A Wave of Blue

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

I can usually shake it off, but this morning was different.  It was as if I was drowning in what a fellow blogger coined in the phrase a wave of blue.  (Thank-you, christinegoodnough.com.)

My husband and I had plans to visit a friend in Collingwood and pick some fresh off the tree apples and pears, but a wave of blue kept me from being able to move forward with this plan.

I slept in.  That’s not like me.  I didn’t jump out of bed.  That’s not like me.  I was not even interested in playing with the dog.  That’s not like me.

“How are you this morning, Stacey?”, my husband inquired.  “How well did you sleep?”

“I’m not sure how I slept.” I replied.  And I really did not or could not answer that question.

I’m not sure why I didn’t sleep.  May have been something related to the episode of Orange is the New Black I watched.  Not to give away any parts of the story – it was related to the in-made who had cancer.  I related to her – not being an inmate of course, but the cancer piece. Not good to watch those kinds of things – but I didn’t know it was coming.  When I went to bed, I was flooded by doubt and fear.  My husband tucked me in and he stayed with me while I cried.  There was really nothing he could say — the reality is we don’t know what either Tuesday (debrief for my biopsy and CAT scan) will bring and Wednesday (my second injection of chemo) will bring.  I’m not even sure I want to know the results.  They won’t change my condition anyhow – and getting bad news will not help me to be strong.  I always thought I wanted to know when I was dying – but now, I ‘m not so sure.

When I was told my Mom was dying, I felt certain that I needed to let her know too.  I remember hearing the lady in the bed next to my mom crying for us when she over-heard the news.  “Are you willing to fight, Mom?” I implored.

“You bet I am!” she responded with conviction.

I wonder, today, if that was such a good idea.  I know the outcome would not likely have been any different, but I desperately hope I did the right thing by telling her the news?  Do I want to know if the cancer has spread to my lungs – or beyond?  How will knowing change anything. I am doing everything I can right now anyhow.  Why would I want to know if the cancer is resistant to chemo?

After our morning coffee, I asked my husband if he wanted to go for our walk.  “Of course.” he replied in an encouraging manner.  Off we went.  I felt funny.  I felt distant.  Things I saw upset me more than usual.  There was garbage that had been strewn throughout the parking lot attached to the wetland.  I was offended.  There was no obvious garbage can placed by the park by the City.  I was incensed that the City could be so stupid.  There was a bus parking only sign.  I was critical – why is that sign there?  No busses go in anyhow.  What a waste of money.  The dog was not walking right with us.  I was disappointed that she was behaving so poorly.  As we approached Tiffin Street, I knew how I felt. “I am angry.” I said to my husband.  “I am angry with everything and everyone. ”  Silence.  He was smart not to respond.  I would have snapped at him for trying to solve the problem of my anger.  He was good.

“Just don’t be angry with yourself, Stacey.” he replied.

I vented about things I was angry about.  I also explained that I knew I had no right to be angry.  There was nothing anybody had done that I should be angry about.  I was just angry.  “There is nothing wrong with being angry.” my husband again replied.

I vented more.  I vented until I cried.  I stopped walking and sobbed.  There it was.  I was sad.  My husband took me into his arms and I sobbed.  No words were spoken.  None needed to be.  We both knew that this was long over-due.  My energy drained from the very core of my soul.  “I am struggling to put one foot in front of the other.” I tried to explain.  “I have no energy.  I am not strong.  I am not courageous.  I am scared.  I just can’t do it today.”

“Then use me for your strength today, Stacey.” my husband re-assured me.  It’s okay to be human.  You don’t always have to be strong.

Wow – this was the second time I had heard that on this day.  I tried to understand what that meant – but I didn’t have the energy to even consider why that was important.  I cried some more.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we continued our walk.  I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.  But we kept walking.  Each step closer to home lifted my mood – but only milli-fractions at a time.

We arrived home to an invitation from friends of ours to meet us for (another) walk.  Off we went.  “Are you okay, Stacey?” my husband gently inquired.

“No.  Not really.” I replied.  “But I think I will be.”  And I closed my eyes.  My head pounded and the wave of blue returned.  I felt like I was drowning.  I opened my eyes to look outside in an attempt to re-surface.  Nope.  I couldn’t focus through the freaking tears again.  I couldn’t help it.  And I couldn’t help but tear-up when we met our friends for the second walk of our day.

“Sorry, we are late.” I apologized.  “I am having a melt-down.”

“That’s okay, Stacey. You’re allowed to be human you know.” my friend reassured me.

I explained how I was feeling – that I was both mad and sad and that the episode of Orange is the New Black probably triggered my emotions.  Furthermore Tuesday and Wednesday were looming in front of me.  Nonetheless, we gathered our strength and off we went.

I always feel better after a walk with this couple as they have great senses of humour and we are just silly together.  She is a teacher and he works in the medical world.  Our conversations are interesting and we always find some phrase that we cling to for the duration of our walks.  This time round, in honour of my very bad mood, we prefaced everything with the four-letter word beginning with “f”, followed by “it”.  Amazing how swearing can rid you of the anger toxin.  It became funny to see our friends swearing.  Good thing we were deep in the woods.  Eventually, the “f” word was replaced with a line from some web-site commercial where a woman uses the web service to develop her business that everyone told her she would fail.  Her response to everyone was, “stick it!”  Although it is a little more aggressive than I am – it does make me chuckle, for the most part.  (Here’s the link if you wish to check it out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIBfctISM9M).  So “stick-it” became our new banter.  We started to laugh more.  We laughed down a steep hill.  We laughed along side a river where our dogs frolicked.  We laughed through the underbrush and we laughed as we approach a bridge.  Here, we were faced with a steep up-hill ascent.  “Mid-way is Tuesday.” I announced.  “The top is Wednesday. So once we are at the top – there is no more climb.  After my chemo on Wednesday, I can relax.” I encouraged.  Up the hill we climbed.  At the top – I felt like a victor.  I was still upset, but not angry.

We finished our walk an hour or so later and parted ways.  The dogs were exhausted and so was I.  I still am.  I am drained.  But I’m not angry.  I still want to shut out the world and snuggle into my bed to find solitude.

I plugged in the kettle to brew my “green tea” – the anti-cancer agent I read about in my new book from Bruce.  I have not given up.  I will not give up.  I am just taking a pause.  I am bathing in a wave of blue, but I think I can still swim.  I may need a life-ring today to help keep me afloat and it feels like I am swimming today against the current.  But I am swimming and will keep on swimming.

And the cancer?  What will happen if I find out it has spread tomorrow?  What will happen if I find out the chemo is not working?  I don’t know.  I guess cancer can just go and “stick it!”

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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22 Responses to A Wave of Blue

  1. Leah says:

    I can’t even put into words just how much I admire you. It seems like you found the perfect way to smother today’s anger. Thank you for sharing.

    • inmycorner says:

      Thank-you, Leah. It took an entire community to put out the fire, to be honest. And it is still smothering – but night time will sooth and tomorrow’s dawn will bring me reassurance. You are wonderful to be there with me.

  2. Gwen K says:

    Sometimes we need to roll with the waves to “just keep swimming”. Fighting the waves can be way too hard to keep your head above water.

    • inmycorner says:

      Oh – great integration, Gwen. I hear you dropped by with life-saving treats! you are the best – my favoirte cheezies, a hat and nourishing apples. I will roll with the waves now! I am thankful, on this day, Gwen, for your friendship.

      • Gwen K says:

        We must have been on the same apple wavelength – I too thought Collingwood apples would be a good choice and the cheesies just reminded me of you when I saw them in the store.

      • inmycorner says:

        Is that because I am so cheesy with the puns Kevin and I play with, Gwen/?

  3. Glad you could use my phrase so productively. 🙂
    There were times when I was deep under a blue wave that I found it best to let my mind go blank — to make a conscious effort to NOT think. Watch leaves in the wind or snowflakes falling or fish swimming, something dull and soothing; walking and observing is great. But when I was feeling really down, as soon as I let my mind think about the present situation, it wanted to jump back into and thrash around in unknown tomorrows.

    • inmycorner says:

      Yes – I like your choice of words – “thrashing” is pretty appropriate. Geez – a blank mind would be wonderful. My mind spins — I will check out the dull and boring to see what I can do with it! Thanks.

  4. damyja says:

    When I began reading today’s blog, I thought to myself, this is not the Stacy I know. Your stronger than all this! You taught me to find the silver linings in every dark cloud. I am still here and doing well with my life because of your help! I’m a text away if you need to chat!

    The end of your blog sounds much more like the Stacy I remember! Now I’m going to tell you what you used to say to me, “keep your chin up”! Lol okay maybe not in so many words, but you were a long those lines; without me having to go into detail about my past life!

    • inmycorner says:

      Yes. I know. I don’t feel myself. I am the silver lining seeker — and tomorrow is a new day. BUt today, I indulged myself in self-pity. You are doing well, my friend, because you are making your life well. You have always been magnificent – just not always moving down the straight and narrow. Thankk-you for thinking of me and for reminding me of lessons learned. Very thoughtful. So excited that you are LIVING life well!

  5. kiwiskan says:

    You have a good man there…and some very good friends

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Self pity? Sounds more like justifiable rage and fear and honest to goodness tiredness from the anxiety and fear. Hugs, and I am 100% behind kiwiskan’s comment.

  7. Karen says:

    I heard Michael Landsberg speak about his depression last month. He said as a supporter, we should say, it’s ok if you aren’t you. You don’t always have to be you. I think it takes the pressure off. Feel how you’re feeling and be you whenever you’re ready. It’s a hard concept but I like it.

  8. I appreciate the walking and the great husband. The friends. And the f*** it thrown out to break up the bergs of frustration, fear and sadness. I read this and want to “help” and realized how much you are helping us by so vividly detailing, so honestly, what you are going through. For those who can’t put their experiences in to words, this is helpful to us….to try and know as much as we can.

  9. pepesapam says:

    this is really a heart touching piece, you wrote so clearly your sadness, anger, hope , the way you felt…and yes husband and your friends are right..sometimes its okay to be human, hang on and stay strong always,..!! cheer up i will remember you in my prayers..good day..!!

    • inmycorner says:

      I think many of us become more clear and certainly inspired when emotions are closer to the sleeve. In any case, thank-you for your support and encouragement. There is always so much more I would like to write, but the detail becomes almost over-whelming. Today is a better day — thanks for remembering me in your prayers.

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