This morning I made a real effort to start to look on the bright side, to stop grouching round the place with a 'someone is out to get me' frame of mind. I even started to believe it for a while. When Katy's dressing fell off all by itself I almost convinced myself that it was going to be a Good Day. Then we get to the hospital, we're seen in clinic dead on time for once, and then it all goes pear shaped.
Why is Katy's lump coming back? Why aren't the surgery and the pain and misery and difficulty and tears enough? They even say that they might have to do it all over again and take away a bit more of her neck. They're bandying about long names of diseases and infections and conditions and I have only heard of a few of them but the truth is that they still don't know what is causing it, only that it is still causing it. It hasn't stopped. It isn't gone.
They ruled out cancer, which is a good thing. To be honest I thought they'd ruled it out weeks ago but it turns out they hadn't, it was still a possibility. The fact that I thought it had already been rejected as a diagnosis and thus haven't been worrying myself sick about it all these weeks I can only count as a blessing indeed. Thankyou for that at least.
So, thankyou that we lived through today. Thankyou that Katy doesn't have cancer. Thankyou that she perked up a bit by teatime. Thankyou that...I'm sure there are more things to thank you for but I'm running a bit dry.
I'm not going to rant on about why this is happening, though I still don't know and I'd like to register once again that I don't think it's fair. I'm not going to get angry and shake my fist at you because somehow I don't feel angry. I just feel bewildered. Tired. Confused. Worn down. Tearful. Did I mention tired? I'm going to bed soon and please please please don't let me lie awake for ages wondering which of the nasty sounding possibilities this lump might be and extrapolating from a ridiculously small understanding of any of it and ending up worrying myself even sillier. My mind is sometimes not my friend.
Lord God, who made the world and holds each one of us in the palm of your hand, please stop this. Tell the doctors what it is that's hurting my little girl and show them how to stop it. No more operations, please. Please. Lord God, heal my Katy and take away the distress of blood tests, dressing changes, needles, medicines and all this poking and prodding. I know that there are wonderfully brave children in hospital wards the country over who are much sicker than Katy, with much worse prognoses, and for whose parents life is infinitely worse. I know that we are blessed in many ways. She's strong enough to fight and struggle, that's something. She's robust enough to bounce back and eat her tea after a day of horrors like today, even if she couldn't eat her dinner. She's asleep in her bed right now (as far as I know) rather than languishing in a High Dependency Unit with a desperate Mummy at her side.
But...she's my little girl and this is horrible. We're not having a good time. Please heal her. Please don't let this thing make her poorly. Please don't let the treatment be as upsetting as the problem. Please don't let this leave a scar on her, physically, mentally, emotionally or in any other way. Please take it away, Lord.
Be with my Mum who has to be tired from taking up the slack for me. Be with Bryan, who finds it so hard to be away from home. Be with Elizabeth, who must be tired of making allowances for her little sister, and being babysat while we go to appointments and then usher her out of the room while we discuss things.
Help me, too. I've been feeling depleted and desperate and today found out that it isn't over. The light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be an oncoming train. I need to find a new reserve and I don't know where to get it from and I'm not sure where to look other than you. Help me sleep, help me wake up, help me think. Help me pray, please, because I can't seem to do it. Will you be there, please? And maybe show me that you're there? I've been finding it so hard to find you lately.
Don't leave it open to interpretation, Lord. Don't just send the little streaky blackbird, no matter how lovely he is. Don't just send me some new shoots in the greenhouse. I want you, my God, and I want you now, please. Let me feel your arms round me and let me see you hold my daughters and rock them to sleep.
My Friend, I'm needing you. I'm not going to fall apart. I'm not going to stop managing, but I am so tired. I'm needing you.
I can't find you. Come and find me, please?