Friday, August 24, 2012

The Ties That Bind....

Ahh...alone at last. After having a house full of family for a week it's nice to get a moment of "me" time. Not that I didn't appreciate their help or their company; but sometimes you just want to hang around in your underwear. That's hard to do when your 5 year old niece catches a glimpse then keeps asking what the sparkles on your thong spell out (Angel, for the curious minded) Gotta love the little ones.

My parents have been staying with me during chemo weeks and, God bless them, I know it's been a lot of work. Mom makes sure I'm hydrated, fed and that I don't fall and kill myself while showering. Dad makes breakfast, cleans the house, assists me when I'm up to walking and chauffeurs Sean to and from work. It's a good system we have worked out, although it's not without its glitches. Having your parents basically move in with you after being on your own for a good portion of the last 17 years isn't easy. They have their way of doing things and I have mine. Everything is organic in my house so I'm constantly hearing, "Ugh, what is this tofu crap?" or "Don't you have any real food in this house?" I finally snapped and said, "Dad, you eat nothing but garbage and fill your body with preservatives!" "And look how well preserved I am!" was his response as he twirled around in my kitchen.  He did have a point. He'll probably outlive us all. Oh, and they hate my cats, excuse me, my "goddamn cats" as my mother so affectionately calls them. Sam scared the hell out of her by jumping off the bed when she came in to check on me. As I drifted off to sleep I heard her mumble, "I'm going to kill this little bastard." Sam should beware; this is NOT a woman you want to cross. 


A few things you should know about the folks....my dad is deaf in one ear and the other one is going fast. My mom is legally blind and this causes great difficulty for her in new environments. Together their handicaps, if in a movie, would be zany and quite hysterical. On chemo weeks, not so much! One morning Dad didn't hear me call out for breakfast then walks in my room with a fake mustache and a fedora to tell me a joke. When I lost my balance and fell in the kitchen my mom didn't see and almost tripped over me. She then asked what I was doing on the floor. Oy, someone should be taping this. 

I really can't complain though. They've been amazing. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for my parents to see me in this condition. I would rather suffer through this 1,000 more times than have Sean suffer through it once. I notice how they look at me and it tears at my soul. My dad won't break in front of me. He walks into another room or outside and will stay there for awhile, alone with his thoughts. My mom sits with me most times; rubbing my head or my back. She's not an emotional person but I do know she's hurting and I hate being the source of her pain. Cancer doesn't just affect the person with the disease, but rather all who love that person. I watch as my family struggles, each in their own way, through this with me. It pushes me on to fight harder; so I can ease their suffering along with mine. So that one day maybe we can look back and laugh at the absurdity of it and hold each other a little tighter because we made it through together. 

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