So tomorrow I go off to chemo … again. The endless (?) cycle of needlestick, blood test, IV stick, steroid that hypes me up and makes me jittery, benadryl that brings me back down and makes me so sluggish I can hardly put one foot in front of the other, saline to hydrate and make me drag my IV unceremoniously to the toilet, and then an hour of the Taxol, the drug that is taking away my coordination, making the tips of my fingers tingle, confusing my words, and making my muscles ache and my bones hurt, but may yet save my life.
I am grateful for the chance that it is giving me, and the months or years with my children that I will have as a result. Tonight I was able to give both my children a bath (with help) and then put them to bed. I rocked the little one as I sang him his own special song, and lifted him, sleeping, into the crib (hooray!). Then I read my preschooler a Richard Scarrey book and some (carefully edited) chapters from Swiss Family Robinson, and hugged him goodnight. Hopefully, he will be asleep soon.
It is these moments for which I am particularly grateful. I missed putting them to sleep too many nights this summer because of badly bruised forearms, weak shoulders, and pain in my upper chest that prevented me from holding the heavy storybook treasury upright, or lifting the baby into his crib. I say this not to complain, but to record how incredibly satisfying these little moments are, now that I am more healed (and on better pain medication). After a week of frustration, anger, and tears, tonight I can be nothing but grateful for this special time with my babies.
Another special time that I always treasured with my little babies was nursing them. When they were little, I was always there to nurse them: when they woke up, when they went to sleep, and any time they needed it during the day. Head on over to the League of Maternal Justice to view an amazing set of … links to moms breastfeeding their babies or waxing nostalgic. Here’s my bit of nostalgia, a post I wrote when I realized that I had just nursed my little boy for the last time. I called it I Didn’t Know.