Thursday, September 13, 2007

What Would You Do? (A Personal Poll)

I have been dealing with the repercussions of my actions before my operation for a few days now.

I had my reasons for doing (or, actually NOT doing) the things that I did in the weeks and days leading up to the surgery. Now, I would like honest opinions on how YOU would've gone about it. I'll be honest myself; I'm hoping you'll agree with me so I don't feel crazy. But if you don't, I want to know why...and I will accept your opinion and ponder it in order to humble myself a little and try to see things from another's perspective. Just some background:

I was once very close with a relative through marriage who I'll call Linda. Linda's husband Mitch was never on the up-and-up and was involved in a scandal in our area that caused him to be sentenced to prison for a few years. Right before he went in, he made a very inappropriate phone call to me that my husband caught the tail end of. We did not know how to tell Linda, so we told her parents (who are also my husband's parents). After a while, my husband couldn't take it anymore and confronted Linda and Mitch. Mitch denied his actions to the whole family and tried to depict me as a drug addict who had the hots for him (his own fantasy; Simply Me can vouch for me on this one). Since Linda is very, very beautiful, the family had a hard time swallowing my story. Needless to say, Mitch spewed hatred towards me and my husband and even wrote the nastiest of letters to us displaying this hatred after he went to prison. Eventually, he was caught in all sorts of lies while he was away, and the family realized that he probably was to blame for what happened after all. However, Linda and I stopped speaking on a personal basis and only made small talk whenever we saw each other. It was very uncomfortable.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years. He has done most of his time and is now in a program that allows him to come home on the weekends. Thankfully, we have not had to cross paths with him or her at all (no holidays yet). However, I was now faced with my surgery and all the frightening aspects of it that I had posted about. I decided to keep the information of my surgery to myself until the last minute, and requested that my husband do the same. While we were waiting for the results of the CA125 test, however, my husband became distraught and told his parents what we were going through. When I saw them, they asked if they could do anything for me, and I requested that they keep it to themselves and not let Linda know, because she would then tell Mitch. My point was, I wanted all the positive thoughts and prayers that I could find during this difficult time. Under no circumstances at all did I want someone who loathed me to have any opportunity to wish me ill will while I was on that operating table. My in-laws respected my request and did not say a word.

I had told my husband that once I was out of surgery, he could tell whomever he wanted to; he could shout it on the rooftops. His first call was to his mother, who works in an office with Linda and their other brother, Ralph. He told her that everything went well, there wasn't any cancer, and that she could pass the word along to Linda and Ralph ( I had previously told Ralph's wife what was going on, but she also didn't say anything). I imagine that's where Linda first learned of my surgery in the first place. That was last Thursday. On Friday, my in-laws came to visit me at the hospital, and on Saturday, Ralph and his wife came up. It is now one week later, and I haven't heard from Linda. Sadly, she hasn't even called her brother to ask him how he was faring through all of this.

Through the grapevine, I am hearing possible reports that Linda is insulted that she wasn't called personally about my operation, and as far as she's concerned, she doesn't even know that it took place. I consider that standing a bit on ceremony; does it really matter how you heard the news? Either you're going to call, or you're not. To blame someone else is just giving yourself an easy way out of making the effort to be a grown-up and just pick up the phone (that's my humble opinion...I doubt she would've called, regardless).

My question to all of you is this: If you were faced with an operation that was absolutely frightening to you; if you knew that one found cancer cell meant a complete hysterectomy and possible chemotherapy...would you want to take the chance that someone would be thinking bad thoughts about you while you were on that operating table? Or would you rather go into surgery knowing that you had the best of blessings and sincerest of prayers from people who honestly cared about you?


Big Dave T said...

Only those with a need to know are entitled to know your personal medical history or current state of health. Of course, you yourself, can share that information with anyone you like, including the blogging community, if you think it will help to lift your spirits and bring about a speedy recovery. I think that agrees with your thinking.

On your comment on my blog, I have a sitemeter at the bottom which records visitors, usually including where they're from and how they found my blog. It appears that I have a regular visitor from Dublin, Ireland, who has never left a comment. Since there is no referring URL in the sitemeter for this Irish visitor, I assume they have my blog bookmarked somehow. Cool, eh.

Lisa said...

Dear Big Dave,'

Thanks for giving me your input. This has been giving me ageda for a few days, so I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

I'll have to check out your blog to view where your site meter is located. I'm imagining it's a free option? I might want to try that myself! I had a girl from the Philippines comment once, but alas, I didn't bookmark her as a favorite and I've forgotten what post she left a comment on.

Take good care,

annie said...

I don't think you had ANY obligation to notify a person that you hardly speak to of upcoming surgery. It's your body, your life. I can understand parents, or very close friends really wanting to know what's going on so they can pray for you and show you support, but other than that you don't have to share it with anyone! Don't let negative energy from people who look for reasons to be upset bring you down. I hope that doesn't sound negative...
¸.·´¸.·*¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·’ * Annie *

Lisa said...

Dear Annie,

Thank you so much. Coming from you, that means a lot. For the life of me, sometimes, I just can't understand why people stand on ceremony like that, or expect so much when they give so little. I have to see "Linda" tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Take good care,

CuriousC said...

I agree 100% with Annie. Be true to YOU.

Matty said...

I agree with all of the above. Your body, your life. I for one would not let any of my enemies know just in case they would pray that I wouldn't make it. I do believe in prayer...what they don't know...can't hurt me.

simply me said...

Oh Li - this is a no brainer, just another excuse to call attention to herself and make it about her. Going this surgery was a sensitive issue and I certainly would have been careful who I shared it with.
There a people in my life who are on a need to know basis and that's just the way it is. When I need support I know who to go to and who Not to go to.
Those who love you and did not know about your surgery would just be happy that all is OK and not worry about there part in it.
This is just another tactic of drawing attention saying'"llok at me and how I am excluded", making you look like the bad guy once again.
Ditch Her, she is spoiled, selfish and self-indulgent. You don't owe her anything....she's the one who has made poor choices.
Don't Ask me to fight for you, because I will LOL.

Guilty Secret said...

I think at times like those you have to worry only about yourself, and anyone who cannot see that is being very self-centred indeed.

Lisa said...

Dear Curiousc,

Thank you. Sometimes when I do something that might be misconstrued as selfish, I question myself. It's sometimes hard for me to be my own advocate!

Take good care,

Lisa said...

Dear Matty,

WOW...that is EXACTLY what I was thinking. My husband told me that God would NEVER let anything bad happen because of someone's ill wishes, and that I should have more faith. Even though I do know that, I still felt more comfortable with him not knowing.
Thanks for responding, and I hope all is going well with you!

Take good care,

Lisa said...

Dear Simply Me,

HAHAHAHaaaa....I knew you'd have a field day with this one. Of course, you are right on all accounts. I just feel bad for my husband, who is always stuck in the middle (even though he always takes my side). He remembers someone he grew up with that had a good heart before it was "tainted" by money and materialism. I'm not angry anymore; I really do feel sorry for people like that who just don't "get it". How can you ever be happy when your Louis Vuitton (sp) bag is deeper than you are?


Lisa said...

Dear Guilty Secret,

You're right. You know, the more I read everyone's comments, the better I feel and I know I'm not crazy. Thanks for contributing! I hope all is going well with your situation.

Take good care,

LZ Blogger said...

Lisa ~

I don't want to sound harsh, cold or (least of all) unconcerned here. The way you've posed this question, I'd you were "absolutely right", but I think there is a deeper question here that I am going to answer too. Remember… you asked. So... my answer is that... I don't think that your personal health issues are frankly anyone's "business" except you, your husband's and your doctor's. In fact if you consulted your doctor or attorney they would both tell you the same thing.

On the other hand, sometimes we ALL just need to know that someone cares about something as important as our health. If you WANT to share the information with others as well and request prayers from those who love and care about you, then you have every right to do that too.

On your SIL (Linda's) behalf though, if I was her, I could (in good conscious think; "well if she didn't care enough about me to share this information with ME then why should I care about her results or even follow up with her?"

I hope I don’t sound like I am trying to litigate both sides of this case here, because I for one... am just VERY HAPPY that you are fine. And Linda should be too. Also a phone call (to tell you so,) sure wouldn’t kill her. ~ jb///

Lisa said...

Dear Jerry,

He speaks!! I think your comment was fair and reasonable. Linda wasn't always the way she is now, as a matter of fact, we were extremely close and I loved her like a sister. Obviously, there are hurt feelings on both sides.

Although I know in good conscience (sp) that I would never hurt anyone on purpose, I do recognize that she only has me to blame--to blame her husband for any of the crappy things he did or still does would be to admit that she made a 17 year mistake.

I will say this...the information was presented to her on the day of the surgery. I believe she chose not to call out of her own discomfort. However, I had to see her last night and wondered how she would handle it. When she arrived, she gave me a kiss and asked how I was feeling after mentioning that she had heard I had surgery. She was very cordial and polite. Asked a couple of questions about it later on. She actually showed glimpses of the sincere person she was several years ago, but then again, it could be the luck of the draw with her depending on what she ingested before she arrived (Thanksgiving last year and last Passover come to mind...the substance abuse was very apparent). I guess what I have to realize and accept (because perhaps I really haven't) is that things will probably never be the same between us, and I guess, in all honesty and fairness, that makes me sad. We had some great holidays and fun times in the past, and now there will always be that apprehension on my part and I'm sure on hers as well when we have to see each other. She got very caught up in her glamorous lifestyle when he went away (one of her close friends now is someone who's very famous for being the mother of a talented young girl who spends an awful lot of time in rehab). She had to do what she could to ease her pain, even if others couldn't understand it. I personally may understand it, but I don't "get" it sometimes.

You know, I need to let go of some of my anger, too. I realize I've been holding onto this for so long already...I've totally forgiven her husband, what he did isn't even an issue, and I'd make up with him tomorrow if he would put forth the effort (as I think I stated in the post, we had tried and he refused). Would I be friends with him or hang out with him? No. But I do have to deal with him, we are in the same family, and I would rather choose peace over discomfort any time. I think I'm more angry at her for things she has said to me in the past that only came from a place of great hurt for her (like when she accused me of having an affair with my husband's best friend at the Thanksgiving table last year in front of the whole family, including my kids). Even though she apologized three days later, it still lingers with me and I need to just let it go already.

You know, I could go on and on here all day. Thank you for pointing out both sides. No matter what, she is still someone I cared about, she's still human, and what she feels is her right, even if I don't agree with it. And vice-versa. I just need to get that through my head now, and even though I did feel like a victim and I know I was to a certain extent, it's time to let go of that mentality and move on.

Carine said...

She's not worth you stressing out over. Dave is so right. This was your crisis, your body and your life. You need only tell those who will help, not hurt you.
My MIL is a very negative, disagreeable sort who has alienated everyone-my husband does what he has to.
She has no right to insist anyone call her, love her, respect her. She chose to take the path she did and now, she must live with the results.
Same for "Linda".
Big hugs

Lisa said...

Thanks, Carine. I often feel the same way, that she chose her own path. I guess sometimes I feel responsible for the stress the family goes through, because if my husband and I just kept our mouths shut and kept what he did to ourselves, none of this would've happened. However, neither one of us were ever going to be able to be in the same room with "Mitch" again whether the family knew or not. Also, I've removed myself from the family in the last two years, only seeing them on special occasions. Ironically, even with me out of the picture and him in jail, "Mitch" has still managed to cause "Linda" more heartache. Why she continues to put up with that is beyond me. Honestly, she's gorgeous--she could probably get any man she wanted. I just think the lifestyle has become more important than her own self-respect; either that, or she's confusing the two. I don't think she really judges anyone by what's inside anymore--as I mentioned in response to Jerry, look who she hangs out with (I don't wish to name drop, but I'm sure everyone can figure it out). They all need so much attention...what gives?!?

Kacey said...

Hi Sweetie --- I'm so happy that they found zippo cells of the cancer persuasion. Don't feel badly about this twit and her machinations. You didn't need any of her crap before the surgery and you don't want any of it now. As far as telling her pre-op --- didn't she ever hear of HIPPA? Personally, I wouldn't even go to family functions in the future, if they were going to be there. They knew what they did and apparently tried to turn it around to reflect on you --- forget them! You are too sweet and loving to need them when yhou have all of us out here in bloggityville, who are ready to be your sisters and brothers. I'm sorry I haven't been commenting, but I am slower than the dickens getting over the carotid thing --- though I have been reading. Hugs!----

Lisa said...

My Dearest Kacey,

Don't you worry one iota about how many comments you leave, or even if you're up to navigating over just get your wonderful self better as quickly as possible! I do understand; I'm only online because my son was kind enought to loan me his laptop!

As for my kooky family, I know that you definitely speak from experience, having had to deal with the "decoy duckess" all these years! I will most likely go to all family functions out of respect for my husband; however, if "Mitch" is uncomfortable in my presence, then he can stay home (which he did half the time anyway, before any of this even happened). I won't back down to him, and neither will my hubby. As for her, well, she is who she is and I'll just have to adjust my attitude towards her in order to keep peace in my own soul. What else can I do?

So thank you for your valued input and for being a cherished member of "Bloggityville"! I knew my friends here would only wish me well, which is why I shared it with all of you. All of the good wishes and blessings went right into that operating room with me. I have the best blogging buddies around! You take good care of yourself, and I hope you're feeling 100% very soon!

Take good care,

Shimmerrings said...

Lisa, I know how you felt, then. When I married my ex (not the father of my children, not that ex, lol) I wanted to have a baby with him. I had two boys from the previous marriage and wanted, not only a try for a girl, but wanted a baby with this new love. I was 42 years old. No big deal, in my book. There are many couples who wait until their later years to have children, and I still felt very young, inside. Never the less, I knew that my mother would object. The only thing is, I was unable to have a child, because my tubes had closed off by themselves. The only way I could get pregnant was to have them re-opened. I didn't want to tell my mother, because it was a joyeous ocassion, for me, so I kept it a secret and she didn't find out until I was actually in the hospital, recovering. It was a cruel thing to do, but I knew that she would steal my joy, otherwise. It may not have been a good thing to tell her, while I was recovering, either, but there was just no way around it, in the end. She was my mother, for cripes sake! And I was in the hospital for an entire week :s So, I do understand your not wanting to tell her, so that you might remain in a good state of mind. You didn't need the stress. On the other hand, it was obvious, from your words, that it really bothered you that she did not call, once she found out. As Lazy Blogger pointed out, I have to say that if I had found out, the way she did, I might have been hurt and felt the same way that she did. In the end, it seems that all went well, when you two came face to face. People do strange things when they feel love for one another, yet cannot find resolution. Often the resolution cannot be found, because... as you pointed out... one may have to come to terma with all kinds of stuff, in their own lives, in order to find that resolve with another. That doesn't always happen this lifetime. I'm going through the same thing with my sister, whom I love very much... and she loves me. In the end, she's my sister and I will always continue trying to find resolution. For yourself, if she is not blood, and the relationship does not matter in your life, you can 'let it go' and move on with more positive things. I don't think you did the wrong thing. I don't blame her for her reaction, either... and I'm glad that all turned out well, in the end. If she didn't care, she wouldn't have asked, at all. Know that. Also, I learned a long time ago that loving and caring about someone does not mean that they will always play an active part of our lives. We can love people from afar. Just because we cannot find resolution does not mean that we don't love.

Lisa said...

Dear Shimmerings,

I'm sorry for what you had to go through (what was the final outcome?) must be hard when the person you have the difficulty with is your own mother. And I definitely understand your feelings toward your sister...I have a brother whom (?...or is it "who"? Where's Teri when you need her!) I feel the same way about. We definitely don't see eye to eye about a lot of things, but there's no doubt that we love each other.

As for my SIL, you made a very insightful comment. Maybe on some level deep down, she was concerned and even hurt that someone didn't call her. But being that we don't speak anymore unless we absolutely have to (we used to speak daily, and haven't really spoken at all in two years), she was aware that she was never getting a phone call from me to discuss this, and I doubt she was insulted by that, or that she even expected it. Simply Me, who knows her, probably hit the nail on the head a little more accurately. My SIL does have some tendencies to draw attention to herself, and this was a way to take the "victim" title away from me temporarily and place it on her. Trust me, there ARE games being played here. It does get obnoxious sometimes. But again, it is what it is, and I can't change her, and she can't change me. That was okay a few years ago; we embraced our differences. Now they've become too obvious to ignore, and they just don't mesh.

I guess time will tell how this whole situation works out. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and I hope everything works out for you, too!

Take good care,

Betty said...

Dear Lisa,

I am so sorry that I have been away from blogging for so long and have missed your recent posts. What a huge relief that you have no cancer! As others have said, it's totally your business and your body. You get to tell whomever you want to tell, as determined by your belief system. End of story. Linda apparently doesn't get it, and she chooses to be petty now. So be it. All that matters is that you're OK!!!!!!!

Extra hugs and whoops of joy,