Since you asked... If it weren’t for her dose of chemotherapy q 3 weeks and some iatrogenic wbc-boosting induced bone pain, it’d be fine. And yet, my mother and I are still having a reasonably good summer. Slowing it down a bit and being together. Even if the togetherness is while we have a picnic in the chemotherapy suite, or while we walk to the local pharmacy to pick up a medication refill.
Because nothing says bonding with your mom like shaving her head. She reminds me that early on I’d wanted a career as a hairdresser. Alas, now there is no hair. But to my pleasant surprise she is the same strong, smart woman with or without her hair.
Hats abound. Tennis caps, floppy sun hats, indoors or outdoors. They suit my athletic mother --who scheduled her first chemo treatment around her tennis game-- better than a wig.
So how’s your summer?
Taking it one day at a time. Fortunately or unfortunately, I can conjure up that old car commercial ("this is not your father’s Oldsmobile") and say this is not my father’s chemotherapy. That was another summer 20 years ago, a different regimen, and for an incurable disease. This time around it’s like cancer 2.0 with a better chemo concoction and a much better prognosis.
And how do you like this summer heat?
I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff, but sometimes I have trouble figuring out which is the small stuff. Even now, when I should have perspective on what matters most in life. Sometimes when I’m stressed about the big stuff, the small stuff makes me sweat too. I’m working on it. And overall, it’s been a good effort in rebalancing. It’s mid-summer and there are lots of balancing acts, being here in the middle. As I am a doctor but not her doctor. As I care for mom and am a mom. As my mother cares for her mother and for her daughters and for her grandchildren. Chemo more than halfway done and yet other treatments still ahead. So we try not to sweat the small stuff. Unless it’s while on a jog or on the tennis court.