Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Better Day

Yesterday was a bad day.  I woke up with a headache that hung around all day. I had myself a pity party and while I tried to keep my game face on for the kids, it was hard. I had a couple of meltdowns in the bathroom.  Thankfully I can brush off red eyes as allergies.

I got a call yesterday with an appointment for another CT Scan on Tuesday morning. Here's the catch. It's at 8:30 at another hospital, in another city. The hospital I am doing all this with is in a network with another hospital. So I have to have a CT Scan at the hospital in Ajax at 8:30 (factor in an hour for the drink crap plus whatever other wait time there may be) then I have to drive like a crazy person to get from there to the hospital in Scarborough for my MRI by 12:15. I actually dreamt about this last night, my stress being how I'm going to get that done. I'm going to tell the CT tech that I'm on a time crunch and hopefully I'll get through quicker. I was a little unnerved about why I have to have another CT Scan, this is news to me  but I'll just have to wait until I see my Dr. I guess I'm happy this is going as quickly as it is but it's frustrating.
Part of the problem is that I'm in limbo. I don't know what's happening and I don't have a plan of action. I am a control freak so this is a bit of a problem to me. I'm a planner and yet I can't really plan past the day I'm in. I'm truly forced to live for today, which is all well and good but I have kids who want to know when we're going to Wonderland. I have a vacation booked with my family that I don't know if I'll be able to go on.  I have a job that I don't know if I'll be able to go back to right away.

That brings me to my next dilemma. I'm sure I'm going to have to take a leave of absence but for how long? And because my union doesn't have a collective agreement in place, how much job security/protection will I have? I'm sure they won't fire me but I want to be able to get back into the same school and that might not be possible. I'll have to speak with my union about that.

And then there's Sean's job. His bosses have been fantastic with giving him time off but he's not getting paid for those days off. Eventually that will catch up with us. I think it's probably in both of our best interests for him to take a stress leave from work. That way he can be available for me and the kids without fear of losing all that money - stress leave would be paid.  But the problem with this is that he needs a note from our family Dr (not a problem per se) but getting in to see our Dr is difficult on the best of days. I'm going to call on Tuesday and explain the situation and try to get him an emergency appointment.

And then there's my mom. She is giving up her Red Hat's to be home to take care of the kids for me. The magnitude of this is not lost on me. She loves the Red Hat's. She loved the social life. She loved the connection to people her age, she loved having something fun to do - finally! It seems like my mom's life has been a series of 'taking care of' 's.  Raising kids. Taking care of my Dad. Taking care of my Grandma. Now taking care of me and the kids. It's not fair to her and yet I am so very grateful that she is doing it without my even having to ask.  I truly hope that I will be as good a mother to my kids. And I truly hope none of my kids ever has to go through this.

Today is a better day. It's hard to not think of it constantly and right now I dream of a time (though I can't imagine one) in which I won't think of this  as often. Sometimes days will go by. Much like everything else I've faced in my life; the year from hell (though I think 2006 has officially been toppled as the year from hell...I'm thinking 2011 will be getting that honour) losing Violet and our Christmas baby, almost losing my marriage, losing my Dad.....the pain of those times subsides and though I never forget I don't live, breathe and eat them anymore. I'm sure one day, the same will be said for this.

Cancer will not define me. It is but a small pit stop in my life. Some of them are good pit stops....lovely rest stations with cold water, clean bathrooms and nice parks for the kids to run their steam off in. Others are shitty little holes that you are sure to not sit on the toilet, you want to sanitize the bottom of your shoes before getting back into the car and you wish you'd kept on driving. 

But for now - I'm going to have to put up with this pit stop, make the best of it and look forward to the day when I watch it disappear in the rear view mirror.

Some friends came over the other night. My friends were having some flyers printed for us for our Relay for Life team. My mom and I were going to use them to bring around the businesses for fundraising - getting donations for goods and services. The flyers are gorgeous and I'm going to use them but I thought about how ironic it was that eventually I'll have to change them. The Relay is no longer just about my Dad. And on June 1, 2012 I'll be walking the survivor lap with my yellow shirt.

Yep, today is a better day.  I feel good, I feel strong and I feel happy.

I will beat this. I have to. I have too much to live for.


  1. Alan (Brian's high school friend)August 2, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I am touched and saddenned when I heard about you. I am also strengthened and inspired by your strength and determination to continue in your role as a mom and wear all the hats that you do in your life! Continue to fight. I, just like your family, are rooting for you to make it all the way through. Do no fret. You are not alone in this battle. People are praying for you. People are thinking about you during this trying time. We may have met briefly in the past but whatever hurts Brian hurts me just as much. For the record, I believe that the strength residing in you and through us will get you through. I am hoping, rooting, trusting that things will work out. Also, most importantly, I thank you for being who you are. You are one of the few people who try hard to be a good mom and a teacher to boot! Way to go.

  2. Jean, we're all rooting for you!!!! You will win this fight!!!!I realize I'm very far away - but if there is anything I can do, please let me know. We're all thinking of you back east and sending our love!! Love, Rachel McAdam ... I could only figure out out to post a comment as anonymous ...LOL :)