Real Life is Exhausting

I was kidding myself. I was kidding everyone. Or maybe I just didn’t want to believe. After all, seven months of forced solitude, forced inactivity can lull you into believing that when you feel good you can go into your wheels fall off. Boy did the wheels fall off today.

Close your eyes and imagine three children – precocious, happy, energetic and independent. Starting school – three different classes, two different schools. Activities: two soccer teams (Dad coaching the twins team), robot building, dance, math pentathlon, cub scouts, art, and cooking. This is 1st grade and preK, mind you. We are operating at full bore after a week and a half.

This would be exhausting for any of us – even with out my previous life, right?

Now imagine, me – three weeks after bilateral mastectomy surgery, finally able to walk, to move and to sleep in my own bed. I have a haircut that people think I got on purpose. I have a wardrobe pieced together from previous purchases and additional elastic waistbands. And, I’m driving. But, I have no battery as a friend compared.

I had so much on my schedule yesterday it expanded beyond the confines of the calendar onto a separate piece of paper. And, it truly highlighted what has now become my new normal – two lives. One, lunch with Pink Ribbon Cowgirls complaining of share issues with radiation (starting next week for me), weight gain, hot flashes, hormone regulation, reconstruction. The other life, curriculum night for school – learning that my 1st grader will have Chinese instruction in his classroom twice a week as part of our elementary school immersion. Ni hao!

It’s an odd place – people I meet think this is my life, I have chosen this hair, I have chosen this body. I look in the mirror and see a work in progress – a paper doll with no identifying characteristics and realize how lucky I am to be standing there. I realize that I don’t like how I look – who does, really – but hopefully it will be transitory.

Then, I learn of the steps yet to take in my journey – the fatigue that will arise, again, during radiation. The hormonal shifts from the endorcrine therapy (tamoxifen) for the next five years. The additional procedures during reconstruction. But, I’m here – and tomorrow, we have two soccer games and Henry’s 7th birthday party. So much for dismantling the care calendar.

Finding the balance between my two lives – between my old life and my new life will become the order of the week this week. How can I shoulder some of the parenting burden while also taking care of myself? And, my beautiful, amazing, talented children – continuing to love and support, engage and learn.

All while waiting for my second boob to arrive in the mail from Nordstrom. It’s on backorder.

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