Wednesday, November 18, 2015


He is in a darker place than me. I've not been there before. My father is still alive. My wife does not have cancer.

I am in a different place because I am almost done. Tomorrow will be a day of completing a huge and arduous undertaking. Tomorrow will be a day of new beginnings.

Tomorrow is the last day of radiation. Tomorrow is my 43rd birthday.

He says not to worry, but I do. Because when the person you love more than anyone is hurting, and his voice is disappearing, it's hard to not worry. Do we even realize how much we depend on our voices? Especially when you're a teacher.... 

And so we adapt. We change. We learn. I've chosen to give myself things to look forward to; it helped me during the darkest times of this disease. 

Tonight was book club. I got to out to a new restaurant in Sequim, with my girlfriends. My book club. The Tequila Mockingbirds. The most amazingly supportive group of women a girl could ask for. The ones who have held me up, helped my family, and kept us in their hearts. The ones who would strip naked and dance with me by the light of the moon if I asked them. Maybe some day I actually will. Wine country anyone? Don't worry, I'll bring the grass. Well also need a bon fire, because it's goddamned cold up here in Washington! These women are the ones who I get to see religiously once a month, but not often enough. The ones where we picked up like we just saw each other yesterday. We seek advice, and give advice to each other on parenting, and being an adult child. And books. Jesus the books we've read. Gratitude--to the women I get to read with. And to their families. 

But I digress. Because I am worried and I am stressed and I am anxious about the change that we are going to go through.

Tomorrow evening, I will no longer be going through treatment to combat this fucking tumor that reared it's ugly head back in February. The one I found exactly 5 days after we decided to homeschool Nathan. Gratitude--having him home during the hardest thing I've ever gone through, and always having support through his presence alone. 

I'll still be a cancer patient; I have check ups every three months for two years with my chemo doc. I'll have a mammogram in 6 months. 

But this weekend, we'll transition into taking care of Randy and his voice. He has a medical appointment with a voice specialist in Seattle on Monday. It's taken six years for us to reach this point. Because, it's not getting better. And I'm done fucking around with my husband not being able to clearly articulate himself. I'm tired of saying "what?" and it's not because I went to too many rock concerts. (Can you ever go to too many rock concerts?) I know he's tired of not being heard. I can understand his exhaustion. I feel it too, but differently. 

Because as hard as 2015 has been on me as a person, my husband, my children, and my mother-in-law, I've had the opportunity to be reminded of some things--not that I didn't know this before...but this past year has solidified it for me--

only you can take care of you and your health...

and when you're a parent, it's really hard to take time take care of yourself and your health, no matter how much support you have....

and when you're a special needs parent, it's even harder to take care of yourself and your health.

And so you choose. The kids, or you. 

And kids always come first.

And health always comes first.

And healthy kids--we gotta have that above all else.


Or so we're told.


Because here's the thing--if you don't take care of you and your own health, nobody's gonna do it for you.

And if you don't take care of you, you can't take care of your kids. 

So 2015, while you've been the hardest year ever, I had the opportunity to learn from you. 

I've learned to accept gifts. 

I've learned to express gratitude daily. 

And I've learned to take better care of myself, every single day, so that I can take better care of my family. 

Because when you have cancer staring you in the face, calling you out, you can either run and hide, or you can stare right back and say bring it on. Bitches. 

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