I was standing in the kitchen one day thinking to myself about the past few months. One thing Ady and I were really concerned about was that our children would come out of this as unscathed as possible. So I called them to the kitchen and asked them, now it was all over (or so we thought), how did they think Ady and I handled the whole thing.
One thing that sometimes bothered me, but only because of other peoples opinions, was whether we were giving too much information, and telling the girls too much.
Both of the girls reassured me that they were very happy with what they were told, and they were happy with more explanation when they didn't understand the medical side. They both said that they would have HATED being kept in the dark about any aspect of it and that would have worried them. They would have felt like it was a 'them and us' situation with things out of their control. They also said they would not have felt like a family fighting together.
I am SO glad that we approached the whole thing with candor and so were the girls !
The one thing they said that they didn't like, was our joking about his possible demise. That is completely understandable and although we explained that it was our way of coping with it, we will not joke in front of the children again...a lesson learnt there I think.
The thing that Ady found REALLY frustrating and annoying was the amount of people who told him to be positive. He found that if he told someone he was going to fight it, but he was scared of the operation and what was to come, it somehow meant that he was giving up !!
You can be scared and positive at the same time.
What happens if you are being positive and yet the cancer comes back...does that mean you weren't positive enough?..I wonder what the people who say to be positive think then.
People are very odd creatures ya know. Why cross the street in order to avoid the patient or his wife?
If you don't know what to say, then say " I don't know what to say to you". Saying that means you care, but to avoid someone implies that you don't...such a hurtful thing to do !!!
Once you are on the cancer bus, be it the patient or the patients wife, you very quickly realise that everyone's cancer is different and each body deals with it differently. Two people could have the same cancer, one could die and one could live, or they could both die,or they could both live.
I now switch off and just smile sweetly when someone goes on about their great aunt Maud who had the same cancer and survived 40 years later, thinking that that will make you feel better....trust me, it doesn't, but we know they mean well.
I did try telling people I didn't care, but they get quite upset so I am learning diplomacy and tact...Christ that's hard !!!!