What Everyone Wants to Know

People keep asking how I am doing right now. I’m hanging in there. I know that sounds silly and non-commital. Probably because it is. I have good days. I have bad days. I have sad days. I have tired days. Like any mom, there are hard days with the kids. Then there are really awesome days where everything just goes easy. Well, maybe not everything goes easy in one single day.

Another thing is that people aren’t really sure of what is next. Every treatment for every cancer for every person is a little different. No one can be expected to understand or remember my plan, and people shouldn’t be afraid to ask, in my opinion. I am between steps of treatment so I still have Herceptin infusions and I am waiting for my surgery to happen. After surgery, I will start radiation. At this point, the chemotherapy is still in my system. I am not actively doing much to “fight the battle” if you will, which is hard mentally. I don’t know much until after surgery about where I stand in that battle. I am not a gray area person. I like answers. I like a plan. So I am doing my best to keep busy but not too busy as to get tired, get my behind to yoga for my brain and my body, really enjoy this season and keep the family traditions going and make some good memories, and “live in this moment” instead of the world of “What If’s”. I try hard not to fall into the dark hole of wondering if there is something somewhere in my body that we just haven’t found yet. A lot of times I have to stay off of twitter and social media to wonder why this or that is happening to someone else and how do we know if I will be having the same issue next week, month, year. Physically, I am testing the limits between feeling like a bum and pushing myself to do too much. So far I’ve learned it is still a very fine line.

I think I knew going in that the holidays would be a little hard. I didn’t really think it would be this hard. If you want to read more about this, I think that Four Times and Counting did a really great job of summing it up here. After my time in the hospital earlier in the fall, I started shopping early, particularly for our girls. This meant I left only about half the gifts by the time Thanksgiving came around. We scaled down the Christmas tree. I ordered the return address stamps for the Christmas cards when I usually save the money and write it myself. I really tried to keep perspective about what I was stressing about and what was important. I tried. I haven’t always succeeded. And this is how it is with a great support system. Let’s pause for you to go hug a single parent without family nearby who is battling cancer right now. I’ll still be here.

At this point, my biggest directly holiday related stress is how in the world I am going to get any wrapping done when That Little Girl just pops back into the living room out of bed with no warning after she goes to bed. I can’t even bring up the gifts to get organized before it is my bedtime. So if anyone can solve that for me, please let me know! I am a bit odd in that I truly enjoy wrapping gifts so doing it in a rush or trying to do it only halfway is not really an option.

One thing I wanted to do for the girls this Christmas was to knit them matching hats. That Little Girl has been asking me to knit her another hat and That Baby really could use a few more. That Baby is a classic second baby in that I didn’t knit her the box full of hats like I did for her older sister and the number of pictures I take! Whoops! Once it hit Thanksgiving, I realized getting both hats done was going to be tough. So I got to work ordering the yarn. Then I got busy doing other things. Once it got to be the second week in December, I sat down to start and realized I wasn’t getting gauge with my needles and the yarn I had chosen so I had to order smaller needles. So now I have just accepted it won’t happen for Christmas. I’ll be lucky if I get them done by Spring at this rate! But I’m over it. Knitting has always been part of my relaxation routine in the evenings so I will get them done. Maybe even one for myself to match them, too.

So yes, I’m doing ok. Living in this unknown gray area is not easy, but at least the holidays are here to keep me distracted. Every little weird thing makes me worry, like a slight intermittent tickle in my chest that turned out to be mucus it seems. As I have said before, in the scheme of things, I am a lucky girl. I have family and friends to get me through the tough moments and enough self awareness to usually know when I need to take a minute. Some people like to remind me when I get depressed with this new unknown, no one ever knows when their last Christmas or day may be. As best as I can, I am determined to keep that in mind and enjoy every minute.


  1. gift tip – if they aren’t clearly identified or you can put them in another box so she can’t see what it is – do that! if it helps you get it done. I’ve been letting alex help – which is fun and for her unidentifiable gifts, she loves doing it. and a good learning lesson for my control-freak self that likes perfectly wrapped presents!!!


    • I have let her help me wrap for anyone but herself and That Baby. She loses interest pretty quickly so as long as she keeps occupied I can wrap when it is just us, but I still couldn’t get their gifts done until they went to bed. I’m down to just the gifts for them from the red suit so getting there a little bit at a time after bedtime! When they were out at swimming, I wrapped a bunch and did the bows after they were home. Getting there!


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