Sunday, January 27, 2008

Coping

I haven't been feeling very bloggy lately, not because I'm unmotivated, but because there is something very bad going on in my family right now. I have avoided writing about this issue for the fear of trivializing it, and also because I don't feel that I "do" serious very well. Instead, I have been writing about furniture shopping, and other every-day topics, although it is getting a little too difficult to do that with any sort of passion or humour, given the dark cloud that has been hovering over our heads for the past six months. My mother-in-law is ill. Very ill. In the initial stages of her sickness, I figured that I would eventually write about how she beat cancer, and all the amazing things that modern medicine had done for her. Throughout the summer, I think we all believed that it was possible. By the end of the summer however, it was clear that she had not won the battle yet. My husband and his siblings devoted a great deal of time to learning all that they could about her disease, spoke with various doctors, and even got their mom started on a regime of experimental drugs. They felt that if they could just shrink her tumour a bit, or reduce the swelling in her brain, then there would be more surgical options that they could explore. It hasn't happened this way. They aren't exploring any new options now. Over the past month or so, I have been visiting her at her home where everyone has tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Right now, she is in the hospital because of yet another complication. I was at the hospital earlier tonight in an effort to offer some support to my husband and the rest of his family, but I was of little use. With a flu epidemic going on at that particular hospital, and being pregnant, I chose not to hang around. I came home, feeling pretty useless, so here I am, writing about it.

Truth be told, I know that I am being somewhat useful, being the one who is holding down the fort. I am taking care of our daughter, the dogs, the house, and am making no demands on my husband whatsoever, which gives him the freedom to do what he has to do. It just doesn't feel like enough. I want to do more when there just isn't more that I can really do. I actually feel very distanced from the whole thing as I am home, keeping life as normal as possible for Pumpkin, and also to give my husband a place to come home to that is not completely depressing. When we visit my mother-in-law at her home, I always have Pumpkin with me, who keeps me busy as I chase her around, although I probably do more chasing than needed, just because I don't know what else to do when I'm there these days. I couldn't distance my self tonight, as I watched my mother-in-law drift in and out of consciousness in her hospital bed. I don't want to be distanced from her struggle, and the pain that the whole family is dealing with. I just want to do what I can, whatever that may be.

14 comments:

Melissa said...

Sometimes "being there" and making things as comfortable for others as you can, is the best thing you can do. Many people can't do that. Listening helps. Holding people -if they want to be held (and they don't always say they do. Sometimes they need to be asked) also helps. Letting people know it's ok to talk about what they're feeling and thinking, also helps. Most people won't talk too much because they don't want to burden others or be a "downer." - Kind of like your not wanting to talk about it here ;)

If you need time with her, for yourself, tell someone. Even just ten minutes, or a half an hour. If not, then keep doing what you're doing. It all sounds right to me.

I'm sorry you're all having a difficult time with this right now.

Chantal said...

I am so sorry to hear you are all going through such a difficult time. My mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer with my oldest son was a month old. I took it very hard and my hubby just did his best to be there for me. I know that what you are doing is exactly what your husband and family needs.

kgirl said...

i'm sorry to hear about your mil. a parent's illness is really tough to deal with. i know how complicated it can all be. just keep on doing what feels right.

motherbumper said...

I came by earlier but couldn't find the words - I never know the right thing to say. But I'm going to echo kgirl, not only because she is one smart person but she is also well spoken. Keep on doing what feels right, it sounds like you are doing it already.

((some virtual hugs sprinkled with support))

MLL said...

I'm so sorry.....hugs to you and yours.

Marcia

kittenpie said...

It's terrible to feel useless in the face of suffering, big or little. But I see that you know the truth - that you are doing what you can, and that is all that you can do. Take care, hon, and I am so sorry to hear about this.

Gabriella said...

I'm so sorry about this, lots of hugs sent to you!

something blue said...

I'm sorry that your mother-in-law and your family is going through this. All the support that you give goes much further than you likely realize. I'm sure that just seeing Pumpkin offers a ray of light to your husband's mother.

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh Tania I just read this now - So sorry for what your family is going through. Sounds like you're doing everything you can to support your husband and your mother-in-law...

petite gourmand said...

sounds like you are being really supportive and strong for your husband.

Sorry that you have to be going through this.

mamatulip said...

Hang in there, love. I'm so sorry; it's such a difficult thing to go through. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Nora Bee said...

Oh, my friend. This is the hard stuff, isn't it? Oh no. Sending you a hug and a cup of tea, and wishing your mother in law great comfort.

b*babbler said...

Oh sweetie... I'm so sorry that your family and your mother-in-law are going through this. It's just not fair.

I'm sure you'll keep doing what you need to do, and that will be what is best.

Thinking of you...

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