Getting ready for a holiday can be very exciting especially if visiting another country. Since my last bout of chemotherapy I crave the sun as intense heat only seems to relieve the muscle aches and joint pains, which thankfully this year seem to have abated somewhat. With my two episodes of cancer we had holidays booked each time but had to cancel on recommendation from my Oncologist due to treatment. Obviously disappointed, the last time I had the added guilt of having to tell the children. Funnily enough they didn’t seem to mind as much as me and there is probably some truth in the fact that once your kids feel safe and loved they don’t mind where they go. We ended up having a staycation and luckily the weather was quite pleasant that year. The kids had a ball as their cousins were with them. After treatment ended we decided we all needed some sunshine so had our sun holiday then. I was given a gift voucher for a holiday at Christmas after treatment ended and Hubby insisted that I needed another break that year so I went on my own and he joined me after a few days. Here is an excerpt of how I was feeling back then.
Here I am in a Canarian resort enjoying unrelenting sunshine and yet feel slightly uneasy. Tonight I am on my own and Hubby is joining me tomorrow. I’m not used to being on my own I guess. There is an art to enjoying your own company. When I booked this I consulted the children about me leaving them and they seemed well adjusted to the idea. The prospect of having so many sleepovers with their beloved Nana and Grandad excited them. I was content at that stage and was quite happy to go ahead and book my holiday. The past few days I hated leaving the children so much so that I spent the night before my flight awake worrying about how they will manage, trying to anticipate every eventuality and then some. I now know that something like this will be impossible to do again. I feel like part of me is missing. I have a sense of forgetting something.
I am calling this my medicinal week. The pre winter boost to my immune system to get me through those long winter months. This holiday has arisen from a Christmas voucher so I also feel grateful to be here. I look in wonder and still feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy this holiday.
As I drove to the airport I began ruminating about letting go and of course that led me to the final letting go in life. When it all seems superfluous. I was an increasing ball of anxiety in the car as each mile separated me further from the kids. I concluded that I’m not ready to let go yet. They still need me . I must do everything in my power to ensure that this is so. I have a vision of standing in a pew on their respective wedding days watching them wait( slightly anxiously) for their partner to be.
The funny thing about all my anxieties with this holiday was that my younger child came into my bedroom the morning of my flight and after a few minutes chatting realised that I was going that day. So much for my sleeplessness the previous night!
For now though, I have acknowledged my anxieties tonight and it is time to let them go. It is up to me to enjoy this holiday and I intend to do just that so that I can continue to care for my children.
For months after my second diagnosis, I had a panicky sensation of missing out on anything the children did and tried to participate in everything they were involved in. I probably harboured the lingering sense of guilt and regret a working mother has for not being able to attend all the events in their lives compounded by the uncertainty of what my future, if any, would be. I did go on to enjoy that holiday and felt rested on my return home. I haven’t gone anywhere on my own since and there are times that I wish I was back on a sun lounger not thinking further about where to go for dinner that night! What I have realised is that it is so important for families to holiday together, it doesn’t matter where or for how long but it is equally important to find time for yourself and allow time to recover and heal from treatment in order to care for you and your family.
Whatever holiday you are planning this Summer, medicinal or otherwise, enjoy!