Overall my kids have fared pretty well through this cancer journey. I’m sure they have absorbed more than I think. But overall, they have weathered the storm nicely. There have been a few little hitches though. The results of focus being on mom is starting to rear its ugly head, and I’m thankful that I have the time to deal with those issues now.
One thing I just knew would eventually sneak up on us were the children’s teeth. Yes, their teeth. When Charis had her dentist appointment a few weeks ago, I held my breath and waited for the results. Gasp…no cavities….what do you mean no cavities! What a relief. But within a few days, Meleah was complaining of a tooth ache. Busted! So we’ve been to three dentists in two weeks. We have an appointment with the fourth next week. My four year old has 8 cavities that lie between all of her molars. It basically looks like we never brushed her back teeth….and well…..I didn’t for a year because I was too tired to worry about teeth. So the first dentist doesn’t work on children, but looked and said there was a problem, so he sent us to dentist number two. He looked at her teeth and said she had cavities on all her back teeth and he wants us to go to the hospital for outpatient work and anesthesia to fix them. He also lectured me on my reverse osmosis water and lack of fluoride. I went for a second opinion. We did the outpatient thing with Charis when she was two and frankly, I won’t do it again for baby teeth. Not when anesthesiologists cost as much as they do! (try $800 with deductible and that wasn’t even the fees from the hospital and the dentist!) So we went to dentist #3 today and he was a very nice man, and they did talk her in to letting them do x-rays. He said he would do the work in office and do a few at a time. But later that day a friend of mine told me her experience with this dentist and now I’ve called a fourth dentist. Dentist #4 fills cavities with a laser. How about that….a laser. Supposedly my friends child felt nothing and they don’t need any shots for pain or anything. We see dentist #4 next week.
Hopefully my lack of concern with my children’s teeth during cancer will not be as big of an ordeal as I fear. I promise to be more diligent, but I refuse to let those dentists make me feel guilty. I told each one of them I had cancer and her teeth had not been priority….lol…pulling out that cancer card again! But they all quit trying to guess how she had so many cavities and quit asking me questions like…..did she have a “sippy cup?” No, she was a breast fed normal child with a mama who had cancer.
And if you are a mama going through cancer…..I give you permission to not get everything right! Teeth are important….but your children will survive and new ones will come in even if they rot out of their little heads first. It’s Ok to prioritize and it’s alright when you go to bed at 6 pm and you know your husband will not remember to have them brush their teeth, but WILL get them to bed safely and on time. It’s OK to worry about you right now.