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Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Okay

In the past 48 hours I've received 9 emails asking how I'm doing. I've been debating writing this post for more than 48 hours, and I may regret it later, but I'm tired of pretending that I'm fine so I'll just answer you all here.

While I don't feel well physically, emotionally I feel completely battered. I knew this was going to be hard, but I clearly underestimated how hard it would be to face the reality that chemo is now my way of life. That I'm never going to get to quit. That there is no hope of a cure. That I am probably not going to see my children grow up or grow old with my husband. That physically, this is as good as it gets.

I know I should look at chemo as a gift. It's supposed to kill cancer. But chemo hasn't proven to kill my cancer; it just makes me sick.

I'm tired of being an "inspiration." Tired of choosing joy, choosing gratitude. Tired of not knowing where we'll live or work. Tired of waiting on God to speak. Tired of crying. Tired of waiting for my hair to fall out (something the nurses neglected to tell me about this chemo even though it was the first thing I asked). Tired of being the girl with cancer, putting on my brave face when we go out in public, worrying about how everyone else feels.

I am overwhelmed with grief. And fear of the future. I don't know how to get past these feelings. I want to be a normal 36 year old whose children don't have to worry about their bald mama and cancer. I want to plan a life for us. I want to actually CHOOSE what happens to us next. I want to celebrate my son's 9th birthday and not worry that I won't be here for number 10. 

I think a blog break is in order because it is exhausting keeping up the facade that everything is okay. Everything is not okay. Becky mentioned on Facebook the other day that she was looking at pictures from our trip to St. Louis 2 years ago and longing for those carefree days. I spent the rest of that day crying because it feels like our family will never have another carefree day. And that's not okay.


50 comments:

Joyce said...

Hurting and praying with you.

Owlhaven said...

I'm so sorry, Melissa! Hugs and many prayers to you and your precious family. May God hold you all in the palm of His hand.

Mary

Jen said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this very honest post. It's easy to say we're ok when we're really not. Sometimes life stinks and it's not all joy and fun. Sometimes it's painful, sad, and almost unbearable. I think that when I take off the mask of "ok" and really get honest, my relationship with God and others deepen.

You and your family are in prayers.

Jill said...

I hear you, Melissa, and I second all those thoughts. I hate this for you! Praying.

Vicki Bridges said...
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Vicki Bridges said...

Praying for you, for comfort and strength for you and your family. Taking a break sounds good, but we will not take a break from you. Nor will God. I promise. And on those days when you don't have enough faith, then you grab on to our faith cause girl we are going to pull you through this. I promise.

Renee T. said...
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Renee T. said...

Shedding tears as I read this update and having extreme difficulty finding the words I am trying to say.....
Please know I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts....
Renee

Monica said...

Christ asked his father "why?" and he also cried. Don't fall into the trap of thinking it's wrong if you do the same. We love you and an honest blog post like this one helps us know how to specifically pray.

Jenny Sue said...

Oh Melissa, grief is a valid feeling and should be walked through and not ignored. I also hate the term "new normal" because there is nothing that feels normal about cancer and chemo. I will not try to fill this with flowery and encouraging words except to say that I am praying for you. I have walked through grief like yours and it is hard. I know I have never met you but our mutual friend Kathy and I talk about you often and you are often on my heart! Hugs from afar!

thewonderfulhappens said...

I've been wondering how you were too. Is it bizarre for me to say that I'm almost relieved to see this post? You need to get this all off your chest, girl. It is OK to be NOT OKAY!!!!

I mean, I wish that everything was great. I do, but it's just not.

Please take a break if you feel you need to, but don't take a break if it is because you think that we somehow can't take the truth or your real feelings. You remind us to pray for you when you are genuine.

Joan Bardee said...

Oh Melissa, Do not stop blogging if you enjoy it or get anything out of it. I am often stunned by your blog, thinking of the gorgeous pictures, the happy times while wondering where the grief is. Of course I knew it was there but couldn't figure out where it was. Thank you so much for this very honest post. I think of you every day and your adorable family.

Do what is best for you and your family. If it helps you to come on here and scream, then scream away. Hugs.

Beth said...

I will never stop praying for you, my friend. Words just all seem so empty when trying to figure out what to say. Much love to you.

Elizabeth Frick said...

Sending you love!

Brenna said...

Big hugs to you, dear friend. I am so very sorry for all you are going through, and I continue to pray for you each and every day.

Keesler Krew said...

Praying for you, which I know seems so trite and fake... but I promise I do every day!!! I pray for peace and joy in the midst of the circumstances.

Jennifer Woodbury said...

I love this honest post Melissa. XOXO

Louise S. said...

nellicDear Sister in God, 45 years ago, a physciatist ask if i had any friends to talk to. He said this would help to get it off my mind. My remark was not any I want to share. He told me to write my thoughts down each day. This is what your blog is, clearing your mind of thoughts. Please share with us, let us hear the good and bad, You will know someone is listening and praying.

One of Nettie's Girls said...

You do what's best for you. I think we are a tough bunch of readers who can slog through the grief and pain and desperation with you, but ONLY if writing it down helps YOU! I am praying every day for so many things for you and your family. I will do that whether you blog or not.

carolyn Griffioen said...

Hi Melissa,
You don't know me...I'm a just a faithful reader of your blog! :) Yes, I feel like a stalker! but I stumbled onto your blog while waiting to bring our daughter home from Korea. I have really enjoyed your posts...and I'm pretty jealous of your faithfulness and commitment to write down all of these memories for your husband and kiddos! A gift! For you as well as them! I am writing for the first time because you said you are in need of a break...and I hope taking a break will lift that awful burden of pretending everything is OKAY! I just want you to know that I have been praying for YOU since the day I started reading this blog! I feel like you are a fellow sister in Christ! And my heart aches for you and for your dear family. I totally beg God to spare your life and to let your precious babies enjoy a life with you and your husband!!! I'm not sure how much of a break you will be taking...but I promise to check in on your blog (in awhile) and I pray with all my heart that you and your family FEEL the love and comfort from our Lord right now. May His peace be with you and may HE guide you through this storm safely! much care and concern~ Carolyn G (not a blogger, just a blog READER) :)

Christine said...

Elizabeth said it perfectly... it's OK to be NOT OKAY! My heart is breaking and I have tears threatening to spill over as I type this. I wish you never had a reason to write this post... I have no words that in any way can comfort you during this time. Hopefully my prayers do.

Julie said...

Oh Melissa, your transparency, so real and so honest. I am praying for you, for your husband, for your children.

Anonymous said...

So sorry Melissa.
You take a break. It's totally understandable.
Know that lots of people are praying for you.
It's okay to not be okay.
We understand, and more than that, God totally understands.
I hope you sense his presence in these difficult days. He loves you and your family so.
Nancy Peacock

Kara said...

I'm sorry, Melissa. I hate that you have to go through this. My heart hurts for you.

Wendy said...

Melissa, I'm truly at a loss for words. I'm just so very very sorry! :( :( Please know that I am praying for you!

Tiki said...

Hi Melissa

It's ok to feel this way. You're human. So sorry that you need to live with so much pain. I don't know what to say but am sending a whole bunch of virtual hugs.

Tiki

To China and Back said...

Feeling for you, more than I can say. Thinking of you.

The Urbans said...

I don't have the right words for you but I'm praying for you Melissa.

MyEbella aka Kim said...

I'm sorry!

(and as an added comment... like the others said if you like blogging or find it helps you in anyway, we don't NEED to hear only the good! We are here to support and pray for the good and the bad)...
and I'm sorry that there isn't more to say than I'm sorry!

allie said...

Melissa, I'm not even sure if you remember me, but we were on a CT together a couple years ago. I've been silently reading and enjoying your blog for a while now. You are a down-to-earth mom who loves her children and many of us can relate to you. Your posts make me want to be a better mom to my kids, and not cause they're all happy posts, but they're honest and genuine. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with your readers. I wish there was something I could say to make things better but I know I can't. Take each day one at a time and know there's a lot of people praying for you.

Jolie said...

My heart is broken for you, Melissa. Continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers ... and praying for a miracle. I am just so sorry that you have to deal with this.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, my heart just breaks for you and I thank you for your raw honesty. You need to do what is best for YOU! Our prayers and love for you will always be here. ALWAYS...you know you can count on that! As my wise Mom once said, "I'm tired of being tired of all the tiring things that come along with this!" And she was so right. I get it. (((HUGS)))
Love, Claire Borrero

Anonymous said...

{{{hugs}}} Melissa, and prayers for you. Cancer sucks (hope I can say that without offending anyone).

Sharon

Kimberly G said...

Melissa,

I'm so sorry you are feeling the pressure to be strong right now. If ever in life we have permission to be weak, to rely on the strength of God and others to carry us through, it is now.

I personally appreciate hearing where you really are emotionally, because it helps me know how to pray for you. You are loved.

Donna said...

Melissa, as a breast cancer survivor and having bladder cancer 4 times, I somewhat understand your feelings. I covered up mine for the whole duration. Everyone thought it was a piece of cake going thru the steps of having and trying to heal cancer. Well, it is not and I am no longer going to look like it doesn't affect me. It does! I worry not only for my health but job security for my husband because I need medical insurance for treatments and doctor visits. Be honest with your feelings...we don't have to try to make others feel comfortable. Please know that I care and will keep you in my prayers. Sending you a big hug!

Debbie said...

Thank you for being honest about your feelings. My sister-in-law is going through treatment right now and like you always puts on a strong front. I tell her it's ok to admit when you don't feel ok. Love and lots of prayers to you and your family.

Lori said...

Praying for a miracle for you. I only know you from reading your blog, but I have nothing but respect and admiration for you. You are beautiful and strong and a daughter of the King. He is with you.

Brenda said...

Melissa, Our hearts cry with you. The burden does seem too heavy to carry. We know the Lord is there and has promised to share the load but as you have indicated just doesn't seem to be enough when it is you going through it. Know that we do hold you up with many others in prayer every day. We do know God holds all the answers and still healing powers. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I want to join in as well to say that we are praying for you...that this all stinks...sorry you will lose your hair again :( ...and again that we are asking God to give you great peace. besos...

Gale Bamman said...

Don't hesitate to ask your doctor for an anti-depressant.It sounds very much as if you need it. It won't make all you're going through go away, but it WILL help you deal with it.
Please, please, do get this kind of help. I love you and your family and I cry for your predicament. I pray you'll be done with this particular run of chemo very soon and can get a long, long break from having more.
Gale

Anonymous said...

I'm a friend of Adrienne Fleming...She shared your blog today on Facebook. I will be praying for you and your family. As an oncology nurse, I wish I had been your nurse to help you know what to expect with your chemotherapy...I tell my patients that I wish I had a magic wand to fix everything that goes with an incurable cancer diagnosis...I don't have that wand but I do have prayer! Please know that I'm thinking about you and praying for you. Take a blog break if you need it...the best thing for you is to be honest like you were in this post...Keeping up the appearance of being okay and strong can be so exhausting...(((hug))) Love, Alicia

Amy said...

I saw your post yesterday afternoon and didn't comment because I just hurt so much for you and didn't know what to say. I still don't. Any words just seem so hollow. I'm so sorry, Melissa. Like many others said it's okay to be not okay. Share what you feel like you can and what you need to. I love you and am praying for you, sweet friend. I wish there was so much more that I could do.

KrisJ said...

Good for you for getting this off your chest, and I know your sick of nice comments, I think I would be too. It is not ok that you and your family have to fight this fight and have these worries. I love ya!

Cynthia said...

Jesus knows what it is to be broken. I think that is what you are saying and no one can fault you. You know the scriptures, the hymns, the inspirational books. Your family is devoted to the church. With that said, Jesus wanted the cup to pass and so do you. You are in my prayers and have been. I have a neighbor who has been battling the same disease for 15 years. She has had years of surgery and chemo, but she is alive and she has good days between bouts. I hope that gives you some kind of hope. In that same number of years to come, surely a cure will be found. I hope that gives you more hope. Christ is our everlasting hope. I pray that He is visible to you in everyday. Your children and husband are beautiful. They need you and want you to fight, so I will pray that you will continue to fight believing you will win. (I am Laura's mom-she made Rory's shirt--Sewing for a Sibling). Our love, CMP

Anonymous said...

Have you considered alternative and traditional treatment?? My mother is having phenomenal success with stage 4 breast cancer (in the brain) using both modalities. Just a thought.

Gina Miller said...

:*( I hurt for you. And no, none of this is okay. I don't want to offer you hugs or pity or sunshine or rainbows right now. I just want to say I am thinking of you and your sweet family and I always keep you close in prayer.

Chris K said...

Praying for you!

Gill said...

Thank you for your honesty. My husband has cancer which cannot be cured, though at present he is feeling OK. I send you my love & prayers from England.

Krista said...

Oh Melissa... no words... praying for you and your family and that you find peace.

NINNY said...

I am Mandy Sawiki's Mom and I just want you to know you honesty and courage is an inspiration. Take time for yourself and by all means do what is best for YOU !! Hugs from us here in Massachusetts.

Xoxo
Ninny