Swim to Dinner

Today was about processing the news of yesterday, trying to finish work, figuring out what kind of PTO that I have and what our plans can be, making arrangements to be sure all the kids have places and all that they need, and playing with them in the late afternoon sun.

I want to spend every moment with them that I can.

The baby made that easy tonight, as she continues her fussy stage. Lots of opportunity to spend one on one time with her and all that noise she can make. At one point, Jessica just came into our room and said, “Can you please do something about that baby?”

We are trying!

The only medical update is that they probably cannot wait until the end of the month for my surgery.

But I still don’t know when they will do it, and still waiting on more scans, and still waiting on what the problem is with my X-rays and labwork from when they were trying to see if I had rheumatoid arthritis or if something else was going on in my bones. I don’t know yet if that is part of this, or just another extra “we can get through this” challenge.

In the meantime, I feel like my pain has doubled or quadrupled, and I am a girl with some serious pain tolerance. I am declining pain medication thus far because I see such bad things happen with it in my patients, but I am taking alleve. Also, I am so exhausted and tired, as if moving to do anything is trying to swim through molasses.

I don’t know if my pain and fatigue are actually worse, or if it is in my head now that I know what’s going on, or if Nathan is right that I have been struggling with it for months but just can’t push through anymore now that we know what’s going on and I have permission to stop and “rest” (for surgery).

Regardless, I am grateful to know there really is something going on, and that I am not just crazy or a whimp. I have known for two years I still wasn’t well, and trying so hard, but always had good reasons to think it was something else. It’s not cancer fatigue, just dead parents grief. It’s not pain, just being whimpy since those other surgeries. It’s not cancer fatigue, just too many kids in the house. It’s not pain, just wrestling with a toddler.

My random bruising is easy to laugh off because I am such a clutz, but it was getting worse.

They tried to find what it was and where, but all we could do was watch my markers go up until it was all big enough to find.

Well, now we found it.

And what’s weird is that for so long, my levels were ok. High, but ok.


It’s frustrating, to say the least.

Today I walked around being aware there are at least four large tumors inside me, and hoping nothing popped the cancer balloon inside me as I went through my day. Five kicked me when he was swimming, the toddler jammed a broom at me, and my nieces jumped on me when I laid down to rest for a minute.

I managed not to throw up on anyone, but it knocked the wind out of me and hurt enough to make my eyes roll back in my head.

I know nothing will actually pop, but it’s a weird feeling to know such a monster is inside, and that it feeds first anytime I eat, and that it is out to get me.

It doesn’t know who it is fighting.

I am such a whimp, though! It took me an hour to unload the dishwasher because I can hardly bend over. I stopped to think, how long has it been this bad? Or is it really getting that much worse that fast?

It’s also embarrassing.

And highly frustrating.

Besides making sure all my kids have what they need (Nathan and his dad are moving the last of the teenager’s furniture next week – I am so, so proud of her), I also have to make sure my patients are taken care of as much as possible. I have obviously stopped taking new patients for now, but also have to see who is okay waiting a week or two, who needs to be transferred, or what to do if I can’t work at all for a while. The not knowing makes it hard, but having a plan for each scenario means in the moment we can focus on the experience because our plans are already in place.

I swam a lot today, because my kids love it, I needed the sunshine, and my pain goes way down in the water.

Until I get out.

Then I know I did too much.

But it is so good, for a moment, for some of the pain to be eased.

We got home from swimming to discover Sister Ames had dropped off this amazing dinner for our family:


I cried. It made my evening so much easier, and tastes so yummy. It took care of my family, and cleanup was easy. It was like a miracle, and so humbling since I am HER visiting teacher so should be taking care of her instead of her caring for me.

But I am grateful.

Also to the parents, who kept the toddler while the rest of us worked or swam, and wore her out nicely so that she went to bed right away.

Also to the baby, who has finally quit screaming, so I might have a short pretend date night with my husband, thanks to the pie Sister Ames spoiled us with tonight.

Many thanks for the kind words and encouragements today, truly.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Swim to Dinner — 2 Comments

  1. You truly deserve every wonderful word you have received. Not only are you blessing the lives of your family but everyone who reads your blog. I’m so thankful that He led me to your blog. I pray you can continue it for many more years. Until were old and very gray. It’s about more than family or the gospel, it’s about everything wonderful and true. We love you very much.