Several times today I have felt so weak and tired that I have had to sit on the floor wherever i was (usually the kitchen) for a while, until I got some strength back to either get to the sofa or finish what I was doing.
which all in all wasn’t a bad thing, since my roses from Dixon from Valentine’s Day were in the kitchen. George was as fascinated with the flowers as he was with the snow, but in a vastly more positive way. Everyone who walked in the house, George had to take their hand and lead them to Daddy’s Flowers.
During one of my “have to get horizontal” episodes today (which are very typical for post-chemo day four) I talked to a friend on the phone who used fancy platitudes disguised as physics quotes about objects at rest staying at rest and all… and said perhaps I was doing too much.
Like dyeing sample skeins of yarn to find the right color to finish another found old project… but that was FUN! It wasn’t a hard project, and playing with colors made me happy. So I guess it was truly not necessary, but good for my spirit. How do you decide?Stay on the sofa or make pretty yarn????
Or what about all the family care? People need to eat, and most of their clothes were still wet from multiple trips out to play in the snow, and Danny needs all sorts of things, and you can’t leave George unsupervised for a single second… Sure I could delegate more to Sam but he was studying and he took Brian out for lunch, and did a whole list of chores with the cars.. Brian, who usually carries most of the load had four hours of orchestra stuff today, and way too much homework… Some of the family care things can be left undone, or left for Dixon, and you know, even Danny and George can help out, but still, somebody has to be in charge. Thus, waffles for supper. You know my friend Maureen… she delivered 5/6 of my babies… she gave us a restaurant grade heavy duty Belgian waffle maker for Christmas. It’s not too hard to find somebody else to do the standing up in the kitchen when they can make waffles….
But seriously, though, how do you decide what to do and what not to do? I feel like I have already given so much up… I used to volunteer for everything, and be on every board and in every group. Now my only outside activity besides my book club is teaching Sunday school and I have so much help with that, they practically don’t even need me to show up. But if I did nothing, and just slept all day, maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much but it seems to me that very soon I would lose the little stamina I still have left. Plus I’d be sad and lonely and bored.
My husband and my children tell me that my only job round here is to deal with chemo and to love them. They say they would be perfectly happy if I didn’t do anything else. The only problem with that is that I haven’t quite trained them to do everything that really does need to get done, even if they think it’s not essential…. we are at a tough transition point, and have had long discussions about how to manage this as things move along with my cancer.
So then I find sit-down things to do… the color is TOTALLY not accurate, but the first of my Aunt Nancy’s Rosary socks is done, Luminous mysteries all through. Knitting is a good thing, it keeps me sitting still but also lets me feel like i am accomplishing something. Plus it helps so much with my prayer life, which is critically important at the moment. But again, it’s not simple. When I get a new blood clot in my chest, I can’t knit. When my lymphedema is really bad, and i have to be wrapped up from fingertips to shoulders, I can’t knit. And how do you prioritize a hundred people who would really, truly love a pair of hand knit socks made with 19,200 prayers, not even counting the heels and toes?
It’s Saturday. I didn’t play outside with my kids. As a matter of fact, George didn’t even go outside all day. I am usually totally caught up with laundry, but today there are only exactly as many pair of clean church pants as there are boys who need them tomorrow, not a single extra pair. I did no decluttering, wrote no thank you notes, and forgot to cut Danny’s fingernails.
However. (there is always a “however”) … i made it through the day of maximal cell lysis and death from this week’s chemo, the day when my body is most flooded with toxic waste from all the cells that the poisons on Tuesday killed. I spent quality time with 80 % of my children, and even more quality time with some insurance lady on the phone about paying for my blood thinners. Everybody ate, everybody got their music practice done, and George can now read the word “brother” …
How do you decide what is enough? How hard to push, for my family’s sake as well as to keep up my stamina and my mental health? How negative is the impact on boys of various ages when mama misjudges her strength and ends up a weepy heap on the kitchen floor? I know nobody can answer these tough questions for us, especially since it seems like the “right” answers change every day…. sigh. One thing for sure, it’s definitely time for sleep, I have like 30 second graders who know I am going to tell them the story of the Battle of Lepanto tomorrow and I need to be at my best for that one.
Love and hugs… and no, I haven’t forgotten about the rest of the sock (and not-sock) stories… I just needed to get these questions off my chest tonight.