Tear Jerker


There are days in which you are far more “inspiring” to me, then I am to you. The comments seem to lift me sometimes. Lately, I have been quite sad. I try very hard to put it away. I rarely cry, but I can tell that I am somewhat detached. Not all the time, but enough of the time. I see in Jon’s video that I am not just tired but burdened. And who wouldn’t be? But I realize that I am not the person I was before. Naomi says I am quieter. Maybe. I think I am not as light hearted or care free. That burden is like heavy boots that make it hard to move forward. In all my life I never felt this way. Not during my rotten childhood or my painful adolescence or my difficult first marriage. I always found it easy to let go of pain and find every day happiness. I never got “depressed”. I don’t know that I am now..I still laugh and enjoy things. But it just a lot harder to get in the mood.

Thursday night we had a game night with the 5 older children. It was hysterical. We made a hybrid game of our own combining apples to apples with catchphrase. Its too much to explain but it was a lot of fun. We laughed for 2 hours. And we all know each other so well. We know how to make each other laugh. This was easy. The burden did seem lessened. These are the moments that I literally live for. I want so badly for the smile and laughter to come that easily. And its not like I am not happy to see people. Its just so hard for me to “forget” I have cancer.

Seriously, that is at the heart of my melancholy. I just want a day or a moment where it is not the only thing on my mind. Perhaps if I had some clear scans or was stable. Maybe if some period of time elapsed without having to face my own mortality. I think that have lost a bit of my “fight” or spirit. That is what it feels like. I have been at this awhile. Maybe not as long as some.But a year of cancer is a hard year. I told Kelly I felt tired or maybe depressed I can’t tell the difference. He said I would know the difference. So maybe I am just tired. And maybe it is just a sad thing to have cancer at my age or any age. Maybe in time there will be moments in which I will forget how sick I am.

Today I feel a huge sense of guilt and shame for not being able to put my “cancer” away. I want my kids to have memories of me being happy and relaxed. Not anxious and sad. Before seeing myself on film I thought I was happy. But now I think I am more unhappy than I had imagined. I know that I sit around with downcast eyes much of the time. I don’t know why I thought I was handling all this so well. Maybe I am not.

{I am going to say that I do not want to take anti-depressants. I think I am just feeling blue. But I don’t think I need medication. }

10 Responses to “Tear Jerker”

  1. Deb says:

    Oh Andrea, I don’t know you – only through your posts, but I think you are reaching for the impossible when you say you are trying to “put your cancer away”. I know I sure couldn’t do it and I don’t believe I know anyone that could. Please don’t feel guilt or shame for this or anything else. Like you said – who wouldn’t be sad or burdened with the load you are carrying? Allow yourself to feel your true feelings, whether it is sadness or depression or fatigue. Please don’t worry about putting on a brave or happy face for your kids; I am sure they understand and would never in a million years think less of you for it. Your posts aren’t just to show the world what a strong person you are in the face of this tremendous adversity, it’s okay to show your vulnerability and allow your friends to hopefully say something back to you to make you feel better. If thoughts and prayers can help at all, I am sending them to you.

  2. Dina says:

    I’d be a God awful cancer patient. Let’s get that out there first. So I have absolutely no right to preach to you and none of my advice should matter. I have canceled dates over a pimple and have put my life on hold at times waiting to lose 15 pounds, so I’m not your best “live for the day” gal. But a few weeks ago I was thinking about this idea. My hubby has a childhood friend who died the day after Easter. Young guy, engaged, good job….comes down with the flu a few days before Easter…feels awful, but well enough to drive himself to ER to get help…vomits while in an exam room, aspirates it into his lungs, and is braindead when they finally realize that he has flatlined. he was taken off life support Easter Monday. This poor guy had no idea that he would die before seeing his 35th Easter…his own upcoming wedding..or even what was on TV that night. After we got the call that this had happened, I couldn’t stop thinking about living every day as if it’s your last. Almost a year ago, if we had put you next to this guy, most people would have bet that he’d easily outlive you. Now he’s been buried, and you are having game night with your family. I want to be able to live each day as if it were my last, but still hope that I still have lots of days. I think that most days, you are hopeful. Allow yourself the ones when you are not. Laughing for 2 hours is a blessing. You are surrounded by blessings. Try to enjoy the weekend.
    Love you much, Dina

  3. Michelle Wienke says:

    I didnt know what to say,,,,to help cheer you-I think that Deb said exactly what I want to and didnt know how to verbalize.

    Your kids will always have wonderful memories of you-forever memories of reading and cuddling, and just being together. My kids have memories of me too-not always wonderful, not always mrs cleever, but none the less, I am their mom and they love me. I would hope that no one, and that means not even you, feels the need to be up and perky all of the time. No one can be. Especially people facing real challenges-real obstacles, real life stuff.

    I certainly dont want you to feel like you always have to keep things “up” especially for those like me, who may never meet you, but instead are drawn to this site because you are so real, and dare I say, normal (ok, you may be “normal” in a much cooler, hipper way than I could ever dream of being…lol). I am drawn to you because of your realness, the real you-funny, witty, loving, what shines through everyday when you do write!

    I keep you in my prayers and thoughts daily-but dont want you to feel like you need to keep yourself up for me-I hope that my little replies (along with all of the others) in some way help you to know that you are kept in the minds of so many-I know that God has a plan for you-you are reaching so many others-making a real difference in the lives of so many!

    You are Blessed, even with the sucky cancer-and you are loved!!

  4. Michele says:

    Hi Andrea, I am sorry that you are feeling down. I dont’ know if this helps or not, but I just wanted you to know how great it is to read on your blog the stories of you doing simple fun things with your kids and family like game nights, and dinners and such. And that you all laugh and know each other so well. You given your children something so important by spending time with them and creating good memories. That is super important!

    When I was a kid, family outings were a rarity because of my father’s alcoholism, we NEVER had game nights where we all laughed or even family dinners that weren’t strained in some awkward way. Hell, I’m 35 and most of the time I feel as if I hardly know my family at all! I wish things had been different, but I now realize that my mother did the best that she could for us considering the circumstances and lack of support that she had.

    Even if you might not have control over what happens with your body and the illness you are still giving something to your family that is so important – your time. Even if it’s just sitting down and playing a silly game where everyone laughs. That means the world to them now, it will when they are 35 and it still will when their in their 70’s. =)

  5. Jim says:

    Andrea – you have a very large cross to bear and you do it well, You have made a large difference in my life and in the lives of countless others – I’m not sure if this will help or if you have already watched it but do a search for Dr Randy Pausch – Carnegie Mellon – Last Lecture and the followup done by Nightline – It definitely will give you more insight and pehaps a little different perspective – and Hey – you are definitely a Tigger !!!

    All my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours !!

  6. Linda, Palm Harbor, Florida says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Yes, as Jim mentions, and maybe you have seen it, the post of Dr. Pausch was quite remarkable. All our lives, it seems like we try so hard to please others, so please remember you ARE doing just that by giving your love to all your family and friends and to all those that don’t know you personally. You are giving us all a real glimpse of life, and I pray that we all take away from you that life is indeed given to us as a gift from God, and we need to realize that on a day to day basis. You are not to be condemned if you are feeling depressed. If you weren’t, I think you would not be human! None of us would know how we would actually feel unless we ourselves were in your shoes. So, sweetheart, please keep doing the good fight, even though some days you don’t think you are, you really are helping more people ever than you will ever know. If prayer alone would help you, you know with everyone’s prayers, you would be totally healed. God only knows and he has a plan for all of us. God bless you and keep laughing at all the silly things…Love ya lots, Linda

  7. Tina, French Creek, WV says:

    I’ve heard the term “living with cancer” before, but I’ve never seen anyone “live” as much as you do! Don’t try too hard to keep a brave face when you don’t feel like it – kids can see right thru it. I think it would be worse for them if they always saw you with a fake smile on your face trying to make everyday fun, fun, fun than if you let them see that it’s not always easy, but you keep going anyway. I pray for your continued strength (heart, mind, body) and I’ll NEVER give up believing for a miracle! God Bless you all and I hope you have a great week!

  8. lisa maldonado says:

    Hi Andrea
    I was a lurker til now (I work with Bill R -your father in law in CA) I have been reading your blog since Bill told me about you and I feel as if we have alot in common ( similar ages and we are both old school- punk rockers) I have been really moved by the grace and soul with which you have met your struggle. I know how hard it is to always be strong and keep going. I admire very much the way you write from the heart and with such great and genuine feelings… and this last entry made me want to tell you two things which you probably already know: 1. it’s ok to be sad and afraid and it doesn’t mean you will feel that way forever and 2. it’s ok to take anti depressants- after all there are very real physically and emotionally debilitating aspects of disease and just as we take medicine to counter physical effects, it’s ok to do the same for emotional symptoms if they are so severe that they interfere with your ability to live your life…anyway that’s my 2 cents and I want to thank you for the many gifts you have shared with me- a stranger( til now) on your journey. Blessings on you and your family.

  9. Wendy says:

    I am so thankful I don’t have someone following me around with a camera moment by moment. While I have fun, laughable, snuggly moments with my family I also have my “I’m so distracted with all that is on my plate why are you talking to me” moments. We all have times when we are preoccupied and you certainly have alot to think about right now. The other comments are right. What will be remembered by your kids is the game nights, the trip to see Spamalot, the visits to the park and having high tea for a birthday lunch. They’ll remember you telling them to do their chores and homework, wear a sweatshirt because it is cold and treat others the way you want to be treated. They’ll remember that you pray with them and for them. They’ll always know that you love them and want to be with them. This is a difficult time for you and for them but as you said in reference to game night, “we all know each other so well. We know how to make each other laugh,” and they know you well enough to know when you’re not feeling well and to love you through it. It is okay to feel sad. Psalm 42:6 says, “Why am I so downcst O my soul?” Sometimes our souls are downcast. You don’t need meds. You are in a valley right now and it is okay. Our God is with you and is holding you and your family and all the memories of all your days together in his hands. Go read all of Psalm 42 and know that I am praying for you. Love you, Wendy

  10. Renee Khan says:

    Andrea who told you that you could read my heart and put it on your post.

    It is very hard. I know.

    I call it living in the shadowlands. I feel a lot of the time that I am not in this world that I am kina observing it from a distance. Seeing the interactions of my children with other people and with me not in the equation. I have to remind myself that even though I live in the shadows many times. I AM STILL ALIVE. I can’t disapear into the shadows yet, because I AM STILL HERE. I will be gone sooner than later, so I need to not embrace the shadows too much.

    You know that I have been going through this for 2 years and it is hell. I am not on anti-depressants not because I think I am something better or stronger than others, but just because I let myself go with that monster under the bed, I go there and it helps me put that feeling away. Instead of just keep pushing it down and waiting for it to pop up. I have to deal with it. It works for me. Read my blog of the monster under the bed.

    You have described me so well. I love you just because you are me, only in a different place and at a much younger age.

    I am sending you my tears. Warm yourself in them.

    Love Renee