Sunday, May 10, 2015

Peeking out of the Rabbit Hole....

We are coming up on 11 years from the moment that Doctor Balter looked into Mary-Elizabeth's eyes.  Eleven....  People talk about water flowing down a stream or river and washing away the  pain and fear and despair.  After 11 years, I am sure I have seen these same water molecules more than one time. 

Running water is very healing.  It heals our souls and allows us to move forward.  It takes great efforts to stop water.  It will travel great distances and make amazing detours to get where it wants to go or must go.  Sort of like Cancer Moms.  We are pretty unstoppable. 

I spent the week-end with a bunch this week-end.  I was invited to join nine other women in an amazing house in Leavenworth.  We were taken care of in a wonderful way.  Laughter, Wine, Good Food, Quiet Time.  It's so weird to be able to walk into a room and not have to introduce yourself.  The very fact you are there is enough.  No on is "there" unless they have been through the entire process.  We are Moms of Cancer Kids.  We are the lucky ones and have kids that are still with us. 

I have been trying since the beginning of all of this to figure out how to heal. The entire process has been so difficult, time consuming, soul consuming.  In all the rush to keep Mary-Elizabeth alive and handle life, lots gets pushed aside.  I know people are just sick and tired of hearing me talk about being a Cancer Mom, other kids dying. All the struggles with Hospital food, insurance companies, medication side effects, cost of job loss, cost of unreimbursed medical stuff, everything.  It should be over, it should be done but I have not been able to put myself really back together.  

As I look back, I had started the process three and a half years ago when Relapse reared its ugly head. Things were starting to turn around.  I was flirting with maybe having a real life.  I was working on my weight.  I was paying attention to the new lines and wrinkles that had appeared and put some of the world back into perspective.   

I have been bashing around and trying to figure it all out.  A bit of escape, a bit of fun, a lot of miles on the car. Some pretty special times away.  Cruise to San Diego,  Time on a beach on Camano Island, time alone in my house, time..... but inmost cases I was still worried about someone or something.  There was always an element of care taking going on.  I was worried about the people with me or needed to do something for someone.  

The Leavenworth Retreat for Momcology was so different.  We were in a wonderful place but we had only one thing to do.  Be pampered.  Food, treats, massages, henna tattoos, quiet time.... I even tried Yoga.  It was so amazing.  Time and NO worries was the required activity.  Time with coffee on a deck and a bit of wine.  Some much needed retail therapy and time to process, listen, commiserate.  

Most of us have a strong support system.  People that made it possible for us to come out of this tornado with some semblance of a life.  They did our laundry, sent us money, fed us, brought us wine, cleaned up our back  yard and were on call for everything we were willing request.  It was remarkable.   But.....

There is something so healing to be with your  Peeps... Those that have walked that mile and been on the same journey.  We don't have to explain the anxiety, the fear, the anger, the disappointment, the loss of the certain well planned future of our children
.  We are freed up to speak and know we don't have to explain.   I came away in a completely different space.  As I packed my bags and combed my now curly hair, I felt restored and revived in a great way.  I felt encouraged and newly connected to those that spent the week-end with me.  

Let's be honest.  We need way more slumber parties.  The YaYa Sisterhood had much more content about the needs of women to help each other and we should pay more attention.

Time to spread the word about Momcology and work on making more retreats happen. 

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