Friday, July 26, 2013

They're not relationSHIPs; They're relationTITANICs

Look. I get it. I'm a crazy person.  I'm tired. Not like, "Whoa, that was a crazy week!" tired. I'm tired to my core.  I'm doing things to help refill my tank.  But instead of getting low, and refilling. I'm running on fumes, and getting a gallon of gas to tide me over until I'm running on fumes again.

Which means, of course, is that I'm a mediocre employee, a pretty crappy wife, and an abysmal friend.  I can't commit to anything, ever. Because Ben may start running a fever at any minute and I'm in the hospital fighting for his life with him for 8 days.  Because Ben gets emotional and clingy and I have to be present for those moments.  Because I am already dealing with judgement and guilt for maintaining my job (that I still LOVE so much).

Mom stayed with Ben in the hospital last week.  She met a father of an infant who was admitted for jaundice. The father all but called me a horrible person for not staying with Ben in the hospital.  He pretty explicitly stated that I was a bad mother.  He said I was greedy for keeping my job.  He said a lot of other things that I know you have thought as well.  I know you have, because I have.  Trust me, no one is harder on me than me.  I'm doing the best I can.

It's no secret Mike and I have gone to counseling in the past and are at present.  (We usually wear at as a badge of honor! Judge if you must, but we're ridiculously and absurdly in love with each other and don't care what anyone thinks, we're going to work for our marriage and this love.)  We believe in mental health like you believe in physical health.  The way you eat kale and hit the gym, we go to the therapist.  It's about health for us, and we recommend going for any reason.  That said, we are trying so hard to keep our marriage strong.  But it's weakened. Marriages are an entity unto themselves that require nourishment, work, and attention.  We have none of that to spare right now, so of course the marriage is going to feel the pain.  (No one panic. We're not in "trouble", it's just not ideal. Don't send that "The Morris's are getting divorced" text.  Unless of course you like the taste of crow.)

My friends must be so sick of me. I'm distracted. I'm not focused. I'm pretty self-absorbed.  I'm a flake and noncommittal.  It's been interesting to watch a few drop off or get angry.  But it's also been incredible seeing others come in strong.  The ones who just keep trying, keep texting, keep e-mailing, keep talking to me.  I believe there's a country song somewhere in there...

So what's it like when your kid has cancer?  Well, a predictable "it sucks" comes to mind.  I will never be the same. My relationships will never be the same.  But I bet they end up stronger, better, and will certainly be more appreciated.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mother F*#%ing Cancer

As many of you already know, my 31-year-old sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago.

Ben was in the hospital for some unknown infection when my mom and I got the call.  We stood behind his bed and sobbed.  Pulling ourselves together only when Ben took his headphones off and demanded to know what on earth was so sad.  I sat down on the bed and began explaining: "You know how you have cancer? Well, Aunt Tera has cancer too.  And we're sad because cancer can be scary sometimes."  He responded, "Aunt Tewa will get a port like me [pointing to his heart].  Then she is done. That is not sad or scary."  From the mouths of babes...

Tera is undergoing testing right now and will have a treatment plan nailed down in a couple of weeks.  You can follow her progress/story on her facebook page:

One of her tests is a genetic test. Breast cancer "runs in the family" so we all suspect she will test positive for one of the genetic markers.  If she does, I have to go get a test done as well.  If it's positive, it is likely that a double mastectomy will be recommended, along with a oophorectomy (removal of ovaries)/hysterectomy.  (I'm hoping for the oophorectomy, just so I can say I've had that done. What a hilarious word.)

So.  Cancer.  You effing bastard.  First come after my son, then my sister, then threaten me.  You threaten us with death. You force us to maim our bodies. You steal precious memories that will now never happen. You take our future children.  You scar our souls.

Why does tragedy always seem to find my family?  How much can one family take?  We're about to find out.

I hate to ruin the ending for you... but everything turns out okay.