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Ect., Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions

Looking Down My Nose At You: How Cancer Changes Things

Having a mom who is ill with cancer has turned my life upside down.  Not only is my mom sick, she was the light in my overloaded life, providing me with six hours a week of babysitting so that I could manage to keep it all together.  While I am coping with this better than she is (the poor woman has been in and out of the hospital so much this week) it has really changed my perspective.

Her cancer is very aggressive and had spread more than the doctors thought so now they don’t know if they removed it all surgically.  Then a day after coming home she was back in the hospital with heart trouble which they found was from a potentially fatal blood clot.  My poor father is doing his best to care for her, but he is a mess (my mom was the pack leader in that house) and I am a mess because I want to be with her and I can’t and my world is out of whack and I am just making due.  Really, I have been feeling more optimistic about things and mostly I try not to think about it.  But when I do it all tends to pour on my head and I feel like I’m drowning.

I got to work at 5:40 this morning (I have to go in early with no sitter) and so I had 20 minutes to read blogs before I officially start.  Reading the posts this morning I found myself getting more and more pissed off. Maybe because I am tired (I am but I am drinking my coffee) and maybe because I am in a bad mood (but I have actually been feeling a lot better these past few days) but really because my perspective has changed.

Posts I might have one found sympathetic, and left a “cheer up” now made me upset.

Really?  You think YOUR life is tough? 

Ooh, poor baby you SAHM with two older kids to look after, yeah you have it bad…

Oh your friend upset you, I don’t even have friends! 

None of you are in my shoes.  I would love to have your problems, your mother doesn’t have cancer, you don’t work full-time and manage with three kids without daycare, nanny or any other support than your husband.  UGGH.

Keep in mind, while I want to scream I am not.  I am letting these thoughts come and go and pass through, but since they are lingering this morning I thought blog!

I know these are awful, awful horrible thoughts, and I have zero rights to judge anyone.  Plus, I know that you should never ever compare yourself to other people.

I am looking in the mirror again, but I decided to write this post so you know that I am not perfect (as if you ever thought I was), that we all feel this way sometimes, to just get it out, and maybe give you a little perspective.  I know that reading about other people who have bigger problems than mine instantly makes me feel grateful for all I have so here ya go.  Glad you aren’t me eh?

Oh, that felt good! LOL


About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


49 thoughts on “Looking Down My Nose At You: How Cancer Changes Things

  1. I’m so sorry Shannon. Sending strong recovery thoughts your mother’s way.

    Posted by sparrow | April 9, 2014, 9:44 am
  2. I’m sorry it’s one of those days for you, Shannon. Hang in there… knowing what little I know of you, you’ll figure out a way to snap out of it. Take care. *Hug*

    Posted by Sumitha (@afineparent) | April 9, 2014, 9:45 am
  3. I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. Sending thoughts your/her way. *Hugs*

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | April 9, 2014, 10:12 am
  4. So sorry to hear about your family’s health scare. My mother is indispensable to me as well and life would feel extremely challenging without her. Just remember, your mother has already blessed you with a lifetime of wisdom and emotional resources you can draw on for the rest of your life. Her influence will always make your life better and your resolve stronger, even when she can’t be with you.
    Thoughts and prayers for a full and quick recovery for your mom.

    Posted by lovelylesley7 | April 9, 2014, 10:14 am
  5. *Hugs. Sending positive vibes and prayers your way.

    Posted by The Vanilla Housewife | April 9, 2014, 11:20 am
  6. You are completely justified in every one of your thoughts. It’s human nature. Cancer sucks. It makes me curse. I look back on my mom’s struggle and I try to pretend like it wasn’t a big deal so that it doesn’t consume me but even in remission, I fear every time she gets sick that it’s actually the cancer. Anyway, my point is, there are a few of us that do really understand and you aren’t alone. Hugs, momma.

    Posted by Heather C | April 9, 2014, 11:42 am
    • That’s Heather. I really appreciate that. O really do feel awful and then feel awful about feeling awful! Your comment made me feel a lot better about that.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 11:50 am
      • I remember typing F Cancer! (As in the actual word, not just the letter) as my Facebook status and I had 100 people down my throat saying I wasn’t being supportive or that I was too pessimistic. That’s not what it was about at all. And instead I felt horrible. And that wasn’t fair because I deserved to get to say that, not have to feel guilty about it. Anyway, that’s that. 🙂

        Posted by Heather C | April 9, 2014, 1:56 pm
      • Seriously! As if people can tell you how to feel. I feel like typing that myself some days!

        Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 3:13 pm
  7. You are soo brave. For sure, I am not brave enough to disclose such thoughts for fear of being judged let alone make it so honest and frank. You ARE courageous. Hang on to all your willpower and inner strength. Sending you and your mom more good wishes.

    Posted by nirupamaprv | April 9, 2014, 12:12 pm
    • Thank you so much! I did almost reconsider publishing this after I wrote it, but my blog is about real life. People hold themselves accountable to super high expectations because of what they see and read on the net while half of it it rubbish. The main thing is that when you fall you pick yourself up and move on. Thanks so much for your encouragement and for reading 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 12:48 pm
  8. Blogs are interesting because you develop a following about how you post. If people post a lot of sad and “pity party” type things, they are going to attract people who either want to support or share the same problems.
    Alternatively, you post positive things, it’s much more beneficial. You find the people who not only think the same way, but maybe some hope and inspiration… or at least a good laugh to get them through the day 🙂
    I sympathize with you about the cancer (I watched my grandpa gradually fade away over months). It’s a terrible thing to watch a person go through as it just drains their life and energy and even more so when that person is your own mother. I will never understand your struggle at home, but writing for me has always been a great outlet for everything in my life. No one is going to have a great day everyday, but it’s good that you have an outlet to talk about the bad days rather than keeping it bunched in.
    Stay strong and I hope for the best for your mother! Spend as much time as you can with her!

    Posted by trenity1234 | April 9, 2014, 12:23 pm
    • Thank you so much. I did reconsider posting this because my blog is mostly positive, upbeat and humorous but since we all have bad days I decided it was okay because this is real life and we all have those days especially in times of hardship. Thank you so much for reading and your well wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 12:50 pm
  9. I am so sorry for what you are going through. My grandma/guardian (who has raised me since i was about 10 mo old) was diagnosed about two years ago. Ironically, she was diagnosed about a week after my service dog died which was a month after my father died. I was barely 17 when all that happened and I felt the same way when people would try to complain to me about work or school. It is a completely normal thing to feel. My Grandma is now in remission but will never be able to use her throat again. She can talk but can’t even swallow water. I think it is tougher being on the outside perspective though. She is in high spirits and is just happy to have survived while I am still wondering “why us? Why her?” I know it must be extremely tough having kids to watch and work to go to and to be dealing with all the yucky stuff going on. I am extremely sorry. This might not help much, but I can say that it does get better.

    Posted by newlymama27 | April 9, 2014, 12:51 pm
    • Thank you so much, I really appreciate you sharing your story, and I am sorry to hear about your grandmother although I am glad she is in remission. Both my grandfather and grandmother-in-law were diagnosed with cancer two years ago at 90. After surgery etc.etc. they are both 92 and still going so that definitely helps give me hope. Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 1:02 pm
  10. Big Hugs !!
    I know EXACTLY how you feel my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Ca when i was pregnant with my 1st child & everything that was supposed to matter didn’t anymore. I hated to see how happy everyone was while I was going through so much. I was jealous of the healthy grandmas taking care of their grandchildren. I definitely get it just remember when There is Life, There is Hope this was my favorite quote with my mother when she was going through everything.

    Posted by uptownmomlife | April 9, 2014, 1:29 pm
  11. My thoughts are with you and your mom. We all deserve the right to feel this way about others from time to time.

    Posted by gracecharm | April 9, 2014, 2:24 pm
  12. Oh I am feeling for you Shannon. Good on you for getting it off your chest!
    I’m just sitting here wondering how you be ‘mindful’ in all of this…

    Posted by heidelightful | April 9, 2014, 4:20 pm
  13. I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s illness and your situation and your thoughts are totally valid and justified. Everyone needs to keep a sense of perspective in their lives so that when times really do get tough they have the resources to cope. Sending you all big hugs…

    Posted by Lydia Devadason | April 9, 2014, 5:09 pm
  14. Wow. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this..moms are so special. My mom is a vital part of my life too so I can’t imagine it. I saw that you mentioned it before in response to your blog. This does help to put things in perspective…Princess problems versus real problems. Here I am bemoaning lack of the friends while you are dealing with this crisis..thinking of you and praying for you and especially for your mom!

    Posted by Tales of a Twin Mombie | April 9, 2014, 5:37 pm
    • Thank you so much! I didn’t know you had a lack of friends, me too! We can be cyber buds 🙂 Problems are problems and valid regardless, like you said its all about perspective (I often use the “first world problem” joke myself). It has just reminded me to be grateful for what I have and to pick myself up and keep going. I appreciate you lending me your hand 🙂 Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 5:44 pm
  15. Shannon, your honesty is more than ok! I didn’t have a blog 10 years ago when my mom died shortly after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. My greatest frustration during those early days when my kids were so very young were the people that told me how to feel. A relative told me that my mom needed to see HER MOTHER”S oncologist. She wouldn’t back down. It was maddening. She said that I should never feel sad but be filled with hope. Someone else told me that my mother shouldn’t be depressed because if she were in the same predicament, she would be fine. Really??? Anyway, I hate Cancer and I will continue to pray for you and your mom and all of your situations.

    Posted by Cate Pane: The Clear Parent | April 9, 2014, 7:03 pm
    • Thanks so much. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I can only imagine the pain you must have felt and still feel. I really appreciate you sharing that with me, it does help. Luckily people have been very supportive of me and for that I am truly thankful.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 8:19 pm
  16. I think everyone is perfectly entitled to a sense of jealousy when coping with something overwhelming. When other peoples problems seem trivial to what you are going through, I think it’s natural to wish that was all you had to worry about. I think the important thing is how you vocalize those feelings. If you were commenting on those blogs with those comments, I would think poorly of you. But you acknowledge that you are a real human being with real human being emotions. I admire you for that.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Posted by MommaNeedsCoffee | April 9, 2014, 7:46 pm
    • Thank you. Yes, you a right right. Well I have mentioned it in passing I would never criticize anyone for being more fortunate than me because I am more fortunate than others just the same. Even in my own space I hesitated to post this but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Thanks for all your well wishes, really. I hope you are doing well and your baby is growing nice and healthy.

      Posted by Shannon | April 9, 2014, 8:25 pm
  17. I’ve had similar thoughts before and no one in my family battles cancer. HUGS

    Posted by Theresa | April 9, 2014, 9:25 pm
  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom being ill, and that you’re feeling overwhelmed. I bounce between ‘woe is me’ and ‘shame on me’ often. When my brother was killed in a car accident seven years ago, I had a pardigm shift that changed forever the way I interpret grief. For years, nobody’s was as ‘real’ as mine, except for two friends who had lost their children in similar accidents. They were ok. Everyone else just sucked for being sooo upset about their grandparent or heaven help them, their pet. I think when it’s all said and done, we come back to home base and the people we’re happy to be. Sometimes though you just have to go ahead and snarl at people because people are well intentioned, but deeply flawed. It happens. Here’s hoping your situation lightens and your Mom is healed.

    Posted by whyistherebreadinmykoolaid | April 9, 2014, 10:08 pm
    • Thanks so much. I am sorry to hear about your story and I definitely know all about people who compare grief as if one person’s grief is not as real or as painful as another’s. It’s all real for sure. But when it comes to comparing problems, well I think some do trump others. Thanks again for sharing your experience. Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | April 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
  19. Shannon, we are all human, fragile, emotional beings, affected by the world and what’s going on around us. You are responding in a perfectly healthy and normal way to your current circumstances. I love that you have expressed how you are feeling, and though you would rather feel differently right now, to deny your feelings won’t help you. To those (plonkers) who have who want you to stay chipper all the time – I would shout ‘it’s my blog and I can cry if I want to!’.
    Best wishes to your mum.

    Posted by Olivia FitzGerald | April 10, 2014, 5:28 am
  20. Somehow I missed the news of your mother’s cancer. My mother’s had cancer twice – the first time was very hard. The second time, well, she’s still finishing up her treatment, but she was well enough to join us for a celebration holiday in Japan having gone through the worst of it, so it’s recent enough that the feelings are still quite fresh.

    Anyway, blogging is great. I’ll probably never tell the origin story of my blog on my blog (I’m not planning to write about any of it there), but that’s basically it, above. Just for you, for what it’s worth 🙂 .

    These feelings are pretty normal in my books. Letting them come – then go – seems like a good approach.

    Posted by Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist | April 10, 2014, 12:40 pm
  21. It is so right and so valid to have these feelings and put them out there. It is our choice whether to read or pass this one by.

    Life can be such an awful struggle, especially without the opportunity to release the venom that builds inside. We had 10 very special years of survival with my mother-in-law, who was eventually taken from us.

    Especially having children and going through this, an outlet is so necessary. I’m sorry you are going through this feels so empty, but I am.

    Posted by crumbsoffthetable | April 10, 2014, 6:23 pm
    • Thank you so much. It really doesn’t. To be honest I have been shocked (in a good way) at the response to this brutally honest post and it has served to remind me all that I have to be grateful for. Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | April 10, 2014, 9:03 pm
  22. I hope writing-it-out helped a little bit. I can’t begin to imagine how you feel but I’m sure your reaction to other people’s blogs is very natural! My heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you and your family. Take care Shannon.

    Posted by martinimomblog | April 11, 2014, 8:12 am

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