My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women


Mommy Mondays (On Saturday Because the Plague Has Come)


Plague in Rome. Italy, 17th century

Don’t you feel like when you are having difficulties in your life, you should receive a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card from all the other little shit that can go wrong?  Like, if you lost your job, you shouldn’t have to get into that fender bender.  If you get cancer, you shouldn’t have to stand on every subway ride and get harassed by the crazy man.  Well, I have felt that on several occasions.  This surgery, my DIEP Flap, has been no exception.  Healing has been tough with this surgery.  I haven’t had any complications or anything.  It’s just such a big surgery (I’ve been cut in half, for God’s sakes!), I didn’t believe my surgeon when he told me how long it would take to even start feeling better again.  I should have listened to the expert.  It’s been such a long road so far, that when this past week happened to me, I couldn’t believe it!  I didn’t deserve it!  It shouldn’t have happened!

The plague hit our home!!!!!!

It started about a week and a half ago.  My son had some suspicious crusts in his eyes.  His eyes weren’t really red or anything so I just kept a close eye on it.  Maybe too close?  Anyway, what I thought might be turning into pink eye for Oliver, seemed to resolve on it’s own within a day.  Phew!

Not so fast, unlucky one!!!  Within a few days, my left eye started getting goopy.  Really goopy.  Things that shouldn’t be coming out of your eye in colors I have never seen, were coming out of my eye.  I had a bad feeling.  The next morning I woke up and my eye was completely swollen shut.  FUCK!!!!  I went to urgent care and the doctor walked in, took one look at me and said, “Oh, yeah.  I see it.”  She did her due diligence but was basically telling the nurse the prescription I needed, simultaneously.

“This is the price of having a toddler who goes to preschool,” I thought to myself.  I also thought to myself, “It could be much worse.  I could be puking.  Now that would be awful.”

It seems like the universe reads minds or something.  This past weekend, Oliver and I were staying with my parents so that they could help care for him. (To add to the list of things that are happening, Ken has a new job with new hours and new days off.)  Everything was going well.  Oliver was in a great mood.  When it was time for bed, suddenly he started saying that his belly and feet hurt.  “Nice delay tactic, kid,” I thought!  My father was snuggling him in bed and suddenly….vomit was everywhere!  I mean, everywhere!

Oh, shit!  Oh, fucking shit!!!!!!!!!  It was me, my mother and father and we could barely keep up with all of the puke!  Part of me was really distraught because this was Oliver’s first stomach bug and I couldn’t go near him to comfort him.  We were all too nervous about what would happen if I got it, so it was universally decided that I should keep my distance.  Now, no one wants to be covered in this stuff but, I’m his mother.  I’ll be covered in anything if my baby needs me.  My baby needed me.  I couldn’t be there for him.  So I cried and barely slept that night.

The next morning, Oliver was fine.  Tired mostly with little appetite but his mood was good.  The worst seemed to be over and we all felt fine.  It seemed as if we all dodged a bullet.

Can you sense some foreshadowing here?  Well, you’d be right.  On Monday night, Ken was getting ready to go to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law who was coming to stay with us and help us out.  I was feeling a little off that day but it felt like a sour stomach or gas, and I didn’t think much about it.  But, as Ken was getting ready to leave, it suddenly started getting worse.  “Should I go,” he asked?  “Yes, go.  I’ll be fine.  It’s just bad gas,” I said.  He put on his shoes.  He came back to me and told me I was leaving.  I pushed him out of the way and threw up.  I had the bug.  “I guess I’m not going anywhere,” he asked?  I was shaking.

Now, if you have never thrown up after your abdomen has been cut in two…well…all I can say is…it is a memorable experience.  I was shaking from the pain, the sickness, I was cold and feverish and achy.  I was already achy but this on top of it!!!  It was a maddening, awful feeling.  It was the last time I threw up that night but it was enough.  I couldn’t sleep all night. I couldn’t stop shaking.  It was terrible.

Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, Oliver chose this exact moment to start acting like a little asshole. (Yes, 3 year olds can be little assholes.  I love him, even when he is an asshole, and he’s not often an asshole but that night, he was a little asshole.)  He was refusing to go to bed.  He was throwing temper tantrums.  He was in his room calling, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, I need a tissue, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, I’m not tired, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, I have to poop, daddy, daddy, daddy,daddy, daddy, daddy, I have to tell you something, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, cover my feet, daddy, daddy, daddy….”  This went on until 10:30 pm.  Meanwhile, I was in our room, “Ken, I need some water.  Ken I’m going to throw up again.  Ken, I’m cold, I need a heating pad.  Ken, I’m shaking please hold me.  Ken, my pants are hurting, I need my soft pants from the laundry bag.”

Poor, Ken.  I heard him in between our two doors, Oliver’s and mine.  I heard him stop for a moment, silence and then, “Oh. My. God.”  He had two whiny babies on his hands.

Oh, because all of this isn’t enough.  Two hours after I threw up, I started to get pink eye in my other eye.  Really.  You can’t make this shit up.

The next morning, Ken had pink eye in both eyes.  That night, he started to come down with the bug.  The following night, my mother-in-law got it.  It just didn’t stop.

This whole ordeal seemed to set me back, as far as recovery goes, about 5 days or so.  I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.  It was really frustrating because I didn’t deserve it.  No one deserves this.  What has been so hard is that, even though I’ve had this surgery and gotten so sick, I’ve still had this little man to take care of.  And people who where supposed to be caring for me, I’ve had to help take care of them.

It’s made me think and remember that being a mom his hard, even without cancer.  But just because you have cancer, doesn’t make all of those other things go away.  Your child still gets sick and can and will get you and your whole family sick with him.  It’s not fair.  It’s not right.  It just is.  There’s no “Get Out Of Jail Free” card when your a mom with cancer.  I knew that.  I did.  But shit, shouldn’t here be?


P.S.  Did I mention that I woke up this morning with laryngitis?