Monday, November 13, 2006


Feelings are strange things. They are never the same as the one before or after, they never can belong, in their original format, to anyone else. They can change in a split second or stay the same forever. And you never really know what that feeling you have right now, will do. It can be a royal pain in the rear end at times! :-)

The one sure thing is that your feeling us uniquely yours. A feeling may be based on incorrect information but a feeling is not wrong. It just is. And if you discover its wrong for you right then - you can change it. Or not. Or it might change all on its own and surprise you too.

People can tell you how you should feel in certain situations, or you can expect yourself to feel a certain way in some situations. And then you can add to those feelings by the confusion created when you don't feel the way you think you should! Phew - now I am feeling confussed
:-) I can easily run myself ragged just thinking about thoughts and feelings.

When Steven was diagnosed with leukemia my feelings were the worst I could ever imagine - they went beyond the raw, ragged, open-ended-nerve feelings. Some people even said I should "stop feeling like that - all was going to be alright, right?" It was/is 'the good cancer' and I did not have reason to feel like that, they said. I did note that everyone that said that, had no direct dealings with cancer........ I don't blame them and am not angry at them, but they did cement sincere hope that I never utter those words to anyone else again.....

There is no way I can understand the feelings of others, or why they feel that way - so much is built up from things that happened long ago mingled in with the 'now' and I would be lying if I said I could even imagine what anyone else is feeling - unless they are exactly in the same situation as I am. Is that even possible?

But back to my feelings. Somedays I am really angry at what goes through my mind. Surely I should be able to control what goes on inside my head and gives me those feelings, but reality is that sometimes I simply cannot. At times my mind goes like a rollercoaster on a downhill slope and I can even hear those wheels turning and there is no way to stop it until it gets to the bottom and glides to a stop - by then I am really ready to fall out of that car! Those are the bad days, the days that tell me that no matter what good news is going on, no matter how wonderful everything looks - its cancer in my boy and I cannot stop it! I hear that word over and over again, just like the train wheels on that track. Those thoughts can spoil birthdays and visits, can spoil walking down memory lane and definately ruin whatever day they come into! And it is not always possible to stop those thoughts.........not always.

Then the guilt days arrive. Those are the days when I feel great, when I see the photos we took on the fundraiser trip and share the wonderful memories. Those are the feelings that arrive when I see how much I have grown and learned and enjoyed , when I think of the amazing people I have met since Steven's diagnosis. These feelings creep in when I think of my life and all the positives that have come about since March. At times when I think of all these things I wonder at how so much positive can and does come from a cancer diagnosis. It's strange and almost rediculous to feel guilty because my life has improved because of this cancer in my son's life. But those feelings happen too and I can only hope that Steven feels some of the positive things that he,and others, have made happen in his life since his diagnosis.

And then I have my pure angry feelings which is really frustrating because there is no one to blame for this cancer and nothing to kick against ..... I am angry that Steven has this, angry that Laura has to deal with this too and angry that I have to deal with it, just to mention a few! There are days when I don't want to deal with it. At all. So..........there are days when I don't. There are times when I put off even reading the support groups and days when I simply cannot because my anger at even knowing that they exist gets to me. So I dont. Hopefully all those there know where I am coming from and dont think I am ignoring all their news and happenings!

And yes, I have had a day or two when Steven or cancer has not crossed my that bad? I dont think so, but yes, those guilt feelings crept in about that too. How could I not think about my child that has cancer?? Now, after much thought, I think its healthy. Its a subconcious way of staying strong, with going on 'as normal' and knowing that he is in a good place right now. As it was before the cancer, may it continue on forever after the diagnosis - that would mean that Steven stays in remission! The immediate trauma of dealing with the diagnosis took everything out of me, blew most of my other thoughts very far away. But now those other thoughts are finding place in my mind again. I don't think Steven would begrudge me this - if he knew that I had agonised over it! I think its a natural process.

These are all feelings that I am learning to look at, acknowledge and try to put it in its place. I believe that this is all part of searching for, and hopefully finding, that 'new normal'. Now if I could just train those different thoughts and feelings to have 'visitation limits and times' ........

When I feel wobbly, I no longer try to keep it inside. Do you know that those feeling simply thrive inside one and grow at a phenomenal rate and then make one explode like a shaken champagne bottle! So now I let them out as they arrive. Mostly. When I can. And its working for me.

And, I think most importantly, I am learning to accept that my feelings are simply that - mine, and they are not wrong, no matter how intense or light. And I move forward with that knowledge, learning that they are all ok and acceptable at the minute they arrive, or even if they simply don't arrive when I think they should! Round and around and around I can go.........

Discovering my feelings about my feelings has been quite a step forward and hopefully one day it will all make sense.

Until then I will carry on learning that dance......... one feeling at a time. With a smile tonight.

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