Thursday, August 14, 2014

Staying at a club and dancing all night long doesn't constitute "fighting."

Sometimes I have deep thoughts. 

Like, in that Kesha song, "Tik Tok," (which I love, by the way), she says she's gonna be in the club all night and that she's gonna fight until she sees the sunlight.
To me, deciding to stay and dance at a club all night isn't hard.  I mean, I guess it is, because you'd get tired and your feet would hurt, and you might get a headache.  But in the big picture, is dancing all night really that awful?  Is it something you have to fight through to become a better person? 

Naw.

Or in "Dynamite," by Taio Cruz, he says that, in his club, he'll be the "last one standing." 

Wow.  What an accomplishment.  You danced all night.  That must have been hard for you.

P.S., I love that song, too.  I don't know.  I'm just feeling sardonic.  And extremely emotional.  (Because my Good Pills are gone, and so I'm more sore, and so I'm more emotional.)  Today, I'm fighting through withdrawal symptoms.  Every minute or so, my heart speeds up reallyreally fast and thumps in my ears, and I can literally hear, in my ears, a noise that sounds like "Zz, zz, zz, ZZ."  And I have to stop whatever I'm doing and clutch at my heart, which is hard to do, because I swear the doctors put an exoskeleton inside me. 

Well, I guess that's the antithesis to an exoskeleton, right?  If it's inside you.  But hear me out.  So, when I was a little girl, like Sadie, I didn't have boobs.  I had a rib cage, and I had pecs, and then I had a little fatty tissue layer, and then I had skin.  And n-words.  And when I breathed, my rib cage expanded and contracted.  And my skin was soft.  And the fatty tissue was soft.  And the pecs underneath that were soft.

Right now, my entire rib cage, plus where my boobs used to be, is like a breastplate.  You could knock on it and hear it go, "Dong, dong, dong."  My sternum sticks OUT.  And then there are two slightly indented caverns, with these slightly elevated bumps in the center of each cavern.  But all of it, all of it, is as hard as a ROCK.

Back to the topic at hand.  To me, having your heart jump into your ears and thump really hard and feeling like you're having a weird heart attack every minute is a fight.  Not knowing what I'm facing is a huge fight.  I'm fighting to keep my sanity.

I skyped my baby boy this morning.  He recognized me.  For now.  I'm terrified that he'll stop recognizing me.  That he'll start calling Lexi "mom."  He lifted his forehead to the laptop screen so that I could kiss it.  He kept putting his new toys on the keyboard for me to look at, but I couldn't see them.  He kept saying, "Hi, mommy."  "I love you, mommy." 

I miss him so much that it hurts. 

What if I have to do chemo for six months?  What if I have to quarantine myself from him?  (A lady who drew my blood and had the same kind of cancer as I did told me, tears streaming down her cheeks, even 8 years after she went into remission, that she had to be quarantined from her children sometimes because her immune system was weakened.  I don't know if this will happen to me.  It's a concern.)  What if it's a better decision to keep him with Lex? 

Then what if he really forgets me?  And then when we're reunited, what if I'm a skeleton - a bald skeleton - and he's like, "You're not my mommy.  Where's my mommy?? Where's Aunt Lex?  I want Aunt Lex."  What will I do then?

I get to pick up my kids from My Parent Has Cancer Camp tomorrow.  I can't wait to get my hands on them.  I've missed them so much.  What have they learned from their friends?  Are they scared I'm going to die now?  Because some of their new friends have had their mommies or daddies die.  Are they going to be emotionally scarred?  Was this camp a really bad idea??  What if we decide to send the oldest  two or three out to be with Ben (same reason - quarantining.  Or a parent who is too sick to even talk to her children) for six months while my mom takes care of me?  What will I do without them??  Will they make friends?  Will they feel like fish out of water?  Will they miss their mom?  If they stayed with me, would they wish they hadn't??

I've been fighting tears all day because I'm so scared.  THAT is a fight.  Choosing to stay at a dance club all night is not a fight.  I'm going to be fighting for my life.  I know that I'll win, but I guess what I'm saying is that I didn't sign up for this fight.  I didn't put on my dancing shoes and go to a club to emerge victorious at dawn.  I just wanted to be a mom.   I wanted to teach dance.  I wanted to be with my kids.  I wanted to be with my husband.  And it's all been taken away from me.  And I'm really, really sad about it. 

I guess I'm in the mourning phase.  Which phase is that one?  Isn't that supposed to be one of the last ones?  And then acceptance?  Is that right?  I suppose my phases are all screwed up.  Maybe I'll have an anger phase pretty soon.  I guess my first phase was denial, and then positivity.  And now I'm in the crying phase.  The heart-in-the-ears phase.  The anger-at-trite-dance-club-music phase.  The scared phase.  The can-we-please-fastforward-to-Tuesday-morning phase.

Tuesday morning will answer a lot of questions for us.  How long my treatment will last.  How awful it will be (or we might have to take a careful watch-and-wait stance on that one).  Whether Ben should stay in his rent-a-room situation, rent a small apartment for the next six months, or rent a large house for a year.  Whether I should leave Gage in the capable hands of his aunt.  Whether I should keep my very emotional and sensitive Micah at my parents' house with me.  Whether we should keep the older kids here.  Whether I'll be fit to even be a mother.  Whether I can have my treatment in Oregon.  The thing is, I don't have a support system in Oregon.  Am I going to need a full-time nurse?  There are a lot of unknowns.  And I really, really hate that.  I'm a planner.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.  I'm just...scared and really sad.  There are good days and there are really hard days.  And it's stupid, because I haven't even gone through the really hard part yet.  I've gone through some weird parts (I have an exoskeleton!  Am I an Inspector Gadget-type person?) and some annoying parts (I HATE THESE BLOOD GRENADES!  I'M GOING TO HAVE THEM ATTACHED TO MY WEIRD LATS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!), and even some funny parts (any of the thank you notes I attempted to write while I was stoned are exhibits A through Z).  So I feel really stupid for having a meltdown today.  I just can't believe that any of this is happening to me.

Let me reassure you that I know I'll get through this.  Or not.  It's up to the Lord.  I trust Him.  I'd like to stay.  And I plan to stay.  And I always talk about staying.  Because that's what you do to help those around you.  And to help yourself.  We'll see if the Lord agrees.  And if he disagrees, I won't be mad.  But I don't want my kids to go through that.  Or my darling husband.  And I will fight to the end, because my kids deserve to have their mom and my husband deserves to have his wife.  And they deserve to see me at least put up a fight.

My adorable sister-in-law quoted a poem on her facebook page - it was in conjunction with Robin Williams' death.  It was an excerpt from that poem, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," which I believe Robin quoted when he was the character of Mr. Keats in Dead Poet's Society.  It's by Dylan Thomas.  One of my faves.  He's telling his father to rage against death:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 
 
In the poem, the narrator's dad is old.  And he's still telling his dad to fight with everything he has.  I'm not old.  Which means hell yes, I'm going to fight.  I have to see my daughter get married.  I have to watch Dylan play baseball.  I have to watch Gage become some genius doctor with weird social skills.  I have to watch Micah...um, I'm not sure what will become of Micah.  I know I'll love him.  We'll leave it at that.
 
Soooooo... my plan is to listen to Kesha and Taio Cruz during chemotherapy.  And maybe all the time.  Just keep it on replay.  So that I can stop all this crying nonsense.  So that I can be all hyped up to fight.  Perhaps I should be like Kesha and sport a nose ring.  I'm not sure what I can do to be like Taio.  I suppose I could say the F word.  But that's not really me.  Maybe I can hang out with some twerking bootylicious girls at some drag racing course.  

At any rate, I'm going to rage against the dying of the light.  I'll get through this.  But you'll have to permit me some crying days, mmkay?

7 comments:

Mindy H. said...

So I did the research and it turns out that, considering your situation, you are entitled to three emotional meltdowns and five general come-a-parts per day. You should also keep in mind that, because you have gone through a "staying positive" stage, all of the meltdowns and come-a-parts you didn't have then have been banked and kept in reserve. So you don't have to feel bad about feeling bad. I hope you have an awesome reunion with your kid lets, and I pray that Tuesday will come quickly so the painful not knowing can end and the planning can begin.

Jenny said...

Love you Karlenn!

Megan said...

I agree with Mindy! You banked enough positive days you can take all the crying and feeling bad days you want! You are in my thoughts and prayers, all day long! I'm so sorry I've been so busy and haven't been there for you as much as I've wanted to! You are so amazing! You can get through this! I love you! :)

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