So...I can't seem to escape April being my uber-high stress month. Three years ago, on April 15th, I had my bilateral mastectomy and Tram-flap reconstruction. Two years ago, my husband at the time said he wanted a divorce. Last year, I gave birth to our son Veo, and he died because of all his birth defects. This year, Anton and I are having a baby! This, of course, is a monumentally joyous occasion, unlike the last two years, but I'm still losing my mind, just a little.
With my mastectomy, I totally freaked out. I obsessed over my death for a few months before, working out and away all these morbid fantasies with an art therapist so I could calm my wild mind. I got depressed over the thought of my kids growing up without their mom, and all I could imagine was going under and never coming back again. But obviously, everything turned out fine, and not only did I come back, but I've been cancer free for almost three years (as of Friday).
Now, I'm starting to do the freaking out thing again, and I keep thinking about how at least with the mastectomy, the surgeons have done it so many times before and knew exactly what they were up against. With this c-section, they don't have an exact idea since it's never been done before. I try not to think about the scenario where they take out the baby, see the mesh and the damage, and say to themselves, "Now what?" or "That's worse than we thought." I think about how the worst would happen, and I'd be leaving my new husband with a new baby, and there would be three kids without a mom. I try not to think like that; I focus instead on the excitement of having a new baby--a baby who's a little pioneer on the landscape of having a baby after breast cancer.
But at night, when everyone is sleeping--that's the hardest time. I'm alone with my thoughts and my body full of pain. I look at Veo's tiny footprints on our shelf where I honor the people who have died--those who have made an impact but whom I have never really met, like my Vietnamese grandmother and Vietnamese half-brother.
I need to remember that with heartache and loss come motivation and inspiration to survive and to be grateful for what we have now. I have a husband who brings me laughter and love every single day we are together. I have two kids who impress me with their imaginations and wonder, and who make me feel good about being a mom. And I have a baby inside, fiercely kicking and living up to her name, Moxie. I like to think she's trying to tell me something along the lines of, "Don't worry, Mom. I'm a fighter, and you are too. And we'll all be together soon, safe and sound."