Posted in Self Help

Out of Touch

Can we be honest?

I’m not going to lie! Lately, I’ve been a little out of touch because I have been wrestling with staying upbeat. I mean I’ve been super busy with family and kids and life, but who can’t say that?

Hubby mentioned the other day he hadn’t seen a blog post in awhile. Yeah, it’s true. I have been off the grid a little more than normal, but actually, I kind of like it. It’s hard to be social and happy while grappling with the weights on your shoulders.

Not that cancer isn’t enough of a nasty curve ball, but this crazy pandemic, a country divided, all the hate and evil amongst us.

What happened to us?

What happened to the free and the brave?

What happened to our America the Beautiful?

It’s shameful the only unity we have is we take life for granted. Think about that for a minute.

Well, unless of course you’re dying or terminally ill.

Do you realize ALL the people who are dying of cancer?

I bet those people don’t abuse the life they were given, wasting it away on fighting with their neighbors.

Life is much easier in a bubble.

I’ve never thought of myself as socially shy. I don’t have a problem talking to people, but I do have a problem pretending. And, I do get social anxiety. It takes a lot of effort to put on a smile and pretend I am mentally strong. It takes energy to make everyone believe I am OK when I’m not.

I AM mentally strong. Some days I just don’t want to be.

Living with cancer in your household is emotional. It’s a roller coaster, ups and downs, twists and turns. Even when it’s not front and center, it’s there lurking. Just a thought away, a reminder somewhere you turn.

You live with it, without a choice.

All.

The.

Time.

I am learning to manuever that obstacle. For myself, to support my children, my hubby. I’ve learned if I don’t take care of ME, there won’t be enough to go around.

Family is priority so I hope no one takes it personally when I decline an invite, or seem disengaged, or silent. Sometimes our schedule doesn’t allow for socializing, and other times we would love to hang out. And sometimes, we just aren’t up for company.

It has been a hard few months. Cancer just took one dear soul from us. I know people who recently got diagnosed. I know lots of people who are fighting. And, it all hits too close to home.

There’s a daughter taking a last minute trip to see her dad who is fighting for his life. There’s a mother counting down the debilitating chemo treatments she takes her terminally ill son to every couple of weeks. There’s a wife in the cancer center who is puzzled about how her husband got mesothelioma but was never exposed to the contaminants. There’s the husband grieving for his wife, the children who lost their mother, the women who lost their best friend.

None of them have a choice.

I look at my children, my husband and then in the mirror at myself.

It’s difficult to cope some days, and I can sense the world wanting to crumble around me. All the suffering and pain just floods my head to the point I feel like I’m drowning in it. My head hurts. I’m tired. No energy. No will to do anything.

Some days it’s too much. But, that’s not every day. I’m not going to set up camp there.

Some days are good. Some days I’m motivated and have the drive to conquer the world.

Some people tell me not to focus on all those situations or not to be a part of those cancer groups because it just makes me upset. What they don’t realize is what else it does to me.

It helps me NOT feel so alone.

Summer has been good for me in the sense I can just focus on my family and stay out of any kind of scene. It’s a good distraction to be able to listen to the ocean, sit out and soak up the sun, hang out with my family. It’s been good to make the most out of a bad time in our country by us all just being together.

Some days I’m happy to not share anything or feel vulnerable. I don’t mind sharing when I have my head on straight and the energy to help others; however, when a battle is going on inside my head, it’s hard to help myself much less anyone else.

Sometimes it’s just easier to cope when you stay out of touch.

β€œEnter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Matthew 7:13-14
Posted in Cancer, Family, Self Help

Optimism, Realism

Do you ever think about dying?

It’s a topic no one willingly likes to discuss, but yet it’s the end and the beginning to our life. This week I’ve been thinking about it more and more.

I don’t know why.

But, it’s on my mind often, and that scares me a little.

25 Jesus said to her, β€œI am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

Today, I was chatting with an old high school friend over text, and I asked about her dad. Her mom passed away two years ago, and I told her I hate to think our parents are at that age.

She said, “…it’s so hard to think about. We spend our whole childhood wishing time away and then wake up one day and wonder where it went.”

My grandmother lived until her late 90s. My Pawpaw until his mid 90s and my Granny until 90. That’s some longevity in my family, but there have been others who died young.

I wondered what is really “that age.”

Yesterday, on the way home from the Cancer Center, hubby and I had a consequential discussion. Normally, when I ask him to talk about his feelings he says, “What are feelings?” It’s his wittiness, but he doesn’t talk about feelings much unless I am upset, he’s talking about cancer or our family.

We discuss death. And, like I explored with him yesterday and my friend today, there is no such thing as “that age.” That age can be 5, 25, 55 or 95.

As hubby told me, he will die when it’s his time, when the good Lord decides, and there is no worry in that.

God takes us when He is ready to take us. Yes, there are miracles, but perhaps God only grants those once in a while and saves them for special circumstances?

I realized on our drive home, hubby believes in miracles, he just doesn’t believe there’s one for him.

Society looks at dying in regards to life expectancy, but that’s not how dying happens. We expect to live until 80. We are blessed to live into our 90s. And, if we die before “our time” we say it’s too soon.

No one wants to see a mother lose a child. A wife lose her husband. A child lose his parent.

We have no say in who gets cancer, has a fatal accident or loses someone they love. We all have an expiration date, and sadly, not all of them are as lengthy as others.

We are not born with a guarantee on life, or how long we will walk on Earth.

Rarely, do I have this conversation with others; however, hubby and I have these disconcerting talks often. These circumstance are not necessarily planned for, but in this situation they are inevitable. I don’t always understand how he is so at peace, but he is and for that I am grateful. For myself, there is still a lack of acceptance, a disquiet about my children where my heart is impaired.

I know it is hard for my friends and family to understand. As my daughter alluded to, there are times we sense something is coming and catch ourselves just waiting for the other shoe to drop. We take aim at positivity, but in the back of our mind we are searching for level headedness.

Being a realist and being optimistic are not always the same nor do the two invariably go together. I think it is hard for someone trying to encourage us to stay positive to comprehend how we walk a fine line within the two. I understand, my husband understands, my children understand, but to others they don’t always understand.

It is difficult for everyone to decipher the thought process and the task of protecting the heart. It’s hard to be positive, pray for a miracle and accept the facts, the odds, and the reality of a situation. Somewhere in that mix we have to find a happy medium where our heart can safely flourish. A place we can live comfortably, a place we can accept whatever is handed to us and be able to survive the outcome.

Maybe some of you don’t view this as a sense of positivity, but at some point we find ourselves seeking a survival mode. Just maybe, we weigh on the cautious side. We have to live in a sector where we can manuever our path, even in heart-rending times.

That means preparing for the worst, while hoping and praying for the best.

All we need from everyone else is to pray for us. xo

17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18