Say It Isn’t So

Birthdays 061I have been quiet lately. Quiet in life and quiet on the blog. There are so many things going on that anything I thought to blog about seemed trivial and ridiculous.

My mom has breast cancer.

Yup. You read that right.

This is a different cancer from the breast cancer she had in 1998, not a recurrence. But still a total son of a bitch. In 1998, she had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation.

This time she will have a double mastectomy shortly after Thanksgiving, without reconstruction. Chemo is a definite possibility because the tumor is HER 2+, which basically means it’s an angry little fucker and has a higher rate of recurrence.

My anger has been subsiding and slowly morphing into thinking about what needs to be done. The anger was all consuming in the beginning though. I sobbed I was so angry. Snotty, on my knees in my bathroom, sobbing. I swore like it was my job. Well, I do that anyway…so I swore like it was my second job. I wasn’t angry when I got my own diagnosis. But you mess with my Mom and I’m furious.

I think I’m more numb now.   Mom first, then Dad, then me and now Mom again.

Just typing that made me angry again.

I would do this all again so she wouldn’t have to endure any of it. In a heartbeat.

To be completely trite, it just seems unfair.

My sister and I have had countless talks over these last few weeks though and those talks have made me think about things differently. Life is really hard but if you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of wonderful magic sprinkled throughout. We have had LOTS of wonderful magic sprinkled throughout and this is just one more obstacle to overcome. Shitty things happen but it’s how you respond that matters.

We went to lunch after meeting with Dr. K, our handy family breast cancer surgeon.

My mom reminded me of the song “I Whistle a Happy Tune” from the King and I, which we saw with Yul Brenner when we were kids. She sang a little bit as we sat in our cozy booth. (see what I mean about wonderful, magical bits?)

I whistle a happy tune
And ev'ry single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I'm not afraid.

Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

You’re the best, Mom, and I’m behind you every step of the way, whistling.


* The pic is of Mom with Luca. He’s 6 months now and CRAWLING.


Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman | November 20, 2009 at 11:47 AM

EMILY! I wish there were words to express how much my heart aches for your family right now. YOU ARE SO RIGHT, IT IS NOT FAIR!!! Karma owes you a big break and I hope that break is right around the corner, in the form of wonderful, happy things filled with magic.

It just broke my heart to read about the sobbing; my eyes welled for you and your pain. I have been at that place, and it is awful. I am so glad you have your sister to lean on, it sounds like she is an incredible person.

I will be thinking of you and your family. I wish there was something else I could say to make it better for you.

To end on a more positive note, your nephew is obviously a genius. Here is hoping he finds a cure for cancer someday?

Huge hugs to all of you - J

Sheri Nugent | November 20, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Holy shit! Emily, I am so sorry. It does seem that some families get more than their share of crap to deal with. This is just so discouraging. I'm really sorry you have even more shit on your plate.

Taylor | November 20, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Oh, EP. I am so sorry and my heart hurts for you and your family. Enough is enough cancer! As always, you all are in my thoughts.

Mel | November 20, 2009 at 1:13 PM

It just sucks, doesn't it? When I look at women who I admire, you, Meg and Ellen are the top of my list. You face your challenges with dignity and grace-yes, even sobbing and cursing on the bathroom floor can be done with dignity and grace. Love you all.

Erin | November 20, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Oh man!!! So sorry to hear this. Sending good, brave, healing vibes to your mom. Thinking of you and your family!

Anna | November 20, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Not okay, Emily. I'm sorry. Sending healing your way.

Beth | November 21, 2009 at 8:32 AM

There are no words Emily. I love you. And I know you will have a lovely Thanksgiving for her.

amanda | November 21, 2009 at 9:08 PM

so sorry to hear about your mom. Hugs all around and sending prayers and positive thoughts your way.

Kate | November 24, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Ooof. The wind was taken out of my sails on that one, Emily. God, I love your mom so much. Besides being a supplier of tasty breakfast casserole recipes, she is (I know you know it, but I'm reminding myself to get the sails going again) one strong motha.

Don't tell anyone this, but if my mother suddenly disappeared and I got to choose another one, I'd choose Ellen in a New York minute.

God love you Paddens.

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