As my friend Shira used to say, “I’m not sure if this is a bend in the road, or an entirely new road.” Either way, I’m along for the ride.
These two weeks were unbelievably difficult. It was almost a week after chemo before I got out of bed and downstairs. And even then, I didn’t travel further than our back patio and just plopped myself there.
In addition to the pain of my belly button slowly ripping open, I couldn’t get clear answers on how to deal with it. I had other pain that only a bath could resolve, so I was bathing every two hours, even through the night. The abdominal tumors hurt like crazy.
And on Friday night, I had a bowel obstruction. Normally, those are painful. This was my worst yet, and left me screaming in pain.
In the midst of the intense pain, I noticed that I was screaming two things. One was, “I can’t do this anymore.”
I found my limit. I never labeled my pain a 10 because I figured that it could get worse. This was an 11. I could not imagine enduring a worse pain than this. I wasn’t even sure I could endure this.
The other thing I screamed was, “I can’t do this alone.”
And I can’t.
First and foremost, I have to acknowledge my husband, about whom I rarely write. He reliably takes care of his day job as well as taking care of the kids and me and the household. Each one of those is big in a regular life. He comes home from work, figures out a plan for dinner (on the days when someone hasn’t brought it), determines which child needs to do homework and who needs to get exercise or go to their after school sport, then helps get them both ready for bed and asleep. He makes sure that I am doing okay, have whatever it is I can eat that day, and runs to the store or pharmacy if I needs something. Beyond the logistics, we have the emotional complications for the kids, my often-intense daily needs (I do not suffer in silence), taking care of the medical side of my issues, and the random things like end-of-school events, a flat tire or the house internet going down. He doesn’t get a spare moment to himself. Without him, none of us would function. At all. He is carrying all of us every minute of the day.
Our family is grateful to the folks with whom we interact every single day, who understand what we are going through (HUGE for us, that understanding) and lighten the load in a million ways. When my son couldn’t find his gym shirt, someone kindly understood that I could not make it to the school lost and found. So they searched for me and, when they didn’t find it, they provided one for him. Huge. Friends take the boys for playdates, or show up with food or flowers or a fun story, or send an email or text at the perfect time, share their medical advice and experience….the list goes on. We are grateful for fabulous support at school, a fantastic close-knit neighborhood, family who show up when we need them without question and take over for a bit and make it look easy, and friends who are willing to go the extra mile.
Even with all this support, there are times when it seems like it is just me by myself, like Friday night when I was lying on our bathroom floor, sick beyond all belief, feeling like this has to be the end of the road and partly wishing that it was so that the suffering would be done. And from that rock bottom place, I pray for help and then am able to give thanks that I am not truly alone there, either. In those moments in the middle of the darkest night, I give thanks for my connection to God and to all of you.
If you sometimes feel alone with your problems, and even if you don’t feel like you have a relationship with any higher being, I hope you are able to tap into the connectivity of us all and draw some strength from that. In my experience, it doesn’t make the suffering go away, but it does shift my relationship to it somewhat to make me feel less alone, and I wish that for you. As well as an understanding friend.
Love and blessings,
You are AMAZING! I am so sorry your going through this sucky situation. You are always in my prayers. Xoxo Jill
Sent from my iPhone
Marie, your connectivity to others is wondrous to behold and lifts up many others. We all love helping you in whatever ways we can.
Thank you for courageously sharing your remarkable journey, including the miserable stuff. Bless your husband for all he does, may he be uplifted and strengthened. Bless your children with a sure knowledge they are loved and important. May you be blessed with the strength to endure the healing process, and praying for a miracle.
Marie, Chris and I are so, so sorry about all this pain. Just want you to know that we are listening and feeling your desperation. Love, Beth
The events in your life recently make me so deeply sorry. Yet, your words are, in the end, still full of hope and thanksgiving and lessons on how to do the hardest things.
Gratitude for knowing you, Pamela
I love you very much Missy Marie. My prayer for you is that you are soothed by peace.
Dearest Cousin Marie, ever since we were kids I’ve looked up to you, and you’ve taught me so much. You are amazing! I so hate that you have pain and suffering, yet you always find a way to look at the positive and find the good in everything. You inspire me to do the same. I think of you daily and pray that you feel better. Love you, cugina! ~Tracy
Marie, I am so sorry for your suffering. Even though people can offer help, you’re the only one who can carry the pain. You’re the only one inside your body. The way you describe the love and support in your life is inspiring and humble. Your husband sounds like a keeper for sure! Know that I am lifting you up from afar and sending all my love and encouragement. ❤
Marie, I am sending you all my love and strength. I am so deeply sorry for the pain you are going through. All my love! Sarah