Monday, December 7, 2009

I am NOT (insert 4 letter word here) SUPERWOMAN

For almost five months, I have struggled everyday with my own rotten version of reality. I have gotten out of bed when I didn't want to, showered when I didn't feel like it, smiled many a fake smile, and driven many a mile through a curtain of tears. I have painstakingly put one foot in front of the other. Most of the time, I haven't wanted to. I have wanted to sit for hours on a small patch of grass strategically placed in front of a park bench under a tree at 40th and Main. And, each week I have sat there. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with Bryce, and more recently with the parish dog who is really good at kissing away my tears and laying down beside me.

I knew that today was going to be a rough day. It was a rough day in history...a day that will live in infamy. And, today was my own personal version of a day that will live in infamy. My Dad has been down here for days. He was here to visit and here for his stress test. When you have had as many heart attacks as he has had, you get frequent stress tests. Today was his day for his. I knew in my heart that he probably hadn't been doing well. I have been around cardiology for long enough to know that you can't live through what my Dad has been through in the past few months and make it thru unscathed. I was correct. He chose this morning to tell me that he has 'been having some chest pain.' I knew exactly what that meant. Damn it. My stupid 6th sense and expensive schooling was right. So, I did what I always do....put on my cape and assembled all the necessary troops. Dad was scheduled for a stress test, but based on his very accurate symptoms, having another heart cath would be the best option. I knew that. I have known that. However, when I saw the knowing eyes of my favorite cardiologist and he asked me how I was doing, the tears came without a second thought. I was worried. I didn't like that my Dad wasn't feeling well. I didn't like that he lives so damn far away from a good medical center. And, I hate it that he is home alone with no one to keep an eye on him. Granted, Mom occasionally went over the top. But, I understand why. She loved him more than anything and couldn't imagine letting something happen to him on her watch. So, her watch is now my watch. And, I am doing the best I can from 283 miles away. So, Dad is set up for his heart cath on Wednesday. I have hand picked the MD, the scrub tech, and the nurse as I always do. And, luckily for all of them, I am not out of Xanax. I know that he will be ok. God and his right hand Guardian Angel will watch over him. And, I have Bryce and one of the best friends a girl could ask for to watch over me.

I would like to say that that is the end. But, I am not that lucky it seems. As we were leaving the hospital, my Aunt called to check in. However, based on the tone in her voice, this wasn't the 'checking in' phone call that I was getting. Something was wrong. So, after filling her in the status of my Dad, I found out her update. Her cancer is back. Last week, she had some routine follow up labs drawn. And, upon review, her oncologist felt that things were a little off. So, he ordered a PET scan. She got the results today. Her liver is hot. Otherwise known as, she probably has tumors in her liver. So, it looks like chemo, surgery, and more chemo for her. That is how she spent most of the last 18 months...doing chemo or surgery. Now, unfortunately, it is time to do it again. And, when it's time for surgery, my plan is to head to Atlanta. I hate the idea of her going through this again without her niece, the hospital navigator and advocate, there with her. Her husband has been a champ through the first round of cancer. However, there is alot to be said for having someone else there....especially when she knows how hospitals work.

At this point, my trials feel almost comical. I just want to say, "Really God, you have to be frickin kidding me?! I have had enough of this shit to last a lifetime." However, it doesn't work like that. He is in charge and I am not. And, obviously, right now, He thinks that I am Superwoman. I am not Superwoman. And, to be real honest, I am not real sure how much more of this that I can take.

I want to crawl in a hole. I want to drink myself into a martini slumber and wake up with it all gone. I want my dad to be well. I want my aunt to be well. I want my husband's life to go back to normal. I want to feel like a human again. I want to sleep without nightmares. I want to not worry about why people are calling me when my phone rings. I want to live some semblance of a normal life. But, obviously, right now, that isn't in the cards. So, I will put on my big girl panties and my cape and do what I can to be there for the ones that need me. And, I am sending a memo to my Mom that I could use a little whatever way she feel is necessary.

The other thing that was funny/ironic about today was the song that was playing when Dad and I went to lunch. It was a good old 80s love ballad....and the lyrics went something like this..."I need you now....More than words can say, I need you now." And, I thought to myself, how damn true is that.....Mom, I need you right now. And, that was even before my day got worse....

Tomorrow will be better......right?????

1 comment:

  1. Ann, it is really tough to all of a sudden become the one everyone relies on and to not have a mom to physically turn to in such times. I wish I could say that the void shallows and the pain eases with time...I haven't found that to be true. BUT, I can say the best of what you can do is take care of yourself, continue to do the things that enrich your life and that will keep you strong for other...most most importantly for yourself. Martini's don't hurt either! Sara