Tuned Out

I am a bit tapped out. I am no longer processing, processing, processing cancer stuff all of the time. Three weeks ago my husband’s diagnosis was seeping out of my pores. I couldn’t not tell people. “Nice weather we’re having,” seemed like the appropriate lead in to, “yes, my husband has cancer.”

Yesterday, our daughter had a play date. The girl’s father stayed and chatted for a while, and I never mentioned it. Today my children were invited to a birthday party. It was a mommies stay party: I socialized for 3 hours and never mentioned it. With our next cancer confrontation not until August 9th, and my man’s radiation coming to an end, it has gone to nest (or whatever the expression.) There is still big stuff out there. August 9th will be an all day affair with a scary scan, MRI, pre-op check in, and appointments with both the medical and surgical oncologists.

We are preparing our kids for how fragile papa will be after the surgery. Our daughter asked if she would be able to sit on papa’s lap: probably not. I will order this CD for my man to help with his recovery and surgery. He is anxious and even asked if he should say something special to the kids before he goes in. He is processing. I can feel that thought tug at my guts a bit, but I am going to stay tuned out a while longer. It is impossible to be that tuned in all of the time.

I am a bit surprised at how I seem to be chasing my old life or some semblance there of. Normalcy is nice. It is good to be awake and aware but not all of the time, not every moment. I am finding the routine of summer to be wonderful in some new way- a new normalcy. Play dates and afternoons at the lake. Oysters, (my man is struggling with some as I write,) a suntan, and World Cup soccer, (I will miss it when it is over.) After the USA vs. Ghana game today,  my man told me:  ”I didn’t think about cancer once during the game.” Now that’s good medicine.

My husband has 7 more radiation sessions to go. His skin has hardly turned red at all and he says his tumour feels like it is dead: less sensitve. I think it looks smaller too. I still check in with my guy more often than I used to, (I wonder how he is doing, I never did this before.) Today, he seemed a bit pre-occupied. I asked him how he was and again I was confronted with his perception (sometimes I forget he isn’t me.). He is never without his cancer. “I am not 100%,” he said. I wondered if I am.

At the birthday party one of the mothers was updating her friends ( a group of ladies I happened to be standing with,) on her son’s chronic health condition. It sounded quite serious, and I could see the flood of emotion enter this women’s face as she spoke: there is something that happens to the muscles around the mouth, I have felt it on my own face. I also saw how quickly she reigned it in.

We are not friends, I am not even sure if she knows my name, but I see this women regularly at the lake. Had I not been standing by her friends this morning, I still wouldn’t know she had such worry in her life.  It is amazing the things that we can’t see about each other.

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