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Monthly Archives: September 2014

I want someone

I want someone to tell me, “Tomorrow it will be better.”

I’ve been my mom’s cheerleader from the beginning. Right when she was first diagnosed with uterine cancer. Through the surgery. Through the doctors’ appointments. The tests. Now the infusions…the chemo. I’m here to lift her up and to remind her that no matter what is happening today, right now, tomorrow will be a better day. Today she’s tired and her back hurts. Tomorrow she’ll be less tired and her back won’t be as bad. Today her mouth has a terrible taste, but tomorrow it will be less so. Today she’s not feeling so energetic. Tomorrow will be better. (And I don’t regret one day I’ve been that cheerleader…not one day and not one minute.)

I’ve been sick since 2000. I’m not sure anyone has ever said to me, “Tomorrow will be better.”

They say they’re sorry I am not feeling well. They’re sorry I’m tired, or that I can’t go out today. Or that my body hurts. Or that my knee is acting up. They’re sorry that I am hot. Or can’t eat that piece of bread. Or can’t get up off the chair without yelping in pain.

I know they’re sorry. I know they support me. They go with me (and always did) to my doctors’ appointments. They help me ask questions and help me remember the answers. They buy me anything I need. They ran errands for me when I couldn’t. Bought food when I couldn’t shop. Cooked when I couldn’t cook. Took care of my dog when I couldn’t get down the stairs to let her out. They did for me. They helped me. They loved me. I know they don’t want me to be in this place that I’m in. But I’m in it, and I live it every day. So who is my cheerleader? Who is going to tell me, “Tomorrow it will be better.”

It’s a little thing. And I don’t want that patronizing, “Don’t worry, it’ll be okay.” kind of thing. I want someone to understand and remind me that there is always tomorrow, and that possibility–that hope–that it might just be a better day.

 

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This body

Last night I was not able to fall asleep, so I started working on my thankfulness list. I don’t do it every night anymore, but I still do it when I need the reminder. Or when I need the distraction. Last night was probably both.

One of the things I decided I was thankful for last night was my body.

This body. The one I’m in right now. The only one I have. The one I claim has rebelled against me for years. That has failed me. Yes, that body.

This body, that is too round, too fleshy, too fat. Too dimply. Too hairy.
This body that requires effort to haul around, with muscles that are too tight, joints that that are too painful.
This body that has acne and scars and rosacea.
This body that has allergies and vertigo, migraines and imbalance.
This body with feet that are too big, ankles that are too chunky, thighs that are too wide. Hips that are too wide. Shoulders that are too wide. Butt that is too big.
This body that has hair that is too coarse, too wavy to be straight, too straight to be curly.
This body that has fingernails with ridges, that split long-wise when you sneeze.
This body that has one patch of skin on one hand that itches unbearably but looks completely normal.
This body that has skin on both hands that are dry and crack and bleed all year ’round, that make people ask me what’s wrong with me.
This body that has one eye that doesn’t move right, so that I can’t see to my left without turning my head.
This body that has saggy arms and saggy jowls.
This body that has a stomach that is too big and sticks out to the front like I’m pregnant, but is narrower on my sides than my hips which means I can never find jeans that fit.
This body that has breasts that sag. That don’t fit into bras properly. That need to have extra padding (that I don’t freaking need) to hide my nipples.
This body that has rolls and creases.
This body that has sebaceous cysts. Sometimes in bad places. Sometimes in REALLY bad places.
This body that has trigger points and muscle spasms.
This body that has tinnitus and ears (and cheeks) that burn and turn red-purple from being flushed for no reason (and/or because of allergies).
This body that has stomach issues. Constipation. Diarrhea, bloating, gas. A bladder that keeps me awake at night after drinking less than 4 ounces of water. Or no water at all. (WTF)
This body that doesn’t allow me to sleep. Or get rest. Or feel refreshed. Or find relaxation.
This body that houses my anxiety and my depression.

This body that allows me to help take care of my parents. My husband. My brothers. My aunts and uncles. My dogs. My friends.
This body that makes soup for my mom that is the only thing she can eat the Monday, Tuesday, and sometimes Wednesday that follows her infusions. That makes ice cream which still tastes good to her even when the chemo messes with her taste buds.
This body that carries me through the day so I can crochet chemo hats for patients who need them.
This body that moves me from place to place. That gives me the ability to raise money for charities that are important to me…charities that bring help and healing to many people.
This body that permitted me to write books that touched other peoples lives.
This body that houses my brain. And my heart. And my soul.

I want to love this body, I really do. I want to ignore all the first list and concentrate on the second smaller list…I’m trying. Some days it’s not so bad. Last night when I was trying to remember to be thankful for this body of mine…in the dark of night when I’m trying to ignore how loud and fast my heart rate feels/sounds, saying how I am appreciative for this body of mine felt worthwhile and important. Today, when I’m standing in front of the mirror and I see my naked body, it’s only the first list that crowds my mind.

Without this body–MY BODY–I am nothing. I need to remember that. I need to love my body no matter its form. BECAUSE of its function.

 

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And still I grieve

It has the power to bring me down.

The day this is posting is the day we had to let Sweet Pea go three years ago. I’m writing it six days in advance, for no other reason than the fact that today, it took me down. In an unexpected way.

I have a lot of random pictures of SP on my computer. I’ve been through them, time and again. It has made me miss her, and in some cases reminded me how much I love her and how much joy she brought to my life. Sometimes it makes me sad. I don’t look at the pictures a lot, but I do have pictures of her up around the house, mostly in frames. I still have one polaroid on my nightstand that has been with me since we moved out of our last house. I dust it off and look at it occasionally, but mostly it makes me feel better to have it there. So there it stays, on the corner of the nightstand, just sitting.

My parents have put in a bathroom in their basement with a raised tub so we can bathe all the dogs easily. She decided to make the bathroom doggy-themed, which will include pictures of all our dogs, from the first to the most recent. So today I was printing out pictures of the dogs to put in frames to hang on the bathroom walls. I put together all the other dogs, but could not decide which of SP’s to use. I asked Hub if he had any other pictures of SP on his computer to look through. He said yes, so I asked him to go through them and pick out the ones he liked. He went and copied everything he had onto a thumb drive and brought it to me, but I asked HIM to look through them first. He claimed he was busy and left the thumb drive on my laptop. For about half an hour I avoided it, then I finally plugged it in. Within minutes of seeing what was on the drive, I started crying. I told him I couldn’t look through them and I furiously started crocheting while tears just ran down my face. Hub got upset that I was upset and said he should have just looked at the pictures and he was sorry. I told him it was my decision to look, but I couldn’t, now that I knew what was on there. It was mostly pictures of SP at the end. When she was already showing signs of pain and distress. When she was already looking at us to relieve her of her pain. She looked old and bloated and sad. It was bad. Hub looked through them, but said he found nothing to use, so I asked him to go through what was on my PC to see if he could pick one he liked. I watched him go through the pictures and realized how hard it was for him. I told him I would find something, but he said he would do it. He picked out two pictures to choose from, then disappeared. I was only able to call out a “thank you” before he basically ran off.

I tried to explain to someone that when you’ve lost someone close to you, you are never the same. You only learn to live this new normal. You learn to live with the gigantic hole in your heart. It never heals, it never gets filled up again, your body just learns to adjust to it. I think sometimes it’s the mind and soul that refuses to adjust. Today my mind and soul are refusing to allow me to adjust. And I just want to cry with the pain.

SweetPea

Miss you so much, Bubba-girl. We both do. We’re so thankful to have had you in our lives for so many years. We’ll love you forever and then some.

 

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