This baby isn’t even here yet and I already feel like so many moms do. I simply can’t be everywhere. And when I am somewhere, my mind is worried about where I’m not. Then you’re left wondering if you can even give 100% of yourself any place.
I feel the pull the worst during chemo week.
Last round of chemo, Joe started out sick. He had a fever, coughs, just a plain old bad bug. But then add in chemo to zap the cells you need to fight the sickness and it’s a downward spiral.
I decided to stay home from work and go with him to chemo for this round. For one, I was worried he wouldn’t tell the nurse how sick he had been and for two, I just couldn’t handle the worry.
Staying home from work is another worry. I stress about calling in and looking like a bad employee, I’m also on “no pay” days so that’s not an easy decision either.
But we did it and I was able to go to chemo with Joe and it was just as much therapy for me as it was him.
I think it’s easy to send him off and go about your job and your life. If you don’t see it in front of you it doesn’t seem as real. I actually think everyone should visit a chemo floor once in their life. Just like I think everyone should wait tables once in their life. You need to see how the other side lives so you leave a big tip and don’t leave your straw wrappers under the table.
I sat in the waiting room with Joe and looked around. My eyes filling with tears as I saw a girl probably 14 sitting with her mom. It was her mom’s first chemo and you could see the fear of the unknown all over the girl’s face. She saw what we did. The bald heads tied up in scarves and the very scary future of what could soon be her now beautiful mother. What broke my heart was watching the mom do what moms do, comfort her daughter. Where do moms find that kind of strength? She’s the one with the needles in her arms and the rocky days ahead but at that moment all she could think about was her little girl.
That made me hold on to my little girl and the tears felt like for a moment they wouldn’t stop. (Sending a pregnant woman into a cancer floor may not be the best time to make your visit).
I felt good being home with Joe during the hardest days of chemo. I was able to set him up a clean bed, bring him tea and get a cool rag for his forehead. It felt good to be needed but scary to see how much he really needs me.
It’s not like he can’ t walk or fix himself something for lunch but honestly, when you feel that crappy, who wants to? The energy in our house felt better because he knew he wasn’t alone.
That’s what I would say to anyone who knows anyone with cancer. People need you. They need help whether they ask for it or look like it.
It isn’t easy and you’ll never regret taking the time to sit with someone or simply take something off their plate. If I could I’d send my clone to work and I’d be the one doing everything before he could even think of it.
I’d take my 5 1/2 month pregnant self out to cut the grass and walk the dog and send my clone to do the things that just don’t always feel like they matter.
My clone would be fatter then me to make me feel good about myself and would sweep bathroom floors because I hate it. I’d never miss a doctor appointment or afternoon with Joe when he just needs me around. I have a long list of things my clone can get started on right away.
Time is something you’ll never get back, but you make sacrifices and do things you don’t want to because you love your family and want to give them the very best. It’s why my dad’s back hurts so bad now, because he worked a lot of weird hours in a horrible factory on a hard floor. The man wasn’t doing it for his health, he had 3 little chickens at home who needed to eat, go to private school and wear expensive show choir costumes.
So you do what you have to do.
You pick yourself up and do the best you can on that day. You hug as hard as you can, while you can. You comfort the people around you and sit next to your sleeping husband because you can. And sometimes you have to say you just can’t do it all.
Sometimes you have to take the day and be there, breath it in and see it all. Though it won’t pay the bills, just being there next to the person you love may be the only thing that really gets done today.