When Lisa Schaible was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, her first thought was her three kids, and what her illness would mean to them. She worried that the side effects of chemotherapy would leave her feeling tired or nauseous, and unable to engage with her children the way she wanted to.
"I realized that what I really wanted to do was still contribute to our daily lives each day,” she says. “So if I could manage getting the kids to preschool, if I could manage taking them on a walk or fixing them lunch or dinner, I felt like I was still engaging with my family. And that was really what kept me motivated every day: I want to spend as much time with my kids and do and keep things as normal as possible." Read More
Schaible was surprised to find that anticipating the chemotherapy was more stressful than actually going through it. "And it wasn't a big deal for the kids, though I think that also speaks to how we presented it to them." One thing Schaible did was construct a paper chain with her children, with each link representing a week of her treatment. "And they could rip a link off each week and see the countdown of when it was going to be done," she explains. "I think that really helped.” One side effect of chemotherapy that was unavoidable was losing her hair. Schaible worried about how her kids would react to her when she looked different. But in the end she decided not to wear a wig, and not to try and hide her baldness. "It was almost a badge of honor for me," she says. “I actually think I waited way too long to shave my head, and I did it when the kids weren't home. I was trying to keep them protected and not freak them out to much or get them too worried about me. They were fairly young, but looking back on it now maybe I would have involved them in helping me shave my head if they wanted to."
In fact, she muses, "I think that could have been a fun way to just kind of lighten things up!"
Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.