One of my adult daughters was in town the other day. They ran into someone who casually knows our family. They were talking and the topic of me came up. The inevitable question came up, “How’s your mom doing?”.
I’ve told you before that the “How’s your mom doing?” question is always kind of hard on my kids. They never quite know if this is a reference to being a young widow or about my ongoing issues with thyroid cancer. So they all stumble through with some sort of answer and are again reminded that I have cancer.
This person went on to say it’s really nice that I am able to have to watch grandkids occasionally so I have “something to do”. HA!! If they only knew how often I watch grandkids…how often I have crazy days filled with family like you have all been reading about recently…how I’m fostering pups…how much I host family here…how much I sew, garden, and cross stitch. I’m not a person who ever will need to worry about “having something to do”.
As a family, we completely and totally ignore my health issues until we absolutely can’t…like the day before I go back for a check-up. Everyone in the family treats me completely and totally normal day to day. So much so that we end up with crazy days filled to the brim. I love it.
I had a sweet blog reader write that she was afraid I was overdoing it. I have family here so much. I have the dogs and now fostering dogs. She thought I’m just too busy and not taking care of myself. She was sure I needed to slow down.
That is two completely different perspectives…I have a casual friend who… doesn’t read the blog worried but happy I have something to keep myself busy who has no idea I am actually busy and I have blog readers who are concerned that I don’t slow down because they see by reading the blog I am truly busy.
Here’s the long and short on my health issues. Right now, I’m sitting about as good as I can with my cancer. I’m not in remission. I will never be but my case looks about the best it has in five years. Outside of the really crappy first few months of this year during treatment, I’ve felt completely normal. I don’t have pain. I don’t have tiredness or fatigue due to cancer. I’m really a pretty normal 56-year-old woman even though I do have cancer.
However, I am fully aware that the likelihood that my cancer is just hiding out for a while and will come back is a real possibility and in reality, likely. They will likely be able to do some kind of treatment again…but they might not be able to. I am pretty certain I won’t see my 80s, and might not see my 70s but I’m feeling a little more confident that I will make it to my 60s…even that isn’t guaranteed.
I follow a couple of Facebook groups that are for people with my type of cancer. Things there aren’t pretty. They talk about meds and reactions to meds that make a person wonder if they want to even try the meds because the side effects are TERRIBLE. I’ve already talked to my kids and told them, I might try the drugs if it comes to that, but if my quality of life isn’t good…I’ll quit taking them and die peacefully. I won’t put them through that and I won’t put myself through that.
Now I’m feeling good. I’m happy. I don’t want to live my life resting and sitting on the couch…If my cancer kicks back in and things get ugly, I’ll have plenty of time for that then.
Right now I want to be active. I want to live my life with a full gas tank. I want to see my kids and my grandkids as much as I can.
Back when I was in my 20s my husband and I talked and decided I would be the stay-at-home mom. He’d work extra so I could. We quickly learned, for us, that worked. We didn’t mind forgoing vacations and doing things ourselves rather than hiring things out. The kids and our family were at the very top of the list of things we want from life. Yes, there were sacrifices along the way but they were totally worth it because now, I am reaping the benefit of it all.
Yes, my stuff gets set aside often but that is the way I’ve lived my entire life having my kids call me…having close relationships with them…having close relationships with our grandkids…ALL WORTH IT.
I want my family. I want the grandkids. I want everything that comes with it…even the crazy days…the days that don’t go as planned…the days when my stuff gets set aside.
The reality of it all is that if I die tomorrow, my grandkids are so young that they likely won’t remember me much…I want to pack every minute in with them that I can in hopes that they will remember time spent at my house…grandma’s pizza…grandma’s puppies…and being at my house but mostly a feeling that they were deeply loved.
I love that my home is the gathering place for everyone.
Here Karl and Carver are playing a new game I got. They just love it. I’ll tell you more about it in an upcoming blog post. I love that we all, young and old hang out together.
Besides, if I’m busy I sleep better at night. I don’t miss my husband as much. I don’t feel alone. The trade-off is WONDERFUL!!
I so appreciate the blog reader watching out for me. It was so sweet that you took the time to write and tell me you cared about me. I thank you for that…but I’ll take a day wild and crazy over a day on the couch any day. I’ll take family time over me time. Long ago at the start of the “Kramer family”, Kramer and I decided -family first…It was a decision for us both that will last our lifetimes.