Mother's Day

I love Mother’s Day.  It’s right after my birthday so basically the first half of May belongs to ME, bwahahaha!  I get to sleep in, I get a special breakfast, I get to plant my garden in peace and then!  We go to Kennywood!  I know that’s not every mom’s idea of fun.  But I’m not very mom, am I?  And even better…MY mom likes it, too!  Fun rides, yummy junk food, walking around all day making my daily pedometer goal an easy accomplishment.  Plus my kiddo is happy as a clam.  Everyone wins!  

So, I love this day.  
Bu I deliberately spend part of it in prayer for those who have a rough time on Mother’s Day.  If you’ve lost your mom or a child, or you can’t get pregnant, or you’re estranged from someone that makes this a tough day for you…I’m so sorry.  I’m sorry that Facebook is one giant faceSLAP to you, what with all of the photos and sentiments.  Especially from some people who maybe don’t seem all that grateful to have a mom, or that almighty mom-status.  I can’t imagine.  
Well, maybe I can a tiny bit.  I’ve spent a lt of time contemplating the distinct possibility that cancer would kill me.  I’ve kicked it’s ass but it might come back.  And one of the things I’ve thought about is, if cancer won, what would these days be like for my kid?  And my husband.  And my parents.  Oof.  
Would people be sensitive toward them? Would they hate this day forever?  Would someone have the good sense to remind people that not everyone is having brunch with their mom today?!  
So, the toughness of this day does not escape me.  For now and hopefully for the foreseeable future, my family has the privilege of enjoying a joyous Mother’s Day.  I don’t forget those of you who can’t get out from under the sadness of it.  I’m praying for you.  May people be kind to you, today.  And may you be aware of God’s astounding love for you.

Moving on…a little

Today we head to the school where Cass will begin Kindergarden in a few short months.  Apparently it’s Kindergarden Bingo night.  Should be interesting.  

It’s nice to be thinking ahead.  There have been a few chunks of time recently where I have actually forgotten I had cancer.  When I was standing along the marathon route craning my neck to spot my husband chugging along, cheering with friends, that whole time, I totally forgot about cancer.  I was in a meeting that got heated recently.  No cancer on the brain for a while.  Someone said something that irritated me recently and I found myself mulling it over.  (For the past 6 months that stuff didn’t even hit my radar – I just dismissed it as totally unimportant.)  I woke up the other day and it was a solid 20 minutes before my mind went there / to Cancer Town.
It’s almost like grief – nothing seems to alleviate it for the longest time.  But then one day, you cautiously realize the pain is a tiny bit smaller.   
Not long ago I really wondered if it would ever not be on my mind.  And yet, here I am, with my mind just relaxed enough to worry about some other crap for a while.  It’s nice.
One moment recently that definitely had me thinking about cancer was when I crossed the finish line for the 5K I ran this past weekend.  A race I trained for while undergoing chemo.  But the way I was thinking about cancer was good.  Triumphant.  Fearless.  Defiant.  Those feelings won’t be how I feel forever.  But they ruled the day.  And they were awesome.  

Milestones on the Cancer Journey

So I had major abdominal surgery six weeks ago. It’s the thing that launched this crazy situation we’re in. We thought the surgery was The Thing to worry about getting through. Little did we know that was a cheerful, sunny walk in the park that led to the scary, poorly lit, ivy covered, rusty gate marked CANCER that we had to walk through. I have this tendency to wave my hand dismissively at that surgery. The surgeon who performed it did an excellent job and while his bedside manner made me want to hide under the covers, he removed not only the mass that caused this mess, by not screwing anything up, he also removed many obstacles for me. The connection could have leaked. I could have ended up with a colostomy bag (eeeeewwwwww.) There could have been a massive infection. All kinds of things could have gone wrong which could have jeopardized my life or delayed treating the cancer for six months.

I have been pain free from my surgery for about three weeks. I had a very fast recovery which I attribute to largely to God answering about one million people’s prayers and a little bit of my sheer, mule-like will. See, the doc not so politely noted that I am not a particularly thin person and lingered on the notion several times that due to that, it would probably take me a very long time to recover. To which I thought “Awww,that’s so cute how you don’t know who you’re dealing with, here.” And I basically said “Hey, you do the surgery right and then get out of my way.” Jagoff.

So, naturally, I was zooming up and down the hallways by the second day post-op, sweating and muttering swear words under my breath like a crazy person, with that stupid IV tower clunking along, just to spite him. I walked three times as far each day as they suggested I try to and they released me from the hospital 3 days earlier than expected. Take that, Doc. Also, I registered for a 5K that will take place a couple of days after my final chemo treatment. I will be there. I will finish. Even if I have to crawl.

Some of this post is about the will to accomplish that which seems difficult, overcoming obstacles and basically telling a guy with 12 years of post-secondary education who would go on to essentially save your life, to shove it. But it’s also about milestones.

Successful surgery. Awesome.

Getting discharged early. Great.

First “solid” food. Yum.

Returning to work to be with my crew.

Mort the Port is installed.

Starting treatment.

But the best thing, by far, happened yesterday. It’s been six weeks since I was allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. That is, well, most things. Including a 40 pound preschooler. She’s been patient and understanding that she can’t torpedo down the hallway and launch her adorable self at me. She’s been gentle and careful. Until this moment…