Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tug of War

Today's Shout Outs:

Susie W, Rosanna B, Karen H, Donna V, Mavis and John, Elaine S, Donna McE (x4), Melissa C, Lisa R, 
Jenn E, Victoria N, Barbara Diane, Marie H, Christi B

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I love all your notes and sweet words that you send to me day after day, week after week!!!!

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Dear friends,

We had a wonderful time at Disneyland and I promise to share some photos and expound more on our time there soon, but I've had some thoughts rattling around in my head that I want to get down first and of course it's directly related to my post title (Tug of War).

It was such a wonderful trip and it was so much fun to see the expression on the boys' faces, plus it was so wonderful to just get away from it all, but in the end, we had to come back to reality and to what it entails.  As  we were driving down, Kevin and I would discuss other places we would like to go and things we would like to do.  The talking was spontaneous and was the way conversations are supposed to go... one thought leading to the next and so on and so forth.  But then, in the middle of it, I would be sucked back to reality and realize that we can't plan the future like we used to in some general abstract way.  This realization would make me sad, but once I realized the direction that these thoughts would take, I had to make a conscious decision to change the direction of these thoughts and focus on the positive.  My mind continued this back and forth thought process throughout our vacation and if I really think about it, this has been going on all along.  It was just extremely clear during my break.

While I've been contemplating this thinking process, the game of Tug of War came to mind and that is really what life is like for me.  I keep tugging myself from one thought to the other.  As soon as I get a bit morbid or sad, I feel like I have to tug in the opposite direction, meaning something that is on the other spectrum, something that is more positive and happier.  But the reality of my situation will pull me in the opposite direction again and the game continues.

Yet, I can't seem to find a happy medium because I feel like there isn't one.  For some reason, I always think of tug of war being played with a mud pit in the middle and whoever tugs the hardest brings the other side into the mud pit.  I feel that no matter what, if I go to one extreme or the other, I'll end up in that mud pit.

And now of course after I've written this, I'm not positive if this is the greatest analogy, but I do feel like parts of the game do resemble my life as I know it right now.  A seesaw would also make a great visual with no mud pit, but in order to make the seesaw work you have to have both sides continue with the up and down motion.

I tried to get my oncologist to give me some sort of end time for my chemo treatments, but of course he can't because there isn't one, so I will plug along and continue living to the best of my ability.  What he did say though was that life is good and is worth living and that I shall continue to take breaks from chemo here and there around the things that I want to do.

There are two things that I want to do as of today.  One of them being a trip to the United Kingdom and the other a trip to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) in January.  The key though is that I can really only focus on a few months at a time.  Life has a way of being unpredictable (me being the prime example) and there is no way to guarantee what will be happening in 6 months, a year, two years, 5 years, etc.  What I can focus on and can for the most guarantee is what is happening within the next couple/several months.    It is an interesting way to view one's existence but as Kevin always says, it's better than the alternative, and he is a wise man which is why I love him so.

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Right before we left for our trip, I received this cute little sticker set... thank you (you know who you are:)  Well, I had wanted to make a card with it before we left but I ran out of time, so I made it tonight since I probably won't doing much after Friday's chemo.


Jolee's sticker and paper is Close to my Heart.  I think I'm correct in saying that this particular paper isn't available anymore.  I purchased it last year just for our scheduled/rescheduled Disney trip.

I wish one and all a wonderful day and finally to all the mothers my own included... Happy Mother's Day

Until next time.

-Katie

15 comments:

Nati Tristan said...

Katie: My situation with cancer is very different than yours. But as controlling as yours. I've had multiple surgeries and never a clear cancer about the chemo. I know what you mean (to a point) We can't talk about "future" plans as comfortably as we used to because of the fact that these treatments just can't be determined. And as much as my husband insists to continue talking as if everything will be ok... and I keep thinking happy thoughts... in the back of my mind there is always that uncertainty that will never leave until I get the clear. God is amazing and he has blessed your family with such a wonderful mother like yourself. Even though I don't know you, I know you are wonderful because you are brave, loving, and a fighter. It takes a lot for someone to stay in the "positive" side in situations that invovle cancer. I know that it feels impossible at times and there are those times that you just want to cry and ask why? (i know those days way too well) but it's ok. You will get through this. And I pray for you Katie. Like I said our cancers are not the same but it's cancer. And cancer sucks!!! And I know that with your outlook and your courage you will get through this and never look back. I hope you have a wonderful mother's day and may God bless you with tons of more blessings! I'll pray that your chemo goes as smooth as it can on Friday! God bless!

Gina said...

Why are you battling with yourself?? Let go of the rope, and walk away from the conflict. Turn your back and live for the now. I know it's easy for me to say, but you have amazing will power, use it :) Why do you torture yourself about the things you might miss out on? Not many people pass this life without some regret for what they might have done, or didn't have time to finish. Enjoy each day for the pleasures it brings(no matter how small). I'm sure you have already dealt with all the necessary arrangements to protect your family's future(just incase your not there in person), so just get on with living. It's ok to have days where you feel crappy and morbid, we all do, but you need to find the 1 good thing in those days that made you smile and focus on that moment. Leave the mud and keep the nugget :D
On a lighter note, have you never rolled in a mud pit???? It's soooooo much fun :D XXX

Joan B said...

I'm glad you had a good time at Disney, especially for the boys. You all deserved a great break. I understand your tug of war. You are in the middle of a fight over which you have so little control. the reality is that none of us can ever make a plan and know for certain that it will happen, so plan anyway. You will love going to CHA and to the UK. 'and love planning in your head. sometimes the planning is the best part!

I love the bright colors in your card and the disney touch. Hope this round of chemo is more tolerable. Joan

Ted said...

Which of us can plan beyond this moment, Katie?

Yes, I realize you have cancer and perhaps it's a scarier possibility.

But I can finish typing this, head to work, and die in a terrible seven-car pileup on the highway.

NONE of us are guaranteed the next minute. Not one of us.

Go out and live the moment that God has given you, Katie... with the moment that He has given your children and husband.

We don't know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.

Trust Him. Give it a shot.

dndfletch said...

Love the card!! Disney World is one of my favorite places. Many people never even get to go there. I always say count your blessings, not your troubles. Way easier to say than do. Hang in there and keep fighting. Loving those around you will only do u good.

Cassie said...

I do agree with what Ted has said, but your situation is obviously different. While none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, those that aren't sick plan their futures without a care. You are absolutely justified in your thoughts. Love you, Katie, and I wish this were easier. Keep looking forward to those next trips.

Nancy ~ Inkcicles said...

I never know what to say...

I love you Katie and thank you for sharing your feelings and your life.

I am listening. I am praying. I am thankful to have you as my friend.

Smiles,
~nance

Emily Painter-Davis said...

Love you Katie...
when you are falling toward the mudpit, let me know, I'll lay down a thick blanket and block you from the mud...

Em

Jill said...

Katie, For totally different reasons I can understand how you feel the way you do and I know that for a lot of the time it is just not possible to pull yourself away from these feelings. Do what you can, the best that you can - none of us can do any more.
What about making a little trip over here to the beautiful Northern Ireland when you come to the UK? We would make you so very welcome. Take care, Jill xxx

Curt in Carmel said...

Hey Kiddo. . .Some heavy stuff going on here. Your analogies are good ones, and I pretty much agree with what previous comments have said, however I look at it from another angle. Now that Jay is in the condition he is in, it's hard to plan on anything. We have not been on a vacation in 9 years. And in his condition now, there will be no future vacations. That I can plan on. I give this as an example of the many ways/things we plan on. Everything is a plan, what your schedule for tomorrow is, your chemo schedule for next week, next month. . .what you are having for dinner, etc. See where I'm going here? No matter what the circumstances are we plan whether we are sick or we are well or somewhere in between. You have to plan - there is no way around it. So plan girl! Plan as if you are going to live to be 110. As you can imagine, when Jay and I got together almost 25 years ago, I had plans for where we would be today. . .Did those plans turn out??? Far from it. I planned that we would still be working and getting close to retire early and travel. His MS changed all that. So now, I'm a stay-at-home caregiver to him and no vacations ever again together. And now the planning has turned to what things can be done so that I can keep him out of a nursing home. Will those plans change? I'm sure they will. My whole point to all of this is that none of us can know what the future holds for us. Only God knows that. So we plan, as futile as that may be, we plan as if there are a thousand tomorrows. The key is to be able to alter those plans when necessary. That's the secret Kiddo. Plan knowing plans can change. If you do this, you can let go of that rope. To me, that rope represents your emotions about planning. Stop worrying about whether your plans will happen or not. Just plan. What you are going through is what every human being goes through on so many levels when planning is involved. For example, "I want to plan for little Billy's birthday party" (happy thought) And I want to have it at Billy's favorite park because he loves the outdoors." (happy thought) "Oh! But wait! What if it rains?!" (sad thought) "Billy's birthday will be ruined!" (sad thought) "Maybe I shouldn't plan it that way because the weather is so unpredictable." 3 weeks later, Billy is sitting inside his house having a birthday party inside on a perfectly beautiful day, wishing he could have had his birthday at the park. When you stop planning, you stop living, and when you stop living, why plan? Know what I'm planning??? I'm planning on one day coming to your blog and reading that your cancer has gone into remission. . .that's my plan. . .Hugs to you Katie, and to your very wise husband. Best, Curt

Sue from Oregon said...

Hey Katie...I'm with Curt, he said it so well! Don't over think, just live it. You made such a darling card with Mickey and Minnie,,,knew you would like it!

IamDerby said...

Well first off...cutest card evah! I am so glad you had a good time and the boys had fun too. I'm sorry for the other stuff. I really liked what Curt had to say, some good advice there. Hang in there. Big huge hugs for you!

Whimcees said...

Hello!

I love your card! So cute! It is great to read that you had a wonderful trip with your family! I look forward to seeing photos!

Wishing you a good week and hope that the chemo went well - you are always in my prayers. Just take one day at a time Katie girl - you can do it! When it gets scary fill the days with the love of that great husband and your wonderful children! Stay strong!

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Dinahsoar said...

"Life has a way of being unpredictable (me being the prime example) and there is no way to guarantee what will be happening in 6 months, a year, two years, 5 years, etc."

This is true with and without cancer. I've lived both. Logic says not to plan too far ahead when you have a disease with an unknown outcome.

But the reality is none of us has an assured outcome of anything.

So plan like you'll live a thousand years, and live like you'll die tomorrow.

Because you might. And not from cancer. Same goes for me.

So lets make plans as best we can and hope for the best.

Having something to look forward to does us a world of good.

And that tug of war?...we have to keep playing or it's game over.

Linda said...

Katie,
Just wanted to remind you that you have so many people praying for you and your family. I am thinking you are smack in the middle of chemo as I write.. hang in, honey.
Oh, I was looking for update on how the plants and flowers are doing? Are they growing?

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