A very personal holiday Blogapy from me…

I had to go and see someone whom I love very much at Hartford Hospital this past week.

The first time I was there (I think Wed. night), it was right after she’d been transferred and was still in the Emergency Room. While in there, I went to get her some ice chips…simple task…or so I thought. By the time I had gotten back…I had realized where I was. I was in the emergency room at Hartford Hospital.

Now, I know I just said that twice…but it’s a big deal. You see, I have been to Hartford Hospital at least 100 times in the last 7 years. But I hadn’t been back to the Emergency Room since the night my father died.

You see…Seven years ago, I remember running into the crowded emergency room…frantically yelling…”Where is my Father…I need to be with him…I don’t want him to die alone!”…He had just been flown by LifeStar to Hartford Hospital. He had been in a horrific car accident after driving me and my children home from the Berkshires. I had just been holding his hand less than 2 hours before I got the call.

By the time Greg and I left the hospital, I was shaking, crying and scared to death. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Not much of the strong supportive wife…which was what I was supposed to be for him that night.

The next day we went back to the Hospital. She had been moved to a different building and I figured I had gotten all that wussy crap out of my system.

When we entered her room, she looked great. I pulled up a chair and started in on my questions. What did they give you? How are you feeling? Pain Scale? The whole nine yards…I was in “Full Tracey Mode”……Until the lead nurse came in.

“O.K.” she said…”The surgeon has ordered us to run a pick line and set up your port.”

That was all it took. Those words…pick line…

And it started again.

By the time we got home I was crying hysterically. Not the kind of quiet silent tears sliding down the cheeks. But the kind of crying…it was sobbing. Gasping for breath…sobbing…

Greg kept asking me what was wrong…and I kept begging him…”Please…please…I don’t want to go back to the hospital. No matter how bad it gets…don’t make me go back to the hospital.” I was having a flashback.

A flashback of my own.

I started remembering the nurses holding me down 7 years ago…screaming “No…Stop…Stop hurting me.”

I’m getting teary just typing these words.

I remember them shaving my head. I remember waking up in recovery…not being able to move and trying to speak…no words…just one mumbled word. It was all I could get out. “Pain.”

I remember not being able to open my eyes. Not being able to move…but being in the most pain I’d even felt in my life. It was right after I had been in 9 hours of Brain Surgery to remove only ¾ of my malignant Brain Tumor.

Of course today…all of these years later…I’ve moved on. My life is amazing and miraculous. I smile every day. Hug my kids…help other brain cancer patients through the CTBTA, laugh with my friends, make fabulous meals, shop at Farmers Markets and Chico’s…spend way too much money at whole foods…love my husband desperately…watch old 80’s movies, become a public advocate for MM…and so much more!

But all those terrible things that happened during those 90 days in 2006…happened.

And as much as I try and forget it…I never will.

So, what I’ve done to make my life better is make all those terrible things a part of me. Just like all of the good things are. They are memories. I wear them now…but not as a 20lb sack on my back…but more like a great handbag! You know… the one you find mis-marked at Marshall’s…should be $200 but says $20…and you don’t correct them!

But sometimes the 20lb sack shows up and breaks my back a little. And I remember…

Crying is ok. Sobbing isn’t all bad. Remembering is part of healing. It sucks…but then you stop. And life goes on.

If there is one thing that I have learned is that by talking about all of this…I’ve become stronger. I now own my tragedy. I’m not good at going and talking to someone…but I can write about it. Hence my Blogapy sessions.

And if one person gets something from all of this…then I’m so happy. It’s not why I started my Blogapy sessions…but it seems like they help more than just me.

So…during the holidays, when so many people are having a tough time…don’t think you have to keep that cheery smile on all the time. It’s ok to be sad…but only for a short time. Talk about why you are sad…share it with someone and I guarantee it makes it easier for you…and more real to them.

And you’ll start to see that whatever tragedy you’ve had in your life…or hopefully…you haven’t had a really big one yet…The only way you can truly move forward with your tomorrows… is to OWN your yesterdays.

That’s my holiday wish this year…during a time of tragedy for someone in my own family…I want her/us to own what is happening now…so that when tomorrow gets here…she and our whole family will make the best tomorrow around!!!!


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