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

Surviving Cancer,The Loony Bin

April 10, 2010

When you come to the end of your rope…

tie a knot and hang on!
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

So I got an 82 on the Physics test. After 2 days of obsessively checking the gradebook online, a lecture by the professor who warned us that the next semester would be even worse and that we were all basically good for very little … it finally appeared. A few feelings washed over me:

1. Relief that it wasn’t worse (because frankly, it could have been).
2. Disappointment that my winning exam grade streak for the last 2 years has been blown to bits.
3. Relief that my winning exam grade streak for the last two years has been blown to bits. Phew…I do not have to study for the 100 anymore. It’s sort of like worrying about scratching a new car. You drive more carefully, take up two parking spots, bark at your kid to keep away from the finish…and when it finally happens, you can finally relax. I feel now that I can go on, learn what I want to/need to without being perfect. Thank. God. (In and effort to be honest, this revelation did take a day or so to get to.) I hope I can get this feeling to stick.

I also decided to address my general feelings of unhappiness being at home right now. I realize that being depressed this year has really affected the kind of mom that I have been. When Andrew and Amanda and Alex were little, we did crafts, went to the park…all kinds of fun things. Things have been different with Aidan and Zoe.

Aidan was ~18 months when I was pregnant with Zoe and was diagnosed with cancer. From that time on, I feel like I have lived in a constant state of anxiety and stress. First the pregnancy….then Zoe’s first complicated year or so of life (added on top of my own continuing health issues and the stress of mothering a newborn)…then dealing with the fall-out of my illness in the older children…and finally…my own unhappiness.

I think I have just been treading water for a long time now and I decided to change it. I used to find a lot of joy in being a mom and over the last few years, that light has flickered and slowly started to go out. Sure teen-agers are tough…raising little ones and balancing my own needs on top of that is hard … but … I need to recapture the joy that I once had in my life.

So…this week, I went out to Crafts Direct and bought paint and wooden cars, cats, boxes and puzzles for the little ones to paint. I bought myself a bike and one for Aidan too. I tried to hook up my trailer to the back of the bike so that I could take Zoe (and possibly Aidan) out for a nice ride, but it’s broken, so I’m going to go and buy another one.

We have painted all week, played outside in the sunshine, visited the play place in the mall and have avoided sitting inside with me on the computer or frustrated by housework and them watching Johnny Test on Netflix. It feels like … old times….like I’m starting to be able to recapture a part of me that I haven’t run into in a long time.

Studying to be a doctor by the pond with mom.

On top of the world!

In one week, Zoe turns 4. It has been over 4 years since the frightening diagnosis and turn of events that wound its way through our lives like a snake slithering up the branches of a tree. In some ways, it feels like it never happened…in other ways…like it never ended.

This week will be very unusual. We will make the regular rounds to the doctors involved in her (and my) care during that time and afterwards. We will do the annual picture in front of the NICU .. and we will also be visiting my doctor friend with whom things have been so tense. I’ll prepare for the next Physics exam, work in the garden, paint with the kids, ride my bike …. and Spring will continue to blow into our lives.

Here is the montage from when Zoe turned 3. I don’t know if I will add this year and keep it going. I don’t know how long we will keep going in for pictures. This week…perhaps this one last year…we will.

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