Mum has cancer – again
Before moving on, I realise mum getting cancer isn’t primarily about me, but it affects me a lot nevertheless. (Me and my mum both got cancer within three months of each other in 2003.)
She’s helped me a lot during the years, chasing doctors, help with picking up medications, and so on. I wouldn’t be alive without her. Now however, not only will I have to watch my mother suffer from the treatment, but I will have to do that thinking that this burden suddenly fell on me, instead of focusing on my mother. There’s quite a conflict of emotions here. It’s making me feel like an ass.
Our lives have changed – the care I receive really hasn’t
So, I haven’t written any “serious” blog post for a while – the reason being that I simply haven’t had the mental strength to do so. I still don’t – writing something like this takes its toll, trust me. I’m still in the same situation I was in two months ago, despite everything that’s happened – the only thing that’s changed is that it’s gotten worse.
Basically, I’m not getting much help from the psychiatric unit at the hospital, and as I explained in one of my previous posts, I will not see the psychologists they have at my local health clinic. With good reason – please do read this post as well. I have to change health clinic to meet psychologists elsewhere, but I can’t do that, because I’d have to change my GP as well. Remember, I’m a child cancer survivor. Lesson number one: find a great – not good, but great GP. You won’t make it otherwise, it’s my advice number one – and in my experience, this is true for many of my kin. I’m on so many different specialist units that don’t communicate with each other. My GP do communicate with them though. She has to do a lot of research due to the unique situation I’m in. I can’t change health clinic, I can’t lose this GP.
I’ve yet to receive an appointment with a psychiatrist, by the way. They’ve delayed my visit numerous times. I was meant to visit in May. Last time, about a week ago, they phoned me two hours before the appointment, notifying me that the doctor was sick. I now have a re-scheduled appointment the 16th – of July…
One thing that’s changing in terms of support is that I’m getting a counsellor. However, my experience with these counsellors in Swedish healthcare is that they’re not much about the therapy but rather help with practical things. Moreover, the last time I had a counsellor within the psychiatric system, she didn’t really do anything. She handed me some pamphlets when I needed help with contacts. My mother, who thought I’d get some actual help from this counsellor, so she didn’t have to do as much, finally asked her what damn function she had as a counsellor. She just handed me the phone numbers, so I could call. Those phone numbers were listed on the damn web…
I’ll see what this new counsellor brings, but come on, I’ve had this depression since late 2016/early 2017, that’s more than one and a half years. I’m on three antidepressants. Two medications for anxiety. Then another ten different medications…
How much more am I supposed to handle? There IS a breaking-point…
I have realised, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that I’ve been in denial about my treatment and my experiences during that time. I’ve also had a hard time adapting to my “new” life the oncologists said I’d have to adapt to. They said this about a year ago, by the way. I’ve written about it before (SWE). So, they said this to me 13 years after my treatment had ended. So, one would hope I could get some help with that as well. I asked the psychiatrist that investigated if I had bipolar disorder, for some reason(?!), for help. She said that it sounded more like something the health clinic should deal with… In other words, it’s mister Else, Someone, that should do it.
Anyway, when I got this last depression, I decided – as I have mentioned previously as well – that I would deal with it this time. I knew what I’d gone through was very traumatizing and as such I thought I’d get help quickly; to be met with open arms. But yeah, no, that didn’t happen.
They sometimes praise people who stop smoking – it’s good for their health and it’s sooo difficult. They have hotlines for them, they get so much support… But, when I want to deal with a very, very serious mental issue I’ve been in denial over for 15/13 (during/after treatment) years, I’m given the cold shoulder.
They don’t really care that my mum just got cancer – again. They don’t care that I’ve been living with these issues for 15 years. I’m still having to wait for a psychiatrist because, more than six months. Officially, I asked for one in October. However, I called them before last summer and the nurse said she’d notify her superior. She forgot, it seems.
I know, I know, you have to call at least two times, otherwise you’re not even trying. And this truly isn’t hyperbolic, the past three times I’ve tried to reach a specialist’s unit, my message has been lost in the system. It’s also a mindset people have – including me. “You can’t just wait and hope, you have to fight.” But I was so tired at the time. It’s hard to explain this but there’s only so much energy that one has. I didn’t just happen to end up at the psychiatric unit to begin with – I had to fight for that as well. Still, I’m waiting for a new psychiatrist specialised in depressions since October 2017. I’ve said numerous times that I need more help, but I’m refused.
So, the only help I receive is a psychiatric nurse that I speak with once every other week, then now a counsellor next week. Still no psychiatrist, still no psychologists.
Window of opportunity is closing
I’m starting to close up again, emotionally. I’m shielding myself more and more from anything and everything related to cancer. I don’t feel like blogging about it. I blog about other things. I focus on the positive, in some posts. Which is great, but I have no way to deal with all the negative feelings I have. I avoid anything cancer-related to the extent possible.
I’ve been asking for help for one and a half years, but I haven’t received any real therapy.
You can’t leave a wound open too long – eventually, it will fester. My wound is much like any other wound, despite being a “mental” one. It can’t stay open for too long.
I wanted the wound to heal, from the inside and out.
That’s why I asked for help as early as I did.
Today however, I worry that by the time I get help to close this wound, that it’ll be too late. Best-case, I’ll be in denial again. Best-case, if I get help too and it’s too late – if – I’m going to have to find new strength to rip the wound open again. A wound that I then had lived with for so long, before going back into denial. A process I believe would be very painful and challenging.
I’m still fighting, trying to be creative, find new things to do, (meaningful) distractions. I took up photography as a hobby, I’ve purchased an electric bicycle/moped hybrid. I wrote about it earlier. I ordered it a month ago and it should arrive next week. I hope it’ll give me more freedom. And that’s it’s fun to drive. It’s a great complement to my photography hobby.
However, I can’t distract myself indefinitely