My Mother-In-Law Is Diagnosed With Cancer

This morning, my husband got a call from his mother. I could tell from the look on his face that it was bad. She had a colonoscopy a few days ago. The doctor called and said they wanted to see her right away. Just with that information alone, I knew it couldn’t be good. It turns out that she has cancer. I’m not sure what kind, I just know the doctor said it’s all over her abdomen. They gave her a year to live.

When my husband told me, I started to cry. I’m not sure how to help my husband through this, although I feel like I should be able to do so. When I was 12, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. They gave him 3 years to live and he lived for 6 years. I’ve lost a parent. I know how hard it is. I just don’t know how to help someone else go through it.

I suppose the only things I can do to help is to be there for both my husband and mother-in-law. I can offer my assistance to both of them. I can be there to talk, if either of them want that. Basically, I can just be there.

I love my mother-in-law and I enjoy the time I spend with her. We get together (without my husband) and play Pinochle about once a week. I’m going to spend as much time with her as I can. She’s a wonderful loving person.

This is bringing up a lot of feelings from when my dad was diagnosed and when he died. I’m sure that this will continue to bring up a lot of emotions. I’ve dealt with them before; I can do it again.

Questions and Answered About My Life with Bipolar

Questions and Answered About My Life with Bipolar

These questions are from Therapy Bits: Who asked to hear my experiences with bipolar symptoms, how I manage them, and how they effect my life.

I don’t remember most of my experiences due to the side effects of ECT. The biggest, most memorable experience was in 2009. My doctor tried taking me off my medication slowly, because he thought that it was possible that my mental health issues could have been caused by my drinking and using (I’m now sober 13 years). We found out the hard way that I really do have bipolar disorder.

I went into a major manic episode. It was so bad that I couldn’t work. I worked for home for a while, but even that got to be too much for me to handle. I was unable to handle my life due to my manic and then my depressive episodes. I moved in with my mom because I couldn’t manage my own life and I needed someone close to me to do that for me. I’m lucky that I had someone in my life that was willing to help me out.

My bipolar disorder turned my entire life upside-down. I’ve been on disability since 2009, and I can’t seem to get things back together. I continue to go through episodes and I have to deal with the side effects from the treatments I use. This biggest side effect is memory loss and confusion, which are from ECT. I have both short-term and long-term memory loss. I tried stopping the ECT treatments after I had been doing them for quite a while, however, once I stopped the treatments, my depressive episode came right back. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to stop ECT again; I’m too worried that I’ll end up going back into another manic or depressive episode.

I’ve been dealing with my bipolar disorder since I was 13 or 14 years old, and I know that it is something that I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Going to a psychiatrist, a therapist, and taking medications is second nature for me. I actually take 13 different psych meds, which is a lot to manage. At this point, I go to ECT once every 2 weeks. I used to go to a bipolar support group once a week, but I stopped going a while ago. I still talk to and see some of my friends from that group, which really helps. This blog has also helped me manage my bipolar symptoms.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, my husband, and all of the other fathers out there. Father’s Day is usually a difficult day for me. I lost my father about 14 years ago. He died after being sick for about 6 years. I was 12 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer, and I was 18 years old when he died. It’s still hard. I’m still crying, and I still feel alone at times, but it has improved.

My dad still is the most amazing man I’ve ever known. He knew how to be responsible, dependable, and intelligent, while also knowing how to have fun and enjoy life. When I was young, my dad and I were best friends. We would go skiing or flying together, he had a pilot’s license; these were just a couple of the many things we did together. I acted like a jerk for most of the last few years of his life. I was between 12 and 18 years old, so I was acting like a teenager, however; I was also acting like an addict. I regret not being there with my family when my dad died. My biggest regret in my life is that I didn’t get sober until after my father’s death. He never knew me as a sober person.

I’m getting through Father’s Day a bit better than normal. I read some other blogs and they were very helpful. One blog in particular, Father’s Day Memories Blog, reminded me that my father is alive in my memories. I remember one day, my dad woke me up early for school and took me out for the day. We flew out to an amazing mountain and went skiing for the day. I have to keep these wonderful memories I have of my dad alive.

I also spent a good amount of time today being productive. We can finally move stuff back into the house since the bed bug issues is getting under control. It’s like moving into the house all over again. Staying busy keeps my mind occupied. I’ve spent my day thinking of memories with my dad, staying productive, and keeping my mind occupied. It’s still a difficult day for me, but it’s less stressful than it used to be. I think I’m finally learning how to deal with the loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acting As If You’re Okay

Acting As If You’re Okay

Do you ever feel like you need to act as if you are “okay”? Most of us have people in our lives that understand and support us, but there are also people who don’t get it and don’t care to. For example, at my last job, it took a lot of effort to keep my mental health a secret. I’m not ashamed of my mental health, but I didn’t want to spend time trying to explain it to people and I don’t want people to look at me differently.

There are also a lot of people who don’t consider depression, mania, or other mental health issues to be a “real” problem. Some people think that if you can’t see it, it’s not a real issue. Well, I have learned that issue is their problem. I’m lucky to have the support and understanding from family and friends. My friends are those from my previous support group. We shouldn’t have to pretend we are okay when we’re not. That’s what our friends and family are there for.

Therapy Dog

Therapy Dog

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. We had a family get-together at his mother’s house to celebrate. There were 12 people there, two of which were kids. We brought Achilles with us because we didn’t want to leave him home alone. Everyone absolutely loved him! All he did was lay down, sleep, and give people kisses. He is the most mellow dog I have ever known.

I’m actually thinking about seeing if I can register him as a Therapy Dog. I’m not sure what kind of therapy dog would help me the most; maybe an ESA, Emotional Support Animal, or a Psychiatric Service Dog. He would be great at it, and I think it would really help me reduce my anxiety to a manageable level, possibly. It’s something that I’m going to talk to my therapist and psychiatrist about the next time I see both/either of them.

The Psychiatric Service Dog seems like it would be more helpful for me. This type of service dog can help people with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and I am diagnosed with all of those issues. For example, the service dog can create a physical barrier between the owner and others around them, providing the owner with more personal space. The service dog could help me get out of the house more often. These are things that my husband does for me to get me out of the house. Having a dog capable of those things could really get me out into the world.

Improvement

I think I’ve been doing a little better the past couple of days, since we got Achilles. I have reasons to get up and do things. I have to make sure that Achilles is fed, has water, goes outside, and gets exercise by going on walks. Since Cash passed away, I haven’t felt like I had a reason to get up, but now I do. Some of the walks I go on are with Achilles and my husband, but sometimes I go just me and Achilles. Going on walks alone (although I’m with my large dog) is a lot of progress for me. Just having Achilles at my side makes me feel safer. Hopefully things will continue to improve and I’ll feel better over time.

Overwhelming Week

Overwhelming Week

This past week has been overwhelming. I’ve been feeling useless, hopeless, and worthless. I’ve been doing the best I can, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to make me feel worthwhile. No matter what, I keep trying, whether I want to or not. I want to give up, but I keep holding on. I don’t do it for myself, I do it for my family. My main reasons are my husband and my mother. I suppose it doesn’t really matter why I keep trying, what matters is that I keep doing it. I know that some days are better than others, which means that I will have better days than I’m having today. That means, I have to give myself the opportunity to have better moments/days. These crappy feelings will go away. I even feel a little bit better after writing this post than I did when I started writing today.

 

Day Filled With Anxiety

Day Filled With Anxiety

Today is a very busy day filled with anxiety. I have a Sears coming between 12pm and 2pm to deliver a new dryer because the other one broke over the weekend. I also have Goodwill coming to pick up a bunch of stuff, and of course they’re coming between 12pm and 2pm as well. That will be a lot of activity, and a lot of strangers, at once, and my husband will be at work. I will have to take a Valium, probably around 11am, so I’m ready for these people when they get here.

I’m nervous about both things happening today. I was originally told that both would be between 7am and 5pm. Of course, with my good luck, they both called and narrowed it down between 12pm and 2pm. I’m hoping they don’t come at the exact same time, but I suppose I’ll just have to go with the flow.

Trying To Solve My Difficulties

Trying To Solve My Difficulties

My days seem to be getting longer and longer. I’ve been extremely busy lately and I can’t seem to get everything done that I plan to do. I’m stressed out way beyond my normal breaking point. It feels like I’m just waiting for the next disaster to happen, but I have no clue what it’s going to be or when it’s going to happen. Hopefully, I will have a bit of a break before the next catastrophe.

I had ECT this morning. Every time, my doctor asks me to rate my depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and irritability. For the past couple months, every time he has asked me, my numbers have gone done, which is wonderful. However, today, just about everything was between 7 and 9. Life has been overwhelming in almost every way. Just when I think it can’t get any more stressful, it does. My doctor asked me if I wanted to do ECT once a week for a while, instead of every other week, until I start feeling better. I turned him down. I told him that I want to wait to see if things will improve when the situations in my life start to improve (hopefully that happens).

My therapist called me today because I missed our appointment the other day. In the several years that I’ve been seeing him, that has only happened twice. He was just calling to make sure I was okay. I told him everything that’s going on in the past couple days; the bed bugs, broken dryer, and the problem with my debit card. I also told him about choosing not to go back to weekly ECT, and he was supportive of my decision, which made me feel more confident in my choice.

Remembering

Remembering

I don’t know why, but for some reason I always remember the things I don’t want to remember and I forget the things I do want to remember. Why do I always remember the things/events that cause me anxiety and pain? I wish I could change that. I would like to remember things that would allow my life to be a little easier, but that’s not going to happen. For example, I asked the bug inspector guy lots of questions when he was at my house. He answered all of my questions thoroughly, and I can’t remember any of his answers. Now I need to call him and ask him some of those questions again.

I get nervous when I need to make phone calls to anyone other than family. I don’t want this added anxiety.  My heart races when I have to talk to someone I don’t know, whether it’s on the phone or in person. When will this ever go away?