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Babysitting with Lung Cancer

Anyone who knows me or who has read my articles in the past know a few things about me. I have seven children, 3 daughters-in-law, and 3 grandchildren. Sounds busy but it is not any longer. All my children are grown. My days are surrounded, mostly, with treatment and doctors appointments. But one thing remains a constant, I babysit my grandchildren once to twice a week. Not all at once though. They are 11 years old, 8 months old, and 3 months old.

Being a grandma and battling lung cancer

The 11 year old is a piece of cake – always asking, “Nana, can I get you anything.” He’s a doll baby. The younger two are a different story. Both are infants and, as you may already know, infants take a lot of energy, time, and love. I watch my 8 month old granddaughter twice a week and my 3 month old grandson once every couple of weeks. It is a time that I treasure and give thanks every day that I am here to see them.

But let me tell you, while going through active treatment it is not always a picnic. There are days, as you may know, that I am nauseated all day, want to sleep all day, and have aches and pains in various spots. It has taken me several months but I have figured how to accomplish this special time with my little ones and not deplete all my energy in one hour.

Adjusting my babysitting routine

I try not to carry the little ones too much. I had my left lung lobes removed so carrying an 8 month old that is nearing 18 pounds can be a struggle. When she is awake, I try to sit on the floor and play with her. I don’t want her getting cranky and need to entertain her, so being on the floor with her toys is a great way to preserve your energy.

I am very lucky that the two little ones are good sleepers as well. Anytime they nap, I nap. Just like when a new mother brings home her newborn, a half hour power nap can do wonders.

The hardest part for me in a day when I am watching the babies is that the crib is upstairs (thankfully, my bedroom is downstairs) and I try to avoid stairs like the plague. The only time I go upstairs is when it is nap time or the baby is waking up.

As with all things we do as cancer patients, we must use pre-planning, realistic goals, and schedules. It did take me a long time to figure that out. The first few months of my granddaughter’s life, I would watch her for four hours and then feel like I needed a four hour nap myself.

Not anymore.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.