Wednesday, September 1, 2010

dropped the fork reaching for more kleenex

My own bed should be a cushion of safety, something I lacked while in the hospital. It holds my favorite blanket and my pillow (the pillow I know is missing in my stack when the sheets get changed and it is put on Scott's side, the pillow that gives me sweet dreams, it holds my husband who I wouldn't be me without, it holds a quilt given to me by a breast cancer survivor, a quilt she took with her to each chemo cycle. It holds me while I shake with fear, anxiety and the nighttime panic that occasionally sneaks into bed and makes itself at home, stripping me of the comfort and safety....tonight it decided to make a grand entrance.

I have said before that nights are the hardest, it is not always the case but when it rains, it pours. I sit up in bed next to my husband who is sleeping through my tears, the TV on, my bedside light glowing in his face while he habitually covers it with a pillow, me eating mac and cheese in bed and spilling some milk on the floor and my saying "fuck" loudly when I dropped the fork reaching for more kleenex. He would sit and cry with me in a heartbeat if he woke up, or if I chose to wake him up. I find his mere presence comforting and for god sakes he needs his sleep. He no longer has to worry about his wife in the hospital, the least I can do is let him have sweet dreams and a full nights sleep.

I have been hyper-emotional today as is, I really should have seen tonight coming and combated it with meds earlier, but at this point the attempt would be futile. And honestly it would have to be a horse size pill and I think you can only by those in Mexico and I am not up to the trip.

It's amazing how it sneaks up on me. I just lay in bed, relaxed and ready to fall asleep......and I wait, and wait some more. I then feel the anxiety begin to work its way up my body, my legs tingle and then my heart beats faster in anticipation--my stomach tightens and begin to get that choked up feeling right before you cry in my throat........then a tear rolls down my cheek, followed by another and another until it is a steady stream down both cheeks onto my favorite blanket and they are soaked up by my pillow that has stolen those sweet dreams from me for the night. My arms and legs tingle and I lose the feeling in my right hand (as a result from surgery it happens occasionally, but always when my body tightens with anxiety). It feels as though I am waiting for something bad to happen--a heightened since of awareness, like watching a horror movie and you know the killer is on the other side of the door---you are just waiting to jump and throw your popcorn in the air. I hold my breath, breathe deep, try in through mouth out through nose, everything in my bag of tricks---but I remain primed, waiting for the killer coming through the door...

I think that writing about it will maybe help, write the burden out, it gets lifted, I drift to off to sleep--insomnia gets put away, packaged up for another night with a nice little bow. It helps because the tears slow down because if they don't I can't see through my steamed up glasses to type. I work on deep breathing to keep from hyperventilating and try conscious relaxation except my body works itself into such a knot even at my most meditative state I couldn't untie it with all the breathing and visualization in the world.

So I wait for exhaustion to set in. I ran lots of errands today with Scott, more walking than I have done in the past 5 days in the hospital and with bone pain on top of it. I know it will becomes a waiting game--exhaustion vs your bets. So I close my laptop and hope the money I put on heavy eyelids and sweet dreams pays off...double or nothing.

"...when night fell, everything changed. The nightmares of childhood could not compete with the horrors of those nights when survival seemed only a very slim possibility. With everyone in our household sound asleep and not a sound to be heard anywhere, I would bolt upright in bed, my heart pounding, envisioning things I feared would come to pass. I would start to tremble all over, pull the blankets tighter around me, and lie there shivering and sobbing for what seemed like hours."
-Kathy Cawthon


  1. Thank you for being so honest in sharing your journey with us. I will be praying for peace, rest, and calmness for you each and every night (and day, too).

  2. I am a friend of your mother-in-laws and I came across your blog through Facebook. Friday is my seven year anniversary when at age 34 I had a bi-lateral mastectomy due to breast cancer. I understand the road you are walking and remember many sleepless nights myself.I remember taking warm baths at 2:00 in the morning to try and relax and fall asleep.

    You are not alone on this journey. You CAN do this. I remember watching a video of someone saying "you'll get through this, you'll life will turn get back to normal, just a different kind of normal." I thought..."whatever, nothing can ever be normal again." But, the truth is she was right, it does get back to a different kind of normal with a stronger person emerging on the other side. Remember to take things a day at a time, and when that doesn't work, and hour at a time. I am sorry that you have to go through hell on earth. Your blog is a wonderful way to share your journey and probably very theraputic as well. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.


  3. Dori, you probably don't know me, but my Son Dustin graduated with your Sisters, Kristi and Kerry. I found your blog via a link on facebook. I want you to know that you are a very inspiring young Lady. I LOVE your Spirit....I HATE this Disease!! I do however believe that your positive spirit will bring you through this. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. God Bless you <3

    P.S. You are rocking that bald head...the sign of a truly beautiful soul!

    Tonya Little