Not physically thank goodness, but emotionally. It’s a bit strange sounding I know. But, it’s how I’m feeling today.
I was advised by a friend of mine (she’s really a second Mom to me), whom is also a writer, that I should write about these small life moments affected by my cancer. Originally, I felt a great responsibility to just share info about my cancer and all the facts. The important things are the scientific and medical news I can share, right? But, I’m learning that this journey isn’t just about medical stuff. There is definitely an illogical and strictly emotional aspect to it. And it certainly is affecting my life. This is just one of the many ways…
So, I’m sure your wondering about the lawn mower.
I really like mowing the lawn. I couldn’t sleep well last night. (I never can the night after my taxol chemo because they give me steroids that make me wired). While I was staring into darkness my mind was actively thinking about how I was going to mow the lawn the next day. I have a large yard and it is not easy to mow. I’m in the middle of the woods and we have just under 2 acres. It is hilly everywhere and it’s pretty much a nightmare in the fall with the leaves, but it is a fun challenge in the summer for me. Except, my riding mower broke. We have a push mower, though. It’s been a couple weeks since we mowed and I knew it would be a challenge to mow because I get easily tired. But, I was so excited!! I figured I’d only do the important parts: the clearing at the end of the road, the area around the kids trampoline and the small section around the shed, the parking area and the front yard. Ok. So that sounds like a lot more when I wrote it down, but that’s seriously only about half of it!
I changed to shorts, and a tank, strap on my trusty mowing shoes and throw a bandana on my peach fuzz head. I make a huge water for myself and eat a banana on the covered porch. I’m stoked, it’s a beautiful sunny day and it’s gonna look so much nicer when I’m done. I love the fresh grass smell and I love yard work. (Minus leaves. Yuck.) I go out and fill the tank with gas start it up and get going, it’s cutting great. I mow a few minutes and notice I’d rather stick to a small section rather than walking so much. Getting tired already. That’s fine. Pulling this mower across this terrain that’s a bit bumpy is doing a number on my back, I’m gonna move to a flatter area. Okay. This isn’t much better. Going towards the trampoline area which has been ignored since the last time on the mower because it broke. It needs to be done, this will be motivating, crap. I don’t know what these strange weeds are and I don’t want to get some strange hives or something. I think I’ll just mow in all directions from me making a path like a fan. Back and forth. Didn’t see that big stick. Crap. Stop mower turn it over and clear underneath. Flip back over and start it up. Back and forth. Fuck, this is hard work. But it needs it, I need to keep going. Exhaustion. Dizzy. Push through it. Then my brain argues saying I can’t do that. I need to watch it. I argue with my brain cause I want to mow so bad. I keep going. I get dizzy. I can’t possibly it keep going. I turn off the mower. I need to sit. I wobble to my glider swing about 10 feet away. I flounce down and realize this isn’t going to work. I m panting heavily and the world is spinning. I barely touched the lawn. I couldn’t even mow enough to make it worth going in and recovering and going back out. It would never get done at this rate.
I go inside and my frustration and disappointment get the better of me. I feel the lump in my throat and my tears well up. Fuck. Damnit. Not the lawn. I love mowing. I feel normal when I mow and I feel like it’s good for me physically and for my soul to be out in my beautiful woods and getting some healing healthy exercise while beautifying my home. Damnit why did the rider have to break. Shit. Today is my good day, when I have the extra energy boost from the steroid in me and I can get things done. I only mowed for 15 minutes and almost passed out. I must surrender that I can’t mow again till chemo is done. By that time, it will be mid October and the leaves will be falling and I can’t win that battle with a healthy body and a working riding mower. So, I have to give up on my yard for the rest of the year.
This is the first thing that I have had to completely give up due to cancer. I have had times where I can’t walk up and down stairs for a week and a half during my FEC chemo, but I knew I’d be able to after that. That was temporary. And that was for laundry. That brings me no joy. Lol. Mowing does.
Sure, my husband will now take over…when he can. He has so much on his plate and I started mowing originally because it was harder for him to get to it then me. And I realized I enjoyed it and that was that.
I called my husband crying. I hate crying, and I hate feeling weak. But I also know that I needed him. I needed him to know why the dumb lawn wasn’t going to get cut. I needed him to tell me if there was a magical way of fixing the rider, or if there was no hope. I needed him to tell me that I was being silly. I knew I was. I just needed him to explain to me how silly I was. To hear it so I got better perspective I guess. Why was I crying because I can’t mow the lawn? How is that important in the big picture? It’s not. But it still hurt. My wise and loving husband reminded me that I am fighting a war and I have chemicals inside of me that are poison. He sweetly said that I may not be able to mow the lawn but I am still able to be be an awesome wife and an awesome mother and I am in the process of kicking the shit out of a rare form of cancer. He also made it clear to me that even if we somehow get the best rider in the world before the end of the season that I am not to use it. I have conserve my energy to fight cancer. This is both true and wise, but also a bit annoying because if we do get a super awesome mower I totally want to play mow the lawn. But, he is right. And, I felt better talking to him.
I feel this blog is both the silliest blog I can think to write about and the most real. I’m torn about throwing it out there, but I am going to do so anyways. There are so many people fighting cancer and Im sure every one of them has a thing or two that they really felt emotional about having to stop doing. It’s the little things that make up life and right now my little thing is my getting crushed by a lawn mower.
6 thoughts on “Crushed by the lawn mower…”
With each passing day, I become more and more in awe of you. Know that my love thoughts and prayers are always with you. You are an inspiration to all that have cancer. I will always be there for you and the family.
I’m so glad you wrote this! It’s interesting to hear the real you inside your head argue with the you fighting cancer. Not being able do things we were able to just a short time ago (sometimes it’s much longer ago than we care to admit) is a harsh reality of the frailty of our brief existence on this rock.
But the thing is, this life is temporary, so why waste it doing things that make us feel bad? I’m in agreement with EJ on this one. Save your energy for things that fortify your mind, and remind the world that the incredible, phenomenal, stupendous, and ever-in-charge, Cathy Marsh Teso is alive and well, and kicking the [insert your expletive here] out of Inflammatory Breast Cancer!
BTW – it’s not Grandma mowing the grass the boys will tell their children. It’s the time you spent being their amazing mom and the adventures you took them on.
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Love you seeetie.
This brought tears to my eyes. I remember fighting through the tired to do the simple things like making dinner or putting my kids to bed. Things that really aren’t hard and (sometimes) fun. I understand what you mean about not really being the lawn mower. It’s the little things that you enjoy doing but this stupid cancer is messing with your body so much you can’t do it. I am not saying this as well as you did. But I wanted you to know that I understand.
Thank you for understanding! It’s nice to hear from a fellow survivor who gets me. I hope your doing well and I have no idea how it took me so long to respond to you. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for hearing what I’m throwing out there.
Loved it Cat, keep blogging!