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.


7 thoughts on “What’s Next

  1. You know? I can’t remember now, how long we have supported each other back and forth. It’s been a long time. I’m not big into sugar coating life, but I AM big on support. When you need an ear, a hug, a reason to smile, laugh or a way to get through the next sixty seconds, you get out your emergency tree of contacts and you put my name on it. It might be time to plan another virtual vacation…

  2. I don’t think you have my phone number, but you should. E-mail me if you want it. I’m always here.

    We’re about to go back to sea duty hell. DH just told me today that the ship he’s meeting this summer could possibly head for Libya at some point now that there’s a no-fly zone. I got a headache just thinking about what this all means. *sigh*

    This life is not for the weak. That you’ve gotten through it this long, with all the obstacles you’ve had to clear, means you’re incredible. It’ll be hard, but we’ve got your back.

  3. My husband is deployed again as of 3 days ago so I know a bit of how you feel. Yes I have a few health issues and have done this before, but it just sucks. No other word for it. It’s nice to have a blog where you can post about everything. My husband has been in 16 years and with the economy the way it is it seems he will never be out.

  4. Your post made me cry my dear! You are a strong and incredible woman but the Navy can make us feel so weak and like we can’t take it one more day. . .just know that I love you and will try and call you soooon!!! I know you’re on your way home from NIH, safe travels. Cyber Hugs, Denise

  5. Hang in there. I just read your blog regarding the loss of a mother and found it very helpful (my mother passed away this december). Thank you for those comments and I pray everything works out for you with these current challenges. Be strong and God bless.

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