On this sunny Memorial Day weekend, I am broken. I’m not having a cookout with friends. I’m not enjoying time with my family. I’m not doing car stuff. I’ve been in the bed since Friday. But I am supposed to be happy right now. Christina had her last chemo treatment on Friday, and this whole weekend was supposed to be filled with fun stuff, as a celebration of her successful treatment. None of the fun stuff happened and I’ll go ahead and take the blame. This is not a pity party–apparently, this is just another message from God. What does it mean? I don’t know yet, but I’m sure He’ll let me know somehow.
Leading up to the last round of chemo (to treat a severe kidney issue that is linked to Lupus), we talked about how it would be bittersweet. The treatment days weren’t all that bad, actually. Our nerves were pretty intense the first couple times, but after that, we just sort of fell into the routine. The nurses at the infusion center smiled when we walked in the door, as if they had known us for years, and that was a great comfort to both of us. The effects of the chemo were intense at times, and Christina has basically been in a continuous cycle of the drug for three months. As soon as it starts to wear off, they pump in more, so she had just started to know the routine, and how she needed to schedule “life” to work around it. This became the new normal.
For a while, we were pretty freaked out about getting sick, because Christina’s immune system was basically non existent. I’ve always been worried about germs and stuff, so this wasn’t new practice for me, but it did raise my anxiety to a new level. The stomach bug scares me the most personally. I’d rather deal with a week-long cold that a 24-hour stomach bug. Anyway, we did a good job with this, as we stayed healthy throughout the chemo process, even with a three-year-old who had multiple ear infections and had to visit the doctor several times in that three month window. Now, onto the final day of chemo, and I’m feeling very bad. Headache, body aches, restless. Christina and I did not have a good day together like we’d hoped. I came home and went to bed. Saturday and Sunday weren’t much better.
So, how did a stomach bug or whatever this is make me feel so broken? This was supposed to be a great long weekend. I was supposed to go cover a Southeast Gasser race in Knoxville, and got about 3/4 of the way there and had to turn around. That means I missed out on fun, AND I missed out on a little extra money from the magazine that sent me there. My sickness has caused Christina to worry, which has kept her from her routine of eating and drinking enough to keep the chemo from knocking her down. Carlee is staying with my mom since Christina isn’t feeling good enough to take care of her, and obviously don’t want t spread my germs to Carlee either. If I was healthy and fine, Christina would be fine because I would be pushing her to go do stuff. That’s what I keep telling myself. It is killing me that I can’t fix her, and it kills me more when I know that I could be doing better.
I know better than to think that I am responsible for fixing Christina. That is my biggest downfall. I want to trust God, and I do trust Him. But there are still times where I feel like maybe I play a role in all of this. I am a child of God, and I was put on this earth 30 years ago for a reason. I don’t completely know what the reason is, but for right now, my reason for being on this earth is to take care of Christina and Carlee. So, when my body lets me down, it feels like my whole life is crumbling around me. My whole reason for living is shattered. It may sound crazy to you but it’s an ongoing battle in my head…while I’m at work, while I’m in the garage, while I’m at a car show “working”. My brain and my heart are supposed to be happy right now, but instead I am broken because I can’t hug or kiss my two girls, and make everything better. Is God trying to tell me that I’m overstepping my boundaries? Am I trying too hard? I know that God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes I just wish He would spell this stuff out for me, plain and simple.
And here I am, after just a few days of being sick, complaining about how it is effecting my ability to take care of my wife and child. When the real heartbreaking thought is that Christina has felt this way for MONTHS. She hasn’t been able to take care of me or Carlee in the ways she wanted to, and now I’m feeling the emotional stress that has been placed on her for so long. It is a terrible pain in my heart.