As I sat watching the TV last night thinking about going up to bed I heard little footsteps coming down the stairs. I lowered the volume a little to hear the footsteps clearer as Livvy appeared next to me wrapped in a blanket, ‘what are you doing not in bed?’ I enquired as Livvy asked me what the time was, 10 minutes to 10 I told her. ‘I cant get to sleep’ was her only response.
I know just how she feels, night after night watching the hours pass by before the morning arrives once more. Too tired to sleep, too many thoughts swamping my mind. I find it hard to concentrate on anything other then Livvy’s impending surgery.
Today I went for a run to try and clear my head. Running often gives me time to think but it also gives me time to not think, if that makes sense? I listen to the beat of my music, feel each footstep I take as I push myself to go faster, feel the cold autumn air reach deep into my lungs. I drift in and out of my own thoughts as the miles pass me by, I forget everything, even where I’ve been or where I’m going I just keep moving with the music silencing everyone and everything around me. My run today was not fast, the endless sleepless nights taking their toll on me. A steady easy run with no real thoughts other than the sound of my own breath as I negotiated the local streets, invisible to all that passed me, not a mother consumed with worry, full of anxiety. Not a mother with a daughter living with so much fear and anxiety it keeps her awake at night too. Just another runner out pounding the streets clocking up the miles, a ghost to all that see.
The worry and fear doesn’t stop at my feet or Livvy’s, it gets to us all. Eddie has become clingy, hugging me more often than normal, wanting to help me around the kitchen and often not leaving my side. Is he reacting to my worries? Am I not as good at hiding them as I thought? Or is he showing his own anxieties ahead of his little sisters surgery.
One thing I miss from the time before diagnosis is having no worries other then ones we all have as parents. I would give anything right now to have a day from ‘before’ a day and night of nothing but what our life once was. A full nights sleep where I don’t wake up overcome with panic, guilt and a feeling of helplessness. I often wake in the morning and have no idea what day of the week it is, my thoughts get so mixed up during the night that I have to work out what are just thoughts and dreams against what I actually did the previous day to determine what day I have woken to. The worries I once had seem so irrelevant and small against what I have now, I miss the simplicity.
It feels as if I’m in too deep, constantly treading water, just keeping my head above the waterline. I knew the days before surgery were going to be hard to get through for all of us but I didn’t think I would feel like I’m sinking, drowning in my own worries and tiredness. A constant tense state of apprehension.
I’m clinging onto the knowledge that this time next week I will be sat back here at my kitchen table with surgery behind us. Livvy will be home, tired, sore and possibly a little bit grumpy but she will be home and she will be safe. I know this time next week is going to be one of best nights sleep in a long time and I am so looking forward to it, I can’t even begin to describe that feeling to you.
Hold Livvy in your hearts next Monday my dear readers and I will see you on the other side, when this surgery slips into a memory with all her others and we can start looking forward to Christmas worry, and hopefully, cancer free.