Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Buts

I want to sleep in late, but Sammy dog has to go out and get fed and so do I, so I get up.

I want to be productive and wildly incredible every single day, but then I get tired and those plans unravel quickly.

I want to roll back over under the covers, but the morning sun shines brightly in my window coaxing me awake, and I can’t deny that.

I want to ignore the dishes and the laundry, but Craig and I have to eat and we have to wear clothes, so eventually I stop ignoring them, and I wash them.

I want to wallow in my pain, but then I remember that everything is still in tact – I have 10 fingers and 10 toes, I can walk, I can talk, and I’m still breathing, so I get up and utilize them.

I want to hop a flight to Paris – or maybe Fiji – and never look back, but I stay because I have a husband and a dog and a home that I love more than anything.

I get angry, but then I smell the crunched-leaf scent of fall, see the tree colors getting impossibly more vibrant, have a calming visit with a friend, hit my stride on a writing project, or see a video of my nephew singing in his underwear, and I can't be angry anymore. 

I want to pretend the toppling stack of medical and household bills isn’t there and just count it as part of our kitchen d├ęcor, but I stop pretending, and I go through them because homelessness and collection agencies don’t sound like any fun.

I sometimes complain that I got dealt a bad deck, but then I realize how damn good I’ve got it.

I’m unsure of my body’s capabilities, but then I test them and I’m always surprised that it can still take me where I want to go.

Sammy at our look-out spot above the valley.
I want to cry when I see a pregnant woman and know that’ll never be me, but usually I can hold my composure, at least until I get back in my car.

I get frustrated that I’m exhausted all the time again, but then I think of the alternative and frustration turns to gratitude.

I want to punch people in the face when I see a cigarette in their mouth, but I don’t because I have some sense of self-control still (though I’m not making any guarantees on that one).

I want it all to stop: the decisions, the confusion, the side effects, the questioning, the fear, but then I don’t want it to, because that would mean it’s over, and I don’t want it to be over.

I want to give up sometimes, but I love life too much, so I don’t. 


  1. That was beautiful. And a great reminder. Thank you. Keep living the buts...

  2. yes! you are such a fantastic example of how regardless of circumstance there's always something to be thankful for! i find your writing so refreshing.

  3. Hi Karin,
    Just read this post. This post hit me more than others. After reading this, I felt such anger & a pit kind of feeling in my heart, an achey feeling, a deep feeling of sadness. Why this post hit me so hard I am not sure at this moment. I am trying to hold back the tears, I want to scream for you! I guess I feel anger because you did get a raw deal handed to you. I am angry because you have to fight so flipping hard (most days I would imagine) to keep on "keeping". You, who love life, not only love it but actually live life to the fullest even when you are faced with this flipping illness. You, you keep on finding a way, a reason not to quit. When you mentioned not experiencing a pregnancy or having a baby...Oh how my heart is hurting today for you like no other day. You have touched the most deepest core of me today Karin. I wish I could comfort you, make this all go away. I come in contact with many "complainers" if they do not have something to complain about hell they find it. Even me, I say I want to become more physicaly fit. I worked out for 3 months felt great then stopped.
    When I read your post I think I felt angry at myself. I have no reason NOT to go to the gym, eat healthy and be all I can be while I have the ability to do so. Dearest Karin, if anyone in life got a raw deal- You and Craig did. However with that said. If anyone is living life to the fullest, loving to the fullest, it is you. Your life has been lived with thought, depth, love and courage.
    When and if you are feeling up to visiting the Alpaca Farm with your family. I would love to have you come. Visit and hang out with the alpaca. Knit or felt. I felt on silk. I find it meditative and so relaxing. Something you can do anywhere. It is my creative outlet. See how we card the fiber, spin and dye the yarn. It is a peaceful life I am blessed with. I do not take it for granted. Especially because for many life is rushed and so much is missed.
    May God, the universe, angels and collective consciences lift you up, fill you up with strength.
    I wish for you, for today a peace so deep that no negitive feeling or thought can enter.
    MaryEllen Christina/Six Paca Farm

  4. You have been through, as they say, the shit. When you've been through it, and there's no end in sight, anger and exhaustion are inevitable, I think. All there is to do is to keep going, but knowing that and doing that are still--at the end of the day--cold comfort, especially because that's all we've got.

    Love and light from a fellow cancer survivor.

  5. Karin,

    I cannot imagine or feel what your spirit is going through. I know the angst and heartbreak Craig and your Mom,Dad,Kristen and Hank are going through. There are no words. There are no answers. Try and keep in your heart that you are traveling this journey with love, hope and prayers.... every step of the way.

  6. Travelling a similar road myself, I recognise a few of those "buts". It was the idea of punching the smokers that (literally!) made me LOL though! Even after a few years, my eyes still can't quite believe what they're seeing when outside the cancer treatment centre is a patient with a chemo stand in one hand and a cigarette in the other!