Cancer makes me a little crazy…or maybe a lot.

When I found out the cancer was actively growing again I was completely calm. I don’t think I was surprised so I don’t recall even a skipped heart beat at the news.  I took it in stride. Made the phone calls, texts and emails I needed to make and went on with life. I got all philosophical about marathons. I was full of shit.

Then one night the girls were in bed, my beloved Science Guy was in the shower, and a Motrin commercial came on. I don’t remember much other than a little girl with the flu and her mother by her bed. They zoomed in on the little girl putting her tiny fat hand on her mom and I lost it. I don’t know what else happened or what they said on tv. I simply lost it.

I started to panic. I panicked that this new drug won’t work. That I’ll never see the tiny hands of my grandchildren. That I’ve begun the wrap up phase of this not nearly long enough life.

I got myself under control until a couple of days later when I was over tired. We were supposed to go to a hot springs with the girls but as usual we put it off. I’m not even sure why other than SG started looking up different places to go and it pissed me off. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew we were staying home. Staring at each other. Bored. Doing nothing. Again.

SG suggested we take a walk and the minute we hit the driveway I lost it. I didn’t speak to him for blocks and then when I did, I’m pretty sure he wished for the silence back.

I accused him of working too hard. Of never wanting to do anything. Of wasting the additional 7 years I’ve been given.

I brought up the 19-year-old complaint that we’ve never had a honeymoon. I told him I was going to die before we did. I told him I was going to die and the girls would have no memories of me other than staring at each other in our fucking tiny house.

Oh, I was on a roll. I was tossing the F word around left and right and generally making a complete ass of myself while he walked silently beside me occasionally apologizing.

And then I crossed a line.

I accused him of putting me at the bottom of his priority list.

He stopped. I stopped and looked back and the look on his face shut me up. He told me that wasn’t fair. That everything was on hold last summer while I trained, and went to, the marathon. Oh yeah, he went there. And he even raised his voice while doing it.

Then he reminded me how he’s trying to run two different facilities on campus and has no help and time for himself. Never takes time for himself. He’s right. HE is at the bottom of his priority list. Working is ass off and “where the hell are we supposed to get the money for some tropical vacation?”. At least he held back on the fact that all our extra income goes to keep me alive.  Yeah, I pretty much suck.

I think that was practically the first time in our marriage he’s talked back and stood up for himself. I’m kind of a bitch.

I apologized and tried to explain the panic of knowing that my time with the girls is finite and likely to end so much sooner than I’d hoped.

I assured him I wasn’t asking for a week in Aruba. I only wanted an afternoon. He understands as well as he can that I’m scared of running out of time. That we need to grab onto this time and make as many good memories as we can. That I’m afraid we’ve wasted so many opportunities because one or both of us is exhausted.

Life passes by all too quickly and it’s easy to push things to another day. But what if your number of days is unknown? What if every little pain reminds you of what could go terribly wrong?

And what if you take it out on the one person who loves you the most and has done everything he possible can to make your time easier? I wonder some days why he stays. He loves me but for the  life of me, I can’t figure out why.

We walked and we talked and I tried to stop freaking out. He tried to talk me down and in the end we had miles behind us trying to get my eyes to be half way normal by the time we got home to the girls.

I hope that in the end we both learned a little. I know I was reminded how easy it is to hurt people we love when we’re being so completely unfair and saying things we don’t mean in a dark moment.

And I hope he better understands that sense of panic that hangs over me as I watch life fly by and worry that I’m using up my good days.

I think I’ve also come to realize that the honeymoon I bitch about not having has maybe been happening all along.


14 thoughts on “Cancer makes me a little crazy…or maybe a lot.

  1. I’m hoping that the new medication is easier to tolerate and that there are many, many, many more wonderful experiences awaiting you and your family.

    • Thank you my dear!!! So far this one is easier – a few breathing problems but i’m going in for an ekg and a chest x-ray monday. Labs on friday.

  2. Hi, stranger here. I did a similar thing when my BC went MBC, except for the calm part, that only lasted less than a day. Then ranting, regretting etc. Hurting someone I loved came later. It is impossible to explain the dark places to anyone not living with it, I’m just so very glad that we have them in our lives, attempting to understand. I enjoyed your writing.

  3. We are all entitled to completely lose it every once in a while. Hope the new meds are helping. I have The Lady of Guadalupe candle ready and waiting.

  4. I tried responding to this using my phone but it doesn’t look like it worked. I hope I don’t end up posting twice!

    Our biggest failure as humans is our tendency to lash out at those we are closest to. Luckily, those who love us the most are also the quickest to forgive. You and science guy are truly in love and that IS an everlasting honeymoon–whether you go out of town or walk around the block and vent to each other. No one else in this whole world can possibly imagine the rollercoaster of emotions you have both been on over these past several years. Big hug to you both.

  5. What an incredibly powerful post. Thank you for being so, so honest about the difficulty, the stress, and pain of living with this horrible disease. This is one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen in some time.

    To your honeymoon:)

    — Jody

  6. This is just an incredible post that I’ll be sharing. It’s a powerful reminder of how cancer impacts those who love us. Thank you for your honesty and wisdom.

  7. This is a beautiful post. As if navigating the pothole filled road of cancer isn’t hard enough. Adding relationship issues to it makes it even more challenging. I’m so glad that you are able to express yourself! Best wishes.
    Hollye Jacobs

  8. Thank you everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t replied to you each individually but the weekend got busy. I appreciate each comment – mostly because, I thought about deleting this post. I worried that it might have been a little TOO honest.

  9. I totally understand and did something similar. I had thyroid cancer and kind of felt like my husband wasn’t caring enough and went on a rant too. I think maybe you just sometimes feel all alone when you are facing cancer and treatments even though we have family and friends around that do care. I guess it’s just a bottled-up release that explodes and the ones that care for us the most are the ones that get the brunt of it. I’m sure your husband understands…..afterall it was the cancer you were mad at and not him. Hope your treatments are going well.

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