Over a month since I’ve felt the need to blog. Or had the time. May is such a busy month. It’s enough to make anyone dizzy. It’s nothing short of a miracle to find a moment just to sit down and reflect. Immediately after the the end of school year craziness, moms like me find ourselves hurled into the summer. Our kids are suddenly home from school and we never had a chance to catch our breath. These days are looooong. The kids are looking to us for entertainment. They are climbing the walls. Their lack of routine provides very little break. Keeping up with my kids can be a challenge. Late night baseball games and swim meets ending at 9:30 become the new drill. Their old bedtime hour used to give me some peace and quiet at the end of the day. Goodbye to that. While it stays light out longer, the kids appear to get a second wind and are ready to party for hours. I blame the lightening bugs. Those mysteriously quiet bugs must send secret catch-me-if-you-can messages to kids, calling them to come out to play.
Summer is still my favorite time of year despite the crazy woven throughout. Contrary to last summer, I am energetic this time around. Ready to tackle it head on. I’m being intentional with my kids. We’ve been baking together, going to the pool, playing games, crafting, getting outdoors, and sometimes just doing nothing at all, so long as it’s together.
But every 3 weeks dip my toes back into my old routine by showing up for my herceptin treatments. When that lucky day rolls around I find myself sitting in the cancer infusion center for hours, wishing this could all be nothing more than a distant memory already. They will continue until August. I keep reminding myself that I’m almost there. But I’m annoyed at the mere inconvenience. I don’t have time for this! I know I sound childish. And I’m being short sighted. Certainly I’m aware of the storm that just raged all around me and I’m more than grateful at how I emerged victoriously. And this particular treatment pales in comparison to everything else I’ve been through. Regardless, I find myself griping about it. So reality check: this is short term. Having cancer return would be the absolute biggest inconvenience of all so I shouldn’t complain. This therapy is so targeted that it doesn’t destroy my other cells, just the Her2 marker which fed my past cancer, and blocks it from coming back. These therapies don’t make me feel too bad, mostly just a little sick on the evening of the treatment. I feel run down and my stomach feels off. I have learned (through trial and error-the hard way!) to eat nothing but simple carbs that whole day to prevent any g.i. distress. Ok so let’s get real, what girl doesn’t love a free ticket to a guilt free carb fest? This slightly altered state of being brings about old dreaded feelings. A little like that moment when you’re going up the first big hill on a roller coaster, when your stomach is unsure, the anticipation builds, you question your sanity, and regret getting on the ride. Except in this case, on those evenings the bad feelings continually build. So I go to bed early and wonder if I will take a turn for the worst in the middle of the night or somehow pull through. But thankfully each time I’ve woken up the next day having slept soundly and feeling perfectly fine. Was the previous evening a dream? It’s a little bizarre.
These seemingly simple infusions demand effort where I want to just move on from thinking about cancer. I have to juggle all the demands of running a daycare operation with my mother. No complaints there as she has the energy of a tiger, keeping up with the kids while I’m away. So that’s wonderful. My mom is over almost on a daily basis just or fun. So the day care kids see her often enough that it’s an effortless adjustment to them to be with her. On the there hand, it’s no small feat to arrange my own kid’s carpools with other mothers to their daily activities. It would be an exhausting endeavor except that my support network is incredible! Still having dependable and willing friends who help me after already done so much is a tremendous blessing. They breathe fresh wind into my sails and we just figure it out together. My friends and family keep showing me the sacrificial love of Jesus in action. I have so much to be thankful for.
For the hours that I’m back in the cancer center, tube hooking me up to my machine pumping me full of my high tech liquid, I feel like I don’t belong among the sick and tired cancer patients. They are not my tribe anymore. Looking around at others still deep in their battles against cancer, I stick out like a sore thumb. I’m painfully aware of how different I am while we all share a common room for our treatments. For one thing, they all notice I actually have hair. And most days I spike it, happy to have some to play around with. Another thing, I have a skip to my step that makes me almost feel guilty. But at least I know where they keep the good snacks in the kitchen!
This place is a reminder that cancer hasn’t faded into the background. And that I’m still in it. But I won’t always be.