Monday, June 18, 2012


Man, I re-read my post from last night, and boy, do I sound like a whiny, complaining baby. 

I’m not sure why the past few days have given me such a time, especially when we really had a very nice weekend and did lots of enjoyable things—nice bike ride with the team on Saturday, trip to Mapleview Farms Country Store for ice cream on Saturday afternoon, mini-date night with Ed on Saturday night in the form of the late showing of “Rock of Ages” where I laughed my ass off, gorgeous Father’s Day brunch sitting outside on the patio of a restaurant, music on the lawn of Weaver Street Market afterwards—it was a wonderful weekend full of the things I love best. 

So I read what I wrote last night and think, “What the hell was THAT?” Because at the end of such a weekend, I want to feel grateful, happy to be alive, fortunate to have a curable cancer and to be tolerating the treatments so well that I can actually train for a triathlon. A key reason I began this blog was to stave off becoming a jaded and cynical person after one of the world’s worst things happened to me. I began this blog to honor my daughter’s life, and I don’t do a very good job of it when I whine in the face of a glorious weekend that many, many people, cancer patients or not, would do anything to experience.

So let’s have a do-over here. One Good Thing about going bald is that it will take ten fewer minutes to get ready in the morning. One Good Thing about my hair falling out is that by shaving my own head, I can maybe have a purple mohawk for about a minute (or maybe a day). One Good Thing about feeling a little winded when walking the dog is that it makes me slow down a bit and appreciate all the beautiful things that surround us on our walks. One Good Thing about having to endure PET scans and other scans off and on for the rest of my life is that there’s always an incredibly good chance that they will be absolutely clear. And One Good Thing about having these bad days sometimes is that I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be surrounded by love, light, and strength in the form of so many people, both known and unknown to be, who are helping me carry this.  Thank you all for the words of support and encouragement after my post last night.  

Part of today’s turnaround came from reading about another blogger (apparently a famous one?) who has been through a very awful and rare form of cancer. She lost her uterus, had several other emergency surgeries, and endured a treatment which sounds WAY worse than what I am going through. She wrote this at the beginning of her cancer journey:  

“I’ve never asked “why me”….instead I’ll be glad it’s me. My mother said she wishes she could carry the cancer for me……that’s how I feel…..I’m glad I can carry it. It could be my child or my husband or another family member or friend. I’m tough. It will take a lot for it to bring me down.”

I won’t lie. I have asked, “Why me?” Not because of the cancer by itself, but Hudson’s death and the cancer together. I have asked. I wish I could say I haven’t, but I have. Not that I would want anyone else to carry it, but it’s hard not to wonder why we have to carry both, and so close together. But I don’t want to think that way. I know there’s no reason. In the same way that I know I have no control over any of this, I know that there’s no reason it’s me. It could be anyone. It could be someone else that I love. So I’m going to have to go with Ashley and be glad it’s me. Because as I have learned over the past two years, I am pretty damned tough, too. While I have confidence that most everyone could carry all of this if forced to (because like me, you would be totally amazed at what you can do when you have no choice), I am glad that most of you don’t have to. 

Yet another One Good Thing for today. 



  1. Mandy, I'd be concerned if you weren't "whining" or scared or questioning. I'd think you were delusional. You are not a whiner. You are a woman of action - see, e.g., TRIATHLON TRAINING DURING CHEMO, you badass. Cancer sucks. Whine sometimes. It's OK. That's why this space is here, why your friends are here, for the ups and downs of this roller coaster. Also, don't underestimate the effect some of the drugs may be having on your moods. When my mom had breast cancer back in the '80's, when the drugs were even more toxic, man, she was not herself. We all know you're stong - it's OK to need to be held up sometimes.

  2. STRONG, that is. Gah, typos! ;-)

  3. Keep laughing your ass off, honey - I think you have a great strength there!!!
    love, rebecca

  4. Oh Mandy. You're beautiful. I'll bet you look beautiful with a purple mohawk. Or bald. You didn't sound whining or complaining. Some of this . . .well, I don't know, what would I know . . . but it's no rock and roll fun. Some bits of life just suck, no two ways about it. And I hope you know that you can 'talk' about them here.

    My dear. I also question why both of these things should happen and so close together in time. Why you should have to lose Hudson and fight cancer. I can scarcely believe that it COULD happen.

    I think you do an amazing job of honoring Hudson's life, you have certainly encouraged me to look for the good. I always think of you and Hudson when I hear the Elizabeth Mitchell song 'I'm So Glad I'm Here' and it makes me smile to remember your beautiful daughter and how much you love her.

  5. It's funny. I didn't take your post last night as 'whiny'. I took it as being real, and honest, and as always, I thought about how you are so gracious in the face of all of this.


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  7. Mandy if you feel like whiny who cares. This is a really crappy thing that is happening to you. You do what you have to do and let it out. At the end it might just help you.. Because you said it best. Cancer sucks and screw cancer.

  8. Mandy -- I don't comment often but I am reading and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers -- You didn't sound whiny. I think you sounded perfectly appropriate. (((hugs))) Jackson is gorgeous! Mariann

  9. You are not whiny. You are human.

    ...and, yet, we STILL love you!