Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Better but not BETTER

So I finished chemo August 9th and started radiation in late August. Radiation is much easier to handle than chemo but it is everyday. So I can only work 5-6 hours on campus before my appt. Also, although I dont need as much sleep as I did with chemo, I still need more than normal, so my ability to work at night is limited. This leads to some problems.

I look "better". I am at work everyday. I have a near normal energy level. So people have started to add tasks to my list again. Because I was feeling better, I took on more of these tasks, but as the rubber starts to meet the road, it has become clear that *I am not all the way better*.

Last Monday we had our departmental retreat. Sunday night I found myself a basket case trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish 5 tasks that all had to be done and attend this retreat. I ended up calling in sick on Monday, sleeping in, and getting 1-2 of the tasks done, which made me feel much better.

I want to be better, to do my share in the department, and to contribute to the university, but the truth is that there are still limits to what I can do. I need to remember this.

Other than that, I am starting to get back into the swing of things. I've submitted 3 proposals in the last few months and a couple papers. So that's good, and my scans still show no recurrence so treatment is working.....


At 4:18 PM , Blogger ScienceGirl said...

So glad the scans are good and you are improving. Do keep taking care of yourself, the rest can be done when you are fully BETTER!

At 4:14 AM , Blogger Elena said...

Continued best wishes for your health!

At 3:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Mom,

My sister has 3 children and just won the battle againsta triple neg. breast cancer this last year. It was a struggle for us all, so difficult to see someone you love go through this. I follow your blog quite a bit and am happy you are doing better, keep it up!
But this is not why I'm writing you, you see I just realized I am pregnant after just starting a funded phd position with the USDA/University X. Basically I am FREAKING out at the moment. I have no idea how to tell my committee of 3 very successful male scientists. I feel very strongly that I can continue on as normal but I am s afreaid they won't feel the same. Do you have any advice as to how I should approach this?
You are wise source for so many women, I just don't know who else to ask right now.

At 12:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you OK? I hope you are doing well, I really miss your blog.

*Sending good wishes your way*

At 1:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Mom,

Hope you are doing fine. Lot's of good wishes.

Dr. D

At 7:47 PM , Blogger boshness said...

Dear Dr Mom,

I also really miss your blog. You have been a great inspiration to me and a role model as well.

Complete strangers know what a dedicated, accomplished mom and scientist you've been, thanks to me bragging about you.

I do hope you are doing well.
Best of everything to you.

At 9:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you are feeling better, hopefully the "extra" tasks have stopped coming your way....your department must understand that there are limits of what you can do while you recover...they need to understand that you are still recovering, your health is the priority.

At 9:56 PM , Anonymous lenajeanne said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the successful end of your chemo! My departmental retreat is in June. I hate going..soooo not going to lie. Seeing a bunch of old white biochemist drunk in the country club for 2 days is just not what I consider fun, plus I am a single mommy of 2 kids with autism. My daughter is 11 and my son is about to be 10, plus they have tons of health issues. I'm a 3rd year PhD student...I'll actually graduate in a year bc of funding...weird to say that! lol Then I'm going into medical school, because I've lost a few brain cells along the way!

I think being a scientist and a mom are the two best jobs in the world. My daughter sees that you can be it all...you CAN have it all..and that you can even go back and get your PhD at 30! (and MD at 34..starting age at medschool) It shows our children we are strong..so get on with your bad self......

My daughter goes to school and says "My mom works on pancreatic cancer...what does your mom do" lol We've worked hard to be scientists and we put JUST as much zeal into being mommies, because that's what we do...so to all of you out there scientist moms..you aren't alone! Rock on with your bad self!

At 2:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Mom,

I was worried not seeing a post from you in a long, long time. I kept checking your blog now and then to see if you have updated it. Just now, I was going through your sister's "Janus professor" blog and found out that you are doing well. I am so happy to know this (even though I don't know either of you).

Best wishes,


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