Sunday, October 23, 2011

When the Brain Decides Enough Is Enough

I stayed in Visalia a few more days getting things order and discussing options.  Three days later I drove home and brought Allison (Vanessa’s mom) with me.  Allison wanted to head home to get Richard; Vanessa’s Dad and pack a few more items.  That drive home was honestly one of the longest and hardest drives I have ever had to make. 

 Endless thoughts ran through my head.  What are we going to do?  Is she going to come home for treatment?  Does she want to be near us, or up in Visalia?  I can’t believe strep throat turned into Cancer.  She can beat this, right?  What if she doesn’t beat this?  What does she want?  Does she want to be cremated or buried?  Why am I thinking about cremation and burials, but really what does she want?  Who plans a funeral at the age of 23?  Why does she have Cancer?  WHY DOES SHE HAVE CANCER??? GOD WHY GOD WOULD YOU GIVE HER CANCER?

 Allison and I cried and spoke seriously, and sat silent.  Finally reaching Allison’s home, I headed home to my boyfriend Mike.  It was hard to sleep, so many thoughts, anxiety, sadness and anger crossed over me.  While going through my own wave emotions, Allison had an awful share of her own. Sometimes we as humans cannot process the information we have just learned.  Sometimes life is too traumatic and the brain just needs to shut down.  The brain needs to make things easier for us.  So our brain changes the situation. 

 Allison called me in complete panic asking me if Vanessa was ok, if Vanessa was sick.  I stopped dead in my tracks and didn’t understand.  She asked if she had been with me the night before and why we were together, where I drove her home from.  She continued to cry and worry, and it was then that I realized her brain decided the news was too much and shut down, locked the Cancer deep away, but Cancer knew how to show its ugly colors.  You can lock it away, but it won’t stay silent.

 I explained to Allison that Vanessa had cancer, and that we had just been with her in the hospital.  We came home so she could pick up Rich, and pack some more items.  She replied to me “Vanessa does not have cancer, I do.  I DO”.  I told Allison that she did not have Cancer, but Vanessa did, Vanessa was sick.  I told her I would hurry and get dressed and be on my way to come comfort her.  Allison was alone, and Rich was out running errands to prepare to go to Vanessa. 

Right away I called Matt, Vanessa’s boyfriend who was able to fly back home with the news of her Diagnoses.  I explained to Matt what was happening with Allison and that I thought it was best for Vanessa not to worry.  Vanessa did not need to know about what was happening with her mother right now, she had enough on her plate.  I asked Matt to please take Vanessa’s phone and not answer calls from her parents until I otherwise knew things had settled.  Just as I had gotten in the car to head to Allison, Rich called me and explained that things were ok.  Allison settled down and the brain allowed for her to know what was really happening. 

Sometimes, we just cannot process the information.  Sometimes life becomes to be too much.  Sometimes we need denial to survive.  Sometimes forgetting and denial are medicine to our souls. 

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