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My tumor and lack of sensitive reactions


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One month ago, we discovered a tumor in my head. Right now, I am awaiting the results of several test and in two weeks I am going under surgery to have the lump taken out, as it needs to be taken out whether it is cancerous or not.

 

I am intensely afraid. There is not much chance that the lump is cancerous, but the surgery will leave a 10 centimeter scar in my neck and because of the location of the tumor, I risk facial paralysis. Which would leave me with an expressionless face, ugly forever. Also I simply feel fear about the whole hospital experience; I have never been into hospital and under general anaesthetics.

 

It occupies my mind constantly, which I do not find so strange. After all they are going to cut into my head which is my most important and vulnerable body part.

 

But somehow, almost everyone I tell about my fear (only close family, acquaintances and some colleagues), tells me "Oh don't worry, see it positively, all will be well, cheer up, there are worse things in the world". This triggers anger in me. Why don't they see I just need a listening ear, and need to express my fear every now and then? Why don't they tell me it is alright to be afraid, and be nice to myself in the meanwhile? Why am I totally left alone in my fear? I am even starting to feel guilty and embarressed about telling anyone about it. I feel embarressed about my constant tears when I am alone.

 

Does anyone have helpful advice for me on how to handle these superficial reactions? And on how to handle this fear, alone?

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I can certainly understand why this would be so scary. We're listening, tell us what you need to get it off your chest.

 

As for a general anesthetic, bascially what happens is when they put in the anesthetic, there will be just the briefest moment of discomfort, then the next thing you know you will be groggy and waking up after the entire surgery is complete. You will be utterly unaware of the passage of time, it's not like sleep in that respect where you somehow seem to realize you've been asleep. It will seem simply like you've only been out for a split second.

 

It is okay to be afraid, it's a very natural thing. So many poeple are in so many situations, but they cover it up. My friend was in somewhat of a similar situation with a breast lump. She'd had them before, but they always scare her. They're never cancerous either, but she needs somebody there to hold her hand (literally) and she finds that very comforting. So find somebody to go with you, that will sit with you, for as long as they're allowed, and hold your hand (if you want them to), and just be there to talk to. It will help to calm you somewhat.

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Hey, Glassbell.

 

I am sorry to hear about your tumor

I really, honestly to God, wish you everything well and the best of luck in your operation.

 

But to try and give my point of view on some of your questions.

I'd find it very hard if my brother had a tumor such as yours. I would never be able to tell him that, "Yeah. You might get facial paralyzation". It would be easier for me to say that everything will be fine.. Because I'd think that it'd give more comfort to him than otherwise. I realise that I wouldn't want to hear it, but what affects you surely affect the people close to you. And parents always want to wish their sons and daughters the best, and it might be hard for them to come to terms with the fact that their beautiful daughter could come to be paralyzed.

 

And I hardly think that the difficulties that could come with the operation, are superficial. Not in any way..

 

Anywho, this might not have been what you wanted to hear and for that I am sorry.

 

God bless you

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Thank you Ash.

I do wish that someone would be so nice to hold my hand and be compassionate at scary moments, but the problem is, that it seems that as soon as they hear it might very well be a non-cancerous tumor, they simply don't care anymore. "It could have been worse".

Of course it could have been worse.. but that doesn't make me less scared and needy for sincere attention from those I love right now. Somehow it seems like they don't care, or believe they help me by making it seem trivial.

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Akatoro, thank you.

Though I have never been one of those who avoid deep-going talks with those who are in fear or difficulties, I do understand your point. They probably find it difficult or are afraid to say anything wrong. I suppose. But they still leave me utterly lonely and embarressed with my fear. I'm sure that is not what they want.

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Hi Glassbell. I'm so sorry to hear about your tumor. I think it's good that you acknowledge your fear and are honest about that. It's healthy.

 

On the practical side, you might try to find a support group, made of other people with tumors or facing surgery. Support groups are great because everyone there is going through the same thing, so they understand. Contact your hospital and ask if they offer any. Or ask your doctor. Or call up the local cancer nonprofit (they may know of a support group, even if you hopefully don't have cancer).

 

There might even be some groups online, besides us. Well, let us know how things go... Take care.

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Hi Glassbell, and thank you for sharing this with us, especially since you've had that lack of sympathy you need! All of us here wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

 

In answer to your question, I think the main reason people shy away from discussing this tumor of yours is that 1) you're close to them and, people being people, they may hear "cancer" and think "death." It doesn't matter that you said it may be non-cancerous, or your other fears on it; people simply aren't very good at listening COMPLETELY once they've been thrown a key word like "cancer," and focus only on that one word and its possible implications. NO one is comfortable discussing death/serious illness with a loved one, and, regardless of whether it's cancerous or not, that's a heck of a scary thing to talk about to someone you love, so most will avoid it the quickest they can.

 

Also, your situation is unique too in that you discussed your fears of scarring and facial paralysis. That's something most people simply don't know HOW to answer. They haven't experienced it, and most likely haven't researched it at all, and know that any answer they give you other than the pat "Things will be fine" one will sound lame, not realizing you've already HEARD that answer several times, and it obviously hasn't helped!

 

The only thing I can tell you is that, regardless of how people react to your situation, know that, above all else, they CARE. They just don't know how to handle it and have no information on it, and most feel that to shut up about it is the simplest course for not making some awful faux pas that may only heighten your anxiety about it. But they DO care. The support is there in thought if not in expressed word, and that's what you have to hang onto as you go through this. It's not much, but I know for a fact it's true. Again, best of luck to you and take each day as it comes....you won't know until after your surgery how it turns out, and doctors DO tend to give you the worst case scenario so that, when things turn out well, they can look like the hero. (I work for 11 doctors, I know this for FACT....lol) Take care, and please keep us posted on how you're doing.

 

 

Mar

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Thank you Mar. Well, I guess you're right. And yes I suppose I will have to remember that although it doesn't seem like it, they do care. I still find it hard to understand that they all let me alone in this, because I myself always try to give attention and ask questions to people in down times. I believe there is no 'wrong thing to say', as long as it is sincere, thoughtful and friendly. But their silence and superficial 'all will be fine' reactions make me feel lonely. I will just stay silent about the subject than, until after the surgery, to avoid making people feel uncomfortable. I know I have to go through this alone anyway.

 

Support groups, is a good idea, K8tie! At least those people know 'saying the wrong things' doesn't exist. I will make a call and search for one online. Thank you so much.

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Dear glassbell,

A good friend's daughter underwent removal of a tumor in her head. There were many spoken risks involved and many scenarios are discussed because the doctors wanted the parents to know what was involved. In any operation/surgery there will be potential risks but most often than not they are precautionary exercise to advise the patients and family involved. She came out just fine (thank goodness) and although she has a big scar right above her forehead, she has managed to cover it in due time.

 

The knowledge itself is scary for me and I can only imagine what it does to you. Perhaps your family didn't know how to react to this situation and seemed to brush it off lightly not because they don't fear and worry for you but maybe by 'ignoring' or 'telling' themselves that everything is going to be fine, they want to believe it so. You might be surprise how sleepless some of your family is having but they won't show it to you less they think it might disturb your well-being.

 

In most hospitals, there is counseling/support groups available. It is best if you could find out about it and even talk to your doctor. They are experienced in this case and would know and understand what you are going through.

 

Take care glassbell. I wish you peace.

 

passionforliving

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Glassbell,

 

Its perfectly ok to be scared. There are risks with all surgery, no matter how routine the surgery supposedly is. And sometimes the people close to you try and make you feel like its no big deal so that you aren't scared.

 

You've already received some excellent advice here. I'd just like to add that there are lots of us who have sympathetic ears. So please feel free to contact us if you just need to vent your fears.

 

avman

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Glassbell,

 

I can understand your fear. I don't fully understand why those you have told about your tumor continue to say you'll be ok, but I guess it is just the way they deal with things. My mom also had a tumor and sometimes when she just needed a hand to hold, I would hold her hand, but I was never fully sure what else to say. Sometimes it's best when someone is just there, even if they don't say anything. I wish more of those you are close with would understand this and just be there for you.

 

As for your fear of hospitals, I can understand that as well. I didn't even like going to the hospital to visit mom, much less being in there myself. My mom was afraid of hospitals as well, but thankfully the main hospitals she was in allowed 24 hour visitation. In this way, she was never fully alone.

 

I do hope that you will be ok, and that you will find comfort in the fact that people who do not know you care about you. The people who seem unsympathetic may just be trying to disquise their own fear to your surgery because they want to appear strong for you. Perhaps you should just come out and explain to them exactly how they are making you feel so they can see where your needs really lie.

 

My thoughts are with you in this time and I hope that all will be well. We are all here for you if you find your strength failing or just want some comfort.

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Thank you Passionforliving, SwingFox, Avman, Feariechyld.

 

Well I think I can conclude that it might indeed be (as SwingFox said) the typical Dutch mentality that bothers me. And well, I can also conclude that apparently it is easier for strangers to sympathize with me than for those who are close to me, thus, it is probably just their own fear bothering them, indeed. Not their not caring for me. Well perhaps I should speak up about how their behaviour/lack of sensitivity affects me, but every time I even start about the subject I feel my voice getting queer and tears coming up so I just shut up. Everything in me is just too tense now to even start a real conversation about it, perhaps people are just afraid of that. I seem to be waiting for someone who breaks the shell, but of course I cannot expect this from anyone. Man, how I hate seeing myself stepping into the victim-role. I never knew I could act this weak.

 

But thank you very much all, your messages have actually helped me. Truly thank you.

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I am sorry to hear about the event that has taken place in your life. You being afriad about your operation is a very common. Do not be afraid trust in the Lord, tell him your fears, he will always be there to listen to you. It is hard for your family and friends to talk about this, because they do not want to worry you or hurt your feelings. The Bible says that in the time of sadness, one of the best things to do is just to be of support, if words may not help. Here are a few versus that may comfort you.

 

John 14:27

 

Peace I leave with you ,my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled , neither let it be afriad.

 

 

Pslam 55:22

 

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shal never suffer the righteous to be moved.

 

Do not worry there are a few things you can do about the after effects from the operation:

 

1. You can grow your hair out really long maybe to cover your neck.

2. You can by a product called Derma blen it is a makeup that covers extreme scars or tattoos.

3. You can wear a turtle neck during the cold months.

4. It will take a while for your hair to grow, so you can wear a wig.

 

The most important thing that you should do before your operation is to make sure that your have made your peace with God. Have you given your life to Christ? If you have not this would be a good time to think about it.

 

 

Ephesians 2:4,5

 

But, God who is rich in mercy, for his great love where with he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins,hath quickened ustogether with Christ, by grave we are saved;

 

 

Psalm 23

 

The Lord is my shepard, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures,heleads me beside quiet waters,he restores my soul.

 

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk throught the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presense of my enemies,You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Good Luck. I will keep you in my prayers.

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I am sorry to hear that. Your salvation of your soul or ( after life) is not JUST based on your good or bad actions, but also by being a SAVED person who believes in God and his son Jesus. Maybe you will or will not think about that before your operation.

 

My pastor's father gave his life to Christ after being a atheists for many years, before his operation on his brain. My pastor did not want his father to NOT be with him and his family in heaven, just in case he did not survive his operation. I would never want you to gamble with the salvation of your soul, during this stressful time.

 

However I wish you well, I hope that your operation is successful!

 

Take Care and God Bless!

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Well Genesis,

Thank you for your message. I believe you mean to be friendly and helpful. But let me tell you this, you gave an excellent example of a very un-sensitive reaction.

 

You have merely reflected your own beliefs upon me. Beliefs which, as you might know, are not THE truth, but one of many truths. (I will not go into a discussion with you about this. The only metaphysical truth in the world is: there is not one truth, but many possibillities) Some people believe one should not talk or worry about scary things, such as the people I wrote about in my first post. Some people believe in a God that may or may not exist, but truly Genesis, I know a lot about the Bible and I know this much: God and Jesus never meant for his disciples to scare people with lines like "Your salvation of your soul or ( after life) is not JUST based on your good or bad actions, but also by being a SAVED person who believes in God and his son Jesus."

 

Please, read the Bible once again, but better.

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I would urge you to read your Bible more too, because you have a misunderstanding, of what is needed in order for salvation. In this time of grave danger, you should think about your salvation. Since you are not a Christian or know the word of God, how would you know that what I am saying to you is not true. You may think that their are many truths, but you just are gambling with your soul. It is your choice what happens to your soul. I have only told you what the Bible says. Jesus and God do want his children tell his message to others (Romans 10). If you are scared by the message, I am sorry. It is your choice.

 

 

Take Care and Good Bless.

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Genesis, it is not the content of your words that scares me. I have got to know the Bible very well at the Christian elementary and highschool I attended. It is the fact that you seem so sure of yourself and your being right about the existence of the Christian God, that you dare to force those ideas upon strangers. Without even considering the fact that there may be more truths in the world but yours.

 

The existence of the Christian God, Jesus etc has never been proven to be right, just like all other religious concepts are never proven right. I do believe that it can give one a strong and safe feeling if one believes in this God and thus believes in the 'salvation of their soul'. There is nothing wrong with that, whatever makes you happy is alright with me.

 

Certainly, it may very well be so that I end up burning in hell because I happen to not believe in the existence of Christ. Just like narrowminded and shortsighted people might very well reincarnate as sheep, if the Hinduist people are right instead. You see, there are many, many possibilities, and that you happen to believe this or that, does not mean it is right. Or else, all those other people who have entirely different Gods and ideas would be right too (they have just as little proof as you do).

 

Oh yes, again, you were very sensitive in telling me I am in 'grave danger'. Thank you.

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