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Whatever it takes

BY GUEST BLOGGER | JANUARY 9, 2014

Carrie Corey

For those of you who aren't familiar with the "whatever it takes" style of parenting, it's basically doing whatever it takes to keep everyone alive, well and happy. It's when you swore you would never give your child candy yet you're stashing suckers in your purse. I have (on more than one occasion) actually had to place a banana peel on the grocery store conveyer belt. Yep, I just paid for a banana peel, but it kept my child from screaming in the produce aisle...whatever it takes, right?

A friend with muscular dystrophy told me she often feels judged at her daughter's preschool when making her toddler walk inside the building, instead of carrying her like the other moms. When you have health issues – be it MD, cancer or something else – you have physical limitations other people don't understand. So what if you make your child walk into the school herself or teach your toddler how to climb into his own car seat.

Do whatever it takes to keep going.

And that includes ignoring guilt about not being the perfect parent and nasty looks from people who think such a creature exists. As a wife and mom living with cancer, I have started applying the whatever it takes theory to other areas of my life as well. While a "normal person" might say he/she has a lot on their plate, some of us have plates the size of a turkey platter. My day to day can be pretty heavy, so I give myself a pass on the little things like laundry to fold or dishes to wash.

I went in for my last PET of the year, and while overall I am still doing well, my cancer is starting to resist my current medication. Which means a new drug (but not back in the chemo chair yet!) and surgery. Instead of thinking about the big picture of what this means or the number of medications I haven't crossed off the list yet, I keep my sanity by taking the tactical approach. After all, I am a list maker.

1. New drugs? Researching new side effects.
2. Surgery? Scheduled as soon as possible.
3. Two week without driving? Time for a long visit from Mom.
4. Six weeks without lifting my 2-year old? Teaching Henry how to climb in and out of the car seat

Let's do this thing. I'll do whatever it takes to keep everyone alive, well and happy...including me.

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COMMENTS

My eyes are full of tears as you help me dismiss some of the "mother guilt" I feel and have felt. I am a single mom of two boys and had to have them do many things kids their age don't normally do. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Posted by marilyn 1/9/14 9:09 AM

Bravo! I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer (GIST) at age 37. My daughters were 4, 5 & 9 at the time. Because regular chemo/radiation aren't effective on my cancer, I've been on various types of targeted therapy (TKI's) for the last 8 years. The side effects have varied but were never easy. I was THAT MOM who looked healthy but had to sit down at class parties while others stood and gave me that "aren't you a lazy mom" look. Over the years my daughters have thanked me for being there and THEY know what I've gone through. In their eyes the fact that I was still here to BE at the party was what mattered. They are now 12, 13 & 17 and we are all grateful for every day no matter how tired I may be. Whatever it takes should be tattooed on our foreheads!
- Posted by Angie 1/11/14 1:41 PM

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