Counting my losses

Half term week is over, tomorrow we are back in the old school trod. We have spent half of this week in hospital. I have been in a strange, down kind of mood. This week off has given me a glimpse of what our summer holiday might be like and it has made me gloomy.
We did plan to go to the beach on Saturday, the only half decent day this week weather wise, but our day began at 5am with Vega throwing up all over her bed. She continued to feel sick, even though we dosed her up with two different anti sickness drugs and she was irritable and poorly. We had to abandon our beach plans and instead spent the only sunny day this week indoors moaning at each other. I in particular was grumpy because I could have done with a day escaping the laundry and dishes and running after Alys trying to keep her from climbing any old ledge. Of course being at home I had no excuse not to tend to my chores so I get even grumpier. I felt sorry for myself. There have been too many things I had to sacrifice recently.
But while I am at home, feeling sorry for myself, missing out on spa days, beaches and leaving my dishes behind, I realise that all this is just a very superficial cover up for the real loss I feel inside. I try to push it aside, with optimism, or just plain ignorance but on those sunny beach days, when I am not at the beach but at home with my silly complains I feel it.

I want to list it all, list every little thing I feel bereft off. My Vega, how she used to be and how she never will be the same and I will never know how she would have been. My baby Alys who is one already and I can not even remember her first steps, because I wasn’t there, how unfair that she had to take them in a hospital corridor, how sad that I sometimes even wish her baby time away because I just feel I can not cope with her needing me so much when Vega needs me so much too. And Lyra who I can tell is fighting with her own losses, and all I wish is that I could reverse all this so she wouldn’t have to grow up with this. The loss of two years while we are going through this treatment, like living in a twilight state, waiting for it to be over, waiting for life to resume again after. The inability to plan anything, because everything can change from one hour to the next. The loss of that careless feeling that comes with good health. The loss of hair even! Ah tonight I feel so lost in all this.

But I have to stop with the list.
I can not allow myself to wallow. I have to get myself up and face the music (dishes, chemo…) and count my blessings. I don’t want to be ungrateful because it could be so so much worse. And it is for many people. So tonight my friends, go away, not feeling pity for me and my wallowing, but deciding that tomorrow we shall all, well what? Carpe diem or something wise like that I guess.
And maybe I should start listing all my gains…

(Ps: I anticipate that I will receive many offers from you my kind friends to come round and do the dishes… There are dishes of course, but when I write about dishes, or laundry in the blog I often think of them as a metaphor for all my housework and chores and life altogether that keeps on going and pilling up regardless of cancer. It is astounding how overwhelming these simple chores can suddenly seem. It is as if I am paralysed by worry and as strange as it may sound I have found myself wishing I could just lie down somewhere, completely undisturbed and worry for a while. I imagine that once I have done that I can get up and then be ready to face the metaphorical dishes again. I suspect that it doesn’t work out quite as easy as that but if I get the chance to lie down and worry one day, I will report back to you.)


3 thoughts on “Counting my losses

  1. You don’t have to apologise for wallowing or mourning for your life before this or the life that you could have had before this happened … it’s natural and necessary to do this. You are all doing an incredible job and we are feeling constantly helpless for not being able to make things better for you guys. Sending you our love and hugs and sharing your worries.

  2. Huge enormous hugs for you Kathi. You are all in my thoughts and heart. I hope that you get that day at the beach soon.

  3. Dearest Kathi,

    do you remember ‘welcome to Holland’ an article – very brief that a parent wrote about living with a child with a disability (serious illness similar me thinks as it basically about loss) well maybe i gave it to you when i taught you – but am going to resend it to you. I have those words painted on my body map – i have them because i am now in Holland – not Italy and the loss is great. i have used that Mother’s words for many years – and she has no idea! i have used them with conviction and then 2 years ago i found myself in Holland metaphorically and they helped – helped me to grieve, to give space to the loss and ultimately find the gifts and joys and magic of Holland. you know i do not say this lightly, as what you are going through is horrendously traumatic and wearing. facing life on a daily basis is nothing short of an epic journey. I just hope you will walk when you need, sit when you need and lie down when you need. it was a year before i was well enough to get to a beach – when i did it was heaven – until then my wish is that you can just let every day bring what it will, scream n shout n cry when you need and say ‘fuck the dishes’ when necessary….. may all your children live in the experience of such a loving, caring, laughing, worrying, smiling deeply feeling MUM. your unique journey through this will bring you strength and speak to so many. vega speaks to so many. Hang in, hang on, let go and let each day unfold.

    you are loved and supported by so so many. hot stones and temple massage to you
    sue xxxxxxxxxxxx

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