Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hitting home

My world is crumbling around me and I don't know how to stop it. 

We got word on Sunday that my MIL has breast cancer, and that she will be having surgery this Friday to remove her left breast.  She knew since November and didn't tell the family.  DH is so upset (even though he is trying to be strong) and I, well I am looking up to God and asking why.  I am stunned, I am in denial, and I'm scared for our family.

I keep thinking back to Christmas, how fun it was, how happy everyone was, and how none of us had any clue what was going on b/c my MIL did not want to 'ruin' the holidays for us (at least that's what DH told me that was her reasoning).  I wish she would have told us sooner so we could be there to support her through this lonely and scary time.

And I know I should only be thinking about how horrible breast cancer is and how it is going to forever change our lives but why is it then, that I can't stop thinking that I 'lost' the 'race' to become pregnant first?

You see, just today, one of my best friends (the one who miscarried in November last year) called me and told me she wasn't in the office in the last few weeks because she was so nauseous from being pregnant. She is now 7 weeks along.

I am truly happy for my friend but as she was telling me how she couldn't keep anything down and how she would pass out at 3 pm - I could not help but feel a yearning, an 'I'd give anything to be in your shoes' feeling and wishing instead I would be the one to throw up everything I eat and be tired after a few hours of work.  She was talking about midwives vs. OB etc etc and I was literally tuning in and out because I was trying to process everything and make sure that I express to her how happy I am for her and that this is her time.

Having cancer is probably the worst news anyone can ever get in their lives. I feel like my problems are so minute it doesn't even compare.  I'm in a bad place right now, friends. and I'm not sure how to cope.


  1. I wish I knew what to say to make it better. I am sorry about your MIL, your friend not knowing how her pregnancy is affecting you, and I am sorry you are in a bad place. Life just plain sucks sometimes, and I think it is okay to ackwnoledge that. {{{hugs}}}

    When I start feeling down and out, sewing always helps me feel better. It is therapy for me. Do you have a hobby you could lose yourself in? The other thing that works for me is to focus on someone else. Maybe you could do something to help out your MIL, or even your friend? Helping someone else out always makes me feel better. If that doesn't work, chocolate is a cure-all for me! I am sorry you are struggling. I hope tomorrow is better.

  2. Ah Wendy, you're in my prayers. I'll also lift up your mother-in-law and your friend as well.

    I'm with Em on the hobby thing, but for me it is gardening (namely getting my emotions out by pulling weeds).

    I'm thinking and praying for you!

  3. I'm so sorry. What a huge blow (double). Thinking of you and your MIL.

  4. I'm sorry Wendy. My mom had breast cancer when I was in high school. It was awful watching her go through that (and I didn't really know what was going on). What I learned from her is that just knowing people are there for you is a big deal. She always calls people when she finds out about a cancer diagnosis and listens to their fears.

    If your MIL is having radiation and/or chemo afterwards, help her out around the house and make her lots of meals.

    I'm so sorry your family is going through this. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  5. I am so sorry you are struggling. I know it's the most difficult at a time like this to remember to pray, but I think you might find some comfort in speaking with the Lord. My mom also had breast cancer but was blessed enough to only have the lump removed and not the whole breast. That was over 10 years ago and she is doing just great. I think by keeping it to protect her family during the holidays, your MIL has already shown what great strength she has. Now with the support of her family she will only have more. Also, even when you get pregnant you'll find it hard to swallow when others are. I know it makes no sense but I think we'll always have that sensitivity to it. I will be praying for both you and your MIL. God Bless.

  6. Wendy, I am so very sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know it seems impossible... but you will get through this. Even when you don't believe it, your friends are here to hold you up and believe it when you can't. I have been in that place of finding out a friend is PG when you are not. It is so awful... such conflicted feelings :( I am so sorry. ((((HUGS))))

  7. I'm so sorry, Wendy. Your mother-in-law and the rest of your family will be in my thoughts.
    There's nothing easy about someone close to you getting pregnant when you're trying to get pregnant too. You're in a really tough situation, especially since you want to be there for her, but listening to her causes you pain.
    When I was pregnant with D, a very close relative (who was in the midst of infertility) e-mailed me and explained to me that she might not always be able to be around and be as supportive as she would like to be, but that it wasn't because she wasn't happy for me, just that she needed to do a little self-preservation to make sure she protected herself. Is that something you might be able to say (or explain via e-mail) to your friend?

  8. oh Wendy!! I'll be praying for your MIL...I am so sorry. That has got to be devastating news.

    In regards to your friend, I know that feeling all too well...its all around me and now my SIL is pregnant with her first....I should have had the first grandchild and now I feel like I have lost that. Sending you huge *hugs*. Thinking of you. You gotta do what is right for you...if you can't handle listening to your friend talk about her pregnancy, tell her that. Think of you first and just wish her the best.

  9. Wendy I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. I recently lost a friend to Breast Cancer so I know what you're up against. The only thing you can do right now is be there for her unconditionally. There's no right or wrong way to deal with the anger & pain. Husbands tend to hold things in, so try to keep the lines of communication open so he can let his emotions out from time to time.

    As for you, I totally know where you are coming from with your friend being pregnant. Even though your friend has miscarried, that doesn't mean she will be sensitive to someone who has suffered many losses. Sometimes they forget the pain and sadness once they become pregnant. I always struggle with whether or not I have the right to be angry that they found happiness in a new pregnancy so easily. On one hand I find it beautiful that they are able to let go of the past and live in the moment, but on the other I find it infuriating that they are so detached from the past that they find it ok to talk openly about the side effects of a healthy pregnancy to someone in your position. I wish that your friend would see how sensitive you are to her pregnancy, but in my own experience I know that it's too much to wish for. So just do your best, and if needed keep your distance.

  10. (((hugs))) I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. My Mom had Ovarian Cancer when I was only in 4th grade. I didn't know at the time what was happening. Her chance of survival was very low but she did. She said she fought for me.
    Praying for your MIL.
    Also I am sorry to hear how hard of a time you are having. I really was hoping you would be PG by now. I really feel you will soon. With a sticky bean. And I understand about hearing the symptoms you so yearn to feel.
    That was why when I had the horrible nausea from 7-16 weeks I really never complained about it. And if it would be less one day it would just freak me out anyway because that became my comfort that everything was ok. (friends that didn't understand thought i was cookoo! lol)
    Thinking about you in these hard times. ♥

  11. Hi wendy, you got some great comments already. I just know that you are a good friend to have sat through all of your friend's gushing about her pregnancy. That's a tough pill to swallow. I would have attempted to do the same (I wouldn't want to cause drama by saying anything to her about her insensitivity), but I wanted to commend you on your bravery. You are a very good friend, and the fact that you went through this will make you that much more sensitive if the roles are ever reversed.