Reason #13,777,888,690 why having cancer sucks

This post has so many sucks.

It’s definitely been a long time since my last post. A lot has been going on.


A few weeks ago, we had a garage sale. The first one I’ve ever hosted, and I’d be hard pressed to EVER have one again. I mean its one thing hauling everything you own outside. It’s another trying to figure out what the hell to do with all of the rest once the sale is over. For me, I just really had to get rid of the baby stuff. Looking at it lately has just brought tears to my eyes, especially once you read below. I’ve always kind of felt like as long as we still had all the “stuff” for a baby, then there was a possibility of having another one, but I know that’s not the case, and I’m just making myself miserable by hanging on to it. Either way, it turned out to be probably the worst weather weekend for a garage sale just about ever, so everything is STILL in our garage taunting me daily, until our next sale—likely next weekend. If I can get my shit together, that is.


I’ve been working a ton of OT….and good thing too, because just last week our water shut off. We were like…wtf???? Turns out, $1200 later, we needed a brand new well pump. Amazing. Then later that same week, our dog Diesel, and my husband’s best friend of all time, took a turn for the worse, health-wise. We had heard a few weeks back that Diesel DID in fact have spleen cancer. (Fucking spleens!). It was only a matter of time, but he seemed to be doing OK until Friday/Sat of last week. He stopped walking altogether, wasn’t eating, and finally just started to give up. Mack and I stood with Derek as he watched Diesel breathe his last breath. It was horrible. The vet said his stomach was so distended that he very clearly had some sort of internal bleeding by that point. It made the loss a little easier knowing that we were putting him out of his misery, but it still sucked nonetheless. Derek is such an animal lover, and had a rough time. Mack still doesn’t really understand, except that Diesel isn’t coming back. He wasn’t sad, only curious. And then to top off the last amazing week, brings me to my topic today……Reason #13,777,888,690 why having cancer sucks:


I missed 2 years of Mack’s life. (Pretty much). I wasn’t in the hospital the whole time, but I was there a LOT, and was so sick that oftentimes I could barely move while I was home, let alone be a playmate. Over these past years, we have had a LOT of babysitters for Mack—mostly relatives and close friends—but you know what happens with that…..Mack got spoiled. And I get it. He was upset with us gone. He didn’t understand why I couldn’t play with him when I was home. It is gut wrenching to experience, to say the least. So When I got home from my transplant this last go-round, and started feeling better, I really made a conscious effort to spend as much time with Mack as I could. I tried to be the uber cool mom who took him cool places, and had fun adventures both inside and out. I pretty much did whatever he wanted, and gave in to whatever he asked for. And why? Because I felt guilty. I STILL feel guilty for missing out, but its nothing that I can change. After about 2 months of that, it got old quick. Not the playing with him and spending time with him part. Nope—the part where he doesn’t listen to a word I say. The part where he yells at me and hits me when I tell him no. (Not Derek….not Papa, Grandma, Aunts/Uncles, Nana…)…just me. The part where I am trying to instill some discipline, which he’s not used to getting from me, and it’s totally backfiring in my face. Not to mention there are a lot of Saturdays where I am home, working, and Mack doesn’t understand why I can’t play with him for 10 hours on those days—Dang it, why couldn’t Derek have just been a millionaire?!


Yesterday I can chalk up to one of the worst experiences of my life. Mack told me that he “doesn’t love me, he only loves daddy.” And that “he doesn’t like me because I spank him and put him in time out too much”. And that he “doesn’t want to live with me, because he just doesn’t like to be around me”. And that is when I completely lost it. And I mean total depressive sobbing and an anxiety-ridden state, and I haven’t been able to stop until this morning. Maybe it’s a combination of the dog dying, Derek being so upset—the thought that Mack is going to preschool next month, and I’m losing my baby, and my only buddy. I don’t know. There are probably 1,000 parenting stories similar to this….that EVERYONE goes through this phase, etc. etc. But you see, the thing is….not all of those parents have had the extreme displeasure (for lack of a better word) of wondering whether or not they will die while their child is still so young, that he would have to look at a picture of you to remember you by. Nor have those parents considered at one point, giving up treatment just so that they wouldn’t miss out on these precious years—you know, the few precious years where my son actually wants to spend time with ME. He is it for me. No more kids. Which is fine, I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again—we are SO LUCKY to have any children at all, really we are. But I guess I thought that I would always have that “feeling”. That feeling that someone loves me unconditionally, without fail, no matter what. And its not to say that my son doesn’t love me. I’m not that irrational, after all. But it is a complete dagger to the heart when he (along with my husband) is what pulled me through the worst experience(s) of my life, and I swear to you, the reason I’m here today, and those words come out of his mouth. 😦


There are so many things I wish someone would have told me or warned me about before going through all of this. Like the fact that your nose hair is one of the first things to grow back, and that your child may resent you for leaving them. I’m pretty sure that of all the things that have happened to me, experiences that I have had, etc., this is one of the worst. I know things will turn around eventually, but it’s been one hell of a week, combined with 20 hours of OT at work, and I think I’m pretty well spent. And it’s funny. I almost feel embarrassed about it. Embarrassed that I couldn’t keep my shit together. That I couldn’t be a better mom. That I couldn’t instill discipline in my own child because I just wanted him to like spending time with me so badly. Simply put, that Mack is acting this way. But today was a better day, and hopefully each day will become easier, so I figured, why not just go ahead and air my laundry to the world. I have talked about my pubic hair on numerous occasions on this blog after all.


In health news, I had a great check up appt last Thursday. My blood counts were amazing, weight has been stable, and no swollen lymph nodes to report. In September, I’ll have a restaging CT scan of my lumbar spine area, to see where we’re at. If it’s clear, It will be the first time I’ve been cancer free since my diagnosis! Remission baby! I’ve still been running as much as I can, however it’s been hard with this past few weeks of events combined with work, to find time for longer runs. My short runs are between 5-6 miles, and long runs between 8-10. I’m really looking forward to the Cleveland Half…anyone else out there want to join?!! My oncologist (shout out EC!) has been diligently training, as has my boss! I sure would love it if everyone I’ve ever known came down in support at the finish line. That surely will light a fire under my ass!!


A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for an anniversary book on University Hospital. It’s set to come out next year. I spoke with the author about my story—the close relationships I have with all the staff at Seidman—how Dr. Weinbrandt and I sang songs in my hospital room—etc. It was pretty cool. Toward the end of the interview, the interviewer asked whether or not I had considered a career in writing or turning my blog into a book. And to be honest, I hadn’t really. That was never my intention of writing this blog. Not to mention I’ve never thought of myself as a writer, let alone a good one. The blog was more to help me, I think, than anything else. But lately I’ve been thinking about Mack, and about how all of our lives have changed so much over these past years, and I’m finally considering publishing. To have a permanent record like that would really give me a sense of achievement I think—like it wasn’t all for nothing. But I don’t even know where to start with that, so if any of you have some ideas, I’ll take them! In the meantime, look for me in the UH 150th anniversary book on a coffee table near you, come 2015!!


There used to be so many things in life that I regretted. Things I’ve done, or should have done. Things I could have done differently. But I’ve come to realize that aint nobody got time for that. Today is a new day, and I won’t squander one second of it.


*Prayers for sweet baby Rosie, and a friend of Derek’s from high school, recently diagnosed with brain cancer. And for my friend’s brother, Marty, who is totally kicking ass after a spinal cord injury.

*KS, in my thoughts. Always.


RIP Diesel

RIP Diesel

Mack and Diesel

Mack and Diesel

At the Sprayground

At the Sprayground

Just watching the Bachelorette

Just watching the Bachelorette

The most amazing stuff on the planet

The most amazing stuff on the planet

Mack's first Indians game

Mack’s first Indians game


Mack and cousin Mia

Mack and cousin Mia

6 thoughts on “Reason #13,777,888,690 why having cancer sucks

  1. In the movie Terms of Endearment Debra Winger’s character is dying and her son hates her at that point. Such a great movie. I often played the Shirley MacLaine part with my husband. Get him his medicine, dammit. Anyhow, cancer sucks, being a good mom is hard. You are awesome and this will all be a story you tell your grand kids one day. I know it. I feel it.

  2. There is so much in this post my dear Mary! I can relate a bit on both ends. I didn’t suffer through cancer, but my sister did and as a result my parents spent a LOT of time in the hospital. I really didn’t feel cheated for the most part. BUT when they were gone my grandparents took care of me. And they SPOILED me. A LOT. I think they felt bad for me and they were still grandparents so their job is to spoil. Ha! So I am sure most of it is a phase. Kids sometimes say mean things to their parents. I know I did, but it really doesn’t change the fact that they love us. And I am SURE he loves you! I know another 3 yr old who has been a little terror lately so perhaps it is just a developmental stage?!? I am really sorry about Diesel! But your latest labs bring good news! Just keep looking up my friend! I haven’t printed my blog (although I would love to), but I know people who use Blog 2 Print.

  3. Oh Mary! What a post that was! I am so sorry to hear about Diesel – losing a pet IS losing a family member. He is at Rainbow Bridge and will be waiting for you guys! It freakin’ killed me to read how much Mack’s words upset you. You KNOW he loves you… he is just at that age and he’s a boy 🙂 They can be difficult sometimes! I do LOVE that you are thinking of publishing your blog and you totally should. I think you can publish ebooks and sell them on Amazon… go to Amazon Kindle and read about it. You have an amazing story and why not share it and empower others who may be facing a similar challenge? I am behind you a million percent!

  4. Since Howard was about 9 months old he would hit, bite or pull my hair. He would get a certain look on his face and make sure dad was looking before he would attack. He is now almoat 2 1/2 and occasionally still hits or pulls my hair. I too am at a loss of how to get it to end. I’m really glad to hear your n your way to being healthy again 💙

  5. Cole told me he hated me for the first time recently. It hurt me bad, but I know it was a way to manipulate me to get what he wants when he isn’t winning the game. Later that night he wanted to cuddle me. You know little Mack loves you! You’re way too awesome not to! I’m sorry for the shit storm that has been going on. Got much love you for you!!! And I better be totally awesome in your book when you write one and make it rich and famous!!! Oh and I totally get to pick who plays me in the movie version!!!! It will get better, love!!!

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