I have been contemplating all day whether or not to write this blog. I kept thinking it might be too personal or that it showed weakness. But then I realized that someone out there might be feeling the same way and something I say might make them feel at ease… so here goes:
It’s AMAZING how much guilt you feel when you get sick. I feel guilty that my kids and husband have to go through this. Guilty that Richard has to take on more responsibility to pick up the slack for me. Guilty that my family has to see me this way. Guilty that my parents have to come every week to help me clean the house, cook, and take care of the kids. I never really thought about it until this weekend. I didn’t even realize it was something I was feeling. I knew at times I would get sad, but I never thought that a feeling of guilt was something that would surface. As a mom you already feel such a sense of guilt when you can’t give your child something they want. Or when you have to work and don’t have the time to spend with your kids. Or when you want to do something for yourself, like go to a yoga class. “Mommy guilt” is real! I know my mommy friends can relate. So now imagine adding a “sickness” to the mix. Mommies are supposed to keep the family together. So what happens when mommy gets sick? We are not supposed to get sick. Who has time for all that? So I try my hardest to keep it all together. I wake up and make breakfast and lunch for the boys. I dress them and take them to school. But what about the days when I am too tired to cook, to give them a bath, or to read them a bedtime story?
This morning Sebastian asked me if I was still sick and for how long I was going to be sick. I had to fight back the tears. I just told him that hopefully after Christmas mommy will be feeling better. There is no easy way to explain to a 5 year-old that after Chemo mom will have to let her body recuperate for 6 weeks before surgery. He doesn’t have any concept of time. But the guilt settled in again. I know my boys miss me. I miss them too. I hate that I can’t take Sebastian to his soccer games on Saturday because I can’t be out in the sun and I can’t risk getting sick. I hate that I can’t take him to the movies and I don’t want to wear a mask in order to do it. I hate when I lose my patience because I am so tired or frustrated. I even feel guilty about work and not being able to perform my job to the best of my ability.
So how did I fix this? Well I prayed about it. I asked God to give me peace. I asked for the courage to forgive myself. I went to Yoga tonight and I set an intention. I think I have earned the right to take a minute for myself. I have earned the right to take care of myself and make sure I heal my mind, body and soul, so that I can be there for my children in the long run. I acknowledged the emotion, forgave myself and let it go.
Something else that has stuck with me is that I met someone, who told me that some people/cultures believe that when you get Cancer it’s because your soul wants to die. I don’t know how I feel about that???? I think the thought of that just adds more stress, guilt and sadness. Before Cancer my soul was content, grateful and happy. I felt completely blessed and Thanked God everyday for this amazing life. It’s hard for me to believe that God would grant me all these blessings to just take them away. My God doesn’t work that way.
I am sure along this road I will experience a number of different emotions. Some good and some bad. I know I will learn something from this whole experience. I am allowing myself to take it all in. I will allow myself to feel it all, but I will not allow myself to feel guilty over something I can’t control. Like in yoga, I will inhale all the good and exhale all the negative emotions that don’t belong. Good-bye Guilt! Exhale….