April 02, 2012

The Hardest Part

With all that’s been going on, people often comment on how hard it all must be – the surgeries, the radiation, the multiple doctors.

But that’s not what’s hard.  And not to minimize anyone else’s experience.  But I do surgery well.  And thus far, the radiation treatments haven’t been horrible.  The doctors are all very nice and very helpful.

What’s hard is being away from my family.

I have never been away this long from my family – ever.

By the time I get home, I will have been gone 9 weeks:  3 weeks for surgeries, 3 weeks for recovery and 3 weeks for radiation.

I will have been away from my family in Brazil longer (9 weeks) than we were together in Brazil (4 weeks).

We had only been in Brazil for a month when I had to leave.  We were just beginning to get settled and were still living out of suitcases.  We’re still living out of suitcases since stuff can take a long time to get to Brazil.  And of course I’m living out of suitcases as I’ve been here and there.

But all that is doable as well.

It’s been hard on me and it’s been hard on them.  K. has to cope with being a single parent (which is insanely difficult), while being in a foreign country, with a new language, and the emotions of kids who are missing their mom - not to mention his own feelings.  I get to deal with all this health stuff all alone - without my family near me.

The worst part is when one of us has had a hard day.  I can’t pull my kids on my lap and hold them while I listen to all their thoughts and fears.  I can’t give my husband a hug when it all becomes too much for him.  And they can’t hug me when I get scared.

I do have something to hug though:

The kids brought these back for us when they went to Camp Grandma and Bompa last year.  So we’d have something to hug the next time they went.  I’ve been putting them to good use.


  1. sending you a hug from here, too.

  2. Thinking of you. I'm sorry that you and your family have to deal with all of this. I hope you are back together again soon.

  3. Tears in my eyes Catherine...so glad you are now back with the family. You are such a strong woman, I really admire you. XO Jean