It’s been a long time. It is not that I have felt particularly uninspired. To the contrary, I have so many thoughts and feelings rolling around in my head and heart that the question is always “where to start?”.

I will need you to bear with me with this entry as it will be more of a stream of consciousness than a coherent, well put together document. I just feel like if I don’t write something soon, I may have a permanent block and be unable to put pen to paper and start again.

I keep hearing the words “sweet and salty” in my head over and over. I am starting to liken it to my life.

Take the last few weeks. There were a few things that were just so wonderful.  My dad had a procedure to shrink a benign tumor in his brain and that went very, very well. My youngest son turned ten and we had a wonderful party at the house filled with friends and family and lots of love. I got the wonderful news about a little girl who is in remission from cancer who just had her semi- annual “round” of testing and remains cancer free and my little inspiration Mikey Armand is celebrating yet another birthday. On top of that,  one of my the people closest to me had a biopsy (gasp)and it was benign, my nephew Gavin did wonderfully at his well check and finally (to my sister’s relief and delight) cut his first tooth and I am getting a new built in swimming pool.  My older, hormonal son is driving me a little less crazy, and my sister and I took a trip to Orlando, where I was able to see my favorite band in the world under the stars with one of my favorite people in the world and a warm breeze blowing. I saw old friends and partied like a rock star. I rode the rides, lounged by the pool, and was able to have a few drinks with an old friend and was able to help comfort another old friend who was going through a difficult anniversary. These things are sweet. They fill my heart with love and joy.

But, one thing that is salty can change everything in an instant. We had another scare. A scary number. Anticipation of a scary scan. Tears, tremors, racing thoughts and the sorrow that comes with seeing someone you love feel scared and helpless. It will be ok. We have spoken to the doctor. It will be ok. Annoying, stressful and aggravating but, ok. I am more grateful than anyone could ever know.

I am feeling sorry for myself, though. I just can’t help it. I feel like we get a little more salty than we should. Even some of the things that ended up on my sweet list were really salties that turned out ok. I am so tired of being scared, or being emotionally uneasy, of being continually unsure.

For those of you who don’t know, I also co own a business. It is not easy. No matter what is going on, I have to make a payroll, the rent has to get paid, our clients need reports, and meeting and any number of other things from me. I can’t say “well, things are stressful because my family is having more than its share of health issues”. I have to get the job done.

I can’t tell you how many times I propped laptops up on pillows over my drains after surgeries so that I could take care of some work thing that needed to be done.  When I had chemo, I planned them on Thursdays. I gave myself Friday, Saturday and Sunday to rest and then, come hell or high water, I was back in that office on Monday, mouth sores, bald head and all the rest.

I also have to deal with two active boys. It is getting harder and harder to hide from them when something is going on. They know now when I am upset and can put two and two together that is might be from work, from a doctor’s appointment I had that day, etc.

I am doing my best to make sure that I am handling it in a way so that they don’t need that much therapy. I guess it will be like presidents. They say you can’t tell how well a job they did for years after they are out of office.

I really do appreciate when people get in touch and tell me how strong I am and how much of an inspiration I have been. I really do. The thing is, as anyone who has had to live with ongoing uncertainty about life and health, I don’t always feel that way.

I once went to a psychiatrist after I was diagnosed to see if I needed to have ongoing assistance in dealing with what I was about to face. She did a pretty detailed session with me and although I was trying to be as honest as I could, in her final analysis, she had my number.

Without quoting, she said something to the effect that I did not need psychiatric assistance (whew), that I would be fine with just counseling, if I felt like I needed to talk to someone while I was going through treatment (which I did) and then, she went on to tell me that I was well adjusted and that I tended to “bullshit” about things that made me uncomfortable or that made me feel vulnerable. I remember I got insulted. That I told her that if there is one thing I was not, it was dishonest. She explained that she did not mean it negatively. What she meant was that I tended to actually talk myself out of the feelings of helplessness and vulnerability I felt, in order to keep myself feeling strong. It was actually a good defense mechanism. In other words, I would convince myself (bullshit myself, as she said it), that I was not really scared, not really helpless, not really hopeless.

But, even with that being said, it is only because I have those feelings that I have to talk myself out of them. And, there is nothing worse for a control freak than to feel completely out of control. My dear friend Joan and I, with whom  I went from Kindergarten to my senior year with, were reminiscing on Facebook the other day. I asked her if she remembered when we would put on plays in elementary school. She told me that she did remember. She remembered that I made Xeroxed copies of the entire play and then, picked who would play what part. I then highlighted each person’s lines and gave them to them.  I showed my husband. “See? “ I said. “I was always a control freak!”. It’s a wonder I had any friends at all!

But, I do have friends. A lot of them. And a wonderful family. And that is sweet, no matter how you slice it. We will get through this current situation intact and even a little bit stronger . I have learned that, too. And, in a couple of weeks I will be at a wedding for someone I went to school with, and I will dance, and I will laugh and I will sing and I will enjoy the sweet time.  And, if those feelings of impending doom come upon me, I will bullshit myself into feeling strong and in control. It seems to be working for me so far.

So sweet and salty.  While I have been writing this I realize that I really am an optimist. I could have said sweet and sour!

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