I looked across the almost darkness of the parking lot and said, “I need to stop playing with it, don’t I? I need to get a band aid to cover it or else I am so drawn to twist at it to make it come off!”
She just shook her head, suddenly so wise beyond her fifteen years.
I felt as if every parenting book I devoured when she was little would be shaking their collective fingers at me tsk tsk tsking my using my child to parent me instead of the other way around.
Those books never tell you what to do when you get cancer, though. They don’t mention that in lives twists and turns children learn so much when parents are honest with their children, don’t shield them from their own pain.
Some of you may be wholeheartedly disagreeing with me on this and that’s fine with me.
I just had to say something about this because during the five weeks since I had surgery to carve my melanoma off my right cheek, I have felt so alone. I would google “facial melanoma surgery aftercare” and get tons and tons of links about after facelifts, but this wasn’t after a facelift, this was after a face slicing and dicing and stretching back into shape.
My doctor calls that something like a “bi something flap reconstruction” or a similar name. I call it my two hearted scar with the only piece still not just a red similar to a toddler post tantrum, but is more similar to my babies’ belly button scab that I also waited and waited and waited to just pop off. They always did after about a week or so but this has been five weeks, thirty-five days of it.
My children may be more relieved than I am once I take off my band aid. They are used to seeing my wound and I think they worry about me because when I have accidentally gone out without it, people look at my face. I think some of them assume I was beat up or something because the color has, at times, looked mottled and bruised.
No one tells you the guilt you will feel.
I feel guilty about whining when other folks with cancer that wasn’t so easily removed, many including many of my friends die to cancer.
I feel guilty about my moodiness since this started and the hovering depression that seems to be on the way out.
I feel guilty about not keeping up with my housework as well as I should.
And yes, it is inevitable, but I feel guilty about feeling guilty.
I can hear at least one of you taking the leap. You are saying, “Well, Julie, that isn’t very constructive guilt to carry around with you, just breathe in and let it go!” I will tell you, I know all about that. It is easier said than done in this and many other situations.
Thankfully there isn’t took much wallowing around in that muck, but for now, I wanted to acknowledge it in case anyone else has been feeling this same way and couldn’t wrap words around it.
My Emma gets smarter, wiser and more interesting to parent every day.
I can almost hear her saying the same thing about me.
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.
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