I do not know how to remove myself from the world of childhood cancer. I am getting the feeling that I probably ought to, but it feels like I am trying to walk away from Joseph and all we went through. There is a part of him still in every child's struggle that I read about and it makes me feel more secure to remain inside that horrible but familiar bubble. But it is taking its toll on me. I have read about two beautiful little girls this week, Alexia and Noelle, whose stories have been so familiar to me for so long...both have relapsed for the last time, after having undergone two separate transplants in attempt to cure them. They are out of options and their families are devastated. I am devastated. It sucks the energy from me.
I can't really tell what is going on with me, if it is emotional or if I am anemic or something wacked in my body, but I am sleepy all the time for the last week and a half. Yesterday I fell dead asleep at my desk at work three times, twice the day before that, and trying to again today despite getting to bed early in hopes of getting enough rest. The fatigue is just overwhelming me. My desk is surrounded by, saturated in pictures of Joseph from the time he was small up to the time of his death. Poems about childhood cancer. Quotes and sayings. Cards sent to me after his death. Poetry about angels. Words from the songs of resurrection from his funeral. I know its affecting me and it has occurred to me for the first time yesterday that I could actually remove these things, make my desk a place without reminders. And then the guilt that swims in is just overwhelming. Give myself permission not to think about him? Not to think about his illness? His death? What kind of a mother am I? He died! Can I not live within that fact when he went through all he did? It feels like I am trying to say goodbye to him. And that is just more upsetting than I can say. How do people find peace with this? I recognize it is a necessary step to carrying on with life. But it just feels so wrong, like I am abandoning him. Disloyal. Horrifying. How can I possibly contemplate letting him go? And yet I know I must. All this fatigue and tearfulness, still not wearing make up because I weep so frequently through the day, the constant reminders of what was and is no longer, both the good (which I miss) and the bad (which I regret with so much inner aching). I don't know who to talk to about it, who can help me, whether help is even possible. I need to do it. I cannot do it. I cannot just up and let him go like that. Yet I recognize how much I dread coming to work, how hard it is to concentrate and stay focused, and now how hard it is just to stay awake. I don't know that all of my fatigue is emotional but I would bet it plays a part. I type for a living, and there is nothing to do all day but type and think for eight hours. I think far too much. I can't keep on this way either. I don't know what to do. I don't know if Joseph would forgive me. I don't know that I would forgive myself.