Just Checking In
It’s been a few months; let’s catch up.
Marriage + Momming
Things have been pretty good. In August we moved down the hall to a smaller unit. It’s over 1k less than what we were paying before, so we’re saving a lot of money. We don’t have any space, but surprisingly it hasn’t been annoying. We just keep having to minimize and get rid of things. But we’ll only be here temporarily, so it’s not bad.
Zoe and Alvin are both doing virtual school. They’re not going back while it’s unsafe. Zo didn’t really like virtual school initially, but she’s adjusting. Alvin loved it from jump. Anytime he gets to socialize, he’s for it. Zoe turned 4 in September, and Alvin turned 6 last month. It’s crazy how big they’re getting.
There’s not much to catch up on here. We’ve mostly just been at home doing school work, watching Netflix, etc, Al’s working, I’m Etsying, and on Sundays we do sound and slides at our church. It has thankfully, with all that’s going on, been a very uneventful year for the most part.
Last May Al and I decided to try for another baby so I got off of my anti-seizure and anti-depressant medications, as both will cause birth defects. We tried for like three or four months, and then I didn’t know if I wanted another baby. Well, I do but I am just hesitant because I’m almost 35. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. Al doesn’t care. LOL.
Anyway, in 2018 I got really depressed. We’ve been in DC almost 4 years now and I really like it here; however, this is the first time since I’ve been an adult that I’ve not had black friends near me. My friends here are primarily white. I love my friends and honestly, I am closer to them than I am to most of my own family. But even still, I miss being around people who were raised the same as me, who communicate in the same way, who I can talk about black culture with without explaining it, etc. etc. Anyway, between being the only black woman in our general community, being away from family, and other things that were going on, I started to feel incredibly lonely, got very depressed and got back on anti-depressants.
Fast-forward a year- when we decided to have another kid in May, I got off of anti-depressants, and between the previous loneliness, pandemic loneliness, and whatever else was going on last year, it was just a lot. So for a few months last year, I was really sad and irritable. On the upside, I am very grateful for friends here who we have developed relationships with, especially during the pandemic. While I still hate not having any friends in DC who are black women, we have family here now and it didn’t feel that way for a while. Plus, I still have my friends outside of DC, and they are great. I mean, sometimes I do still feel sad, withdrawn and out of place, but for the most part things are alright. And I’m working on getting my mom and best friend to move to DC. I don’t know that I’ll be successful, but I’m hopeful. lol.
Moving on. Things with my first immediate family have been kind of nuts on almost every end the past 6 months. I won’t get into any specifics. I’ll just say that the effects of divorce are rough, and it trickles into so many areas of your family- even your own immediate family- though your kids have nothing to do with it. I’m really grateful for Al always being here when things get messy, reiterating how important family is, how our children should know their family, how I need to try to understand other people’s perspectives, and how I shouldn’t just walk away. When you’ve felt for so long like… Idk, I guess ultimately like you don’t matter to people, it becomes incredibly easy to think I have my own family now; I don’t have to deal with this. Especially after having cancer. I feel like life is just too short to always be dealing with trivial arguments that are usually due to miscommunication, or to feel stressed for things that, in the end, just don’t matter- in or outside of family. But I also know that it’s very petty to just walk away. Lol.
Anyway, I think that my parents handled it the best they could all those years ago. It just sucks that at 34, many things have still not been resolved and we are still dealing with the after-effects in various ways. By God’s grace, things will get better. It’s just very exhausting.
On to more pleasant things… I opened an Etsy shop, DefinedByHisLove! I am going to add more items later this month, but for now I’m selling painted, customized Bibles. I’ve sold like 20 since September between Etsy and people messaging me. I’m really grateful for my family and friends; they’ve been very supportive. I was planning to go back to work last year, but then the pandemic happened and I needed to be home with the kids for virtual school. I like having something to do while I’m not working outside of the home. It’s fun.
So I had to go to my last cancer follow-up appointment by myself, and I’ve never done that before. My mom and Al would always go with me when we were in Texas, and now that we’re in DC, it’s me, Al and our kids. They rode with me to the last appointment and waited in the car. They couldn’t come in because of Covid-19. I don’t think that brain cancer is something that I will have to deal with again, but still before every appointment I feel anxious. I definitely don’t want to find out that the cancer is back and not have Al there with me, so the last appointment was nerve-wracking.
Anyway, I didn’t want to do that again so I had a virtual appointment this time. Wednesday I had my MRI and I just had my virtual call with my neuro-oncologist to review the results. After I got brain cancer, I found out that there is no such thing as remission for this tumor. Because the cancer cells are so small and infiltrating, they can’t tell by MRI if they are present. They usually are and the cancer usually comes back within 5 years. So instead of saying remission, they say no evidence of a tumor. So today I received the news that I am 7.5 years with no evidence of recurring disease. BLESS THE LORD!
This weekend will be 8 years since my last brain surgery. Man. So crazy. I’m so grateful for everything the Lord has given me. I’ll be 35 in a few months, I’ve got an incredible family, I’ve got great friends, and I’m happy. I thought I would have been dead a long time ago. Bless the Lord for grace and mercy.
Anyway, we have to go to Ikea to get some smart lights for our ceiling and Alvin’s class is going to be over in like 10 minutes. I need to get the kids ready. Until next time, be blessed!
Oh, here’s an update on my family and their cuteness: