Monday, August 31, 2009

Just wanted to say....

Thanks to all who follow the blog. It's mostly just a re-hash of what I put on Facebook, but I never think to check the comments section. I seriously JUST read the comments and want to say thanks to everyone who leaves any at all. It is nice to know I've got a cheering section.

Keeping a sense of humor is not always easy- but I think it's a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. necessary. When the inside gets dark- keeping it light on the outside seems to seep inward. Sometimes it gets VERY dark... and to tell the truth, I want to beat this and will if it's possible, but in all reality (I can say this here because I have no relatives following this blog) the outlook isn't so great. Survival rates for the few who have been followed- suck. This is stage four cancer, not two or three. And this cancer is so rare that drug companies don't do any drug testing or research for it because it's not cost effective. This is not a popular cancer so it's abandoned and treated like a general colon cancer in the hopes that it does the trick.
I'm an optimist.... but I'm no dummy. The odds are stacked against me. I used to picture having grandchildren or touring Europe after my girls have gone to college. That is all faded. I try to live for the now. I soak up every silly thing Iris says or does, I cherish every smile I get out of Vera, I am only a little iritated when I have to get up with one or the other in the middle of the night, I stand in the doorways of their rooms and want to bawl because I am so afraid that I will be nothing but pictures in an album to them because they won't remember me. I'm afraid that they will simply refer to me as "Rachel" because they can't recall calling me "Mommy."

Iris has a hard time grasping what's going on. She knows there is something amiss, and knows that I go to the doctor a lot and that the hospital is where mommy gets better. May was bad, she and Vera were both shuffled around as I was stuck in a friggin' hospital bed- totally at the mercy of fate. Now Iris gets seperation anxiety before I leave her even just for an hour or so. I tell her "Mommy always comes back" so she knows I'm not leaving her forever. And hopefully when the day comes that I do leave her forever, she'll be old enough to understand. I know I'm not dying from cancer tomorrow or even in 6 months, but Father Time has me in a stranglehold. I've got an overwhelming sense of urgency to get my affairs in order, to get into a "real house" ASAP (I've been wanting to move for over a year) and to make sure those around me know my wishes. There is so much I want to do and see before leaving and there just aren't enough resources to do them, and even if I had the resources to do those things- would I? It is a wicked trade-off to go do something greedy when I could be spending that precious time with my daughters.
I guess I've got a lot of guilt. (yes, I do go to counseling) My sister tells me to let it go- but she's not a mom. I feel guilty because I've put everyone on edge, possibly making my 3 year old nuerotic because she's SO concerned ANY time she hears of someone being sick, I've had to shuffle my girls off NUMEROUS times to get treatment, to recover from treatment, to just sleep and so on, I've imposed on others to watch the girls, those other people in the meantime are sick with worry about me and it goes on and on.
What a mess.


I guess with the Comedy comes the Tragedy. It happens. Now I'm good for a few days. Thanks for "listening."


  1. Thanks for keeping up the blog, Rachel.

  2. Yes, thanks for keeping up the blog. I don't know what it's like to have cancer - only what it's like to love someone who has it and to have it change your life. There is guilt for the people who aren't the ones with cancer, too - I think it just comes with the diagnosis. It goes back to something I was writing the other day - forgiving ourselves for our humanity. I remember getting mad at my mom when she was sick and then feeling so guilty about it - even now, 5 years later, I still think about it. But just because she had cancer, I didn't suddenly become immune to being a real person who can get annoyed or short or whatever.

    I don't know what it would be like to face this as a mom - my heart goes out to you reading about that experience. I know what it means to love a child and even without facing this kind of battle it's pretty intense. What I do feel certain of is that people WANT to help you - the people who offer childcare and all of that.

    I hope writing about this is therapeutic for you. It is for me. Oh - and you can go into comment moderation and ask it to email you when new comments are posted to your blog, if you want to.

    Thanks for writing.

  3. It's an awfully hard journey for everyone involved.

    Wishing you all the best.

  4. Hi Rachel,

    Just wanted you to know that we are praying with absolute reckless abandon in our household. We pray for comfort and peace for your family, wisdom for your doctors, and strength and HEALING for you.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and reminding me to cherish my children, even when they are driving me nuts. Your strength, words and grace are inspiring.

  5. Rachel,
    If anybody can beat this, you can. I admire your strength and courage. I hope that you can live to drive your daughters nuts when they're teenagers, and when they become moms.
    Take care.