Friday, January 15

19 years

Nineteen years ago, Noah's mom suffered from Stage 4 breast cancer. Noah was 8. She beat it.

Since Noah and I began dating and I learned about his mom's medical history, the breast cancer research cause has been all the more meaningful to me. We do walks in honor of her strength and in hopes that others won't have to undergo sickening chemo, damaging radiation therapy, upsetting hair loss, painful reconstruction. Still, my mother-in-law is a survivor. Her cancer story is old, faded, about as un-intrusive to our daily life as a long-ago childhood case of chicken pox.

On Monday, Noah's mom was diagnosed with cancer. We don't know the details, but we're hopeful. We're shocked.

This whole thing feels wrong, suddenly casting our life at weird angles, causing us to bump into the sharp edges of emotions and scenarios that weren't there just a few days ago. She spoke matter-of-factly about what's going to happen; she already has an appointment to get her hair cut short in anticipation of losing it altogether.

Three years ago, my uncle passed away from cancer. Losing him was devastating to the family, but he lived in England with my aunt and cousin. It was they who were with him every painful day, who witnessed his life draw to a premature close. It is my aunt and cousin who feel his ever-present absence. Until now, I never experienced the oddness, the absurdity, that cancer injects into a family dynamic.

While we wait to learn more, I'm focusing on being thankful. Over at the Secret Society of List Addicts, I wrote a few things about my mother-in-law that I love. Go check it out. She's awesome.

19 comments:

Sterly said...

I'm sorry to hear of this news. As you know, I am all too familiar. Please let me know if you all need anything or just need someone to talk to. You are in our thoughts.

Slamdunk said...

My prayers are with you. My mom fought her battle with cancer a dozen years ago.

neon panda said...

Im so sad for you guys. But I'm relly glad that you are keeping strong. Its so so important.

Costume Diva said...

I am so saddened to hear the news. My heart goes out to you all. I was just a kid when I last saw Mrs. Etheridge, but I have a very special place in my heart for her. Please send her my love.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

I am so sorry that you all have this terrible news to deal with. She sounds like a wonderful lady...I stopped by to read your list. She sounds so fun and interesting and that is a great combo. Keep the positive attitudes and I will say many prayers.

Anonymous said...

Erin, Noah, Debbie & Richard... so sorry to hear this news. The family & friends that we hear have been affected by this terrible disease is unbelievable. Our thoughts are with all of you, please give our love to Debbie. Sue & Maurice x

May @ Anne and May said...

I lost my grandmother to cancer when I was 16. My mom went to Texas to live with her in the hospital while she slowly got weaker and weaker.

It was easily the hardest 6 months of my life.

My thoughts and prayers are with you guys. Here's hoping she beats this thing once again. She's tough!

Kate House said...

I'm thinking of Noah's mom and all of you. We've had cancer in the family--and we've had years of remission, thankfully. There is a lot of hope to be had.

Sal said...

Oh hon. I'll be thinking of you both ... and Noah's mom, of course.

Damsel Underdressed said...

Erin and Noah, I am so sorry to hear this. Is it breast cancer again or another kind? I run the Race for the Cure every year and will keep your mother-in-law in my thoughts and prayers now and during that run in the spring.

Maggie May said...

I am so sorry. F the C word. Just F it.

The Bug said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'll keep her in my prayers.

thewarriorpoets said...

Thinking of you guys. I know words are weak in these moments, but still.

jenloveskev said...

I am so sorry to hear that. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

mrs. fuzz said...

Dangit! I hope for a 2nd against the odds outcome. I loved reading your list. Thinking of you guys.

Dawn said...

I'm sorry to hear the diagnosis, but hopeful that she is so courageous as to face this head-on.

I know that tomorrow, as I meet up with 60+ other women for the hooping practice, a lot of good juju, prayers, and love will be heading her way.

Ben and I will also keep your family in our prayers, because it's not just the diagnosed individual that is affected by the disease. Please, never hesitate to ask if there's anything that can be done to ease/lessen(?) the adverse feelings you are all experiencing.

Melanie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mil. We have lost my husband's father to cancer and my dad has suffered from stomach cancer and had surgery in 2002. They didn't give him but 2 years at the most and he is turning 71 yrs. old next month. We feel as though the Lord healed him. He has aged but he is doing well. I will be praying for your family and your mil.

Bethany AKA Mother of the Munchkins said...

I'm so sorry, Erin. It sucks, it truly, truly sucks and is so unfair. What Maggie above said times a thousand! I'll definitely keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Krista said...

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news. On December 11th, we lost my grandfather to brain cancer. He only lived a week and a half from diagnosis. It was so sudden and painful and it still doesn't feel like he's gone. And as we speak, I'm watching another person I love fight for her life. She has stage 4 lung cancer. I truly know how you feel right now and your family is in my thoughts.

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