“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 May 9, 2013
DEAR AMY: I am a cancer survivor. My mother, who is symptomatic for cancer but has yet to have it confirmed (tests are inconclusive), seems certain that she is going to be issued a death sentence.

She has been completely healthy and active up until the past few weeks when symptoms began. While we are all awaiting a diagnosis, which may not be cancer at all, she is "closing up shop."

It's like she wants to die. I understand that we all react to potentially bad news in different ways, but given that I've walked my own recent cancer road and believe that attitude is crucial to healing, I have little empathy for her attitude, especially since there's no cancer diagnosis at this point.

Any suggestion I've made has been rebuffed. Any question I've asked has been left unanswered. All interactions consist of her saying "woe is me." I want to be supportive but am finding it really difficult to be empathetic right now, given her fatalistic attitude. Should I be honest and tell her this?-- Sanity Check

DEAR SANITY: Surely it has occurred to you that your mother might actually be ill, and that her illness could be causing some changes in her attitude and behavior.

Your own successful battle against cancer, and your contact with others when you were ill, should have given you insight enough to know that no two people face illness (or the prospect of it) in quite the same way. Try to be patient while she goes through a strange and challenging time. Don't offer lots of suggestions (unless she asks), and say to her, "Mom, I'm so sorry you are feeling so sad right now. I know it's a very tough time for you. I want you to know that I'm here for you."

If she continues to express feelings of hopelessness, do not discount this as an attitude issue. Be a supportive daughter and report her symptoms directly to her doctor. She could be dangerously depressed.

DEAR AMY: I don't get along with my wife's parents. They are controlling and have to have everything their way.

A few years ago my wife and I called a family meeting and told her parents that they cannot control our family. They quickly packed their bags and left our house angry.

We are now getting ready to celebrate our oldest child's high school graduation. My wife's parents are invited to attend this celebration. Do you have any tips on how to act or make this uncomfortable situation go smoothly?--* Ben

DEAR BEN: I give you two large doses of credit: for establishing the fact that your in-laws would not be permitted to control your family and for inviting these people to share an important landmark event with the rest of the family.

Here's what you do: hope for the best but prepare for something less.

And here's how you act: with kindness and cordiality. Pretend for a day that you are a character on "Downton Abbey" and establish a polite attitude at a safe distance. Inquire after their health, remark on the weather and enjoy your child's accomplishment together.

DEAR AMY: "Devastated" reported that he was profoundly affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook school. He echoed the thoughts and feelings of millions. Your advice should help many to cope with what few can understand.

As a military veteran of 21 years I have witnessed many disturbing things around the world, but the Sandy Hook event shook me to the core. I cried reading his letter because the feelings I had put away rushed back to the surface, and I realized just how raw the nerves still are.

I hope "Devastated" takes your advice and seeks professional help. I hope there is enough professional help out there to get us all to a place where we can learn from this and become better human beings to each other. Thank you again.-- A Dad/Grandpa

DEAR DAD/GRANDPA: Since publishing the letter from "Devastated," we have a fresh national trauma to add to the others. We all need to be gentle with ourselves and to each other.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 May 9, 2013
3- Then you probably don't want to hear about the school massacre in Bath Michigan decades ago...

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 May 9, 2013
1 Maybe your mom just wants attention.

2 So instead of doing something their way, you insisted on doing it your way. Pot meet kettle.

3 I still think needing therapy is over the top. Buses get blown up every day, killing scores of innocents, but do these peeps shed a tear over them?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 May 9, 2013
L2: Do a few shots of tequila before they arrive. That should relax you.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#5 May 9, 2013
I don't have much to add.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 May 9, 2013
LW reminds me of the women who were the front line of the womens' rights, equal employment fight from the 60's and 70's who turned up their noses at women who came later who they claim had it easy.

Just because you survived and maybe even thrived does not mean every one else walks the same path.

“boredom made me do it”

Since: Aug 08

ny, ny

#7 May 9, 2013
LW1, about as much as you want to smack your mom right now, is about as much as I want to smack you.

When you were *first* faced with this scary prospect that was going to change your entire life, and be hard to deal with, and and and and... Were you calm and upbeat? Or did it take you awhile to come to terms with it?

Sure sure sure, maybe you did even that better than your mom did, but I'd bet my own money that you still didn't deal as well with it as you did once you knew for sure what you were in for.

Oh, and btw, was your cancer considered more treatable, was it at an earlier stage? Do you know what Mom's doctor said to her about the possibility of what they are looking at based on what caused her to be tested in the first place? Doctors try to be positive about what's possible but when they're honest because a patient says "I want to know what the worst case scenario is here" even their optimism about what's possible to do *if* they're looking at the worst case scenario can appear pretty gloomy to the person on the receiving end.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 May 9, 2013
LW1: Wow, for knowing what your mom is going through, you sure lack compassion for her plight. Why don't you contact the American Cancer Society and ask for help on how to talk/deal with your mom? I doubt you'll regret *that* but you might regret acting like a total doosh when your mom is gone.

Oh, and I almost forgot. If she is terminal, then I think she has every right to pick the time of her passing and you should respect that.

LW2: This is what xanax was made for. And if you don't have any, then tequila will do.

LW3: Unless you are directly affected by the tragedy du jour, then lighting a candle and saying a prayer should suffice. We have to be able to insulate ourselves from some of this or we will go nuts.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 May 9, 2013
LW1: Surely by the time Amy responds to your letter, youíll know whether or not your mom has cancer. So, I donít know why you wasted your time writing to her.

Bottom line is you canít control other people or how they react to events in their life. Should you be honest with her about your feelings, sure. Why not be, but don't expect that you can control her?

LW2: Act like what happened never happened, and be nice.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 May 9, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW1: Wow, for knowing what your mom is going through, you sure lack compassion for her plight.
What is she going thru? She has NOT been diagnosed with anything yet. I could understand more if she definitely had cancer, but ar this point, she's an annoying whiner that mighr live anorher 40 years.

In any situation, people who assume the worst and act on that assumption amnoy the shit out of me.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 May 9, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
What is she going thru? She has NOT been diagnosed with anything yet. I could understand more if she definitely had cancer, but ar this point, she's an annoying whiner that mighr live anorher 40 years.
In any situation, people who assume the worst and act on that assumption amnoy the shit out of me.
But the LW must have gone through this part too, right? At some point, she had biopsies or whatever testing and was waiting for a diagnosis. I would imagine that is a very stressful time, not knowing what your future might hold.

We don't know what the doctor told the LW's mom, so maybe it is the worst that she's fearing based on something the doc said. <mimishrug>

In general I agree that worst-first thinking is probably not the way to live your life, but when it comes to cancer, unfortunately the worst is what jumps to the front of most peoples thoughts because cancer often kills people.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 May 9, 2013
L1: Tonka -- IMNSHO, the waiting is the worse part. She should have more patience with her mother and remember it is her mother's battle and not hers.

L2: Heh. Shot of tequila. Or maybe a couple. I'm with Red and Squisy.

L3: People are affected by many things in their life. Big things, little things, things highlighted in the media, etc.

At any time if you are affected by something that is affecting your whole life and not for the good, go see someone.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#13 May 9, 2013
LW1: Congratulations on being a cancer survivor. I wish you many more years of good health.
In terms of your attitude toward your mother: WOW. You are One Judgmental B*tch. I hope your mother has other sources of support, because you sound like a real holier-than-thou POS.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#14 May 9, 2013
Toj wrote:
L1: Tonka -- IMNSHO, the waiting is the worse part. She should have more patience with her mother and remember it is her mother's battle and not hers.
I really have no idea exactly how she's interacting with her mother, but that waiting is the hardest part is nonsense. If no one has given you a definitive diagnoses that you have it, then it is ridiculous to start conducting yourself as if you have it. Its one thing to worry or be apprehensive about the impending test results, but to just assume you have been given a death sentence? I have no idea how I would deal with a mother like that but I can assure you, I would be annoyed as hell having to deal with that. I assume everything in life is going to be fine until given a reason not to.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 May 10, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> I really have no idea exactly how she's interacting with her mother, but that waiting is the hardest part is nonsense. If no one has given you a definitive diagnoses that you have it, then it is ridiculous to start conducting yourself as if you have it. Its one thing to worry or be apprehensive about the impending test results, but to just assume you have been given a death sentence? I have no idea how I would deal with a mother like that but I can assure you, I would be annoyed as hell having to deal with that. I assume everything in life is going to be fine until given a reason not to.
That's awesome you can be like that but I don't think most people are like that. Some can handle it better just KNOWING. It it's good news, of course they can handle that but even if it's bad news, then they know what they must do. I only read the first two lines of the article in this link so far but right away I can tell it says what I'm saying. It's very common to feel this way.

http://voices.yahoo.com/cancer-diagnosis-mana...

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 May 10, 2013
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
That's awesome you can be like that but I don't think most people are like that.
Everyone thinks most people are like them. So I will disagree and say most people would handle it like me and its the annoying minority that would act like this mother before KNOWING the test results.

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