The Ability to Cope with no guarantee….the tightrope walk


I have no guarantees. John could go downhill in a matter of weeks at any time. Its a reality. There is also the present, which is fantastic considering all John John has been through. So, how do I balance the two? It is a question of the tightrope. Tiny tiny steps one in front of another high above the realm of normalcy. But, with no net. Knowing that as carefully as I walk, my emotional life depends on it.

I tend to lean toward the pessimistic side, wondering if every sign or change I see is a signal that the cancer is growing or spreading. But, I take a lot of time to enjoy the fact that right NOW, everything is ok.  There has to be a certain amount of tension in that tightrope in order to stay balanced.

The tension comes from investing emotion on one side of the rope or the other. I have to carefully weigh every thought, worry, bit of joy, excitement, setback, and gain with a tremendous amount of weight. I gently set each thing on one side of the rope or the other. Worry on the pessimistic side. Joy on the side of expectation of a good outcome. Setbacks on the pessimistic side. Gains on the side of expectation of a good outcome. So on and so forth.

Do I have hope? Of course I do. But, my hope is not placed in an outcome one way or the other for my son. It is placed in God and the fact that only He has the bigger picture.

The most careful thing that i must be aware of, is to not invest my emotion on one outcome or the other too unequally. If I do, and im wrong, i fall to my emotional death. It is just not time to breathe easy yet.  It’s such a crap shoot. I can not tell you the war that goes on in my mind day-to-day. Especially on days like today.

John John had a headache. Tylenol given. It didn’t stop the headache. More Tylenol. Then he complained of dizziness several times. He was tired and didn’t do well in therapy. He didn’t eat much. We resorted to ice cream for dinner.

This was one of those days when investing on both sides of that tightrope I walk was difficult. I’m not some weirdly neurotic mother that has to over worry every blessed little thing. no. I am quite the opposite. But this constellation of symptoms is frightening to me. It looks a lot like some things on the list of what to watch for when its time to check if the cancer is growing again. But, it could be nothing.

See, we invest on both sides. So, i will see how he is tomorrow and if he is the same, ill call the doctor. Monday he will be seen if it is necessary. If his exam has changed at all and mri will be ordered.

As for me, I’ll continue to walk the tightrope.

With Love, Faith

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