Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ugly Reality

Today turned out to be a very challenging day. The silence in the car on our way to radiation treatment was not a good thing. Gagik wasn't himself today, no jokes or any small talk, he just sat there quietly. I looked over at him, he had a tired look on his face, and seemed miles away, submerged in deep thought.

I started wondering.... was he thinking of the past and all the things he could have done differently, was he thinking of the future and all the things left undone? Or was he worried about me and all that this situation is putting me through, or the kids and how much they are going to be needing him.... I just lost it, and tears came pouring down, I had to hold back and not let him see me. And everything that I thought I was handling, seemed to crumble on top of me. I started thinking of "why" and ''how" is this all happening to us, to him.

He has always thought of others, and has been kind and gentle, and has always been happy with what he has, never complained or wished for things beyond reach. Our days were always filled with joy and hard work, family and friends always came first, we never lost ourselves in greed or envy, or wished any harm to anyone.... Why were we put on this horrid road and left to deal with this suffering?? What about all the things we still want to do together, all the dreams and plans we have? Why are we being robbed of that? To be so happy together and to have to be put through this "test". WHY?

I know I always say that I'm done with the "why" question, I've come to terms with this reality and am dealing with it as best as I can, but when I saw his face today, it just killed me, I hate that he is going through this.... WHY? WHY? WHY?

Yes, everyone including me say that we need to stay positive and strong, and hang on to hope always, well.... when you are in the eye of this terrible storm and you see pieces of your life tearing apart, it becomes very hard to practice what we preach.
I just can't put any words together to describe the pain in my heart, nor can any of us understand and feel what Gag has to go through every day.

Of course, I also had to go take care of something... to be prepared for the unthinkable day, and I won't talk about that now, but that was not easy to do either...

What an ugly, ugly day this was, I'm glad it's almost over and tomorrow will be a better day, I know it, I have to hope for that.

Tough Love

I got a little upset with the boys this morning. And yes, I feel guilty now, but that's ok, I'll get over it and they'll get over it too. As a stay home mom, I always did everything for them, and that's not necessarily good. They are so used to me hovering about, telling them what to do and how to do it.... and now they are older and need to learn to take care of their share of responsibilities. It's not like I'm asking them to do my work around the house or go out there and do manual labor to bring home some money... Just to take care of themselves. I explained today that I have so much to deal with every day, and if they would just do what they are supposed to without me constantly reminding them, it would make my job a whole lot easier.
"Brush your teeth! Take a shower! Don't forget your lunch money! Start your homework!"
I mean, COME ON! At 15 and 13, they are not babies any more, in some third world countries boys their age are either fighting a war or raising a family, or both. I think, as parents sometimes we don't want to put too much on their shoulders, but we are not doing them a favor, the sooner they learn responsibilities and the consequences as a result of ignoring those responsibilities, the more prepared they will be to face life.
I know it's been hard for the boys too, let's face it our lives changes drastically in the past year or so, and it will take some getting used to, I'm not even thinking about how hard it's going to get still..... That thought frightens me and keeps me up at nights. But, we'll have to deal with that when we get to it!
Parenting is harder now then it was for our parents. Think about it, they didn't have to worry about a lot of the things we are faced with now. We walked to school, came home, ate, did homework, and spent the rest of the evening playing outside till it was time for bed. Half the day our parents didn't even see us, and on weekends the sooner we did our chores the faster we could do something fun with our friends. But, we have to constantly entertain our kids, because they are bored! Do you think our parents thought about how every decision they made for us would effect our "emotional state" or if it would haunt us as adults? No! We were more resilient, tougher, and we probably were more street smart. It was ok to lose your soccer game (hey, a team has to lose for the other to win), it was ok to fall and scrape your knees or elbows (we found a fountain somewhere, washed it off and kept going), nobody got an infection. We baby our kids way too much nowadays. We went to Armenia a couple of years ago, and the difference was so visible, our boys seemed so much more reserved and shy, and afraid of things then younger kids there.
I guess, what I'm saying is, we shouldn't fuss over our kids so much, we need to give them some room, expect a little more from them, and not hold on to them so tight. They'll be fine, and they'll learn to think for themselves for a change.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Poem by Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Long Day

WOW! I just read my last blog post..... I went on and on didn't I, could you sense my frustration a little :) I would be worried if I weren't frustrated or somewhat pissed off right?

And I'm not alone in this
, we met with our Oncologist today, as we got to talking about the why and how of cancer, she seemed pretty frustrated too. She has been working in the field for over 30 years, both in research and practice, and explained how to this day researchers are still lost as to what really triggers cancer, is it environmental, genetic, the chemicals in our foods and water, or the toxins we expose ourselves to? I asked her about this recent type of lung cancer that targets non smoking women between the ages of 40 and 50, and is a very aggressive type, most patients lose the battle within a few months. She explained that the researchers are very puzzled and are working very hard to figure out what the cause is, why exactly it attacks that particular group of women. I know two, such women who have passed away from that very cancer within the last 2 years, both at 42 years of age, leaving behind children, husbands and families. It's so frightening... again, the doctor looked as lost and bewildered as we all do... It must be tough for them, working in this environment, and seeing people from all walks of life, kids and infants even, suffering in the hands of this disease and not be able to really do much about it. I don't envy them.....

We were at the City of Hope from 8am till about 3 today, what a long and draining day.

Gago had blood tests done, radiation, doctors appointment and chemo all one after the other, the poor thing was so tired, he kept saying... just give me a couch and a blanket, so I can sleep a little. Finally, he was able to get some rest while he was getting his chemo infusion for about an hour. I had to get outside.... for some reason I wasn't as patient today, maybe I was just tired. Plus, as much as I try not to let things get to me, it's still hard to see all the other patients, each with their own pains and discomforts, trying to make it through the day, especially the kids. I met a teenage boy in the elevator with his mom, he looked a bit like Arman, had his rock T-shirt on and his Vans sneakers... headed to chemo, mom was concerned about how much homework he had to deal with later. It broke my heart, and made me think that no matter how horrible of a situation we think we are in... it could always be worse, imagine having to see your child go through this....Horror!

Anyways.. made it through the day so far, and the positive of today is that at least Gagik hasn't thrown up (yet), so that's a good thing, and now he is on his couch with a blanket, dreaming of something good... I hope.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A New Battle

So, here we go, today is a new day, the beginning of a new week and the start of another kind of battle. We have switched to heavier artillery and have changed our battle strategies. As hopeless as it all seemed last week, we are still very much in the fight and will forge on whole heatedly. Because, we don't know how to give up, nor do we have the choice...

You know, when Gagik first started having his health problems, first with the heart and then the cancer, we figured... ok it's a given, I guess it was inevitable, with his family history, and the stressful work and the smoking, all factors that contributed to his current state and it was only a matter of time. Then the more we met with other patients in the many hours we spent in the chemo therapy room or the patient waiting room at the doctors offices, the more bewildered and lost we felt.

Be it the 24 year old College Football player who was escorted to the chemo chair by his father, both with a confused look on their faces, wondering how this could have happened to a young, fit, healthy athlete like him, or the 36 year old, vegetarian, marathon running lady that sat next to us and was crying from being so tired, as she was on her fifth chemo cycle, or the 60 year old man, who had a terrified look in his eyes, filled with regret and self pity, who turned to my husband and said "if only I had smoked and drank, and had not worried so much about being healthy, then I would have something to blame all this on". And yes, there were the pack a day smokers, who couldn't wait to light up a cigarette in the parking lot as soon as they left their chemo session. This disease has no prejudice, doesn't care about race, religion, gender, age, height, weight, it strikes at random and invades your life.

So, it looks like there are no guarantees in life and we can't live in constant fear of what might or might not happen. Yes, we should do all we can to stay active and healthy, but not obsess over it. We need to find the middle, enjoy things in moderation, either extremes can't be good for us. To one extreme we put severe restrictions on ourselves, only to inevitably slip and fall off that wagon and end up with more disappointment and cause more damage. To the other extreme we completely let loos and find ever more self destructive behaviour and end up really hurting ourselves.

So, again moderation.... go ahead and have that glass of wine, or whisky once in a while at the end of the day to unwind, drink it slowly and let the flavor linger on your tongue a bit, or bite into that piece of chocolate you've been eyeing for three days, let it melt slowly in your mouth and really enjoy it, take your kids out for ice-cream now and then, and let them have that extra pump of hot fudge on it, it won't kill them...

Life is getting harder and harder, and people are working longer hours, have less and less time to spend with family and friends, and basically there is not much fun to be had. How many people do you all know, who are really happy and are enjoying life. I remember, when we were kids, my parents had friends over often, they didn't wait for that perfect weekend, or clean the house and put out the good china, their friends would come over, put some bread and cheese and whatever else was in the fridge that day, and a bottle of something on the table, have some drinks, talk, laugh, and to this day they have those great memories to look back on. But, our generation in this society has forgotten how to have fun and enjoy the simpler things. We are too busy making money to own bigger and better things, everything is on a tight schedule, play dates are planned, walks have become part of a workout routine, rather than a leisurely thing to enjoy. And when was the last time we did something nice for someone without expecting anything in return, I'm not talking about filling volunteer hours at your kids school or your church, but a good deed you do for someone out of the goodness of your heart and not as a check mark on your "to do" list. So, let's all slow down a bit, and enjoy this journey, and have some fun while we are at it...

We have become a numb society living in constant fear and consumption as a result of that fear, drowning in self indulgence caused by our dwelling in self pity.

How sad for us.....!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be Prepared!

The past few days have been.... let's just say, extremely difficult.

It all started, when on Tuesday, sitting in the doctor's office, our world came to a screeching halt. What the tests have revealed is everything we didn't want to hear, but are faced with now. Not only has the cancer spread throughout his chest cavity lymph nodes, and his esophagus, it has also moved up to his brain and is slowly eating away at his entire body. It is now, only a matter of time, we are told.
I find it very difficult putting these words down, the more I say it or write it down the more real it seems. But, let's face it, it is real, it is here, and I can't do anything to stop it from happening. Gagik and I talked about it later that day, I wanted him to express what he was feeling inside, and that it was ok to talk about it. For those of you who know him, know that he is a very calm, logical, "black and white" person, and very optimistic, that is who he has always been. But I knew how hard hearing all this was for him and wanted to reach out to him and let him know that he doesn't need to hold it in.... this is what he had to say, I quote:

" It is what it is, it just took a different turn that's all. I am very happy with my life, I have no regrets. And, yes I am upset and angry, but will yelling and breaking things change anything? We just have to do the best we can."

I think what bothers him the most about this whole situation is, how much pain all this is causing all of us, as in me, his sister, mom, the kids and everyone else, that's Gagik, always concerned with everyone but himself.
The doctor said that with some radiation on the brain, we can at least prevent a stroke or other symptoms that are associated with the brain tumors, ( like the slurred speech he experienced a few times) and we will still continue with chemo treatments per Gagiks request, even though the treatment at this point will most likely not help. It seems like from that whole conversation in the doctors office, what stuck in his head is the "small chance that the treatments might work", and that's what we have to hang on to right now.
What amazes me about him, is the courage and patience with which he is handling all this, not one complaint, as to "why me" or "what now", the countless hours of nausea, and vomiting, and the pain he has to deal with. Considering all that he is going through.... he still manages to crack a joke or laugh about something, not to mention flirt with the nurses. What an incredible person. He is a true hero. To stare death in the eye, to feel it's cold breath upon you, and still come out standing tall, with hope in one hand and humor in the other. We can all learn a thing or two from him.
So, from here on, we just live a moment at a time, cherishing every good day, and surviving the bad ones. We hope for the best still, and be prepared for the worse.

But is anyone ever really prepared.......?

Now I have the difficult task of telling his sister and mom about all this.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog Therapy

Something to look forward to every day. Somewhere to unload your thoughts. Something that gives others some pleasure too. What more could a person ask for? I'll tell you, this blog thing is really working out for me. Regardless of how many readers I have, writing things down is really a great release for me. Not to sound selfish or anything, I hope it's as good for you guys as it is for me ;) But, I highly recommend it to anyone, you don't have to be in a crisis in your life, as long as you have things you want to share, you've got yourself a blog page. And the comments are great, thank you for taking the time to drop a few lines, I really appreciate it.
I know it's not taking all my pain and stress away like a magic wand, but the few minutes a day that I get to do this, I am completely submerged in a world that feeds my creativity, as well as nurtures my psyche. Not to mention the solitude of just me, the keyboard and my thoughts, it's almost like a meditative state. A few solitary moments a day is very healthy for all of us, it helps us recharge and reconnect with our inner self. It might be a hike or a walk in the morning, or a yoga practice and meditation, which have both helped me in the past, or even just a few minutes of reading something that you enjoy in silence. Wherever you might find that solitary confinement, try to enjoy it and lose yourself in it completely. After all, we as humans, no matter how much we surround ourselves with people and things that make us feel good, in the end it's still just us, alone in our own shell, so the more we nurture that self and find comfort within that shell, the more happiness we can find and in turn exude that joy to the ones around us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Venice Beach

Spring break is almost over for the boys, and even though we had made some plans to hang out and do a couple of fun things, between the City of Hope appointments and me getting sick, we didn't do anything. The thing I love about our boys though is that they didn't complain at all, Arman even said, as long as there is no school, it's vacation enough for him. So, I finally made some time this afternoon, and took them to Venice beach for lunch and just to hang around a bit. It was a beautiful day, the weather was so nice and we had a really good time.

As we air guitared our way through traffic blasting Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" on the radio, for those few brief moments, right then, we had not a care in the world. We rocked all the way to the beach. Music has an amazing therapeutic magic, it doesn't matter what you listen to, but a good air guitar jam session is worth a hundred visits to the therapist couch.

It was a great day, and the boys and I really enjoyed spending the day together. I guess, we were able to steal a few good hours from today. If we can all do that everyday, even steal just a few happy moments from each day, like water drops gathering in a bucket, it won't be long before we have a bucket full of great moments we can look back on.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nurturers by Nature

I've been under the weather the last couple of days, and that's a scary thing in our home. Gagik can't get sick right now, his body is very vulnerable after all the chemo sessions, it's very weak and would not be able to fight. And it's been very tough trying to stay away from him, considering I've had to drive him to City of Hope for some more tests, and have to care for him at home. I am so exhausted, all you want to do when you feel feverish and achy is hug a pillow and drink something warm right? Well, I don't have that luxury right now. My mom has been helpful as much as she can, but she has her hands full too. So, last night as I finally got some pillow hugging time, I got to thinking about something that once again got me all worked up. (As my thoughts often do...)

I being a nurturing person by nature, and am always the primary care giver at home, found myself wanting someone to nurture me for a change, at least just someone to make me some soup or give me some hot tea or something. Let's go deeper into this shall we? I have my husband, who let's face it right now can't be much of a nurturer or care giver to anyone, then I have my kids.... boys, who asides from blowing kisses at me from across the room as they pass me (which is great), don't really know how to nurture. Ok, stay with me here, and please don't think of me as sexist, or old fashion..... but I think nurturers by nature are women, yes, there are many men we all know who could pull it off, but mostly this is one gift, or ability that women posses more than men. However, lately as the world of women has taken a shift, everything is off balance too. I think women are trying very hard to compete, and succeed in this society, and in the process have lost the very essence of being a woman. I believe that men and women are not created equally, there I've said it, now you can call me "old fashioned". If we were supposed to be the same then there would be just one entity right? We are different, and we should embrace those differences.
A marriage is an equal effort to happiness, and both man and woman bring a lot to the table, but not the same things. As many of the roles have changed nowadays, so have families, life is becoming a struggle, and marriages are crumbling. Yes, we each can succeed in the others world, and women can be the providers, and men can be the caregivers, but at the end of the day, when it's just family at home, the corporate wife should hang that hat and play the loving mom and wife, not the controlling executive (dinner table is not a board meeting). And so the husband should shift roles and take control of certain things that need a mans touch..... Let's face it, if you ask anyone now, a man doesn't find a controlling powerful woman attractive, nor does a woman find any desire for (excuse my French) a pussyfied man.

Wow, see what happens when I let my thoughts roll out through my fingers? All I'm saying is... girls, take care of your men, and they will in turn want to care for you even more. Find that nurturing woman inside and let her out, and let your man be the man.

As far as finding a nurturer for me, well I made my soup and got my tea, and gave a good lecture to the boys, hope next time they can help me out a little.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

City of Hope

City of Hope.... Even the name makes you feel hopeful right?
What do you see when you think of it? I imagine a white castle like building surrounded with lush green forests and plump clouds, angels flying about and greeting you with harp music by a large golden gate which leads you into a magical world, where miracles happen ....umm.....ya! Not quite.

As we drove up to the main entrance, with the large water fountain, which is nicer then other hospitals, the rest of the building looked like any other medical facility. You've seen one hospital... you've seen them all, right? And we have seen quite a few in the past year or so. We were greeted by a little old man, a volunteer who was cute as ever, and I'm sure is someones lovable grandpa. He walked us down the hallway to meet with the doctor, and on the way we passed by the Pediatric Treatment Center... oh boy! Now that's a depressing thought, right? I can't even imagine little kids going through all this pain, and fighting this giant war with their little lives, armed to their smiling teeth. I couldn't help but fill up with anger, and the dreaded questions started popping up in my mind... Why? What did these innocent, sweet children do to deserve this? Why them? Who knows? Is it Karma of lives past that haunts us? Is it God's greater plan? Who are we to question it? And yet, every day we search for the answers to these countless questions, and are left unsatisfied with any given explanation. But, that's a whole another blog entree or a few...

So, as we waited for the doctor in a usual looking patient room, with the typical wall paper and pictures on the walls, both Gagik and I looked very skeptical, both of us thinking... here we go again.... another doctor is going to come in the room, ask the endless questions, prescribe some pills, assign a treatment course and basically give us a "number". But, as nurses and practitioners came in and out, getting his vital signs and asking detailed questions, and awaiting patiently for the answers, checking and rechecking Gagiks explanations of what he was feeling and where exactly was he feeling them, and after examining him very thoroughly, we were stunned, both of us with a dumb founded look on our faces, thinking wow, these people actually care! They seem genuinely concerned with helping the patient, and mind you this is all before we even met the doctor. She by the way, took some time coming into the room, and explained afterwards, that she was consulting her little army's findings of Gagik before she came in and talked to us.... wow!

Long story short... Gag will now be getting his treatment there, after a few more tests in the next few days, and a review of his case by the other specialist at a conference on Thursday, he will start his new chemo session at the City of Hope. Needless to say, we walked away today, for the fist time not feeling like a statistic, or just a diagnosis on a paper, but someone with an illness for which there is hope. It felt like a small ray of sunshine, that has peeked through a small opening in the dark and gloomy sky, was shining on us. Giving us some hope, a glance at a small light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Did I mention that parking is free?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tomorrow is Another Day

I woke up this morning with a very heavy heart, anxious and fighting to hold my tears back.
As nice as our Easter Sunday went, Gagik wasn't really there to enjoy with us. He was pretty weak yesterday and didn't want to do anything. He couldn't even visit his mom, like we do every year for Easter. I know given the circumstances of all that is going on right now with him, I can't expect things to be the same as always and I'm used to him feeling this way. I try every day to make things comfortable for him and not expect anything from him. But, I guess on days like yesterday, when we have family time and he is missing, it hits me hard.
I just miss him, I know that sound strange, considering I am with him 24/7, but I miss him.
The happy, full of life, loving, cracking jokes, guy-my best friend and husband.
Needless to say, today was a tough day.... but tomorrow is another day.
We have an appointment with an Oncologist at City of Hope in the morning, I am hoping that they will take him in and continue his treatments there, he really wants to be there.
Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tomorrow's Happy Memories

The boys were so involved in this year's
Chorek preparation, especially
Arman, he practically did most of the mixing and kneading. He really enjoyed himself, of course I absolutely enjoyed myself, we had some music going, we goofed around a little, my kitchen was a big mess, but who cares, I cleaned up afterwards. And, I guess it must have been all that love that went into it, that made it the best Chorek yet. The dough had risen so much by morning and we ended up with a lot of pieces. So, yesterday my dad, the kids and I took an entire trey and some colored eggs to downtown, found a large group of homeless folks and passed them out. The kids enjoyed it and I felt really good about it. The people were very thankful and sent many blessings our way. On our way back I couldn't help it, we stopped at a street vendor and had "downtown hot dogs". That was the first for the boys, wow did they like it, I know what you're all thinking, they are greasy, fattening, and just not good for you. But come on, how can you go all the way downtown and not stop to have a deliciously bacon wrapped dog, with grilled onions and peppers and all the goodies that go with it. I had one just yesterday, and I'm still salivating talking about it. :) That's ok, we don't have it all the time, and boy did we enjoy them.
So, all you have a great Easter Sunday, enjoy the day-it's beautiful outside. No matter what your plans are today and what traditions you follow, I hope it's a great day filled with many treasured moments with family, so that they become the happy memories of tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Life is Too Short!

Most days I'm running around, busy with daily responsibilities, taking care of the family and all else that needs my attention. This is how I'm able to stay calm and sane, sure I have my reality check every now and then, I have a good cry then dust off and move on. What happened yesterday evening however, was something I had never experienced before and hope I never have to again. After the dinner rush, as I sat down for my tea, it was a quite moment, I wasn't distracted by the TV, or computer or the kids, no one was asking or needing anything of me. I glanced over at my husband, who had fallen asleep on the sofa, and boom it hit me, and when I say "it hit me", I don't mean like a slap on the face, but I felt more like a bug that just got squashed by a stomping foot. It was the most terrifying feeling, the most excruciating pain, I had ever felt, like a bullet through my heart. I froze with cold sweat gathering on my forehead, and that very moment I realized, really realized that... this tragedy is really happening to us! I couldn't breath, I wanted to scream so loud and break everything in sight but I couldn't. I threw myself out the door, so that in case I lose it no one would notice. The fear eventually subsided and calmness came over me, I put my fake smile on and went back inside. What else am I supposed to do??
So, a few words from me to all of you.... Don't take anything in life for granted! Be thankful everyday for having your loved ones around! Make time for your kids and the people you care for! Be kind to each other! Share your love! Don't mind the little things! Live every day to it's fullest! I know all these seem like just words, but believe me they are very important words. Don't dwell on the past, and wait for the future, live now! I'm not saying don't make future plans, or have dreams and try to reach them, I'm just saying don't make them your sole purpose and happiness in life, you never know what great or horrible things await....

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Sunday is Easter.
In our household that means Chorek (Easter sweet bread) time. For the past few years I have taken on the responsibility of that treasured tradition of making my grandmother's recipe. I can't really call it a responsibility though, considering how much I love the entire process. Because we can't just make two or three, or even a dozen of them, (God forbid we run out in a few days, oh no, that won't do), it's a two day ordeal. An entire evening of making and kneading the dough, a whole night of letting it rise, all wrapped up in warm blankets, and an entire day to form and bake them. We all get involved, my kinds love it.

Some of my best childhood memories are of Easter time, not because we were going to have an egg hunt, or get a basket full of gifts, chocolate and little nik-naks that almost always end up in the trash the next day. But, because it meant that we were all going to cram into my grandma's small kitchen and make Chorek and color eggs. My grandfather was in charge of measuring all the ingredients, grandma (yaya) would be up to her elbows in dough and us kids would just be squirming around like ants, making sure we don't miss anything.

All this preparation led to a highly anticipated Easter breakfast, the whole family gathered around a huge table full of colored eggs, Chorek, milk, and my favorite feta with herbs. First came the egg fight, where we would all dual on who's egg is the strongest and could break all the others. Of course, my brother would always cheat, he would empty a raw egg through a small hole on the bottom and fill it with wax, so it wasn't a fake egg, but a real one that had some major work done on it. What fun that was, then came the lavash filled with egg, feta and some herbs, best one is tarragon (yumm). The rest of the day was spent just talking, laughing and being together. Can't wait till Sunday.

In the next couple of days all those memories will be passed on to my kids as we prepare for Easter. I hope some day they will look back and remember the fun they had, just like we do now.

When I'm elbow high in dough, I always feel my yaya around me, guiding me telling me what's next... I miss her so much.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Good Day

I spent most of my afternoon with my mother-in-law, the poor thing was in so much pain when I spoke to her in the morning. It's not enough she suffered for years from her heart condition, having had three open heart surgeries starting in her early thirties. Now, she has new pains and limited movements in her joints and bones. It's amazing how much pain a person can endure and still find things to smile and be happy about.
When I got there she was in a lot of pain, shriveled on her bed, looking pretty miserable. But, as the day progressed and we had some great conversations, cooked together, had lunch, read together and looked at some old family photos, she started feeling better. I'm sure the Aspocream and the rub I gave her shoulder helped too. But, I think what actually made her feel better was just having someone there to share her pain with, both physical and emotional. We talked about a lot of things, and expressed our worries, and consoled each other. Just two women bound by one common love, her love for her son and mine for my husband. It felt really good to give each other comfort, it helped lessen the pain a bit, and we actually had a little fun too. Overall, it was a good day for both of us.

Think of the Kids!

I've been chatting with an old friend of mine, who unfortunately is all the way in Spain, but thanks to e-mail we can still connect on a personal level. She was telling me about her very painful experience of losing her mom when she was a young girl. And how hard all this is on the kids. I know, how much this year has impacted our boys lives. First with Gagik's heart attack and surgery a year ago, and now the cancer....
I can't imagine what is going on inside them, yes most of the time they are so wrapped up in their own lives and probably don't think about it. But, when it does cross their mind I'm sure it is very tough, confusing, and painful. Gagik has always been such an involved dad, years of soccer coaching, and fishing trips, golf outings and the boys always love hanging out with him. So they are definitely feeling it now that dad is not up to doing most of these things with them. It hurts them, me and most of all Gagik. He lost his dad when he was just ten, so he knows how hard going through life without a father is. I can't imagine what goes through his mind, it must be such a painful thing to think about the possibility of not seeing your kids grow up and not being there for all the experiences that awaits them in their lives. Only he knows what he is feeling...
I try very hard to keep the communication open with the boys, and always explain things to them. I've made myself available to them, they are definitely needing my help now more then ever. They are not asking for my help but I know how much they need it. Especially Arman, my oldest, I know he is always scoping me out to see which face I have that day. Is it my "worried mom face" or "concerned wife face", so I know I have to be careful and not to give them too much to worry about. But, we are all positive most of the time and hope for the best. We'll all be fine no matter what happens, we'll just be left with the painful experience.
Today and everyday I will put on my "ready to take on the world" face, so I can pass on that strength and courage to my boys and husband, and infect everyone else around me with it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Highs And Lows

What a draining day.....

Started off with a mammogram, those of you women who have had it are probably cringing right about now. Let's face it it's definitely not one of the more fun things we can do with our "girls" right. It's a good thing, breastfeeding and gravity have had their effect on mine, I can imagine how bad more perky boobies must heart, I mean they pull, and tug and flatten those things like they're kneading dough, ouch.

Then I attended a funeral, what can I say about that, it's always hard to see families bidding farewell to their loved one, it's always painful. I have been to 3 funerals in the last couple of months, something about springtime and people dying... I read somewhere, some time ago that more people die in the spring than any other time of the year, who knows maybe it's natures time to reshuffle.

Then I had the ever anticipated meeting with my son's high school Spanish teacher, she by the way I think is too hot to be a high school teacher, but what do I know.... It's all a bit blurry, but I'm pretty sure "doesn't cooperate" and " missing homework assignment" came up a few times... someone is getting grounded for a while.

Then I got home to see my husband's smiling face and, you know, everything disappeared.

I guess, that's life.... on any given day we have high moments as well as low or painful moments.

But, let's admit it, it would be a bit boring if all was on a high note all the time, don't you think??

Monday, April 6, 2009


Four am this morning I open my eyes to my 12 year old (Robert) standing over my head: "I woke up and can't go back to sleep" he says. Why is it that when kids come to the parents bedroom at nights, they just stand there till you open your eyes and see them. Sometimes it's so creepy and has startled me many times. It has been some years now since any of our boys have come to our bed at night, I must say I had missed it. He climbed in, and cuddled, and went right to sleep, I on the other hand didn't. I remember the times when both of our kids would invade our bed on the same night, my poor husband would end up on the sofa that night..... Ah the good old days:) I always welcomed it though, I loved having them there. Even though it would be quit a challenge to fall asleep with little hands and feet shoving and pocking you all night, but still loved it and yes at times I do miss it. So those of you with little ones that still visit at nights, enjoy those little creepy-crawlers as long as you can.

Ah motherhood.... I see it as such a privilege to be a mom, it truly is a gift.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Deep Breath

Tough night.....
Couldn't sleep much.... how do you sleep when your husband tells you that he is just not feeling any better, in fact he feels himself getting worse. It is so hard to hang on to hope when you hear things like this or even worse... when you see him getting weaker, and more down and depressed by the day. I know I have to be the strong one, and keep his spirits high and be positive around him, and give him hope. But how do you do this for someone who is feeling all the things he is feeling inside. Easier said than done. But.... you take a deep breath and dive in head first. It will be more of a challenge for me today, having had the night I had last night, but for his sake I have to. When all else fails, watch a lot of comedy.
If only, he feels a little stronger today and I could take him out for a stroll, or out to a movie....Here's to hoping.
Here I go.... deep breath....

Friday, April 3, 2009


I learned today that a friends mother passed away. Yes, she was 80 years old, and was ill, and had lived her life somewhat, but she was his MOM. It must be very hard to lose a parent, or to lose any loved one for that matter. I'd be lying if I said that this thought hasn't crossed my mind since cancer invaded our home a few months ago. It's only natural to think about the unthinkable possibility of losing my husband to this battle. The important thing is not to let these thoughts consume us constantly, we need to let them in and just as easily let them roll right out of our minds. We need to focus on the positives every day, whatever it is. It might be my husband waking up with a smile in the morning, or one of my boys looking at me a certain way and saying "you know mom I love you", however small that positive is, we need to hold on to it and make it our drive and purpose for the day.
After all... life is not hard, it's just a bumpy road, we just need to navigate though it as best as we can.

The First Step

As the old saying goes: "The first step is the hardest"
Following the advice of someone special to me (you know who you are.... Alice), I have started my own Blog. It seems that writing is the best way I know how to let loose and express myself. And since so much is going on in my life right now, expressing thoughts and deep feelings is what's going to keep me sane. I hope that in the process I can help others deal with similar or otherwise difficult chapters in their lives.
So, welcome to my Blog. I see this developing into a great outlet for me and the people with whom I can share this world with. Looking forward to many great conversations with you all.
The ball is rolling...