February 7, 2016

nothing to give

I thought the roller coaster was bad before.


I'm glad I didn't know what was coming because if I did, I might have run away. Most of the time I wish I could stick my head in the sand and pretend that this all isn't happening.

But it is.

On and on it all keeps going, no matter how much it squeezes my heart dry to watch my husband suffer.

I want to cry almost all the time. But I don't. It wont change anything. I want to cry for Todd, for his pain, for his heartache of trying to be strong but only getting weaker. He doesn't want me to talk about all the side effects and the state the chemo leaves him in - but it's all I can see and it makes me want to cry.

I want to cry for my children. For their childhood that's been put on hold because, frankly, I can't muster up the energy to play trucks with Sam or horses with Amelia. I sit there on the floor with them and my body is there but my mind... sometimes I don't even know where my mind is.

So I've been thinking that putting them in school might be best for us. For them and for me. I've planned on homeschooling my children since before they were my children. I feel an immense amount of guilt for considering putting them in school. Not because school will hurt them or be bad for them - but because I feel like I should be stronger right now. More able. I should be able to play with my kids on the floor and hear what they're saying and be present and loving.

What kind of a mother mentally checks out on her kids and has to send them away because she just can't.


I want to cry for myself. For the exhaustion of paperwork and insurance and housing and appointments. For feeling so inadequate and helpless. For feeling so guilty for an endless list of all the ways I'm failing my children, my husband, and myself. For feeling so, so very lonely.

I see a lot of other chemo patients, and so many of them smile so sweetly at me. I wanted to be that person who was smiling and comforting and encouraging others. I had a plan. I was going to cook for other families and make sweets for the nurses.

Instead I feel empty when I smile and hollow when I speak.

I have nothing to give anyone.

I stare blankly at walls.


There is this small, warming flame in my heart. Despite all the despair and emptiness I feel, I have this little part of my heart that won't be moved. I don't always feel it, and sometimes I forget it's there. But when I'm able to finally quiet my mind of the worry, and jumbled thoughts, it's still there: a still, small flame in my heart.

When my heart is stilled, I still know that it's that little flame that's keeping me going right now. That I'm not as lonely as I might feel. That God is helping me make the right choices and is working through this situation in a mighty way even though I can't see it through my tears. 

People keep sending me songs and sermons and encouraging stories. I don't read them. I feel so bad admitting that. It's not that I don't appreciate it. It's just that... I just have trouble making sense of words strung together. I can't concentrate. I lose my focus and before I know it I'm wondering if the insurance company received my fax or if we'll be approved for financial aid for housing.

Someday, I will go back through the virtual mountains and mountains of messages, emails, sermons, stories. Someday I'll be whole enough again to listen to a sermon and I'll hear what's being said.

Someday, I'll read this journal again and I'll probably cry. For my husband, knowing how bad it got before it got better. For my children, knowing that I made the right decision for them, and for myself. Knowing that that little flame in my heart never went out.


TN Quiltbug said...

Prayers. Do not feel bad for considering school for your children. To everything there is a season. This very well may be the time school is best for them. It doesn't mean it will be that way forever. I have been that teacher in the classroom, and I personally know many wonderful Christian teachers who would love and guide your children during this turbulent time. God provides just what we need, at the time we need it,

Landon Sell said...

Thinking about you cas. You are strong even though inwardly you feel nothing. The reality is that sitting by Todd in his hospital bed IS strength. That simple act shows more strength than most other people who, when in similar situations, didn't travel to Seattle for treatment, didn't start the mountains of paperwork for insurance and financial aid, didn't think about their children. You are standing atop as one of very few who are strong enough to stand where you are. There are no standards, you are setting the standards with every new day.

Send a high-five to Todd from me, love you both!

cas anderson (2016) . Powered by Blogger.