Saturday, December 31, 2011


It's that time again, New Years Resolutions will be half heartedly made, people will sing Auld Lang Syne, and most will get drunk enough not to remember the night at all - truth be told I'm a little envious. But it seems fitting that I'm ending 2011 - and all that it brought - here in the comfort of my home, writing a blog, and drinking the one beer I have left in my house. Most people I know are hoping for a better year then the one they just had, or bravely exclaiming how they'll miss this year and how it was the best one yet.

I'm neither of these people. I have fallen into a weird category. I truly suffered this year - I now have an intimate relationship with fear itself - an understanding what it means to love someone even while questioning whether it was prudent to do so.  There were moments where I believed my youngest son might be lost, moments where I questioned how my life had fallen so far down the rabbit hole, moments where I begged God - sobbing on my knees - to save him, save us. Without an answer given, or perhaps one not readily heard, I vowed that I would never give less then I had given to Gabriel and Eden, and I loved in a way I had not known was possible...I truly loved without condition. This little boy gave me such a gift even while dragging me through hell and back.

2011 brought me to the brink of despair, shoved me to my knees, forced me to enjoy precious little moments I had once over looked. I couldn't see it then, my vision was still clouded with the intense fear I fought on a near daily basis, but I was changed. 2011 is the first year I have not felt regret, the one year whose resolutions where merely about love, the year that was the worst and the very best.

2011 is not a year I would like to repeat, but it is a year I will never forget. And so on towards 2012, and all the moments it will bring!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hoping for B9

I received my test results (the ultrasounds) from my lovely little lumps. The left lump looks like a fibroadenoma (Benign mass) and hasn't changed size or shape over the two years I've had it! Yay, Left boob! Way to be healthy. My right breast is an asshole. The lump recently discovered due to tenderness has "an Irregular shape" and "needs to be biopsied" to rule out cancer. That was not the news I was hoping for over the holidays!

I admit I'm now stressed out about this new development. I've been googling like mad, mainly looking for other people's stories, reading through blogs, testing out this new landscape I now find myself standing on. Some people's stories are inspirational and full of hope and they claim cancer gave them a second chance to really live their life full of appreciation and blah, blah, blah. This is something I understand. But I've taken that journey. I walked it with Preston. Was his heart defect a blessing in disguise? No it was a fucking pain in the ass, but it did force me to walk a line I hadn't considered before. It forced me to start living in the moment. I can't claim that was easy in the beginning, or something easily sustainable, life is life after all and you can't live like mother Teresa all the god damned, live long day; but I refused to walk away from that hell unchanged. I needed it to have meaning.

So would cancer be a blessing in disguise? No it would be a fucking pain in the ass. But I hope that I would find something in it, something good, that I could walk away with. So if this lump is cancer I'll deal with it, I'll fight it, and I'll turn it into something it's not, something worth it.

But for now, I just hope that this lump is benign because dragging something beautiful from the dark, annals of cancer, is not a quest I'm looking to take.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm just a stay at home mom...

I hate meeting new people. I admit I'm a bit of a homebody to begin with; but in general I just hate the idea of small talk, and the awkward feigned interest in other's peoples lives. A few drinks down the hatch usually eases the uncomfortable silences but the worst part of every new conversation, at least for me, comes when they ask the inevitable question "what do you do?"

Whenever anyone asks this particular question I smile broadly, talk about my beautiful kids, and murmur under my breath that I'm a "stay at home mom". Unless you are speaking with another "non working" mother, the general consensus is that being a stay at home mom is not really something you do. It's at this point people usually smile uncomfortably and then ask me what I did before I had children; as though whatever I did before I gave birth and decided to raise my own kidlets was somehow more worthy of their interest, and of greater societal value. Of course when I answer "chambermaid" they look as though they want to run away from me, as though they have found the bottom rung of society and must detach themselves from my side, lest they be led down the road of mediocrity too. But I digress...

Why do people act as though I must be someone who is lazy, or stupid, or unwilling to have a "real job" when I say I raise my own kids? And let me just be clear that it's not something that is easy, or comes naturally - child rearing. The learning curve is huge. You aren't just wiping butts, feeding, cleaning, and putting them to bed; which by the way, isn't a piece of cake, but people seem to think motherhood amounts to chambermaiding, and nannying. It's does not.  I stay at home with my kids and teach them things like cooperation, dispute resolution, manners, morals and values, ethics, and in case it's not something that is inherent at birth in all human beings, I also make sure that I establish in them a conscience, a sense of sympathy, and when applicable feelings of empathy.

My "job" may not be a paying one. I may not have an established career that brings in a measurable incremental amount of income. But I contribute more to the sustainability of our society than even my lovely cop of a husband does. For I am an active member in my children's lives.  I am the mediator, the general, the boss and caretaker of the next generation.

But no, it's not a job, and if you really want to put a label on it, than I suppose it's more of an art form. I am creating beautiful little pieces of art. And I alone have the creative license to do that in a way I see fit. I can change palette's when things aren't working properly. I can brush in broader strokes when life is moving a little too fast. I can meticulously add a bit of shading, or infuse some light to the lessons in life, whenever I need too and whenever I want.

What do I do? Hell. What don't I do? I'm a Stay At Home Mom.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My lovely little lumps

Her fingers probe my breasts with expert hands and I am surprised and relieved to discover that her hands are warm. She then asks me to lay on my back, arm over my head and I oblige and she talks nonchalantly about my life, my kids, their ages, and that my tummy is nearly stretch mark free; how nice for me. She goes on to check the lymph nodes under my arm and apologizes for any discomfort I may feel from the ever increasing pressure of her fingertips. After we are finished she asks me to get dressed and to join her in the room across the hall.

Her office is cozy, and the chairs are comfortable. She starts off by saying that the lumps are not cysts, and from the ultrasound on my left breast's lump, she believes them to be fibroadenomas - benign tumours. The odds are - she tells me - a 99% probability that the lumps are not cancer. Immediately she knows her mistake, we had just finished talking about my youngest son, the 100 to 1 statistic - the Congenital heart defect baby.

"That is to say - I feel really good that you have nothing to worry about", she corrects herself. "But I would still like to have them biopsied, as much as for my own charts as for your peace of mind".

I agree to the procedure because if there is a small possibility that it's cancer, then it's still a possibility that needs to be investigated, no matter the likelihood. That being said, I'm not too worried. No matter the outcome, I can't predict the future, nor can I prevent it from happening. I used to be a person so hung up on the "what ifs" of life, so worried about what tomorrow would bring, that I never enjoyed 'today'. So now I try not to waste the "todays" I have, on the things I can't control.

These bothersome lumps are probably not cancer, I won't know for sure until the biopsy results are in, but either way it goes, one day at a time still seems like the best mantra to have.