Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cancer Made Me A Bad Mom

This post is brought to you by the bags that live under my eyes.

I know it's been a while since you've heard from me. As usual, I think I've started this at least a dozen times. Maybe this one will stick.

I'm not sleeping so well. Before the stupid cancer, I was a championship sleeper. For real. But by the time I felt like sleeping last night, my clock said I had about four hours until I'd hear my alarm. Awesome. I was thankful for a busy day to keep me going today. After work I made dinner, helped little dude with his homework and BAM it was bedtime. The tired mommy kicked in when the kids thought it was perfect timing for wrestlemania instead of getting ready for bed..aaaand I kind of lost my shit. Why must mom's have to scream like psychos in order for their kids to listen sometimes? Why does this happen?

I know that last part isn't specifically related to cancer. If you're a mom and you haven't lost your shit a few times....then you're mom-ing wrong.

There are certain things that bring out a little PTSD for me. I'm not using that term to make fun - it just seems like the most relatable way to get my point across. When I was going through treatment and then for the few months immediately following my surgery, I felt like a super shitty mom. It was so hard to keep my cool while I was feeling like garbage. And I was always tired and cranky and sad. I didn't feel like going on adventures and doing fun stuff. So many times Toby told me he just wanted things back to normal. He wanted me to have hair again and he wanted to go on adventures and have a happy mommy again. He didnt want me to come to his school or go out in public with him unless I was wearing a hat. It made my heart sad. As my hair started to grow in, Lainey asked me if I was a boy because my hair was short. In her little 3 year old mind, that made sense. She wants me to have long curls like hers. Curls have super least we think so. Lainey recently turned 4 which means I've been sick for about half of her little life. That crushes me. I feel like I've missed out on so much. When I'm feeling up to it, I'm packing in as much fun with these kiddos now as I can.

So PTSD. Where does that fit in? Losing my cool - having a short circuit - it's not like me. It takes me back to cancer days and I don't like it. Seeing pictures of when I was bald - they're starting to bother me. I was completely fine with it while I was going through it...but now seeing those pics makes me sad. A lot has changed for me. A simple thing like going to the bathroom - not the same anymore. Normal sex life? Ha! Nope. Ugh.

I had lunch with a friend recently who has been in the same boat. She said while you're in the middle of treatment, you're in survival mode. And I was. I just never thought of it like that. There was so much going on that all I had to concentrate on was keeping my adventure going. Now that THAT part is over, I feel like it's all catching up to me. At the time, people would make comments about how they don't know how I do it and how I stay positive - I was just staying alive.  I was making my way through it. It's what I had to do. Now I look back and I'm like WTF?!? Do you realize what I did?! How did I do that?!? My brain is finally catching up to everything my body went through.

When I started to lose some of the pain after my surgery, I was given the ok by my physical therapist to work out again. Due to certain circumstances, I think lengthy runs are a thing of the past for me, so I tried something new. Eager to get back to "normal", I pushed too hard and did too much. Getting hurt scared me. After the horrible pain after surgery, the pain of this injury stirred up those old feelings. There's an underlying fear of that nerve pain just magically coming back. I ended up taking a few months off and now I'm slowly easing into exercise again.

What does slowly easing into things mean? I bought a bike and I'm training for the Ride for Roswell. Ha! I was in no shape to do it last year, so this year I've started the Red Shoe Adventure Team. I'm working on being able to sit on a bike for 20 miles. I may end up with one of those giant comfy seats or a bum that's super sore, but dammit I'm doing this race.

This blog is therapeutic. I never want people to feel bad for me - That should never be a thing. If you know someone who has cancer or had cancer, know that "cancer free" doesn't mean their life is back to normal. It never will be. And sometimes recovery and learning how to live with the new normal is harder than the treatment and the cancer ever were. For me, I don't think my new normal is a bad version of just feels completely different and I need to get to know this new version. I really feel like a completely different person. That's something hard to share when you look "healthy" and "normal". I'm learning who the new me is one day at a time and I hope you'll stick with me as I find out. I think it may be time to hang up the old sneaks and break out a new pair of red shoes!

Cheers to new beginnings.

Shameless plug: 
Join my Ride for Roswell team or donate HERE.

My new ride!
Thanks to Campus WheelWorks for the help with picking out my new wheels!

Family adventure weekend!
Glass floor at the CNTower in Toronto

Family adventure weekend
Niagara Falls, Canada

Lainey turned 4!