Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Morning Brings Another Sun

Mornings are the hardest. Sometimes I wake up from a beautiful dream where everything in life is back to normal. Then with the shock of the alarm clock it all comes rushing back. The diagnosis, the aches and pain, the realities are all relived again each and every day. Yes, this really is my life now. And yes, it's time to face another day of this. 

My first moments of every morning are spent walking through it all in my head again, trying to find a way to make it not real. Maybe my biopsied lymph node was mixed with someone else's. Maybe my PET Scans were switched. Maybe I'm just achy from the flu. Then the morning pains set in. I squint my eyes open and stretch and realize that my legs won't extend nearly as much as they used to. I see the LIVESTRONG bracelet on my wrist. I feel the bulging, hard veins in my arms. I reach up to pull my hair back in an elastic band and then feel the stubble and remember that it's not there. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that first reflection in the mirror each morning. 

I used to quip "You can sleep when you're dead" when I was upset that Craig would pass out on the couch at 7 p.m. after a long day of teaching. Now I see sleep as an escape, a chance to rejuvenate, a chance to not feel anything but whatever I want to feel in my dreams. 

But then I get out of bed. I kiss Craig goodbye. I feed the dog. I make breakfast. I log onto work. The day begins and everything is okay again. I have a bright yellow graphic tee that reads: "Morning brings another sun." I used to think it was a pretty obvious statement, but now it holds a lot of meaning for me. Every day brings a new opportunity to fight even harder against this. It brings a new opportunity to enjoy something new, to make a new memory and to appreciate all the amazing things around me and realize just how lucky I am to be here. 

It just might take a little bit to get back to that mindset after each morning's jolting alarm and reality flood. 


  1. This is beautiful Karin. Even though you can't control certain aspects of your current circumstances, it is inspirational to see how you use your mindset to shift your experience of those circumstances. Big hugs.

  2. Hey Karin,
    When I read this I could immediately relate. I remember waking up in the hospital, one day after the next and it was like I was reliving it all over again. You have to think of it as this: Your dreams of being 'normal' and cancer free or just what you need to motivate you that much more to get back to that state of health. Let it be the fire that is lit under you when you are feeling weak and down. Set small goals for yourself and know that it's going to take time to get better. You are doing all that you can to fight this. I'm sure its frustrating, annoying, upsetting, etc... but these are the cards you have been dealt. You either walk away or you play the hand. If it was easy , then even a caveman could do it. LOL . Its going to take all that you have, every ounce of energy and dedication to overcome this. You will do it. I know one day soon you are going to be able to wake up from one of those dreams with a big smile on your face and keep that smile because you will be back to your normal self. Just keep fighting and pushing for as long as it takes. Trust me, I know it stinks. I know it's hard to face. It's hard to fight while you're still trying to figure out why it happened in the first place. But right now, you have to push ALL of that aside and just beat it. Afterwards you can ask all the questions you want. If you need to talk or anything, I'll be happy to.