Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Hate Running.

"Courage is grace under pressure"
-Ernest Hemingway 

Sometimes I see people jogging on the side of the road, and they either look serene and blissful, or they cause snarky comments to run wildly through my head.

It's not very nice of me, I know but I feel like it's ok because I did try Couch to 5K once and anyone who was unfortunate enough to witness that event certainly had those same thoughts about me. 

I did not look graceful, or serene. I "shlogged". I often felt like I was running in slow motion or the way you do in a nightmare.  I'm certain I could hear people thinking "Oh bless her heart, look at her trying to run... wait... is she running... or did she just get hit with a tranquilizer dart? Harold, maybe we should call 9-1-1" 

I'm not here to apologize to those I secretly make fun of in my head, nor am I here to apologize to those who just can't get the picture of me trying to run out of their heads. (But to you I should seriously apologize) 

I'm here because people keep telling me this about leukemia: 

Here's the problem:  I never really liked running. In fact I HATE RUNNING.  

I hate leukemia too, so equating it to running is not doing it any favors. We need to think of a better metaphor. Quickly.

We had an unexpected trip to the hospital last week. My poor husband said his bones felt as if they were going to "snap in half and burst out of his skin"and he couldn't walk without crying out in pain. It was terrifying to watch and to add insult to injury he initially didn't want to go to the hospital. In fact he threw a major tantrum about having to go... in front of my neighbor.  My angels were watching over me though and sent him JUST ENOUGH of a fever (and maybe a case of pink eye to hedge my bet) that forced him to go to the hospital. He wound up staying for six days.

When they discharged him yesterday there was a note in his chart that said the BMT had located a 7/8 match for him (I'd feel a lot better with a 10/10 and am still praying for that) and were trying to get insurance approval to proceed with the transplant by no later than mid August. This is both amazing and TERRIFYING all at the same time. Much like my attempt at running, I often feel like I'm a total failure at this whole dealing with leukemia thing. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and sometimes I just get overwhelmed with emotions. 

I'm pissed.

This is not fair, and before you say it, I know .....
Life's not Fair.

I know it better than a lot of people, if you don't know me and have just stumbled upon this rant feel free to go back through my posts and you will understand. I'm also sure I don't know how unfair it as nearly as well as many others do. I just don't get it some days. Scratch that.  I just don't get it period. 

I've had many friends tell me "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." I know they are trying to help, but I'm not worthy of all this trust God seems to have in me. I've failed in my words actions, and deeds many times.

I guess maybe I'm being asked this time to just let go and let God handle it, but my heart is perpetually on the verge of breaking and I really hate running. 

I'm scared.

I'm scared I'm going to mess this up. 
I'm scared I could lose my husband.
I'm scared my kids will become depressed, angry, or disappointed in me. 
I'm scared of watching my husband suffer.
I'm scared of feeling resentful that my life has been changed so much that sometimes I don't recognize myself.
I'm scared my husband will have complications that he doesn't even understand right now and will be upset with me for "letting" things happen.
I'm scared of all the uncertainty that makes up my daily life.
I'm scared people are judging the way I'm doing things. There's not a manual or a Leukemia for Dummy's guide for me to follow. Just some Facebook support groups and honestly those can either be a source of inspiration or a whole new way to worry about things I never even knew could happen.
I'm scared of dropping out of this marathon half way through because I just can't do it.
I hate running. 

I'm sad.

That my husband has cancer.
That my kids have a dad who has cancer.
That I can't do the things I used to do with my friends.
That I have to run. I hate running.

I'm Overwhelmed

With emotions.
With thanks.
With gratitude to my friends, family, and complete strangers who have stepped up, helped out, prayed, comforted, and supported us.
With hope for a future when we can look back and remember this and pay forward all the kindness and support that has been shown to our family.
With love.
With Faith that God will support us through our journey.

With the thought of putting on running shoes for a race I never wanted to sign up for. 
I hate running. I would never sign up for a marathon, but here I am somewhere near the starting line, with the finish line nowhere in sight, and I'm not sure how I even got here. 

I will run, or shlogg, and I'll likely cry out in pain many times along the way, but I'll get there. 

Thank you for cheering me on along the way.

God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Post is NOT about Cancer... But it's totally true!!!

"The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. "


Just when you think life can't get any crazier, it does. I know we all know this, but every once in awhile it jumps up and smacks you right between the eyes. Sometimes I think it even flips us the bird, or maybe that's just me.

This story is totally true, and actually kind of embarrassing, but I guess it also gives you an idea of how things are going in our house. I may appear to be keeping it all together, but sometimes things slip through the cracks!

Meet Ginny....

Ginny is our cat. She doesn't really like us all that much, but she lets us live with her. She doesn't ask for much either, aside from a warm place to sleep and cool water to drink from a running faucet, so never mind I take that back... she's actually a rather demanding cat. Her favorite hang out is our basement. I have told many people that she rules the house from our laundry room where she enjoys lounging on freshly laundered clothes still warm from the dryer. She spends about 90% of her time in the basement.

Meet Hazel

Hazel is one of our dogs. She also enjoys hanging out in our basement. There are three bedrooms down there, and a laundry room complete with a "catbox crunchy" buffet. Her favorite activities are being wherever people are, and chasing the cat.  She is  FREQUENTLY in the basement with Ginny. (Remember this part of the story, we have a CAT and a DOG in the basement daily!)  We also have another dog Delilah, but she is too scared to go down the stairs to the basement so she is usually hanging out in the kitchen hoping we drop stuff for her to eat.

So right before Brian went into the hospital we kept finding cat poo NOT in the litter box. Ginny has always been pretty good about using her litter box and we keep it scooped, but she is also very finicky so I told the kids to scoop more and put more litter in the box.  We kept finding "presents" around the laundry room and in the laundry sink. We wondered WHAT was wrong with Ginny. It didn't appear that she was sick based on her "gifts" so I didn't worry TOO much but instead wondered what my diva cat was irritated with us for. I know you are wondering where I am going with this, but trust me, I 'll get back to it....

Yesterday I brought Brian home from the hospital. Life is way better when he is home with us. I woke up early to give him his medicine and went upstairs to fill out more paperwork and take care of last minute details for Noah's trip to Europe.

Brian came upstairs about an hour later and said, "There is an opossum in our basement."  Chemo does weird things to a person and his eyesight is not the best lately so I calmly asked him to repeat what he said. He looked at me and said, "THERE IS A OPOSSUM SITTING ON OUR WASHER!" I honestly thought he was kidding, but I went downstairs and sure enough there was a FLIPPING opossum sitting on our washer as if he (she?) were wondering what WE were doing in the laundry room. It didn't appear scared or angry... it was just SITTING THERE!  

Needless to say I lost my mind and ran upstairs. I may or may not have ran in circles like a ninny for a brief moment. I'm taking the fifth on that one. 

All I knew was that Brian my immune suppressed husband should probably NOT be messing with the opossum. I tried to call my father in law for some live traps (that was my great plan) but he wasn't answering his phone so I called his wife, and she didn't answer her phone either so I called like 84 more times and they still didn't answer. So I just called my friend Michelle. She can usually fix everything. Everybody should have a Michelle in their lives. 

While I was making phone calls my husband went outside and got fishing nets and welding gloves and was arranging rubbermaid tubs in the basement. In a momentary flash of clarity I woke up Ricky and told him to go help his dad catch the opossum in the basement... I'm not real sure what I thought he would do, but he woke up and went downstairs to help out.  Ruby, Clara, and Noah had all armed themselves with baseball bats and were ready for battle if needed.

Within minutes Noah ran upstairs and opened the back door and my husband came upstairs (moving pretty quickly for a guy with cancer I might add) with a net inside a tub and a opossum in the net! He set his "trap" in the backyard and sat down to catch his breath. I stopped hyperventilating and went to find my camera to take a picture of our intruder but by the time I found my phone our friend had disappeared.

So after we all calmed down we started thinking about things and realized that IT WAS NOT CAT POOP we were finding in our laundry room! It was opossum poop! 

Ginny's food bowl is in the laundry room and we had both wondered WHY after ten years she had started moving it all over the laundry room, but we just attributed it to the fact that she is a diva cat and was probably mad at us for not filling it enough, or filling it too much...she's just like that. We are constantly disappointing the poor cat.  

Which brings me to my question of the day...


I have been living in my house
and doing laundry
while my husband is in the hospital
and there was a opossum living in my laundry room.

Think on that for a minute.
This could ONLY happen to me.

Hazel isn't off the hook either. Don't dogs have a super keen sense of smell? Shouldn't she be trying to protect me from the opossum that was living in our laundry room? Why didn't she GET the opossum? She should be ASHAMED of herself for failing to protect me from the laundry room opossum.  Feel the bad shame Hazel Grace. Feel the BAD SHAME!

I had a opossum living in my laundry room for quite possibly over a week.

I will not be getting over this any time soon. What if the opossum moved his (her?) whole family in there? I'm terrified to go downstairs now which is problematic because that is where my bedroom is. I may never sleep again.

Thank God Brian was home to handle it. He's always been my knight in dirty Carharts.

God is good. All the time. 
(Even if he lets opossums live in my laundry room)