Wednesday, April 6, 2011


As I said in yesterday's post, the five weeks between learning that my mom had found a lump, and getting the results of the last test she needed was stressful. Very stressful. However, I held it together pretty well. One way I did that was to imagine organizing the world. As I sat through meetings, listened to the news, read the internet, you name it, I would start mentally fixing everything. "So and so isn't getting their work done? Let's take a look at the process and see what the obstacles are!" I figure it was my way of trying to find control during a time when I had none. Considering I'm already like that, ramping it up during stress is not surprising.

What I did find surprising was my reaction to the good news that the cancer had not spread to my mom's lymph nodes. My immediate reaction was, "YAY!" I quickly texted my sister to let her know the good news as well. Since it was Friday evening, I figured maybe we could celebrate in some way. But, instead of partying, once the initial news wore off, I crashed. Hard.

I spent the entire weekend in a really bad mood. I went for a run, but I couldn't muster the mental strength to make it up the big hill. I took Michael to a birthday party, and instead of enjoying talking with other parents, I was annoyed over petty little things that typically don't even hit my radar. I was too grumpy and tired to even consider doing my normal Sunday evening workout.

What the heck? This isn't how I'm supposed to feel!

Upon more consideration, I realized that the reason I was feeling that way was because I had just spent the last five weeks holding thing together for my mom, for Michael, for everyone that depends on me. I did what I needed to do, but it sucked. Once I finally knew where things stood, I could finally exhale and take care of myself.

So, that's what I did. I decided to let myself off the hook and sulked around a little. Screw exercise, screw smiling. I just needed a little time to feel some of the many feelings that I didn't have time to deal with while everything was going on. It was finally safe to do that, so I went with it.

Now, I'm working on getting back in the game mentally. I'm taking care of many of the small things that I let slide. When I went out to run on Monday, I decided to only do two miles and focus specifically on the hill that beat me. I don't feel like I'm completely back on my game, but I at least feel like I'm getting there.

Maybe this weekend I'll be up for a little more of a celebration than last weekend.


LauraC said...

It sounds like you definitely need some self care time!

Steph said...

So glad that nothing had spread to her lymph nodes. What a relief! When my MIL was diagnosed with melanoma it had spread to her lymph nodes. Not fun. Hope you get some time to yourself to reflect and take care of yourself. I have been thinking of you and your mom.

Julie said...

Totally understandable reaction. These things are fairly involuntary and you have to just let it be--good mood, bad mood, whatever. Bottling things is bad for your health.

I am so glad to hear the good news about it not spreading to the lymph nodes. Whew.

JenFen said...

I get it, I totally do. Here's to Joanna getting her groove back.

Mel said...

Take care of yourself. You have been through a stressful time. Cut yourself some slack for a while.

Maria said...

Ice cream. Lots of ice cream. And yay for your Mom!

Beth said...

Sounds like post traumatic stress to me. I hope you get some down time!