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.