My mom had a lump removed today.

And I feel like a total bitch because I’ve been doing my best not to even think about it. I didn’t even tell my husband about the surgery until last night, and I only told him because she called to let me know she’d call me when it was over.

I’ve tried really hard to forget that it was happening. I don’t know if I’m afraid they’re going to find that it’s malignant and it’s spread or what, but trying to forget about it has been the way I’ve been handling it.

While I usually get along very well with her, our relationship has been kind of rocky over the past couple of months. So that just adds to the guilt I’m feeling right now. But I’m having my first baby in two months, and the thought that something might be seriously wrong with my mom is one I just don’t want to think about at all.

She called about an hour ago to let me know it was over, and that the doctor thinks he got it all, but obviously, we won’t know until the results come back if it’s malignant.

I was doing okay until she called. Now I feel like my emotions are all over the place and I’m not entirely sure how to handle it.

E.

Let your husband help you handle it. That’s what he’s there for. I’m sending the best of good thoughts your way. Please keep us posted, we can help you handle it as well.

May whatever gods there be, be with you and your mom. Sending supporting thoughts your way.

You just keep on fighting this. I know it is difficult and frightening.

I can only offer our best wishes and prayers (if it does not offend, certainly) for you and your mom.

I know it’s a hard time for all of you…sympathies and support…

My mother has a friend who was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer a few months ago. As cancers go, hers is a good one–“easy” treatment, with limited side effects, high successfull treatment rate. When Friend was diagnosed, she was NOT happy. She didn’t want to be part of the “club”(of cancer survivors) --even if it beat the alternative (those who die of cancer).

Based in part on her experiences, and in part on mine, I think it is normal to go through at least some of the same stages as greiving–Denial, Anger, Guilt, Bargaining, Acceptance, etc. (Are there five of them? Maybe Seven? I don’t remember any others–maybe Depression,? (I do keep adding to them)).

It doesn’t make you a bitch, or terribly selfish, just human. And frankly, if the alternative is to be like my mom’s other friend–the fretful one–always thinking of worst case scenarios, and practically starting the grieving process before the person’s even diagnosed with cancer–let alone almost dead, your way of handling it may be better.

I hope your mother’s lump turns out not to be a big deal. But if it is a big deal, you will cope with that. Just take it one step at a time. It’s ok to be angry, or whatever other emotion comes naturally to you. Life isn’t fair, and there’s never a good time to see a parent ( or other relative) suffer. Be as supportive of her as you can be–and recognize that if this lump is the beginning of an ordeal for her. she may not always be as supportive of you as you wish she could/would be.

But don’t beat yourself up over feelings that you can’t help. We all have our own ways of dealing with trials and tribulations–and the society that we live in sure seems to say (sometimes)–You are pregnant, the world revolves around you, be a little selfish (so long as it doesn’t hurt Baby) for soon you will be a parent and be forced to be selfless for Baby’s sake.

Been there. My mom found her lump in October 1997 (ironically or coincidentally, October is breast cancer awareness month). They took the lump, but didn’t get clear margins. Long story short: stage III-A, mastectomy, chemo, radiation.

Now, she’s gearing up for her third or fourth 3-Day walk for breast cancer. Healthy, happy, coming off the tamoxifen.

You’re perfectly normal to be emotional. When my mom was going through it, I probably cried every day for a month, and at extraordinarily inopportune times (in the middle of class, for example, or on a date). If you need to, my email’s in my profile.

My mom had a lump removed over a year ago…didn’t get clear margins, went back in and took a little more, and then they were satisfied. She had a month of radiation, and now is on tamoxifen. She’s recovered her strength, but not completely…hey, she’s well over 80 and wasn’t terribly active to begin with, what with the arthritis and all, but she’s doing fine.

The whole family showed up for her initial consultation, and went to the hospital a week later for the surgery, but for the second pass only my daughter went because it was scheduled at the last minute and I had to work. I’ve driven her to one or two appointments, but she handled all the radiation appointments on her own because she scheduled them for the middle of the day. She has handled the whole thing with such nonchalance that we had no option but to do the same. I feel kind of odd about it, because I see so many others getting caught up in the whole process…doing research, agonizing, worrying…and our family has just sailed through, a little mystified at all the fuss. But then her cancer was caught so early, and she’s so old that it wasn’t an agressive form of breast cancer, and it all went so smoothly that I’m not even sure she feels like a cancer patient. She said she decided not to worry because she figures the doctors know what’s best for her, so why fret?

So tonight is the Relay For Life cancer walk that so many members of my church participate in, and once again I didn’t go, didn’t contribute, didn’t participate, because I just have no strong feelings about the whole situation. After the initial bout of fear, the whole thing just sailed right by me…and I live with my mom! I see her everyday! I should be more involved, more upset, more concerned…but I’m not. And that worries me. Sometimes, though not often. Which also worries me. I know I’m not callous and unfeeling. But we were so lucky, and had such an easy time, that it seems a bit unreal.

Hope your mom has just as easy an experience. Hope you have a good local support sysem for cancer patients (Mom loves the quilt and prayer shawl she was given by different groups, even if she hasn’t felt the need to go to a support group…she’s not a joiner, but appreciates the attention.)