The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

Surviving Cancer,The Loony Bin

August 24, 2008

And so it begins…

Summer vacation has officially come to an end. Today I bought the supplies for Andrew’s back-to-school Schultuete (something that has become a tradition around here) and pulled out all of the school supplies. Andrew invited his two best friends over to watch Uncle Buck and eat pizza. We surprised him with a new bike and then he took a spin around the neighborhood. Once he got home, it was time for him to get ready for bed. I’m still in major denial, but we have to be out of bed tomorrow at 6:30am. UGH. I’m not looking forward to the early mornings!

What an incredible contrast to the last few days that we spent soaking up the sun in WI!

It seems like just yesterday that we were all swimming and enjoying ice cream treats. Oh. Wait. It WAS yesterday! Boohoo!

We arrived late on Wed night after getting a late start. For some reason, we just couldn’t get ourselves out the door. I was feeling unusually crabby about this trip too. I think it might have been the realization that it marked the end of what truly has been our best summer ever. I didn’t want to go, because it meant we had to come back…and face school starting. It’s so funny that by this time I am usually ready for the kids to head back. I don’t feel that way this year. I wish we could hold onto this for just a little longer! In no particular order this time:

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Alex burying Aidan in the sand

Mini-Golf:
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Swimming:
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My favorite photo set? The Zoe Pout in two parts
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Alright…YUK it up…but I’m posting it anyway:
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I love this cute pic of Zoe and I…and absolutely hate that I look like a whale. But…it doesn’t matter anymore. I want to have pictures of me and the kids and if I wait until I lose weight, I just might not ever have them!

Another favorite:
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The boys building a sand castle:
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Amanda and Thomas
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Zoe helping
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The Train
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Beach Boy
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Good-bye, WI
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We packed a lot into a couple of days.

I know my blog has been more like a photo album this summer, and that pictures dont’ tell the whole story….but I love looking at them anyway. I’m sure there will be plenty of ho-hum non-photo blogs from me once school starts. LOL

I have just wanted to breathe in as much of this summer as I could. I struggled so much this Winter and Spring and I feel like the summer went a long way towards healing some of the emotional baggage that I’ve been dragging around with me. It’s interesting that I used the expression “breathe in the summer”…seeing as actually breathing is my biggest issue.

I have tried so hard to put the past few years behind me. I think that part of me wants to be able to go forward as if nothing happened. I feel like I have made a lot of strides in letting go. Many good things came out of having cancer: I did a lot of self-exploration and feel more peaceful as a person; I stopped living for tomorrow and started embracing today; and I started…really seizing the day. I try and have fun adventures with the kids, step back and let some of the day-to-day frustrations roll off of my back. I’m not perfect, but in many ways, my life is actually better now. I try and appreciate the little things now…I do.

At the same time, I find that in some ways, I grieve my life before cancer…because physically I have not felt the same since then. I have struggled with the chest pain and breathing issues since a couple of months after radiation and this has not resolved itself. I keep trying to tell myself that it is probably stress or anxiety… but I definitely feel like something is wrong.

I just don’t have the actual courage to go in and have it checked out yet again. I know that I was too sensitive to what the pulmonologist said to me. In retrospect, I realize that he just had a very poor bedside manner and was offering stress as one possible explanation. That is just all I heard though, I guess. Both my internist and oncologist would have no problem seeing me…but I feel self-conscious about it. I worry that I will look foolish if I complain about these symptoms and they are stress-related. Ultimately though, who cares. I would prefer stress-related symptoms to something caused by something real. I dont’ understand myself and my fears or concerns. It’s just silly.

I think one of the issues looming in my mind is that there are people right now actually fighting cancer and struggling with the very real prospects of dying… How can I complain about my symptoms or problems when there are people out there with real, life-threatening events happening in their lives? It feels wrong. I feel like I should be sucking this up and moving on. I just read today about a woman who was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer when she was pregnant. She gave birth to a pre-term infant and then passed away. Her husband is alone with a 2 year old and a 1 lb preemie in the NICU.

God.

I can’t wrap my brain around the staggering grief that I feel about that. My God…and I am complaing about a little shortness of breath?

Why do such terrible things happen to people? It makes no sense to me. If there is a God…how could He allow such suffering? I know that God doesn’t make bad things happen..but he is all powerful..he could inject some good into this world. How can he let little children grow up without their mothers? How can he deny loving mothers the chance to be there to guide their children as they grow up…to experience the birthdays, christmases, first dates, weddings and the births of their grandbabies?

I just. I just don’t get it.

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