Personal Family Adjustment Experiences

So I couldn't look at my husband for a while, that took an adjustment. And he just continued to tell me how much he loved me, and I just felt that he really did. And that really did help to my adapting to my problem. I told my children. I sat down and tried to explain as much as I could to them because half the time, they were young and I would walk around half the time with a gown on and whatever. But I did let them know that Mom was all right. They knew I was in the hospital. They knew I had surgery, but I sent them around and tried to explain to them as much as I can about what really happened. They did come to the hospital and see me, but they just knew I was in the hospital. I didn't want to go into it with them there. But when I got home, I did sit down and explain it to them.

I never would have dreamed, never would have dreamed. He just took such good care of me. I mean, we had a visiting nurse who came for the first week because of the drainage from the lymph node business is a problem, but he would just spoil me rotten. I don't mind. It was a surprise, though I'll tell you.

(Regarding her husband): He didn't say much. He kind of, well, he's been very supportive, but he doesn't handle things like this very well. He'll do all the things he can to help you out, you know, all the material little things, but he doesn't talk about it much. But, he told all the neighbors before I had surgery and I didn't know that he'd told them, but I think he was looking for support.

I don't really know what motivated my mom to continue with her chemo because she had a very hard dosage of chemo. I couldn't imagine being as sick as my mom was, and saying "Yep, three weeks from now I'm going back in. Going to sit there for a couple of hours and let this happen to me all over again." It was just really important that my mom chose to try and put on a happy face sometimes when she was around me and trying to make the best of it for herself. I would definitely recommend answering all of your kid's questions, and if you a kid asking questions if you're really concerned about anything.

It was a beautiful weekend in May and I got home from the hospital. My sister came and picked up my two children and took them for a three-day weekend, and I was so depressed I cried and I took benadryl so that I would sleep. I just wanted to sleep. I didn't want to face anything. I was in bed for that whole beautiful day and the next day I got up and I said I'm never going to do that again. I'm never going to waste another day of my life being depressed or feeling sorry for what I might not have because I had today and I need to enjoy that today.

My two daughters, they remembered that as being a bad time in their life. They have said they wished they could have been there for me. Ever since the first mammogram after my mastectomy, it's like my husband started looking and going, I could have lost this woman. He's changed. There's something about him that has changed drastically. It's like he's not angry at me any more. You know, it's not something I chose to do, but I've got all the faith that I'm going to come out on top of this. I know I am, what I have to go through to get there, I will do it. It doesn't hold any more fear for me.

 © 1999 Michigan State University
Communication Technology Laboratory