I woke up today at ...insomnia sucks. But the time is worthy and I will spend it blogging. Expression is a good thing and this blog has been really therapeutic for me...I actually forget that people read it sometimes. Kinda’ like I forget that I'm bald, until I walk by a mirror, and see my reflection and wince. People keep telling me how strong I am being, how good I look...I honestly don't know what to say back to them...I guess I've been in denial...it helps to get through the day...but yesterday I was alone in the morning and my reality caught up to me.
I woke up yesterday about 4:30 am. I was alone in the house...it's a weird experience to be alone, a mother of 3 kids with constant activity, to have silence...only the birds outside to share the space with me. It was a beautiful morning so I opened some windows...
I made a small pot of coffee, and poured myself a cup. I avoided the television and wanted to just BE. So I felt a slight chill and curled up onto the couch with my new blanket from Eblankies and wow…the power of a soft cuddly, heavy blanket. I immediately started with the thoughts…CRAP…I have cancer. What does this mean? Last week was hard. I felt sicker than before and just wanted to lay on the couch and not do anything. I felt heavy and my mind felt jumbled. It’s like I’m in slow motion all the time. I have conversations but they don’t catch up with me for at least a half an hour. I feel spacey and lack concentration. It’s just not like me. I am usually multi-tasking and getting things accomplished. But that is ok…I will let myself take these weeks to just lay around…because there is a ton of work going on inside my body…I can’t forget that.
I was staring at pictures of my kids on the wall and relieved to know they were at my parents for the weekend (they take them each weekend, Sat morning- Monday morning so I can work weekends at the golf course). I knew I had a long shift ahead in the restaurant…-close. I wanted to just take the morning or what there was of it and just relax, meditate, and refuel my soul.
So the song ("Happy Girl" by Martina McBride) goes “Cry when I feel like it, laugh when I feel like it!” Well yesterday morning was my morning to cry. It was safe without the kids around to see me. It was cathartic. It was releasing.
Cancer is, in my mind anyway, really similar to pregnancy. It’s a little surreal having something growing inside of you that you are unaware of at first. The nausea is similar yet different, the insomnia is similar yet different, the exhaustion is similar yet different. My body actually feels too heavy to move sometimes…and in the end I will have it removed surgically, SIMPLE right?. I had 3 c-sections and survived them all. No, I won’t have a baby to show for it, but maybe it’s my own rebirth…through this journey?
But I am also recently, a single parent, separated from my husband. I was realizing how ALONE I am! I hate being alone…I once went to a movie by myself and was really proud. But I didn’t like it…no one to talk to about the movie, to laugh about the funny parts or discuss the serious parts. I have good friends, many who have been so kind and generous with their time and kindness to me. But I am ultimately ALONE on this journey…who is here day in and day out to hug me? I can’t emotionally depend on the kids…that is just WRONG! I, am still, that little girl inside…waiting to be rescued or told that my boo-boo will be “all better” soon. This blanket covered me in softness like a hug, it was heavy and it felt so safe to cry and look out the window at the flowers and trees. It comforted me. I cried some more. Looking at my 3 small girls in the picture…wow, these little girls are growing up with a mother who has cancer. But they are also growing up with a mother who is FIGHTING cancer. A mother who will BEAT cancer and WIN!
Surgery looms in the near future. What will it be like for them when I go into surgery…I worry so much about them. What will it be like recovering from surgery with drains and the inability to lift Sara into my arms. Gosh, they say I won’t even be able to lift my arm to dress myself. I know I’ll be staying at my folks house for a while after to help me and the kids…but I’m 40 years old…and my mother is going to be helping me get dressed? It’s so bizarre! I don’t want to be so dependant on everyone. I want to be ME again…Independent, Social, Energized. Cried some more.
Tears stream down my face as I write this. It felt good to let it out yesterday. It feels good to let it out now.
Then I called a friend. “Hi, it’s me, do you have 5-10 minutes to talk, I’m sad”. My friend also has 3 kids about the same ages as mine…but like the amazing person she is…on a Sunday morning, she took the time to talk to me and just listen. What a gift she gave me. I was not alone, I will not ever need to feel isolated because I have created this world, this microcosm of interpersonal relationships. Maybe God has led me here. Maybe God gave me the tools to create these friendships with these people in my life to help me through this moment in time. Someone emailed me a great letter and suggested this very thing…and I think she’s right.
I AM strong. I CAN do this. I can rally the troops and lean on friends and family when I feel weak or tired. I will get through this and I will be better for it. It IS a gift from GOD, this cancer. He gave it to me and now he is allowing the medicine to make it go away…it’s still shrinking BTW *grin*.
My marriage is another journey I travel and God will lead me through that as well. The Holy Spirit watches over my girls and guides them in their days.
So my tears are gone…and I’m picking the kids up in a few hours and the week will be filled with energy and activities. I do look forward to school starting up again, getting back to some routine. But this summer was good, despite chemo and cancer, much better than I thought. I am grateful to the Lord for each HAPPY day.Blessings to you, Jodi