So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It’s Monday morning. Those memes I see plastered all over social media every Sunday night hit home like nothing else- we must stop Monday from coming, but how? I always wake before dawn, anxious and displeased, but not for the same reasons as most. I’m not upset about returning to work from a nice weekend. I’m off on Monday, all of them for a while. Don’t be envious though, because I’m headed to the infusion center. I receive several drugs by IV infusion for MS and other chronic conditions weekly. I also get a monthly plasma exchange, which is a highly unpleasant experience the day of, and for several days after.

Infusion is not something I want to be doing, clearly. No one ever excitedly signs up for five plus hours weekly of IV treatments in six month cycles. There are times I don’t think the process is even helping the progression of my conditions. Other times I realize how blessed I am to be able to get treatment. There are people who can’t afford it, or have too much insurance red tape in the way.

Other people aren’t given the the gift of life long enough.

I am blessed, and I need to get my anxious and grumpy Monday morning self down to that infusion center every week with a smile, or at least take the grump monster’s roar down a lot of notches. So, bag packed, it’s time to hit the road. Infusion center, here I come. What did I pack? How do I occupy myself for five hours?

  1. Headphones- for music and movies on my tablet, and when I don’t feel like talking to the other patients.
  2. Tablet and phone- endless means of entertainment there.
  3. Neck pillow- for my long range comfort.
  4. Blanket- my temperature fluctuates during treatment and it helps me sleep if that’s what I want.
  5. Charger for my devices- the longer universal kind because they can generally charge everything and with the longer cords, they are usually easier to use reclined.
  6. Hard candy- for dry mouth and nausea.
  7. Tissues- the emotions sneak up on me.
  8. Book- a physical book, not an ebook, because there are a lot of times I don’t want to sleep, but need a break from the electronics.
  9. Magazines- for the same reasons as books, and because they’re nice to leave behind for the other patients.
  10. Homemade cookies or candy for the nurses- they work so hard, and are so kind. They deserve a treat.

The gnarly Monday morning traffic has been managed. I’m there, in the waiting room, listening for what hysterical mispronounced version of my name would be used to call me back to the large room full of recliners used for the treatments. One would think they’d get my name down pat after three years, but hey, that’s why I go by Ellie. The room is large and rectangular, with more corners than such a room should have. There are large windows, but they are up high, so the sunlight is always weirdly filtered. There are private rooms for the more seriously ill and first time patients. I’m always glad I don’t need the private rooms. I remember my blessings.

People watching is a favorite way of mine to pass the time, regardless of how I’m feeling. It feels awkward to be in the same room as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, because they are there, some bald, all brave, and I’m there with my non cancerous illnesses that makes me feel like an imposter. I’m thinking about how many times I’ve been told to be thankful I don’t have cancer, which is a weird thing to say to someone. Of course I’m thankful I don’t have cancer, but it devalues the illnesses I do have. They are serious, and there are diseases other than cancer that can be terminal.

Then I realize there are other non cancer patients there, and none of this is a competition. We aren’t here to out sick one another, we are here for treatment only. I remember that I’ve had chemo in the past, in small doses, to treat my autoimmune diseases. Maybe, just maybe, I’m brave, too.

I watch the people, but I still have five hours ahead of me, more if it’s plasma exchange day. So my goal becomes making it through. There needs to be a giant sign posted of rules, or a class on how to act right before one is allowed in the room for treatment.

Here, my rules:

  1. Be nice. The staff is trying to help. Being mean doesn’t help anything.
  2. Don’t be smelly. Leave the perfume at home. Some people’s treatments are making them sick to their stomachs. Don’t bring in foods with a strong smell for the same reasons. I don’t want to see you eat, or smell it.
  3. For the love of everything, put your flipping phone on silent. Nothing aggravates me more than someone who gets 5,000 texts and phone calls while they are there. Try not to talk on it much, or loudly. Voices carry. People want to sleep sometimes. I always feel bad for those without headphones.
  4. If you bring children with you, please try and keep them from running around the room. Not everyone is receptive to that. Please bring them to me, though. I’d love a baby visitor.
  5. Don’t talk to another patient if they’re sending obvious leave me alone vibes. Emotions run high in the infusion center.

Thanks for reading this. It’s a sure sign that you love someone going through the infusion process. Having people who care is the most important part of getting through it. If you are going through treatment, stay strong. Please do not forget how brave you are, even when you feel it the least. Please let me know what you’d take to your treatments, how you stay strong, and your rules for the center.

Ellie Jean

Ellie is a 44-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more — she’s just not always sure of what “more” is. Her favorite hobbies are reading and reading book reviews. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, you’ll realize her nephews, niece, books and cats are her favorite things.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex www.herviewfromhome.com

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me www.herviewfromhome.com

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.