A Year Ago Today

1/27/2011

A year ago today, I was almost 6 months pregnant.

A year ago today, I sat in a waiting room with a dear friend waiting, hoping, praying and doing a fair bit of crying.

A year ago today, my husband went through surgery #2 for his thyroid cancer. It had metasticized to lymph nodes in his neck.

Yesterday, we discovered that the biopsy done on a suspicious lymph node they had found does not have cancer and at this time is not carrying the thyroid tissue cells that could cause cancer. Doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be there later. But it is the first good news we have had for a bit. He will continue to go in every 3 months for blood tests to measure his thyroid globulin levels. (he isn’t supposed to have any thyroid cells, and if there are they could be carrying the cancer).

A year ago, we were not parents and I was one emotional soon-to-be-mama. This surgery led to a large scar on his neck. It was super scary to me…. to know that his throat would be cut open and how close they would be to his jugular veins. I was so scared I would lose him.

We were at UW for the surgery as the surgeon in Tacoma felt that my hubby needed extra special care to do this type of surgery and navigate the sensitive tissues and nodes in the neck. He wasn’t confident he could do the job since he didn’t do that kind of surgery every day. The doctors at UW do. I remember sitting next to him as they prepped him for surgery. They had a young resident that was learning to insert the IV into his hand. I would say he was rather inept as he couldn’t seem to do it. There was blood everywhere, and luckily Mike couldn’t feel a thing. Nor did he see all the blood.

The resident doctors, the surgeon and several nurses came to check up on me about 4 or 5 times. They could tell that this momma was super scared and looked really pregnant. I totally appreciate the special attention they gave me. On top of that, the surgeon came and spoke to me and my MIL afterwards to discuss how it went. Mike came out of the surgery and being that he doesn’t do well with the anesthesia, promptly got sick. I, of course, started crying again. Why they had me come and see him when they hadn’t even cleaned him up yet, I have no idea. There was blood all over him. Sigh.

I can only look back on that day with thanks. Michael is still with me. We have been blessed with a beautiful child. Though we don’t know what the future holds and we continue to pray and wait for the day we are told his cancer is gone, or that he is at least finally considered in remission….

We hold on to what we have now. We are grateful for what we have. Things may not be perfect, but life isn’t perfect. Life is messy. Life is difficult and challenging. But thats what makes life worth living. These perfect moments we find amidst the chaos where we are truly thankful for what we have and the imperfections that makes life unique and special.

Cherish those close to you today, and always. Even those imperfect moments.

Don’t forget to giggle!

Wednesday Worries

So being the person with Anxiety disorder that I am, I tend to worry a heck of a lot. Combine this with Bipolar disorder and my worries take on a stream of conscious type feel to them… worrying about a spot on the carpet somehow leads to Armageddon. Yeah, a bit of a stretch, but it does happen. If I let my worries carry me away then I worry about things WAY out of my control and then I go into panic attacks and things happen to me that I imagine are heart attack symptom related, though it’s not a heart attack.

So why Wednesday Worry day? I decided to dedicate a day to just getting the worries out there…. and then to let them go. Everyone has worries, but sometimes just sharing what those are give you a life, a sense of peace… or maybe a short plan on how to approach this worries or solve some problems. Some of my worries are lame inane things that really are stupid to worry about, and some are really viable issues that I think most anyone would worry about.

The list for today, the 25th day of January 2012, is as follows (in no particular order):

  • My daughter is cruising. As in walking using the support of furniture. This is scary since she practically didn’t start crawling until last week … and her crawling efforts are minimal since she wants to pull herself up and walk. Not ready for this yet.
  • I am worried about our financial situation. I need to help us out somehow, but is would cost more for childcare these days and I am not willing to work full-time just yet. Somehow I need to get my brain out of baby mode long enough to come up with some working ideas.
  • I am getting pretty down. Not my really low seasonal depression stuff, but definitely not too happy. I am afraid this has a lot to do with not getting enough recuperative sleep.
  • I am worried about my relationship with my hubby. I am currently super resentful of my husband. I am angry at the choices he is making. This does not make me want to be warm and fuzzy. I don’t really want to snuggle. Then again, when are we in the same room together for very long in order to do this? Not so much, and when we do, Sunshine is usually between us. Although the choices he has been making are mostly to deal with his own emotional stress, or the bit of down time he has,  his choices have repercussions on me. For instance: not going to bed until 4:00am in the morning because he is stressed out. He chooses to play video games or computer games. Thus he doesn’t get up until late. Thus he works from home. Thus he works way more hours than he normally would to compensate for slower internet workings here and interruptions from Sunshine. Thus I get no time to myself except the 7 minutes it takes for him to get her dried off after bath time and put her in a new diaper, whilst I sit in the bath a bit longer.Perhaps I am resentful because all those hours he is spending playing games, I am not getting to do something for myself. I KNOW that I need to sleep, so any spare chance I get I nap. No reading, no playing games, no fun time for myself.  Now, don’t get me wrong… Sunshine is fun. My hubby loves to point this out when I say I want to do something for myself… “But she is so much fun! Don’t you love her?”  Duh!  I love her, but if you spent 24/7 with her you would want a reprieve as well! If I hand her off to him, its seems an inconvenience for him, or it doesn’t last long because he says “She needs the boob.” Is this the lameass excuse all men whose wives breastfeed use to get out of caring for their kids? I found out that this is common and I am not alone. (Damn. Will have to rethink this whole breast-feeding thing next time around).
  •  In the same theme… I am worried about my hubby. His health. Mental health mostly, and possibly physical health. I give him all sorts of information to look at, as he is one of those guys who has to have quantitative (not qualitative) peer-reviewed research presented to him that supports whatever conclusion he wishes to derive from such things. I am not sure he really even looks at the information I send him any longer. He is a logical thinker.  Why can’t he see that he is not his normal self and that all this stress and worries is effecting his life, his physical health, his reactions to me and his daughter, and his energy levels?

Sigh. I believe those are the brunt of my worries today. Perhaps I am overtired so also over sensitive? Perhaps I just need to let go, or call in a favor from a friend and take myself to a movie? Perhaps I just need to get people together and go the Zoo?  Oooh!  I think I will take Sunshine to the zoo tomorrow.  Get us out and do something fun.  Yep. Year long passes rock!  Woot.  Well, until next Wednesday I will let my worries go for now. 

Have a great day and don’t forget to giggle!

When it rains…

It pours.  Yeah, I know. Currently in the great PacNW it is snowing, and you know what that means?!!  Two inches of snow and the state goes down in “emergency lock down” mode. Government agencies, schools, colleges and the like all shut down.  Two inches folks!  Plus, we make national news for those lame two inches because of all the Wuck Fads out there that can’t drive in said snow.  Thus, I stay home and stay safe, out of the asshat drivers way.

So, when it rains, it pours.  (or in this case, it snows).  This is my life right now. 

Before Sunshine, I never batted an eyelash regarding returning to work after having a baby. It was a foregone conclusion.

Here I sit, eight months in with a beautiful little girl, and I haven’t gone back. On the one day (Seriously, only one day) that I felt like “Man, I need to be doing something else. I need to have a life besides just being a mommy,” I ended up applying for two different jobs that happened to pop up and that I would totally have wanted and enjoyed doing.  I still feel I would enjoy these jobs… but I have changed. My goals professionally may be the same, but an added factor has taken priority and really is more important to me right now than pursuing this professional career. Who knew having a kid would change a person? I still am involved in a semi-professional choir (who happens to be the Chorus for a Broadway musical coming to our area!). I still am involved in disability advocacy work, though in  a much more limited fashion. I still love to read, to write, and to help others. But my focus was changed forever when Sunshine came along.

It is hard hanging around my friends who have gone back to work (especially the ones who never  ask me what I’ve been up to because obviously  since I am at home there is nothing new happening in my life. So they never ask, and go on talking about their work lives and so on. It’s like I don’t share anything in common with them anymore because I am not working but staying at home and being a mom. I’m treated as if I have nothing to contribute to their discussions). I have begun to find others who share the work life I currently have and share my day-to-day trials of being a SAHM. My old friends will always be there, but for my own sanity it is good to have people to talk to about what I go through during the day.

Sigh. I digress.  I have learned that with change comes decisions. Some big and some small.  I didn’t fully put my heart into applying for those jobs, but guess what? When you don’t truly want something, it comes along and offers you a chance.  Now you are forced to decide between something you could want, and what your heart is telling you to accept. Yep.  Both jobs I was called in to interview for.  In this tough economy, I think this is great and this means my resume rocks!! I actually didn’t go to one interview because realistically, driving 1 1/2 hours to work, ONE WAY, would totally bite the big one. And this is on good days of traffic in the Puget Sound.  Not. Going. To happen.

The other position, well… I have been in for not one, but two interviews. It is down to me and one other person.  I could totally do this job and it is temporary.  Only an 11 month position to go in and clean house for the disability services department at a local community college that is only about 10 minutes away from where we live. SWEET!!!!  I thought it was the perfect situation because they have a onsight day care so I could continue nursing and visit when I needed to.  A sign of the times, however, as they lost funding for the 1 month-12 month infant program, and thus cannot take Sunshine until she is one year old.  This is the status of a lot of day cares in the area.  She is 8 1/2 months old right now.  That means trying to find a place that could take her for 3 months.

I hate to say this folks… but it is not looking good.  I love my kid, as so many parents love their children.  I grew up with my own past issues of being left with people I didn’t know countless times as my mom had to travel down to Sacramento or San Fran when my brother was in the hospital for whatever reason at the time. I was left with a grandfather who was a pedophile and we don’t need to go into details there.  We know what happened.  So, I have trust issues with my own family let alone trusting complete strangers.  I want my daughter near me. I want to continue to watch her grow and see as much of it as possible. I do NOT want someone else to tell me she walked for the first time, or said a new word.  I want to BE THERE for those milestones. I am not able to leave her just yet. I am not able to let go when she clings so much to me as she learns new things.

Would it be different if the day care actually did take Sunshine? Would I be able to say yes?  I probably could.  This job would get us out of the “red” financially.  I am lucky to have a hubby who supports me no matter what.  He is reluctant to truly say what he thinks I should do, but then again, neither of us have an answer as to what to do for the 3 months before Sunshine could go to the college’s daycare.  We have lots of friends that returned to work, but their family members are caring for their kids.  We do not have family nearby to take care of Sunshine.

So it is down to this: Anyone have any ideas as to what we should do for daycare? Anyone have any advice as to what I should say if offered the job?