Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving was hard for me. I cried a lot that day. I feel like I can sort of understand people who hate holidays or certain days...I never really got it before. "Can't they just let the rest of us celebrate and not begrudge our fun?" Even the innocent, well-wishing phrase of "Happy Thanksgiving!" that all the nurses or even random strangers said to me made me hurt inside. No, it wasn't happy and this certainly wasn't Thanksgiving. Every happy holidayer just reminded me of what I didn't have. I didn't have normalcy. I didn't have my children with me.  We didn't have ANY family around us or good friends even.  We didn't have the time or energy to cook a nice meal, we didn't even have a kitchen to cook it in. Usually in the worst of days I have at least my bed and warm house to be grateful for, but sitting in a chair in the hospital, I didn't even have that.  During my bedtime prayer Thanksgiving morning (since we were going to bed at 2:30am that morning after being admitted in the hopsital) I saw the irony in my inability to express much that I was thankful for, my heart was full of sorrow and longing for the things and people I didn't have.  Irony and ingratitude. Deep down I knew I was still lucky and blessed. I knew there were far worse scenarios I could be living out. But during that early morning hour I was too tired to change my attitude and resolved to take some time later that day to feel more grateful.

In the morning things didn't really look at better automatically. Sometimes that happens, but not that day. We found out the Gwen was sick and threw up some during the night. This made my heart ache even more because she's never really been stomach sick before, never thrown up and I worried she might be scared, that she might just want to be held... and I wasn't there to hold her. The hospital doctors and nurses came to give us the lab results and Chris' counts were down, he needed another unit of blood.  The light that we started to maybe imagine seeing during the last two days seemed to have died out. Chris morphed into his hospital self and basically laid in bed either pretending to sleep or silently flip through TV channels.  We watched a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade and chatted occasionally about the pointlessness of it, or wondered at our inability to recognize any of the 'featured people.'

By 2:00pm, I was feeling so gross and down I had to get out, go back to the apartment do some laundry and shower. I cried during the whole drive home, my shower and my bed rest while I waited for my clothes in the dryer. Alright, enough! Now was the time to change my attitude. I think I had given myself plenty of time to sorrow.  I spent some time reading, thinking and writing in my journal and slowly I could feel my attitude change. We really do have so much to be grateful for. Some people have no family or friends I have amazing quantities and quality in both. Some people haven't found that someone they want to spend all of eternity with. I have...and together we have 3 beautiful versions of our oneness, our love.  AND we have one more growing inside me!  This little baby has been such a blessing to me recently, keeping me company and giving me hope and wonderment for the future, his future.  Some people have to constantly worry about where they'll sleep, what they'll find to eat, and how they will protect themselves from serious harm day by day. I don't have those worries. Some cancers are incurable and people have to deal with never ending treatments. Chris' isn't like that.  We still have the possibility of a bright cancer free long life. Some people don't know where to find comfort and peace in their dark moments. Some people really think they are 100% alone and on their own in life. Thats not me. I know where to find and how to access divine light, peace and assurance. Even when I don't understand things, I know that someday I will.  Writing all this out in my journal helped me feel more empowered to try and make some happy moments during this Thanksgiving day.  I wondered how badly Chris was feeling, he maybe doesn't have all my crazy emotions, but he's experiencing everything I am on TOP of actually feeling physically horrible. I decided to try and make his Thanksgiving a fun one and surprise him with some components of a typical thanksgiving. 

So I put some frozen Rodes rolls in the oven while I finished laundry, packed a bag of instant mashed potatoes, hot chocolate, banana cream pudding cups, a puzzle and a game and stopped by two stores looking for a microwavable stuffing mix and Martinellis.  I never found the special drinks, but by 4:30 I was back in the hospital with Chris. Using the microwave there and about 15 Styrofoam cups to help me measure the ingredients accurately, I put together a little feast...thanks go to the hospital cafeteria for providing the slice of turkey!

We ended the evening with watching one of the free movies the hospital TV's have on them: The Amazing Spider Man. We hadn't seen it yet and it was fun to watch something new. 

The kids had a fun Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa Dixie, cousins and more extended family. Gwen was cuddled, napped and sipped water throughout the day and the boys amused themselves with toys and cousins.  I'm absolutely positive some of the best food was served to them that day...even if they didn't realize it.  The played bingo and won some fun little gifts that Chris' Uncle Bruce and Aunt Diane had brought. 


The next day Chris' levels were better!  White blood cells to .8 Red blood cells at 27 and platelets at 28. (if my memory serves me correctly) The doctors weren't sure we were in the all clear zone yet and were tempted to just keep us in the hospital for another night or two until Chris engraphed, but left the choice up to us.  We decided to get out of there and spend as much time at the apartment as we could. Even if he got another fever and we had to go back to the hospital, any time at "home" would be worth the effort of having to get admitted. 

We really enjoyed being in the apartment, the rest of the day and checked Chris' temperature every 40 min or so, but to our delight, he stayed below the danger zone!! I even had the time, space and energy to work on Christmas jammies. My sister, Tiffany and brother Jordan left that day to drive our kids from UT to us in Nashville! We're so excited to see them. Also I was feeling a little bit of pressure to complete some things I thought I'd have time to do without having to take care of the kids....like Christmas shopping and Christmas jammies.  I had no idea how busy and tiring taking care of Chris would be. Maybe if we hadn't gotten infested with fleas and had to move twice I would've had more time and energy to do other things, but oh well.  We did what we could. 

1 comment:

Katie B. said...

Mega bonus points to you for pulling together that Thanksgiving feast! It looked so cute and cheerful. I'm sorry that you were feeling so down, but I'm glad that your journal writing helped. We are so lucky to have somewhere to turn when we are feeling despair.