Cancer Mom

It would be a great time to become a heroin addict. I’m swimming in the stuff. 

That would be unpredictable right? No one would see that coming. Elementary principal addicted to heroin. Has a nice National Enquirer ring to it. 

But no. That is not my path. Only my son’s. They just keep giving it out. Rightfully so, he’s still in pain from yesterday. By NO means is the same pain at the level of the torture 30mins, but still nerve endings on his feet and hands are raw. 

Jacob has a fever today. It is to be (not going to say it. Not even going to write that fucking word. Not giving it that privlege), but you know the “e” word. Yep. Its that. 

I was wondering if we weren’t going to be able to do chemo today. You know with the fever and the pain, but nope all going forward. 

I am amazed by this little body. I am amazed by what it can take. I’m super sensitive to medications. I cut a tylenol in half, and here is my son taking dose after dose every hour. I tried to list all of the drugs running through him in the last 24 hours and got to 8, but I know I’m missing a lot. I would guess the number is closer to 12. And they all have side effects. Just today I’ve been told he will be constipated and only an hour later told he will most likely have intense diarrhea. 

I met with the therapist on staff here today. I told her that Jacob is done with cancer. I informed her about the screams. He wouldn’t meet with her. He sent her out and told her to make an “appointment.” While disappointed that he refused to talk to her, I couldn’t help laugh. There is a bit of Benno in this one too. So I spoke to her alone. However, only 10 minutes into our conversation it became clear that this conversation was going to be about me.

I got teary eyed. I shared that I’m so lost. How I don’t like not understanding, not being able to do, feeling helpless and captive.

Here everyone calls me “mom.” I get it. There are a lot of people here (Sadly), mom makes sense. I did the same when a parent would run up to me with a question and couldn’t recall her name, I would avoid proper nouns at all costs. But the name should really be “cancer mom.” That is the proper title, that sums up my job description. Moms take you to the park. Moms pick you up from school. Moms yell at your to clean up the clothes on the floor. I am not a mom. I do none of that. 

I shared how angry it makes me to this childhood therapist. How much I have to give. How many good deals I have planned. How I’m not in North Carolina today at a conference which I signed up for a year ago. How I didn’t understand why cancer didn’t pick a mom who was unemployed. So it doesn’t hurt others like the children in my care. Why cancer didn’t pick someone without plans? Why cancer didn’t pick someone who spends her days making bad deals?

I wonder what she thought. I just kept talking like a crazy person. She just kept nodding. 

I felt suddenly ridiculous. Its about Jacob! This is a child therapist. DUH! So I quickly turned the conversation back there. We brainstormed ideas on how to get Jacob to stop yelling. 

She informed me of behavior charts. I nodded like it was the first time I’ve ever heard of them. Not wanting to steal her thunder. And my past career feels irrelevant here anyways. I didn’t even stop her when she explained to be what a neuropsy was for a good 5 minutes. I just kept nodding. She has no idea that I spent years reading them daily. She has no idea that people to this day send me theirs to ask me their opinion. I just nodded. The past feels meaningless.

I’m just cancer mom.

Maybe they should give us business cards. When people ask what I do I can say CANCER. Here’s my card. See. Right there. This is a real job. See. It even comes with cards. 

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