You know, as a parent, we always wonder if we are doing the right thing. Did we do the right thing? Are we doing right by our children? Will we be sending children into the world that are independent, caring, happy and confident? People with empathy, respect for others. People who can grow but not outgrow who and where they came from. Just generally speaking, good people.
I must have done something right. I got this message from Quintus’ boss:
“Melany, ek moet net vir jou sê, jy het ‘n baie oulike seun groot gemaak. So vriendelik, hulpvaardig en hardwerken. Hy het ‘n “bright future”!!!! Valerie dink ook die wêreld van hom!”
Translated: Melany, I must just tell you raised a very good son. So friendly, helpful and hardworking. He has a bright future!!! Valerie (his boss’s wife) also thinks the world of him.
Thank you, Quintus. Thank you for being a great son. Thank you for growing up to be an awesome young man. Thank you for making me feel like an okay Mom.
I’m so very proud of you.
Every now and then I ask the children some questions. It’s nice to keep for the future. It’s so sweet that they still answer them for me.
What do I say the most:
Kyla: Use your fucking flicker light you idiot! Also: it’s not so bad. Horses died in the war.
Jason: Who is making food tonight? 😊
Zander: I love you.
Quintus: Clean up the dog’s poo on the lawn.
How tall am I?
J: How much I know? 1,66?
What makes me happy:
K: Peanut brittle or some surprise
J: To make money / work
Z: When we are happy. When we do our work and when you work.
Q: Snowy (my dog)
What do I most like to do?
K: Read, Netflix
J: To work or watch Netflix
Z: To work or watch Netflix
Q: To read
What makes me unhappy?
K: …. This is a private (not my story to tell)
J: When we don’t listen
Z: When we are unhappy
Q: When we fight
What is my favourite food
J: Ocean Basket
Z: Ocean Basket
Q: Rice with garlic sauce and prawn
What about me irritates you
K: When I don’t discipline the boys when they don’t do their work.
J: Nothing, ek en Ma is rustig
Z: Nothing that you do, Mom. I get frustrated with schoolwork and then you think I’m frustrated with you but I’m not.
What is my favourite TV program
K: Blacklist / Modern Family / Superstore
J: You don’t watch TV programs. You watch Netflix series and Survivor.
Z: Modern Family
How old am I
J: 46 (because Kyla said so)
What is my favourite colour
Everyone said red
How much do you love me
J: You are my only mom, so I have to say a lot 😊
Z: Indescribably lots
Q: Soos die son (Something between us)
What do I drink most:
K: Water and coffee
J: Water and coffee
Z: Coffee and water
Where do I ride to the most
K: To work (and Ouma)
Z: To Potchefstroom and work
Not just the Department of Education but the whole government. I get that we have to protect the country, the health system and people from Covid. I get that! That is why I do my part. It is why I follow rules.
I just don’t understand stupid rules like you are allowed in restaurants, but you can’t be on the beach. You can go to the movies but you can’t go to church. I mean, who thought of those rules?
School was to start in January. I think the 15th? Somewhere around there. Kyla is back in government school for matric and she is very nervous about her final year. The same year that is yet to start. The DoE decided that they aren’t ready for schools to open. They don’t have the gear or stock for cleaning. Not enough staff. Whatever excuse. So no school until 15 February.
The schools decided that they would have the children pick up their books from school. Per grade, per class as to make sure that they don’t have too many children at school at one time. They would then continue with school online. The day before this is to happen, the DoE sends out a message that NO child is allowed on school property.
So please excuse my ignorance here but the children’s education is less important than going to a restaurant?Going to the movies?
Please can someone explain this to me. I must have a problem understanding.
Zander is a very motivated child … when it comes to swimming
and gaming. He is in the pool at 6h30 with his friend, where they swim at least 2 km. They then gym for another hour. Proper gym, not chatting up girls or looking in the mirror. His friend wants to be an Olympic swimmer. They are focussed. Every afternoon he swims another 2 hours with his swim club.
Now, Zander is small. He is doesn’t have spare muscle or fat. He needs to put in a lot to make up for all the kilojoules he loses per day. I could see it was all getting to him when we started school. He would literally fall asleep while reading for marks. He could not stay awake until afternoon practice. He would have to sleep from after “school” until we leave for the half hour drive to his swim club.
It could not go on like that. He doesn’t want to hear about slowing down. He wants to do better. He wants to be better.
I’m going to get him to take in extra protein shakes that will hopefully work. I hope he will get it that he needs to eat more. It is not that he doesn’t want to, he is just not hungry. So rather, I hope his body gets ready for more food.
I phoned his urologist this morning. He has kidney issues. Basically he has one working kidney, so I also can’t just give any shake. It will have to be something his body can handle. Thankfully his doctor also has a son that is sportsman so he will know even more what is safe for Zander to use. He will contact me tomorrow after looking at his file.
I hope that we can find a balance. I told him no more gym on a Wednesday. (He will still swim in the afternoon) Feels like he is getting the day off but in reality he will just be doing what the other swimmers are.
Children attending government schools and even some private schools, cannot go to school yet. Not surprising the schools aren’t ready to handle all the children and be Covid compliant…
However, this does not influence homeschooling. Zander started on Monday.
Unfortunately, no second day of school for him. He has a horrible middle ear infection. Hopefully tomorrow we can continue again.
No swim training though and that is the worst thing that can happen in his life. 😅
Apparently I am emotionally abusing Kyla.
What a lovely way to start 2021.
Kyla moved back home when she was 12. She also lived with us on and off from when she was three to six. She started her first day of school here with us! Books and clothes bought by us. The years in between she would spend Christmas or Easter or we would see her for a day or two. I have always been in her life. Now her mom dares to say I am abusing her? The same mom that has hardly ever raised her (not always her choice) A mother that has never raised a teenage daughter?
Ask any teenage daughter and I am sure they feel that the world is against them at any given day and their mother is to blame for it all. The next day their mother is the best part of their world. It is a rollercoaster ride for sure.
So I don’t know what Kyla complained about or what sentence her mom decided to base it on, she now decided I’m emotionally abusing Kyla. Oh well. Whatever.
Welcome 2021. I’ll leave the door open. At least I wouldn’t have to get up every time you knock.
I have not written much this year. Maybe because I’m scared that once I do the words that flow onto my screen won’t stop. Maybe I’m scared that people will truly know how I feel. Maybe I just needed some space for me.
Let’s face it. It has been a crappy year for all of us. I think that Covid just added to me already feeling emotionally drained.
Being in lockdown felt like house arrest or being grounded by your parents. Some days I understood it but other’s I wanted to slip through my bedroom window like a teenager.
Then I heard that my favourite nurse (who was always there when I was hospitalised during chemo) passed from Covid, I was heartbroken. She was still so young. After that a client/friend passed away the day after she was released from hospital after fighting for three months! Our doctor passed away after fighting for a very long time.
Lockdown made some sense then. Wearing a mask and sanitising always did. However we had 500 or 600 cases then. Now we have 17 000 and we aren’t on full lockdown? Why the full lockdown then and not now? Why mostly only lockdown beaches? Not restaurants or movie theatres…Please I don’t want to go back to full lockdown. Our country can’t afford it. I’m just saying it makes no sense.
Due to lockdown and children mostly not going to school or zoom classes that were insufficient , I decided to homeschool Kyla. What an expensive thing that was. She did well but financially I should not have done that. I just should not have.
I moved Zander to another swim club. I could go into detail but let’s just say that my child needs to be trained with his best interest at heart ( not with 10 year olds when he is the fastest 50m swimmer in his age group in the club) I will not be spoken to like a child or accept that I am not allowed to understand why certain decisions are made.
He is so happy at his new club. His times improved dramatically. He has also put in a lot more effort. I can see he is ready to push himself now. He is happy and motivated. He wakes up early to gym and then spends all afternoon training in the pool.
I lost my sweet sweet Bella. Just like that. I got home from work on April 11 and saw she wasn’t well. She had bladder cancer. I put her down that same evening. It was heartbreaking. I miss her so.
I did get cheeky little Snowy (Bella left such a hole in my heart) She is the complete opposite of Bella but I’m her everything. I love her so much.
Quintus found an intern job. He is studying to become an architecture drafter. He is loving it. Who knew! His friends are also more at my house than there own. Good kids.
Jason is still battling like crazy with his leg. He will definitely need another operation but wants to wait for winter. He started to crossfit again this year and probably spent all his time there or at church. He has a great group of friends there.
The boys spent their first ever Christmas away from me. Kyla was also with her mom. It was horrible. They were at the sea though and I was happy for them. Until the beaches were closed due Corona ( but please do still go to a restaurant urgh) They are on their way home and will be here tomorrow. Would have been lovely if they could be here tonight to help me with the dogs and their fear of fireworks but I am sure I can cope (not!)
Like I said, it has been a tough year for me though.
Tomorrow is just the day after today. No new year’s resolutions. No party. No let’s hope for a better year.
Let’s just take one day at a time.
So it’s been almost two years since I finished my treatment. I think. I try not to keep track. I don’t want a countdown to the five years that we want to achieve.
I just don’t know when “cancer” really leaves you. When does it stop being a worry.
I have had a headache for far over a month now. Not just a headache but one of those where I battle to think. Battle wake up. Battle to sleep. Just bad.
I don’t want my first thought to be cancer. I don’t. So I asked Kyla to give me a head massage earlier this week. She pushed on a specific area and it was extremely painful. I asked her if it was a spasm and she said, it is round unlike the other side that is in spasm.
Great. So is it a normal headache? I detest being someone who thinks everything is cancer. I promised myself not to be like that.
I have an appointment with my oncologist later this month. It’s just so frustrating that I am still not over the “is this cancer” worry.
After trying to find out what Zander sees when he reads I finally understand. Last night he explained it to me in such a logical way. This is not the first time I asked: just the first time I understood.
I want to explain how he sees it. Just maybe it could help someone else.
Basically he sees the spaces between words first. Then he sees letters between the spaces that are scrambled in a way.
Somewhat like this:
This si how he seses teh dswor hatt he rades.
He has to unscramble words before reading them. I am glad that I now understand why he battles but it saddens me to such an extend.
I can never fix that. I am just glad he doesn’t have to cope with it at school anymore, where the biggest bullies were the teachers.
I love you, Zander! More than all the scrambled words you can make.
It feels as though I should introduce myself, my life and my many children.
2020 sucks. Too many losing their jobs. So much heartbreak around us. I lost my sweet little Bella to cancer after all she went through. I miss her when I wake up, I miss her when I go to sleep.
I had an operation two weeks ago to remove a growth in my throat 11x7x5 cm. Rather big BUT benign so that is all that matters. Since it is lockdown we couldn’t have any visitors. I was so lucky to have had an old school in the bed next to me. She took such great care of me.
Zander had an operation on his toes. They had to loosen the ligaments and scratch away bone so that his toes could straighten out. Four weeks later and he is still in pain.
Financially it is tough. I’m not going to lie. I would not have made it without my parents.
Kyla is now homeschooling as well. We just couldn’t with the Department of Education anymore. No plans at all as to when school would open but the children were getting behind by the day. So many a child at home now. Even Jason’s friend Armando is here to school most days.
I actually missed blogging. I should do it more often.
When the virus broke out in Wuhan China, I didn’t think much of it. This was January 7, 2020. I found it interesting that some believed Dean Koontz predicted the virus in his book The eyes of Darkness.
Since it seemed that the virus would only stay in China I wasn’t worried too much. I would follow the news as always but it wasn’t the first article I would read.
Then the virus started to spread. first to Thailand, then the USA, Nepal, France, Australia. The spread was due to individuals traveling to those countries. Africa seemed pretty safe until tourists or South Africa came back from overseas trips.
Our epidemic started when 11 people returned from Italy. Eleven people and now we are on a 21 day lockdown.
Italy has pretty much given up. I have never seen such devastation in a man as when their prime minister said:”We have lost control”
Back to South Africa again. Our president did not take long to stand up and take control. Our lockdown is meant to last from 27 March until 16 April.
Will it be enough? We don’t know but we need to try. So far it looks as though it is flattening the curve however we don’t think our people living in locations are getting the treatment they need and therefore the country doesn’t have the correct figures. Maybe with the mobile clinics going out they will be diagnoses and get the treatment they need.
So how does this affect my family?
- Luckily school is just the same for the homeschoolers.
- Kyla gets her work from school via whatsapp and I think she has finally realized that homeschool is not for her 😉
- Quintus misses his friends terribly.
- Walter is with his brother and I am sure he is having a good time,
- Me however, I’m constantly anxious. I have to tell myself to relax my jaws.
- I am so worried about finances. I know I can work from home but if “my companies” aren’t working, I have no work to do. I have a lot of money outstanding but people aren’t paying and I am sure for a while they won’t.
- I worry about our economy and if it can recover from this.
- I worry because I could not go for my 6 month cancer check up. The big one. With scans and sonar and mri. I know it’s crazy but that is what cancer does to you.
- I worry because Jason can’t have his operation. Chance of recovery must get worse every day. I mean he already has arthritis between the fibula and tabula.
- I feel horrible that Zander worked so hard to achieve SA Level 2 and now it has been postponed and more likely cancelled. He also can’t practice at all now. Loosing all the hard work he had been putting in both in pool annd with the biogenetic trainer.
- I have many other worries that is not corona related so I won’t mention them.
I’m going to repost something many people have posted on Facebook. Just so that I don’t forget how it was. How normal it felt to be lock inside our own homes.
Just so I NEVER forget
Gas prices at a record low.
School cancelled till April 17, but I think it may be longer.
Self-distancing measures on the rise.
Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers 2m (6ft) from each other.
Limited number of people inside stores, therefore lineups outside the store doors.
Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
Entire sports seasons cancelled.
Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events – cancelled.
Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings – cancelled.
No masses, churches are closed.
No gatherings of 100 or more, then 50 or more.
Don’t socialize with anyone outside of your home.
Children’s outdoor play parks are closed.
We are to distance from each other.
Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towels and no hand sanitizer.
Shelves are almost bare.
Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.
Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
Daily updates on SA’s new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
Barely anyone in the street or on the roads.
People wearing masks and gloves outside.
Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.
This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic….. nations world wide go into lockdown to protect their people.
One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious. To not take the things we dearly love for granted.
Unless you are the parent of a dyslexic child, you don’t know what it feels like to watch him struggle. You don’t know how it feels when you sit down and feel inadequate because you aren’t sure you are helping him enough.
I see the reality of this daily. As a homeschool mom, I’m doing my utmost best to make things as easy as possible but yet leave him to feel able to do things himself without getting frustrated.
Just so you know…he will never outgrow it. No amount of reading will made it ‘better’.
At a gala last year he wanted to buy some raffle tickets. I saw him take the form but he just stared at it. I asked Quintus to quickly go over and help him. Zander couldn’t read what he had to complete. He was standing between his fellow friends and teammates and couldn’t read. Thankfully he has amazing brothers.
Last week, I gave him the card to withdraw money for the first time. It was just us, so I knew he would be okay to alone. My car was parked right next to him. He just stared at the screen. I thought to myself that surely the machine must be broken or something. It can’t take that long. I got out of the car and when I got to him, he asked me to read the words on the screen. He couldn’t make out what it said.
I’m not saying he can’t read. He can. Not everything. Not in every single font. He needs help when it is a certain font. He concentrates so much to read that he tends to forget what he read. Is he intelligent. Hell yes. When I teach him via drawings or my very own funny acts, he remembers everything. Even dates (which I really can’t)
I lie in bed at night, worried about him. Will he be okay? Probably but it will take more for him to be okay than it will for non-dyslexic children.
As much as many people believe it is something they can get over, I promise you so do I. Unfortunately, that is not the reality.
I saw a client this morning who knows two of my children are homeschooled.
She wanted to know who teaches them. Who gives them their classes. Well, I do I replied.
What do YOU know? (In a very accusing you-are-messing-up-their-lives tone of voice) Are you a qualified teacher? What do you know about maths for example.
Well…I told her that I got 98% for maths at university. I think I know enough.
It bothered me all afternoon. How dare she. This is actually the first time that someone has asked me this to my face. Dared to judge my decision, my parenting to my face.
Tonight though I realized one of the things I do know. I know that I have a dyslexic child who just asked me to explain his maths work because he didn’t quite grasp it and he didn’t want to wait until tomorrow. A child who wants to learn.
So no, I don’t have a degree in teaching but I do know my child better than anyone else. I know to encourage him to want to learn and not force him to do so.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand” Albert Einstein
Friday we were busy with Afrikaans and part of our work for the day was to conduct interviews. Jason was promptly nominated as the first person to be interviewed and as always we had some brilliant answers from him and spent most of the time laughing. He really could be a standup comedian. Homeschooling would not be the same without him.
Some of the questions were very straight forward…the usual what is your favourite food, colour etc.
Zander was also interviewed and one of the questions asked was what is you biggest wish.
“My biggest wish is to be able to read.”
There was a very short moment of silence, where both Jason and I knew we had to handle this answer the correct way. We don’t want him to feel any less because he battles to read. We want to acknowledge the fact that he does, as well as give him praise because he never gives up.
My heart broke. In that very moment my heart broke for him. Why should his biggest wish be to be able to read? Why not to meet his hero (who BTW he said was me), get the newest electronic game, new cellphone or whatever it is that young boys desire? Why the ability to read fluently? Life can be very unfair.
However, I am very proud of him. Proud that he is not embarrassed to admit he is dyslexic. That is doesn’t mind asking for help if he is not sure how to read a word. He is fine with the fact that his friends will correct his spelling. I’m proud that he actually types whatsapp messages instead of sending voice-notes. Not the lazy kind of typing (where typing 2morrow is such a time-saver! What on earth will you do with that extra split seconds you saved) No, even my dyslexic son takes the time to type out the words.
Zander, I love you. I love how you accept the hand dealt to you even though I know it can’t be easy. I will forever be proud of who you are.
Remember that you are allowed more than one wish.
Your greatest supporter
Parenting is darn difficult.
You might be
the perfect an amazing baby parent but then battle with your toddler. Toddlers and babies might drive you insane but teenagers seem easy.
Raising your child changes all the time. It changes as your child gets older. Things that worked before, might not work at all now.
I had some parenting battles this past year. Not all the time but some days were bad. I felt as though I was losing my relationship with my child. Something I never ever want to happen.
We had always been close (as I am with all my children) but then something changed and he seemed to drift further and further away from me.
It came to a point where I either had to discipline the heck out of him or work on getting our relationship back together. I chose the latter.
This brought some judgement from others and it got me thinking. Look, I don’t like judgement. I don’t think any of us have the right to judge others. We don’t know what really goes on in their lives and cannot judge based on the little bits we actually see and know.
I was just thinking how raising your child is such a balance. A balance between being fair to all the children. Disciplining them equally but not the same? If you understand what I mean? Not all children react the same discipline. However, not just the discipline but also knowing when to discipline and when to see the bigger picture. When discipline will just push your child further away and into more danger than just trying to find what can work for both of you.
I don’t want to say who this child is but please know that you are loved beyond measure. I will do anything to keep you (a) safe and (b) happy.
Soos die son
Two people that I personally know, in two weeks. You have stolen two people, in two weeks.
Fuck you, okay?
Now I have to hear that my cancer markers keep increasing. Quite substantially the last 3 months. Well, fuck you again. You will not find a place to hold onto in my body. Not again.
Fuck you, cancer.
The past year and a half has been tough.
First the cancer diagnoses, chemo, radiation and then a mental breakdown followed by (or being the cause of) divorce.
We are nowhere near divorced. I might have to change lawyers? I don’t know. Nothing has changed since the first time we went to see her.
I’m purchasing the house. We’ve painted it in colours we love, for instance my room is grey and red. Pretty much every room has one wall in a chosen colour and the others grey. It looks stunning.
I changed my surname back to my maiden name yesterday. That felt pretty freeing. Can’t wait to get my ID card.
It’s been a roller-coaster ride. It has been emotionally tough on me. When I needed support, I was asked for a divorce.
Oh well. Here we are. Almost five months later and I’m still alive.
Our Bella is very sick. Again.
We took her to the Vet on Thursday and he said that he didn’t think she would make it to the end of this weekend. She was just too weak. Her heart battling too much.
He did pick up that her sugar was very high again and we increased her insulin
Loads and loads of hugs and love and she got better! Much better.
Then last night one of our other dogs bit her 😥 She got such a fright. That poor heart. He bit right through her bottom lip, making it near impossible for her to eat.
She was doing so much better.
Again though, love is getting her through this. She is doing better. Not well yet but better.
She is such a fighter.
Life has been especially rough and painful lately. Stories for another blog.
However it did influence me finally going for my scans and blood test.
I saw my oncologist today and I’m officially in remission!!
FUCK YOU cancer. You do not scare me. Not during the treatment and not now. You have no hold on me.
Yes. I will always have that nagging worry in the back of my mind but that is where it will stay.
Had to have cake and coffee with my parents and Michael to celebrate.
Melany 1 – Cancer 0
Ah, I do find people who have an opinion on something they know nothing of, very funny.
Schools started on Wednesday and some of the homeschool parents decided to get together and celebrate “not back to school”.
I picked Jason up from a friend just before the get-together (who also homeschool) when an older man stopped next to us.
He asked us why the children aren’t in school and we explained that they are homeschooled. He looked at us with that typical this-is-not-right look and drove on. He then reversed and said “Well as long as they know how to answer a phone one day… ”
I just had to laugh.
He said that to a child who will be an accountant and already has plenty of experience.
Another who wants to become an architect.
Uhm, yeah they will be able to answer a phone. All CEO’s know how to answer a phone.
Oh 2018, if you were a human I would tell you to fuck off. Not good to see you go. Not bye. Just fuck off.
It has been, without a doubt, the toughest year of my life.
My poor body. What a fight it had to fight to make it to the end of this year. Rounds and rounds of chemo, chemo allergy, hospitalization, blood thinner injections, blood tests, sonars, xrays, MRI, radiations, operations, burns… The list is longer than I wish to remember. It was no walk in the park and in all honesty it is still not. My breast still hurts, my legs are in constant pain (sometimes agony) and my feet are permanently sore. All thanks to the side effects of my last chemo.
Emotionally I’m not in a good place. I’ve had some serious parenting downs and after finishing my cancer treatment I’ve been emotional. I don’t know why, I just am.
I’ve come to realize that people I thought would be there for me, would not. They did not support me in the way I deserved and they should have.
There were obviously some good times and good people who came into my life. For that I am thankful. I’m still alive and in remission (as is my mom) and for that I’m hugely thankful. I have a special, very honest and open relationship with my children. Different from most parents I think and for that I’m thankful.
2018… Off you will fuck.
So this wasn’t the easiest of years.
Zander recently told me that I was often short-tempered this year. I was rather suprised. That is something that I work hard at not to be. I homeschool him to give him a better education. An education with less stress. Being short-tempered would go against what I’m trying to do. I do understand though. I had to homeschool while getting chemo, while ending up in hospital too often, through operations and radiation. All while supporting my mom as much as I could.
It was a tough year. Yet, here we are at the end of it and he excelled. He has an average of 79% with 3 distinctions. I could not be more proud. I could not be more proud because he managed to work harder when I was able to. I’m proud because he never ever complained – even when I was short-tempered. I’m proud because he is such a good kid. He is sweet, caring and has the biggest heart. He does his best to be easy-going. He is very much like my dad.
We had his art class prize-giving this week. He goes there every Wednesday, the entire morning. That’s his Wednesday “school” (which means that we had to fit school into just 4 days a week!) He loves it. He loves Aunty Amanda. He loves all his friends there. It’s just perfect for him.
She mentioned that we must remember that we are firstly their moms. That building character is just as important as education. That the matric certificate you get to show during an interview takes a few seconds for them to look at but it’s the character that will be the deciding factor in the end. It’s very true.
I think he built a lot of character this year. He has grown up some. Sooner than I wanted to, he had to cope with my illness. The possibility of losing both his mom and Ouma. He had to cope with seeing us in hospital (too often), sick and barely able to move around.
He did it though. He did it with much help and love from his brothers and Kyla. He is one amazing little guy.
Enjoy your holiday, Zander. Can’t believe you are almost in High School!
Today, six months ago I had my last chemo treatment. SIX months. It feels like ages and yesterday all at the same time.
I look better. I have hair. I look healthy (fat but healthy) I look normal actually. People think I chose this crap hairstyle. Yes, crap because it’s still not near proper.
I’ve read an article lately. Just some extracts:
The pain, the scars are a constant reminder that I have changed so much. How could I not. But at the end of the day, I’m still me.
This is the part I’m struggling with now. On the outside I look healthy. You don’t look at me at the grocery store and make eye contact and think “Oh that poor girl, I bet she has cancer” On the inside though, I’m constantly reminded that I had cancer. In the shower, it’s all the scares. The weight gain. I don’t have … my body hurts all the time. I’m tired. I never forget I had cancer.
I fear that other people have forgotten, will forget and expect me to be back to normal. I fear that when I can’t focus at work or more recently forget everything because of chemo brain. It is not just a funny excuse. It’s real. That people are going to get mad at me. When I cancel plans because I am still so tired. All the time.
This is cancer. This is real. This is life after you ring the bell.
It’s not completely like that for me. I definitely don’t want pity, it’s not that I want others to feel sorry for me. I found some truth in it though. I have so many clients who actually thought I chose this hairstyle and they had no problem to comment on how it doesn’t look proper. Even though I just smiled, it hurt. I didn’t choose this.
I’m in pain. Every day. My legs are in agony thanks to the last chemo I had. I can’t stand long periods of time. I can’t walk far. I hide it. I don’t want sympathy. I hope that will get better.
I can’t breath. It’s like my one lung just can’t get enough air. I know that will get better.
I forget things…the names of things all the time. I feel so stupid. I know that will get better.
I’m tired. I’m always tired. I wake up tired. Go to bed tired. I know that will get better.
I do less than I used to. I know it will get better.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m still here. I get to be with my children. I get to spend time with them. I get to tell them I love them.
For that I’m hugely thankful. That’s what I focus on. Just don’t expect me to be 100%.
I’m not there yet.