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Motherhood (and Mayhem), The Cansuh — April 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Changing Hats.


Quick quiz.

What happens when you leave your oncologist’s office after discussing your options and then head to Orlando for a weekend full of amazing activities including the premiere of Chimpanzee, interviewing Dr. Jane Goodall, and touring beautiful Kissimmee, whilst suppressing all of your emotions for 5 days?

You promptly return home and fall apart.

I left Orlando yesterday to come home and I drove as quickly as I legally could to make it to my six-year-old’s birthday party at the skating rink, which was planned at the very last minute (as in last week). I began to laugh at myself for having to do what my mom calls, “change hats,” so quickly and so often this past week but that’s just what moms do, right? It’s their job to change hats and I think that’s the part that makes a mom’s job so hard.

In the duration of one day, moms must change their hats a (few) hundred times, from their “work” hat to their “home” hat, to their “friend hat” to their “mama bear” hat and “vixen” hat (yes, moms have those — the hats are limitless, by the way, sometimes they’re helmets) often with little to no notice. I think that’s what makes moms great. Except that I didn’t feel great or like I was doing a very good job at changing hats actually, in fact I felt pretty transparent, like I was on the edge and barely holding on and at any given moment I could break. Into my “I’m losing my shit” hat.

Anyway, I put on my “mom party hat” and the smile that goes along with it (I was really excited for this party!) but from someone who usually plans somewhat elaborate birthday parties, it was a little difficult to take a step back and have a party in which everything was taken care of from the beginning to the end. Although it was quite nice to just sort of “show up” to my son’s birthday party and not have to worry about a thing. Just saying. Except for the Jack Sparrow cake and the favors.

This was sort of his dream birthday party anyway, which sort of helped me feel like I wasn’t a total slacker. He had begged me to have a skating party and I thought, You’re in kindergarten, I’m not sure that your crowd is quite up for the skating party yet (I wasn’t skating until I was about 8, purple skating skirt and leg-warmers and all). But I think everyone had a good time, I know both of my sons had a blast, in fact they actually happily and completely surprised me with their perseverance and staunch bull-headedness at ages 4 & 6 to become better at something. More on that later.

I got there 15 minutes before it started and I roller-skated with them and I was transported back to 1987 (I didn’t even break anything!) All I needed was some Madonna. They played Justin Bieber. (Oh well.)

Everything was going swimmingly until about halfway through the party when the sensors began to overload and there was nothing more IN THE ENTIRE WORLD that I wanted other than to go into an empty room and cry my eyes out. My “just a regular overwhelmed person” hat wanted to come out and it was trying to push my “mom hat” out of the way but I had some more suppressing to do.

So I held on (barely) until the end of the party, and the drive home that seemed to take forever, and the entire process of bathing the kids and putting them to sleep, and then? It was time.

And I completely lost it.

Over the past 5 days, all that I had been told on Wednesday had not had a chance to sink in. I didn’t have a chance to think about all it would entail yet. And I was sort of glad for that. But when I had gotten a chance to think about it all, it consumed me.

I felt bad for my husband, who didn’t know what to say. He just sat there and hugged me while I cried.

And cried.

Over everything and over nothing.

I sobbed about having no more kids.

I sobbed about having all those parts just being taken out. It makes me feel so, I don’t know, empty.

I sobbed about having no reason to have a baby Bjorn or any of those baby accessories or bins and bins of clothes that I have, all saved and labeled by sizes and ages.

I sobbed that I’ll never breastfeed again. I had saved my pump, it’s in my closet.

I sobbed that I’ll never need all those baby things. I was looking for an Aim-A-Flame to light some candles because my house was stinky for some reason (it wasn’t me) and as I was searching through the junk drawer I found a binkie and a bib and there are still tiny shoes and socks and other things that just sort of emerge as if out of nowhere, from all around my house.

I cried that I’ll never be pregnant again and I cried about having been mad at all the annoying things about pregnancy and all those things post-baby, like the midnight feedings and the lack of sleep. And I got angry and sad that perhaps I didn’t appreciate it all enough. Did I rub my little baby heads enough? Did I kiss their tiny squishy bellies enough? Snuggle enough? Play and laugh enough? Eat their fingers and toes enough?

Their little profiles and the way their round, perfect butts look when they’re sleeping on their bellies in their sleepers, all clean and napped and fed.

Oh dear God, sometimes I want a do over.

Just to, I don’t know, make it right. In case I got it wrong. Any of it.

I wish I could think about all of this in a practical way (look at how much space we’re going to have now without all those bins! We can make that room a play room now, now that we won’t need a nursery! No more periods on race day and bleeding into the ocean to be eaten by the sharks! Not that that ever happened to anyone, but it has crossed my mind, you know.)

But I can’t just yet.

I’m not ready.

I am looking forward to “the cansuh” being taken out but I am not really looking forward to the surgery itself.

I’m going to feel like they’re taking something else from me. Even though I know they have to take out that evil little troll, they’re taking all the good out with it too because they have to, I get that, but I.HATE.IT.



I am in the middle of scheduling the surgery and I’ve had a couple of questions for my doctor, who gave me his email address by the way (awesome), like “What stage is the cancer?” It’s 1B1 adenocarcinoma. (In case you were wondering too. He emailed me right back. I think I love him.) And “Even though you’re leaving in my ovaries, will I still have eggs?” The answer is yes. And secretly yes, I do wonder if I’d ever try to use them in some way. Probably not. Whole ‘nother topic. And, “I have that hernia still there, will that be a problem?” No, we’ll probably fix that too while we’re in there, a combo platter. Bonus. I’m paraphrasing here, not quoting. 

I am just waiting for the date now, it’ll be within the next couple of weeks.

I’m sorry for the long post, but it’s what happens when I have 5 days to suppress and/or allow the build up to occur.

I still appreciate all the kind thoughts and love you’ve sent me over the past week and a half and in every medium. I have definitely not felt alone at all, at any given moment, through any of this and I’m so thankful for that. I have a lot to write about my trip in the coming week (my Chimpanzee review is coming out today! YAY!!!) and I still have a lot to write about “The Cansuh,” (I do still find some parts of it funny, oddly…) so I’ll be changing writing hats, too, and I hope you can keep up with it without thinking, “How can she write about the Cansuh one minute and then air boating the next?” Oh, it’s possible. I know it’s weird, but it’s all about the hat changing and writing honestly (besides my family) is what makes my world go round.

Anyway. I suppose I have a lot more thinking and mourning to do, I’ll just let that happen naturally and embrace it.

I am still not ok, really, with any of this. Though I am finding that it’s ok to say that. (Why not? It’s the truth. I might as well be honest.)

But one day soon I will be ok with all of it. And I’m looking forward to that.

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  1. Love you girl. You and all your hats. Love and prayers for all the moments that require them.
    Kirsten recently posted..2012 – A Day in the Life – week 14My Profile

  2. It was amazing meeting you this weekend…only to find out that I had no clue. I guess that was intended, to kind of push things aside as we do as mom’s to enjoy the moment that we’re in. You are amazing Christie and I will be praying for you on this journey and “hat wearing” process you are embarked upon.
    Jamie recently posted..#DisneyNature Chimpanzee Giveaway | #MeetOscar Plush, Book and Reusable Bag #disneyglobaleventMy Profile

    • It was amazing meeting you too! I feel bad about that, I’m sorry! It was sort of funny because I didn’t mind talking about it but I didn’t want to walk around going, “Hey everyone, guess what I just found out just a few hours before I got here??!!” LOL I try to laugh about those parts of it, anyways. It was wonderful meeting you, I had a blast, the trip really did a good job of keeping my mind off of things, for a while anyway! :)
      Christie O. recently posted..Changing Hats.My Profile

  3. <3 you are amazing. and like you said, certainly not alone.
    Nicole recently posted..Grill Pizzas & Weekend Chatter!My Profile

  4. Hugs Girl! Hang in there. You’re not alone.
    Janeen (Chupieandjsmama) recently posted..Extra Things To Remember During AnaphylaxisMy Profile

  5. I can’t tell you not to be sad and mad, so I’ll be sad and mad with you.
    I hate asshole Cansuh.
    I love you xo

  6. I’m in awe of all of your hats! I would have totally been a basket case the whole time. I love you and will continue to pray for you to eventually have peace with this. Hugs…

  7. Of course you can write/talk/think about one thing one minute, then be off on another thought the next. You’re living your LIFE. As you should be. Life doesn’t stop when bad things happen – it keeps rolling and you need to keep rolling too.

    Love you, girl. Wishing you nothing but the best.
    Karena recently posted..Saturday morning market runMy Profile

  8. I love that you are writing here about this & you so deserve to feel any way yo are feeling! This is TOUGH stuff!!! My hubby’s bro’s wife that has stage 4 invasive breast cancer that spread already – she said it took her quite a while to say “the C word”.

    Keep on writing to us & we will keep on being here!

    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & WorkoutsMy Profile

  9. Screw the Cansuh. I love you girl- shedding a few tears for you today but also, I’m giving you a big ole fist pump because you- YOU. ARE. AWESOME.
    Lisa/MommyMo recently posted..Poop ValidationMy Profile

  10. It is awesome that you get to keep your ovaries. As a post menopausal mom let me just say that having ovaries and hormones is a wonderful thing and something you don’t really appreciate until they stop working! I think that is a huge blessing in the midst of all the sucky stuff!

  11. You are amazing.
    Amanda @ HappyMotherRunner recently posted..Week 11 PROOF RecapMy Profile

  12. I am so glad you came last week and falling apart after an exhausting week, when you hadn’t had time to process, is completely understandable and OKAY! You are so tough and you will get through this. Cry when you need to, and appreciate and love on those babies you do have OFTEN! Love you!!

  13. i think all the different hats save us from wallowing sometimes. because while you certainly do want to process it all, it will not consume you. cause you’re awesome like that. hugs ‘n love
    brooke recently posted..Re: Light-bulb Moment aka ASTHMA GIRL RAN A FREAKIN MARATHON!My Profile

  14. I love you an all the hats you wear, Christie. There are so many of us that hate the cansuh right there with you. Love you!!
    Nancy recently posted..Spring In2 Action Week 1My Profile

  15. I’ve been curious how you’re doing … Still praying for you.
    Tami recently posted..How to Bring Omega 3 into Your Daily DietMy Profile

  16. Christie – you are an amazing woman. It was so great to meet you this week. I had a wonderful time with you. I can not imagine what you are going through. But I’m full of hugs & prayers – and I’m here to listen anytime <3

  17. You have every right to feel what you feel! I think we’d all be a little surprised if you DIDN’T get angry at some point.

    Well, I know I would be.

    Ride the roller coaster, baby. We’ll be here with you to scream during the scary parts.

  18. Christie…I wish I knew what words to say to you. As a mom, I know exactly how you feel as far as what I cherish most about being a ‘pregnant mom’ or having babies in the house. The breastfeeding. The baby bellies and their perfect round bums. The squishy cheeks. I, too, have my pump in my closet…the binkies that pop up out of no where (like in a purse I haven’t used in a while), the rubbing chubby little noggins, the raspberries in armpits…the dimples, the everything. I continue to chew on my two-year-old’s cheeks. I still raspberry on her bum. Why? Because I just can’t get enough. But know that you HAVE done everything right as well as you know how. We all make mistakes, but from what I can tell from what you’re angry about right now…you’re a damn good mother. While it’s going through your mind as “I never wills” right now, it’ll eventually always be the “I haves”. The beauty of it is that you have experienced all those tender, miraculous moments, and you have every bit of a reason to throw on your “I’m losing my shit” hat and scream and cry it out. It’s terrible. It’s heart breaking. I’d be feeling it, too. Just know that while I don’t know you personally, my heart is breaking for you…and I know I’d be feeling the same way as you…and I wish I knew how to make it go away for you. I hope you don’t find my words angering or unhelpful in any way, because it’s so hard to know what’s “right” to say at a time like this. You are still very much in my thoughts and prayers.
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted..Monday Runspiration – 14 Weeks OutMy Profile

  19. I love you girl! I think you left out a few of the hats that you have worn. Like “this friend is the most awesomeist!” hat. And “all around best mom ever” hat. So many more…

  20. I haven’t commented yet – I only discovered your blog through a link Katy posted on her site last week. All i can say is, you will get through this.

    I had my surgery in 2010. I was lucky – the mass was benign. They took the mass, one ovary, and my uterus. I was 38. Last year I did my first triathlon. This year I’m doing a Half Ironman. My career is on track, and I will be here to take care of my three boys… life goes on.

    But a good cry is an important part of the process (OK, maybe several. I cried a lot. And I don’t cry).

    I’m going to keep following along your journey, because I know it is hard, and scary, but you’re being so honest and open, and in just two weeks of reading your posts, you have another person cheering for your recovery.
    Kris recently posted..RFSC Week 4 Mini Challenge – Pay It ForwardMy Profile

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