Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

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MissM
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:12 pm
Facebook Username: missmtravelstheworld
Location: Cebu, Philippines

Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby MissM » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:23 pm

After waiting for my boss to come back from vacation so that I can tell him about my diagnosis, I finally went public with my social circle that I have a liver met and that I'll be going in for a resection on the 28th. I find it so weird that there are others out there who would take my diagnosis worse than I would. But it's also weird trying to talk to all these people who question what my next step will be knowing that they will never completely understand unless they've been through it. In this sense, I am grateful to know that there are people who cared more than I thought they did but at the same time I feel completely alone in that they can NEVER relate. I've only found the camaraderie I had longed for in this forum, the people who TRULY know how much cancer sucks!

I feel so weird whenever someone tells me how they think I'm so strong because "You've been handling this so well, you will definitely pull through this again!" Having a genetic mutation (but not officially Lynch syndrome) that would make me prone to CRC, statistically "The odds are not in my favor." (Couldn't resist quoting The Hunger Games). It completely annoys me that I feel like I'm the one who has to be the strong one for my parents, my boyfriend, his parents, and for the other folks out there who think I'm goddamn superwoman for working, going to school, and battling cancer..... I'm honestly just trying to live my life and it's draining enough as it is dealing with all that life has thrown at me... But it's especially even more draining when you feel like you have to be strong for everyone else. It is completely twisted and frustrating feeling like you have to walk on eggshells around everyone else because they can't handle "MY" cancer diagnosis......

Thanks for letting me vent....
1/8/12 Given a year left to live
8/30/12-12/18/12 Irinotecan & Vectibix
7/25/12 Ovaries Removed
6/28/12 Liver Resection
12/16/11 Colostomy Closure
6/26/11-11/10/11 FOLFOX
5/09/11 Colon Resection & Colostomy
4/29/11 Stage IIIC T4N2B @28 Years Old

janklo
Posts: 1566
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:10 pm
Facebook Username: JanetKlostermann

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby janklo » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Hey Miss M - I am the mom of a 28 year old stage 4 patient. So I'm kind of on the other side. It's hard for me to put this situation out of my mind on a daily basis. After a while (it's been 2 years and 4 months since diagnosis), it has gotten a little easier. Last week our daughter had an elevated liver number and got an ultrasound. She still hadn't heard the result by yesterday and I was a little anxious about that, but she is just so over it or it's her antidepressants, she was not even concerned at all. She said "it is what it is, I can't change it". The ultrasound came back negative and her liver number was back to normal today. You have decided to just go on living your life and try as best you can and tried to forget about the cancer. Hopefully your family and friends can do so too! And come here and vent, that's what we are all here for. :D
Mom to 28 yo daughter
colectomy 2/22/10, stage 3C, signet cell
7/2011 peritoneal mets
HIPEC September 2012, difficult recovery
Hospice 10/31/2012, Died 11/16/2012

michelle c
Posts: 1876
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:58 am

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby michelle c » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:56 pm

Vent away, this is the place to do it.....

I'm sorry that you feel that you have to be strong for everyone else. Acting this way and trying to protect them will make them think you are strong. Share your feelings with your loved ones and let them know how you really do feel. I'm hoping that they will be able to relate to you and be more understanding than you think they will be and will be there for you. That's been my experience.

All the best, love and hugs,

Michelle
25 May 09 Dx with CC (sigmoid colon) 2 days after my 44th b'day
CEA prior to surgery 4.7
3 Jun 09 LAR - Stage III 3/10 lymph nodes
6 Jul - 10 Dec 09 12 cycles FOLFIRI
Genetic testing - inconclusive for Lynch
Jul 12 port removed & hernia repair

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Guinevere
Posts: 3358
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:19 pm
Location: NE TX

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby Guinevere » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:03 pm

michelle c wrote:Vent away, this is the place to do it.....

I'm sorry that you feel that you have to be strong for everyone else. Acting this way and trying to protect them will make them think you are strong. Share your feelings with your loved ones and let them know how you really do feel. I'm hoping that they will be able to relate to you and be more understanding than you think they will be and will be there for you. That's been my experience.

All the best, love and hugs,

Michelle


I agree with Michelle. I finally had to do this with the ones very close to me like my husband, sons, mom, and siblings. They thought they were bolstering my spirits and now understand that, some days, I'm strong and able to deal with it all and then, there are other days when I just can't get it all together and be positive. Those don't last long but I've come to understand that those days need to be felt and acknowledged just as much as when I'm "Li'l Mary Sunshine".
Oh yeah, I also had to put the kibosh on dramas. I have enough of my own and I can't deal with "he said, then she said and then I said"... It's helped a lot whether with work, family or friends. I care but I just can't invest in the trivial.
God bless ~
Guinevere
Hrt atk - Feb 11
CRC4 DX - Apr 11
APR liver rsct, procto - Jul 11
Folfox/Avastin - Sep 11
Xeliri - Nov 11
Iritux - Jun 12
Break - Jan - Mar 13
Iritux - Mar 13
Stivarga - Aug 13
Folfiri - Oct 13
Exhausted treatment options - May 14

hannahw
Posts: 2098
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:35 pm

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby hannahw » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:19 pm

I think there are certain things we think we cannot say to one another. And, it's probably true. That's what a counselor (or message board venting session) is for! But I've also learned the list of things that can't be said is not as extensive as I thought it was. In fact, the more my family has talked about what we each find annoying, frustrating, sad, whatever, the better we've all been for it.

You probably don't want to have these conversations when you're feeling particularly volatile, but you might be surprised by how much it would help you (and your family) if you told them how you're feeling about how they're acting.

One of the things I've noticed reading this board is that the patient tends to sacrifice some of their own needs to meet the needs of their family. And their family does the same to meet the needs of the patient. Where it gets tricky is in the assumptions that are made. Everyone tends to assume they know what the other person wants, when in fact, it's often not what they want at all. We all want what is best for one another, but we don't do the simpliest thing - ask and listen to the response. Or tell so that there is clarity instead of confusion.

When my Dad was first diagnosed I just about drove myself crazy trying to feel even a moment of control over the situation. I didn't want to control my Dad, I just wanted to not feel so out of control. What I didn't realize is that I was driving him bonkers. Much as he loves me, he didn't need my anxiety/intensity/love/care/etc 24/7. He really needed me to back off. But he didn't want to hurt my feelings. So he kept it too himself. When he finally brought it up it was a great relief to us both. It allowed us to really talk about what was happening, what we wanted, didn't want, etc. It really opened my eyes to what my Dad was going through and what I could do to be of actual help.

You shouldn't have to add walking on egg shells to your list of challenges. And most likely, your family doesn't want to be putting you through that, they just don't know they're doing it.
Daughter of Dad with Stage IV CC

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Gaelen
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Location: CNY
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Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby Gaelen » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:00 am

MissM wrote:After waiting for my boss to come back from vacation so that I can tell him about my diagnosis, I finally went public with my social circle that I have a liver met and that I'll be going in for a resection on the 28th. I find it so weird that there are others out there who would take my diagnosis worse than I would. But it's also weird trying to talk to all these people who question what my next step will be knowing that they will never completely understand unless they've been through it. In this sense, I am grateful to know that there are people who cared more than I thought they did but at the same time I feel completely alone in that they can NEVER relate. I've only found the camaraderie I had longed for in this forum, the people who TRULY know how much cancer sucks!

MissM, it's true that your co-workers may not fully understand CRC, but the important thing is that they empathize with YOU. Please don't assume that at least some of those who support you in real life will "never" get it in comparison to the screennames you run into on an online support forum. The people around you IRL are real people who you know and who you can touch. That doesn't mean friendships made online can't become equally real, but remember that most of the time, you're gonna automatically know more about someone you know in real life. And remember, some folks IRL truly do understand that cancer sucks.

I feel so weird whenever someone tells me how they think I'm so strong because "You've been handling this so well, you will definitely pull through this again!" Having a genetic mutation (but not officially Lynch syndrome) that would make me prone to CRC, statistically "The odds are not in my favor." ... It completely annoys me that I feel like I'm the one who has to be the strong one for my parents, my boyfriend, his parents, and for the other folks out there who think I'm goddamn superwoman for working, going to school, and battling cancer..... I'm honestly just trying to live my life and it's draining enough as it is dealing with all that life has thrown at me... But it's especially even more draining when you feel like you have to be strong for everyone else. It is completely twisted and frustrating feeling like you have to walk on eggshells around everyone else because they can't handle "MY" cancer diagnosis..


sounds like you have (mostly) supportive coworkers and (maybe) issues with (some) family being clueless? I may be misreading that, but I'm in a similar situation. You need to recognize the ones who do have empathy and who do "get it," and stop putting on a brave face for the ones who don't. Why feel like you need to be superwoman for their benefit? Be real, MissM - it's the only chance you have to dispel their illusion. You don't have to be superwoman, for anyone (including you.

And one more thing about assuming that folks who don't have cancer will "never" get it.
I've brought in aides for 8 hours/day because most of the time I can't safely get out of bed alone. Today, I couldn't get out of bed alone at all - and by 10:45 I still had no aides. When I called the service, they had majorly screwed up and I had no aide scheduled. My SIL (who is one of my family who gets it) had come right away, but couldn't stay all day. So I called a friend and former co-worker who'd gotten injured on her new job and has been out of work for over a year. She's offered in the past to help any way she could. I asked if she could possibly come and just hang out with me in case there was an emergency. She came around noon, stayed until 8:30pm, and before she left, she made a quick market run for staples. She made me promise to call her 1st thing if the agency ever screwed up again. She's never had cancer - but she "gets" that I was scared, and helpless, and she got in the car and came, right away. It's like that country song - when things get tough, the people around you show their true colors. Some people will just step up automatically, and others won't.
Be in harmony with your expectations. - Life Out Loud
4/04: dx'd @48 StageIV RectalCA w/9 liver mets. 8 chemos, 4 surgeries, last remission 34 mos.
2/11 recurrence R lung, spinal bone mets - chemo, RFA lung mets
4/12 stopped treatment

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Bev G
Posts: 5856
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Facebook Username: Bev Golde
Location: Quechee, VT

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby Bev G » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:30 am

Gaelen wrote:
MissM wrote:After waiting for my boss to come back from vacation so that I can tell him about my diagnosis, I finally went public with my social circle that I have a liver met and that I'll be going in for a resection on the 28th. I find it so weird that there are others out there who would take my diagnosis worse than I would. But it's also weird trying to talk to all these people who question what my next step will be knowing that they will never completely understand unless they've been through it. In this sense, I am grateful to know that there are people who cared more than I thought they did but at the same time I feel completely alone in that they can NEVER relate. I've only found the camaraderie I had longed for in this forum, the people who TRULY know how much cancer sucks!

MissM, it's true that your co-workers may not fully understand CRC, but the important thing is that they empathize with YOU. Please don't assume that at least some of those who support you in real life will "never" get it in comparison to the screennames you run into on an online support forum. The people around you IRL are real people who you know and who you can touch. That doesn't mean friendships made online can't become equally real, but remember that most of the time, you're gonna automatically know more about someone you know in real life. And remember, some folks IRL truly do understand that cancer sucks.

I feel so weird whenever someone tells me how they think I'm so strong because "You've been handling this so well, you will definitely pull through this again!" Having a genetic mutation (but not officially Lynch syndrome) that would make me prone to CRC, statistically "The odds are not in my favor." ... It completely annoys me that I feel like I'm the one who has to be the strong one for my parents, my boyfriend, his parents, and for the other folks out there who think I'm goddamn superwoman for working, going to school, and battling cancer..... I'm honestly just trying to live my life and it's draining enough as it is dealing with all that life has thrown at me... But it's especially even more draining when you feel like you have to be strong for everyone else. It is completely twisted and frustrating feeling like you have to walk on eggshells around everyone else because they can't handle "MY" cancer diagnosis..


sounds like you have (mostly) supportive coworkers and (maybe) issues with (some) family being clueless? I may be misreading that, but I'm in a similar situation. You need to recognize the ones who do have empathy and who do "get it," and stop putting on a brave face for the ones who don't. Why feel like you need to be superwoman for their benefit? Be real, MissM - it's the only chance you have to dispel their illusion. You don't have to be superwoman, for anyone (including you.

And one more thing about assuming that folks who don't have cancer will "never" get it.
I've brought in aides for 8 hours/day because most of the time I can't safely get out of bed alone. Today, I couldn't get out of bed alone at all - and by 10:45 I still had no aides. When I called the service, they had majorly screwed up and I had no aide scheduled. My SIL (who is one of my family who gets it) had come right away, but couldn't stay all day. So I called a friend and former co-worker who'd gotten injured on her new job and has been out of work for over a year. She's offered in the past to help any way she could. I asked if she could possibly come and just hang out with me in case there was an emergency. She came around noon, stayed until 8:30pm, and before she left, she made a quick market run for staples. She made me promise to call her 1st thing if the agency ever screwed up again. She's never had cancer - but she "gets" that I was scared, and helpless, and she got in the car and came, right away. It's like that country song - when things get tough, the people around you show their true colors. Some people will just step up automatically, and others won't.


Hi Gaelen,

I'm so relieved, and so glad, that there are people around you who will come over and help you in the way you need to be helped without any undue drama. My strongest thoughts to you!

Love, Bev
58 yo Type1 DM 48 years
12/09 Stage IV 2/22 nodes + liver met, colon resec
3 tx FOLFIRI, liver resec 4/10
9/10 6 mos off chemo, Neg PET&CTC CEA nl
2/11 finished total 10 rounds chemo

9/13 ^17th clean PET/CT NED for now

MissM
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:12 pm
Facebook Username: missmtravelstheworld
Location: Cebu, Philippines

Re: Ever feel like you are surrounded by emotional vampires?

Postby MissM » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:37 pm

Thank you all for the replies. Sometimes it helps to see the perspective of other people. I am blessed to have people who care in real life even though they drive me nuts.
1/8/12 Given a year left to live
8/30/12-12/18/12 Irinotecan & Vectibix
7/25/12 Ovaries Removed
6/28/12 Liver Resection
12/16/11 Colostomy Closure
6/26/11-11/10/11 FOLFOX
5/09/11 Colon Resection & Colostomy
4/29/11 Stage IIIC T4N2B @28 Years Old


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