Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby and the Doctor - Part II

Let me explain the doctor situation again.

It is uncomfortable for me to tell people I have cancer. I would rather keep things on a lighter level, not a life threatening level. I know however uncomfortable it is for me, it is often even worse for the people I tell. I have had the most time to deal with it. Telling people feels like lobbing an emotional grenade in their direction and hoping it does not blow up near them. It is rare the person who is emotionally fortified enough to withstand the initial blow in a graceful manner.

When I told the nurse Baby was on formula now due to the double mastectomy, I knew she was expecting an answer like, "I am starting to work again." I wanted to shrug my shoulders so I did not have to lob the emotional grenade. In an ideal world she would have reacted in a more professional manner. It was not our regular nurse, so I have no idea of her background or anything else that caused her to react the way she did. I do know I was uncomfortable telling her and she was uncomfortable hearing the answer.

Baby did regress. We knew that before we took her to the doctor. I felt guilty before I took her in. I felt guilty she is in her car seat more than L and C were. I have felt guilty about not cutting her fingernails often enough. My mode of mom guilt is -feel guilty, see if there is anything I can do about the situation, if there is do something, if not move on. When the doctor said she regressed, the way she said was more in a reassuring, this is normal in high family stress situations, kind of way. She also pointed out how Baby was ahead in some ways. Actually the areas she regressed in were areas Baby was advanced in before. I am sure the doctor has probably never dealt with this specific type of situation before, almost no one has. She was just trying to help by saying Baby regressed not due to developmental delays, but the family situation.

It is my belief that Baby came ready for this situation going on in our family. These are some of the reasons why I feel that way. She took the bottle the first time we tried it. She started giggling and laughing early. She is the most even tempered child in our family. She started recognizing her parents as her primary caregivers before she started having other primary caregivers. I think she was prepared to regress in the time after the mastectomy and before the chemo. She became advanced in some areas, regressed in those same areas, and now is not behind as compared to other normal children. It could be so much worse for all my kids and us. It is really amazing how well everyone is actually doing. I know it is because we have so much love and support in our lives that help us carry this burden.


  1. Hey Jen, it's okay. We are all exactly where we need to be--sympathetic and loving or even upset and a little angry at someone who suggests Baby is not the best and brightest when it's obvious she is. Speaking of the best and brightest, I dedicated my December 14th blog to you today. Happy belated birthday! (

  2. I wanted to say something snarky about the nurse, but once again your kindness has been a great example. I guess I'll try to remember "kindness begins with me" (although technically it started with you:)

  3. You are right as always Aunt Joy. I felt I had presented the doctor and nurse in an unfair light, and wanted to correct that. I am glad so many people support us, and she is the best and the brightest!