Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Holding The Tension

One of my favorite metaphors about life is the one of us holding the tension. I think of my grandmother, and my mother, and myself, sewing, and adjusting the tension that is necessary to keep the stitches even. When teaching me to hem a garment, my mother quoted my grandmother, saying "If you make your stitches too big, you'll hang your toe in them."

I think of my brother, who, when he was young built himself a bicycle out of scrap parts, and apparently, did not have the tension of the chain quite right, because, somehow, the chain slipped off, or locked up, and he tumbled off the bicycle and broke a leg.

There is a tension we must hold (and constantly adjust) as we raise our children. Some of us have to learn that saying "yes" is not always the most loving thing to say. That holds true in more than our parenting relationships.

I held a different kind of tension this past weekend, when I was in Houston for my second three month checkup. I wonder when I will quit numbering the checkups and just call it "my checkup"? My husband, for the longest time after my son died, knew the exact number of days our son had been gone. I suspect he might still be keeping that tally. I remember my son's words on the back cover of a notebook when he was in a rehab facility: "number of days I been here:" followed by his hash marks that numbered the days. We humans do love to count the days and mark our times.

I have to make five years before I'm declared truly cured. For the first couple of years, those years are measured in three month increments. I was particularly stressed this time around, mostly because they had me scheduled to have my port removed. Before I would see the oncologist. I asked the woman at the pre-procedure meeting if they would know my scan was clear and all was well before they took the port out. She said they wouldn't. That bothered me. I dealt with that, speaking to several people throughout the day, and eventually got the port removal changed to take place after seeing the oncologist (which is how the nurse said it was supposed to have been all along).

Sometimes you just can't make nice and do what the "authorities" tell you to do. Sometimes you just have to make a little noise. As it turns out, in this case, everything would have been perfectly okay whether my port was taken out that morning or that afternoon, but we didn't know that in advance and I was unwilling to take that risk. And that's another of the side effects of my cancer: I'm less willing to sit down and shut up and hang on for the ride.

To make a long story short (oops, too late!), my scan was clear and they did remove the port. As of now, I remain in remission, and I am working to let my life be.





8 comments:

  1. I love this and you so very much. I love the picture you paint of tension. LOL big toes. Be.

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    1. Thanks, Mindy! I love you! Now we have to write again next week?

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  2. Girl, you are hardly just letting life be. You are whacking life with the big racquet and being the boss of both sides of the court.

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    1. Thanks, Cyn! Whacking all that I can!

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  3. Seated and silent is WAY over-rated... it gets us into things we shouldn't oughta be into. So pleased you're making noise for yourself!
    <3

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    1. Thank you! You aren't kidding about the seated and silent stuff getting us into things we shouldn't oughta be into!

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Don't just sit there staring, say something!