bilateral, Breast, cancer, caregiving, chemotherapy, children, hormonal, lumpectomy, mastectomy, raising, skin-sparing, therapy
“Let’s keep our batteries charged as things usually get worse before they get better”
Almost a month since surgery and we seem and more importantly, feel, like we can do some normal things again. As we had no appointments this past week, there was nothing to break up our schedule and we had what we might term to be a “normal family weekend”. As we sat around the table at our favorite sushi restaurant on Sunday night, we had our team meeting about what we had going on this week (playdates, practices, appointments, etc.) we reviewed the past week with our children to ask them how they were doing and what they enjoyed. Our son said he enjoyed playing in his first golf tournament. Our daughter said that she enjoyed “being a family again”. When we asked what that meant she said she enjoyed going out to dinner, going to her soccer game, and even playing a family board game with all of us present.
She was right. It was the first time we had energy to do things together rather than split up or outsource parenting to our friends and family. We were smiling and laughing again. The sushi dinner was never mentioned as such, but it was our first real time we had gone out together in a month for a meal and thus served as a bit of a celebration. We needed the break, the laughs, the down time and I think we really needed to lavish our children with much needed attention.
They have seen and heard so much and partly because of their naivety and partly because they are mature for their age, they were able to process their feelings. Unfortunately, I think it wore on them to see their parents not having the fun they used to have and seeing their mom’s sunny disposition remain sunny, but at a cost of her strength. Our daughter’s comment raised some flags for us to make sure we focused on them during the coming weeks especially if chemo becomes part of the equation.
Today marked the third of 5 appointments with the plastic surgeon post-surgery. He says she is progressing okay but we’ll have to see how things are going with chemo to know our full schedule. We have our 1st appointment with the oncologist on Thursday morning so we are a bit nervous. I just wish we’d know a little more before we go in the first time to meet with her. She’ll definitely tell us about the Tamoxifin (sp?) but all we are worried nabout now is the Oncotype score reading. We are bracing for her to tell us she will need chemo and agreed that we just need to get our batteries charged and braced for the coming months ahead. It is just natural to assume things will get worse before they get beetter. In a peverse way we both agreed that everything so far has actually not been as bad as we thought it would be, but we have run across some things we never thought we’d encounter.
On this highway of life, cancer has been more than a bump in the road, but a very windy detour that we hope leads back to the main road and let’s us get back to destinations unknown with many life adventures to discover.