Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bobbing for Air

Today is a venting day. Lately, these days seem to come closer together. As chemo progresses, it is harder for William's body to recover between cycles. Likewise, it is harder for me and Ryan to keep it together. The stresses of our "flexible" lifestyle keep getting harder. We feel like we're drowning, gasping for just enough air before the next wave crashes. I hate it! I really hate it!

I hate being able to measure the time I've seen my husband in the past four days in minutes (especially since he's not out of town). I hate that the time we've actually talked is filled with stress, worry, scheduling, and a sense of inadequacy. I hate having to meet up at a gas station to trade the boys and rush off to the next commitment just in the effort to maintain some warped sense of normalcy. I hate having my children cry because one of us can't be at their soccer game. I hate over-analyzing every word the doctor says. I hate being in the quad room with a screaming toddler at 5 AM. I hate suddenly breaking down in tears while driving down the street. I hate trying to hold the tears back in front of my children. I hate the worry on my children faces when I do cry in front of them. I hate hospital pillows. I hate waiting for the doctor to call and run to the phone just to hear a political recording. I hate my children's fascination with the porta-potties at their soccer games. I hate lima beans.

Whew. I feel a little better. I sometimes feel guilty feeling this way because trials aren't meant to be compared and our family is truly blessed in many, many ways. I'm really not complaining so much as venting the hardship, stating the reality. Perhaps there is not much difference, but I am truly grateful for this refining process, albeit fairly painful at times. I don't want to forget some of the feelings I've felt so that I can see the increased strength later on down the road. And hopefully others can relate and know that what they are feeling is normal. Of course, I'm making a huge assumption I'm acting normal. At the end of this journey, I want to be able to render more meaningful service as a result of being the recipient of so much. I want to ease the burdens that countless people have eased for us. I want to be able to sleep through the night.

I just learned Ryan got William switched to a new room with no roommate, the boys are excited to take William some of their candy, I'm going to sleep in my own bed and with my own pillow, and we're taking another deep breath.


  1. Oh, Julie, I hate that all of you are going through this. It's NOT fair, and I think your reactions and feelings are completely normal. You and Ryan are an amazing example to all of us. We (and many others) are praying for you. Let me know how I can help you this week. Have a Happy Halloween!

  2. I hate lima beans too....I love you, though and am so glad that you are a Bennion-Murdock. I know you are a rock - beautiful, hard granite, but life is about as hard as it gets for you right have all those needs to be the mom you want to be and you have this challenge with William's health that is making you feel like you are not what you want to be for all of your dear boys. My friend emailed a break down of Julie Beck's recent talk and it has been in the back of my mind so much this past week. I will send it to you by email, can throw it across the room, never open it and shout in the shower "YOU don't understand"...I know, know, double know that I don't. But I do love you, admire you and pray for you daily. Love, Auntie Linda

  3. As a momma who has been in sort of the same shoes, where I have lived in the hospital with my boy, I can confidently say that everything you are saying and feeling is normal. Even more so, it is healthy for you to say it.
    Because no matter which way you look at it, it sucks. Big time. Yes you have many wonderful blessings in life, and it is good to keep those in mind because those blessings are what keep you from falling off the edge.
    But it is good to get it out, whether you think it is venting or not. If you don't let it out, it festers and in the end that's harder for you to recover from.

    Crystal Toulouse

  4. We want to help with hands on hugs-call us hwne the time is right--we're trying to be flexible too. It is such a hard thing to see children go through trials. It is REALLY hard to see grandchildren be tested as well. Know that we love you, and always will, and will always come when you call.

  5. I cry with you, and wish your family didn't have to carry such a heavy burden. Much love and many prayers your way.

  6. You are so normal, whatever normal is. I hate lima beans and porta-potties, too. But I love and admire you, and pray for you constantly. I have learned that God gives mothers a special, direct line, and He will hear every prayer, even the one that only says, "Help me."

    Lots of love across two time zones,

  7. Julie,

    I've been following your blog since day one and just wanted to let you know that we've been thinking about your family a lot. I can't imagine what you must be going through. Annie is actually in the hospital now, and has been for 15 days now with no discharge date in sight. I know 15 days is nothing compared to what you have been facing, but I can understand your feelings of frustration and exhaustion. I only have two other girls back at home and it's hard enough to balance time with them and being at the hospital--you definitely have your hands full with all your sweet boys.

    I wish I lived closer and could help you out somehow. But please know that we are thinking of you. I know this all is incredibly difficult, but I also know of your own incredible strength. I've kept the card you sent me just after Annie was born. I have always loved reading your faithful words of encouragement--they have always been a strength to me. You are a wonderful mother and I'm sure Heavenly Father is proud of all you're doing. Please know that you continue to be in our prayers.

    Love, Jodi Tolman

  8. let it all out! it's a good thing! you need to say the bad along with the good, it doesn't mean that you're not grateful for all you have... just let it out!! it's a relief to read it for some reason...
    sometimes singing the hymn how firm a foundation - in my head - helps me calm down. it reminds me of grandma and grandpa...i know they're watching over you and pulling their considerable weight in heaven on your behalf :)
    love you tons cous.

  9. Julie, welcome to the accellerated Dual PhD program in life. Its hard when it comes at you in the 5 month crash course. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your dear family.

    We love you,

    Uncle Joseph

  10. Julie and Ryan - I just cry when I read what you all are going through....I just wish there was something I could do - come tend the boys and bring you a nice hot meal and loaves of homemade bread. I think of you all so often and pray for William and all of you to survive this trial.
    Hope the next few weeks are better, and No Lima Beans or Porta Potties (I don't mind Lima beans, but Porta potties - ugh!)

    Love, Nancy Jones

  11. Jullie - I don't know why my comments come up with Meredith's name on them...I need her to come over and fix it for me...You know I am technically challenged, so I guess it will remain w/ Mere's name until I figure out what to do about it.

    Love, Nancy

  12. You aren't normal. The stuff we laugh about isn't normal. You're way better than normal! And so proud to have you as my friend knowing that as you struggled, you were there for another mom at the hospital. Go for a personal best time-of-discharge!

  13. Hi! I'm a friend of alicia L. She told me about your blog today. My son has cancer as well, diagnosed in april this year. I can relate to your feeling guilty for complaining too much but needing to vent. I have blog too and have said the same thing over and over again. This is horrible horrendous stuff even though we hav ebeen blessed in other ways. Venting needed! I will add William to my prayers. Take care.