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  • Raelene

Mom Guilt

Two more chemo treatments to go!! The last treatment I had was the new drug. The side effects were very different this time. I'm not sure I would say they were worse or better just different. This one was all about the bone pain. I myself have never experienced bone pain but let me tell you it is awful. Its a deep ache that nothing can help. Think bad muscle aches but rubbing the sore spot does nothing. The fatigue was also a lot more severe and has lasted longer. I'm far more tired for my week three compared to the last three treatments. This could also be that Clara is getting way faster and loves getting into everything or the new drug but no way to know for sure! I get my next treatment on Monday and at my appointment on Friday they couldn't even definitely tell where my tumor was to measure it! I am very excited to be so close to being done chemo though! I can finally see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

There's another topic though that I want to talk about other than the new treatment, Mom guilt. If you're a mom you know what I'm talking about. Mom guilt is something we all have. Its the constant second guessing if you are making the right decisions for your kids. We are always going over the choices we make as moms and thinking if we could have done something different or worrying that we aren't doing enough. I say mom guilt because I don't know many dads who worry like any moms I know. I tried to explain this to Ryan once when Clara was tiny and we were giving up on breast feeding which I went back and forth on stopping because I felt really guilty about it. Ryan did not understand what I meant or why I worry about every little thing.

I've been seriously struggling with mom guilt though. Take the guilt that's already natural and then throw cancer into that mix. I've mentioned some of this before like how I worry about things Clara is missing out and on things we are missing out on together. There is a bit more to that though. Some of this I have worked through or come to realize I was worrying about nothing as is often the case.

It's been hard getting passed the things we miss. It isn't just about events like I have mentioned before but also doing things for her development. I know people will say these things aren't a big deal and I know in the big picture there likely won't be any issues for her but I keep coming back to the fact that without my cancer things would go a different way. One of the issues I had was with her starting solid foods. For the longest time I felt like she was so far behind, she wasn't doing finger foods when all the books say she should be able to, she hadn't had all of the allergens by six months like they now recommend (she still hasn't had all of them). I was really stressing about these things and we tried, we did what we could. Ryan was doing as much as he could with taking care of both of us and I was just so tired all the time it was hard when he went back to work. I can tell you all my excuses but they don't really matter. The point is I felt really guilty over what we hadn't done or hadn't done at the "right" time.

As I've mentioned previously my best friend Lindsey also has a baby close to Clara's age and whenever she would say things like "she hasn't rolled over yet and I'm worried since she should have by now" I would say, "as long as she can roll over by the time she goes to college you shouldn't be worried." It has become the thing we say now whenever one of us is being an irrational crazy mom (which is totally allowed). So I'm texting her one night and we are talking about Clara's eating and how she wasn't getting the finger foods and how I felt so horrible because this is "my fault" and she just sends me a text back saying, "she'll be eating just fine by college". I didn't tell her this at the time but I cried. I had totally lost perspective until that moment. She was so right and I was annoyed I hadn't been able to rationalize this for myself. A part of that is likely the lovely effects that chemo has on my brain and emotions. Guess what though, within the next week Clara figured out how to eat finger foods. She's doing great with eating new foods and self feeding now. So she should be well on her way to be eating on her own by college.

My other struggle has been Clara being around other kids and learning to play. Turns out she's a bit of a bully (no idea where she gets that from). She hasn't had the opportunity to be around a lot of other kids. We've had some playdates but not many since she started to be mobile. This continues to eat away at me. We even had two set up for the last week but then she was sick so we had to cancel. I know we won't be stuck at home forever and we have lots of friends with babies close to her age so there will be opportunities for playdates but I still feel bad that she's been stuck at home with just her parents and her dogs.

My point is mom guilt sucks. I know all of these things will get sorted out and even if she is behind in some ways we will work through it. So for all of you moms out there reading this, you're doing a damn good job! Lets all stop worrying about how we might screw our kids up and focus on the right now and enjoy our time with them! They will turn out just fine because they have the best moms! This is what I am working on.

Some news as well, I have started an instagram account for Mommy Isn't Sick. You can find a link to it at the top of the page. I will have more updates there and share more about being a first time Mom going through treatment.

-Raelene

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