Friday, October 30, 2015

I'm sure I'll be a better mom in November

WE'VE ALMOST DONE IT!!! October is just about done. And thank god, except it means my November scans are right around the corner.

Since my diagnosis, not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of breast cancer, at least a little bit, but that is amplified SO LOUD in October, and not always in ways that help. Then scanxiety sets in (albeit on the early side AGAIN this time around) and I start popping Xanax every night like it's a vitamin. I am so lucky in so many ways, but also so tired sometimes. This disease can wear you out.

In my frustration with things like the NFL fining one of its players for trying to honor his dead mother and my general October-and-scan-induced edginess, I've found myself having to explain to Quinn what it means to have a short fuse because mine has been downright itsy-bitsy. 

I haven't felt like the best mom, and this blog post about swearing in front of your children hit very, very, very close to home.

In front of Quinn, I try to say "sugarfoot" or "son of a gun" or "fudge knuckle" or some other hokey variation on actual swear words but I don't always get it right because that is not always what I actually deep-down WANT to say. And I don't ever swear at Quinn, so much as say things like, "You're smart. USE YOUR BRAIN," when he's asked me why he has to use his napkin instead of his shirt for the twelve-thousandth time. So that's not exactly nice parenting. And then I might swear AT traffic when Quinn is in the car with me, and I don't know if that's any better. 

I've also found myself crying real, actual tears when Quinn told me a couple of weeks ago that Loki (our cat who frequently scratches at our dining room chairs and occasionally throws up all over our fabric couch but never on the hardwood floors) is his favorite "person" in our family. Oh, how that boy loves that cat. I might have been a little offended, which is of course a little ridiculous.

Sometimes I think I need my therapist on speed-dial. (Is there even such a thing as speed-dial anymore?)


I had a dream the other night that Quinn was as tall as me, and I got to see him -- even in the haziness of my dreams, as a 65-inch-tall boy who was almost a young man. He was perfect and handsome and pure goodness. 

I woke up with a tightening in my chest that hasn't quite gone away the last few days. Am I over-doing it at Pilates? Is my anxiety giving me near-constant panic attacks? Are there tumors growing in my chest wall again? 

Will I get to see my boy be as tall as me in real life?

photo by the uber-talented Jodi Lynn


I have had so many friends find out they have progression this month -- in their brains, lungs, stomach, spine, skin, the list goes on and on -- and the truth is, I am scared shitless that the boogeyman who is cancer could show back up in my life again at any moment. Metastatic breast cancer is THAT unpredictable, and as amazing as some treatments are, there is still no cure. My fear has been acting out this month, and maybe it does every October. It's a spooky fucking month.

(Sometimes substitute words are just not at all adequate.)


I wrote all this, and then I went to a yoga benefit class tonight for City of Hope, a cancer treatment center and research facility. I dragged myself there, is more like it. I didn't want to go, didn't want to navigate my way downtown and to the venue and deal with traffic and find parking and all of the STUFF that goes with getting somewhere on a Friday night. (Hello, middle-age, nice to meet you!)

I practiced yoga with a bunch of other people on the field where the Diamondbacks play, did my forward folds and crow poses and shoulder stands under the stadium lights, which was totally surreal. I slowed down a bit. I was reminded to breathe. And you know what? It helped. I might not need a Xanax tonight.


  1. Girl, you got a lot on your shoulders. Be gentle on yourself. That can be harder than having patience with the barrage of needs and loud noises from a preschooler.

    Regarding the cat, for a while my (then) 2 year old would often and profusely profess her love for the cat, while the rest of the household (e.g. her loving parents) got nothin' of the kind. She's now very expressive 7 gap-toothed year old.

  2. Yes Mets require Xanax. ..... especially around scan time. Hope and pray for stability! Lots of love a fellow metster

  3. I get out of control every time I approach an important doctor's appt. I take it out on those around me and I know it isn't right, but I can't control it. I should find a healthy outlet like you do with the yoga. I did a few classes after finishing treatments and felt amazing. But I find it very hard to exercise (might have some level of depression too).

    There is no "how to" when it comes to cancer. We just do our best, one day at a time and hope for the best. I wish you good luck with your scans. I hope you get great news. xx