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Wishes Among Weeds

May is the weather turning. It is opening my window at night so I can snuggle beneath the heaviest blankets, almost seeing my breath by morning. May is trips to the nursery for herb starts and annuals. It is the first Farmer's Market. Local lettuce, crates of apples stored over winter.

May is pushing swings in my backyard.

London and Quinn are Big Girls now, and can swing on their own. But Eli, who has outgrown his baby swing hanging in the patio's shade, now wants to be pushed on the big swing set. Every minute.

Of every day.

It's peacefully rhythmic...pushing the swing. Sometimes my mind rests. I absorb the thick smell of the blooming lilacs, and with each push the feel of his small back and the sound of his laugh.

But sometimes I see the weeds.

Dandelions...blooming...gone to seed.... I can stand there and count my failures. My inability to keep up. Those pine cones should be picked up. The trellis is sagging. A rose bush didn't survive winter. The maple branches are touching the roof. The fence is leaning. And the weeds.

Always the weeds.

It's been almost two weeks since I saw the cardiologist. This is theWait and See part of his plan. A month off herceptin (I'll miss my second cycle this week). Time to recover. Medication to assist recovery. An echocardiogram at the end of May to assess. I have been taking low doses of an ace inhibitor and beta blocker. Both are blood pressure medications. I don't actually have high blood pressure--in fact I now have to watch for signs that it doesn't drop too low. But these drugs can also improve the heart's pumping strength, and in turn, the ejection fraction. There's just a few side effects. A dry cough...which I haven't experienced. Light headedness...which I have. And fatigue. Always the fatigue. Would I even notice additional fatigue, beyond what I have been experiencing for the last 2+ years?

The answer is yes. Yes I would. Yes I do. I haven't been this tired since chemo. There are afternoons I let myself fall asleep while the kids watch a show. Or I'll take on a project, because if I stay on my feet, I stay awake. Every night I am in bed right after tucking in the kids.

I found peace regarding the break from herceptin. At first I was pretty concerned...thinking back to the week before my mastectomy, when I found skin metastasis between my breasts. Five weeks. That is how long I was off herceptin then. This time it will be six. Are there cancer seeds that will capitalize on this opportunity to sprout? I thought I would be preoccupied with that thought for all six weeks. But somehow I have peace.

This fatigue on the other hand...we are not friends. I have Dreams and Ideas. Hobbies and Chores. Unanswered texts. I have five-year-olds who want to be chased through the grass.

I know even without cancer this season of life wouldn't be simple. I am not the only mom of Littles who wishes she could spend more time with a paint brush in her hand, or mastering that beurre blanc pan sauce.

My yard of dandelions. A hundred weeds. A hundred failures.

I may have to take these new drugs forever. This might be a newer new normal for me. For us.

My life isn't perfect. But it's mine. Ours. My family's. As long as I have side effects, it means modern medicine working to keep the cancer underground.

Eli climbed down from the swing to pick dandelions, trying to blow wishes.

My inner perfectionist protested. Stop! You're just spreading seeds. A hundred more weeds.

Or perhaps a thousand more wishes.

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