Sean is going back to work in just over a week. He's been home with me since August and I've been so very blessed because of that. He's been my pillar of strength, my rock and my boy Friday and I am so lucky that he was able to be here with me through this first half of my treatment because as unbearable as it's been, he's made it that much easier for me.
But all good things must come to an end and really, for the both of us, it's best for him to go back to work.
We've become like crutches to one another.
There used to be a commercial on TV that showed a guy sitting at a diner counter trying to put milk and sugar into his coffee and drink it. He was spilling everything, shaking, unsure what to do. It was commercial for a quit smoking campaign and the premise was, if you can learn to do one thing without smoking, you can learn to do anything without smoking.
Being a former smoker I can tell you this is, in fact true. You need to train yourself to do everyday things that you normally did while smoking - without smoking. It's part of the psychological addiction to smoking - one that can be just as hard to break as the physical one and if you don't break that you won't successfully quit.
What does this have to do with Sean going back to work, you ask? Well, it's very much the same thing. I've become overly dependant on him. He's been home with me for over 2 full months and I've loved it but in the words of Homer Simpson "I love you Marge but God knows I don't need to see you everyday" There is too much of a good thing (and don't get me wrong, this goes both ways...he needs the break from me and this life too)
My true nature is to be a control freak. That is why cancer is not a good disease for me to have...I have no control over it. But in all other aspects of my life, I'm a control freak. I'm type A. I'm organized, I'm methodical, I'm literal, I want things done this way (my way) the right way, always. I thrive on routine and structure and when I don't have that I get antsy and nervous. I can't stand lateness, ever, for any reason and dilly dallying when there is something to be done is stressful.
But all that has fallen by the wayside since the summer. I've let go control of things. I stopped cooking most of the meals in the house (I was developing a new love of cooking before I got sick) I had a routine in cleaning the house, especially those rooms that I can't stand to see messy. I was uncluttered. Now I'm tripping over shoes at the front door, there are papers everywhere, the basement is a nightmare....
And it's not because Sean isn't capable...or me for that matter, it's just that his way and my way are different and I focused on being sick and he focused on keeping our heads above water.
I've noticed lately the pain in my back. It's because I've lost all the muscle tone in my stomach (which from what I've read is a side effect of chest/breast surgery) however at one time, though there was a fluffy layer of Mommy/chicken wing fat there was some pretty solid muscle under that. It's all gone now. And 3 months of sitting on my rapidly spreading ass has made the rest of me weak too, including the back that I've been favoring since my surgery in July.
However, I don't know that exercise at this point is safe. I'm not physically in top shape. I am still technically healing from the surgery and injury to the right arm/chest can lead to lymphedema which I am desperate to avoid. I'm not sure of my cardio vascular state (which was never fabulous to being with) but chemo has effects on the heart (in fact I have to have a stress echo next week just to monitor my heart function) but I don't want to mess with that. And of course the fact that I'm not producing as much red blood cells and therefore getting less oxygen than the average person. All this equals me not exercising.....heavily.
But I could be out walking and now that my sciatica seems to have calmed down I can hopefully get out and do more of that.
This afternoon I decided to be "Productive" This meant not watching tv, not playing wii, not using the computer. I decided Connor and I would make muffins and then I would make lasagna for supper. I also thought I'd tackle the growing heap of laundry in my room. (oh, this is where I mention that when Sean doesn't do the laundry my mom does so I think since July I may have done 4 loads in total myself...yeah, I know, pathetic!)
Well, Connor ditched me for some McDonald's Playland time with his cousin so while Sean had his time doing his thing I made a batch of Zucchini Pineapple Muffins, got the lasagna prepped and into the oven and got 3 loads of laundry done.
I was productive. And it felt great!! And I did it all without Sean's help. I felt normal, like me again.
And now it's 10 pm and my back is killing me from standing for so long in the kitchen (oooh, a whole 2 hours) and I'm exhausted. Pathetic.
But it's a start. Because in just over a week, when Sean goes back to work I'm going to have to find ways to fill my days, especially the mornings when Connor is at school, with something productive, something routine, something normal, something organized....something me.
And I think it will be good for me.