Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I *had* breast cancer

It's been a pretty crappy day, actually. The pain I'm feeling from the lymph nodes is increasing by the minute. So naturally the muscles in my chest are tensing with a vengeance. It hurts. I've resorted to the heating pad.

I think today is the first day I don't feel like I have breast cancer anymore. Why? Well, I'm still sitting here waiting for test results from the doctor who SAID he would call us today. He didn't. But I feel that between my surgery and my chemo treatment, it'll be gone. But I have more of a reason for saying it is so.

Tonight, Steffie had a meltdown because I wouldn't do what she wanted me to do. I reminded her I was tired, we needed to be together as a family, etc., when she wanted to watch a movie with exclusively just me. This is after she spent the entire day piddling around, watching TV, napping, and visiting friends. So when she snaps her fingers, I'm supposed to come running. I don't think so.

We got into it. I reminded her that people in pain who get upset easily have a rise in blood pressure, which increases the pain. She kept arguing, then crying. I sent her to her room. I'm not into her guilt trips and she's very diligent at them. She always sees the light within a very reasonable amount of time. Anyway, she came to tearfully apologize about 15 minutes later. It went like this:

Her: "Mom, I'm sorry, but, you just don't know what this is like. It's hard, it's really hard to have a Mom who has breast cancer."

Me: "I don't have breast cancer, Steffie. I had breast cancer. It got cut outta me last Thursday."

Her: "But Mom this is still hard. There's so much to worry about. You still had cancer and that's hard to deal with."

Me: "I had it, it's gone. Don't use my illness as an excuse to be difficult."

You get the picture.

I'm not saying I need to act "healthy" to prevent these meltdowns. I'm one of those parents that feel it's very important for kids to see their parents show a complete range of emotions so they develop a healthy attitude for expressing their own. Throw in that I'm Italian and German and married to an Irishman and it's not very quiet around here.

It's clear she's trying to manipulate this situation to her advantage. Guilt works wonders, except when I've got my antenna up. I know I'll be constantly reminding her not to play her games but then, I feel I would be doing that with or without the breast cancer.

In any event, Steffie gave me a revelation today.

I do realize that I "had" breast cancer. I'm not arrogant enough to say I'm 100 percent cancer free but I'm heading in the right direction.

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