Freaked out on my mom yesterday...

I totally lost it on my mom yesterday, and now I feel like a complete a$$.

I had an appointment with my neurosurgeon on Friday and I was expecting to hear "Hey dude! Everything looks great! You rock!" but instead I hear, "Hummmm... looks like we didn't get as much as I would have liked..." and "I'm going to talk to a couple of other surgeons and I'll get back with you on Monday." Which I was totally prepared for having another surgery, but I would have liked to have known for sure, for whatever good it would do me, especially since I had just got back from the radiation oncologist and had the "man in the iron mask" thing done and psyched myself up to move to Houston for two months.

So I kept on a pretty even keel all weekend, but I was unable to get back with the doctor yesterday, which is all that was keeping me OK through the weekend. So last night I was really on edge.

So out of the blue I get a text message from my mom that said "Call us after you talk to the doctor" and for some reason it flew all over me, so, even though I knew that this would start a s**t storm, I texted back "Why would you think I wouldn't?" and then she sent back "I don't know."

And then I really lost it, called her, freaked out and was like "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I WOULDNT EFFIN CALL YOU!!! DO YOU JUST THINK I WOULD EFFIN FORGET THAT THIS IS GOING ON!!! ITS NOT LIKE AN EFFIN SORE THROAT HERE!!" Only a lot worse and a lot more mean.

So of course that made her start crying and all that and then I felt freaking horrible. Etc. etc. etc.

But I'm just sick of this going on, I'm tired of people giving this more thought than it deserves. I'm tired of the cocked heads and big, teary eyes and the "How are you feeling?" and "Are you doing alright?" Which I really appreciate it, but, DANG! I can only take so much! I just want it to be normal! I just don't feel this deserves all the attention that it's getting. Which totally contradicts me freaking out in the first place, because if it doesn't deserve getting upset over, why do I? so I don't really know.

And the worst are the texts from my sister, who is great by the way, don't get me wrong. But I swear I have like three in a row from her that just say "Love you" no punctuation, no explanation, no "Hey bro! Heard your doctor visit sucked a$$, Just wanted you to know I love you!" just "Love you" like she's all mysterious and emo like out of a Twilight movie or something.

And then in some situations, I'm like "Did you really just bring that up?" Because I know I'm supposed to be relaxed, and not stressed, and keep the blood pressure down and everything, and everyone else knows this too, and so like my mother in law decided that last week was the perfect time to state that she was so upset that I didn't like her and that she didn't know why there was "so much tension in our relationship." But did she decide to throw this on me? NO!! She decided to run it through a middle man, my wife, and to stress her out. Which is freaking probably the most inconsiderate thing I can think of her doing because my wife is already trying to buffer all this freaking drama associated with this cancer bulls**t and she's about at her wits end already too. Which makes me more stressed to think about her being stressed that if I just had it all myself. I'm just like, come the eff on people, what the hell are you thinking?

I just hope me being on this end gives me good insight in to how to treat others when they are in similar situations. This post has gotten WAY beyond anything I originally intended, I don't want to sound like an unappreciative snob and so I hope yall don't take it that way. I called my mom and apologized profusely and sent her flowers this morning, and I'm just going to try to remember that people deal with things in different ways and it's not for me to freak out on them, just to accept them and find what they really mean in the middle of all the randomness.


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  • hey, no worries. believe it or not, reacting this way from time to time is a big part of what a lot of people go through in their treatment and recovery. at my appointment recently, my oncologist was asking me if my temper is short, or if I am less patient, or if I have mood swings, or things like that. and I'm more than 2yrs out from my last treatment.

    I don't necessarily deal with any of that anymore, but I AM sensitive to the way people think about what I went through. for example, last night I was hanging out at the bar congratulating a friend on a successful master's thesis defense, and we were talking about my impending defense soon. I was asking about how her professors actually handled her interview process. I've heard extremely varied stories on this - from profs being really hard on students, to hers where her profs were asking ridiculous questions about things they knew she didn't know, and she was making up equally ridiculous answers, and how the whole process had a very joking atmosphere and all. I expressed I was worried about getting one of the hard interviews, because since my treatment, I have a tendency to get memory lapses on things I am able to recall just fine later, and I outright forget things I should be able to remember.

    my friend and my wife were dismissive of the idea that I'd ever have difficulty and I found myself getting steamed about how they were not taking seriously the long-term cognitive difficulties I deal with on a daily basis. they might be very subtle to other people, but to me there are very glaring difficulties I face with focus and memory as compared to the way they used to be.
  • akay83akay83 Community Member
    If I have a doctor's appointment at 3, I start getting calls and texts from family members by 3:20 to see how it went. Half of the time, I haven't even been called into an examination room yet.

    My advice is to keep in mind what's actually bothering you. Obviously, cancer treatment is a grab bag of crap, so it could be a whole array of delightful problems, but I doubt (as I'm sure you do) that a "love you" text message is the root problem -- it's just the straw that broke the camel's back.

    With me, the big issue is the stress of waiting -- my family will gladly tell you how much fun I am to be around while I'm waiting for diagnostic results: none much. While I'm normally sarcastic but very polite, waiting for results turns me into a hissing snakewoman. I'm not sure that I could be trained into behaving in any other way while I'm feeling that scared and anxious. But what I can do is wait until I've calmed down and then make amends with them. And really, they knew all along that I wasn't snapping and raging because of anything they did, but hearing it from me smoothes over any bad feelings that might otherwise fester. So don't worry about snapping, just be sure to give a hug and a sorry when you're in a better place. Sometimes it's not even the apology that helps, it's seeing you being your loving, thoughtful self. It's like getting the real you back again. After all, to those around us, it must feel like they're losing us to a personality disorder more than cancer.

    Honestly, it sounds like you've got a great attitude about it all. If you didn't lose your temper occasionally, well, you'd be well ahead of the rest of us here. It's great that you can vent, reflect on it, apologize when needed, and try to take shows of concern at their face value. It's like you're using this sh*tstorm to become a better person. I can't think of a better way to stick it to the disease.
  • yeah, my family members at first were right on me about test results and whatnot IMMEDIATELY after the test. of course I wouldn't know anything at that point. they eventually learned that some tests don't come back for days and that I'd tell them when I got the results.

    my wife was always (and still is) the one who freaks out. she flipped out on one of my doctors once, who was subsequently removed from my case. I would have paid to see that. to be honest, the doctor did completely screw up. even I would have lost it (well, actually, I did, but it was more incoherent thrashing than directed anger).

    as for me, in spite of the fact that I have a temper, I have always been very mellow through the whole thing. I've very much been a "go with the flow" kinda guy throughout my treatment. I swear my wife would have been committed long ago if I wasn't balancing out her energy.
  • I flipped out a couple of times at my mom too, BADLY, when she didn't deserve it. (Yeah, and I felt like an a** too afterwards.) The worst time was actually also about some results - she wanted me to write to my onc and clarify this one detail and I didn't want to know the answer and we got into a HUGE fight. It was pretty ugly. But like Truffle and Nate said, I think the nice thing about family (at least mine) is that my mom has really tried to learn to give me some space with this cancer thing, which is hard for her. It's been an interesting time in our relationship.

    In retrospect I was also really yukked up on hormonal treatments and that was partly fueling my totally irrational response, but I think when you're super stressed out (like about scan results) it's easy to fly apart in front of people you know will still be there for you afterwards.
  • Something similar happened to me a few weeks ago too. I Don't live at home and on one of my days off I had *gasp* gone to the gym!. Well my dad called and couldn't get a hold of me for that hour and a half. So what did he do? Called my roommate...and then TWO of my friends, in a panic, trying to find me to make sure I was ok. Good lord! Yes, I freaked out, probably more than just a little, and yes I realize that I had brain surgery a mere four months ago but I am allowed to leave my apartment on my own.

    We subsequently apologized to each other and he promised to try not to do that again. It happens and family should be the first to understand that the occasional backlash isn't meant to harm but is just out of random, built up frustrations
  • I need MAJOR help. I have read all of this and am in tears. Because while you all talk about doing this randomly or every now and then and acknowledge it and apologize and smooth things over, I have been on the receiving end of verbal batting from my cancer patient young adult constantly w/ zero apologies. No exaggeration. He has gone through what you all have gone through but his coping skill so that he can keep it together with every single person out there is to vomit on me relentlessly complete disdain, disrespect, disgust. And when I say I have to walk away he pulls the guilt trip. I'm human. It's torture. No psyche people have been able to help as no one has seen anything come close to this level sustained for this long. And I'm talking those who work with cancer patients and young adults. If anyone knows how this cycle was stopped with someone else (you all didn't need someone to intervene as you were aware it's not okay but acceptable every now and then) please help me.
  • it is entirely possible that the biochemical changes involved with treatment have a lot to do with it. it's not his or your fault, but you also don't have to sit there and take it. Don't tell him you're going to walk away, just leave when he gets that way. Speak to his doctors about your options for dealing with this. I have no idea what kinds of options are effective in situations like this but the least you could do is get a rundown of the options. This is not an uncommon thing. my oncologist still asks me if I ever have these sorts of problems.