Someone said this to me (yesterday? all of my days are blending together in a blur of motherhood lately), and when she did, it was one of those moments when I not only HEARD something, but I actually LISTENED to it. There are times when a statement like that can seem so banal that you might let it run right over you like the water in your daily shower. And then there are times when that statement might feel like a shower you take after cleaning filthy rabbit cages, guinea pig cages, working in the yard, cleaning out the garage, etc. (not that everyone has the need to do these things, but this is my life...)- you SO needed that statement, right at that time!
Last night I joyfully signed the kids up for this year's swim team. Yes, I said JOYFULLY. It may not have looked like I was joyfully signing up, but inside I was TOTALLY JOYFUL, because last year at this time I was just starting to suffer from my painful infection after my mastectomy/reconstruction, and couldn't go to the sign-up (Bill went). I went back to look up what I wrote at that time...and apparently I was, as usual, not writing anything about the horrific misery I was starting to feel. I was probably just hoping it would go away. And though my memory is not great (thus the blog), apparently the feeling of that infection is BURNED IN MY BRAIN because last night, it felt so AMAZING to NOT be infected and in pain! (Isn't it always? But it especially feels so good when you have that really strong flashback to the pain. You feel the absence of the misery so much more acutely.)
My joyfulness only increased when I saw familiar faces - not friendly faces, per se (because I'm always joyful to see those faces), but the faces I know from taking my kids to swim practice every day from the middle of May to the end of July (the faces you recognize, though you really don't KNOW the people they belong to...). Those faces gave me another flashback to just how hard last summer was for me - how hard it was to go to the pool every day bald, with extra sun-sensitive skin, to not be able to wear a bathing suit because I was disfigured in my chest. How hard it was to get all three kids ready every day to swim in the water, and know I couldn't do that because I'd have to put on a swim cap and also, more than likely I would get some sort of something (pink eye, a cold) because of all the stuff that is in pools (you don't realize this until you have no immune system due to chemo and you get sick EVERY TIME you went in the pool)! And then, worst of worst - getting the whole family ready for swim meets, which more than likely fell on a day of chemo, or during the super hard days - I can't even BELIEVE I did it, when I think back to how miserable I felt!
I am overstating my point, but I am just so happy to not feel that way...and so happy to be regular. Seeing those faces and remembering how jealous (yes, horrible of me, but I was so jealous) I was of all those people who could just take their kids to the pool as a regular person brought it all back to me. (And of course, I know better now that everyone has issues...but when you are really so miserable and trying so hard not to be, sometimes it is hard to realize that anyone else has problems except for you!)
I'm so happy, that I am afraid I am going to go all-out for Katie's birthday this Thursday. Last year I couldn't even GET OUT OF BED because of the pain of the infection. I had to cancel her party, I couldn't even make a cake, we had to open her presents near me in the sick-bed. I know I more than made up for last year's April 2nd and the problems I had that day. (We had a friend birthday party before my mastectomy for that reason...had all the family over and celebrated well with a joint party for Emma's first communion). I still can't help myself, though. Some days it just feels so great to be totally here and running my own life!