I’m lying in bed. Again. Attached to me is a pump that is spewing life-saving poison into a main artery in my neck. Also attached to me is an incredible amount of guilt.
Now, I am no stranger to mom-guilt but cancer-guilt is a whole different ballgame. I could care less that this is happening to me. Truly. What I can’t hardly stomach is the guilt that I am causing my family members pain.
Having my children’s lives altered in ANY way is something that I just don’t want to see. Some wonder if it’s wise that my youngest continues in sports. Why not send them all back to public school? Why not XYZ? I just can’t do it. I am so thankful that I have a HUGE support system that has stepped up in a major way to help us keep our kids’ lives running. I am so thankful Matt has an amazing employer that is so flexible with him, allowing him to come with me to as many appointments as possible. My parents have been running themselves ragged to help with my kids’ doctors’ appointments and ball practices. (My dad went to Springfield THREE times the other day.)
My family and friends and even people I barely know have made this horrendous few months survivable. I will never forget the generosity of resources that have been showered upon my family. Humbling is an understatement. Thankful is an understatement.
But that guilt. I just can’t seem to shake it.
When I was first diagnosed with this beast it was all much easier to live with. But as the reality has caught up to me — and the wear and tear on my body has worn on — the emotional trauma is starting to become more apparent. I am literally white-knuckle clinging to the day my treatment is over and I can try to resume regular life. (If all goes right, I should get to “ring the bell” in May.) There are several hurtles to jump over before I can be declared cured but I hope that day comes.
In the meantime, I’m trying to give myself grace for the guilt. Usually, I’m just super annoyed and frustrated with myself for being upset. I’m trying to retrain myself to see the guilt and emotions as just another side effect. Along with all the physical stuff I also get to have a load of emotional baggage. Super fun!
I pray every day that I’m able to beat this beast and live better on the other side. On the other hand, this cancer has shown me that I am not afraid to die. The only thing that bothers me about dying is the pain that will cause my husband, kids, and parents. But in all reality ALL things happen for a reason. I’m trying to trust that no matter how this all shakes out that it will be OK. Until the day that I’m called home for good, I will keep swinging on this pendulum of emotions and guilt and being totally fine. And some days that has to happen in bed.
***I’ve started a Caring Bridge site. https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/giniaoehlschlager
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.