Wednesday, February 27, 2013

the cancer blues


You're supposed to be depressed after you have a baby, or so I hear, and I am finding myself in that boat these days although my postpartum blues have little to do with giving birth. This little newborn girl is amazing. I am beyond the skies in love with her and so grateful to be her mama. I crave her next to me and yet I am happy to leave her at home with Daddy while I take her big brother out on a mommy and me date. I feel emotionally stable times ten with her, mentally healthy, happy.

Emotionally I am fantastic, baby wise. Yet I have this nagging sorrow in knowing that I have to leave my babies in six weeks for my week-long radioiodine therapy. Isolation. In a room alone, sporadically frequented by nurses in hazmat suits. A whole week away from them. I've known about this treatment since the "c" word was first mentioned in October. I know I have no choice but to go through with the therapy.

I feel so much loss over this impending schedule. I can't breastfeed Kathleen for more than a few weeks. And I know--I know--that moms formula feed their infants all the time and even chose it over breastfeeding, even I was a formula baby. If I had a choice who knows if I would chose to formula feed her in a few weeks anyway or if my supply would suddenly diminish and I would opt to supplement my milk and in the end turn to formula. But I don't have a choice.

I haven't allowed myself to think past the treatment and enter into the what ifs of cancer: what if it spread, what if I die? We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

For now, for the next six weeks, I will cherish every second with my babies and maybe they will fill up their Mama banks and feel just a tad bit less longing for me when I'm away.