Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Probably shouldn't blog tonight...

but I can't help it.  My head is spinning with too much emotion right now NOT to blog.  Let's just start this post out by saying my Mom had a STELLAR week.  Hardly any pain, only had to take breakthrough meds one time :)  That should make me a very very happy daughter, eh?  Well it seems like that is not the case.  Don't get me wrong I am ESTATIC at the fact that they have upped her meds enough to control the pain better.  That in itself is amazing.  But if you know me, and I know some of you know me too well, I am a constant worrier when it comes to my Mom.  I fret and ponder and think about her every minute of every day, wondering when the next attack will be, or even if we will have any warning about the pending attack.  I obsess over her, almost to a fault.  I am sure in the back of her head, every time she hears the alert on her phone for a text message, she knows its me checking up on her, and she's thinking ...."I am just FINE Michelle".  When in reality she's not fine.  She will never be healthy.  She will never recover.  BUT she is doing pretty good right now, so here's the question....WHY AM I NOT HAPPY???  Any thoughts on this....please feel free to interject at any time and let me know what in the HELL I am doing wrong ?!?  Because, well, I don't know.

All of these feelings I have are soo foreign to me.  Soo strange, new, scary, and I don't like most of them.  Some days I am ok and I smile all day long thinking that the world is grande and the sky is blue and I am gonna make it through another day without completely losing it.  Then there are days like today.  They drag on and I can't stop obsessing about the future and what it will bring and when things will happen and how.  I say things I don't mean to the people that love me the most, and then take a step back and replay what just happened, and realize I am THE biggest ass ever. do people even deal with me on a daily basis?  What is wrong with me?  How could I spew such venom and get soo much love in return?

I know why.....  My faith in my family and my friends is unwavering.  No matter how much I vent, or how shy I am around new people and clam up, my 'posse' gets me through.  They make me realize that I am loved and it is ok to break down here.  I hold my emotions in for soo long, and by the time I am ready to bust out at the seams, I lash out instead.  Uncontrollable diarrhea of the mouth.  But they still love me and hug me when I collapse into the 'ugly cry' and tell me the hardest part is yet to come.  Somedays I think I can't do it. I am soo tired....I cannot carry on, then I put on my big girl panties and realize this is NOT about me, and I won't make it about me (for more than a few minutes during that ugly cry where I desperately need hugged).  My Mom is the one suffering from terminal cancer, not me.  I will get her through this.  She will get me through this.  And in turn my friends and family will get me through one step at a time, one day at a time.  For that I am eternally grateful.  You all know who you are <3  My gratitute towards the ones that love me without judging me is not to be measured.  I could not say enough thank you's.  So for now, I will stomp on through another day and realize things will be ok in the end.  If they are not ok, it's not the end.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

No news is GOOD news....

So it's been a few days since my last post and I am over the moon excited to say that Mom has had at LEAST 5 consecutive good days.  God is GOOD....that is all.  Because at this stage in the game for her to have one good day, well that's pretty amazing, but FIVE?!?  In a row?  Well that calls for a celebration of sorts....a blog post ;)

So today we will breathe...a sigh of gratitude that she is getting relief from the pain.  She is smiling more.  Laughing even a little and having longer phone conversations with me.  Talking of the kiddies and their first week of school.  Of course all the while making sure that I know she loves me, too.    For a brief moment in time, it ALMOST felt normal.  Almost.  But still in the back of my mind I remember.  And the pain for me swells up like it always does.  That almost normal feeling that sneaks up on me pushes me to feel a bit guilty. I know for a moment I forget, but I know she can never forget.  She feels the cancer growing larger inside her and if that doesn't do the trick, the long row of bottles of medications sitting on the bathroom counter are a reminder as well.  But she trudges on and puts on a smile and makes me feel loved.  Makes sure the kids have what they need, and always trying to be upbeat.

When I hear a Thousand Years on the radio, or I watch it for the umteenth time on youtube, I reminisce.  I think back to better times.  My mom was a single mother most of my life.  She did it ALL on her own.  Working two different jobs to make ends meet, and making sure when I turned 16, I had a brand new car to drive.  She was my world...soo strong, soo independent, soo motherly.  Unfortunately things have changed drastically since then, but one thing remains constant.  She is STILL my mother and she STILL loves me.  Now its my turn to take the wheel and help her down the road she is headed to.  She instilled values in me that some days I surprise myself with how I react.  Really, she did an amazing job as a mother.  So when A Thousand Years plays and I hear "Time Stands Still...Beauty in all she is, I will be brave...I will not let anything take away what's standing in front of me.  Every breath, every hour has come to step closer."  This song rips at my heart and swells tears in my eyes.  But there IS Beauty in all she is, and I am incredibly grateful to have her in my life and to call her my Momma <3

I have loved you for a thousand years....I will love you for a thousand more <3

Monday, August 20, 2012

I can't tell if it's killing me or making me stronger...

Never in my lifetime did I think that cancer would have such a profound effect on who I become.  But wow was I WRONG...way wrong.  I wouldn't obviously be writing this blog if it weren't for cancer.  I wouldn't be trying to make the most of every single visit and phone call, because honestly does YOUR face light up every time your phone rings and it's your mother?  Can she HEAR you smiling through the telephone when she tells you of her day that she just had that was pain free?  Do you tell your mom stories of the past while she is writing and moaning in pain from the cancer?  Do you keep on keeping on even though you would rather curl up in a culvert on a dead end dirt road and sleep it off for 48 hours?  If cancer has become a presence in your life, your answers might very well be exactly the same as mine.

Cancer honestly has molded me into a better human being.  I remember a short time ago (three years maybe) I was abrasive, difficult, stubborn, impatient, and sometimes VERY rude.  Short tempered, quick to snap, and most days unhappy with what life had to offer aside from my kids and my better half.  Not all the days were bad, but as I look back, I see soo much more that I could have been, SHOULD have been happier for.  Cancer made me a more patient, less abrasive, kinder, happier person.  Hard to fathom how a disease could do that to someone, but it has.  I am grateful for how cancer has changed me and how I now realize what a doof I was being prior to this.  I will NEVER go back to being that ungrateful person, ever again.  Thank you cancer....

Mom has had three consecutive GREAT days, little pain, no vomiting, and even Hospice told her today that she looked better than Friday....WHOOOOPPPPEEEEE!!  I love good pain...and consecutive good days are even better.  She is sleeping a LOT more than she normally does and frequently naps during the day, but rest right now is what she has to do.  I am praying for a few more good days for her <3

Sunday, August 19, 2012

For 24 hours I forgot....

I let myself go and have fun this weekend.  I sat by a warm fire surrounded by two amazing women, partaking in wine drinking, some giggles, weird instagram photos, lots of laughs and a few tears, too.  Even before hanging with my girls, I was out and about wearing a smile at the football game watching my red head cheer. After that splendid Friday evening, I continued on living a carefree life with my better half while my Dad and wife soo graciously took my kids to the state fair and kept them overnight.  And for 24 full hours, I forgot the pain in my Mom's life.  I forgot about the cancer.  I forgot about the heartache.  I forgot about the worry.  It was awe inspiring.  It was glorious and I don't feel guilty.  If I would have tried escaping my reality for 24 hours just two months ago, I would NOT have been able to do it.  Is there an inner peace that is grabbing hold?  Not sure at this point WHAT it is.  I know it has something to do with strengthening my power of prayer and my relationship with God.  I don't have to go to church to do that.  I pray daily, sometimes more than twice daily, and I feel Him.  I know he is there.  He is NOT revealing the answers I want from him right now, but in exchange for the lack of answers, He gave me 24 hours to forget.  To love life, to enjoy moments with my better half and to let loose and relax.  I now realize how much of that is missing in my life.  I am only 38.  Some days I feel eons older.  It's not a good feeling.  It's not the physical labor that is taxing, it's the mental stress, and the anxiety attacks.  It can drag me down to lows I thought I would never come in conflict with.  So forgetting 'reality' for 24 hours was good.  Very good.  Outstanding.  I wish for a repeat of this weekend sometime SOON.  

Whilst I forgot that the reality of cancer sucks, Sunday snuck up on me and bit me in the aft end...hard.  Sundays are usually detrimental days for my mom when it comes to emotions.  We used to always spend Sundays as a family together.  It was her 'routine' day, getting her chores done, house cleaned, and ready to face another week.  Sundays are grim reminders for both of us.  She struggles weekly with Sundays.  Roller coaster emotions, worry, fear, and 'why me' are just a slice of what goes through her head.  I am sure she ponders those thoughts daily, but Sunday's seem worse.  I wish Sundays no longer existed for right here, in the now.  I would love to take her 'worry days' away.  I would love to hug the anxiety and the fear and the why me's away as well.  But alas I cannot.  What I can do is make sure that if I am not there in her presence, that I am texting and calling her all day long.  Checking in, loving her, letting her know that today is just another day to be at peace and to love life.  But it's hard.  I wish I could give her the chance to for 24 hours, JUST FORGET that she has cancer.  But how do you do that when the person you are trying to help them forget, is going to imminently die from this?  It is a looming question that I have yet to find the answer to.  

As I was blog surfing tonight, I found this...

Caregiving is hard work. Caregiving is pain. Caregiving is loving and giving and sharing. Caregiving is accepting and learning new things and going on, and on, and on. Caregiving is lots of questions and very few answers.

That last sentence is a bell ringer for me....lots of questions and very few answers.  Will go ahead and admit in the here and now that I am a bit of a control freak, and NOT having very many answers is something I will NEVER get used to.  e.v.e.r.  n.e.v.e.r. 

BUT I would not want any other person to help care for my mom.  I have no siblings, its just me and her hubby and we are doing the best we can to keep her safe, sound, happy, healthier, and loved.  Now if I could just help her "for 24 hours, forget....."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Took two days worth of courage... write the blog entry.  Two days.  Yep.  Still don't know if I will get into words what I feel and what is happening, but by God I will TRY...because right now, that's all we can do.

"When the rain is blowing in your face, and the whole world is on your case, I could offer you a warm make you feel my love. "

I feel like she's losing her battle to cancer.  I know that she's losing her battle to cancer.  And up until about two weeks ago, the road was just a bit rocky, a little bumpy here and there, but easy driving, per say.  We have now hit large, gaping potholes in the road.  Bricks being thrown, sharp turns we didn't even know were there.  This s.u.c.k.s.  Cancer sucks.  What cancer is putting my Mother through SUCKS.  No other word could take the place of sucks.

The pothole that she has been confronted with the last week is the nausea and vomiting again.  VERY painful, extremely exhausting, physically challenging, to say the least.  The nausea meds will work when she can get them to stay down, and when she is not apprehensive about drinking the water to swallow the actual pill.  She has the fast dissolving tablets as well, but the thought of putting ANYTHING in her mouth when she is feeling ill, well you know the feeling.  It's the furthest thing from your mind.  Add into the nausea and vomiting mix a fever of 102.7.  Yeah....that's a biggie.  This whole episode started around 3am and didn't end till around noon when she was finally able to get up out of bed for the hospice visit.  I ended up leaving work early to be there for this specific visit, and when I walked into my Mom's house, I almost dropped to my knees.  The pain and fear and loathing and disgust in her eyes was evident.  She was disgusted with the fact that she was in bed until noon.  She was fearful of what this whole episode means and when it will repeat itself (which it WILL).  Loathing the fact that cancer has picked her body to invade.  Pain from the violent shaking during her fever, and the constant pain in her back from the tumors.  I have NEVER seen her look this miserable.  And yet, I was greeted with a small smile and I hugged her.  I didn't want to let her go.  I kept hugging her frail shoulders and she cried tears of fear on my shoulder.  As much as she tried to assure me that I didn't need to leave work, I do believe that she was pleased that I was there for her.

The Hospice visit was very imformative for all of us, and of course, I am convinced that Essence of Life are really Angels in Disguise.  Honest and trusting, I love them dearly.  They bumped up (doubled) the pain meds and sent off some different prescriptions to combat the nausea better and get that under control.  The ONE thing my Mom hates is the vomiting.  It's soo incredibly painful for her and she is NOT a big fan.  We have got to find a way to control it to end that suffering.  Hospice is doing all they can for her.

Hospice also suggested maybe increasing her weekly visit to twice a week, but of course my stubborn Mother says no.  I swear she is more bull headed than me ;)

So my feelings and my emotions and my sanity has all been checked this week.  And it's only Tuesday.  I am figuring out more and more about myself every single day.  Figuring out my limits and my breaking points.  Monday's episode had me shaking uncontrollably, but still managing to finish out work for another two hours before leaving.  I don't know how much my emotions can tolerate, but so far, so good.  Not gonna's NOT easy, but we are coping.  Momma is my rock.  My heart.  My soul.  My Mom.

She is feeling a bit better today and didn't sleep the entire day away, but slept in quite late this morning.  Right now the bad days are outweighing the good, and she is bound and determined to turn that around.  Keep praying <3  I know I will continue the fight....

"I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue...I'd go crawling down the avenue...No there's nothing that I wouldn't do to make you feel my love <3 "

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Safe and Sound...

In my Mother's presence, still to this day at age 38,  I feel safe from the worlds' evil.  I feel protected and I feel protective at the same time.  She comforts me without even knowing she does.  I don't know how she does it, but she does.  And she does it w.e.l.l.  She is the ultimate Mom.  I can call her with ANY issues, big or small.  I know she will be listening intently upon what I have to say, and offer up her opinion if I want it.  I have never felt more safe than when she is in my corner.  Protecting me from outside influences, raising me as a single mother, guiding me during raising my children, and still to this day, while she is suffering, it's rarely about making HER feel safe.  She makes it about me.  About my kids.  About feeling safe and secure.  I can only hope to become more like her.  I strive to be like her.  I want to be able to make my children feel as safe as she makes me feel.  It's a natural gift that has been bestowed upon her and I am praying I receive that same gift.

Even during Kamy's birthday party this weekend, while she was having massive breakthrough pain, was wobbly, weak, and could barely keep her balance, she travelled to our home just to watch her grandkids smile when the bouncy house arrived.  We perched her a chair in the back door of the garage to keep her out of the sun, and she just grinned from ear to ear watching the kids.  My heart sank deeper that day as I watched her soak in the moment, and I realized, yes, we are making lasting memories.  But this will most likely be the last of Kamy's birthday's she sees.  I can't help but go back to that thinking.  Mentally preparing....for anything life brings us.  And we know pancreatic cancer will get her.  I go into Mommy mode and try to prepare.  Really, WHO am I kidding?  I am not prepared in the slightest.  It would be the biggest fu&*in lie if I were to tell you "I am ready."  But as I watched my Mother sit in the garage and have chats with the kids about school and birthdays and bouncy houses, my heart was brought back up from sinking low, and I remembered to savor the moment.  Right now is what counts.  Right here.  This very moment.  I am still a work in progress when it comes to living in the now, but I am continually trying to 'get it right.'

This weekend was not soo good for my Momma.  A couple of days of breakthrough pain, waking up in the middle of the night from pain, and just all around total exhaustion.  I can't believe that she is declining.  Maybe it's denial for me right now, but I am concentrating on believing that she is holding steady.  I know deep down it's a slow progression in decline.  It's easier to convince myself that I have less to worry about some days.  I have embedded a 'happy life' mantra into my head, so therein lies my ability to see the positive light.  Granted, if I were to sit down and write down the amount of breakthrough pain medication she has taken in the last five days combined with the added amount of hours she is sleeping in the day, I would have actual physical proof that there is a decline.  But that won't do me one bit of good.  I focus on her and the day and the moment and how she is doing.  Might not be everyone's approach to an ugly situation, but it's my way of dealing.  It's working for me right now.  So continue on....

And a much more grim note, the tumors that she was able to feel in her abdomen three weeks ago have more than tripled in size.  That is my best guess estimate.  No doctor visits have been made, nor will there ever probably be another doctor visit, so this is my doctor estimate.  Three weeks prior, the tumors were just on one side of her abdomen, and now they are felt 3/4 of the way across her abdomen.  Not a good sign.  Positive thing about this is that the tumors for the moment are not causing her pain in front, just the lymph nodes behind her aorta and her pancreas are causing the back pain.  I have to be honest and I have to keep on....for her.  I love her to the Moon and back.  She is my sparkly star that I wish on each and every evening.  My reason for being a better 'me' and for giving that extra effort to make her smile.

I would love to have her be able to go to the hospital and have her tumors removed, but God has different plans.  We will go with that plan, like it or not.  I have yet to know the reason for why God has chosen her to be afflicted with this disease.  Everything happens for a reason, right?  I sure as he&* don't know what that reason is yet.  What I am sure of is when I know, I will know why.

Please God, keep her safe and sound from pain and suffering.  Let her be happy and be surrounded by love and joy and peace and dignity <3

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Not soo much about her this post...

But a little more about me, what's ticking in my head, what I am feeling, thinking, doing, want to do, will do, won't do, and well maybe....

I'm not gonna go and sugar coat it here, I have been a little sad lately.  Well...a lot sad.  Depressed?!?  Not clinically.  Emotionally distraught some moments, just sad other moments.  It's hard, damn hard.  Putting a smile on your face knowing what I know is hard.  BUT there are things in my life that make it worth living, worth smiling and laughing and giggling some days even.  My blessings are too numerous to count.  I live with four of them <3  I thank God for that each and every day that I pray.  They are my life line and what keeps me motivated to make the most of the moments I am presently tonight for example.  I know I will NOT soon forget this evening.  Glorious.  Hilarious.  P.r.i.c.e.l.e.s.s.

We decided today that we would go golfing.  It was amazing weather, not a grey cloud in the sky.  Why not, right?  I have become quite an avid fan of the sport of golf.  Haven't played in near 14 years, but now, well I am hooked :S  Anyway.....we play the first 9 and the weather is still soo heavenly, we decide to go for another 9.  Two holes to go, sky clouds up, gets a little grey....hmmmmmm.  I distinctly remember checking radar AND the weather report, and it stated 'no rain' forecasted for this evening.  Wrong.  Wow.  They got that one sooooo wrong.  I just finished a great shot out of the fareway and the wind picked up, and I could literally hear the rain starting to fall on the other side of the golf course.  By the time we realized the rain was upon us, it was too late.  And I mean WAY too late.  The trip to the clubhouse was the longest trip in history, I swear.  Rain pelting us from all sides, and that rain was cold.  Wind whipping all around, but thank goodness no hail.  Ouch, yeah.  THAT would have been quite painful.  By the time we got our clubs put away and got into the van, I just wanted to burst out laughing.  I was too cold though!  I giggled and thought to myself, "I will NEVER forget this golf outing, EVER!!!"  It was incredibly hilarious to be out in the middle of the course, completely unaware of the impending storm, and to just be hammered like that (thankfully nothing severe) and to be soaked to the bone....made me feel like a kid again.  Loved that feeling.  Love the feeling that I know I will never forget this day.  The feeling of making memories.  Cherishing the time we have together, even if some days get cut short because of the 'rain'.  Make the best of it.  Make it worth remembering.  Most importantly LAUGH and HAVE FUN while it's raining.  Your 'now' will never be here again.  Don't waste it worrying if you're gonna get wet or cold or if your hair is going to get ruined.  Walk straight into that rainstorm and stomp in those puddles with bare feet.  Because that is what I intend on doing...and you should, too.

Monday, August 6, 2012

In One Day's time, it's all changing :(

Saturday was soo p.e.r.f.e.c.t.  Even in all its' stormy, rainy glory.  The lunch date and the was beautiful.  But tonight is another day in a cancer patients' life and it's all not soo glamorous.  It's ugly, it's disgusting, is cruel, and it's wrong.  She's feeling horrible, nauseated, and vomiting as well.  Very tired, and more pain is radiating across to the other side of her back.  God......I don't like this.  I am not using God in a profane sense of the word.  I am speaking to him.  Right here.  Right now.  Don't let her go through this nonsense.  No suffering.  No sickness.  She's had enough.  My God, you KNOW she's had enough.  And I will even go as far as being soo selfish as to say I have had enough.  I don't want to see the suffering or hear about it or have her go through it.  I know it's coming.  I have tried to prepare myself....but that's just impossible.  How can you EVER prepare enough for what cancer does to someone?  You can't.  I am here to tell you that.  You can't.  I can't.  I won't.  I am leaving her in God's hands and trusting him to make the right decisions for her.  I can't make those kind of decisions.  This is where faith comes in.  It would be AMAZING if I still had 100% of my faith left....I'm not gonna blow smoke and say it's all there.  It's waivering.  BUT I will continue to pray for peace and faith and comfort and love.  I don't think I have felt this much fear internally since the first traumatic pain episode way back in June.  That fear was stifled for a bit watching my Mom have beautiful days, dazzling smiles, and giggles with the kids.  But it's full force and knocking at the door to my soul, and my soul is shaking in its' stance.  I can do this.  SHE can do this.  We will get through this ugly time, so for now I leave you with two words that are abundantly important to me right now....PRAY PLEASE <3

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Those Hard Conversations....

Those talks are not fun...the hard conversations.  It's the elephant in the room each and EVERY time we get together.  That elephant is Pancreatic cancer.  We all know it's there.  We all know it ain't goin' nowhere.  We all know what it will do.  The hard part is discussing what it is going to do, what to expect, what not to expect, what to be fearful of, and what questions to ask.  Hard conversations on any level in ANY relationship are not enjoyable.  But once you find the courage to have those types of talks, you will often find out that the both of you are on the same page and have the same beliefs, hopes, worries, and fears.  I find myself becoming more and more at ease discussing the difficult times ahead.  Sort of 'joking' about some things right along with my Mom.  Some of the topics she jokes around with would without a doubt make an outsiders' jaw drop straight to the ground in shock.  I know the first time she made a reference to dying of cancer, I was dumbstruck, but immediately followed up by saying "I want no part in this type of conversation yet."  She respected my wishes and never said another word about 'dying' or talking about when she would no longer be with us.  Those types of conversations for me were the HARDEST.  I could not and would not hear her thoughts on what my life and her husbands life would be like after she was gone.  I couldn't fathom it, would not imagine it, Hell I even denied it.  Pretty vehemently, too.  Had zero desire to discuss it.  But peace and love and acceptance have changed me....

I am happy to admit that I am now o.k. with talking about what to expect when we get closer to the end of life.  I have even gone so far as to ask Hospice some HARDCORE questions right in front of my Mom.  No hiding it there...just being brutally honest asking for direction, guidance, and answers.  There are days when my Mom now feels it is appropriate to talk about her wishes as she transitions.  I talk and I give input, but most importantly I LISTEN...I listen with an open mind and an open heart.  Two months ago, there was not a chance I would have been able to do that.  Not. ONE. single. chance.  So I am here to confess that I am growing, changing, learning, stumbling, making mistakes, and acknowledging the real.  It''s real, it's here, it's not going anywhere.  My 'real' will be here whether or not I hide from it.   I am aware that I am making baby steps in the direction of being a better daughter...working on tackling that elephant in the room!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I couldn't NOT do a blog post tonight...

...just for the simple fact that today was near perfect.  In every way, shape, and form.  From the moment I got up and was greeted by one strawberry blonde and one blonde haired girl who were up quite early, to the very moment I crawled into my bed tonight.  Today was one thing....perfect.  Even with the rain storm and the lightening and the thunder to cloud up the day for awhile, there was NOTHING or no one that could have stolen my sunshine for the day.  And for that I am eternally grateful.  I can't even remember in recent history a day like today that was soo pleasant.  I have spent much of my time focused on how to help, how to cope, how to hide, and how to live without fear.  I focus all too much of my energy on trying to fix what is already soo badly broken, trying to cure a cancer that can't be cured.  I am obsessive about checking in with my Mom on a daily basis (several times a day most days)  just to make sure she is ok, feeling good, and is not in need of a pick me up or a phone call.  Soo much energy some days is focused on what I can NOT change, and that has a true tendency to bring me down.  As it would any person.  But today......well today, again was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.  I am blessed beyond measure, and very happy that I could spend the day with loved ones just enjoying idle chit chat and company.  Something as simple as a lunch date with my Mom and her hubby and my three entertaining little humans filled me with such joy and positive energy.  Unfortunately my better half had a class to attend for coaching, and he would have enjoyed the lunch date just as much as we did.

It started out as a simple lunch date at the Lincoln Cafe in my Mom's home town.  Close to home, no travelling, great food, amazing companionship.  Then the rain started to try and damper my plans, but nope, didn't let it happen ;)  The kids and I packed up, headed out early, and picked up my Mom and hubby and headed to lunch.  Just about the time we got sat down and looking thru the menus, the skies darkened, the rain started and the thunderstorm show began.  It did not take any attention away from the lunch...we chatted about how much my 13 year old could eat, what my little pickle did and did not like to eat, and how my middle child didn't like ketchup.  We talked about school starting, and puppy dog pets, rain clouds and lightening, and how we all were extremely grateful that tomorrow was Sunday.  It was THE perfect lunch date with THE perfect people.  And right there in that very moment, I sat in silence for a few, just soaking in my surroundings.  Watching my Mom listen with intent to the kids' stories, eating her lunch and laughing at my big kids' not soo humorous jokes.  It was an a-ha moment for me....things right now are as good as they are going to be for a very long time, so WHY do I torture myself with sadness?  Or grief, or misery, or worry?  I desperately need to learn to live in the now....which in most cases I do, but I need to get 'better' at it.  I am surrounded by love and by beautiful people that value each other and cherish the moments and live for the day.  So, I will too.....I will strive to live for today and not try to look down the road a month from now, constantly wondering WHAT will happen and when.  Just look, listen, breathe, smile, and love.  Because really, isn't that what's important?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Grace...and Sheltering me from the Truth

These two words are thrown around in daily conversation far too much for me.  I often wonder when I hear someone use the word 'grace' in a sentence...."Do they REALLY know what Grace is?"  Same goes for Dignity.  The official definition of grace that I agree with is this..."a virtue given by God."  Plain and simple.  You can not be full of grace or act gracefully if it is not given to you by God.  End of story.  Have you ever heard of a graceful felon?  Or a graceful arsonist?  Nope, didn't think so....  In my world, grace is given to you by God and there's one person on this earth that has been endowed with the utmost Momma.  Even with a terminal illness, that woman has more grace than I have ever wished to have.  It was given to her by God, and well,  she earned it.  She earned the title "Most graceful woman I have ever known" and she should wear that title proudly.

I know my Mom thinks she is doing me a solid by NOT telling me about her breakthrough pain that she has been having more frequently.  She chooses her words very carefully making sure to NOT get me too riled up, nervous, worried, and next thing you know I am flying over to Belle Plaine beating my record 9 minute arrival time the first time the massive pain attacks started.  I know she thinks she is doing me a favor.  I know that she is trying to protect her only child, her baby girl (which she still calls me lovingly).  I know what she thinks she is doing feels right to her...but.  It doesn't feel right to me.  It might be the 'socially acceptable' thing to do, by keeping your loved ones at bay and not letting them know your cancer is progressing.  But I don't like  But I cannot change the protective nature in her.  It's always been there and it will always be there, no matter how bad she is feeling.  I wish it were different and I wish I didn't have to find out from her husband that her day was really not quite as stellar as she told me it was.  The first few times I found out she was 'hiding the truth', I became angry.  I wanted to declare to her that she had to immediately STOP lying to me.  I was feeling selfish for sure, scared 100%.  But as the next few pain episodes arose and she would tell me of one or two of them and not all of them, I began to realize she was doing what she THOUGHT was the right thing to do.  I thank God for her husband that has always offered up the brutal truth to me no matter when I ask for it.  Otherwise I might never have known the truth about how far the cancer is progressing.  I do realize now in hindsight that what she hides from me or just 'forgets' to tell me about, I have to be O.K. with that.  It's her way to deal with her cancer with grace and with dignity.  I can give her that much....Hell I would give her my life if I could to save hers.  This does not mean that I will not whisper under my breath some strong profanities when I hear that her days are not going as well as planned, but I promise that I will never let her hear that.  I will give her the stink eye, maybe, a frown possibly, a hug, most definitely.  Because a woman with grace and dignity protects her loved ones, no matter what, until the bitter end...and I need to learn to accept that.