What’s Next

Three years ago we decided to stick with the Navy, but only for three more years. We had landed Shore Duty and we had some plans to prepare for the civilian world and get out. We foolishly told our then almost 3-year old that Daddy wouldn’t be going back to the ship.

And then those plans didn’t quite pan out.

Then the economy didn’t bounce back like we hoped and we watched friends who decided to get out before us struggle to find jobs and we hurt for them and took a harsh look at just how hard it can be.

Then I got a tumor. Health insurance of any kind looks pretty darned important after the word ‘tumor’ has been added to your vocabulary in a meaningful way.

So we’re staying in, barring any unforseen snags with PTS (which…. is a process which seems to me to be nothing but mechanically whimsical with the careers of good sailors, but what do I know?). And we’re headed back to Sea Duty.

I had the surgery to remove my tumor less than a month ago. We can’t talk to the detailer until we know for sure whether or not I’m going to need to be monitored by NIH every six to eight months indefinitely at which point we may start lobbying hard (though we’ll already be technically out of the negotiations window) for East Coast orders. We’re still waiting on the test results that we need to give us those answers.

Husband made the innocent mistake of talking about someone else who just got orders last night right after we’d gone to bed. Suddenly I remembered what comes next.

I AM a strong woman. I’ve done deployments and dets. I’ve done them in the midst of family illness and grief and postpartum depression with babies and small children in the mix. I have weathered and am weathering this latest bump of growing rare tumors and having them dealt with with as much grace as I could muster. I have stared down some formidible foes without blinking.

Just the same….

My heart seized up last night at the thought of returning to a life where my husband is gone as much or more than he’s home. I found myself with a lump of lead in my stomach and struggling to breathe. I instantly felt like what we’re anticipating will be the process of my being torn in two. I tried to outrun the thoughts of sleeping alone at night, and steadying my big girls who are old enough to really FEEL the goneness of Daddy with him missing the sweet newness of our newest little wee one. I tried not to even entertain the what-ifs of dealing with these potentially serious health issues without him by my side (and how unspeakably blessed we’ve been that if all of this out-of-the blue rare medical diagnosis stuff HAD to happen that it at least started while he was on Shore Duty and home and able to walk it with me). Maybe it’s just having to face this next step and this huge set of transitions (whether we move or not) on the heels of my recuperation. Traveling 3000 miles for surgery, having countless unexpected ‘bumps’ that wore us down in the process…. It’s been wearying. Maybe it’s just that.

I’m a strong woman who has stared down some formidable challenges…. I am.

But I’m just not sure if I can do this again.

I will because I have to…. And some how the strength I need to get through it will be provided each day. I’m just having a hard time feeling that right now.

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