Saturday, June 15, 2013

A letter to my mother.

Recently, my mother read my blogs and told me how much she loves them and that I should write more. She continued by saying that I should write about my experiences or about the people I know, just write more. So for the past few weeks I've been thinking about what my next tear jerking, tissue prompting blog would be about. But I didn't want to write about the same things I had already done, so where would my heart strings tug at next?

And then, in a moment, while listening to a song about someone having had so much to say but didn't and was left suffocating with the words they never said, I realized what my next blog would be about. Simply, my mother. I am absolutely certain that if anything ever happened to her, a blog would appear from me with expressions of all I wished I had said, to her, about her and for her. So instead, with thoughts of life and death for some reason fresh on my mind, I will express those thoughts while she can appreciate them. Maybe my emotions stem from the fact that next January will be the 10 year anniversary from the time I thought I may lose my mother to ovarian cancer, or maybe because she is currently being checked for the breast cancer/ovarian cancer gene next week. Either way, something is stirring up my emotions from that cold 2004 winter.

I have a somewhat strange habit of blocking out certain badness from my mind. By that I mean, if a certain experience isn't a good one, I black most of it out. However, the day the dr came out from that very long surgery and said "yes, there was cancer", I remember running away to a bathroom, or an elevator, I'm not sure where I was going, but I remember my husband chasing after me, I remember loosing it wherever we were. I remember the long-ass drive home, and Eric getting pulled over by a state trooper, and me mumbling some miserable words to the state trooper who could apparently see my distress and let us go. But then, I don't remember much more. What happened the next few days, weeks? Where was I? I think I went to see her again while she was recovering over an hour away, and I think she was pretty beaten up. But did I? What kind of daughter was I back then? Yes, I was working full time as a manager in a retail store, with time off being difficult, but that's no excuse. I can't recall if I really wasn't there for her, or if I was just going through the motions, struggling to exist, subconsciously blocking out the scary parts. Before we found all this out, we had been in the middle of moving. We were headed to Florida, permanently. My husband had a job lined up, and I was looking for apartments. But I couldn't leave her. I couldn't crush her spirit that was busy battling this disease. She needed me here. She needed positive, not negative feelings. So we stayed, and we're still here to this day.

But even still, guilt chokes me when I think how I should have been a better daughter. So while your still here mama, I'm sorry I didn't do more then. And though you may not know it, it was my worst nightmare. Constantly questioning how much time I had left with you. Writing this, through my tears, I am reminded of the sick heart I felt with that huge question mark we all had running through our heads. But I still have you. And I appreciate you so much more now. I also enjoy bragging to everyone how despite my naive thoughts and displeasure at the time of your choices, you beat cancer the all natural way. No chemo, no radiation. But with desire and determination, you did it. I was and I am so proud of you for kicking it the way you knew you could.

Now, ten years later, we are closer than ever. It's weird if we go a day without talking, and when we don't talk, I kind of feel-- empty. I'm not sure where you get your energy from, but you never stop. And you never ever stop caring for others. I'm constantly amazed at the amount of love you can hold in that heart. Whether its rushing to the store to get something someone needs, or creating a "cod liver oil pain patch" for someone hurting, making the best homemade chicken noodle soup for someone sick, or just listening to me complain or cry. There are even times, when I've been in such a bad place, either physically or mentally, that my husband though try with all his might to help, will at some point realize that the only one who can help, is my mother. I've seen him practically race to the phone, and it was as if he was administering a morphine drip to someone completely broken. He takes a sigh of relief and steps back as he knows my mom will fix it, whatever it is, she will make me better. Like when your little and sick, the only person in the world that you want is your mommy. She can't always fix it or take the pain away, but in her touch and her soft words, you find comfort. I hope my girls feel that way about me.... I hope I give them the same comfort you have always given me. I hope they love me, half as much as I have always loved you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Acceptance has begun.

You may know me from growing up together. Or maybe you know me from more recent times. Perhaps you don't know me at all and have just stumbled on my blog by chance, maybe by the fact that we have something in common. Either way, there may be things you don't know about me, because I am still trying to figure it out myself. Each day that I wake up, starts off with a big question mark running through my mind. What is it going to be like today? Will I feel my age for once? Or will I continue down the painful path of feeling 70 before I'm even 30? Before I even make my first move in the morning,I start to dread what will become of it. Will I hurt today? Some days I fumble out of bed, find my way downstairs to my first cup of coffee, and the day begins without a hitch. And then some days, I practically fall back asleep while drinking my second cup of coffee, struggle to simply make it through an average day, only to collapse into my bed again.

A few years ago one of my doctors said to me, "I don't want to say you have fibromyalgia before I know you really do, because so many people shape their lives around having it." I appreciated that comment at the time..... There was no way I was going to become one of those people. I just wanted answers. If fibromyalgia was what I had, I would be happy with the diagnoses and able to move on with life. --- or would I? Well, 5 years later after many, many doctors and second opinions, they all agree that for now, I have fibromyalgia.

I was a brand new mom, my baby girl was only 7 months old. I had my issues, but things that were passing. I had surgery two months before for a large ovarian cyst that had twisted my fallopian tubes. Right before my surgery, we bought and moved into our first home. One month after my surgery, my husband was diagnosed with a brain cyst after a scary visit to the ER. So I suppose one could say, I experienced some of life's most stressful events, all within a few short months.I have tried to re-live those few months over and over again in my head, questioning what exactly put my body over the edge. Was it the surgery or the medications used? Was it the fact that I recently had a baby and was dealing with obviously messed up hormones? Was it the extreme stress I felt when I wasn't sure of my husbands future? But even after all those questions are asked, there is nothing I could do to change the past. If I could go back in time, I couldn't avoid the surgery that I desperately needed, I couldn't change the fact that my husband had an unknown arachnoid brain cyst likely from childhood, and I definitely would never change having our first child, or buying our simple little home where we still raising our little girls.
So clearly stuck in the past, I needed to move forward. But moving forward, meant accepting what they say I have, and figuring out how to live with it. With that being said, acceptance has been a difficult journey for me........but figuring out how to live a normal life is a ongoing process.

Now a mom of two and still under 30, on my difficult days happiness comes slowly. Bitter at times, looking behind at who I use to be, leaves me weak when looking forward. And that is what I struggle with on a day to day basis. Just trying to be normal. Just trying to feel good. Trying to stay positive. Pretending to feel good for my family, for my husband who worries, and for my girls who should have a normal 29 year old mother.

This is the attempt to not let fibromyalgia define who I am as a person.
I am not the disease, I am so much more than that. I can do this.