The nurse came in dressed in a surgical gown, mask, and special gloves. She handled the syringe of chemo like it was a toxin. The thing about it is, that it is a toxin. So here I am sitting with my baby, watching the pump slowey bit by bit poison her.
Long before becoming pregnant I cleaned up my diet, I cut out alcohol and caffeine, I researched the best foods to eat, I started prenatal vitamins years before conceiving Zoë. Then once born I maintained this diet, and began researching what foods to eat to help with breast feeding, and what vitamins to take to help get her what she most needed. If she showed signs of allergies, or discomfort after a meal I would analyze what I ate that day and cut it out of my diet as well. I would not say that I was obsessed by any means, but I was determined to give Zoë only the best of the best.
When it came to vaccines I worked with her doctor to space them out a wee bit. So we could let her body handle
one at a time, rather than stacking 2 or 3 in one visit. I am not anti-vaccine at all. In fact I believe they are very important. I have a Great-Aunt who was affected by polio. If only the vaccine existed sooner she would not have the pain that she has today. I also know that the body needs to learn how to fight off the virus given in the vaccine, and I just wanted to give Zoë's body a little extra time to learn and adapt.
So here I am, doing what can be described as one of the most natural, loving, and healthy things for my baby
(nursing her), and knowing all the time that tomorrow she will be sick with chemo.
The first round of drugs she received all at once the night that we were given her diagnosis. I was still too shocked, and quite frankly once she was comfortable I curled into a ball and slept during her first dose. I was experiencing sensory over load. I did not want to be touched, or comforted, or spoken to. I needed to self sooth, to cry myself to sleep, to gather up all of my strength to prepare for the battle. So I did not see the chemo being given to Zoë, looking back I did the right thing, because I could not have handled it then.
I wish Frida Kahlo was still alive, because I want her to paint a portrait of Zoë and me. Of a mother and her sick child. The pain and the love of both of us. Frida was a strong woman of both mind and spirit, but not body. She like my Great-Aunt was affected by Polio, as well as a very bad trolley car accident. Frida's was not a physically beautiful woman, and the accident left her so badly broken, but the art she created is surreal, and hauntingly
captivating. Frida never was able to know the joy of motherhood, but I believe she could have captured the moment last night. As a woman who desired to be a mother, as a person who had suffered great pain, and as an artist who would have seen the beauty in such a devastating moment. If you have never looked at her work you should, it will make you think, and maybe learn a bit about the human spirit.
Zoë slept last night all night long. I got another 8 hour stretch thanks to her. This morning she woke and nursed, and became nauseous. Blondine returned from her long weekend and this morning during Zoë's nauseous melt down she stood besides me and prayed in both English and Creole. I don't know if her prayers worked, or if her voice was soothing, or if the Ativan Zoë was given kicked in...but regardless Zoë calmed right down. I really need to
hire Blondine to be Zoë's comfort companion.
After a whole morning of cuddling and nursing I placed Zoë on her special gel mattress, and made her comfortable and she is now sleeping away. As I type this Zoë is receiving the next two drugs to this chemo cocktail. They will be give to her one at a time over four hours today, tomorrow, and Thursday. She is getting them only at a half dose this time around so the doctors can see how she handles them. They will increase the doses in the future depending on what the tumor is doing, and what she needs.
I plan on doing some house keeping (laundry...boo), and maybe get a nap in (yay!). Also to continue to crochet...and relax while those toxins go to work and do their job.
Keep sending your love and prayers and positive energy especially this week.
This post is brought to you today by the paintings of Frida and her fiery spirit.
Love and Hugs!