In the Land of Zombies and Sleepwalkers

So it’s been a few weeks since mom’s last radiation treatment and my dad’s death, and I can honestly say I feel like I’ve been run over by several buses and stomped on by an elephant. I think the tiredness and stress of everything we’ve endured finally hit me. I’d been walking around like a zombie for the longest time and in some ways, I still am. So much of my life has been about doing what’s needs to be done to help mom, even to the point of sometimes ignoring my own needs. Now suddenly there is nothing before us but a doctor’s appointment here and there, periodical testing and the future.

For me, it feels like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, and I guess that makes sense because after so many months of endless fear and stress you kind of get to a place where that becomes normal. You adjust to things that none of us should have to adjust to, and that is part of being a strong, resilient person.

Now suddenly, you have to learn to let that go, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Let’s face it, other people have been told their non-terminal and somehow the cancer that the doctors said was gone comes back. I don’t know the statistics, and perhaps I should take the time to find them, but my point is, that I’m existing in an apprehensive place. No, that doesn’t mean I’m full of anxiety or constantly looking for boogiemen around every corner, but I’m definitely going through my own sort of recovery. I want to believe what the doctor’s say so that mom and I can let go and move on, but I also want to be aware of certain awful possibilities. In addition, I’m still not able to sleep, but I have begun to do something on most days that had been helpful. Yes, I’ve started taking naps.

And I have to add that naps are a blessing.

No big deal I know, but really, right now for me it is, because for months now I’ve been subsisting on five hours of sleep a day. I have no idea how I’ve been functioning like this, but somehow I have. Certainly it is part of the reason why I feel like a zombie, except I’m not stumbling around looking for brains to feast on. The truth is, I’m not sure what I’m stumbling around looking for; certainly my mother’s continued recovery is on the list, but I know there’s something else.

I guess I’ll figure it out as I go, but for now, I’ll just think of myself as a zombie who feels apprehensive about the future, but will settle for a nap and some wine ice cream.

Image by Jeremy Enecio

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This entry was posted in Cancer, Caregiving, Death and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In the Land of Zombies and Sleepwalkers

  1. Suba says:

    I told you naps were akin to healthy daytime snacks. You’ve found a good street to drive down here, Rach. Take it slow.

  2. Deanna Schrayer says:

    Rachel, I’ve been through quite a lot in my life, things most people would be astounded at, if they knew, but I can honestly say that I’ve never been where you are now, (at least not yet), so I won’t offer the tired “I know how you feel.” I don’t. But I do know, from experience, these things do make us stronger somehow, even if it takes us years, as it often does, to realize it.
    Naps are just one of the many blessings to come. It may not sound like much to some, but I can feel, through your words, that it means a lot. The fact that you appreciate that is what matters.

    I hope the blessings keep adding up.

  3. Blackbirdsong says:

    Thank you for the comment Deanna. Yes the blessings continue to be added up and yes I am stronger in spite of myself. Sadly we become strong through adversity. I wish we could become strong in another way, but this is how it works unfortunately.

  4. James K. Blaylock says:

    Rach, it sounds like you’re taking baby steps back into fully breathing, and I think that that is a wonderful place to begin. You’ve been through a great deal within so many months, an emotional rollercoaster if you will, but you’ll learn to wade out into the cooler, deeper, soothing waters soon enough. Take your time sweetie, and don’t keep the Sandman waiting up at all hours for your lovely returns. Be blessed!

    jkb

  5. Blackbirdsong says:

    OK James, that is officially the sweetest comment ever. Thank you and thank you for being such a kind and supportive friend.

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