One foot, moving slowly in front of the other. It used to be measured in miles but now I measure that same stride in feet. If not for the silly Fitbit on my wrist I wouldn’t know the distance. Amusingly my knees are still just as sore. And there have been times when I can feel the sweat gather on my hairline.
The doctor’s had told me one thing and when I discussed it with my family, it was a struggle to understand how to proceed. “Let’s remove the last bit of a tumor and hopefully it with ease the pain.”
Some risks I was willing to take in the last year have become harder because I let people slowly come back into my life. When I was only concerned about myself, I was willing to allow doctors to perform surgery on the street with dirty kitchen knives. It didn’t matter to me if I died or not. Sooner, later, at some point it is going to happen. Things changed.
My quiet fascination with a Disney show taught me something I really wish my daughter had been able to learn in time. People change people, that’s the secret of life. The obviously nuanced comments would go around how that happens and whether it is a good or bad thing. But that’s about circumstance, not just theory.
Now I struggle not just with walking down the hallway. Or wondering how much more I can ask of the people around me before I need to push them aside and bring in someone else. (Hospice people, not just the nurse who occasionally comes by the house to check on things. I need to be clear on that point.)
Anger stopped me asking for help. Depression forced me to confront issues about myself that I hadn’t handled and still fight with daily. The natural step is to be overly concerned with those who keep raising their hands to volunteer. Finally feeling comfortable with the two new additions to my life still means I worry about them endlessly. They need to feel wanted, appreciated for their efforts. I do the best I can, just like they are.
Look, everyone has experienced a family member getting sick. Not just the flu, but something that deteriorates with time. There’s nothing unique about my situation from that respect. But I know that there are times when for a few minutes, sometimes longer, these people make it easier to live.
They understand when I say I look forward to seeing my kid again. It’s not about them, or their place in my life. It’s about looking towards something in a slightly more positive light.
And what has been a major advancement, I have finally found that it’s safe to be upset because they are going to understand.
Life is always a struggle. There’s nothing simple and easy without a massive amount of effort. Right now it’s a struggle to get down the steps, but it’s nice to have a hand reach out to steady me.