As I sit here, with a kid’s movie playing in the background, my girls pretending to build Olaf on the playroom floor, hubby off trying to continue the process of getting our house settled, I try to keep up. I try to keep up with the active parenting, but my brain and body are disconnected. I yearn for normalcy. I yearn to be able to pick my kids up and go to a fun playdate without worrying about my low white blood cell count. I yearn to eat a fresh summer salad with the colors of the earth without worrying about the latest produce recall. I yearn to go to sleep without taking 10 pills + chalky supplements before my head hits the pillow. I yearn to wake up without that nagging nauseas feeling in the pit of my stomach. I yearn to go a day or night without breaking into a mad cold sweat and not feeling like half my body is in Libya and the other half is in Antarctica. I yearn for my brain to process information without constantly second guessing myself. I yearn to have breakfast and not feel like I need to eat 30 minutes later because, once again the rotten taste in my mouth has returned and my tongue begs me to revive it with something yummy.
I try not to have pity on myself, I think when one goes through something as frustrating and life-altering as this, you’re allowed an occasional pity party. AS LONG as you snap out of it, mine never last very long. To me I don’t understand the point, being in a sad hole doesn’t make me healthy faster, it doesn’t make my cancer disappear and it certainly doesn’t make my life easier. Trust me I know that people have it more difficult than I do, I know that people are in more pain than I am and are struggling more than I am. This is still a very real and devastating situation, so I am allowed to feel my situation, be frustrated, and sit at that pity party table for one. But then I get up, brush myself off and figure out how I can bless the world with my presence. I feel the feels and move on. There’s a great visual from a Dharma & Greg episode, it is at the end of the year and Dharma, the ever-loving hippie, sits and takes in all the bad, old, ugly, and wraps it in a bubble, acknowledges it and then lets blows the “bubble” away, letting it all go. I use this silly visual a lot for letting things go in life.
To get me through this year, I told a friend my visualization and it includes:
Me (my strong, healthy, newly updated body) sitting on a beautiful, soft northern grass lawn, burying my toes in the cool earth with a Michigan Mojito in hand (muddled with fresh Michigan cherries), eating from an appetizer board with The Shanty’s smoked trout pate (think smoked fish butter), John Cross’s flaky smoked whitefish, fresh stone ground mustard, freshly picked cherries, local honey, spiced walnuts, and a rustic loaf of double baked rye bread to lather it all on. Watching both my daughter’s smiling faces playing in the carefree summer air, while holding my husband’s strong hand, the hand that has held me together this past year.
That is my vision. That is my goal. That is what gets me through the tough days…knowing that reality is inching closer and closer. When I no longer have to be the “sick mom” to my girls, when I can wake up each day and not just live, but thrive. When my cancer doesn’t have to be the first thing people think of when they see my face or my name. When I can go back to being the one that gives back, instead of the one accepting help. When my husband doesn’t have to be constantly worried about my runny nose, my eating habits, or my blood work.
In parenthood the quote, the days are long, but the years are short rings out this year. Our days seem to drag on, highlights including a walk around the block or trip to the pool. Praying my year flies by, so we can get on with this beautiful life God created us to live.
Evan and I carefree, swimming in Lake Michigan 2013.
Evan and I in Charlevoix excited about eating a Michigan Cherry ice cream cone in 2013.