Sunday, February 1, 2009

Coming out of the fog

I can't count the number of times I've heard people say things like "you're so strong" over the past 2 and a half years of cancer crisis'. And for the most part, I have been. I haven't been putting on a front at all, I have felt like I could handle it all. But finally last week the walls came down.

We had been fortunate enough to have Ryan's mom or my mom staying with us since Ryan's seizures on December 12th and it wasn't until we were left all alone last Saturday that I felt completely overwhelmed by the pressure of it all. How was I going to be able to be a wife, mother, nurse, psychologist, full time chaffeur, medication auditor, doctor liaison, cook and EMT all at once? The answer simply was that I wasn't.

I went to go see my doctor because I saw where my mood was headed. She said that I had reactive depression and anxiety. The anxiety part was easy enough to see now that I was alone. The negative thoughts spiralled quickly (especially in the mornings) and my chest felt like it had a million butterflies fluttering around inside of it. Reactive depression was new to me though. It basically means that over the past few years, I have been hit with major stressor after major stressor. Tricia's relapse and stint in the ICU, my cancer diagnosis, Ryan's tumour starting to grow, my relapse, Tricia's transplant and now Ryan's tumour turning very aggressive. Can you believe that has all happened since the summer of 2006? My body hasn't had time to deal with the events before it is hit with another and it has finally caught up with me.

So, she prescribed some medication to help with both of those things. The good news is that this type of condition is usually resolved quite quickly, but because the stress in my life is not over yet, she wanted something to bridge me until it is. I am fairly "anti-drugs" in general, especially because I am trying to clean my body out from all of the cancer stuff it has been fed, but in this case I need to be as strong as I can be and quickly.

One week later, I am feeling much more like my old self. Tricia and Kevin really stepped up to help our family out while we were without a mom. But the best medication that I got was my mom flew in to help us out until Jo-Ann can come back. We realized quickly after she left, that we truly do need another full time person around our house to help out with everything and who better than a mom? While Jo-Ann is adjusting her life to make this temporary move to Calgary happen, my mom is here to fill the gap and help us out!

Ryan had a CT scan last Thursday to take a peek into his head and see what's happening. We will go to meet with his doctors on Tuesday to talk about that and the next steps for his treatment. We are trying to stay positive, but cancer can tend to throw a couple of curve balls your way, so we are also bracing ourselves for what is to come.

I learned an important lesson this past week. You should never be afraid to ask for help. I needed help in a bunch of ways and was hesitant to say anything. But I am so happy I went to see my doctor and dealt with things quickly and that I asked my mom to please come and help us out. I am in a much better position today because of it and it will make me much stronger for whatever next steps there are.


  1. Still checking your blog often and still keeping you all in my prayers (I will step it up though).

    Catherine Patterson (nee Robertson)

  2. I'm proud of you, Tasha, for getting the medical and motherly help that you needed at this time. We are praying for you family.

    The Gustafsons (Holly Antonini)