Friday, March 23, 2012

My Mommy Has No Boobies

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Anonymous quotes

I have started and stopped a number of blog ideas this week and have had trouble settling on just one coherent train of thought. I am tired this week and my body is hurting which is never a good thing. Like I have written a hundred times before – pain signals concern, pain could be my evil nemesis knocking on my door again – no pain is ever nothing. But I do hope mine is nothing and I am instituting the 2 week rule. If it hurts for more than 2 weeks then it is worth a look see. For now I need to just relax.

My blog is inspired partly from a devoted blog reader and person I have known since I was a tiny little person. She wrote me an email following last week’s post and told me about a memory she had of me as a child. I won’t go into exhaustive embarrassing detail as it is a personal story but it was about a time she was babysitting me and my toddler curiosity prompted me to make quite a funny and direct remark about a certain body part of hers. Yes we are talking about the boobs people. When do I not really? My life is defined by those two lumps of fat these days. Well it got me thinking about how smart and observant children are. They rarely miss a trick and often tell it like it is or how they see it. My own daughter has become increasing interested in her own body parts and others people too. She is talking about them and pointing them out – in the privacy of our home of course! I realized that after next week, she will also realize that there is something different about her mama. I don’t think she knows that I am different already as she really has nothing to compare it to but she will be exposed to more and she will notice soon enough. How will I deal with that question when it comes? I can see it know – a full blown little people discussion at daycare about peepees, bumbums and boobies and my monkey blurting out that her mama has no boobies! I used to dread the time I would be asked to explain the birds and the bees but suddenly I have to think about how to explain cancer to my child? How did we get here?

I know she isn’t close to ready in terms of being able to understand it and I honestly don’t want her to. I always said that if I had to get cancer young while I was a mother then I picked a good time. She wasn’t so tiny that being away from her would break my heart or hurt our early bond but then she also wasn’t big enough to understand what was happening and will likely never remember any of this. But now I am thinking a lot about how to deal with this issue when it eventually arises. I want to maintain her innocence as long as I can but I also want to be the one to talk to her about these sorts of things. I mean who knows when she will jump on Google – seeing as she can maneuver the Ipad better than me already. So if anyone else has been there before me please send your pearls of wisdom. From what I have read it is important to never lie to kids and provide information but leave out the exhaustive details. It will only confuse them. So I guess I will do just that. Tell her that because mama loves her baby and pappa so much she had to get rid of some icky stuff that wasn’t good for her so she could be happy and healthy for them both. Easy in theory right? It is a delicate balance seeing as my own experience has its own impacts on her life later on. I don’t want her to afraid. We already have an utterly horrific conversation to have much later down the line which I am already dreading and that will be hard enough so for right now I think I want to keep things as light as possible for her. At the end of the day, we just want to protect our babies and just make everything right in their worlds.

I even feel like she is already picking up on things already this week. For the first time ever, she has told me the last few days that she wanted to stay home and not go to daycare. I almost teared up when she said “Mama – Ida home.” What was worse was that I didn’t have the physical capacity to stay home with her. I know most people would tell me that I am looking into things too much but maybe she is sensing both my husband and my own anxiety and worry over what will happen next week. Maybe on some level she knows something is going to happen and that she will be away from her mama for a while. I don’t know but what I do know if that I am going to make the next few days matter for her. It will be non- stop quality time with mama and there will be dancing and there will be cake! Lots of it!!

So this might be my last post as OBB (I am keeping the name cuz it is cool) so if I don’t check back in before operation day please send all your happy and positive thoughts my way around 10am next Wednesday morning. As each day goes by, I am growing more afraid of going through it all again. The waiting game is a real killer and I have never been the patient type. But I have learned over the past year that the things I am most afraid of never seem as scary after the fact. It is the build- up that is the hardest to swallow. On the upside I will get lots of really good drugs so I can dance with the unicorns up on the clouds up in the sky. Will write more when I have made my descent!

Your OBB


  1. I can't imagine what the waiting must be like. Or the worrying about the operation or the conversation you will have with your daughter some day in the future. But I wish you lots of strength.

    I was wondering about the birds and the bees conversation myself. Iluka (nearly 4 years old) asked me recently how Ella (nearly 1) got into my tummy back then (not sure why it took her almost a year to ask...). I started stumbling my way through the whole process by saying that daddy put her in there. While I was trying to figure out how to explain that in more detail, Iluka just looked at me and went "Hmmm. Okay." And continued doing whatever it was that she was doing before asking her question.

    She didn't need any more information at that time. "Daddy put her there" was sufficient and any more information might even have been inappropriate at this stage. She will ask more questions when she's ready and interested. And so will your little monkey, and she won't learn everything about everything in relation to cancer all in one go...

    And I am sure that she feels that something is going on. Kids are so intuitive and sensitive. But yeah, dancing and cakes will help, and you will all grow stronger from this experience, even though it doesn't feel like it now and it might not for a while. But you are strong and so is your little one! Stronger than you think!

  2. Ditte - I think you managed the question as well as one can when they are this little! I had to laugh with your explanation and am sure you could have gotten some very entertaining follow up questions! Thanks for the kind words and support. Kate

  3. Dear Kate,

    Just want to send you my warmest thoughts and positive support before your operation day on Wednesday. I can relate with your anxiety, fear, and wait as the surgical day draws near. For sure, who wants to go through the pain all over again? But, if this is a necessary step, and it appears you must have thought about it very seriously or discussed the matter thoroughly with your doctors before you came up with the decision, so be it. Goodbye to your "leftie friend" then!

    Understandably, the build-up is the hardest to swallow, but on the upside, you will be more relieved to live a life thereafter, knowing that at least "the threat of having the remaining breast possibily attacked by cancer again" will be gone.

    I will pray very hard for you. Since you already have the experience before, needless to say more, you will make it again! Just hope that you can stay relaxed and keep thinking positively. You are a much stronger woman now, you can withstand the pain. I am sure you will have FAITH in yourself and your recovery. Surely, it will take time to heal again before your normal life would kick right back in. Just don't think of it too far ahead, think only about the immediate, as tomorrow can be another bright and better day. For as long as we continue to live, we can breathe in the fresh air, we can enjoy each moment with our loved ones. Your little "cutie" and lovely daughter will surely be waiting for you to come home after your surgery. She will probably say to you, with a big smile on her face," Oh Mama, welcome back! Ida is home!(to take care of you)".

    Remember Kate, you are never alone, we are all with you, whether it be in pain or comfort, sorrow or joy! Together we can conquer! You will be alright! Take courage! You can do it!

    Waiting to read your blog again after you've have made your descent!

    Special Hugs and Prayers.