Getting over it

bailey-and-clarence.jpgBailey came into my room yesterday and sighed that she felt “overwhelmed”. She is 10. She said she was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of Asa and Tucker coming home and the change in the house. She missed them a lot but she fears that they will ignore her when they return, thinking that they forgot about her. Bailey is a sensitive girl. She feels things profoundly. We talked we took a deep breath, and decided to just be in the moment. We decided to just enjoy the day and let tomorrow be tomorrow. I know how she feels. Overwhelmed is a feeling that I have a lot these days. It is not just the whole “cancer thing” either. It is the pace of our lives. Things happen very fast. Decisions need to be made. Jobs need to done. Appointments, dates, and visits.I am certain you all relate to this. Maybe some of you are better than me at protecting yourself from feeling the world is leading you around. I am not so good at it.

Somehow I had mistakenly believed that being sick would help me focus more on the beauty of the moment. In some ways it certainly has. But it turns out that my children still need to go to the dentist and have play dates. We still have to pay bills and answer phone calls. So all my hopes of a peaceful and laid back life are usually quickly thwarted. The truth is I do not know how to not be overwhelmed. I have spent a lot of time to being an organized mom,wife, employee and student. I like to buzz around and do everything with immediacy. I sometimes feel like the only respite from this is my three day coma following chemo.

I feel overwhelmed a lot these days. I find myself obsessing about what needs to be done around the house. But I also spend a lot of time researching about IBC. I feel compelled to find the best treatment for my disease. Some doctors would say it does not really matter since I am stage 4 and nothing can be done to save me. I think that is so short sighted. There are women who are stable with bone mets for up to 10 years. I want to be one of them. So I am like a private detective trying to figure out exactly what treatment they received, how much chemo, what kind,how much radiation, which additional drugs, etc. As much as this actually helps me to be informed it also does overwhelm me. I am not a doctor so a lot of the information is hard for me to understand. And I stop feeling like I am in God’s hands when I decide to be my own physician.

Don’t get me wrong I think knowledge is empowering and it is good for me to be my own advocate. I just see how easily I can become lost in the sea of medical studies and forget that God has a plan for me…that may or may not include a “miracle”. I want to trust my doctor but put my faith in the Lord. When I lose sight of this I quickly become overwhelmed. I try to be in charge of my health…my cancer….my treatment…everything.

It is hard to stay in the moment or the day when I worry about what will happen next. What else do I have to do? Will I live and for how long? When I think this way I quickly fall into despair. Possibly this is true of many. We spend a lot of time worried,obsessing,making plans, and then we just feel consumed by these details. There is no way to feel relaxed and at peace if this is the pace of our minds or our day. My goal from the beginning has been to live one day at a time and to the best of my ability continue to grow as a person for as long as I have left. I really do not want to spend precious days feeling like the housework, appointments, or even the computer was more important then the simple things. I do not want my children to think that anything was more important than what they had to say. I do not want to become so engrossed in my cancer that I stop growing and changing as a person. Maybe I expect too much from myself. I don’t think so. I think it is possible to decide to live more simply and quietly. I am just not good at it yet.

One Response to “Getting over it”

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    Mom Brown says:

    Andrea, When you are aware …I mean really as aware as you are now.. you are alot closer to it than most people ever get to in their life..Most of us just go around in a haze never in the moment never aware…stop being so hard on yourself….give yourself a break…like you would for one of your friends…believe me ….when I read your blog like so many of your friends you blow me away…

    love mom