Oh HAI! Who are you?

I’m finding out things about my daughter every day.

Since Peyton ended her daily chemotherapy treatment this month, the changes in her are remarkable.

  • She EATS! I thought she had a pretty normal appetite before, but I was WRONG! I don’t know that I realized how little she really ate until she didn’t have the chemo suppressing her appetite. She eats three meals a day, she grazes all day, she rubs her belly and tells me that “it must be the steroids”, that she hasn’t had in weeks. Amazing!
  • She’s a brat. Attitude and irritability that I chalked up to being a part of her body’s reaction to the constant flow of medication is actually just her BEING.A.BRAT! It may just be who she is now…so much for the dreams that it would stop when the meds stopped. MEH.
  • She can get sick…without being SICK. She got a nasty cough this week, full of chest-rattling-chunkiness and she didn’t get a hospital-visit-inducing fever, she just got antibiotics like any normal healthy child and has started to improve…antibiotics that she got prescribed from her PEDIATRICIAN, not her oncologist, thankyouverymuch!…the first time we’ve gone to a pediatrician for her care in over 28 months.
  • She is a creature of habit and finds it hard to go without the regiment she’s had for the past few years…so much so that she’s very happy to have antibiotics and have a medication to take every day again. I may have to start giving her a multi-vitamin just so she can feel like she’s taking something…perhaps I am enabling? Maybe.
  • She is clumsy! She is a climbing, running, falling-all-the-time hot mess and she is banged up from head to toe. And I’m working to see each bruise as a sign of her feeling good and being active instead of an instant marker of cancer relapse.

The part of me that is thrilled to see her growing and accepting her new life free of the medicines battles with the part of me that still sees her as fragile and delicate. Which she SO IS NOT. She’s almost five years old, she’s doing all the things five year olds do…and it’s both awesome and scary for me.

Perhaps it is not the changes in Peyton that are so apparent in this transition, but the changes in me. I have been a cancer mom for 28 months, it’s what I do…I give meds, I schedule doctor appointments, I live from week to week by the numbers on a CBC result…I worry about her temperature, I obsess about the color of her skin and the circles under her eyes.

I don’t anymore. At least, I’m not supposed to.

I’m working on it.

It’s definitely a work in progress.

At which I suck!

You can also find me at Hope4Peyton, The Mayhew Review and Twitter, you should come by, it’s nice…we have cookies! Feel free to email me at Anissa.Mayhew (at) gmail (dot )com.

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