Tom Petty was right

Sometimes the was someone says (or sings) something cannot be improved upon: The waiting really is the hardest part. Of course, cancer was the hardest part too; as was watching someone I love being poisoned by medicine that would supposedly eventually make him better, and parenting insecure, scared preteens without much input from their dad, and myriad other things. But waiting…that was and still is a constant suck in our lives. We are waiting for Adam’s side-effects to abate (without knowing if or when that may happen), we are waiting to feel anything but shell-shocked, we are waiting for a family vacation in October (yay!), and more than anything, we are waiting for this mythical new normal thing people keep talking about. It reminds me a bit of when the kids were babies and no two days worked the same way. Adam and I were so ready to settle into a predictable routine, but it never quite materialized. We are still like that. The same problem requires a new solution each day…and that is to say nothing of the new problems that are constantly popping up. But we are so tired of living life from problem to problem. How can you just be when you are constantly putting out fires?

 

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Empty Pages

Last year it was easy to write about what was going on, and it was even easier to spew out how I felt about it. The feelings were complicated and often seemed to contradict each other, but they were so close to the surface and I felt so entitled to them that it was a fairly simple thing to put them into words. This year…not so much.

So, what is going on? Well, Adam is in remission and has now even had the port that was used during his chemo infusions removed. That minor procedure happened yesterday, so it is all over except for the lingering soreness as the incision heals. Many of the side-effects from chemo are also still lingering: the most notable is the peripheral neuropathy which cause both pain and numbness in Adam’s hands and feet, but there is some remaining sensitivity to cold weather, muscle weakness, and general malaise (which is French for “I feel like crap”) as well. And that is on the physical side. Our family’s emotional stability has been, thus far, one of the biggest casualties of the cancer battle. We are all just a bit…crazy. Having kids on the cusp of puberty go through the trauma of watching a parent go through what Adam went through…well…let’s just say that losing our cool happens. A lot. To every single one of us. Often all at the same time. It’s loud. I mean, really, REALLY LOUD.

How do I feel about it? I don’t even know. I am so tired of being so tired. I’m thoroughly sick of my own internal whiny monologue…you know…the one that keeps becoming an external whiny monologue, or sometimes dialogue? I am so ready to feel better that I feel guilty for not feeling good. How’s that for emotive? Really? Could it be any more about feelings? Yes, that ephemeral aspect of the human condition is completely monopolizing my coping skills…and obliterating them. I am accustomed to being able to trace my emotional responses to some real thing that is happening and then to dealing with that concrete thing and then to feeling better. It is a lovely little system that I have always been fairly adept at engineering…until the real thing that I had to deal with was something so huge and all-encompassing and beyond my control. I cannot make myself or anyone in my family better, no matter how well I engineer the machinery for coping. I really hate that. Really, really, really. HATE. IT.

So many of the pages of this year so far are empty. I have nothing that I want to say. I’ve said it all and it is all still there anyway. Talking it out doesn’t help this time. We are still taking life one hitched breath at a time, and can still do nothing but wait for the wounds – physical and emotional – to heal. And pray. I’m doing a lot of that. Many of the prayers go like this: “Dear God…I don’t know just, oh GOD.” And I’m pretty sure that’s okay, because He does know. I hope for some direction soon, but for now…I’m just trying to learn to be.

We are okay…and we aren’t. We are better than we were…and we are worse. And this is life. And we will take it one day at a time. And I hope to fill some pages along the way.