It's a Cancer Thing You Wouldn't Understand

I pulled a hangnail last week my finger and hand swelled. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I cried when my online friends Jill and Carollynn died and there was nothing I could do. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I hate looking at myself in the mirror between the scars and chest I do not recognise me I can not look.  It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My body has changed so much I hardly can wrap my head around this rapid change nor do I want to. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have scans and blood work coming up and it makes me crazy with worry. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I do not sleep at all even with medication. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am pissed off that everyday about 128 die from metastatic disease and the world just sits and watches. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I can not fly or exercise without wearing a sleeve otherwise my arm swells. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

Sex?? BLAHAHAHAAHAH what was that again? It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My veins are shot getting blood drawn is painful. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

Lymphedema in one arm cording in another. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My family worries about me so much I am sick of hurting them this way. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I feel guilty I am alive. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I forget what I was going to say. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am sick of hearing "because of your history we have to rule out cancer". It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

My boys have  cancer on their medical history and it makes me sick. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have more doctors than I ever thought possible. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

PSTD is real and I have it! It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I have pain yet numbness in all my surgery sites daily yet you can not see my pain. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I am scared of what radiation, scans and injections have done to my body. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.

I feel like I am 90. It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand.



Maybe you are reading this and you do understand because you had cancer. I am sure you can add many more to my little list. But if you are reading this with no cancer in your life first great I am so happy for you. Second, wake the fuck up! Cancer is not tied in a neat package, cancer does not end, cancer can kill. This is not about whether you can handle the truth or that you do not know how to deal with all this. It is about you understanding that this does not end with a simple surgery or with chemo or radiation. Surviving is an overrated term, we are living through this DX. Some are dying with it. It is time to bring these topics to the front page and stop hiding behind ads of cancer prevention bull shit. We are preventing shit we need to make ourselves strong machines so that we can attack our DX the best way possible.

Understand just because you have "moved on" from cancer the person dealing with it has not. Respect them for their sometimes unseen pain.  This is not a boob job do not make this sexy because sexy is not relevant. Respect the fear of recurrence do not tell us it can not come back, we know different. Honor our friends who have died do not tell us they lost their battle, they did not lose anything. Know that we are scared and have every right to be, stop telling us it will be ok. I know this is hard for some but say nothing just a hug. Keep your hands off my tiara I will smack you. Do something bigger than baked ziti. Rides, babysitting, laugh with me or donate to research not walks. We can make a change if we just put our voices together to be louder and stronger for all to hear. 

It's a cancer thing you wouldn't understand, but you could!

Yes Ann Marie there is a Santa Claus

I know that people get all pissed off when Target puts their Holiday stuff out after the back to school is done but I don't mind it. The holidays no matter what you celebrate make me happy. I love that my Jewish friends light the menorah in celebration of Hanukah. I love that my Christian friends get ready for the birth of baby Jesus. It's a joyous time of the year so stop bitching and try actually enjoying them. Not just the gifts and the food but the feeling of the holidays. Dig deep it's there. There is a magic in the season I just know it!

When I was about 7 there was a massive storm in upstate NY, I know shocking. We were up at my Uncle Mike and Aunt Carm's on Christmas Eve and the storm hit bad. They lived about 20 minutes from my house and about 20 minutes from my other cousins so no one was going anywhere. We hadn't planned on a big ole sleep over but we went with it. All my cousins were there, we were stuffed from eating but were having a great time so who cares that we were stranded just meant more time screaming at each other in the loving Italian way we do.  Now keep in mind I'm not only the family princess but I'm the baby my cousins are all 10 years older. They didn't care if they got their gifts Christmas morning or a day later but what about Santa??? I was right at the age when my friends were all "there ain't no Santa" crap. And I wondered if it was true! I went to sleep at my Aunties all
snuggled in a bed (princesses get beds all the rest took the floor) and thought "if I have gifts in the morning there is a santa!". I didn't tell anyone what I thought I just dreamt of Christmas morning with my cousins and of My Friend Mandy doll.

I woke up very early and the snow was friggin crazy, it went up to the door and I wondered how we would ever get out. Thank god being the good Italians we had plenty of food! Ok back to the morning. I shoved my sister and told her to wake up she looked at me like I was nuts for what, PRESENTS ugh she was dense. But then I thought she's right If Santa was real there'd be gifts cause he would know where I was, if she doesn't care there's no such thing and my gifts are at 332 Orwood Place. I remember how bad I wanted that doll and how sad I was. I woke everyone up and we went downstairs to wake the smelly older boys, my brother included.

Holy Jesus and Happy Shamus!!! There were frigging gifts under that tree, a lot. My name was on some "AMIE", holy holy holy he is real. Santa is real. I opened the presents with everyone, there was paper everywhere, yelling and a fried something smelling so good. Then I opened it.... There she was Mandy! Yes Ann Marie there is a Santa! I called Tracy cause ya always call your BFF. Best Christmas ever, ever. I went back to school and told my stupid friends they were wrong Santa is real
and he hooked me up. They agreed Santa was totally awesome and real.

When I think of that Christmas I try so hard to think about how my family was reacting to me. I'm crying as I'm typing cause I see Linda nudging Maria. I see Lori smiling and brushing my hair. I can see my brother laughing with Tommy, Chucky and Dave I thought they were making fun of me. I see my Grandma rubbing my dads shoulders and my Uncle Chuck and Uncle Mike nodding their heads. My aunt Madeline's cooking with Aunt Carm nod their whispering and smiling. I see me playing with my Mandy completely oblivious to them but feeling so filled with love, magic and joy, the energy from them.

 I tell my kids this story and about how I felt and how awesome it was when they give me the Santa crap because that was all real and Santa is real. I stop the story there though to them. But my daddy and my 2 uncles got in their car and drove 2 hours in a snow storm that made history to Lyncourt then 2 hours back to get the gifts. They are the real Santas but the magic of what they did is what the holidays are about. My mother had been gone for 6 years but between the trial and the aftermath I'm sure the hurt was still raw. They just as much as me need the magic of Christmas. They need the warmth, laughter, love and joy. Isn't that what the holidays are about? Giving others and the feeling it gives you! Isn't it about love and life no matter how difficult your life is.

Maybe this story is exaggerated, maybe it only took an hour but I don't care the magic is there. I have some major tests coming up and a very intense surgery and I keep thinking of this time in my life, when my family needed happiness and joy and how they did just that by making the princess happy. And I am forever grateful, forever. As I shine my tiara for my MRI next week and look for new stilettos for the DIEP (need me some Jimmy Choo's) I will keep this memory in my heart. I know this is the season for magic, joy, and hope and I know that my family will be there to fill my house and life with just that!


Posted on November 24, 2013 by Ann marie Otis.

Posted on December 24, 2015 .

Dear Cancer

 Image from  I Had Cancer  check them

Image from I Had Cancer check them

Dear Cancer,

When you came rushing into my life I had no idea how long you would be here, I thought you were a one and done thing. I remember saying “I just want to cut it out and be done”. Well, the joke was on me, you played that well. Three years later I am still dealing with your dumb ass. Tomorrow I will have surgery to remove the painful, last 4 inches in scar you left behind that keep setting off the MRI, then off to radiation. You really enjoy making life hell. I wish I could say I am so done with you but I have realized something over these years, it is a lifelong thing this relationship.



Here is the kicker though-you still do not win. Yes, you stole my friends from this earth and I am disgusted by that for sure, it makes me want revenge and that is a big mistake on your part. What you do to those with metastatic cancer is inexcusable and the fear you set in for us that are now at 30% risk of it spreading is warped! But every time we live our life in spite of the pain we win, not you. When we go to the doctors and hear NED it is us that is victorious. I hear our metster friends with stable scans and see the winning in them not you not even for a moment. Every time we bond as friends because you came crashing in we are the winners not you. That is the biggest victory and one you can not ever take from us.


See you may think you are doing such a great job by giving us all the after effects but we overcome them by living our life anyway. Depression, weight gain, lymphedema, pain, neuropathy we get but we take it create a new normal just to stick it to you. I see my Stage 4 extended family going on trips and I laugh in your face. I see my friends at chemo smiling and singing and crack up at how you are trying to take them down but you can not. And when my friends are tired and crying we as a cancer family are there to hold them I think screw you cancer you can not win because we are united. Brave has many faces and it breathes in everyone of us in death, you are not brave but a coward with nothing to back you up.


No there is not a cure for you yet or a way to prevent your stupid ass from entering our body but we are making strides in banning together to get the word out that research not ribbons is the key. Now more than ever we have options at our disposal, like clinical trials, that help make treatment advancements possible. We are determined to show the world that cancer is not pretty all tied in a bow that you are an ugly beast with death in your path. Once they see that you are over! You did what you could but I see your fear almost as clear as our anxiety that you are coming. Cancer, understand this you can take all this from us and think you are winning but every time we laugh, smile, hold each other up, live our life and even cry through all this we WIN not you.


Sincerely and exhausted but living through every step

Ann Marie

I love PINK

The color you jack asses! Pink is a color that is all nothing more nothing less. It is not meant to cure shit or doing anything more than be a color that you either like or do not. Unfortunately breast cancer took the color and made it into a marketing game, a money making profit off our cancer. Yes, it did do not try to deny it. They took a simple color and made anything from pens to garbage cans to vibrators to KFC buckets. Then they took the pink shit and made it sexy cause breast cancer is so erotic. NOT!!  How does taking your bra off for breast cancer do anything for us who can not even wear one because it is too freaking painful!!!???

You take a month like "Pinktober" and you think great time to educate, tell stories, raise money for research and none of that happens. It is all pink ribbons and happy celebrations and selling a bunch of plastic crap. I know that is all the celebrations are fabulous and should not be ignored and not what I am suggesting. Here is a thought what about those awesome stories of those who were given 2 years to live and are going on 5 or how about the men who get breast cancer or maybe talk to someone who lost their job because of this freaking disease and listen to how they plan to get on their feet again! There is a whole culture that is being ignored just because they do not fit the pretty pink ribbon, I say we untie that and listen to their stories! Wouldn't be amazing if all cancers got together and entwined their stories, how powerful that would be?

I actually believe that we can use the pink ribbon to talk about all this but society has screwed it up so bad that we become too divided. We as a culture only want to see a smiling woman saying "I DID IT" I am cured she elludes while she is dressed in head to toe in my beautiful pink color. While the reality is that is probably has PTSD, scars she cries about, friends she has lost, fears that her cancer will come back (30% change it will FYI) and that she is changed because of cancer. The sexy ads are honestly for me the worse, it makes me so angry that I go crazy. That image puts a nasty pink vomit taste in many people's mouth, a sexy gorgeous women who clearly did not have breast cancer in a super sexy bra saying "do you do a self breast check". Take a minute and understand why that is so offensive. When you make this sexy or trivial in ads and promotions it makes the disease less serious in so many people's eyes therefore people can not heal the right way. We are struggling with the loss of our sexy and media is shoving breast cancer sex down our throats, what the fuck are they thinking?? AND research is not handled right as a result because they can not sell research as "sexy" or pretty pink ribbony crap, you dig?

Breast cancer is never not even for one single moment happy or pretty. It is scary as fuck, it scars you both physically and mentally for life. It takes your body and mutilates it so bad you your self esteem is altered so bad that affects even your desire for sex with the person who has loved and supported you through all this. Breast cancer takes your hormones and rips them out and demolishes you which in turn makes most so depressed they can not see straight. This all happens so fast you can not even put it to words until you are years out and by then your loved ones want you to "move on" yet you are still in doctor appointments, FOR LIFE. Explain how that can be tied in a perfect pink ribbon?

So, while I get that this month is supposed to raise awareness it is simply done wrong there is no denying it. If we could all find ways to get through this month and really open the chapters to NEW discussion what a month it would be. We all know about mammo, self breast checks right? But tell a dude about this maybe he does not know. Tell a story about someone with metastatic cancer and how she or he is LIVING through their DX. Talk about triple neg or inflammatory. Or maybe discuss one one the many points above and how you think we could change or help someone in the middle of this. The point is that the shit we are doing is not working right?! What are we racing for? I am so confused. But that is the next post trust me there is a story there. I am all for the sisterhood  the bonding is what we need to get through this and being proud of yourself. I am not for selling this disease to make a buck and there is a difference and there is harm if you do not watch it. I ask that before you buy anything think about it and maybe find another way to show support and love because most pink crap isn't cure shit right? Not everything goes to real research you have to know what you are buying. Unless it is a pink tiara then please do and send it my way!


Look I just want my freaking color back. I want to wear pink and not have someone say " oh do you support breast cancer?"


"Why Yes I donated two and so much more!"


15 randoms of yours truly

If I could remember who challenged me I would shout them out I think it was Uzma, but damn I can not remember and when I checked I could not find it. So shit does it matter?

1. I was a cheerleader until 10th grade

2. I have had 4 miscarriages 

3. I can talk in full sentences like I had a tracheotomy.

4. I have toes like Barney Rubble

5. I sucked my thumb until I was 12.

6. I can sing all the words to Lisa Lisa Cult Jam "I wonder if I take you home".

7. I have been in actual fist fights.

8. I do not lie, it is an legit curse.

9. I read people's auroras another curse.

10. I went to school for forensic psychology.  

11. I used to pretend my mom had amnesia  and forgot where her family was. It helped me cope.

12. I watched every single soap opera when I was in elementary school with my Grandmother, all channels. I now HATE them.

13. I love my family and am loyal to a fault.

14. I live will all boys but the toilet seat is DOWN. 

15.  I am not happy unless I start my Sunday with my family.

Posted on July 12, 2015 .

Stupid Dumb Breast cancer of the metastatic kind

Terminal -Stage IV is terminal. Sorry this is not going to be this pretty blog post about how early detection saves lives and mammograms are our salvation. I am not going to talk about celebrations and last chemos as great as they are. I am unfortunately going to talk about death because that is what stage IV or metastatic disease brings. We need to flip the cancer page that started on the early detection/mammo page, that was a great beginning but we need a new chapter. One that dives into a chapter that no one seems to want to discuss expect those who are dying or dead and those of us who are sick of losing our friends.  Back in the day we didn't discuss self breast care and now we do, kudos let's move the fuck on people are dying as in dead.

108 die every day from this disease. Yes you can die from breast cancer. No you can not die from it in your breast it is when it metastasis to other parts like organs and bones .  Here is a little fact just because your cancer is caught early does not mean your cancer can not spread later so it is important to know and understand this beast, right? Now do not stop reading cause you are all freaked out educate yourself people and advocate like you did for early detection. About 6% are DX metastatic right out the gate, imagine that? "Hi you have breast cancer and it is terminal. Have a great day".  I do not want to hear that is a small percent cause if that was you it would not matter that number would seem like a million percent. About 30% of us who have had breast cancer will become metastatic-yes you read that right and it is messed up. Here is the most messed up part, 2% of ALL the bullshit fund raising goes to metastatic research. What was that? Yes 30% are DX with stage IV yet we give 2% to research the freaking disease that is KILLING them.   I am not making this up. Check Metavivor 100% of their money goes to research.  We have made little advances in 40 years. you can try to argue that but the fact that a good friend dies in February then another in April tells me we are not doing enough not even close. What is so fucked up is that we do not give into metastatic research because people die. Yes that is part of the reason. "They" want a great result when researching and when you are going to have death that is not so good but if we do not start somewhere ho are we going to get to greatness? My sons took Seporah's death just as hard as I did and Anthony said "Don't they want to save her"? So I think that should be the question, don't they want to save people? Point blank! 

Here is my thought and trust I am not a scientist or a researcher. If we actually gave money to STOP people from dying and then researched why they developed it then maybe they can figure out how it spread. I am no rocket scientist but you can not research shit if people are dead! Here is another thing that frosts my balls- those with mets can not enter most trials because they are "too advanced". Well they would not be there if we would have been giving the funding to research the frigging disease! My beautiful sassy wise ass friend said when she was alive "research me I have stage IV cancer"- Seporah was right but now she is dead so we can not research her and understand why she became metastatic at 32. When my aunt became metastatic her daughters asked me "Amie (yes that is what my family calls me) what did we miss?" Nothing I told  them. My aunt had BC 15 years ago and her bones ached from tamoxifen and arthritis and from being 75. So no one was thinking mets but why weren't they? They should have went right to that. But that is the nature of this beast, she was DX on a Friday and 2 weeks later dead. I sat in her funeral and wondered is this my destiny? My dad was next me and I think was thinking the same. See if we do not do something NOW it actually is, maybe not mine but my friends and to me that is mine. When will we stop ignoring those with metastatic cancer and start listening to them since they are the ones dying?

I do not have mets so I do not know all that comes with this disease but I do know that those with it need our voice. And I know we have to listen to theirs. This is not about dividing cancer because I had Stage I and you had DCIS and she had Triple neg and he had Lobular and she is metastatic this is about getting together to stop the deaths.  We had an out break in the winter of the flu and people lost their shit, 26 children died from it which is gut wrenching. Yet every year more than 516,000 die from metastatic breast cancer and we keep  slapping on some  pink bull shit and saying it is early detection and saves lives. Does that makes sense? Not to me. And I  fucking love pink, but for NOT breast cancer you dumb asses. 

When Seporah died I did a few things-1. swore I would not say she lost her battle and I would punch people who did. It was not in a battle she was in life. She not lose anything she died because cancer took over her body. 2. I said I would use my big ass mouth and keep her blog "Cancer messed with the wrong bitch" going around because you never know who her words could help. 3. I would not stop telling people that cancer kills. That those with mets die, they deserve more than a head stone they need funding to stop the death otherwise we fail them. That cancer is never pretty no matter how cute you try to make it, that all those campaigns offend us and actually do more harm for the metastatic community. The negate and make cancer look easy and sexy two things cancer is not. Which in turn make it hard to raise the funding needed to research. 

Does being metastatic mean a death sentence  right away? I am not sure but I do know that we need to stop talking numbers, start showing research that is working and start seeing all the faces and hearing the stories of those LIVING with this disease. Ask them what they want to be done with their DX, after all it isn't all about me and my tiara. 



Burn Baby Burn

For Surgery number 7 or is it 8 who the hell knows I had no desire to go for the stiletto look.  Cancer can have $1 Old Navy flip flops that I gave to Meg after. Screw this bulshit. I went in with a full blow migraine, yes migraine into a quick operation on Tuesday June 16th . Doc asked if I wanted to try local anesthesia and not get knocked out, I asked him if he was "fucking crazy", please put me to sleep . The scars need to be cut out and I do not want to remember a thing. After the quickie in the OR if only it was a joy ride, I was literally rushed over to radiation, yes that day! The nurses were a little perplexed and frankly freaked to send me off but they went with it. 


Rads is weird, no really it is. The staff was amazing over the top to say the least. The idea is to kill all the tissue and any cells that are hanging out to zap the hell out of them before they have to grow.  Now please keep in mind that while I just came from OR I still have a migraine, am starving yet nausea  and now am waiting to be radiated so I was in no mood to joke. And guess who was with me?? TOM-the joke master extraordinaire. . Not a great day but Tom and I used it as a date night, hell there were no kids so why not. His humor got me through this crazy day. So they make the mold, set you up, then line it up and then they run like they are being chased out of the room-like literally run out of the room.  Which cracked me up because they are leaving me there half naked, breast half cut and they run. Radiation takes 2 minutes for me and I thought big deal that was easy! So I go back the next day with my BFF MC (I swear they all tried to get a free lunch out of me). Was in there for 2 minutes and left, this time sore and exhausted. Then my girlfriend Lisa took me, I was so tired and so sore starting to burn. Realizing this was not an easy ride, why didn't someone tell me?? Then Jess took me the next day I could barely move my arm, cording starting, burn in full effect, completely whipped out. And then I realized this is no freaking joke!

There it is and let me express that is nothing compared to what I have seen. NOTHING compared  to others but this is my story and in the words of Seporah "it is all about you". I have been using Lindz Cooling pads in the fridge they really help cool the burn.  My fab doc gave me some of that silvadene cream which is great.  A breastie sent me some amazing cream by Ava it smells delicious I wanna eat it and really seems to be calming my skin. As for the soreness and the ache, I will say it for the 100th time if you do not have a Comfort Pillow, get one! It not only is super awesome for those damn lymph nodes that come out it helps relieve some of the pain from cording and radiation so your arm does not rest on your side. 


I am off of treatment for a few weeks to heal and see what happens. Path came back clear so this is the right course for me. Next will be my abdominal  scar. Do you know how far that bastard goes?? Almost from butt cheek to butt cheek! No joke. I am worried about that- the healing and the radiation. We as a society treat rads as the "easy treatment". Who the hell decided that? We go every day and have radiation into us?? This is the definition of radiation per google -the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization. Does that sound good? NO it does not. So why do we not treat patients like they are not in treatment? I have heard doctors say it is no more than a bad sunburn. UMMM really??? Here is a fact sunburns increase your change of skin cancer you douchebags. Stop treating us like we are stupid and that we do not understand what you are doing to our bodies this is not a joke to us and we need to stop taking it lightly. 

After radiation treatment you must, lotion up, hydrate, and rest. let your body heal after being burned and having electromagnetic waves flow through it. This is not a walk through the park people you go every day, bring a friend and have a milk shake after. However do not wear your tiara it could set the machine off and that would not be good for anyone. 



I was going to write this sappy post about my dad and how much I love him and how he was better than your dad but then I thought about my husband. He is a pretty freaking awesome  dad which made me think about my brother this other fantabulous dad. So I changed gears. It did however all start with my sappy dad.


My dad is a big freaking sap, like huge. I mean the man can cry at a soccer game and shit do not bring him to Matt's meets it is water work central. He loves with his whole heart the whole thing. He says things right from it too, sometimes they come out all screwed up but you have to know that it comes from this place of true unconditional love. I mean my siblings have really fucked up and he still loves them with this undying love. They can not be as perfect as me and he understands that he loves them  for them and me for my perfectness. The man it the epitome of a grandfather, to the point I almost feel bad for other grand parents. He is known around town simply as "PA" do not call him anything else. I remember once my girlfriend;s daughter said "I want pa to my grandpa" and I thought "me too" but that is the thing he treats all the grand kid's friends like his grandchild. Pretty freaking cool. But frankly it is his love that gets him there. And the love they have back-just ask the crew and they will tell you what their pa means to them. All of them will drop whatever they are doing to help him because they love him so much. He taught them that! A world without him would be blank.


He taught his son Al -football, golf and how to do his taxes, BLAHAHAHAHAH that  such a joke. My dad did none of that. All he did, simply and easily was love him unconditionally which helped because he was a screw up. KIDDING great guy but let's face it be a great dad you need a great role model my brother had that in my father. Al loves his kids Matt and Jess with so much passion it is beautiful just like her was loved.  His pride in them is clear not in is Facebook posts but in his eyes, just look. Matt is perfectly brilliant and crazy fast runner yeah we know but even if he was not any of that his father would think he was all that and more. Jess is his princess in every sense of the word. She is on a high pedestal that Al put her there with the love he has and holds her up. Not because she is smart, beautiful and sassy (she is but that is not why) but for the mere fact he is proud of her as a human because he is her dad. These kids are goofy, dipshits, who make mistakes but none of that matters when Al sees them. All he sees is his kids! He loves them and acts on that love straight from his heart.


I married this man who was pretty super duper, best catch I could get. He makes me happy for the most part hey he still leaves the toilet seat up. Stands by me, tries to not freak on me when I go crazy, cracks stupid jokes at inappropriate times and supports me through all the bad times. That equals great catch! Then I had a baby (well he helped). He  added the sperm and I did the rest that is just a fact. But the look on his face when all four monsters I mean boys, were born. Was amazing! SHHHH he cried -because he fell in love all over again. He loves these rotten, brats so much that he tosses and turns at nights worrying about them, he loves them so much he carts them all over town to their sports crap he loves them so much he still lays with them to read a book at night. Yes he screams at them there are four and they are annoying but the love never changes and the things Tom does for these children is straight from his heart. Believe me when he does not want to do it he does not but for the boys he does.  All the frogging, hikes, bird watching, football games, soccer matches, lego building when he could have been playing guitar or brewing brew was because he loves them so much.



When I think about these three freaking awesome dads in my life I am blown away. They stand by me during every step pf cancer and hold my hand telling me they are scared but will be strong for me because I am strong. Funny thing is they are who make me strong! I love these men so much. This is who my kids and the kids in my family have as their role models. Girls, this is who you should marry-men who treat your children with pure, gentle, fun, tough love because at the end of the night they love you that much too. Boys, this is who you should grow up to be strong men who love their family enough to know when to put a tutu on and paint your nails or to run a track course or hit the lake for fishing or to read a book or to just be with the one you love. Anyway you look at it is from your heart. My dad, brother and husband are strong, smart men who love with passion and are filled with emotions that every father should show their kids but most do not because they are not man enough. I am so lucky!


Moral of the story we have a freaking awesomely annoying as hell family that is filled with LOVE and you are jealous I know. Thank you to my dad for being your king and showing us this unconditional love. To my brother for always being such a caring loving father my boys need you as a role model. And thanks to my husband. Because even in this house of chaos and cancer you find time to nurture and love our boys while keeping my tiara on straight.  

Posted on June 21, 2015 .

15 years ago

I am floored that my son Benjamin who was once in an incubator because he was premature is 15 years old today. Through the years he as grown from this kelp loving, scuba diving, bug catching,  fire fighting enthusiast into a young adult. It is funny what you picture for your child when they are younger and what they end up being. I never thought Ben was a talk back kid but he does and I try as hard as I can to not smack him. I thought he would hand in all his homework but damn the fool forgets to hand in shit all the time.  I pictured him as the big brother that his siblings would go to for advice instead he picks on them and drives them crazy.  I visioned a smart  boy instead I have a know it all who has to be right. All the opposites I thought I would have I still love no matter how annoying. I was never that mom that would rant on and on about how fab their kid is I usually talk about their mistakes. From those they learn and I have watched Ben evolve this last 2 years from mistakes he made and choices from them with pride. 

He still runs to his grandfather's arms to hug him. Is in bed at 8pm and truly stays out of trouble.Ben tells me stuff annoyingly and acts like I am such a pain in the ass mom, but secretly he loves talking to me I am not making this up it is a fact. He wants to go to lunch and asks my fashion input.   Ben still gets lost in  book  and loves to draw which he is very talented at. As much as he drives his brothers nuts he worries about them and where they are. He comes to me for advice, does not always take it but talks it out with me. Let the truth be told sooner or later he does it my way!

And he runs, FAST. Against kids bigger, longer and  taller than him. But do they have the drive? There are few things that make me cry for each of my kids and watching Ben run is one because he does it with passion which brings me to tears.  He took on to running naturally but with a drive to excel to be better than he was yesterday. He is a phenomenal runner but I will only let him hear me yell "COME ON BEN PUSH IT" push it real good lol. I know when he hears that two things happen- he gets the drive to push just a little more for me and he is so annoyed that I think he is not pushing hard enough he drives him harder. 

Did I ever think he would be who he is? No I did not. I still picture my fire fighter but I would not be more honored to call this ridiculously amazingly nugget of a kid my son. I love you Beano with your faults, your perfections and your future. I will always be there yelling, pushing and cheering you on. Get good grades and keep running really really fast so you can go to college just far enough away from  me that I can come and hug your crazy stupid butt every now and then. I know you need it as much as I do!

Posted on June 4, 2015 .

One Lump a plenty

I hate dates they are dumb reminders of shit that stress us out. Seriously think about-anniversary, birthdays, secretary day if you forget people get all offended you forgot. Then you have days that people die who the hell wants to remember that! Then when you get "the cancers" you get a whole boat load of dates. The day you found it, the day they told you, your surgery, treatment dates, when you are deemed cancer free OY too much. The only date that sits with me is the day I found that lumpy bastard. See I have lumpy breasts and this was "normal" to find a lump but this one was different and I knew it. my world changed that day.

Right before that dreaded lump discovery I had pulled myself up from 2 years of severe depression. I am talking BAD. I was just seeing the light shining and feeling good and this lump appeared with black nasty oozing out of it. Or did the depression bring that tumor on, hmmmmm oh that is another blog post let's stay on the topic. When you find that lump that is so different than all the others you can feel your world change, a shift in the atmosphere. At fist Tom thought and said "oh AM here you go" then he felt it and said "FUCK", his world shifted too.

That day became the what if's and the can in it be's. The is this happening to me and how did I get here. The it could be nothing and the I know it is cancer. The don't Google and the WebMD searches. The day I looked at women who had breast cancer with even more pride and with those who were bitching about their fucking manicures like assholes. The day I hugged my kids tight even though they were loud and driving me crazy. That day I knew I was going to be ok but I was so scared I was not going to be. How can one day change everything so quickly?

One lump is all it takes to scare you, to change everything and make you look at everything in a different way. Whether that lump turns out to be benign or filled with the cancer beast it smacks the shit out and will make you reflect. DCIS, inflammatory Triple negative, IDC, metastatic, lobular, male breast cancer all need to be addressed and acknowledge not pitted against each other like a boxing match. We all have our own challenges in life and no one can ever for a second understand how someone else's DX effect them. That one lump or non-lump changes how we look at the world it should not be how we look at cancer. 

Today is my lump day and I will spend it getting my yearly MRI, ugh. I hate scans not because I worry they will come back bad but the process is very hard on my body now. Everything from the injection to the scan to how I respond after.  Try getting a line in an arm with cording or one with lymphedema. Listening to the DING DIGN GRRRRRRRR BLGGGGGGTTTTTTTTTTTT while you suffer from tinnitus is pure joy! My body is not what it used to be that is for sure. Cancer attacked me and it started with that fucking lump!

 Yearly MRI 2013

Yearly MRI 2013