Seriously, today I actually had a meltdown, well, truth be told, I think my fragile state started last night. I was running around the house doing the usual shit, laundry, cooking, mediating fights with the children, when I paused briefly on the stairs. As I was walking down to put another load in the machine, I noticed a couple of Christmas decorations were still up, so I stopped to begin taking them down. That is when I noticed the framed poem with photographs of my mother that I had put up. I had passed it every day for months, but for some reason today I stopped, turned towards it and read the last two lines, "and when you need me, just whisper my name in your heart". That was all it took, tears were streaming down my face. My first thoughts were, no, I can't do this, the children will see, I must be brave and protect them.
Then immediately my thoughts went to my Mum and I thought, "is this why she died?" Did God want me to understand the pain of losing ones mother so that I would never give in to my disease and subject my children to that feeling, that loss? No, I thought, that is just ridiculous, however, ridiculous though it was, it didn't stop the tears, and then the phone rang and the tears continued - sorry J for the mini meltdown on the phone. Anyway, I got myself together rather quickly and moved on with my evening...all is well right.
Then, suddenly today, in the midst of my radiation treatment I look up to the ceiling and see the weirdest thing. It was a hook on the ceiling that combined with it's screws holding it in, looked like an elephant with his snout pointing right down at me. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in South Africa and I love elephants. I find them graceful, loyal, loving and mysterious. I respect them, their family values and their commitment to their community. I digress, in looking at this silly little elephant image, I saw my mother in his eyes, I know, it's weird, so let me explain.
When I first found out what my radiation treatment would be, I was devastated. I called Mum as soon as we left the cancer clinic. In tears, I told her how aggressive the treatment was going to be and expressed my fears. She was amazing in ways only a Mother can be. She said she would be with me everyday if I needed her. She said she would help me get through this. So, as I lay there, looking at my Mummy elephant, the tears started once again, gently slipping down my cheeks. "Mummy, I said, Mummy, where are you? Are you here with me? I miss you, I miss you so much and I wanted you here with me." So, the meltdown began. I was very good in that I hid it from the radiation techs, but afterwards I needed to meet with the doctor, so they put me in my own little private room to wait. Once alone, I gave in to my sadness and let it all out. I was shocked to to realize that this pain never leaves, and compounded with the loss of my brother it's just too much for me to handle some days. I hate being considered weak, so generally do my best to hide this. Thankfully a fantastic South African doctor, I'll call him Dr. M, came in to the room. I had never met him before, but he was amazing. He helped me understand that I was extremely burned out due to the radiation (seriously, that is what he said), and that my emotional and physical person was as to be expected very fragile right now. He made me laugh, he engaged me, he helped me understand many things. He was wonderful!
So, long story short, I'm seeing elephants and having meltdowns, however, I still managed to get the respect and kindness of a great physician. I guess I could not have asked for more.
I have only eleven of the twenty-eight radiation sessions left, and am doing my best to take it one day at a time. Some days are good, other days, wine is needed. I think I can get through the next eleven without joining AA. However if not, join me at my first meeting. LOL.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013