Finding Hope in the Hopeless

I spoke too soon when I said I had cathedral ceilings. There must have been a design flaw in one of the rooms because yesterday I went straight through the roof. I don’t exactly know what ‘did it’ but I completely shattered. I don’t remember crying that much in a 48-hour period EVER.  I can’t pinpoint the exact ‘thing’ that set the bomb off but whatever it was has sent me into this spiral. I’ve mostly been crying over my illness (shocker, right). Somehow, I cycled back into the grieving process and it’s been a mix of anger and sadness that’s caused me to become this blubbering mess. It feels like I’ve been in purgatory for the last two days; half in and half out of myself. What I mean by being ‘half in and half out of myself’, is that half of me knows that there may be hope somewhere down the road, while the other half is dying for the strength to take every pill in the cabinet and end the pain. A million thoughts have been going through my mind all at once and not even my beloved Ativan can seem to quiet them down.

I think what may have ‘kicked off’ my spiral was my dad’s recent birthday. My dads’ 69th birthday was on Monday and because I had a lengthy doctors’ appointment and work, I couldn’t celebrate the day with him. Granted, he got to spend the day with Ava and cried over the card I made him on Shutterfly ‘from Ava’, so he had no qualms about me not being there. I had a problem with it. My dad is three times older than myself and ten times more ill; we’re all amazed he’s still alive to be honest. It’s unspoken but we all know he doesn’t have much time left, and being a daddy’s girl, I want to be there and make as memories as I can. So, when being sick gets in the way of that, it really upsets me. I would never forgive myself if I didn’t spend what I deem ‘enough’ time with him before he’s gone.

I never realized it until now (literally, this very moment) but I see my illness and time as one in the same. It’s hard not to see them as one entity when information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports statistics on MCTD like this:

“The overall 10-year survival rate of the disease is about 80%. Some people have symptom-free periods lasting for many years with no treatment. Despite treatment, the disease gets worse in about 13% of people and can cause potentially fatal complications in six to 12 years.”

That doesn’t give me a whole lot of hope that I’ll be around to see Ava grown into the amazing woman I know she will. Sometimes I think that she’d be better off without me. I know that sounds outrageously pessimistic and foolish, but I can’t help but feel that she deserves more than I’m capable of giving her. I know I won’t be there for the most important moments in her life; not without a miracle. That thought kills me. I had the idea to buy her cards for every birthday, graduation, her eventual wedding, and hopefully the children she’ll bring into the world because I don’t have faith that I’ll be there. If she had pre-written cards, at least she would have something from me, something tangible to remind her that I’m still there and as proud as ever.

I somehow need to muster the strength to find some sort of hope in all of this…

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