19 March 2007

Weekend Recap

Jeepers cripes but it was a long weekend. It was a weekend that I was glad to see come to an end. I was happy to wake up and realize that it was Monday. How lame is that?

Friday (which, since I "work" from home, is part of my weekend) was a mess of a day: snow, slush, sleet, a return of the winter that had oh-so-foolishly thought was over. We had many plans for Friday, including a walk with a friend, a visit from Early Intervention, and a visit from another friend, but all got canceled for one reason or another. So I was stuck inside, all day, with the Little Dictators. Playing with the same toys. Over and over. As the snow fell. Add to this that GH spent much of the day napping, and it was One Dull Day at our house. To add insult to injury, once the kids were in bed I had to shovel our stairs and driveway because the snow was forecast to turn to rain and I wanted to get to it before it turned into a heavy, wet, icy mess.

An upside ending: we ordered pizza for dinner. Funny bit: it gets delivered while I'm shoveling. I hear the delivery guy say to GH at the door, "What's your wife doing out there shoveling? Why you do that to her? You should be out there, man!" Oh, if he only knew. Other funny bit: selfsame delivery guy says to me on his way out, "This weather, it's crazy. Just yesterday I'm out in my shorts, my wifebeater, and now this. Crazy."

Saturday was more of the same. The weather was better, but there was a veneer of icy slop to be shoveled, kids who didn't want to nap, husbands who did. We did go to the mall in the late afternoon, where I purchased the best bubbles in the world at Gymboree. (I then spilled them on Sunday. It was one of those weekends.) I also tried on pants that I could not button and felt fat and flabby.

The upside ending to Saturday was that I went out to dinner with a friend who I had not seen in a long time. That was nice.

Sunday was the crowning glory of our weekend. Things started off well when the kids took a great morning nap, and the weather was better, so we got out for a walk. Then the day just dragged on. A friend had been planning to come over for lunch and to meet the babies, but she was sick and had to cancel. We had talked about going to dim sum, but GH decided he didn't feel like it. Even when GH was not napping, he was kind of a shell of himself, present, but not present if you know what I mean. I knew that the news from chemo on Wednesday had hit him hard, and I could tell that it was affecting his attitude and demeanor. He was impatient with the babies, and I sensed that spending time with them felt like a chore. He was tired. He was in pain. (Turns out he's been having pretty constant abdominal pain recently, something I wasn't aware of.) We noticed that his eyes looked yellow, indicating jaundice, meaning that his liver function is only getting worse.

Finally, when we were doing the babies' final feeding before baths and bed, I said something. I told him that I was worried, that he seemed so unhappy, that I felt like the air of joy we work hard to cultivate had left our house. I asked if he felt the same and how we could work to get it back, because it was affecting my attitude and I also felt like the babies could sense it. He agreed that things felt bleak, but he wasn't sure what to do.

After we put the babies to bed, we went our separate ways to do a few chores and I found him at our desk, crying. We had a good cry together, acknowledging how scared we are of what's to come. GH is so angry about what he might miss with the babies, so mad that all the plans he has for things he wants to do with them might not come to pass. He said that he does feel the distance he puts there, a distance that comes in part from the fear of the future. I encouraged him to talk to the babies, to tell them about his plans. Maddie and Riley love him so much. They light up when he walks into the room and laugh at his slapstick play. Even if they won't retain what he tells them, I think it's good for them to hear what GH sees in their future together, no matter what happens.

There's no upside ending to Sunday. We ate dinner. We went to bed.

One of my ways of coping with our situation is to carry on with life as normally as possible. I don't do this out of denial, but rather because I don't know what the alternative is. Mope? Cry? I do those things sometimes, but I can't do them all the time. I just need to keep going. Those few-and-far-between nights that we spend talking and thinking about the gravity of our reality are so exhausting for me.

I miss my family. We've all had colds since the beginning of time. GH is getting worse. It's getting harder and harder for me to find joy and stay positive. I feel the resistance, anger, and resentment about knowing that I need to look at how I can change myself and my attitudes when what I want is for our situation to change. I wonder sometimes what our life would be like without cancer. It's a futile exercise, but hard to resist.


Rachel said...

Sounds like a tough couple of days. Sometimes weekends are harder than weekdays. I am thinking of you and GH.

DoctorMama said...

I would be relieved to get to Monday as well. You only get to be off-duty when you're actually at work.

I wish you strength.

I also wish GH had told the delivery guy the truth, just to a) see his face and b) lessen the chance that he'll say something like that in the future to someone else, someone with less of a sense of humor!

Yankee, Transferred said...

Maybe GH could write things down for the babies, too. His hopes, his dreams, and his love. It will be something to which he can refer when times are tough, and something they will enjoy reading when they're older. I have written to my kids since I had them, and they love reading the notes now. My hopes and dreams for them have not changed much. It's something they'll have forever. Just a thought.
Sending virtual hugs and all the support I can be from this far away. Thinking of all four of you as you find your way through the maze of emotions and challenges.

Yankee, Transferred said...

and yeah...silence that delivery guy.

Christine said...

Oh, man. I would have let delivery dude have it. Talk about MYOB.

I wish there were something I could say, except that how visceral it is to read your posts. I can feel your pain and frustration and sadness all mixed up with the joy of being a mom and wife. You need to keep on keeping on for your own health, your husband's and your children. I too wish you strength and peace. And I agree with the other posters that GH should make some kind of record of himself -- a diary, a voice recording, a movie -- for your children. And himself.

Leggy said...

One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other. That's about all that can be managed sometimes. Have either of you looked into AD's? They might help ease some of the gloom.

I'm really sorry you have to go through this. I wish there was some magic cure that would give the four of you the normal family life you deserve.

Pantheist Mom said...

Wow. Sucky weekend in so many ways. As a mommy, I am 99% of the time, the "fix it" lady. My kids tell me what's wrong and I help them find a solution.

I wish so bad that I could do that for you and your GH, and I'm a distant observer of your life. So I can only imagine the frustration/despair/whatever you call it, that you and he feel at being unable to control this.

Keep talking. I can't fix it, but I'm hearing you...


Angela said...

This post really got to me. What always amazes me about you is that you allow yourself to feel scared and vulnerable and you are able to express yourself so clearly. The message that always comes across so clearly is how strong you are, your love and devotion to your husband and children is truly inspiring.

I am so sorry it is so difficult right now. I don't know what to say other than, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and I'm sending good thoughts your way.

Suzanne said...

It seems so insufficient to say that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, but it's all I can do. Your strength and resolve are inspiring.

Rev Dr Mom said...


Prayers and good thoughts coming your way.

ShabbyDoll said...

I feel for you, and I'm thinking about you. I agree with the previous commenters, that GH (and you!) should consider starting to write or record things for the twins.

Marie-Baguette said...

Yes talking to the twins and telling them what is going on might help. And I believe it is a wonderful idea to write or record or video messages to your children.
I admire your strength and devotion. I want to believe that everything is going to get better for your family.

Lisa said...

I have incidents like delivery guy happen from time to time, too. Putting gas in the car, for instance. People have said things to me like, husband's got you doing his job, huh? (Because they only see him sitting in the drivers seat). It's dumb on lots of levels. I mostly ignore it. But sometimes I do things for him and then he gets out of the car in a wheelchair and then we kind of snicker and laugh, so that's fun. Have fun with it, just have him say, "Yeah. 'cuz I'm dying of cancer" and see what a reaction you get. Fun times.

I was also thinking as I read your post about a video/audio/writing project for your GH to do for the babies. Whatever he would get into the most. It might be a positive focus for his energies???? And your kids would treasure it forever.

I'm thinking of you all. And yes, (re: your comment to me) its cool to have cheap kid things to do in pdx. It would be great if we could someday go to the children's museum together.

halfmama said...

Your post really touched me. I'm sitting at my computer crying, thinking of the two of you crying at your desk together. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I can't say that enough.

I try and put myself in your situation and my heart just aches for you. I've never even met you, but it aches. I hope things take a turn for the better soon. And that spring (both literally and figuratively) is right around the corner for you and your family.

Best of luck and hugs to you all.

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

The honesty, love and grace in your marriage are beautiful to see. Although I wish like hell the situation were different.

In addition to talking to the babies and writing letters, a good idea is to video tape GH reading books to the babies. It's a natural setting where they will be able to hear his voice and see him caring for them.

As for the delivery guy, I think I might have been tempted to tell him that we were a transexual couple, just to see the look on his face.

bg's Little Sis said...

I agree with what others have said, keeping a video or recorded journal of some sort, showing the kids with GH, this could be good for all of you today and tomorrow.

I fear my words are so hollow when I offer my thoughts and prayers, how I'd prefer to do something more concrete for you to help out. So dear Snick, I'm so sorry you all have this to bear, to face daily. I have lots of hope for you and your family.

I hate weekends like that, it's days like your saturday that I struggle to stay in the moment, the now and just live it.

Sending you good thoughts, virtual hugs and lots of love:)

Menita said...

Oh sweetie.

Dorcasina said...

Oh, honey, I know. I mean, I don't know, exactly, but so much of what you say is so horribly familiar. And so awfully unfair. And I weep for all of you. I second the idea that GH can, if he is able, write things for the babies. My husband and I talked about it, but to be honest, he was never willing to dwell in the possibility that he wouldn't be around. How I wish now that he had made those videos, telling our daughter how he loves her. Or had written me a letter, so I didn't have to conjure his half of our conversations in my mind. And given how tense things have become with his family, I am more worried than ever that no one is going to tell my daughter stories about what her beloved Papa was like as a little boy. On the other hand, I'm not sure they have the faintest idea who or what he was; that makes it all the more difficult not to have more tangible memories and keepsakes of him to share with her.

Given how behind I am in keeping up with your blogging, I hope you are back in busy/optimistic mode. But I remember all too well those moments when the strength is gone and the bottom falls out.

Sending love and light and the belief that you four are not yet out of miracles--