Friday, December 10, 2010

Dastardly December Decisions

'Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing, the dream that you wish will come true.' - Author Unknown

The process of grief is multifaceted. According to Barbato and Irwin 1992 grief is fundamentally an emotional response to loss, the expression of which can include, sadness, sorrow, fatigue, depression, anger, guilt, anxiety. The list goes on! Although I feel that I have managed to avoid many of these symptoms it would seem that, intermingled with similar after-effects of Breast Cancer, I may not be the person I think I am . Much has been written about the effects of both grief and breast cancer/cancer on relationships. We know that many do not survive. I had considered myself to be one of the lucky ones.

It is now 5 years since my surgery. I am just one year into my treatment with Femara; 4 to go! God willing! It is nothing short of a miracle that I am still here. Somewhere along the way it appears that I have lost myself. According to Haydn I have not recognised the loss. Although I consciously grieve for the many losses in my life, I had not been aware that I might also be grieving for the loss of self. Haydn is struggling with the person I have become while I would have said he did not even notice. He simply gets on with his life. I understand Haydn's frustrations. After all, he is my ex-husband; I know him well. We have been together 14 years. Although we separated, later divorcing, we have never been apart. I simply moved out, taking Jeremy with me. This I did to protect myself and my child. We continued to fraternise.

I have noticed for some time that the relationship has become strained. I am used to Haydn and his need to retreat into his 'cave' at the appropriate times. It is his 'thinking' time. I was quite unprepared for the outcome this time. For the first time he laid his cards on the table with complete honesty. I appreciate that. Many things were said. It is not my intention to go into them here other than to say that it has given me plenty to think about.

Each time I go to discuss the situation I burst into tears. He then says it would have been better to say nothing as he cannot handle my tears. I reassure him that tears are good and I wish I had cried more as they are a great emotional release. There is no shame for him to admit that he feels let down by what has happened in his life and wants to 'grab' life and run with it. Strange, I feel exactly the same way. The question is 'Can we do it together?'

Haydn feels he is 'missing out' while I see him as 'living his dream.' He loves the farm. Being out in the paddocks, on his tractor, or with his cattle is what he loves to do. He has the freedom to hop in his vehicle and go wherever his heart takes him. His family are close by; he can see them whenever he chooses. There are things in our relationship Hayd finds difficult. At just 63 he has much to look forward to. With the 'right' partner, in good health, life could be good for him.

On the other hand, I rely on him to take me to appointments. I miss out on so much rather than ask him to give up his time. I miss my family and my friends. I love my cyber friends who fill a HUGE void however, I miss personal contact. I feel the need to find my passion! I am no longer interested in 'housekeeping' and the fatigue prevents me from participating in many activities.

It is interesting to note that Haydn does not share the same point view. I am grateful to him for his honesty and have explained that this is like a game of 'hot potato.' The 'hot potato' is in my hands and it is now up to me to decide what to do with it. My feelings are that this is something I need to 'hang onto' until the New Year, providing I don't get burnt.

At the end of the day it takes two very special people to survive all that we have experienced in our lives. Simply put, maybe we are not the people we thought we were.

I think I will have a look at the movie EAT PRAY LOVE. There may be something there for me.


Kaz said...

Chez my gorgeous friend,many tears reading this wish i could help you but know if is your choice in what you decide..Chezzy u have been thru so so much and there has to be a way for you with or without Haydn.I want to talk to you when i get home..

Big Angel Hugs to you my friend.
Love you lots.Kaz.xoxo

Maundering mutterer said...

I don't think anyone is who they think they are - not anyone. One thing you should be thinking, though, is that you are a beautiful individual. I hope you find your 'passion'.

stonepost said...

Chez, you will make it through this too! I know the grass is never greener on the other side, once there we always piss on it anyway! One more cliche, "No matter where you go, there you are"! It might be better if we could just metamorphasize, become someone else and fly away, but it doesn't happen like that in real life. You get on well with your computer, maybe writing will become your passion? We do need a reason to get up in the morning. The movies you need to watch will be full of laughter, that is so very important!

nancyspoint said...

Chez, I have no answers for you here, not even words of wisdom. I do know, however, that you are a valuable human being deserving of good things. It's so true that cancer and grief strain relationships a great deal. I hope you two can figure out where to go from here. I keep thinking of the quote from yesterday's post by Oprah, "surround yourself only with the people that will lift you up." It was something like that. I'll be thinking of you as you sort stuff out. Good luck. I agree with WhiteStone, maybe the writing is your calling??? You certainly have much to write about with all your experiences. Sorry for rambling a bit here.

Carole said...

No wise words from me Chez,

Just a big cyber hug and a sincere hope that you find the answer/s you are looking for.

You are such a lovely lady that deserves only the good things in life

Hugs, xxxxx

artistdeb said...


Starry said...

aaah the dilemma of the word 'decision' when the choices you are mulling over are deeply emotional and psychological. If only all our 'decisions' involved factual and material matters like should I put this type of tyre on my car or the other type? Those kinds of decisions can be made much more easily.
I sense you are right to hold the decision for a while, choices usually reveal themselves in time.

I wish you much strength and inner calm as you navigate through this, and perhaps some tongs for that hot potato!
xoxoxox Starry

diane said...

Sorry to hear that you are faced with another dilemma. I hope you get through this and life gets better for you and Haydn.

Kathryn said...

I understand these questions. I think it's that grief and of course anything life altering changes you. But I have come to realize that in some ways it is for the best. However there is also the grief from the loss of life/woman that you once were. The figuring out who or what you want to do and be now.
What is also hard is for the people around you. They also know that you are different and that may also bring a loss on their end. But, the best way for people and loved ones to support you is to embrace the "new" you and love you just the same. Because that part of you is gone and she isn't coming back. This is who you are now!
I do hope that you can embrace the "new" you. I know that is what I have tried to do. I find for me that I have found a new way of being for the best. Although with loss I do find that I have lost "Myself" too. I just keep hoping that on the other side their is a new whole and beautiful being. I know that beautiful being is in you, and a part of you now. Trust her. She has lots of wisdom and truth to share with the world.
Love and Light to you friend!

julie said...

A big hug from NY! I'm so sorry this is all so difficult, & wish I had something useful to say. But I'm not sure there is any such thing other than time & peace with yourself. So I'm wishing you all that you need.

Also not sure how much any of us are who we think we are. Maybe because who we think we are is often rooted in who we were - before cancer, before disappointment, before loss, before....

Chez said...

Kaz, you more than most, know of the difficulties. Told H was going to advertide on fb for someone to replace me :) haha xo

Chez said...

Mm your kindness is appreciated. I sometimes feel that my 'passion' may simply be a passion for 'living.' Although I am breathing, I feel something in my heart is amiss. Only thing to do is to keep searching, and believing :)

Chez said...

StonePost, I hear you. Have always told my children that they 'take themselves whereever they go' I live with the guilt of feeling that I am a burden on Haydn. There is other 'stuff' and we will get to that later. Always appreciate your 'male' perspective :)

No rambling from you Nancy. Even my writing is limited by my disability. Bought my new computer with Dragon software that will, hopefully, ease the stress of trying to type with this disability. These are things we will have to sort as adults. I really think the constant fatigue throws a grey cloud over me. Thanks so much. Always appreciate hearing your thoughts :)

Thanks Carole. Hugs are good. Back at you :)

Deb, always nice to know you have visited xo

Starry, tongs were useful! Sure all will be revealed. No rocking of the boat before Christmas. That's my motto at the moment. There are some underlying issues here. As we know, there usually are. Will keep in touch my friend and thanks for your friendship xo

Kathryn, you have come from a place of the heart and I have taken aboard all that you have said. I know that you are correct in what you say. I am still the person I have always been [in many ways] and I understand that when I change, those around me also change. I guess what is happening is my loss of 'freedom' and it has an effect on me. Hayd feels he has 'lost' me and I also feel as if I have become a burden. Oh dear! Thanks so much for your input sweet friend xo

Diane, like most of these things, it will work out for the best. Time for patience :)

Julie you big NY hug is just what I need. I know Haydn is very set in his ways and has become a bit of a 'grumpy old man' and when I am well it is not a problem. Fortunately, he does sometimes show a bit of humour and claims that it will wreck his 'Resume' if I leave as it will be two strikes and he knows three strikes and he's out. Haha I don't think my memory goes back far enough to remembedr times without loss, cancer etc. My Dad was killed in 1960. Thanks for sharing the journey :)

Rose Mary Saraiva said...


Keeping you in my prayers. Hugs.

Love, Rose Mary xoxox

Kaz said...

Chez as you know me have a idea for H and think i have told you about it,working on it when i go back home..hehe..sorry sweetie we need laugh to go thru the rough patches and girlfriend you had more then your share.xoxo

Anonymous said...

I hadn't noticed before in my searches!
nice blog but it deserve a better theme...

Chez said...

Rose Mare you are also in my thoughts, especially as Christmas approaches.
Love Chez xo

Chez said...

Kaz, told you you are a 'naughty girl'
H is learning to look after himself these days. He does not complain so maybe I have been replaced.
Upset in the belly after lunch out yesterday.
Laughter is good eh haha xoxo

Kaz said...

Chez someone as special as you can never be replace,always remember that..Yeah i am a bad girl from the country but a nice girl.laughter heals the soul and gets us thru the rough patches.xoxo