Today is not my day

My surgery is on the 27th, but between now and then — and not counting weekends — I only have seven days that are free from medical appointments and procedures. Seven out of 19.

Knowing this pushes me to the edge of exhaustion.

The last month has been challenging, and while I’ve tried to be strong and worked hard to be positive, today I just can’t do any of it. Today I need to get back into my bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep. There’s a physical component to my fatigue, but most of it is mental and emotional. I’m just tapped out.

Yesterday’s CAT scan was hard. Not because the test was hard, the test is nothing — you just lie down and this machine hovers over you and six minutes later you’re done. The hard part for me, on any of this stuff, is the ongoing difficulty in finding a vein to either draw blood or inject contrast dye. The dye they use for the CAT scan pushes in quickly, so they use a big needle and they need a big vein. After sticking each of my arms in the usual place and finding nothing, the tech tried the inside of my forearm. You can’t imagine how much that hurts. Even more so when there is no usable vein to be found. Fifteen minutes later, after soaking my hands in a tub of warm water, she found a vein on the back of my hand. I still can’t touch that spot today. It feels like the bone is bruised.

My problematic veins are really a minor issue in the big scheme of things. I haven’t entirely lost my perspective. But when the big scheme of things is just too big, when the stuff that really should worry you is more than you can cope with, you tend to fixate on the stuff that really doesn’t, or shouldn’t, matter. An aching hand, the dusty coffee table, the dishes stacked in the sink.

I think it’s the same for my son. He’s worried about his upcoming midterms, frustrated when he can’t think of the answer right away — but what he’s really worried about is the big thing, the cancer, the way our lives are changing and spinning away from us. My husband, too. Everyone is wondering how we are going to get through this and what it will be like when we do.

Talking about it is hard. Saying the scary stuff out loud is really hard. So we look for ways to say it but not say it. I don’t want to tell my son I’m terrified of surgery, so I tell him that I’m looking forward to a long rest. “At least I won’t have to do laundry when I’m at the hospital,” and we smile. It’s what people do, they deflect, they dodge, they do what they can to soften the blow. How else could we manage?

Most days I can rise above all this. Most days I can say I’m doing well and really mean it. So I have to believe that there’s no shame in today feeling like one of those days when I can’t. It doesn’t mean I’m falling apart, or coming unglued, or that I’m any worse off than I am any other day. It just means that today is not my day.

And I think that has to be okay.

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8 thoughts on “Today is not my day

  1. Just wishing I could come over and wash your dishes and dust your coffee table while you rest. The day will come when you are on the other side of this and life is back to normal. I’ve seen that with so many friends who have gone through it. Hang on to that thought. I prayed for you this morning. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • My thoughts and prayers are with you Kristen, as well as with your family. There is so much small stuff happening amongst the big stuff as well as the unknown. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, my friend, and know we are all here with you, to support you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure all my comments are posting, but I hold your words close and know how hard this is. Healing means many hard days amidst the comfort of friends near and far. If a few hours (or days) under the cover is soothing then that is what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I dearly wish that we had not lost contact after you dad’s death. I regret those lost years and I want you to know that we always loved and thought of all of you. I think of you and pray for you every day.
    It is the difficult journeys in life that show us that we posses a strength we never knew was possible. There will be days when lying in bed in the fetal position is the only thing you can do. Trust me, I have been there.
    There then comes the resolve to put one foot in front of the other and continue on, and continue on you will.

    Liked by 1 person

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