Fear. Anticipation.

Fear.  Anticipation.  Getting back on the merry-go-round that is chemotherapy infusion day.  I wrote last night about my hesitancy to go back again today, to get pumped full of poison drugs, to sit there while the vile mixture that will kill my cells is funneled into my veins.  The Individual Voice’s words haunt me, asking, what chemo patients DO look forward to it?  And where are my curse words?

I have no curse words.  I have no rage, even.  I have only … disappointment.  And weariness.  I know I’ve only just begun this cancer journey (and I’m sorry, so sorry, for this self-centeredness in the face of what friends like Jodi and Zachary’s mama have to go through), but I am already so tired of anteing up what cancer asks of me.  I hate being tired all the time.  I hate being weak, and having to ask my son to “jump into mom’s arms” only on the left side, and to hug mom carefully, and to choose a lighter book that mommy can hold without straining her injured chest. 

I hate to leave my little boy, even for a day that will prolong my life by weeks, months, or years (and I know that sounds selfish, particularly when so many mamas have to leave their little boys and girls every day, but this cancer has made me sensitive to our separations.  I do not want to leave him.  Period.).  I hate to say goodbye, and walk away as he screams, “Mom-ee!  Mom-ee!  No go way!  Me come ‘wif you!”  I hate to feel that emptiness and that selfishness as we drive away, spending the day without him.  Spending the day in the cancer ward.  Surrounded by sickness.

It’s hard to focus on the hope, and the love, on days like that.  Days like this.  Days like the one that I will start again in just a few hours.

And so, the night before chemo, I am often up late, alone, writing furiously before the chemo takes my words again, recording thoughts and vivid emotions while I can think, and feel, and express them in language that satisfies.  Because tomorrow, or, later today, I will be numb for a while.  Drugged by the medication.  Exhausted from the poisions and the stress of the day.  Artificial. 

Frustrated by the day that I have spent – no, invested – so that I will have even more days, and months, and years to spend with my little boys.  Because I have two little boys, and I want to live to hear the youngest one cry for mama, and squeal in delight when the car drives up at the end of the day — “Mom’s home!”

Mom’s home.

My goal for today is to take my medicine and to be pleasant about it, and to look forward to the time when our minivan pulls back into the driveway and we can all cheer with delight, “Mom’s home!”


32 Responses to Fear. Anticipation.

  1. Dearest Whymommy: I didn’t mean to haunt you with my words. I always try to find the thing that isn’t being said, but maybe not being said for good reasons. I wanted to be helpful. I know for me, personally, it is easier to feel angry than sad, but that is my temperamental make-up. I have been swearing at your cancer while everyone else is praying. That’s just who I am, based on my life. You are so much more a gentle soul. I’m sad and angry that you are disappointed leaving your sons for chemo, but you are right that Sucky Chemo (yes, my phrase) is an Investment (your phrase). Two insomniacs, we are. I only want to help.

  2. MamaDB says:

    I hope it goes fast and you are back at home in bed and comfortable, with Widget and Little Bear snuggled up.

    I have never wanted to hug someone I don’t know more in my life. A big gentle squeeze from me to you and your family.

  3. Arkie Mama says:

    Thinking of you tonight.

    And am certain you will hear Mama, with many, many other words to follow.

  4. {{{hugs}}} Oneday when they are old enough to understand, those boys of yours are going to be so proud of you!

  5. whymommy says:

    The Individual Voice (gosh, I love that pseudonym) — your words haunt me in a good way. They make me think. And help me write. Never fear; your friendship is one that I treasure, and I am grateful to have met you.

    Gill, Arkie, and DB … thanks. Already. Thanks.

  6. deb says:

    Take care sweetie.

  7. Thanks, whymommy. Now I’ll sleep better. And write that post when more alert tomorrow.

  8. Dawn says:

    Fear sucks. I’m sorry.

  9. Simone says:

    Here’s to “mommy’s home”…Bless you!

  10. Alice C says:

    However long the road each step that you take is a step closer to your goal and you won’t have to take it again.

  11. Jenn says:

    If I could take hope and love and bottle it up, I’d send it your way, for the days when you don’t recognize how much of it you give to others.

    As always, in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Lauren says:

    Sending you a little strength…

  13. Hey! gillsjottings stole my words. 🙂

    To pride, love, and the end of the tunnel.. to being able to see all this in your rearview mirror.

    Thinking of you.

  14. PunditMom says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing. As always, you’re in my thoughts.

  15. Aliki says:

    I don’t have any suitable response, only that I feel so heavy in my heart thinking of you and all you go through.

    I’ll just add my voice to the support, and my thoughts.

  16. mcgearstella says:

    Thinking of you.

  17. I have never doubted that you would beat this cancer, from the first time I read your story. Although this road must be long and hard, you handle it always with grace. I hope you are snuggled up with your beautiful boys by your side in no time at all. My thoughts and prayers are constantly being channeled to you–I hope they help a little when you’re feeling low. Hugs.

  18. swimmom says:

    You have so much courage to face your fears. I only hope that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, I will have as much strength as you do.

  19. Susan K says:

    Mommy home soon!

    And soon mommy will be home all the time.

    Thinking of you today and always. Be strong.

  20. juliepippert says:

    Just a hug. There is so much more I wish I could give.

    Using My Words

  21. sherry says:

    This is what I call a “dark day”…but sometimes we have to take our medicine with a smile…and all of this is made harder when you have a small child waiting for you to be “better”. I just kept in the back of my mind that every chemo treatment brought me one step closer to well being. Like putting one foot in front of the other.

    (((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))..mommy home soon is the best incentive there is!

  22. Stimey says:

    You express so well what is an incrediby difficult situation. You have such an amazing spirit that is holding your family together. When I see you with your children, I only see your love for them and your patience, and the amazing way you are able take care of them while taking care of yourself.

    They love you, they will always love you, and others who have written that when they are older, they will be so proud of you are right.

    And you will be there to see their pride, because you’re taking care of yourself now.

  23. Carin says:

    Hi- I’ve been a lurker on your site and am rooting for you enormously. I’m writing because I’m involved in a WONDERFUL organization called “ChemoAngels” http://www.chemoangels.com. I would urge you to visit the site and sign up. What the program is is a wonderful support network for people getting chemo. You are paired with an “Angel” or 2, who send you notes and cards and little care packages. You might feel you don’t deserve such treatment, but YOU DO!! Anyone undergoing chemo does. The “Angels” are often survivors of cancer, or have had loved ones with cancer, and know what you are going though and how to cheer you up.
    I seriously hope you’ll consider it. It’s such a wonderful, wonderful thing. And if you don’t do it, perhaps you could tell others through your blog about the program. It is totally free to cancer patients, and can really bring a bright spot to a trying time.
    Good luck!!!
    Carin from NY

  24. Remember that spark. It will always come back to help you shine, because it’s always there, burning inside you.

    You will be in my thoughts.

  25. I am thinking of you. I wish I had something more profound to say.

  26. Mary says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard cancer and the work involved expressed quite the way you do. You add gut to it. Cancer has gone main stream some how, and I’m glad to read something that goes beyond and touches the heart and actually articulates what a day in the life is really like.

  27. Ally says:

    WhyMommy, you are in my thoughts, my prayers, and my heart tonight as I read this. You are about the farthest thing from selfish that I could imagine, so you needn’t ever apologize for thinking of yourself once in a while. Big (but gentle) hugs to you. And much love.

  28. I’m not going to say I’ll understand because that will come out short and just inaccurate.

    But I’ll say that I’m moved, and I care. I hope you are feeling better as you are reading this.

  29. Aimee says:

    yep. you are definitely knee-deep about now. i hated that point in treatment. i think about then is when i started needing antidepressants. (did i say that already on another post comment)? i remember getting so emotional in the chemo chair- the nurse would ask how i was doing and i’d just start crying, and couldn’t stop. and some days i had bona fide anxiety attacks. there’s just no words. no comparitive experience to having to drag yourself into that chemo chair when your body is begging you to not do it, when you know that it’s going to make you feel worse and worse and worse. trauma. that’s really the best word for it. it isn’t even anger, or sadness. it’s just trauma.

  30. Late to this commenting party, but I am sending you so many good thoughts.


  31. shauna says:

    So glad to hear your home. Yeh!!! Mommy’s home! HUGS! XOXO

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