Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sick mom/healthy scientist

Let me apologize to any devoted followers who have been checking all week for new posts (Ami).  My hiatus was because I got it in my mind that I could finish my sister's wedding afghan before my next hard chemo (this coming Wednesday), and so I have been knitting away my precious blogging time.  I am awfully close to my goal, but I don't know if I'll make it.  Considering that I already missed the most important deadline of her wedding, which was in September, I guess there's no rush.  I'll post a picture of the afghan when I'm done because in my view it is one of my finest pieces and I would love to show it off.

Another thing that kept me away from blogging last week was work.  I worked full days on 4 of the 5 working days, which is rather exhausting (and exhilarating!) for me.  Don't get me wrong, I love going to work and feeling good enough to go to work.  The bummer is that the chemo fatigue lingers, especially in my brain.  Also, and this is something that I didn't realize at first, but I think that being at work forces me to spend energy on trying to be normal.  Normal is as simple as participating in conversations and heating up my own food, both of which are very good for me to do when I am on the upswing.  But this somehow feels like it takes more energy when I'm at work than when I'm at home.  It's nothing I can't or don't want to handle, and it gets easier every day.  By this coming Tuesday I'll feel 100%, and then the crumminess will start all over again on Wednesday.  There are so many things I want to do before then!

Going to work while undergoing chemotherapy has given me two lives:  one in which I am a sick mom and one in which I am a healthy scientist.  I know that being at work doesn't make me healthy, and I know that I'm not always sick when I'm home being a mom, but this bifurcation helps me function.  When I'm being a  scientist, I forget that I'm sick.  I get to feel smart and pretend that I feel fabulous.  And when I'm being a mom, claiming sickness helps me explain to my kids the otherwise puzzling hair loss, "port", and inability to carry them down the stairs.

I do get some time to feel like a healthy mom, and that is the best time.  Like today, when I made pancakes AND built a block tower AND went on a play date.  Click here to hear the anthem for my healthy mom energy.  It's an excellent song by Andrew Bird called Fitz and dizzyspells, and it's perfect because my energy does come in fits, I do suffer from dizzyspells, and I frequently tell myself to soldier on.  Oh, and did I mention the slightly whimsical beat and instrumentation?  With this song playing in my head, this sick mom rocked two little girls' Sunday.             


  1. Heather, it is so impressive to me that you are getting any science done during this ordeal. I'm glad this extraordinary feat seems to give your life a more "ordinary" feel. I can't wait to listen to your song recommendation. Thanks for posting!

  2. The afghan is so pretty! I love the color choice- it is so Holly :) You've always wanted to be a scientist and I'm so glad you get to dabble on your good days. Also, shout out to Ian who is holding down the fort. I continue to be amazed by your relationship. Ten years- whoot whoot!

  3. Hey there - hope you are feeling less sick mom and more healthy H-bomb, and are able to tackle a few normal things (like reading blog posts!), by the time you resurface from hard chemo.

    Also I just noticed your page counter is up to 17,413! That is impressive. You're clearly quite popular around here.