November 30, 2009
Sorry to have not updated in so long… I was on a blog holiday… in honor of Thanksgiving. Okay, maybe I was just really tired and haven’t had anything very nice to say.
I feel so ungrateful admitting that. In reality, we had a nice holiday and I got out quite a bit over the long weekend. Tanner is feeling really good and we’ve been looking at houses again to see if we might find a big yard to romp in when we can’t be around others (ours is a postage stamp). I cut about six inches of hair off and feel so light and wonderfully different. (I felt conspicuous in this family with all that hair.) I saw New Moon with girlfriends and laughed more than I have in a long time. We got a Christmas tree on Sunday morning and actually went into the outdoor garden section of Home Depot with both kids in pajamas (the only public place we have been in almost a month). Tanner ran all over in iCarly pajamas with her pale, bald head uncovered. It was a sight to see.
So, I should have had lots of nice things to say, but somehow I just couldn’t write them down. Whenever I sat at the computer, I wanted to write about how frustrated and irritable we all are cooped up here. About how Tanner is not sleeping, waking 4-5 times a night, sometimes with nightmares, sometimes sleepwalking. She is getting up consistently now at 4:30-5:00 am for good. About how John and I are exhausted. About how Tanner and Jake, once fast friends, can now not spend 2 minutes together without fighting. About how Tanner has asked to go back to see the play therapist because she knows her emotions are out of control and she doesn’t know how to fix it.
I know I should be grateful that our plan to keep her isolated and avoid any more hospitalizations during this phase has been successful. And, I suspect her counts will have come up when we go to clinic on Friday and we will gain more freedom in just a few days. I know how I should be feeling, but I just can’t seem to get there.
Instead, I feel irritable and cranky (have I mentioned I don’t stay at home very well?) and tired of playing 2- and 6-year-old games. I feel desperate for normalcy and a little resentful of all those people I see just romping about taking their freedom for granted. I realize that makes me a glass half empty kind of girl this week, but that’s just the honest truth.
Thanksgiving night, after having a nightmare, Tanner asked me what good thought she could think about while she tried to go back to sleep. I was completely stumped. What good thing could she look forward to? A playdate with a friend? No. A birthday party? No. A special event at school? No. A movie with Mom and a girlfriend? No. No. No. No. No. No. Six months ago, I could have rattled off five fun things to look forward to without even thinking about it. Thursday night, a full 60 seconds after she asked me, I came up with this beauty: maybe you and Jake could get your little stuffed dogs and make a little bed and house for them out of a cardboard box… and decorate it. No wonder she showed up in our bedroom 5 minutes later crying that she was still scared.
It is a horrible feeling to realize your child has nothing to look forward to but another day spent with her Mom and her brother in the house or at some abandoned playground, hiding from other kids and germs.
Tanner’s state of mind is evident in her play. She has played cancer nurse every day for a week. She takes lab tests, delivers chemo, puts me and Jake to sleep for procedures and delivers the bad news that we have cancer… over and over again. This week, the cancer has taken advantage of our weariness and has moved in to take over.
Tanner has just woken up again for the third time already tonight. It promises to be another sleepless night. I snapped at her when she showed up at the balcony the third time, telling her to go back to bed and refusing to come up again and tuck her in… again. I’ll go check on her in 10 minutes and help her if she’s not asleep. There’s no way to know whether her sleeping problems are physical or emotional. I’m leaning towards emotional since she hasn’t had chemo in several weeks. Either way, they’re exhausting for all of us.
So, now you’ll wish I hadn’t broken my blog holiday. Hopefully, I’ll cheer up or it will warm up so we can at least go outside. Friday seems a long way away.