Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Disclosure: As a writer, I explore many avenues for publication, and one method is through Mom Select. This organization, along with Cancer Treatment Centers of America has chosen to pay me to write a blog post about my personal experience with cancer; all words, thoughts, and opinions, are mine (unless otherwise noted). 


That's the only word I have to truly describe how I feel about my mom's cancer. I imagine she would feel somewhat the same.

"What we want most is more of what we already have" - Michael Cunningham, The Hours.

I want more of what I already have. I want time with Mommy. I want her to watch my children grow. I want her to chase my son, who adores her, and giggle at my daughter, her mini.

I know. Cancer is supposed to enlighten, to sharply define what matters, to make me grateful.

I'm not there yet.

In 2013, when we had our son baptized, my mom arrived at the church just a few days after a lumpectomy for Stage 1 Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  All clear. Just a few treatments, and this will all go away.

In 2015, when we had our daughter baptized, my mom arrived at the church just a few days after learning that she now has Stage 4 Triple Negative Breast Cancer. This isn't going away.

We had maybe one good year, free of cancer treatment, free of fear.

Even on her good days, my mom tires easily. It's challenging for her to stand to hold my daughter, even though my daughter is a good six pounds smaller than my son was at this age.

I know. Right now, it's the treatment more than the disease that's causing this.

Chemo is a bear (or another b word you can feel free to insert). 

But whatever it is. I feel robbed. My kids are robbed of their Mimi. My mom is robbed of her energy. My dad is robbed of the space in his brain formerly occupied by sports statistics but now taken up by the names of medications and side effects and doctors.

I hate that cancer has robbed my son of a bit of his innocence. I hate that my three-year-old knows the word, "cancer," at all.

I hate that my daughter might not get enough time with my mom, enough time to show her how much they look alike, in their dark haired, wide eyed beauty.

Selfishly, I'm robbed of a regular babysitter. I know, it's trivial, but it's true.  I'm not sorry if that makes me sound like a horrible person. I miss that my kids can't just go for a Friday night sleepover with their grandparents. I will always remember how my grandma let me stay up late, eating red vines and watching The Tracy Ullman Show. Where's the, "What happens at Mimi & Boppy's stay's at Mimi & Boppy's?" I'm robbed of date night, but my kids are robbed of the wonderland that is an overnight stay with the grandparents.  And every kid should get that free pass, but mine won't.

I hate that I'll (most likely) be robbed of my mom's insights on dealing with helping my kids handle their own problems, with incredibly moody teenagers running rampant in my house, with the pain of an empty nest.  (Insert language here) you, cancer!

Cancer is a thief.  

I also wish that we had access to the resources at Cancer Treatment Centers of America - that we had the travel funds available to get my mom to Phoenix or Tulsa or one of the several other treatment centers. My mom would love to have access to the individualized, comprehensive treatment plans (especially the nutrition information - because managing diabetes while on chemo is not the business).

While my mom does have a quality care team in place, I believe that she would appreciate the chance to regain some control and have Patient Empowered Care®

If you have an interest, get in touch with the experienced team.

The team will take care of every detail from gathering your medical records to scheduling your appointments to booking your travel and lodging.

Perhaps a service like this will help other families, will give them some of the power back, will end the blatant thievery.

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