Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It's been a weird weekend. I had a lot of anticipation for this weekend... Memorial Day, the *unofficial kickoff to summer*. Traditionally, I love it. Here in Ohio we tend to finally have good weather, the pools open, there are cookouts and parades and tons of fun stuff to do.

This year, chemo has clouded my holiday weekend. People told me that the cumulative effect of chemo would make it harder to bounce back. I have seen that become true, but not as I would have expected. It's become emotionally harder each time; wondering longer each time if I can make it.

And then on Friday it hit me, the realization that it was the one year anniversary that my mom was admitted to Hospice. She ended up staying there for the final two weeks of her life. The first week was nearly hopeful... perhaps she would thrive under the care and freedom of Hospice? Quickly, it became evident that she would not.

For me, the anticipation of hard things is typically harder and more emotional than the actual hard thing. For example, my mom died on June 11th, but I'm finding that the days leading up to June 11th (and re-living what those days were like last year) will probably be harder than when June 11th actually arrives. It's hard for me to know if my rough weekend was chemo induced (probably some) or grief induced.

Starting on Friday, after I identified that as being the one year Hospice anniversary (I drove there to spend the day with her, then drove back home and loaded the family up the next day to spend several days with her all together), I immediately became nauseous and started to have diarrhea. (Yep, too much info... sorry.) I threw up twice and was a physical mess. It could have been both things - the grief and the chemo-, but I'm pretty good at working myself up.

One thing that has bothered me is that it's only been a year and I can't clearly remember the events of last year. I had trouble coming up with when I went to see her and when I came back home to get my family. When my aunt and uncle arrived, what night we brought her dinner and she smiled at her favorite Indian food. Memories fading so quickly. Going back and forth between being so thankful that she didn't have to live through these past 5 1/2 months (my cancer would have killed her!) and being desperately sad that I can't call her up and get a pep talk on my rough days.

My grief process has basically taken a 4 1/2 month *break* as all I can do is deal with my cancer and not my emotions of having lost my best friend. The dam is high and it feels like it will break soon. I fear for my emotional stability. I was right about to start a grief share small group Bible study the week that I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Needless to say, that took a back seat. Now I am wondering what life would be like if I had been able to go and participate in releasing my grief. Now I also grieve a portion of my life lost to chemo therapy. I like to think I'm not a mopy grief stricken cancer patient, but some days I feel like that.

Thankfully, this blog helps me put some of my feelings into words. If for no one else, for me.

Today I woke up for the first time in a week feeling like *Okay, I can do this. I can do another treatment tomorrow and my final round in 2 weeks.* The chemo fog is lifting and hope is on the horizon. I know my mom would not want me to be sad about her, but she would also understand that I can't help it. She would cheer me on and party with me when it's all done. She would eat Indian food with me and buy me a cute new outfit. She would be so excited for the end of chemo! And so am I.

10 comments:

jenny from mommin' it up said...

I'm excited also for the end for you! Can't wait for that party! I know you miss your mom. And this anniversary has got to be so hard. Praying for your heart and your spirit! Praying you can enjoy this gorgeous day. Love you!

Tita said...

So glad the end is near! By the way, Indian is my favorite food too and I would be more than happy to join you for a celebratory Indian feast :)

jenny said...

I am praying for you E! I know these few weeks are hard ones for you to walk through. Your mom and you had a wonderful friendship and bond and I know you miss her everyday! Thanks for sharing how you've been doing. Praying Jesus keeps you strong emotionally until that glorious last chemo round! Love you!

Colleen said...

There is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel complete with a fantastic party! I am so thankful for you realism, your heart for God and the joy you share with so many people. You are very encouraging and so many people truly appreciate you.

Peace to you...

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

I am so sorry that you have had so much "yucky" at once and that the 2nd "yucky" is making the first one "worse." Praying for you. I'm sorry you feel frustrated about the memories fading. I think that is the grief too. Oddly enough things might become clearer later when the grief is less acute. Praying the good and necessary memories stick.

vwiller said...

Sending you much love!

JRT said...

E, It's so much to handle in one year! We are thankful and hold fast the belief that all is not officially over for your mom, that she waits to see you one day soon--both of you in new, perfect bodies. Which is not what you're saying...you're saying you miss her & I cannot imagine going through what you are without a mom. J

Barb Farley said...

Thank you for your honest, transparent post. Thank you for being so "real" in all of this. We are praying for you!

Lisa said...

Aw E! Can't imagine the depth or grief and the way it washes over you in waves that you don't expect or sometimes welcome. I'm so glad you have your giftedness with language to write it all out here. You are so talented and real and I know your mom is just so proud of who you are and who you're becoming. It's beautiful! You're beautiful! Praying for you and this continued healing.

KTC said...

thinking of you amidst all the emotions. It's just a fallen world.... so much sadness...You are doing a GREAT job of pressing on in faith! love and prayers to you, especially in these next 2 weeks!