Phase Three

Phase three for me is radiation. While I do not yet know all the details, I do know that I will have treatments five days per week for a minimum of six weeks; 384 miles away from home.

I learned many years ago through struggles and heartache to live like I was dying. I don’t know when I began to live that way I just know it’s been many years. I don’t even have a bucket list. When I was flying home earlier this week I was seated next to a gentleman and we talked and he said, I bet you don’t even have a bucket list. I hadn’t really thought about it much. Yes, the thought has crossed my mind, I just never put a whole lot of thought in to it.

I told him, “Nope, I am not going to live with that kind of pressure.” My bucket list would be expensive. First of all it would be things like a trip to Disney World with the kids, a Jamaican vacation with the man of my dreams (or my kids being as there is no such man) skating with my boys and an NHL team.

To fulfill those dreams would cost a crazy amount of money. I am unemployed; I do not have a spouse or significant other who supports me. I can’t even keep my light bill paid without the generosity of the people around me. There is no way I could even begin to plan a week in Florida. So I don’t think that big.

I think about things like how am I going to pay for my next trip to Rochester to begin radiation. I will have gas ($150) plus approximately a week of hotel rooms ($300 – I stay at place that caters to patients and charges less than a normal hotel) then I will be able to move in to Hope Lodge through the American Cancer Society which is free housing during treatments.

My radiation will be Monday through Friday and although I would love to return home on weekends, I just don’t see it being financially possible. The cost of my first week will eat up all available funds I have for the entire month of August (and it won’t even be August yet).

Ya, I won’t be going back on weekends. All of my household bills through August will be paid before I head south. That will be one less thing to worry about. I just know I will have no extra money at all while I am there; it’s a mindset I have to get in to. No eating out, no entertainment, no shopping. It’s not easy, just necessary.

Don’t you hate it when you actually put things down on paper only to realize just how it can’t work out the way you planned? Kind of depressing.

Regrets

I have often said that I have no regrets. I wish people could understand how to let go of things they can’t change. That’s essentially what regrets are, they are choices or actions you wish you could take back…move forward, make changes, grow. Why be stuck in the past?

I have seen people, when faced with their own immortality, change…they do all the things they wished they had done, say all the things they never said.

I found out two days ago that my former mother-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer. Although I don’t have many details, my background and education in the medical field tells me it’s not good and she won’t be around for more than a year or so.

This is my first experience with an anticipated death in a long time. I am exploring my feelings surrounding this and these feelings are different than anything I’ve dealt with.

I’m not even a little bit sad or upset by her diagnosis. I do pray that she doesn’t suffer, not only for her sake, but mostly for the sake of my children. The last thing they need right now is to watch their grandmother die a slow and painful death. Although I have no affection for the woman, my boys do and I support that. I will be the first one to drive them to the hospital to see her, to encourage them to make her gifts and cards, to help them express their emotions surrounding her diagnosis and eventual death.

Learning of her diagnosis, I had a light bulb moment. My ex has been unusually accommodating this past week or so and I was wondering why. He is one who lives with so many regrets. It is not uncommon for him to only be able to see how things will affect him right now. I think he is being faced with his own immortality and it is scaring him. He is seeing that people do not live forever, that the decisions you make are ones that you maybe can’t take back.

I, on the other hand, see no need to change the way I do anything. If I found out tomorrow that my days were numbered…and I’m struggling to write this sentence…my days ARE numbered, all of our days are numbered, most of us just remain blissfully unaware of how many we actually have. So, with that knowledge…if I found out tomorrow I was dying or if I suddenly got a phone call that I lost a loved one, I’m ok with that.

That’s how I live though, I live like I’m dying because in reality we all are…none of us are going to get out of this alive. I love deeply, I forgive completely, I laugh often.

A Difficult Post

First, let me apologize for the many posts lately. There is so much going on that I find I am better to post them as they happen than to let them sit in my draft folder until they become irrelevant.

While driving home from Fargo last night, a song came on the radio that brought me to tears. Admittedly, I was close anyway and it didn’t take much.

…one day I thought I’d see her with her Daddy by her side

and violins would play

Here comes the Bride

Written by: Chris Sligh, Clint Lagerberg
 Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net”>eLyrics.net</a&gt;

All of a sudden it hit me that this illness has the power to kill my child. I suddenly had a vision of planning her funeral…it was so real that it took my breath away. I could see her casket, the church, the cemetery where my babies are buried; it was awful.

I could picture myself blaming my ex for not doing more to save her…yelling that HE killed my daughter.  At this point, as long as he enables her…it is exactly what he is doing. I know he has made some changes, but they are not nearly enough as far as saving her life. I do not think he is able to come out of his own denial to see the gravity of the situation.

While I do everything I can to be the ‘tough love’ she needs, he gives her ‘one more chance.’ I wish he could see that even just one more chance may be one too many. She needs structure, guidance, supervision. These are not easy things to place on a young adult, but they are necessary. She does not have the brain of a young adult, more like a preteen (at best) and needs to be treated as such. Not to be controlled, but to be loved. He is loving her TO DEATH…death.

I do not want to plan my child’s funeral. I do not want to sit with my sons and explain to them why their sister is gone…they understand Heaven. We have four babies there.

Maybe I’m being overdramatic, maybe my lack of sleep lately is getting to me, maybe I’ve finally lost MY mind…surely nobody would be surprised with everything I have going on.