143 trips. 28,600 miles. 572 hours spent in the car. It's about a hundred miles...a two hour drive...from the Pink Door House in Moses Lake to Spokane. Give or take, depending on what part of town you're landing at. And in the last three and a half years, this little family has made approximately 143 of those trips for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. How did it add up to so many? For the first eight months after my diagnosis...during chemo...the kids and I lived with my folks. Th
Does this angle make my wounds look open to you? I'm looking in the bathroom mirror after my shower. The eucalyptus scented vapors are dissipating. Eucalyptus, because the jury is still out on the relationship between lavender and estrogen and hormone positive breast cancers.... The adhesive used on my port site last week caused a reaction. And instead of going away, it's creeping across my sternum. An area that was scraped to bone during my 9 hour mastectomy. A tender area t
"These are Third Grade monkey bars." Quinn had climbed the three-step ladder and stretched her arms to demonstrate the bars were just beyond her reach. The sun was bright, the afternoon was mild, and when I fetched the girls from kindergarten, we peeled sweaters and walked to the playground instead of the car. They were showing off their new favorite skills and pass times. Quinn...climbing. London...evading spider webs. (As a side note, one of these apples fell closer to the
Instead of my usual two hour drive east, I'm receiving chemo in the local hospital today. The one where I gave birth to Eli three years ago. In many ways, it all began in this building. The sounds from those memories are out of harmony with the IV drip. Memories of the first time I cried through breastfeeding my newborn son, just three floors above where I'm sitting through treatment. I often wonder whether the threads of his story will ever become untangled from those of my
A robin has nested in our back patio eaves. The nest is just out of reach. We see it from underneath. Observing her coming and going. Building and sitting. Sunday morning we noticed her land in the nest with a worm. This is new. When she left again, Jason slipped his camera up there. Sure enough, three brand new hatchlings! I am thrilled that we have this rare glimpse into something so magical. I have been overcome with Mama Bird's raw, instinctive drive to Mother. The opinio
"Umm...why is there a dent in my arm?"
We were both brushing our teeth. Getting ready to face the day. Preschool drop-off. Milk run. Mediating decisions like Octonauts versus My Little Pony.
We live large.
The fleshy part of my arm, just below my elbow, was firmer than usual and sporting a welt about the size of my thumb.
Another reminder that complications after cancer treatment don't evaporate after ringing that graduation bell. They just....change.
Wine. Dice. And....Lash Booster? You can never predict which way the conversation will flow on Ladies' Night. This was our most recent. And why wouldn't it be? A miracle treatment for naturally fuller, longer eye lashes? Because...eye lashes!! I couldn't help but think, My lashes have never really been the same since I lost them during chemo. But I didn't say it out loud. It didn't quite seem to fit the festive mood. Instead, I laughed in the right places. Asked questions. Sm
The t-shirt. It was propelled into popularity when Marlon Brando bared his (and his biceps) in A Streetcar Named Desire. (That's right... I'm using my Apparel History classes!!) They are an iconic part of American fashion. We dress them up and down. Buy them in every color imaginable. Wear them to say where we have travelled, who we are voting for, our favorite team. Wearing t-shirts as a means of self-expression became popular in the 1960's. For me, it began in my teens. I l
Early June at the Farmer's Market. I was picking over zucchinis. I overheard the woman next to me tell the vendor she was on her way to a barbecue. Her family was celebrating her birthday. "I don't know why they bother. I haven't celebrated my birthday in years." I didn't look up, but smiled what I hope was a sweet smile. "Every birthday is worth celebrating." "Not when you get to be my age." She was roughly twice my age. Oh, how I was tempted to face her. To draw attention t
My double mastectomy at MDAnderson was scheduled to be six hours long. It took eight and a half. After I said goodbye to Jason and was rolled into the operating room, it got terribly real. Through the haze of medication I was aware that the room was cold. Bright. Very large. And very busy. All of these people here for me? I hear words of comfort. The sound of the voice mattered more than the words. I couldn't stop crying. I very much wanted this to be someone else's story. I