Is there anything worse than waiting?
Whether you are waiting for good news or bad news, the feeling in your gut as you watch the seconds tick by and the anticipation builds can make you almost physically sick.
Right now, I’m watching Joe out the back window as he is currently waiting for his bar top to dry. This has been a pretty much every day occurrence since he started the project. He paints, he waits, he adds more, he waits, he can’t wait, then makes a mistake, then tries to fix it, waits and watches and waits some more. You know what they say about people who watch paint dry.
Then there’s the excitement of waiting for our little girl to get here! We are 26 weeks and my belly is growing everyday. Tonight, I sat on the couch as Joe watched the quick jabs pulsing through my skin from our little 2 pounder building up strength and already testing her boundaries. It’s the craziest feeling and we are just so ready for her to be here.
Now we’re on to the waiting for our next Houston appointment. It’s just one week away and feels a million years away. It’s news we wish we didn’t have to wait for. I hate the waiting room at the hospital and I hate the sterile smell of the doctor’s office as our hearts stop with every footstep down the hall. This is a wait, I’m not looking forward to.
We’ve had a rough few weeks. Chemo was tough and Joe had a bad doctor’s appointment a few Wednesdays ago. It was expected to be a routine appointment but Joe got to talking with the doctor about what’s next and his thoughts on the possibility of surgery.
I got the phone call that afternoon while I was at work and I could hear the panic in Joe’s voice. He was finally hearing what I’ve heard at his past appointments. This surgery is pretty important and not really an option. I flew in and out of my boss’s office and hurried to get home to Joe as fast as I could. I walked in the door to see his swollen eyes and coloring swept from his face. All he could say was, “I’m really going to miss you”.
I felt as if he had his bags packed and was heading on some voyage he may never return from.
He went on to tell me about what the doctor said and how he tried to stay strong. He made a quick errand after the doctor but had to rush out of the store as he spotted a little girl walking the aisles with her mom. “What if I’m not here for any of it? How will you do it alone? How could I leave you?”
It was all pretty awful and it took a few days to dig ourselves out of that hole of a reality check the doctor gave him that day.
I had a good friend give me some marriage advice right before our wedding. She talked about what she learned at a church retreat about keeping your spouse’s love tank full. I remember her saying it’s been the best advice for her to recognize when she’s feeling low or when she just needs to do something special for her husband. Sometimes our love tanks are simply running on empty.
I have been feeling like my love tank has been squeezed dry, turned upside down and possibly run over by a semi-truck. I’ve been in full pity party mode as I thought how unfair this all is. How come I have to spend my first pregnancy taking care of someone else? Aren’t I suppose to be the pampered princess for 9 months? Isn’t that what all mommies to be get? Add in a hearty dose of pregnancy hormones and you have yourself a pity party fit for the queen I think I am.
A week with no chemo can change all of that though. Joe has been feeling stronger and in better spirits. The steroids they pump his veins with are starting to fade away. That means the fear of the Hulk popping out of his shirt at any moment has subsided. So Friday, I got to go on a full blown date night with my feeling good and looking good husband.
It was just what the doctor ordered. Though it took me awhile to get the chip off my shoulder and the sour look on my face (as Joe puts it). I eventually took a deep breath and just let it go. We had a beautiful dinner at a place with white table linens and a waiter who used the little bread crumb cleaner knife, I just love that thing. Then we held hands and I even cracked a few smiles. It felt so good to be taken care of and just loved. My tank was slowly filling up despite my resistance.
As we were walking out of the backdrop of the restaurant tucked into the picturesque walls of an Italy look-alike, Joe made an unexpected turn to the front desk of the hotel. I urgently tried to stop him to tell him valet would be out front. I was trying to stop him before he made a fool out of us like we don’t know how to act in a nice place. Joe said, “No, I think I can get the ticket here.” I rolled my eyes and waited to watch the front desk girl correct him.
“Checking in for Clark,” he said.
“Yes, Mr. Clark. Your room is ready.”
We were staying the night in this vacation spot just 15 minutes from our house. This wasn’t a hotel attached to a hospital. This was a fancy, featherbed and a mini-bar kinda place. I felt like I was floating.
Joe had packed my things in a suitcase and had the valet bring it in when we first got to the restaurant. It was the basics except for 7 bras stuffed in the bag. Because of baby he wasn’t sure just what I was fitting into anymore. It was the cutest, sweetest medicine I could have asked for.
So, while we could be caught up in the nerves of waiting and pity parties. We had to do a little something extra to pass the time. We had to live. We had to throw out the worry and just be.
There was no sense in waiting. We needed to overflow our love tanks in that very moment, so that’s what we did.