Off to chemo … again.

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.


28 Responses to Off to chemo … again.

  1. You are constantly putting my life into perspective, Whymommy… constantly. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate these moments with my own children– we all need to be reminded to cherish the life that we have, and be thankful on a daily basis.

    I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow, as always.

    Much love, CGF xo

  2. Aimee says:

    yep. you’re definetly knee deep about now. it wouldn’t be uncommon for depression to start washing over you. if that chemo can put you in chemopause, it sure can throw the brain chemistry out of whack too. i had to start on yet another pharmaceutical with the anti-depressants. but it made a positive difference for me. that’s the flip-side of cancer, though- we do get a “second chance”. given the choice of dying instantly in a car accident or slowly from cancer, i’d pick cancer any day.

  3. Jenn says:

    You are so amazing WhyMommy – I loved your post “I did not know” AMAZING – I cried!

  4. canape says:

    We’ll all be with you tomorrow.

  5. Jen says:

    Hang in there, girlfriend. If there is a gift in IBC, it is perspective. My mom said it often during her fight. She was thankful over and over. As I read your post my first thought was “Yeah for Taxol!” As much as it sucks~and it does SUCK!~it kills those cancer cells.

    We all need to hug our babies more.

  6. Veronica says:

    Oh that post made me cry.

    I am glad you had a good evening. I hope the chemo goes well for you tomorrow (or as well as chemo ever can).


  7. WorksForMom says:

    Simply Beautiful. Will be thinking of you tomorrow. And the day after that.

  8. Kelly says:

    I remember my mother’s countdowns to her chemo sessions, so I’m sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

    And I’ll try to treasure those last moments with my kiddos at night, instead of considering bedtime one last chore to complete. What you said truly moved me.

  9. Annie says:

    Delurking just to say, that although you are very sick with cancer treatment, this posting was such a bright moment in my day. So many moms spend so much time complaining about how hard their children are. I love reading how grateful you are for each and every moment you have with them.
    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  10. fidget says:

    Tears welled in my eyes as I read this post. Those little moments, those ones that sometimes pass by unnoticed when you are in a rush, can be the most poignant and treasured.

  11. rimarama says:

    Thank you for reminding me again of all the little moments I should never take for granted. Sending some strength and faith your way for tomorrow . . .

  12. MammaLoves says:

    I can’t read that post again. That was my biggest nightmare when I was nursing.

    I’m glad you’re finding moments…good moments. You deserve all of them and more.

  13. Ally says:

    I loved that post of yours (“I didn’t know”). All be thinking of you tomorrow while you’re getting the chemo. Prayers and hugs.

  14. motherofbun says:

    I had a friend who refered to the mixing of words as “chemo brain”. She is sending you strength and hope, as am I.

  15. Mrs. Chicken says:

    Whymommy, I just wanted you to know that I am with you. I read every post. I don’t always comment because I am often at a loss for words as I watch your fight. I admire your strength and your sweetness so much. I hope you have many more such moments with your baby boys.

  16. WOW! Your blog just made a flood of memories fill my head and tears stream down my face. Really, I am not even sure how I ended up here! I was in your same position 3 years ago with my children the same age! Hang in there….it does get better. Perspective is the key to making it through to the other side stronger and better than before. Remember…it is not as much about what happens to you in life as much as how you react to what happens to you! Many warm thoughts sent your way as you have your treatment tomorrow! The one good thing about taxol is that it is MUCH better than the “red devil!”

  17. Pamm says:

    My heart goes to chemo with you today. I go tomorrow for chemo. I am doing every other week, cuz it takes me a week to recover. My cancer is colon, not breast. Stage 4 when they found it. But I’ll be damned if I will let it win !!
    Chemo brain is real and I suffer from it too. Just tell yourself chemo schmeemo, you can handle anything. Stay strong…

  18. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    “What’s up, doc?”
    “Carrots up!”

    You know your Mom always had the best carrots. There was something about them that was just different, cooler, crisper, sweeter, than other carrots.
    Keep on reminding yourself that he who suffered most is with you and will bring you through this.

  19. ~JJ! says:

    Feel good today!

  20. Jessica says:

    I’m glad you had such a good night with your boys, and I will be praying for you and thinking of you today. Sending hugs your way…

  21. b*babbler says:

    Sending up some strong, healing thoughts for you.

  22. Amanda says:

    I ache to wrap my arms around your weary body and whisper that it will be ok. Instead I sit, humbled by your courage and grateful for the sweet memories you are making with your boys. Blessings on you all.

  23. April says:

    Isn’t it crazy that you have to let someone inject you with a poison to eventually make you better? That always stumped me, but you are doing the best thing ever for yourself by keeping a positive attitude. Thoughts and prayers are with you today.

    Oh yeah… Chemo Brain sucks!! It is so frustrating.

  24. Katherine says:

    I’ll be thinking of you while I nurse my little tree-hugger today. Love and strength.

  25. Bon says:

    you’re on my mind today, as you head in for more chemo – this every week routine is making for some dark days, i sense, though your rational spirit always seeks the gift, the bathtime and the rocking to sleep.

    it seems to me you fight just as hard to continue to keep your grace about you as you do to beat the cancer back. i can tell you that you’re kicking ass at the former, and i hope the taxol is a powerful comrade in the latter, hard though it is on you to go in every week.

    (and “I didn’t know”…a beautiful contribution to the Breastfest).

  26. ella says:

    Thinking of you today WhyMommy.

  27. Matt says:

    I know the chemo sucks – but it’s making you better! Thinking positive thoughts for you.

  28. BetteJo says:

    Illness makes what is so normal – so precious.
    Hope you are resting well after your chemo today, and praying it’s doing it’s damnedest to fight this thing!

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