Forget Sugar, A Spoonful of Mom Helps the Medicine Go Down

So, my mom left early this morning, and when I woke up
myself, I totally cried. Dealing with cancer by yourself is hard. I know I’m
“not alone,” but having someone here, someone else who’s humming little things,
or singing songs we used to when I was growing up, … someone else to do the
Mostly, what we did together was write a list of all the
things that are on my mind to accomplish, and we accomplished a lot of them. Listen to my 9 voicemails, call the many people I needed to call, write the many emails I needed to write, contact the cancer support person who called me a month ago, look at my finances around this new back-rent issue.
Order lightbulbs for the string lights I have hung up over my couch area, which
have one by one been blinking out, so that I have only 6 forlorn lights on a string of 25.
Things, tasks, things that just need to be done, but with
also all the convalescing, doctor’s appointments, the coordination of them, getting to them, contacting people to help me get to them, and resting, I don’t have the
wherewithal to do on my own. My own resources are tapped, as I’ve been
writing/saying recently. So, part of my sadness at my mom’s leaving is that I
feel left to my own devices again.
However. I read a piece of spiritual literature this
morning, and it basically said that once you’ve asked for help, expect it. Once
you’ve asked for guidance, expect it. I can go further for myself, and say
“accept” it, not just expect it.
I got a phone call this morning from an acquaintance asking if I needed anything from the store. And instead of saying, oh, don’t worry about it, I said Yes, and she just delivered some things to me. 
I got a phone call back from Cancer Care, and scheduled an
appointment to speak with a cancer counselor tomorrow. I haven’t yet had luck
getting to groups, so this is the next best thing, or even a better thing; a counselor, trained in
cancer world, to talk with. It’s on the phone, since they’re based in New York,
but I’m looking forward to it.
As I come to what is hopefully the end of my treatment, I am
getting … worried. Part of what almost
makes it easy in this period of active treatment is that there IS something
to do. I feel there’s too much to do, and it makes me crazy, but once this
active part of treatment is over, there’s nothing to do but wait. – Wait the
two months until the next blood test to see if the cancer’s come back. Wait,
then, six months to see if the cancer’s come back. All I’ll need to do then is wait, pray, and live my life. But,
I’ll always be waiting. Expecting. Expecting the worst.
I know this is normal, and I have a book on my Kindle (that
I haven’t read that much of, because I can’t really stand reading books that
aren’t in my hand) that is about survivorship, and the emotional journey that
comes once you’re through active treatment. I’d like to read more of it; I’ve
liked what she’s said so far, about worry, and catastrophizing, and thinking of
worry as “thought traps” that we can train ourselves to identify and avoid, or
walk out of more quickly at least.
I also asked my workplace if they can hook me up with some
volunteers, since I know they have an active volunteer population. What I have feared has sort of come to pass, and a lot of the
people who were active at the beginning of this ordeal have sort of fallen off.
I need more help, and I guess I’m needing some fresh water for the stream to
draw from.
I have an appointment on Thursday with a depth hypnosis
practitioner, and it’s in Berkeley, and it’s an hour and 15 minutes, and I
don’t know who to ask for help to get there. So, I’ve asked my boss to see if
anyone from the synagogue is willing to do something like that, and if not, I’ll
go back to the people I’ve been asking.
Help will come, because I’ve asked for it. It’s up to me to
expect it. I am GODDAMNED doing the best
I can. I really f’ing am. And, nonetheless, I’m overwhelmed and overdrawn. It
feels like asking for help becomes its own monster of a task to accomplish. I
don’t really know what to do, but I keep on doing something.
I know I can’t have my mom here to hold my hand all the
time, that I’ve got to find surrogate help; but it sure is just plain easier when you
have someone who knows and loves you, cranky or tired or silly, and can pet your head in her lap and sit in silence, or say,
Let’s do this now, or Let me do that, or simply snuggle together and watch back-to-back episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Thanks, Mom. 

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