Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mom the Survivor

In a lot of ways, recovering from a bone marrow transplant while taking prednisone and taking care of young children is a lot like having a nursing infant. I'm constantly ravenously hungry, I'm sleeping poorly, people need my attention regardless of my level of energy or interest, and there appears to be a direct relationship between my energy crash and demands for an intense Nerf battle. Or maybe the kids are having a battle that descends into the type of fighting chaos that results when an eight year old, even a very tolerant one, tries to play with a four year old.

So, really, I am not the first person in the history of the world to feel tired and unable to rest, to have to take prednisone, to have small children, to have blood sugar issues, or anything else. In fact, I'm probably not the only person I know to whom some of this, at least, applies.

Thursdays are my appointments in Boston. John and I call them our dates. My family has been very helpful in watching the kids for the day, and I schedule my appointments so that we miss both rush hours. Last week was a little nerve-wracking because, for the first time ever, the phlebotomist had trouble drawing my blood. She said my veins looked tired. In all the years I have been going through this, I have always been told I have terrific veins and there has never been any problem. It made me realize there is a lot left to this process - who knows if I'll end up having to give blood draws from some other, more painful vein, or get an iv; we aren't just going through the motions. This is an active, evolving thing, and all sorts of different and unexpected challenges are going to come up.

What does that remind me of? Oh, right, being a parent.

So yeah, I'm a little housebound. Where normally I would be diffusing some of this energy with trips to the beach and outings with friends, I'm hiding from the sun and scrambling to arrange activities to keep my kids entertained. But really, this recovery is mostly about logistics, trying to remember what I've been through and the space and safety I have to give myself while knowing that things are going to get better, and knowing that every mom has hard work to do.

What is Mom if not a Survivor? I just get to claim the title in more ways than one.

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