Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"You have cancer." And just like that you are drafted into a conflict you would never sign up for. Women and children and old men, everyone is eligible.

In the trenches we suddenly find ourselves. The cancer hospital. Waiting for a blood draw on a bench with worn-out people in same boat. Everyone has a story in their eyes.

We are a brave bunch. Even if it's because we have to be, we are.

We go into treatments the picture of health. Come out disfigured and close to death.

Everyone wants to help, the army of support, but we are the ones who have to stand up and take the blows. Dr.s give us their best weapons and we hope they work.

Then enemy is terrible. Win or loose, we fight hard. For the worthy cause of more time on this beautiful earth. For every happiness we have experienced. For everything we haven't done yet. We fight for the things we love. For the people we love.

Right now on the front lines stands my nephew, Steven. Monday the pathology report from his tumor came back. It was good news! 91% of the tumor had responded to the chemo. The amputation surgery that was just performed should take care of the rest of the tumor. Now Steven has 20 more weeks (instead of the 30 that he would have had with less of a response) of chemo left to get rid of any remaining cells in the body. His prognosis is significantly higher, as we know the chemo is working. I know that he isn't out of the water yet, and there is going to be a long recovery, and many more hospital visits. But I feel like we just won a small battle in a big fight. Go Steven!

oh, and

I really need to update more, so you don't read into the last post that I am struggling. I am doing so good. 100%, really. Running even. And finding other unimportant things to keep myself busy with. I tried one day to just watch and wait. But that was really boring. No thanks.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the middle of may i

A Mary Engelbreit illustration I just saw and smiled at

Last week I had my last Doctor's appointment until July. They just let me go. I walked right on out. All by myself. Okay! Bye guys! See you then! I guess I'll know...ummm...

What? What exactly an I supposed to do?

When I was given the clean bill of health in September I was ready to start my next adventure. I wanted to get involved in something, maybe volunteer at the cancer center, or start taking pictures again, or move out of the state, or go back to school. Everything sounded fun. But nothing felt right. Something inside said 'Just wait.'

Crazy. It is so obvious now why I kept hearing that. what? Do we follow through with long term plans? That was about to include moving from our starter home. Why do that if we end up fighting this thing again and I need my neighborhood (best ever) and my kids need their friends? We wanted to move before James hits middle school. Do I uproot them now?

And guess what I wished for in January as I blew out the candles on my 32nd birthday cake? More life. Not more for me (I was sure I had that), I wanted more kids! Online that night, after Josh was asleep, I filled out and sent an application to adopt four kids from the state. I wanted all of them. I woke Josh up with questions about what kind of vehicle we could fit everyone into and how soon we could purchase it. I was so excited! My first thought when I got the phone call that cancer was back, was that this would be the end of my more kids dreams. Ouch!

I could go to school this fall, or take classes at least. But would this be a waist of time? A job that takes me away from my kids, even for a couple hours a week? Is it worth it?

And then if I just have fun and do whatever I want (what I'm leaning toward), am I distracting myself from reality, or focusing on it?

I know I have to live with no regrets, now more than ever. The question is, what would I regret spending my time and efforts doing?

Maybe one of my biggest regrets is just not enjoying the stages of my life, I mean really enjoy. Too worried about what people thought to enjoy High School, too stressed out about grades to enjoy college, too much anxiety over every hazard to enjoy my babies.

Wouldn't it be sad if I was too worried about something that might happen to enjoy everything that actually is happening?

And so, I try to enjoy this stage, as uncertain as it is. There are hundreds of really great things about right now. There are hundreds of questions too.

With some of my big plans put on hold, I am trusting God sees the bigger plan. But if I could just get a glimpse!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day madness

Funny how on Mother's Day, I just want a break from being one. Josh has been out of town all week, and has been working long hours lately. So although I heart being a mommy, it's lovely to have a little break every now and then.

Saturday I took the boys to see the new documentary African Cats. I used to never cry at movies. But now all it takes is a birthday card at Target to get me started. Pathetic!

These cats though! What a great illustration of a mother's love. Their instinct to protect their babies from harm is fascinating. The same thing is inside me, so strong.

Of course I would be sadder than anything to leave this beautiful earth, but the thought of leaving my dependent boys is the one I can't cope with.

And that is the trick when a mom has cancer. Mothers wipe away tears, not create them. It is exactly opposite of our intentions.

We do everything we can to avoid giving our kids 'issues'. Potty train them at the perfect age. Talk about food in just the right way. React just so when they get hurt. Strike the right balance between work and play. Intervene just enough during fights. Give them the right amount. Keep our expectations at the right level. Etc, etc. And even though we aren't perfect at these things, dang it, we give it our best.

Give them issues? I've really got the potential to now. Die before they are old enough to make it on their own. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

As I watched the cats care for their cubs, I thought about my sister. Which is a whole different circle of thoughts that is hard to get out of. This week they will remove part her son's leg as a step in his cancer treatment. Really? Cancer in your child? How do you wrap your heart around that one?


I want to stay up all night, perfectly still, and waiting in the grass, and plan my perfect attack, and execute. I want to chase you down, and roar and hiss, and claw, and rip whatever keeps you alive out, with my own canines, and drink your blood in one furious gulp. Cause guess what? You are in my territory. And there are kids in the burrow behind me. And every instinct of movement I was born with is perfected by knowing they are there. And every muscle I have moves for your death. I don't care how big or small you are, I hunt and wrestle you to the ground. Strew your best parts all over the grasses, and eat them before they get cold.


A mother's love is desperate, and powerful, and perfect. It motivates me everyday to be strong. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my boys. And right now they need a mom who wakes up with a smile on her face, and gets them off the school, and reads with them, and cleans their clothes, and makes their dinner, and remembers their homework, and drives them to scouts, and laughs at their jokes.

But this is easy, I want a fight. ROARRRR!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

amen baby

Feeling super good. I can walk, touch my toes, stay on my feet all day. Today I rode my bike to the park. And the wind was in my ears! Sun on my cheeks! Happiness!

We are pretty much back to the normal routine. Which doesn't feel that normal. I am not saying it's a bad thing. I am just saying. Still the same alarm. The same breakfast. Same carpool. Same shirts in the washer, out the dryer. Same legos on the floor. Same homework. Same practice. Same bedtime routines.

Different...Atmosphere? Background music? Perspective?

Same characters. Same setting. It's the plot that changed I guess.

Different prayers for sure. Tonight my 5 year old prayed, "Bless everyone that has cancer or anything like that." Pause. "And help us so we don't, like, die."