Sunday, April 22, 2007
The Grim and I
Well, I am still kicking and driving my husband insane, so that is a good sign, lol. The last 12 days have honestly kicked my butt. I was not ready for this one, as much as I tried to convince myself otherwise before I went under.
I have spent the last 15 months trying to "beat the system," so to speak. I have been very stubborn about not giving into the pain, and the fear and this life sucking piranha called "Breast Cancer." But the honest truth is that my body is whipped, wiped out, done with the game and it took this operation to slap me in the face with that truth. It is going to take my body longer than I thought to recover. Chemo, diabetes, stroke all play a part in this battle. Don't get me wrong, I am feeling better and getting stronger everyday. I am just still very tired and weak, and I hate that! I am just not able yet to get up and run around in circles like I am used to.I am so ready to be able to walk fully upright again! It amazes me how just reading to Micah's second grade class wore me out. I am healing, slowly, but surely. I knew this would be painful, but somehow that just wasn't enough to prepare me. But then, I guess being cut from one end to the other end of your abdomen, and having everything "womanly" pulled out of you is enough to keep you off your feet for a bit.
I have had a lot of time to just "be" the last two weeks and that means lots of time to think. I am almost 34 years old and yes, I have cancer and it sucks. But I am still here, still moving and still breathing. I am still living my life. I still have my precious boys who cuddle up beside me and give me reason to fight. I still have my ornery husband, who despite himself worries about me and checks on me through the night. I still have my family, my friends and that is what counts. I know the time will eventually come when I will take my last breath, and I know it won't be an easy time, but what I do know is this: when that time comes my family, and my friends will have each other to lean on, and they will have many memories to find comfort in. They will have those things, those times, and those life gifts to embrace, to hold on to and to smile about.
There are times it feels as if death seems to be lurking around every corner, smirking at me, pointing that awful sickle in my direction. Yes, there are times I feel as if the Grim and I are at odds, face to face, screaming at each other about the when, and the where, though mostly we have come to terms with the why. I am determined to keep squaring off with the black robed, sickle carrying maniac Grim as long as I have the strength to keep yelling back at his pruned face!
Friday, April 13, was one of those days for me. I felt as if I were indeed leaving my earthly body. It was an experience I know will come again, but not too soon I hope. I was not scared, but I was saddened. From my experience, I don't know that you really have time to fear death, as much as you have time to reflect in those few short moments flashing before you.
That afternoon, I knew things were getting bad when Johnny and my dad showed up after leaving work early. For hours they had been trying to stop the vomiting. I felt horrible and the entire floor staff was in my room. I was concerned for my boys. I looked into my husbands eyes and saw the fear growing as he was panicked as I was struggling to breath, to keep my eyes on him, to hold on to my surroundings. My Mom was crying, standing there looking at me through all the nurses, doctors etc. I asked my dad to please take care of my boys. I saw my 8 year old in the room, crying, holding his broken wrist and I heard him calling my name. Then the doctor said to Johnny, this isn't good, it isn't good for your son, you need to take him out of here. I will never forget those moments. I cannot convey how surreal it all was. I know some will roll their eyes and scoff, but there was a moment when I knew that I was going, when I could see my family, and the doctors, nurses fading and I knew it was over. My children's worst fears were happening right there and right in front of them to boot. I just wanted to hold my babies, to kiss Johnny and tell them it would be OK. I do not fear death, but I do fear leaving my loved ones behind, especially my boys mother less.
Finally, my body started to feel heavier, grounded is the better word for how my body, spirit and soul began to feel. I began to gain a higher body temp, my blood pressure started to come back up and normalize. My breathing became stronger and I was aware of my family. I was right back in ICU, where I had just been 2 days before, attached to every gadget and wire known to man, again, but I was alive and I was breathing on my own and I was still fighting. I will always be fighting. I do not plan to ever give up! Honestly, I am just too busy to die right now, lol!
So, the Grim and I will keep our fists up, and continue our showdown. What is he anyway? Just a black robe of bones, right? I have said this before and I will say it again now, I choose to live everyday as if it may be my last. I do not want to ever take life for granted again. It is too precious and too limited to put off till tomorrow.
Embrace life, live it, love it, and cherish it!