My body is now back in Korea. My mind, though, seems to still be in transit. There's a five hour time difference between Seoul and Honolulu, and I am feeling every minute of it. So, I don't promise that this post will be at all coherent.
The trip was for the most part wonderful. About an hour after takeoff, I realized that for the first time in a long time, I was feeling really excited about something other than a fertility treatment. I realize how sad that sounds, but it's actually true. The emotions associated with IVF were so overwhelming for me that I really don't think I'd gone more than five minutes without thinking about it for the past few months. On the plane, though, I was thinking about other things, and it felt great. It wasn't so much excitement about the trip itself that I was feeling, but rather excitement about the future in general. Somehow being on a plane reminded me of all of the great things that life may still have in store for me. It felt great.
Hawaii is a ridiculously beautiful place. It's hard to turn around without seeing something amazing. In a week, I saw a volcano, the most amazing coral reefs, zillions of gorgeous fish, sea turtles, rainbows, incredible sunsets, and my favorite, humpbacked whales! It really did my heart good.
Spending time with my parents was a bit harder than expected, but also good. It was hard because I'm so worried about my dad, and we just don't have a lot of information yet, so it's hard to know how best to support him. He seems not to want to talk about it, but it may just be that he doesn't want to upset me. He's never been one for complaining. I just did my best to let him know that I love him, that I want to hear everything that he's willing to tell me, and that I'll do everything that I can to be there for him. I don't know what else to do. We still don't know when his surgery will be. His doctor should have left a message with last week, but so far he hasn't phoned. I'm hoping that this is a sign that there isn't anything urgent about his condition, rather than that his doctor is incompetent!
My parents and I are also still getting used to communicating about my fertility struggles, which made spending time with them when I'm still recovering from the failed IVF a bit difficult. I just told them that we're having problems last August, so this is all pretty new to them. They still don't really "get" it, and of course I don't want to make a big deal about my own problems when my dad is dealing with cancer. Still, it IS a big deal to me, so it can be hard to put on a happy face all of the time. I ended up having a long chat with my mother about it at one point (after she made one comment too many about my "bad attitude"). It turns out that even though I'd told her that we were seeing doctors and spending a lot of money, she hadn't grasped that this meant that we were actually undergoing painful, emotionally taxing, and expensive treatments. I don't know what she thought I meant, but she was totally shocked when I told her about the IVF. I felt a bit bad afterwards for burdening her with this information when she's already so worried about my dad, but I just couldn't stand being misunderstood any more. I think that my mother wants what's best for me so much that she doesn't like to believe it when I tell her that my life isn't in fact all sunshine and roses. Things went much better after our talk, so I'm going to assume that it was a good thing.
Well, I'm exhausted, so I'm off to bed. Hawaii was great, but it's also good to be home.