Whyfore The How To

The positive side of my personality is that I am independent. I don’t need direction to start or complete a task; I can walk into any room by myself. I take of myself; people who worry about me do so because they care, not because they have to.

On the flip side, I am stubborn as an ass. I don’t like when people tell me what to do. The words You Should give me proverbial hives, guaranteeing that whatever advice follows will move to the bottom of my list of ponderables. Oh, I should, should I? Let’s see if it ever happens.

And yet, I still want to give advice. That’s another personality coin side: I think I have all the answers. Positive side: I have some good ideas.

I have knowledge about How To Cancer. I have seen all the sides of Cancer’s coin: from losing my grandmother to breast cancer, watching my mother survive it, my own two bouts of it 15 years apart. I’ve learned a lot. How to go through it, what to expect, how to care for someone in the middle of it. I know how to do it.

What follows is not—despite my strident tone and clear wisdom—definitive or final. But I’m hoping to impart some insight into what we go through and what our loved ones go through when cancer invades our lives.

Come Here Often?

I never thought I would be cruising chicks as a 34-year-old heterosexual mom of two. But here I am, five months of living in a new community, and I am trying to make friends the only way I can: picking up women at the playground. I am trying to make friends in a new community, and the only thing that keeps me laughing and enjoying the process is noticing how similar it is to dating.

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Busy Enough for You

Waging the Internal Battle Over my Stay-At-Home Path

Just when I thought I had come to terms with my rank as a stay-at-home mom, my working-mom neighbor asked me:

“So, Kate, what’s keeping you busy these days?”

Was she kidding? Was she being cute or facetious? Or was she effectively dismissing the validity of being a full-time mother at home? (more…)

Day 8 post op

Hi people! Thanks Jen for posting updates for me, and thanks to everyone for following along with your good wishes and love and strength. I quite needed it. Surgery was harder than chemo by a long shot, partially I think due to the fact that I was still only weeks out of that badness. (more…)

Hello see ya

A quick note on this first day of December before I get surgery tomorrow. I will be in the hospital and offline for at least 5 days, and then will clock out with more days of being under pain meds and restricted movement, so I’m not sure when I’ll be back in the larger world beyond my bed. (more…)

Peacetime adjustments

Amazingly and mysteriously, this last round has been the easiest. Symptoms have been spotty and milder, I got out of bed faster and have been running around town days earlier than before. Still not back to normal (ask me about my eye twitching, it’s charming) but it feels safe to say the worst is truly over. Which means that things start to change in ways that haunt me and echo with a fear that has been dormant for years. (more…)

Coming out from under

It never gets old, coming back out into the world after treatment, seeing my life with fresh (albeit twitchy and tired) eyes. I descend from the cave of the upstairs bedroom, delighted again to see the decor of our still relatively new home. I curl up on the couch in the TV room, still rather too exhausted to do much more than hang out, but I get to see new pictures and pillows and faces besides my own. (more…)

4 Down

It’s day 10, nadir day when everything is supposed to be the lowest of the low, and I am out of bed. I had coffee and eggs this morning, and I’m not doubled over in crampy pain. I spent most of yesterday out of bed too, rewatching “Deadwood” with John. [If you haven’t watched it and don’t mind constant profanity, check it out. I am utterly delighted by it again.] (more…)

Almost halfway home

Third infusion was yesterday and it went smoothly. I hummed along working on a Photoshop job throughout most of it – time flew. I have been doing a lot of that, maybe too much, this last week: pushing through the sicker aspects of my days into chores, work, and ye olde beloved volunteer gig of helping produce the school play. (more…)