Yes, I was able to have my chemo this week. My white blood count was at 4,500 (not the supreme ideal of 9,600 that it was a few weeks ago… But good enough).
It was a LONG ass day (for a bunch of reasons) and I ended up being there from 10:30am till 4:30pm. Pretty much the whole day. And of course it was the one time I didn’t pack a lunch so I subsisted on fruit, almonds, and some free peanut butter crackers they had on hand (that were not on my approved diet list – but at that point I really didn’t care).
I did have my monthly Zometa medication (the one that strengthens my bones). Last month it left me shivering and shaking uncontrollably for hours on end. We were expecting a repeat performance last night… but thankfully it did not appear. I’ve heard from other breast cancer warriors who had Zometa that the same thing happened to them – The first time was the hardest and then it subsequently got much easier.
Today I am week. I am tired. But feeling ok.
I am noticing the toughest thing for me to do is be a good parent to Miss M.
Everything else – no problem… Dinner – i got that. Dishes – i can handle. Exercise – i can still do it. But dealing with Miss M and all her toddler tantrums and defiance… God, that takes a lot of energy. To enforce the rules. To be consistent. To come up with creative ways to get her to do what I want her to do. To beat her at her own game. You have to be so on the ball. And I am just not these days.
I am super thankful for my visitors (many of whom are also moms) that give me tips and show me new ways of parenting. I am thankful for their energy – when I have none. I am thankful for their ideas – when my chemo brain robs me of my own. I am thankful for their guidance – because my own mother is no longer here to offer it.
This week my childhood friend “Auntie A” is here with her 3 year old daughter. It’s beautiful having them here. Auntie A is an amazing parent, full of energy, and totally devoted to being a great mom. She’s wonderful with Miss M. And I am learning a lot from her.
And after a week without ‘in home’ help I am thoroughly grateful to have someone here who can help me get everything done – all while exchanging parenting woes and catching up on the mysteries of life.
I know now that I need to get myself some permanent help around the house. But it’s so difficult. Because I feel like I am losing my ability to be a really good parent. And I don’t know what to do about it. It hurts me to think that I have to hire someone to do the number one most important thing to me – parent my daughter. I hate the cancer for that. For robbing me of my ability to be the kick-ass mom I used to be.
Throughout all the turmoil of the last few years – my mom’s passing, the endless moves, new people, new situations – I have been Miss M’s only constant. Her rock. And now I am coming apart at the seems. How does this not impact her? How do you process all these major life changes with a toddler?
Aaahhhh…. Life’s challenges. They’re never ending. And the answers are not always immediately visible or available. I guess the key is to not give up. To keep searching. Keep pushing forward. And then just hope for the best.
Peace. – T