I’m No Superwoman

14 May

Be prepared that this blog is probably going to be all over the place, because… well… that’s where my mind is right now. Tears are trickling down my face as I get this all out. ( & so help me, if you’re too lazy to read this b/c it’s a little long… you’re missing out on something that can make you appreciate your battles!)

The last few weeks have been so tough for me. Of course, I have good days & bad days, just like anyone else. I’m a strong person… always have been (& no, I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here, I’m just making a point). When all of this came crashing down on us, after the first couple of initial days of shock, I KNEW that I could press on… I always have. But there have been a couple of days, just in certain situations (feeding an infant, Cale’s running with a pen, & Keely’s puking… all at the same time) that I feel like I literally can’t do this day after day after day. I mourn my old life… I sometimes think about Keely playing at the park or running around Target, & literally feel like that life never existed.

In the last few weeks Keely has started to display some MAJOR behavioral problems! I feel so out of control. I don’t know if it’s the chemo that makes her so angry & out of control, or if it is her emotions that she doesn’t know any other way of expressing, or if it’s her lack of understanding about what is happening to her that she can’t seem to figure out how to ask or put into words. She has always been such a good kid… I mean, there have been so many times that Cale has pushed her or bullied her & I have had to literally talk her into just pushing him back. & the other day, as we were all standing in the kitchen making dinner, she slapped Cale across the face… right in front of Brian & I!! My jaw dropped! I was so stunned that I didn’t know what to do, how to punish her, or where to even go from that. She screams ugly things at us like “meanie!”, “shut up”, “you don’t love me”, “do it NOW!”… things that I have NEVER heard come out of my daughters mouth… ever!! We’ve hardly ever even had to put her in time out, even through the toddler years. I’m so sick of the same explanations from the doctors, “oh… it’s typical for kids to regress, like with potty training and so forth”. Regress? Are you serious? How do you regress back to something you never did to begin with! Or they blame it on her age & her “testing us”… again… she’s not that type of child & if she had that nature, she would have started “testing” us long before now. I know… I have a toddler boy that test me daily!

I am in the middle of reading one of the most well written, educational books ever written. It’s called, “Childhood Leukemia: A Guide For Parents & Caregivers”. The woman who wrote this book, Nancy Keene, is a parent of a child who survived A.L.L. Nancy, not being satisfied with the research for parents dealing with this struggle, started doing her own research & is now head of the COG (which is a BIG deal!). Needless to say, she knows as much, I take that back, probably more than the doctors. She understands that although doctors know “common” side effects of these drugs, they’ve never had a kid with leukemia. They’ve never brought them home & spent 2 & 1/2 yrs. with a child battling something that has such an impacting on their lives… a disease that has completely taken away any sense of normalcy they’ve ever known. She even includes exerpts of other parent’s battles. The book has been a great blessing. I am the type of person that always wants to know what I’m up against, the “unknown territory” causes anxiety for me. I want as much information as possible. I want to learn as much as my little brain can take in & comprehend & this book has provided me with that!

 As I was literally crying out to God for wisdom on how to handle Keely (which would help so much with the rest of the house coming back into order), I sat down to read last night & my next chapter was on this exact issue. EVERY single parent expressed having these exact problems with their children even though the doctors didn’t think it was linked to the chemo. There were pages & pages of great advice from parents on how to set limits that a 4 yr old can understand. Isn’t God so amazing?! Just when we think we’re at our wits end with something, He sends us the relief & the wisdom we need to overcome!

I am just feeling an enormous amount of pressure that goes beyond just Keely’s disease (although it all stems from it). I feel like Cale is being neglected because he is the “healthy” one. I feel like he is being punished by not being able to go to the playground and dig in the dirt like a little boy should! He needs some time with us to concentrate on him too. Time! I hate that word now… I hate it! My very last baby, who I planned to just soak up & enjoy my last time caring for a newborn has been totally disrupted! I hardly even get to sit down to feed him… I’m usually holding him with one arm, propping his bottle up with my chin & doing something else that requires my attention RIGHT THEN! Keely obviously needs me, & I am so stressed about making sure that I am loving her as much as I’m having to discipline her at this point. Family, friends, & even complete strangers that have went out of their way to bless us in any way they can haven’t even received a “thank you” card from me. Along with dividing up my attention between 3 kids, there’s sooo much housework it takes to keep up with a larger family. And most importantly… GOD!… the One who provides me with this strength, the One who NEVER leaves my side even when I can’t seem to spare a moment with him, the One who’s promises I live by & for, the One who understands my “season”, but longs for my time. Oh… & then there’s my husband, you know, the man I married, the man I made these children & this life with… what about him? He told me last night that he needs me, that he wants more time with me & I wanted to scream! I know it’s only because he loves me & is only doing the right thing, which is to nurture our relationship so that the other relationships in the house are healthy, but at that very moment, I thought I was going to loose it!!

Time.

I’m exhausted, I’m overworked, I’m emotionally drained, I always feel guilty for someones neglect, I sacrifice sleep for so many other things that need to be done, I try so hard to never complain or burden people, I’m never able to even shower before the kids are in bed @ 8:30, I still feel so pressured to have a clean house, bathed children, & dinner on the table when my husband gets home (because I believe I am his wife & want to lessen his burdens).

In the end… I keep pressing on (& most days it really & truly is with a smile on my face, being thankful that in the midst of the trial, we’re all still here… & this is indeed the day the Lord has made!). The Holy Spirit comforts me when I need it most & I know, God hasn’t once left my side. He understands my hurts, & He hurts for me because I’m His child & He loves me more than I’ll ever know how to love Him.

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

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5 Responses to “I’m No Superwoman”

  1. lnfritzky May 15, 2009 at 12:35 am #

    i am bawling my eyes out as i read this;; you are so extraordinary… continuing to pray for all of you, and i hope that you dont forget that it is OK to stop and breathe and take time for yourself

  2. Jen Jump May 15, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    Just reading this blog makes me tired for you…despite what you say you are a superwoman, God is def. adding his super to your natural! Maybe, just an idea, we can work out some volunteers to come in a couple of days a week on a rotating basis to hang out and help- housework, laundry, cooking, all that stuff so you can spend some time in the shower and with the kids and maybe once a week, stay with the kids so you and Brian can dine in the kitchen together semi-alone? Let me talk to Pastor Jody and see what we can work up…a wise lady once told me we have not because we ask not….you’ve asked, now let’s make it happen!

  3. nikki May 15, 2009 at 2:48 am #

    Oh, Vanessa. I knew you guys must be having a hard time but this is the first you’ve been able to express it that I’ve seen and wow. Of course, most of us have no idea how torn and frustrated you’ve been feeling. I’m so sorry you’ve been having to deal w/ this. I know that you know it will pass and all that blah blah but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard RIGHT NOW. I admire you so much. And no matter how much you feel like you aren’t doing, your husband and children are so blessed to have you. Hang in there…all you have to do for now is keep your head above water for a while and I know you can do it. Thank you for sharing your life w/ us this way; hopefully it’s helpful for you too! As always, praying for your strength and healing! xoxo

  4. samatha May 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Honey I came across your blog under leukemia. I have a friend that faces the same battles. God Bless you & your family, and that child with leukemia! I will pray for you all. Be sure and make time to send the “thank you” cards, emails, etc. as those definitely are God’s blessings sent through others. The time you set aside for writing on your blog, take that time to write, email, call with those “thank you’s”-that is so important. And remember the Lord will NEVER give you more than you can handle, HAVE FAITH! Remember to that everyone in this world faces some sort of trouble/s, no one is free from troubles. God Bless!

  5. Aunt Melanie May 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    Thaks so much for sharing. Yeah i am sitting here at work crying but it’s all good. I had a co worker just a few hours ago ask how Keely and Fin were doing. I love it when they ask because it gives me more and more chances to witness to people i work with and show them how just keeping your faith strong and believing that God will help you overcome anything and everything. He truely is amazing!! Just know that i am constantly praying for you and your family and this last blog gives me another avenue to pray for you where needed. I can’t wait until the day the the 5 of you walk back into church together as a family. Keep your faith strong and continue doing as you are Vanessa, you know God will see you through this. It is such an honow to know you<3

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