September 23, 2011: Blah
Updates have been slim this week since I have been feeling a bit “blah.” I am happy to report that Elsa is doing well, though. In good spirits, running around, tormenting the dog. The usual.
When we walked into the hospital this past Monday for our weekly clinic visit, my heart sank. I just wanted to scream, “I’m done now! Enough!” During our first week in the hospital, our Leukemia 101 professors kept reminding us that leukemia treatment is a marathon and not a sprint. I think that, for the first time, I’m really starting to feel the weight of that statement. I’m at mile 2 and already my muscles are burning.
Took a break. Went grocery shopping. I’d like to be able to say that I’m feeling renewed, but I think I’m feeling worse.
I’m not sure why I did this, but I googled “Leukemia blog.” Why google? Why do I do this to myself? The first two that I clicked on were both written by or about people who have died. The second one was actually about a girl diagnosed at age 22 months and then in remission for 7 years. Mysteriously, she relapsed at age 11. Died. In a lot of her pictures, her head is laying on the same Ikea pillowcase that J and I have on our bed. Were I in a better mood, I would put my blinders on and continue with my day, repeatedly telling myself, “She’ll be fine. She’ll be fine.” Instead, I just feel awful, like that pillowcase was a terrible omen. Today, Elsa feels like a ticking time bomb, wrapped in this happy, smiling, toddler costume.
Children die from this. They spend time in the ICU, hooked up to machines and tubes. I just can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Think about that for Elsa. I can’t. I honestly haven’t felt like this since early in her treatment. Hopeless and afraid and unable to push these awful thoughts out of my head.
I know this will pass. These feelings.
Took another break. 24 hours passed. Time spent. Feeling honestly better today. Still sad, but now allowing myself to pursue any more google searches. I’m heading to Philadelphia for the night – for a close friend’s secret wedding reception. I didn’t think I would be able to go, but I’m forcing myself – I would regret staying home. There couldn’t be a better time for me to leave, really. She is tolerating consolidation so well. All of her side effects from the Day 1 dose of vincristine (pain, change in taste resulting in no appetite, constipation) have passed. She is sleeping through the night for the time being.
More hours have passed. This is what it is like trying to write a blog post with a 19 month old in the house. On my way to Philly. Nervous, but excited to be fancy free for approximately 22 hours. Putting away whatever dark feelings I have. Telling myself that all will be well while I’m away.