It's 11:30pm and I'm nowhere near sleep.
Today was a double-whammy day; both chemo and radiation treatments mean a full day at the hospital. I had blood work, a consult with the chemo nurse, radiation treatment, then back up to the oncology department for the chemo administration, which takes about three to three and a half hours.
Long days like this mean that our fabulous new sitter, I'll call her Laura, will be stepping in to be me for the day. She will meet Finn off the bus, be there when Greta gets home from a play date, help with homework, take Finn to karate, feed snacks and start dinner. She is a true God-send, more than capable, and the kids (and Steve and I) adore her. It will be a dark day in this household when she goes back to college later this month.
Treatment is forcing me to let go in so many ways. Sometimes I go gracefully. Other times, not so much.
Did Greta have fun at her play date today? Did she start her homework? How was the first day back from vacation? My minds spins as the radiation beams hum and hiss in my ear. I treasure the first moments home; that's when I get most of my tidbits of information. By the time I drag myself in the door at close to 8pm I barely have time for a hello before it's their bedtime.
They are totally okay; Laura is cool and fun, but firmly in charge. I can tell they get a rush being with her. I'm happy for them - for us - but my heart still breaks a little.
I'm terrible at falling apart, because I let it go too long before I realize I'm over the edge. Then it's all snotty-cries and bubbling resentment and self-pity.
I finally, stubbornly, reluctantly and with more than a little shame, reached out and got the help I needed. I went to a meeting, and spent a lot of time on my knees in my room surrendering over and over and over.
Today, the clouds parted a bit. Today I feel emotionally shaky, but in touch with what's really going on inside me. Today the gratitude is back, weakly waving her hand and whispering, "remember me?"
I have to remember, though, this is just today. Twenty-four hours. Tomorrow I have to get up and do it again - surrender, ask for help, touch the truth, give the ogre - I dunno - a hug? A primal scream? I don't think she's going away anywhere soon, and I have a lot of work to do.
It's hard for me to write here about the ugliness. Not because I want to appear perfect - not even close. It's because the ugliness scares me so much I don't really even have access to it. I prefer to live in gratitude, serenity and peace. It's so much nicer there. But the ugliness is there, simmering beneath the surface, and if I don't respect it, talk about it - even acknowledge it - it corrodes my spirit, my sanity and my sobriety.
The ugliness makes me feel very, very vulnerable. And vulnerable is hard.