Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 3

I think I might understand something a little better now...

When I was 7, I was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia). My mom and dad watched over, protected, defended, loved, supported, etc through 3 years of chemo and subsequent years of follow-ups and blood work and worry.
I clearly remember my dad asking me, usually on a daily basis how I was feeling. He told me to tell him EXACTLY how I was not ignore anything. I became very aware of my body and all the aches and pains associated with not only chemo, but also of just growing up. Even as a teenager, very much finished with the "cancer years", mom and dad would still check on me...see how I was feeling...make sure I went to doctor appointments...telling them and the doctors EVERYTHING.

Fast forward to me being an adult...even  now with 3 kids under my belt, my mom and dad STILL check on me. Usually on a daily basis. If I mention I have a headache, they want to know what kind and how long I've had it and did I take anything for it or do I need to go see the doctor. Then they recheck me later to make sure I'm feeling better.

Don't get me wrong. I have never seen this as nagging or annoying. I honestly think I would be annoyed if they STOPPED asking. I just felt loved. Completely and unconditionally. I knew without any doubt that every piece of me mattered to my parents. That I mattered.
I still matter.
Through their diligence, I learned of true compassion, how to truly support someone, how just the right kind and caring word or smile really has the power to heal.
I pray I can now put these lessons into action.
I think I'm getting a crash course.

Today, mom has felt "lousy", "rough", "not so good", "like I've been hit by a truck". She's been weak and blah. I told her to try and see this as a gift. When she's feeling lousy to remember that that means all the chemo is doing it's job. If she's got to feel lousy to get healthy...that's part of the gift. We want this chemo to hit the cancer HARD. We want this chemo to be BRUTAL with this stupid cancer.

So this is what I think I may understand a little better now...
How much mom and dad HAD to know how I was feeling at any given time. I can barely imagine how that must have consumed their days and nights. I say I can barely imagine it because I'm getting a glimpse into that mentality. If I don't know how mom's feeling before I go to bed, I worry. I think about her all night and it invades my dreams. I wake up feeling on edge. Then, I don't want to wake her so I wait until I think it's a good time to call and check on her. Drives me crazy.
Because I need to know how she's feeling.
I need to.

So I've asked (or rather commanded) her to text me before she goes to bed and when she wakes up. Just to get an update. And you know? If this starts to annoy her, I'll just shamelessly remind her of the 30 years of interrogation I've endured.
I'm sure she understands, though. Our roles have just now been reversed. And what a blessing to have had such an example for the role that is now mine.

Today, mom was "disconnected". (her new wordplay for the day) We are hoping this weekend will be a time to regain some strength and appetite so she can enjoy her "week off". I'm sure she'll be back in action soon. 'Cause she's "got things to do"!


Sonja said...

Love this post! Beautifully written. I am sure reading this blog will be a huge blessing for your mom. Your love for her is evident in every word!

PS. Does this mean it' ok that I bugged you with the "are you ok?" text yesterday? :)

Julie said...

This post made me tear up. I sooooo appreciate these posts and I think it will be a great outlet for you. I look forward to all the updates. And I am very glad that you are "bugging" her for all the details!

Quincy Sorensen said...

Dana, there is something really tender about this role reversal. It it so touching to me, and I know you will be taking the best care of your dear mother.

Natalie said...

Beautiful blog and beautiful words shared today. Thank you.

Jessica M said...

You inspire me Dana. Just you, who you are, you lift me up. I know if I were fighting anything, I would want Dana on my team.

PS - The blog design is beautiful.

Sandra said...

Mom [Sandra] here - thanking everyone for your words of encouragement and healing. Also, thanking you for being there for Dana.

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