Last night, as I was driving to a 24 hour CVS at 11 p.m. (for a $45 one-day supply of nausea medication, at full price, because the pharmacy where the prescriptions were dropped off closed at 6, and insurance had already been billed...) my head was swirling with worries.
"What if the chemo doesn't work? What if it works and that DAMN cancer comes back? What if he has to have his whole eye orbit removed, including his eye? What if he doesn't make it... "
"What if" hell.
I got home and sat down next to my husband (who has strangely taken up drawing cartoon characters for stress relief :) ) and after I started tearing up, he sat there, continuing to draw Dora the Explorer and said, "Why do you do this to yourself? Andrew is happy today. He likes the hospital. He gets attention from EVERYONE. He's not in pain. Be happy that he's happy. Life is too short. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow." Quick, easy, blunt, male problem-solving. But he's right.
I have no control. I never did. But now the reality is so obvious.
I am trying to take each day at a time. Denial, friends, and distraction work well for that. But whenever I find myself alone, the worry creeps in and takes over my brain.
I checked my email one last time before bed (because I am obsessive like that) and there in my inbox was a Mother's Day wish from my friend Amy. It was just what I needed to hear, and it echoed my husband's words. You've probably read it before, but it is a great one to read over and over again:
If I Had My Life To Do Over
"I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn! With my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's'; more 'I'm sorry's.'
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it.. live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what
Instead; let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.
Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with, and what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. I hope you have a blessed day!"
Perhaps this experience will teach me how to truly take one day at a time; to appreciate each moment of beauty; each precious hug; each conversation with my children. (Either that or it will make me a crazed, anxious lunatic.)
I have no choice but to sit on this roller coaster and pray for the best ride possible. I can't stop it; I can't get off; I can't change it's direction. As difficult and helpless as it feels, I have to give up my illusion of control and live by faith and hope and prayer. I need to appreciate each day for the gift that it is. I know that some days that will be very difficult. God help me.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you! Enjoy TODAY, and all of it's blessings.