My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

28 April 2011

life on Planet Crazy and other excuses for not blogging

I knew that when Baby #2 came along (aka Eleanor, Ella, Ella Bella, Ella Jean, Baby, B) life would change. I'd listened attentively when everyone I know told me that going from one kid to two is the hardest transition. But I really had no idea what we were in for. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Mei You (that's Chinese for none, zero, zip, zilch, nada). The first two months weren't so crazy. But I was still living with my parents. I had 24/7 help. Then we moved. And I found myself in a strange place. I began to discover I'd been transplanted to another world. Planet Crazy, I've begun to call it. I've thought through other names for this planet: "Are you kidding me?" and "Seriously??" and "What was I thinking?" and "I used to have time to shower." and "5 a.m. is NOT a proper wake up hour." and "Is it a problem that I haven't changed Josie's diaper in 8 hours?" But, "Planet Crazy" seemed a more succinct, concise, all-encompassing name for this planet, so Planet Crazy it is.

Sometimes the hardest part of my day is sitting on the floor playing Legos with Josephine. There are so many other things I could be doing! Sometimes my day is hard because I've had no sleep the night before. Eleanor is often up every 2 to 3 hours at night. Sometimes its hard because somehow, whichever girl is napping, she knows how to wake up from her nap exactly at the moment I'm putting the other one down. Most days the only time I get to myself is after kids have gone to bed, and by then I'm so exhausted I don't have any energy for anything for myself. I used to have time to keep my house clean, to keep myself clean, to knit, to sew, to read, to nap, to get dressed, to have intelligent conversations with my husband, to remember to brush my teeth in the morning. I was not prepared for so much disorder, for success to be measured by nothing more than simply surviving the day. I'm tired. I'm unaccomplished. I'm spent, emotionally, mentally, physically. I don't often recognize myself. And though I know its a bit irrational, I've begun to wonder if I will ever sleep well again, ever read another book, ever again blow dry my hair.

What was I thinking moving out of my parents' house!??! I need my mom.

All that being said, I am beginning to adjust to this planet (albeit slowly). Though most days I feel a bit like a whirling dervish, there are plenty of sweet moments in my day as well. Josie is learning to say thank you, and gets so proud of herself every time she remembers to thank me. Its the cutest thing. Eleanor is beginning to really laugh, and there is no sweeter sound from a 4-month-old than a good belly laugh. Occasionally Ella sleeps well at night, only waking up once to eat, and those nights are mildly refreshing for me (let's just be careful not to confuse better sleep with good sleep). I'm loving having the time for MOPS, women's Bible study, play dates with friends. And I'm looking forward to the summer and picnic dinners at the park, trips to Sea World and maybe even a camping trip. I love nights and weekends when Caleb is home and the work load is shared. Besides, the girls love having their daddy home.

I'm learning that one of the secrets to thriving on Planet Crazy is to expect a certain amount of crazy every day. If I continue to be surprised by Ella's poor sleeping habits, Josie's temper tantrums and clinginess, unfinished projects, interrupted tasks, never-ending laundry and a perpetually messy house, I will only be frustrated. The key is not only to expect a certain level of crazy, but to embrace it. Despite my fears, life will not always be like this, so I might as well launch myself head-first into the here and now. And then, I shall take a lesson from Eleanor and just have a good laugh about it all. (Well, maybe after a nap.)


Anonymous said...

It's a good thing God made babies and toddlers so cute. Otherwise we wouldn't survive those years. This too shall pass, but in the meantime I'm praying for both you and Christie as you mother your children.

Mom Dub

Gretchen said...

I read this to Chris and we both had to laugh although with sympathy of course! You are doing a good job and I've heard that it gets better.

Robin Reed said...

I remember Planet Crazy very well (which is pretty amazing, considering the sleep deprivation). Fortunately things DO get better over time! And I agree - adding child #2 is definitely the hardest. Adding #3, and then #4, was a piece of cake by comparison.