It is so hard when little ones get poorly.
First the crying and the clinginess (not just holding onto your leg – but the full on monkey embrace where you are unable to move for full days and nights).
Your insistence upon medicine that they spit out, knock over, or generally bring back up (even when you are sure that it went down) and then it stains anything in sight. The high temperatures and the general food strikes..
Even harder to deal with when you are ill yourself, or the whole family gets ‘it’.
Some kids like taking medicine, my daughter does, she is a sugar fiend (like my husband), so with her it’s an easy line.
My son however hates medicine, plasters and anything he deems to be a punishment (I think he may get this from me).
The thing about children is their ability to ‘bounce back’. When they are really ill their little bodies just stop to fight it, but when they recover they run around like crazed loons – as if they’ve just discovered energy again and can’t ever remember being ill in the first place.
All of this is usually followed by drudging parents, dishevled hair and huge double bags under eyes from prolonged lack of sleep and full ‘house lock down’ (nobody goes out, no body comes in).
The thought has crossed my mind many a time that the person who invented the pink medicine deserves some sort of knighthood.
So now it is time for me to take a spoonful of my own medicine – so to speak. Its not going to be nice, or pink or sugary. Just as I start to feel well again and try to put chemotherapy behind me, the next part of treatment comes along in the form of hormone tablets for 5 or 10 years.
I am not happy about it, not at all. I need to try to remember that I am very lucky – that the cancerous cells that maybe in my body are hormone receptive (they use oestrogen to feed off), and that some very clever scientist somewhere has developed a drug to block the cells from running riot and doing as they wish.
It’s just that 5 years seems a bloody long time, and 10 years even longer.
In 10 years my son will be about to take his GCSEs and my daughter will be in the full swings of high school. My husband and I will be on the wrong side of forty – hopefully planning our early retirement and where in the world we will be travelling to next.
The key to that little scenario is that I will be hopefully part of it.
I find myself getting very angry and frustrated with breast cancer, because at times it feels like it is ongoing and it just won’t let up. Another appointment letter through the door, another date for the calendar (that I never used to look at before this). But I need to force myself to remember that all the treatment and medicine is given with the best intention, to get me well again – it’s just a shame it comes with all the ‘bullshit’ on the side.
The bullshit being the lasting side effects of chemo – tiredness at the age of 33 and the affectionately named ‘ice cream’ headaches which now seem to be a daily occurrence. I’m not sure I even want to know about the hormone treatment side effects at this point, I’m sure my husband is going to love anymore hormonal ‘ups and downs’ and bloating.
I am jealous of my kids because I want to wake up tomorrow and feel better. I want to bounce back and run around like a loon. My husband says I’m the worst patient ever because I can’t lie down and let myself recover.
At this point I just keep thinking – you know what? I wish it was a bloody spoonful of sugar – if it was I would ask for my spoonful to be gin & tonic flavoured..