Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hate. Fear. Strength. Faith.

I hate Cancer.

I hate that the treatment for it is almost as bad as the disease. I hate that my sweet little mom-in-law has to spend weeks in the hospital with sores in her mouth and throat while waiting for her stem cells to graft and start producing nice little white cells so she won't be in so much pain. I hate that my husband has to sit in a hospital room for hours on end, seeing his mother in pain and feeling helpless to help her. I hate that he has to worry when after 10 days she still hasn't started producing white cells - and that this latest course of treatment might not work. I hate that after losing his favorite uncle, he now has to worry about losing her. I hate that my kids have to be without their dad most of each week because he needs to be with his mama.

But most of all, I hate the fear that creeps over me every time I even think of the possibility of losing the mom-in-law. Not necessarily how the loss will affect me directly. I do love her, and I would miss her terribly. But I am terrified what it will do to M. He tries to be so strong, but a man can only take so much. And he is on the very end of his rope lately. I'm afraid what will happen if he happens to slip off. And I hate being afraid.

You see - I'm the tough one. The one who can handle anything. Really - ask my friends. I'm the "normal" person in the group - the one with the great marriage, the so-called normal kids, the job she enjoys - the one who never has a crisis. When my grandparents died within 45 days of each other, I handled it. When my youngest broke his arm and had to have surgery, I handled it. When he had meningitis, I handled it. I'm a strong person, and I handle things. It's what I do.

So when I start fearing things, it pisses me off. *I* don't get scared! But I am. I worry that my strength isn't enough to hold my husband together if the worst happens. I've seen him fall apart before. I'm afraid he might again. I wonder if I'm still strong enough to handle it this time.

Of course, I don't have to handle it by myself. I know that. I know I should let go, and Let God. Sometimes that's easier said than done. It was easy to do when it had to do with our mongo house project. It was easy to do when I sent my kids off to school. For some reason, when it comes to my husband's sanity and peace of mind, it's much harder to do. I'm not sure why. I consider myself a woman of faith.

Lately though, I feel more like a woman of fear. And I HATE that.


  1. This post moved me.

    I lost my Mom best friend... to cancer 4 years ago. It is NOT easy to watch them suffer. It is NOT easy to watch M. suffer, either. I can only imagine what my husband went through watching me grieve these past few years.

    But, it does get easier. I used to hate when people would tell me that. How would it EVER be easy? She was my Mom, for goodness sake.

    Cancer may do many things. But it does not rob us of our memories. Every time I see a cobalt blue sky I think of her and how much she loved those kind of days. Every time I make a certain recipe of hers or listen to her favorite song...I ache. But, it's my way of honoring her, too.

    I guess I'm rambling. I just feel for your family and what you're going through. My suggestion would be to milk every moment possible. Even if she does recover and go into remission...your relationship can only benefit from the closeness this illness can provide.

    I will pray for you guys and check back in on you for updates. Hang in there...

  2. Thanks so much. Two days after I wrote this, she started making itty bitty white cells. And little by little, she made more. She is now home, being checked only twice a week instead of 3 times (which is the norm) and doing pretty well. M is home with us too. We have been blessed.

    I can't imagine losing a parent. I tried when M lost his dad right after we got engaged, and my mind just won't. do. it. My heart breaks for those - like you - who have had to go through that. Seeing M through the loss of his dad is what made us sure that we were going to make it. And you're right - it did get easier with time. But I know that M still misses his dad alot - especially as our boys grow up.

    Thank you so much for your comment. That post was one of those "naked" moments - I'm humbled that it touched you.