Thank you all for your great enthusiastic and supportive comments this week and weekend. I’ve been going through a rough patch, and it all feels so … hopeless.
But I see now that it’s only temporary, and that I WILL get better soon.
To answer a question from yesterday on HOW my ribs got out of place: here’s the theory. The cancer in the right breast grew so fast and so strong that the weight increased faster than any muscles could compensate. The heavy breast pulled on my muscles, which pulled on my ribs, which pulled them right out of place. This caused the pain in the front of my chest and around to the back, since ribs do go all the way around. Then even after the breast was cut off, the ribs were stuck in place behind my vertabrae and the muscles around them still hurt and the nerves still pinched and I was still getting pain signals from the ribs themselves, even though the weight was gone.
A knowledgeable PT is worth her weight in gold. And, speaking of gold (but not Bretta’s weight!), I just found on the web site as I was linking yesterday’s posts, although the DC Center for Integrative Medicine doesn’t take insurance directly, many people can be fully or partially reimbursed by their insurance companies; they also have started a fund for those who can’t afford it. More details at the link in the last sentence.
And now to the why.
I often (between treatments, playdates, Little Golden Books, endless trips around the little wooden traintrack, Richard Scarrey adventures labeled with every little thing, veggie-pushing, banana-treating, singing, napping, and hugging my children before they get too big to be hugged) wonder why on earth I got this disease. Why do I have cancer? What good could possibly come out of me fighting this agressive disease, without assurance, or even odds that I’ll come out the other side? What terrible power would sentence me to this, and my little boy to the heartbreak of being torn away from his mommy each morning as I go to treatment, sure that I’ll be tired and grumpy on my return? What force would want to rip me away from my babies, temporarily as I heal, or forever?
And I worry.
I worry about what I did to deserve this. I worry about what legacies, or comfort, I can leave my children. I have resisted writing them letters, because it feels fatalistic, as if I’m ready to go the day I seal those envelopes and address them to a 10-year-old Widget, a 15-year-old Widget, an 18-year-old Little Bear, or to both on their wedding days. I want to, but I won’t do it until I’m in the hospital or hospice for good. I just won’t.
I have to trust that the good in God and in the world will take care of them until then.
And so part of me wants to write here about the good in the world, to increase its power and its reach until there is enough leaking out to heal me (selfish!) and to wrap my boys in comfort, and to be a better place when they grow up. I have always wanted to make the world a better place, and part of my frustration with this disease now is that it has me powerless and stuck – again – in bed as my body fights the cell death and tries to recover from the tens of MeV of radiation that we assult it with daily.
So today I have something else good to tell you about: the BlogHers Act Mother’s Day Project. I’ll tell you more about it as I can, but this link is a first effort to help spread the word among us bloggers, and I’ll be back in a day or two with more info about the projects themselves. And we’ll see what we can do, working together.
Edited to add: Big hugs today to my friend Splashgirl, who starts radiation today. May hers go smoothly and easily, as mine did until week 6. If you haven’t met her before, go follow her on Twitter or check out this post.