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From cancerhood to motherhood

Unlike previous messages throughout this journey, this message was delayed for good reason – complete and utter motherhood. I was able to walk Henry to school on Monday – not the whole way of course but at least into the school. He settled in and barely had a last glance. He even didn’t want to hold my hand when we were walking. He’s a first grader! Is he really that grown up – I know he’s 52 inches tall – but still. He wore his Duke shirt – I had hoped for a polo, but man, those dry wicking athletic shirts are like crack. Once your kid wears them, they don’t want to go back!

Then, my big appointment – with my surgeon. I have no more drains! And, movement as tolerated – maybe driving in a week (don’t push it he said, uh oh, I said). I will admit that the rest of the day I was dreaming of my shower … but didn’t make it until after the kiddos went to bed. It was awesome. One of the top three showers of all time. I think the one after coming home from the kids birthdays might have been better, but after 10 days, this one was pretty important.

Something they don’t tell you is that you are completely numb after the surgery – makes sense, they are cutting all your nerves that were in the fatty tissue. But it’s an odd and slightly uncomfortable feeling in those areas. I know it’s my body, but it’s not my body. And forget putting on deodorant – it feels like I’m touching my belly or my head or some odd combination of the two and makes me queasy. It’s very odd. But yes, for the sake of everyone else I have been putting it on with gritted teeth.

We have had a wonderful few days – even with Davis gone, even with my recovery, we have a sense of normalcy in the house and in our lives. I am able to start integrating slowly into decision making and calendaring – although I still need a chauffeur. I start radiation in two weeks or so and then will be all done.

In the meantime, cancer is no longer the center of my world – my children are – and it’s a degree of normalcy that, while exhausting, is so welcome.

Emmy came in last night, after I had dressed myself in some loose button up clothes without a bra¬† and had left it (with the padding) on the bed. She walked in and picked it up – what is this Mama? Where do they go? I quickly changed the subject but realized that we are in for a weird six months … I don’t think the children are ready to see my scarring (frankly I’m not ready) but what are they ready to see and know?

And, yesterday, Emmy (again) – the harbinger of truth – asked why my belly was so big. I said that it was because my body had been working on fighting the cancer and won. Now I get to work my belly away. This morning she said it was smaller. Hey, I’ll take it.

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