Today’s post is going to be of a slightly more personal nature, so please bear with me.
My Mum is having an operation on Friday to have a cancerous tumor removed. The tumor is on a kidney, so they are removing the whole thing.
Naturally, I am concerned. I am worried about my Mum.
Here is what I’ve learned about worrying over the years and what I am reminding myself of this week as Mum awaits surgery.
Worrying doesn’t help
Worrying would be okay if it actually helped.
If it could change the course of events to make things turn out the way we want, I would be all for it. I’d be saying bring it on.
But it doesn’t. It doesn’t do anything except make us more anxious and stressed.
Your level or amount of worry has no effect on the overall outcome.
Related post – How to Worry Less
Worry can hurt you
I am not a doctor. I can’t tell you the physical problems worry can cause or contribute to.
I just know when I worry too much I feel exhausted, drained and tired. Not to mention anxious and on edge.
My shoulder and neck muscles tense to the point where they bring on a severe headache.
None of these situations are helpful when you need to be at your best to support someone you love through a challenging time.
Related post – One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Feel Happier and Less Stressed
Worrying can turn into a bad habit (if you let it)
This is one of the things I learned when I used to worry a lot.
It seems the more you worry – the more you can.
The more you worry, the more likely you become prone to jump to the worst case scenario with whatever event is happening in your life.
Before long you find yourself worrying over small and insignificant issues, not just the major ones.
Don’t let worrying become a habit.
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The outcome is out of your control
As much as I hate the idea, what happens on Friday inside the operating room is totally out of my control.
I have however done everything I can within my control.
I was with Mum when the doctor told her about the tumor. I asked a lot of questions regarding chemo and dialysis (thankfully she won’t need either). I asked how the surgery was being done. I asked detailed questions while the doctor was drawing on Mum with a pen illustrating how the removal would take place.
The point is I found out as much as possible about what was going to happen.
I took control of the only part of the surgery I could.
Related post – Are You in Control of Your Life?
Take care of the logistics
The logistics outside of the operating room is another situation we can control.
For example, Mum lives roughly 5 hours away from the city so we had to work out travel arrangements.
There were accommodation and transportation factors to consider for both Mum and her husband. Mum has a home and pets that need to be taken care of while she is away.
We have organized a family dinner for the night before the operation. This might not seem like much, but considering my family live a good distance from each other and we don’t get together often, this is actually a big deal.
I have a list of people to contact when the doctor tells me the operation was a success and that Mum is going to be just fine.
Take care of the practical stuff. It might not seem like much, considering everything else that’s going on but it can help to not be worrying about the small stuff at the same time.
Accepting what we can’t control and dealing with the practicalities of what we can control is important when faced with a worrying medical situation.
Please share this post with your friends on social media. You never know who might be worrying about something similar today!
Read next – 10 Behaviors That Stop You Growing as a Person
PS – Just a quick update to let you know that the surgery went really well and Mum is doing great. 🙂
Best wishes for your mother and your whole family.
You have a great point about worrying – all it does is drive you mad, make you feel dreadful and make you worry more.
I hope things go smoothly and we hear some good news soon.
Thank you for your lovely comment and well wishes. Lots of good news to report. Mum is going well and cancer free. She went back home on Wednesday. Doctor was very impressed with her recovery, so have to be happy about that. The people at the hospital were all amazing. I can’t speak highly enough about them, they took really good care of her.
As I mentioned to Anne-Sophie I didn’t start to relax until after I got the news back from the pathology report but I am feeling much more relaxed and at peace now. One other good thing was that we got to spend a fair bit of time as a family together as a result of all of this. That doesn’t happen in my family much, so it was lovely.
Thank you again for your kind thoughts. I really appreciated your support.
I’m delighted to hear you have the all-clear now. To not have to go through chemo in addition to the surgery is a blessing.
It is also nice to hear you were able to enjoy quality family time, even when family live close by it can be hard to get that.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes not having to go through chemo is a blessing. I was concerned about that one, so it is a huge relief.
Thanks again for your support and kindness.
Thea, this is not an easy situation to be in and I will keep your mom and you in my thoughts. I agree with you, worrying won’t help, but sometimes we just cannot help it. However, it’s not proactive and can indeed turn into a bad habit. I used to worry all the time, literally. Now I am at a more serene place and can live a bit more freely. But there are still situations in life where fear and worry comes up.
Thank you so much for your support and kind thoughts, they were really appreciated. Mum’s op went well and she is doing incredibly well. She went back home on Wednesday, so now it is all about recovery. The doctor was amazed at how well she was doing, so that is a great sign.
I used to worry a lot too. My family still call me a worrier but I consider myself heaps better than I used to be. Except of course when it comes to things like this. I do worry about health related issues.
I noticed the worry habit take hold through this whole thing. At first I was worrying about the op and when that was over I thought I would feel better until I found out about the pathology test results we still had to wait for. Even after I got the news the pathology test was okay, I noticed I didn’t feel relieved straight away. It took a while to sink in, probably because I had been worrying for a month by that stage. It wasn’t till last night when I went to bed I felt a smile spread across my face and I took a long, depth breathe in and out and the worry started to disappear.
Thanks again for your well wishes, they really did help.
Hope all goes well.
Thank you so much for your comment. I am thrilled to report Mum is doing well. She went back home on Wednesday after getting a clear pathology report saying they got all of the cancer. Naturally they will keep an eye on her for the next two years with twice yearly check ups. No chemo, radium or dialysis which we are all happy about.
Thanks again for your thoughts, they were appreciated.
I really hope that everything is fine. I know it is not an easy situation. I wish you and your mom courage and patience.
I totally agree with you about worrying feeling but it happens to me quit often to in a situation of worrying too much without being able to stop that.
I hope everything goes well for your mom.
Thank you so much for your comment, support and kind thoughts. I am happy to report that Mum is doing well. She got out of hospital Monday (not bad considering she had major surgery Friday) and she went home on Wednesday. We got the results of the pathology test on Tuesday advising that they had removed all of the cancer. She will need to get checked every six months for the next two years and then it will drop back to yearly. No chemo or radium required though so that is a huge relief for everyone.
Overall she is doing incredibly well. Thanks again for your support, it meant a lot.