Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on"....so I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

what about the children? part 2

So, what about the children? Where have they been through all this mess?

Well, they've been at school and preschool and home. They've been taking ballet and piano lessons. They've been practicing with their softball and t-ball teams, and playing softball and t-ball games. They've been riding bikes with their neighborhood friends, doing homework, and helping Daddy and Mommy in the garden. Baby Jesse has been playing and chasing his sisters and running as fast as his little 18-month-old legs will carry him. He is one busy little fella!

It's really been business as usual here. I don't have any cute stories about the kids and how they're coping with this new cancer. When I told them I had to go in for surgery again, so the doctor could scoop out the cancer again, and Leah's biggest worry was that I'd forget my cell phone and she wouldn't be able to reach me. As I posted earlier this week, Emma and I have had some cancer conversations, but for the most part she is unaffected.

I hope the physical changes (and therefore the impact on the children) will go unnoticed by the children. The girls know Mommy had surgery on the left boobie, but they don't know Mommy asked the doctor to take the whole thing plus the other! That's way too much information for them at their age. I've been masking my flatness pretty well by layering with tanktops and zipup sweatjackets. The girls know that Mommy's boobies aren't that big anyway, so they haven't noticed a thing. I probably should be insulted, but in this case I'm relieved!

I don't think I'll need chemo this time, but the girls have been through the whole hair loss thing already and they love Mommy's wigs (Frances still talks about Delores), so we can handle that too. I'll find out for sure about the chemo on Monday, when I meet with my oncologist.

But I'm really truly hoping that this time around, breast cancer doesn't change much for us. I don't want to traumatize the children, and so we try to keep things normal (well, as normal as we ever were, whatever that was). So we'll go to the ball games and the practices and the ballet and piano. And we hope that when people wonder, "what about the children?", they'll see that our kids have learned that life goes on, no matter what.

2 Comments:

  • At 10/7/07, 1:55 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    Katie, you have such an incredible attitude about this journey and about life. You are keeping life normal for the children, and answering questions as asked. You are keeping information to what they can handle and understand at their ages and you are showing them how we navigate through life.
    Here is hoping that this round of breast cancer will not change much for any of you.

     
  • At 10/14/07, 2:55 PM, Blogger Jenster said…

    Your children are very lucky to have parents like you guys.

    I've often wondered what's the "best" age for children with moms who have breast cancer. If they're very young they won't even remember. But neither will they be able to understand why mommy can't do this or that. When they're older (mine were 10 and just barely 13) they remember everything and they do have to deal with it. But they also understand why mom can't do certain things.

    My conclusion is that there's never a better or worse age.

    And here's a little tip for the mastectomy side. Before I had reconstruction I had a prosthetic breast. I wasn't real fond of it so my friend and her mom came up with "Build-A-Boob". I just bought a regular bra with a lining I could cut to make a pocket of sorts and filled it up with the appropriate amount of shoulder pads. It looked surprisingly like my other breast and was very comfortable. And cheap!

    When the hospital gave me my first post-surgical bra and "puff" to even me out, the puff was too big and I was still lopsided. Just the other direction. That was sad.

    Jinkies, have I got more stories, but I'm going to stop for now.

     

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