As a parent, I know that one of my primary responsibilities is to dole out those little bits of advice that will help my children coast a little more easily through life.
Don’t forget please and thank you.
Brush your teeth.
Tell the truth.
Eat your fruits and vegetables.
Get plenty of sleep.
Treat him/her the way you would like to be treated.
Frequently repeating these admonitions to my children not only demonstrates that I’m on the job but also reminds me that I could do worse than heeding them, too.
Take tonight. Watching my my high school freshman son plod through a seeming mountain of homework just a week before winter break made me tired and anxious. Deep breath, think quickly, gotta look good in front of the teenager. Take it one assignment at a time.
Five completed subjects later, I was feeling smug about my parenting skills but could sense there was a lesson in there for me, too. Take it one day at a time.
Last Sunday I was apprehensive about my own mountain, constructed not of Romeo and Juliet, cosines, and Napoleon, but of neuropathy, flagging white blood counts, and digestive upset. In truth, these minor complaints didn’t amount to more than a molehill. However, in my mind, they were harbingers of bad times to come. They were a glimpse of the potential misery in these last few weeks of chemotherapy (and beyond!) as cumulative cell damage led to serious discomfort and disability.
And yet here I am one week closer to the end and I feel (almost) completely normal and significantly sunnier than last week when it seemed the inevitable had at last begun. It turns out the sky wasn’t falling and the inevitable wasn’t a foregone conclusion.
Fatigue? Nope. Serial infections and illnesses? Nada. Nausea, diarrhea, constant metallic taste, forgetfulness, hand and foot pain, …? Not a bit.
Of course, I still have five more Taxol infusions to go so there’s plenty of opportunity for these problems to crop up. Does that make me anxious? Nah. I’m taking it one day at a time.
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