Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009

I feel ill. Like worried ill, stomach queasy ill, caused by the thought of something horrible over the horizon.

My kids are cracking under the pressure. I see it in their outbursts. Sunday, Langston picked up Ezra by the head in anger. This, after Ezra shoved his hand into Langston’s mouth and made Langston gag. (Why Langston didn't bite him, I can't tell you!)

Both actions were done in pure, unadulterated rage that, until recently, was rarely seen in this house. It would be amusing if it weren’t my kids.

They were wrong.

Kids are not resilient.

It's something adults make up so that we don't have to face our own powerlessness. I mean, christ, how do you have a conversation with your 9 yr old and say "Yes, daddy may die. And yup, it'll hurt worse than you can ever imagine." If I say it, if I admit it... outloud, I have to hear it. Who the hell wants to hear that crap? So I tell myself, they are resilient.

Kids are not resilient. This disease is starting to eat at my kids.

We are suffering from Cancer Fatigue. It's a medical term, ya know. One that has been around since yesterday, when I coined it.

Cancer Fatigue occurs when a family member is only "well" for approximately 547 days out of the last 820 days. The memories of the last cancer battle, join with the memories of the current cancel battle, leaving children, wife and husband (?) feeling like it has been one long stupid battle.

I have to get them help. But FUCK I have no more room! Some other vital function I am currently performing will have to be dropped to make room for finding, convincing and getting them to a grief counselor. What will go? Time at the gym? Eating well? Getting a grocery list together? Providing an income?

So little mental energy needed, so little mental energy available.

Alas, I know I'll find the energy. They are my kids and well....I have to live with them. And frankly it's not all about my love for them. Any more head lifting and some one will wind up in the ER and I.... ain't going back! So either they will have to deal with their anger or find a ride to the ER and remember to bring the insurance card!)

My job, as their mother, is to guarantee they have "issues" to make their adult lives "interesting," "unique" and full of "growth!" Besides, if I don't, what will they discuss with their therapist and who, prey tell, will they blame?

So, now onto finding the energy to find someone who can help them.

That is the rabbit-out-of-the-hat trick I will to attempt this week.


Art is home. YEAH

And I have a cold! Surprise?


  1. Kim, my heart aches for you -- all of you. If I lived there I would be on the phone looking for a kid therapist, while I watched over them in the middle of the night. Why am I so far away with so much free time and so much experience with kids and therapists and . . .

  2. Liz Perry12:20 AM

    This is another area where maybe I could jump in-- give me insurance company name and cancer center name or number, and I'm happy to call around, present choices to you, or just drive them to sessions or set up Skype for you or therapist so they can do sessions from home?

  3. Anonymous11:08 AM

    I think humans in general are resilient. If they weren't we'd all be dead because we'd give up at the slightest hint of pain or frustration. Therapist exist because we feel the need for absolution, forgiveness, and comfort. So it's a good thing that we have so much pain in our lives right? otherwise, a lot of us would be out of jobs :)
    Yeah, glad for Art to be home. Yeah, glad that kids are showing feelings. Yeah, glad that the day keeps moving forward.
    Keep taking care of your beautiful, strong self.

  4. Kim, I wish I could give you a tight hug right now, I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. Take care of yourself. -Heather

  5. self portraits.

    not this weekend,
    but maybe next weekend,
    let's get together -
    all of you and me -
    and do self portraits.

    i've done this in work with people
    going through stuff,
    especially kids,
    and it goes deep.
    and it tranquilizes.

  6. I forgot to add - -
    How much I love your dark dark (What word are you expecting?)humor.
    What a coping mechanism humor is, no?
    I think it makes all the difference in getting through....

    Take care, jm

  7. Kim, I wish I were closer so I could help drive, clean, do laundry...something.

  8. Hi, Everyone! I found a support group for the kids. I'm looking for someone to volunteer to take them. It's a 3 week program and there's one week left. I spoke with the director and Kim does not need to RSVP - you can just show up. I'm in NYC so if anyone can volunteer to take them please let Kim know. Info is as follows:
    Program isrun by the Wellness Community (http://www.twc-wla.org/programs.htm#WHEN ) in Pacific Palisades. Next meeting is Wed, March 18th. I mapquested the location and it's 16 minutes from Kim's home.


    For parents and grandparents with cancer and their children and grandchildren, ages 5 -12

    3-Week Series, Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm

    Facilitated by TWC-WLA facilitator, Zena Bartholomew, MFT & certified art therapist, Tabitha Fronk, MA, ATR-BC, CCLS

    Location: The Ideas Studio
    16650 Marquez Avenue
    Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

    Parents and grandparents meet in a group with other adults with cancer, and kids meet, play, have fun together and share feelings.


    Adults feel less alone when they can share with others

    Children feel less alone when they have an opportunity to express feelings and concerns through creative activities

    Free of charge

    RSVP online or call 310-314-2555 and ask for Michael States, MFT or Jill Searle, MFT