When people see me out in public I would imagine they think something like this: ‘Look at that bald woman with three kids. I bet she has cancer. How sad for her, but she looks pretty high functioning and she’s handling three kids alright at the deli counter so she’s probably okay.’
For the most part they are correct. I am okay. I will live through this. But allow me to clue you in to a snippet of my daily inner monologue.
What follows is a glimpse at my ‘stream of consciousness’ thinking at any given time:
Why didn’t I sleep last night despite the multiple sleep aids I took? I am so tired. I’m definitely taking a nap today.
I feel so guilty that I’ve sent my kids to camp/daycare all day. I am home and have some relative functioning skills. I should be parenting them. God, I feel terrible about this.
But if they were here I would be cleaning up spills and poop and breaking up fights and screaming at them or the dogs. I’d be failing at making them happy. How am I expected to stop generating cancer cells when I am so stressed about ruining my children and being miserable as I try to not ruin them?
I wish my husband would help me more. But I NEED him to go to work and work hard because we need insurance more than pretty much anything else. And maybe someday we will suddenly make a lot of money and he will get his employee discount back and buy me diamond earrings? I would love diamond earrings…
Maybe if I continue to overexert myself I will legit pass out in a public place and will get taken to the hospital by an ambulance and get to lay in a hospital bed without moving for a few days. That would be ideal. No kids. Bedpans. Modular bed.
I hate my body for doing this to me. How am I ever going to stop making cancer cells when I cannot stop being a stressed-out mom? Why did I get cancer in the first place? Why me? I’m the only one of my peer group to have had a parent die (when I was pregnant, no less) so why am I also the first to get cancer? What the fuck did I do to the universe?
I am alone in the house. I should make myself exercise. Or pay bills. Or call one of the thousand people I am supposed to call back. Or clean up. But I’m going to take a nap. And then I will wake up and feel guilty, thus probably perpetuating the growth of more cancer cells.
I won’t have a ponytail again until I’m 40. FUCK THAT.
How do I finagle a trip to one of those huts over the water in Tahiti when this is all over? I think I deserve that. But who will watch my kids for that long? And who will pay for it? I have first-world problems. Think about that Syrian child in the ambulance. Perspective.
But I still have cancer at 36. And I still function rather poorly behind closed doors because I’m too proud to ask for more help. And my children will remember how I abandoned them for 6 months. They will resent me. I resent myself. I resent cancer. It took my dad from me way too young and now I’m suffering through it.
I wonder if I’ll ever be beautiful again. I wonder if I’ll ever taste delicious things again. I wonder if I’ll ever live a day without worrying the cancer is back. I wonder why my DVR didn’t pick up the Southern Charm reunion.
I am an asshole for not being better at thanking people for all the help they give me. Do they know how appreciative I am for that meal? That carpool they drove? Shit, I’m failing at that.
Why won’t these dogs stop barking? Am I capable of murdering a dog? I might have to.
Maybe I should try a tiny dose of the Grape God again. I’ll do anything to get some sleep. Maybe I just dosed it wrong? I wish Starburst cured cancer. I love Starbursts.
So there you have it. A tiny glimpse inside the mind of this cancer patient. Please don’t call DCFS or put me on a 5150 hold.
Wait maybe that wouldn’t be so bad…?
8 Comments Add yours
#1 You are still beautiful, hair is over rated. (I can say that, I’m semi-bald) #2 Kids are resilient. I turned out OK and had a real messed up mother. You obviously care… #3 I am glad my daughter is your friend. She is lucky to have you.
Well documented portrait of cancer turmoil.
Perhaps a different perspective will diffuse some of the worry? You are not your thoughts. Thank you cards can wait. Camp is not neglect. Rest as much as you can, whenever you can – your body is doing such hard work. You will definitely have a ponytail before 40.
Grace you are a courageous warrior and an amazing mother who did nothing to deserve this illness. Your children, family and friends all love you. Take lots of naps and enjoy whatever you can. This too shall pass and be a distant memory but for now keep fighting the good fight. The writing is getting better and better!! Think of how many people you will help when you publish your blog!, love Mrs. P
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i love your thoughts, each and every one makes you the bad-ass lady mama that you are. Keep on keeping, girl. all my love xo kat
I stumbled across your blog from a friends Facebook post and just want you to know that you are amazing. Sending lots of love and prayers your way.
I understand every detail you outlined. I’ve been there. Trust me, you’ll be back, stronger than ever. Keep your head up. And yes, you will have a ponytail again.
Thanks! Sent the video via email from Vimeo. I’ve never used that before so let me know if it works. Grace
Hi Grace. Wish I wasn’t reconnecting with you this way but I want you to know there are major positive vibes coming your way from the Lane house. XO
PS – i’m up too reading all your blogs so if you want to chat….