Thursday, November 21, 2013

Think of the Children

Here's a sad truth: When one of your kids has cancer, the rest of your kids are pretty much going to get the short end of the stick. Sure, you could argue that the other kids DON'T HAVE CANCER, and really, is the long end of the stick any better? But boy, howdy, are we ever aware of how we are failing our other children. (By "we," I mean "me" and "every other mom I've talked to on the oncology ward" and "a lot of the dads on the oncology ward." I don't think that Guy feels he's failing anyone. Bless.)

But anyway. My other kids. Oy, oy, oy. Yoni, as always, is just left to fend for himself and get by. You would think that checking his backpack would be something I could handle on a regular basis, but it is Just. Too. Much. I see the backpack, and I know the mess that is inside, and I just cannot make myself do it.

Just now, literally, just now as I typed this, Adi called out from his room, "Mommy? Can I come to your bed?" And I said, "Of course, honey. Do you need help?" And then I went and helped him to my bed, walking past Yoni twice to do so, and Yoni doesn't even ASK to come sleep in my bed, because he knows what the answer will be.

Amit -- thankfully, Amit is young, and hasn't yet figured out how we are snubbing him left and right these days. He is delicious, and I love to hug and kiss him, but whereas once 97% of the photos I posted on Facebook were of Amit -- well, bald heads rule my page these days.

The Girls. Oh, The Girls. I feel that I am failing each of them in different ways, but there is so much stress and so much laundry and So! Many! Dishes! and I am so freaking tired and I suspect they have kind of given up on expecting anything from me, which is... not so good.

Tired. This is another thing. You would think that I was the one getting chemo. I can crawl into bed at 5:30 in the afternoon with Adi, and if I can get away with it, I just won't get up again until the morning. I am exhausted all the time, no matter how much I sleep. And so much of the day feels like I am underwater. What is that? WHY is that? WHEN WILL IT STOP?

Guy does not seem to have this issue at all, and he thinks I am bizzaro for wanting to sleep so much. I think that my body's response to stress is simply to go into hibernation in the hopes that I can just... sleep through the stressful period? Is that a thing? I have no idea. But this post is supposed to be about The Children and How Neglected They Are.

My friend Shirlee tells me that when her brother had cancer as a teenager, she was neglected and she hated her parents so much -- right up until the moment her first daughter was born. I would prefer to have my children forgive me sooner, or not hate me at all, but I don't know quite how to do things any differently.

Self-awareness sometimes sucks.


Persephone said...

Abbi, do you know about Jeremy's Circle? I don't know if they have any events near you, but they provide transportation, so maybe it doesn't matter how far it is. They also try to match kids up with peers locally.

As always, you have my love & support fiercely in your corner. You're a fantastic mother...and you're doing the best job anyone possibly could.

Mara said...

Sheesh, my kids are being neglected for Black Friday. Which is to say - (a) your kids aren't being neglected and (b) there is no doubt that this will touch them forever, but you and Guy, I have no doubt, will pull them through with love and wit.

Eileen VandenBerg said...

oh.......I understand.......It is so hard.....and we are soooooo tired.....I do hope the rest of our families survive this as much as I hope our cancer kids survive this. It is just incredibly hard.

Abacaxi Mamao said...

People talk about "fight or flight" reactions to stressors, but there is actually a third, called "freeze." When we sense threat/danger, some of us freeze and hope that if we stay still long enough, the threat/danger won't notice us and will move on. It's a physiological reality and it does things like make you feel very tired, sleepy, lethargic, or slow when things are rough. I don't know if that's any comfort, but a very protective, ancient, automatic part of your brain is telling you to sleep. If his brain isn't telling Guy to sleep, he might just be in fight or flight mode, or just having a different reaction.