Parenting my way through treatment

Today I feel something.  The chemo is definitely settling in.

The effects are subtle – but there.  I’m a little dizzy, light-headed, nauseous, slightly off-balance, my skin feels more sensitive and dry, I’m definitely tired.  But nothing major.  Just enough that I feel different – but still able to function.  While it’s tough being at home with little Miss M all day, I’d much rather be at home with her than going through this while working outside the home.  (For so many different reasons).

Today was a big day for Miss M.  She successfully completed her first day of preschool without me today.  She cried.  I was nervous.  But in the end it was all good.  I really hope her days at preschool are a fun, positive distraction from the drama of the cancer diagnosis.  I worry about her a lot.  I feel she’s already been through so much in her short 2 years and can hardly believe she has to deal with this now too.  Yet, despite it all she’s always upbeat and full of energy.  And having her around keeps us all positive and appreciating the little moments in life.  Thank god for Miss M.

I still struggle with how much to tell her about what is going on.  While i realize she’s only 2 years old, I also know she’s a smart cookie and super intuitive.  She realizes (or assumes) what is going on a lot of the time without us saying anything.  What is scarier for her?  The truth or what she makes up in her head?

I just don’t want to screw her up too much.  I want her to be happy and have a “normal” childhood like other kids and not forever be saddled with one tragedy after another.  I want her to always have people who will play with her, take her to the playground, serve her healthy meals, smother her with hugs and kisses, and adore her.  I want to do my best to make up for the constant disruptions in her life and not let the cancer stop me from being the best parent I can be.

It’s tough going through cancer with young kids.  While you’re trying to take care of yourself you’re still being depended on by someone else.  You have to very carefully balance the needs of yourself and the needs of your child when you don’t have very much energy to spare from the get-go.  Parenting ain’t easy – that’s for sure.

Tomorrow, another big day…  (aren’t they all “big days” now??)…  I go in for more MRI’s.  I’m nervous about the final results.  Has the cancer spread to my bones??!?

We’ll see…

Peace and love.  – T

7 Responses

  1. Terri,

    Just got the news from you Dad yesterday of your diagnosis and treatment! Words almost fail, but I’m so moved by your gutsy courage and generosity at sharing your experience via the blog–graceful woman warrior, indeed!

    I’ve contacted those in in the local sangha who knew and loved your Mom, as well as her teachers Tenshin Reb and Zoketsu Norman know, so you’ll be getting yet more love streaming in from the west coast.

    What better practice than the Buddha Way, for staying grounded, one day at a time, while feeling also the vast connection, the matrix of our lives. You have the deep foundation, dear Terri Luanna, as your Mom did.

    All our love and healing thoughts,
    Kate and Michael, Mountain Rain Zen Community, Vancouver, BC

  2. First of all, there is NO NORMAL! Your daughter has been blessed with the MOST AMAZING mother in the world- you. She was destined for you as you were destined for your mother…
    That being said, you’re right- It’s tough going through cancer with young kids. Continue to follow your instincts because they are spot on. When in doubt, reach out as you are doing now. Listen, process, then go with your gut.
    And please know my beautiful niece, your daughter is, and always will be, encircled with deep, boundless, adoration born of the mother love created by you…

  3. Hello Graceful Warrior Woman,

    We don’t know each other but I was given your name (and blog) by my dear friend, Christa Johnson, MD.
    I wanted to tell you that I am sending you light and love. I, too, have made this journey more than 21 years ago while in my 20’s with 2 young daughters. And I am here, should you need an ear, a shoulder or anything within my power to give.

    Keep your heart open.


  4. You are a remarkable woman…thanks for sharing your journey with us. Sending you thoughts of peace, love, hope and strength.

  5. Your mother’s sisters and their families are a network of love,caring and support. Although I find it hard to express in words how I feel, know that I want to help any way that I can. Give big kisses to Marissa for me!

  6. Having raised three of my own, the youngest being nearly twenty-one, I am constantly amazed at how resilient they are. Trust that she is fine, and will continue to be.

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