How cute are these girls? I mean seriously... I can't even handle it
Also, since I missed music monday yesterday (I was just too tired), here is a cover to make y'all a little nostalgic. :) Just ignore the cheesy graphics. Apparently the people who like this song have not gotten very creative. ha!
Today, I reached my breaking point. Through the planning, the focusing on the good parts, the trying to tell my family/others why it's not that bad, and everything else, I have not allowed myself to feel. Today, with one bump to the ankle, I felt everything. That moment of pain brought every experience back to me: the surgery, the pain, the restlessness, the frustration, the fear, the falls (klutzy people do not belong on crutches), the financial anxiety. On top of that came the new information: this could keep happening over, and over, and over. I have been asked what else I can do to lower the recurrence rate. Sadly, my options are not good. Bone cement could cut through the bone into my joint, and I would be limited in activities for the rest of my life. Chemo... it's chemo. The side effects are endless. So we go into this surgery just hoping to be part of the other 50% who are healed after the bone graft, and pray it will be the last time. These were the thoughts and images that rushed to my brain upon that moment of impact this morning. So I wept. Uncontrollably. It was that gasping, semi snotty, face contorting blubbering where you are too embarassed to see yourself let alone let anyone else see you. Despite that, I ended up finding James because I couldn't stop. I love James. Very much. He let me sob and tell him how much I didn't want this until it all worked out of my system and simply held me and told me how he understood. I needed that. I realized how much that has been missing.
I know I can't expect people to react the way that I need. I just am feeling baffled and lost when it comes to the responses of so many people close to me. I have gotten everything from the indifferent ("bummer" and "well isn't it easy the second time around"), to the cliche ("god is in control" and "others have it so much worse"), or even having someone express how much it will effect THEM (apparently my pain is just too painful for someone ELSE to experience). I don't need anyone to fix this for me... I'm a fixer, I'm a planner, I can hold my own and honestly, nobody could work these details better. I don't need to be told to be reminded that I'm not a child soldier or that at least it's not cancer. 1) I am familiar with other people having WAY worse crap going on in the world. The big picture is not a mystery to me. 2) Why yes, I have considered the fact that benign is better than malignant. 2b) However, cancer or no cancer, bone tumors eat away your bone until it's so weak it could crack in half while I was walking down the street, and leave much of the rest hollow. So yes... it's still a big deal. I am also 100% aware that God has a plan, God will take care of me, and anything else people care to share with me about God. I have a relationship with the Lord, he & I have been down this road before, and I trust all of that. I just don't like it, and choose to tell God that. I don't think that God has a problem with that, so perhaps everyone else should be ok with that too. I get that I have been through this before, and even said myself that recovery will be more manageable this time around. That doesn't make this any easier. That doesn't make it any less of a stress or a burden. In fact, in many ways, I don't see how people don't understand a second time is not going to be better. It's worse... IT'S BACK. AGAIN.
I don't know what it is. Maybe people don't know how to respond. Maybe people are selfish or not listening. Maybe some people have smaller IQ's than I care to admit. Maybe people think I deserve it. Likely all of the above.
I guess right now I just need to be allowed to feel. I have been through my fair share of bullshit in life, I am handed that end of the stick, I know how to get through it. I'm not always graceful, but I make it, and I'm proud of it. I just am tired of being told how to see things, how to feel, how to react. I know better than most of you because I know what I'm facing, and I know myself. So I guess, selfishly, for now, if you can't let feel this, experience this, and scream a bit through the emotional rollercoaster of these next few months, I ask this:
Please just shut up and leave me alone. You are no help.
I am pretty sure that I should never have admitted to being able to see the positive side of things. I feel like ever since I publicly expressed those words, the world has taken that as a challenge. Tumor is mocking me. I got crazy sick and had to call off on one of the worst days possible. Today was my first day back after both the announcement of the tumor and having to call off. This is the day that Kate decides that it would be a good idea to step onto my ankle (precisely over my tumor), and then proceed to launch off of it. I now have to spend the next few days icing, taking it as easy as possible, and then hoping the pain goes away by Monday. If not, I have to get more x-rays and make sure the weight didn't cause a fracture or anything else and have to move up my surgery. That has no silver lining.
What I need now is people to tell me funny stories, send me funny pictures, or remind me that my birthday might actually be fun this year. On that note, I found out the museum we are going to on my birthday has free wheelchairs. Lame, but completely awesome. No pain on my big day. :) Yay!
And now something to make us all smile:
I think I need to call on him to help me out tomorrow!
Last night I felt sick. Very very sick. Headache, muscle pain, fatigue, abdominal cramps, nausea, and so forth. I was up throughout most of the night. After a total of 4 hours of sleep pieced together here and there, I am sitting up in bed, typing away, as I couldn't waste another minute trying to sleep. Symptoms are less severe but still very much alive and kicking. I'm bummed I feel this way and am not having my special Allie day today. Blerg. James... well he is James and thinks people shouldn't call ofo work unless they are on their deathbed, so he is likely a bit grumpy with my being home. I'm currently alternating between grumbling at God and then just laughing at my life.
I'm unsure how this happened. There is a pretty good chance it's from an unfortunate raw chicken cutting board/knife meets innocent veggies incident on Sunday night. After reading and talking to some friends, I am aware there is also a good chance my body flipped out from stress of my upcoming surgery, since I have not let my brain do that yet. I don't want to mope, or wallow, or anything of that sort. However, I think it would be good to slow down today, to take in everything that is happening. I need to momentarily mourn the things that deep down I'm sad about. I still need to process the fear that I have going into this next season. As I said to a friend last night, even David yelled at God. I'm sorry God, I know you have a plan, but today I plan to let you know I neither understand, nor do I like it. In the end I will trust it, but today I merely ask "WHY"?
Despite what I have said above, I again feel the need to explain why these are still some of the best of times: 1. Even though I feel like I am a bit of a burden right now, I have a wonderful job that I love 2. James has begun his last year in the this Brandeis program. He is doing well and next year is looking promising. Also, he is a truly great husband. Also, I think with some practice he could be America's Favorite Dancer. Triple Threat! 3. I live in Boston. Need I say more? 4. I have far better friends than I need or deserve. They are kind, generous, thoughtful, and I love them very much 5. Thanks to the internet, the Muppets are available to make me laugh anytime I need
Ok, I will admit it, I do want to read the book. However, this quote REALLY made me laugh.
"I was gonna watch "Eat Pray Love" but realized that if I wanna see rich, self-righteous women, who travel the world "to find themselves" and not actually help anyone, I would just drive around south Orange County."
Lately I have spend\t a lot of time thinking about the things that we romanticize here in the US. It troubles me what we consider to be important, ideal, and successful.
So, as I stated yesterday, I am choosing to focus on the silver lining. I can handle the cloud. The cloud is big, the cloud is getting in the way of many things, but I can handle it. However, in the spirit of being honest, there are a few times a day where a little pity rain will fall from that cloud and splash me in the face. They typically are easy to move on from, so I am allowing myself to soak them up for a moment before stepping out of the rain. Here are a few droplets...
*I love the Fall. I have been looking forward to fall returning ever since last January! It is my favorite season and this is the best place to experience it. As this season is creeping in, I am now having to limit my activity in order to make it to the surgery. I then will spend the rest of the season with my leg up. Basically my rest starts now
*James and I had been planning our first real vacation (non-working, non-family), aside from our honeymoon, in 6 years. I love to travel, I love spending time with him, and yet we simply have not had the means to take even a weekend away together. We were supposed to go to Montreal over the holidays to snowshoe, frolic, and just BE. I'm deeply sad to be losing that opportunity.
*We have just now stabilized financially from my LAST surgery.... I was excited to finally spend $ once in awhile without feeling guilt! Now I'm back to wondering if I ask for living essentials for my birthday/christmas and sad that I can't seem to find a time where I can just go to the movies or buy those hilarious baby manatee socks without great debate.
* I was enjoying jogging. Needless to say, that will be put off for awhile. ha!
*There is also that pesky "don't put your foot down for a few months" thing.
So I soak it in, step out of the rain, dry off, and try to look at the silver lining again. I think this will happen daily for awhile. I'm hoping That will change though. Especially when I remember things like my new excuse to use the motorized shopping carts. Weeeee!
If I could think of the biggest thing that I would thank God for besides James and this whole "giving me life" thing, I would have to say it is my ability to laugh no matter the circumstance. I am human, I have my meltdowns, I can live in a stressball fog, but overall I can smile, I can laugh, and I can find that silver lining. My current giggles come as I chat with Mary Ginty over IM, wowed by crutch carry on pouches and price comparing the Elasto-Gel Crutch-Mate I.
That's right folks. I am currently planning for another 1/4 of my life to be spent on crutches, and for the return of the infamous "das boot" (thank you Stephen). My tumor has returned and I will be heading into surgery on October 6. While I deeply wish that this was not happening, I am already finding that my cloud is as silver lined as it could possibly be when a future of clacking around on those damn aluminum sticks is heading my way.
To begin, I have been through this before, so I know what is coming. I have time to prepare, and I know HOW to prepare. We won't be leaving 5 days after surgery to drive everything we own across country. I know that I will have work once I am better. I already know how to use crutches, so awkward hospital crutch teacher man won't have an opportunity to look at my butt while he helps tie my gown and assumes my husband didn't catch what he did. See! All good things. ;) ha!
I am very blessed with amazing friends. Jen Smith has generously agreed to come live with us during my recovery and cover me at work. This makes me so happy because I love the girls and want them to be in good hands! It also will be nice to have someone to spend time with during this next venture into gimp life. My email inbox has already been flooded with offers of food, help, support, and visits. My employers have been very understanding. I love the people in my life. :)
I currently am making my lists of projects, movies, books, etc, that I have not had time for this year. I figure that should help the "lost" time feel somewhat worth it. I am open to suggestions. :) Times like this I thank God that I am a planner. I feel confident that this time will go smoothly. I feel worse about taking time away from my job than I do anything else within this situation, but even that seems to be coming together the best it can. Within 24 hours of my tumor being confirmed, so much has come through. My lists are growing: paper work to fill out, insurance/disability questions, shopping to be done. I do not think the next few months will be easy, but I know it will work out.
The fear does creep in from time to time. The surgery itself and the week after was one of the most miserable times of my life. However, I know that time will pass. I will adjust to having to fully wake up in order to safely crutch to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The weight eventually does start to come off once I start walking again. Finances will be extremely tight but as always we will get by. And so on, and so forth.
I have been asked many questions, and likely will get a few more after this. I plan to answer them. However, I first plan to watch a movie and take a nap. :) For those who were wondering, check back later and I'll share more.