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" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How to traumatize your 3-year-old

Frances saw my breasts the other day. Or should I say she saw "the site formerly known as Katie's breasts"?

I had just gotten out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my chest, when I heard the phone ring. I picked up the phone, which I had conveniently left on the sink (forgot to hang it up as usual), and started talking with my friend Kim.

Since I'm big on multitasking, and since my hair will stick out in all sorts of directions if I don't brush it down right away, I began working on my post-shower routine as I talked with Kim. I briefly worked on my hair, then went out to my dresser to grab some clothes when my towel fell off. (Not surprising, since there's nothing there to hold it up anyway!)

Normally the towel falling off wouldn't be a big deal, but at that same exact moment, my bedroom door rattled and in charged Frances, looking for her "pink piddy". But before she could even get a word in, I covered my chest with my hands and yelled "Frances, NO! Get out of Mommy's room" or something along those lines.

Poor girl was so shocked, not at what she saw because fortunately she is only 3 and didn't really know what she was looking at. Frances was more upset that Mommy was telling her to get out, which meant Mommy couldn't help her look for her "pink piddy" (which turned out to be the pink pig Pez dispenser she got for Halloween. Frances has some interesting consonant substitutions that make her hard to understand sometimes. One of her more amusing substitutions is when she says "t" for "k"....and poor thing, her favorite book is "Hello Kitty". And yes, we just started her with speech lessons, and no, we never ever laugh at her speech, nor do we allow her sisters to tease her.)

Anyway, back to poor Frances getting kicked out of Mommy's room: After I yelled at Frances to get out of my room, and as she lay crying outside my door, I realized Kim was still on the phone and that in addition to yelling at my 3-year-old I had also yelled right into my friend's ear! And if that wasn't bad enough to have a friend overhear me yelling at my child and to have possibly caused same friend irreparable hearing loss, I made matters worse by trying to explain what had happened. "Oh no, Frances just walked in on me and I just panicked. I'm standing here buck-naked and who knows what she saw!" Then realizing this was more than I needed to share, I said "Um, sorry for that visual!" and changed the subject.

Embarrassment on many levels for me! I think maybe it's time I get fitted for some fake boobs, I guess they're called "prosthetics", something I've been putting off. (I doubt I'll be starting reconstruction until late spring.) I also need to remember to lock my door when I take a shower.

In the meantime, I need to stop answering the phone until I'm fully dressed.


  • At 11/11/07, 7:51 PM, Blogger lahdeedah said…

    Oh, Katie! This is so painfully sweet.

    I hope you won't mind my sharing something... I was given a free membership to a very tony gym here in town, as a breast cancer "perk." I was so excited! I drove to the gym the next night, only to find that the women at this gym are not the down-to-earth types, like the chicks at my rock climbing gym. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on status and physical perfection. The thought of baring my weird-looking, reconstructed boobs in front of such "perfection," made me run back to my cozy little gym with everyday girls like me. I know I shouldn't care what people think, and largely I don't. But there are some situations in which I still feel raw and tender, and I'm not pressuring myself to not feel that way. My guess is that I won't always feel this way, but right now I do and that's exactly how I should be feeling.

    My guess is that little Frances thinks you're beautiful with or without breasts, as you're Mom and you know where to find the Pink Piddy/

    I would also guess that your friend has yelled at her kid once or twice :)


  • At 11/12/07, 2:42 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    Poor Frances and Poor Katie..and I mean that sincerely, not in a condescending way (the trouble with the written word sometimes!!). You both need a hug. You are still self-conscious about how you look and you don't want to upset your daughter and yet because you were trying to protect her (and yourself) you upset her anyway. And of course you've upset yourself.

    Jill is so right...Frances will love no matter what you look like and as she hasn't enough to go on with what breasts are, even scars won't be frightening at that age. But you are being a good mom and for that we all hug you...I'm sure many of us would have felt the same way.

    True enough we've all yelled at our children privately and with an shame there.

    And I love the challenge with Frances''s a difficulty with Hello Kitty to be sure!! But you're on the right track and life will at some point be in balance again. That's a given!!

  • At 11/12/07, 3:53 PM, Blogger Jenster said…

    I'm guessing you're more traumatized about the whole thing than anyone else. And no doubt your explanation to your friend was plenty for her to understand what was going on.

    Boy do I have some highly amusing prosthetic stories. My reconstruction was a year and a half after my original surgery. But I've got some good tips, too. Just let me know.

  • At 11/13/07, 12:26 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Thanks, Jill, Sherry, and Jen! You're right, the issues are mine, not the kids'. They see me, not my cancer. I just feel a need to protect them from my scars a little longer!


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