I'm writing this from my side of the bed. Jeff is next to me playing a computer game involving dwarves, or something equally nerdy. My mom arrived just a bit ago and is in the living room snuggling Lydia. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, Stella has been asleep for almost an hour.
Jeff is sore from his latest lumbar puncture and is tired, but feeling okay. I also feel good at the moment - given these peaceful circumstances. But, at most other moments in the past couple days I've been struggling with feeling stuck. I can't shake the feeling that our lives are on pause. I hate this. And I hate cancer.
Of course, in reality, we move forward every day: Stella, and especially Lydia, get bigger on a daily basis, Jeff undergoes chemo and kicks cancer's ass, and I try to hold it together from one day to the next. However, the overwhelming undercurrent of this whole experience for me has been a deep sense of uncertainty. We are waiting for the mid-chemo PET scan, waiting for what comes next, waiting, waiting, and waiting without absolute answers.
It doesn't help that cancer, which I presume always pulls the rug out from under whomever it affects, really threw our future plans for a loop. I had intended to spend this summer house-hunting, packing up our life, and moving cross-county. That's on hold, obviously.
So, I find my mind racing ahead all the time. This is futile. I know that. But it's hard to stop the train once it's chugging along. I can dream of various different outcomes, and contemplate what I will do when, but fundamentally, our family's life path is just going to unfold bit by bit, day by day. This is always true to one degree or another, but I feel it acutely now. Thus, remaining in the present is my challenge.
Fortunately, Jeff has been helping me with this. I am so proud of him. (Parenthetically, I resent the fact that I am so proud of him for going through something I would have rather never seen him experience. But I digress...)
Lately, I watch him when he is with Lydia and Stella and witness mutual delight. Those moments could not be sweeter. Especially in contrast to how Jeff was feeling before he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He really was not himself a couple months ago. He was so exhausted that it was hard for him to breathe normally, much less find joy in the kiddos. Even though chemo is literally wiping him out, he is feeling a lot better in some ways already. For instance, he can breathe again. ("Breathe again..." that phrase always reminds me of Toni Braxton - and I hate that song. Sorry I brought it up.)
Now that I've written this down, I'm feeling a wee bit more settled already. I can find things to be grateful for in this period of uncertainty and in this present moment of quiet and peace.
I hope you all find quiet and peace tonight, too. And also that you will appreciate this picture of Toni in ubiquitous 90s mom jeans.