Category Archives: Kids

This Too Shall Pass

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since I read Ashley’s post entitled "This Too Shall Pass."  That’s a phrase people use a lot.  In fact, I found myself using it last fall as I realized that my school year would be filled with trips to the doctor, chemo, surgery, recovery.  At the onset of all that, I took a deep breath, and took comfort in the fact that when school finished up for the year, I’d be pretty much finished with all that cancer stuff.  This too shall pass, I’d tell myself.

And it has!  As I prepare to send my littles off to school one last time this year, I realize that I’ve been thinking of that phrase often, but in a completely different way.  More in the way Ashley talked about it.  And it makes me a little misty-eyed.  Through everything this year, we’ve always headed to the bus stop a little earlier than necessary.  The kids play and the moms (and a few dads, too!) drink coffee and chat.  After school each day through the heat, the cold, even a light rain, we stay, usually an hour or more.  The kids have come up with the most elaborate games– first there was the Olympics, the ever popular natural disaster scenarios, fairies, city government, mud puddles, and now warrior cats.  They’re like siblings and sometimes there are fights, but mostly this group, aged two to nine, has great fun together.  For the parents who sit on beach towels in the grass while the kids play, this is valuable time.  Some days, it may be the only adult conversation we get until after the kids are in bed.  And yet, the last few weeks as I’ve watched the kids, I wonder how long it will last.  Emma Clare is the eldest of the brood, and she’s started asking to walk home early or sit with me and read instead of play.  I feel like it’s a bit of a golden time, one that I know I will look back on so fondly.  I always seem to get a little contemplative at this time of year.  But it’s so funny to me that I genuinely believe that I’ll be looking back on this year with a misty-eyed smile.  In spite of the cancer, maybe even because of it, this has been a precious year to me.

But for now, there’s no more looking back.  I have just under four and a half hours to enjoy the kids’ school time before we head to frozen yogurt with the crew and then come back for bus stop night.  And I will enjoy every second of those four and a half hours.  Because I am certain of it, this too shall pass.


Kids | From the Pen of a Third Grader

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I mentioned that I’m a little squeamish about using the term “survivor” and have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to seeing the pink ribbon plastered all over.  Turns out my precious third grader has adopted the symbol as her own, and even she identifies with the term “breast cancer survivor.”  From the day I told her, I’ve found pink ribbons drawn all over the place, and I’ve had to work hard to convince her she doesn’t need a leotard emblazoned with pink crystals in the shape of a ribbon.  I think I only won that one because she can’t buy it on her own!  But seeing these notes she left me on my sewing machine (where she leaves most of my notes) is making me think about the term survivor again.  While I nearly wince to have to call myself a survivor, maybe it’s important for her that I do.  Maybe I’ll reconsider…


Kids | From the pen of a kindergartener

kindergarten feelings

I love getting all the pictures and journals from the kids at the end of the year.  This is some of Turner’s writing from the fall.  It breaks my heart that he was sad.  I am so thankful for a teacher who saw his sadness and asked him to draw what made him feel better.  And in true Turner fashion, my cancer takes on the form of an epic battle: “The medicine is fighting the cancer.”  I’m so glad that the medicine won this epic battle.


School Days

That first talk with the kids was hard.  Seeing the looks on their faces when I told them I had cancer just broke my heart.  They understood so much more than I wanted them to.  That evening, we revisited the conversation several times, and I felt like they were handling it relatively well.  But before I talked to them, I stopped in at the school to talk to their teachers.  They needed to be ready to handle the kids’ reactions the next day.  It was hard to realize that their teachers spend more waking hours with the kids than I do some days.  I didn’t want them to get a free pass for poor behavior or skipping their homework, but I wanted the teachers to know what was going on, and to let me know if it seemed like they were struggling more than I knew.

After a few weeks, the kids had adjusted pretty well and our lives were seeming a little more normal again.  I got a call from Turner’s kindergarten teacher, she said that the assistant had overheard him talking to his friends at lunch about death.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that he was probably talking about some epic battle involving either star wars, ninjas, or zombies.  Not likely he was talking about me.  But she suggested he talk with the school counselor, and so I told her to feel free to arrange the meeting. He was so excited that he’d gotten to eat his lunch in the counselor’s office!  He gave me the run down of everything they talked about—apparently I only made up the first few minutes.  It turns out he was delighted to have an adult’s individual attention for a whole 25 minutes!  He excitedly told me that she said he could come back any time, and he was thinking about heading there a few more times that week! 

Apparently, after talking to Turner, the counselor thought she should check in with Emma Clare, too.  We have a great bus stop, and the kids there are much like family—siblings who play well together most of the time, but sometimes fight and then make up quickly.  It seems that this particular day, Emma Clare and another little girl at the bus stop were on the outs, and when the counselor came into the classroom and asked to see her, Emma Clare was afraid her friend had gotten her in trouble.  Her account of what happened next: “Then I thought she was going to propose to me, mommy.  She got down on one knee and everything and took my hand!”

The kids’ teachers were so supportive during the course of my treatment and I really appreciated knowing they were well taken care of.  Even when my sweet kiddos didn’t know that they needed someone looking out for them.


Race Report

What a great day—today’s race will definitely go down as one of my favorite runs ever.  We arrived early enough that Emma Clare could decorate my head before we joined the rest of the girls from Tuckahoe.  We sat in the comfort of our warm car and she busted out the washable markers and emblazoned my head with the Girls on the Run logo.  photo 3
We had fun with friends before the race.  It was a cool morning to stand around, but perfect weather for running.  We had a good race—we ran the whole time and I only had to slow her down a couple of times. Better yet, we finished strong and could have run another mile!  We both worked hard and I couldn’t be prouder.
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My New Blog

While Sally and I talk frequently of the blog we’d like to write, I never imagined this was the kind of blog I’d be starting this fall. What started as a cyst, which the surgeon assured me was nothing, quickly turned into a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. In just over a week since that day, I’ve met with countless doctors and have undergone a battery of tests, yet more appointments and tests await. Still, the information gained from the first biopsy was enough for the surgeon to assure me that chemo was a necessity and surgery would follow. Whether or not radiation will be required will be determined by the surgical findings. I’ll meet with an oncologist on Friday and will hopefully know more about the specific course of chemo and the timeline for all my treatments.

The kids took the news harder than I’d hoped, but seem to be doing better every day. Emma Clare has become very attentive, asking how my appointments for the day have gone and wanting to know what’s coming up and when. If I even begin to look as though I’m in pain or upset, she is quick to see that I’m ok. Turner will just come and cuddle and if I ask what’s wrong, he’ll say, “You know, the cancer.”

I can’t say it quite enough. There has been such a generous outpouring of support. I’ve said it many times in the last week, and I know it’s true. I am not at all worried that we will have a need that remains unmet. We will be well taken care of. For that, and for constant prayers, I remain ever thankful.

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