I'm still emotional today. I've been sharing the relapse scare story with more people than I intended to. I guess I'm hoping that someone who hears it will be able to make me feel better. They can't but apparently that hasn't stopped me from trying. I think I could be in the beginning phases of depression. Or just overtired. Or both.
I've been wrestling with several issues. When Bailey died, death took on a realness that I never had to face before. The gap of where she should be is so obvious.
Also, after last week's scare I can't seem to get over the fear of "what if Grace relapsed," even though there's nothing currently to make me afraid. I did such a good job thinking cancer was a thing of the past. I was "moving on" and "happy" with how well she was doing. I was also ignoring stories from other cancer families and kept myself at an emotional distance. Pretending it's not happening/happened is not the same as "moving on" no matter how much I try.
Just the feeling, the reality of what cancer means, even though the scare only lasted an hour, has been a bitter reminder that I can't escape.
I've really been looking forward to Fall but now that it's here I've found it's brought a lot of painful memories. This time last year was when Grace had undiagnosed GI neuropathy. She was so sick that she refused a cupcake at Luke's party and laid on the couch vomiting instead. I remembered that when we were eating cake at his party this year. She had to be carried house to house to trick-or-treat because of the pain. This year's costume reminded me of that. Soon she couldn't eat, then she couldn't drink. We had dozens of ER visits, many of them ending with as many hospitalizations as times that we were sent home without answers. It was one of the scariest, most frustrating, and painful parts of Grace's journey.
I guess I should just be "happy" that now she can do fun things now, like eating birthday cake and trick or treating, but it hasn't blotted out the painful memories of last year. I am happy about trick or treating this year. Little victories like that are so precious to me now. But the memories still hold very real pain. Last year there was little time to feel, only time to survive. I've been reliving last year emotionally this year, but I feel if I were to skip that process, then the feelings would haunt me forever.
And finally, I'm trying to figure out if we need to move. I don't know if our home is safe or not or if something in the environment here caused Grace to get cancer. I worry for Luke's safety as much as I worry for Grace. Not only am I worried about if we need to move, but also where would it be safe to move to? And how would I know?
All of this, on top of the daily pressures of life, have been pinging around in my brain like a cannonball. There's little logic, lots of emotions lately.
I just don't know how to turn over my fears so that I can be free of them. I give them to God and they return. Maybe it's just that as a type-A personality I expect results immediately and that I have to repeat my struggles daily, even hourly, is frustrating. I know I can trust God. I know I need to allow him to guide me. I know that he sees my heart and that I am trying my best to trust. Still I struggle.
I've also decided I need to give myself a period of grieving. I'm allowing a season of sadness. I need to be easy on myself and allow myself to feel last year's trauma. I'm trying not to put limits on my grief but it's hard. Our society doesn't sit well with pain. It's hard to explain to people why I'm hurting and harder still when they need justify why I feel this way. Like me, they want quick results.
So I will struggle on, slowly, and ungracefully, but with peace that this is my path for now. I will dwell in the season of sadness until God has done in me what he needs to, and I will not rush.