August 15, 2011


Good weekend and all that (thanks again, Mo, for watching Olive while we went to APT, which was lovely!).

I'm just kind of in a mood today. Well, I think it's a couple of things. First, the subject of more children came up again and again the right decision seems to be no, but it's a sad conclusion for me to draw and brings up a lot of other feelings that I was trying to be done with. Feeling guilty that I didn't pursue the genetic piece before bringing Olive into the world. Feeling that every day I could apologize to Ben for all of this, and especially for limiting his future choices, and it still would never be enough. But we do the the best we can with where we're at now, right?

I had my year post-surgery appt with my surgical oncologist today. I was this close to crying. That shouldn't be weird, I suppose, only it is for me. Ben & Julie can correct me if I'm wrong, but through all this past year I can't remember actually getting upset enough to cry in an appointment. Maybe I was crying in the ER the one time where I had a pounding headache, a fever, and was nauseous, but otherwise I think I tried to stay pretty analytical through most times.

What was different today? Well, my surgeon is young and was pregnant with her first child when she operated on me last July. So I'm telling her about the last year since the surgery was over and I went through the rest of treatment, and I could see her thinking through all the logistics as if she would be going through it with a baby. Super empathetic, even just about Olive and the cast and dealing with an immobile toddler. Talking through all my issues with my R side, with the shoulder pain and mobility and the arm swelling, talking about how I know all the things I should be doing a few times a day to improve things but I just don't work it into my day and put myself lower on the to-do list. She kind of stopped me as I was talking it through and told me to stop feeling bad about it, because I'm choosing to do the things in my daily life that I went through all this for in the first place.

I don't know why that makes me sad and why I'm crying right now and have felt like it all day--just processing, I guess. I think I am going to struggle for a long time of feeling like not quite enough of anything: not quite taking care of myself well enough, not quite as energetic a wife and mother as I'd like to be, not nearly as complete in my career as I know I could be, not as consistent of a friend though I want it given back to me, all of those things and more. And I don't need anyone to pat me on the back and say "That's okay (cancer girl, i.e. we'll keep giving you a pass)". I know that the world will still give me leeway and I certainly will take it. But it's hard to feel that way when you really know how you'd like to be--I'm not still wandering like in my 20's...

Alright, enough of that to sit on tonight--I got it out of my system. As a reward for making it through that beeswax, here's Olive:

1 comment:

Kathy said...

From vacationland...
EACH of the key players in the last year's episode of life have been less than they could have been have been had they not had such a major (or in some cases, more than one major)event/s shaping how fully they could contribute to their careers, their relationships, their own lives. This is what makes the rich fabric of life--you can't predict it; you can't control it every minute, every day. Sometimes, the best you can do is endure it.

Olive is a gift; you, Jenny, are a gift. Ben is a gift and each person that has helped, sacrificed or wished/prayed/shared in spirit during this past year is a gift. I can't bring myself to say your cancer is a gift; however, I have complete faith that your cancer is part of the fabric of your life as it now is part of the fabric of my life. Fabric needs each thread to make it what it is, to be sure there are no holes.

The only thing that would make me seriously weep would be anything that would have taken my opportunity to know our sweet Olive or to have missed seeing your courage Jenny in the face of such adversity or to have missed seeing Ben's courage and strength and generosity to accept such big changes, how we can pull together to get to the other side.

Time will help with the wounds and the cheese that was moved, the plans that have or need to be flexed...meanwhile, I'm grateful that we're all still here to occasionally cry and to often laugh and to sometimes have a fun ride between Milwaukee and Madison, rocking to kid songs and a toy book piano.

Hang in there...tears dry and your life is your life however it may evolve. Little by little...