Yesterday afternoon the boys and I returned from a ten day vacation in Canada. We visited my family in Thompson, Manitoba which is north of the 55th parallel (the USA/Canada border is the 49th).
Today…I am crashing. A terrible, agonizing, emotional crash. It happens every time I return to the USA and likely because for many years our trips were so few and far between. I have been so blessed to have been able to make so many more regular trips in the last years.
It helps that my trips are always subsidized (my parents almost always pay for my gas there and back). While I am home, I have very few expenses so the trips are nearly free from any costs.
While I was sick, my trips consisted mostly of laying on the couch and watching the world spin around me. Those were some of the most healing days.
The previous trip was very quick, one day of driving there, two days of being at home and one day of driving back. It is just over 600 miles one way so a full day of driving. The boys are AWESOME travelers and used to the trip so I rarely hear, “Are we there yet?” This last trip they rotated places every 150 miles (the back seat is prime real estate when on a long trip).
The difference with this last trip was that we were there for eight full days (plus two days of driving). My dad took us all snowmobiling…something I have not done in probably six or seven years (at least). It was recreation mixed with science, geography, geology, history, community service, and love.
I explained to the boys how Grandpa showed his love by getting the snowmobiles up and running for them and taking us out for two rides. That he serves people in the community by helping make sure the trails are safe and that the ice is thick enough for the groomer to cross. Just because Grandpa does not go to church, does not mean he does not love the people around him, and there are many ways to show that love.
My Mom’s love is easier for them to see, she is on the city council, she has a great pride in her community and home. She is always helping somebody somehow. My Dad just does more behind the scenes work. Both, great examples of service and love.
Today, I am missing them. I want my mommy and daddy.
I could not help but wonder for a short time about what if that was my last trip up there. Thankfully, I enjoy living in the moment so very rarely is an opportunity missed. So difficult though to wonder if I would never be back there.
Definitely my happy place.
I refused to tell my parents of the depth of my pain although they both knew I was on constant pain relievers and they could see my agony even though I tried to suck it up. I developed another pain, this time it is in my elbow. It even hurts to lift a simple cup of coffee…that can’t be a good thing for many reasons.
So tomorrow, I need to go see my doctor…or at least call for an appointment because today I was crippled with fear and did absolutely nothing. When I asked Mayo Clinic what they suggested the local practitioner investigate, they recommend a overview of my symptoms and a complete physical exam with blood work.
I know it is a side effect of my estrogen modulator…I just hate that it is getting so much worse so fast. It is crippling me just when I should be getting back into real life and activity.
I wonder what God has in store for this leg of the journey; and I am thankful He chose me…that does not mean I am not sad that my previous physical body is forever gone. I worked so hard to keep up during my illness.
I coached hockey through chemo, I walked five miles a day throughout radiation treatments and was back on the ice in the fall after surgery and five weeks of surgery. I went back to work as soon as physically possible.
I am finished chemo and I am crippled up, I have peripheral edema, I feel like I am 80 years old. I beat cancer…and now it is beating me back.
So, the pain and the sadness…not a great combination for any situation. I am surrounded by an army of friends who would do anything to take this hurt away. They would do anything to ease my heartache.
Tonight I am overwhelmed to the point of having a headache (I never get headaches). I do not know where to start and only want to stop…so tonight, I am stopping. I expect nothing of myself. I will be kind to myself. I will take care of my body and my heart and my soul.
Tomorrow will start and we with it, another day to fulfill the purpose God has for my life.
Grant me peace, grant me relief from pain. Fill me with the knowledge that you are always here, and with my family and friends. Fill them with the knowledge that You got this.
Give my boys the strength to continue to have their needs met.
Give my daughter the tools to be the best mother and girlfriend, and sister that she can be.
Give me strength to be vulnerable Lord…to let the hurt, hurt.