Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cancer Chronicles: Anxiety and Conflict

flower & green bugs big creek

MJ sounds so weak. She can't complete a sentence without being interrupted by a cough.

It's a deep, thick, strangling cough.

Her words are soft; their message grim. She is in constant physical pain now, but it's the emotional hurt that's bothering her these days: she's having anxiety attacks.

There is tension between my dad and her sons. The blame game is on, one blaming the other for something completely irrelevant to the big picture. Misplaced blame, perhaps. Or not. And then there are the differences of opinion on how to care for MJ. Dad thinks his way is best. Step Brother wants to try something different.

Arguments, snide comments in conversation, opposing ideas all put MJ in the middle of an exhausting tug of war. Until the will of one of them yields to the other, she is stuck.

She finally got to go on her hot air balloon ride on Monday. The view was wonderful, and she enjoyed the freedom of the gentle ride above the land. But getting out of the basket after the ride was a challenge because she is fearful of falling, the tumor in her hip and leg bone leaves little room for error. One wrong move and she could break her femur. The tension between my dad and her sons flared up again because they wanted to try different ways of helping her exit the balloon basket. Bruised and battered egos mixed in with fear, stress, and sadness is a recipe for one hell of a conflict cocktail.

Conflict is excruciating for a people-pleaser like MJ.

She's on anxiety medication. But pills don't fix heated tempers and differing opinions on how to help. Medicine doesn't make the men who love her understand that the weight of their egos is crushing her.

And here I am, 900 miles away, powerless to help. It's not my place to step in and mediate, but my 'let's get to the bottom of this and fix it' mindset is struggling with her troubles. I can only be a shoulder for her to cry on and pray that she feels peace.

I do a lot of praying these days.


Travis Erwin said...

Tough situation for sure. Wishing only the best for you and your family.

Prairie Chicken said...

Your shoulder is a godsend to MJ. Hold on to her. My heart is with you both.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I can't remember if you said they have contacted Hospice.
I strongly recommend it.

Monnik said...

LMSS, yeah, she's been receiving in-house hospice care since June.

The Casual Perfectionist said...

Unfortunately, those egos have tough shells to crack. Good luck with everything!!