I am sitting at a table overlooking the lobby of Clearview Cancer Institute, drinking a Diet Coke and eating Pringles, while my husband is being made temporarily radioactive. Okay, so maybe that is overstating the case a bit. Not the Diet Coke and Pringles, but the radioactive part. Adam is being injected with a radioactive solution so that they can scan his body for cancer. For the next 90 minutes or so, I will be sitting here waiting for him. Then, we will go eat lunch before proceeding home to commence waiting some more. This time we will be waiting to hear the report of the PET scan. We have been told by the medicine oncologist to expect a clear scan…which scares me. Why? Because if my expectations are of a good report and the news is actually bad, I will not just be disappointed – I will be devastated. In addition, I find myself totally obsessing over the correct punctuation of the previous sentence. Multi-tasking my obsessions and anxieties…joy. There are no little things right now. Everything feels really, really huge and overwhelming.
Which isn’t exactly true. Kara and Ethan are both doing well in school – Kara in particular is very proud of herself. She has always had trouble in school, especially with reading, but she is making huge progress right now. Permit me a moment to do the Snoopy happy dance…. You know – the one where you throw your head back in joyous abandon and dance around in circles? Ethan always does well in school…at least with the academic parts. He is also coping well, which is truly a miracle. He has bad days like the rest of us, but for a kid who has never dealt well with…well, with much of anything…he is staying remarkable sane. Unless I go off the deep end. Which I did yesterday. Let’s not talk about yesterday, shall we? Because yesterday was not a good day. Well, bedtime went well, but that was the highlight. Yeah. One of those days.
I keep wondering if hibernation is an option for me. I want to be here with Adam, get the kids off to school, and then be left alone about everything else. I don’t want to talk (at least until I get started, then I don’t want to stop), I don’t want to work, I don’t want to be needed…. I want to hide and read and sleep. But I can’t really relax, either. I feel really…hard. I`m not taking deep breaths or settling bonelessly into chairs, bed, or couches. I couldn’t even relax into the new hammock. I would say I feel brittle, but that implies that my protective shell is thin…and it’s not. It’s thick and well-nigh impenetrable. (I can’t believe I spelled that right on my first try!) Suddenly I feel like Dug in the Disney movie Up!: “Squirrell!” I am easily distractible. (I didn’t spell that correctly on the first try, for those who would like to keep track….)
But don’t worry. I’m not hibernating…or at least, I am leaving my den and keeping up with things like children’s birthdays – Kara will be 9 on Sunday; with activities, cooking, cleaning – at least with laundry and dishes; with homework, playtime, and bedtime – my afore-mentioned favorite time of day. In between those things, I’m trying to hibernate just enough…but not too much. I need the sleep and the pseudo-relaxing. And I probably need the protective shell for now, though it feels foreign and restrictive. There is too much to deal with all at once, so I need to let myself wait for some of it. And I plan to get a massage soon, and a pedicure, because my birthday is a week from Friday, and I do need to get some of the effects of stress worked out…or I’m going to get sick…and, as YouTube sensation Sweet Brown has said, “ain’t nobody got time for dat!”
Forgive my rambles and obsessions. Because this whole writing thing helps. Even when I’m less than impressed with my attention span.