret this? What did the nurse really mean? Did we miss something valuable? Did we not hear them say: we are going for total cure? Did they really say: “I’m sorry but curing is not an option, she’s dying.” and we totally misheard this?

So I try to cheer her up, like I’ve been doing for over a month now. We have been worried about next week when the toughest part of the treatment will begin and watching her lose all hope now, is  upsetting. So while I deal with her emotions, I push mine away again.

As soon as I’m alone, I sob and crave a pair of arms holding me, comforting me. I need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay even if it might not because I’m so, so, so alone. There’s no one here I can talk to, no one that cares because those who care (my mum and dad) don’t need to see me like this. I’m their positive rock they’re leaning on at the moment but I can’t do this anymore.

I’m tired. So tired.

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3 thoughts on “#7 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Losing hope”

  1. Don’t feel bad for feeling this way, and having contradictory thoughts like wanting support then feeling bad about it…all of that is more than understandable. I read somewhere recently that cancer is not just one person’s diagnosis but a whole family’s, since everyone is affected and hurt by it when someone close to them has it. So you are not wrong to feel the way you’ve been feeling. Oh, and that woman who yelled at you is a moron. People like her don’t think about the person on the other end of the line and the consequences their words can have. As hard as it is, try to put her out of your mind. I’ve dealt with rude customers on the job too and can never understand it…and you were being helpful, too! What more does she want? So know that she is not emotionally intelligent so in some ways, letting it continue hurting you would be like letting a two-year-old get to you. I do get why it got to you, especially in light of everything else; I’m just trying to confirm for you that she’s not worth it. Also as for palliative care mentioned by the nurse — that would upset me too but from what I’ve read, palliative care doesn’t automatically mean the worst, just an approach to ease stress and pain during illness. So I think that can happen alongside traditional treatments without meaning anything bad necessarily…I’m not expert but to me it would be like having a broken leg and needing to wait for it to heal in a cast, but still taking painkillers now and then to get through it all until you can have the cast off and walk normally again. I am thinking of you and always here if you need to vent…I may not “know” you but I do care; although I can imagine how that’s not the same as what you need but I hope it helps even a bit. I will keep praying for you, your mom and your family.

    1. Your messages always make me feel better. You’re right about that woman. I’ve talked to my mum Thursday evening and her support made me feel better and I finally got out of the house again (besides doing the job). I think you’re right about palliative care as well. We’ve discussed this a few days ago and we think it’s just to help my mum process her illness and helping her be more comfortable about it. We’ll see. She has to go back to hospital tomorrow and I think she’s seeing our doctor again so maybe we’ll know more then. Thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot to me.

      1. I’m so glad my messages help — yours do the same for me! I’m also happy to read what you wrote about your discussions on that rude customer and also the palliative care — it really does help to air things like that out, doesn’t it? Good luck with tomorrow’s appointment for your mom; I too hope you all know more soon. Waiting for information can be one of the most frustrating aspects of it all, although lately I’ve tried to see the benefits too — like how it can be a little break in a way. That’s what I try to tell myself. 🙂 Anyway, I wish you and your mom all the best.

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