Archives for category: children dealing with mom’s breast cancer

I’m dying here.

I suppose that isn’t something that should be said in cancer blog, but I am, I am dying inside. Read the rest of this entry »

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Once when Amelia was just a tiny little cutie pie (as opposed to the even bigger cutie pie that she is now,) I woke up to a sticky note on my bathroom mirror. It said in little kid printing, “Thank you for protekting me.” Read the rest of this entry »

I was only seven. In the second grade.

I didn’t know what was going on. I still don’t have too much recollection unless I’m reminded of something. I didn’t know what could’ve happened. I didn’t know she could have died. I didn’t know how lucky I was that I still had a mother in the end. All I knew is that she would be okay in the end. And she was.

I remember the things I loved. Like my infamous pink cowgirl boots that were gonna, “kick cancer’s butt.” And how I became a staff member right along with the other workers at radiation every morning, I even had a nametag with my school picture attached to it. Driving to Rex Hospital in the convertible listening to “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae. The day I was at school while mom was having her final surgery and not being able to take it off my mind all day, then hearing she was going to be okay. Or the craft ladies that came every Tuesday to the waiting room and I would stay back with them while my mom got her radiation done. Tying the ties on the back of her gown.

You can’t think any seven year old girl would remember that, when it was 5 years ago. I barely knew what breast cancer was. Did I ask? I don’t remember. I remember the good things, nothing that I wouldn’t want to think about today. I did it for a reason. When people hear that my mom had breast cancer when I was seven and in the second grade, I always get the generic, “Oh! I’m so sorry! Is she better now?” and it’s always the same generic answer, “Yea, she’s better. Thanks. I don’t really remember it that well so it’s okay.”

Going to the gift shop afterwards and those little boxes of cranberry juice every morning from the mini fridge in the waiting room before. It never occurred to me the time that I was getting up every morning to go with her, which now I would dread every morning. I thought that me going along would help her get better. And in a way, it did. She needed my support then and she still does. I was there for her then and always will be.

My two favorite memories. Two things I know that neither me nor my mom will ever forget.

That day where mom was in the shower and I was in the bathtub next to her. She stepped out, wrapped the towel around her, and stepped over to the sink. She grabbed the comb as I watched her. She started brushing her hair, and the hair was going down with the brush, falling out of her head. Mom started crying. I had never seen my mom cry before. I stepped out of the bath and put my hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay mommy. We knew this was going to happen.” She turned around and I wrapped her in my arms. I had to be strong.

My other favorite. THE PINK BOOTS. Yes, the pink boots that kicked cancer’s butt. By this point in reading, even just this paragraph, you have to understand I was an interesting little kid, as I am to this day. I believe those boots played a part in why my mom is still here today. I wore those boots everywhere. School, the store, anywhere we went. Those boots came.

I was stronger than then I could’ve even tried to be today. I didn’t know that she could’ve died. I didn’t know what breast cancer even was. I knew cancer was bad and that everyone was helping my mom out, but I sure didn’t know she could’ve died.  Now, I know cancer is bad. I know it’s bad in a different way than the seven year old mind thought it was bad. I know I could be living with my dad now. And only my dad.

I’m lucky that my mom had the doctor she did.

I’m lucky that my mom is still here with me.

I’m lucky she was strong to show me I could be too.

I’m lucky for everything.

 

Today’s guest blogger is Amelia Hope, my 13 year old little girl. 

I believe I have the best little girl in the world, I do. Yes, of that I am certain.

She still makes me stronger than I could ever be without her.

Still the bravest of hearts and I love her so.

This week a friend of mine posted on Facebook:

 “You are never too old or too young to be working ‘the bucket list”….love having the freedom and ability to live mine…so much gratitude….how about you??!!”

Love it for sure girlfriend….And yes, how about me? Read the rest of this entry »

I have been feeling rather crusty and curmudgeonly of late and it’s so not me. In fact since cancer, I have pretty consistently lived a skippity do dah life that is happy and full of gratitude and sunshiny and fun. Read the rest of this entry »

I have this big huge fantabulous Thanksgiving party every year; it’s always on the weekend before thanksgiving. We call it our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Party.  Read the rest of this entry »

My mom was a shell seeker. I have the most warm fuzzy memories of searching for shells with her on every beach we visited when I was a kid, and on our last trip together in Hawaii, collecting puka shells by the dozens. Read the rest of this entry »

Once upon a time, I was riding along, listening to a radio interview with a woman who ran a summer camp etiquette school for girls, still even in the year 2009. She hosted this camp in her home each summer, teaching young ladies the social graces. As the girls followed her through a day, she was heard teaching them lesson upon lesson. A gentile sounding woman, I imagined her in very sensible shoes, immaculately appointed in Pendleton wool…perhaps a bit grandmotherly. I was mesmerized by her smooth perfect inflection saying to the girls, “We never call it a trash or garbage can, it’s always a wastebasket; it just sounds nicer that way.” Read the rest of this entry »

I remember one night when he was just weeks old.  Me, exhausted at 4 AM trying to feed and soothe him when I heard footsteps on the dry leaves outside the window, along the side of our house.  At first I thought it was a person, but at some point I realized by the shuffle-shuffle sound that it was likely an animal. As I looked out, there peering back up at me were four tiny sets of wide eyes, their little bodies riding on their mother possum’s back as she made her way through the night foraging food. What struck me was how instead of leaving them unprotected in the nest, she carried them with her. This night came just as I was adjusting to motherhood, and the notion that always, always… this child would go wherever I went, both physically and mentally. I was grappling with the hugeness of that responsibility; it seemed so immense in those early days. Then and even still at times, I questioned my ability to be strong enough to carry him through everything that life threw his way. 

It was then I realized that no matter a possum or a person, we are meant to carry our children, always. Little then did I realize the power in this sweet infant boy to carry me.

Read the rest of this entry »

I am challenging your definition of survivor because I know differently; because I know a story of an extraordinary survivor. Now, I fully realize that a story of survivorship should have as its centerpiece the one who lived through breast cancer. Keep reading, and you will learn of that survivor.  Identical to the smooth stone dropped quietly in a pool, the ripple effect of breast cancer echoes through lives, through families.  It cascades into the emotional and physical lives of those who stand witness to the struggle. Those who also live through and survive breast cancer.  Lives that in my opinion are equally as brave, if not braver. Lives that demonstrate a different brand of survivorship; that of pluck and determination in enduring the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer equally. For I have come to understand that you don’t have to have cancer cells in your body to be inside the frame of the breast cancer snapshot. And that most often it is those who stood witness and strong in a host of brave and tender ways who define survivorship, who promote it with laser clarity. They are the ones who breathe life into survivorship and never let it out of our site.

In my mind, the tiniest, yet bravest of these survivors are our children.

Read the rest of this entry »

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