Saturday, August 1, 2009

Being Real

Today all the stuff that's on my shoulders brought me to tears. I was running errands, and I let my thoughts drift back to some of the crap that had come down at the end of the last school year. It made me upset all over again, and I can't help but dread returning to school. Some aspects of the situation have changed, and that will most likely make next year a good one, but I just have a bad feeling about it. I know there are coworkers reading this blog now because they are concerned about my husband, and I appreciate the support. But this is my space to be real, and the reality for me is that I would have rather continued to teach third grade and work with those teachers. There, I've said it!

It's not just the dynamics between me and a few others, it's that fourth and fifth grade teachers are the hardest working teachers in the district because they have big classes and a longer school day. I just so appreciated the smaller class size and shorter day last year when we were struggling with our infertility treatments. Now, my husband and I are fighting for his life and I've just been handed more responsibility at work because I'm "a great upper-grade teacher." Granted, neither my principal or I knew that Michael had cancer when she bumped me back up to fourth grade. Maybe she would have made a different decision if we'd known then.

And, being a caregiver for a seriously ill person is hard! Michael has some real issues about food and eating right now. That is pretty common for cancer patients. So, I constantly encourage him to eat, but I usually get a lot of resistance from him. It's hard to see him getting thinner and thinner. He feels like a different person when I touch him or give him a hug. I miss my big, strong guy.

I also miss him being able to be more of a partner with the household responsibilities. I feel like there's always a new mess to be cleaned up, things to be picked up at the store, laundry to do, etc. In the past there were two of us to take care of things. Now there's just me. It's a drag.

And, then there's all the hopes and dreams that have been put on hold. We haven't done anything in regards to fertility treatments since our failed IVF in March. Other people around me are still trying, getting pregnant, and/or having babies soon. Instead of pursuing that dream, we're pursuing a cure for Michael's cancer. There's nothing else to do, of course. It's just hard to be getting closer to my 42nd birthday and have that part of our lives in limbo, but I don't know what else to do.

Life is just so different than it was a few months ago. I guess today I'm just processing some of these difficult things and dealing with the emotions they trigger.

This too shall pass...

I promise I won't become a chronic complainer. I just had to get this off my chest today.


Alex and Jill said...

Joannah, you never complain. You are always so positive. Everyone needs to just be real sometimes and you never need to apologize that your time is now. You're going through some hard stuff...between Michael's cancer and your infertility, that's A LOT to deal with emotional, physically, even spiritually.

I'll be praying for you guys...adding your new teaching job to the list, k?

Love ya, girl.


Jean-Pierre said...

Hi Joannah:

Cathie and I are sitting here with our lap tops both reading your beautiful blog. It is so moving and heart wrenching and inspiring at the same time. Please keep these posts coming. You and Michael are in our thoughts and prayers all the time. You guys will get through this, and life will be beautiful.

All our love,


AprilMay said...

Oh my goodness! How can you be a testimony to Christ if you are not real sometimes? You have had so much happen this past shoulders would be broken by now I think! Unburden them on your faithful blog readers anytime, and most of all, on God. I am praying that Michael will quit fighting you, and that there will be a change (even at the last minute!) in your teaching assignment!

Dawn said...

Well it's about time you let some of this go!
As much as I admire your grace, and truly I do, I was wondering where you were letting off steam. This is your blog, your place to drop your excess baggage and it wasn't showing up.
I thought perhaps it was your faith that made you so strong, and I am sure it is but you have to stop and allow yourself to "feel". This fight includes both of you. Michael might be the patient but you are in this too and you are allowed to feel down trodden, fed up, annoyed and slighted by life.
These feeling pass and don't feel guilty about them.
Is there any possible way that due to your circumstances you could be switched back to a 3rd grade classroom. I know nothing about teaching, especially in CA.

Kayce said...

Let it all out Joannah anytime. You have emotions to release and we are all here to support you and lift you up in prayer. Sending you many hugs and keeping you in our constant prayers.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

I can't believe what you have been going though and my heart bleeds for you Joannah.

I am not sure when you got back to school. I know it is sooner than in Canada.

Take care of you.


Calico Sky said...

Oh Joannah, I'm just so sorry. I want you to know I cried at this post because it is obvious you are hurting and I just feel such empathy for all that you are going through. There isn't a day I don't pray for Michael's health and your strength.

I know part time working isn't really common in the US like it is here, is there anyway you are entitled to part time work or have a few weeks leave because you are a carer (sorry don't know the US terminology for it)? I'll be praying about the job situation.

It must be hard to see people continuing on the path to parenthood, that I well understand. I hope that they continue to support you and try to empathize with what you are going through, I know when my adoption fell apart I was dropped like a hot potato by a lot within the adoption community, not out of unkindness (I hope!) but I think sometimes people don't want to be reminded that things do go wrong. I hope and pray that those friends you've made continue to support you and show kindness and love, even if they are on other paths.

I think you have every right to vent, share your feelings including frustrations and I know I and I'm sure others will simply keep praying for you, keep hoping and just wish for you and Michael a long, happy, healthy life together with a growing family.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declaires the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jeremiah 29:11


Kate x

Kathryn said...

Sometimes i feel like i'm a chronic complainer but i use my blog as the spot to say the things i can't say elsewhere.

It is a difficult balance between being real & complaining & it is hard to find. I know often we are much harder on ourselves than others & folks appreciate "real."

Growing up i often felt that our church implied that "Christians don't have problems" & that if you did you were not really living for Jesus. That was hard! Sometimes that mentality still effects me, but it is the opposite of true. When people see the reality of your world & that you still honor God, that is the true testimony.

And you reflect this in every way. You are gracious & kind, but you are also dealing with frustrations & uncertainty. Thank you for sharing, & God's blessings on you! :)

Kathy and Joel said...

You have my permission to complain all you like. You have been through quite a storm, my friend and it's okay to take some time to really feel it.
No one is thinking that life has been a walk in the park for you. I know you are strong and have a strong faith to back you, but sometimes it's necessary to get those things that are on your sweet little mind off of it and hopefully, walk a little lighter.

Debra said...

Came to you by way of Andrea's blog.

"this too shall pass" almost coined the title of my blog "And It Came To Pass". Thank heaven for things that will pass!

I am a cancer survivor of Hodgkins disease. Radiation, chemo and the whole nine yards. It's difficult and most especially for the spouses.

My daughter is a 4th grade teacher and it is certainly not an easy job.

Blessings and prayers offered your way.

wzgirl said...

Joannah - Think of it as venting vs. complaining. It is ok, and it is healthy to release real feelings. And, to put them on the "outside". I feel for you, friend. The whole ticking clock thing especially, too. xoxox

Alyson & Ford said...

I am so sad, tears, from reading your post. You have so much to bear! My heart goes out to you.

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Ten Months!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

I am glad you were so honest. The part about your dear husband not feeling the same to the touch broke my heart. I can not believe what you have been asked to bare these last few years.
You are always in my prayers.

Tamara said...


How the Lord must love you! He doesn't have all His followers travel such a road with such a load. He presents them to those He loves most, using the circumstances to shape and mould our character into His image.

It isn't easy, it isn't pretty. Psalm 66:9-11 speaks of how God refines silver. It passes through the flames my dear... I'm sure it isn't pretty when all the dross comes to the surface.

Continue to use your blog to "vent"! It's healthy and God knows your heart, so be honest with your blog!

Bless your heart Joannah, you've been through so very much in such a short time...

Hugz and prayers

Catherine said...

This is your place to share from you heart with those who care greatly about you and Michael.

((hugs)) and prayers for you.

Alyson & Ford said...

Spreading the word about Kris....If you can help our friend…

Thank you,
Alyzabeth’s Mommy for Ten Months

Shelley said...

Joannah, you do what you need to do to get a little comfort and maintain your strength and sanity. If that means blowing off steam on your blog, then have at it! You have to vent somewhere. If not here, where?

Michelle said...

You have every right to complain. You are under more stress than one person should have to endure, and you endure it with grace.

I'm sorry you have to go through a change at your job. That in itself is stressful, let alone adding to the top of the other worries you have right now. I would still love to come out on a Wednesday and help out in your classroom. I'll let you know when all of the dental appts. are done for my Dad and we can plan a day.

Hang in there!

P.S. Sorry this is so late. My bloglines is not updating when there are new posts on my blogs. So irritating.

Anne Marie said...

This doesn't sound like complaining, but real stuff that needs to get out in the open in order to deal with it. I am sorry things are tough right now and sending a big smile and a hug :)