When the Other Shoe Finally Drops

New to my blog? Here’s the background on today’s post: http://wp.me/p1ADsf-60

Blessed are You, Adonai Our God, Sovereign of Time and Space, who fashions humanity with wisdom, creating within us many openings and cavities. When our openings do not open, when our bodies are blocked, it is impossible to survive and continue to live as a blessing to You. Blessed are You Adonai, Sovereign Healer, who has given us bodies which function, and who creates wonders and miracles.*

“Relieved,” I answer. More than anything, I am relieved. My response is greeted with skepticism, but it’s true. I know it’s probably not what I am “supposed” to feel…and it sure as hell isn’t what anyone else is feeling, but I am. Only those closest to me and those who have been there don’t respond with shock or puzzlement. I’ve been waiting, and I’ve known it has been coming. It has been a very long two years.

I have a remarkably wise therapist. When I saw him nearly ten years ago, at the time of my first diagnosis, I couldn’t stop the voices in my head. There I sat. 35 years old. Mother of a three-year old. Breast cancer patient.

“The only thing that has changed is your awareness,” he told me.

I had to sit with that. And damn if he wasn’t right. There are so many gifts that come with awareness…

I can fight, if I am aware.

I can use my time wisely, if I’m aware.

I can treat my loved ones gently, if I’m aware.

I can treasure the sunsets, if I’m aware.

I can laugh my way through this, if I’m aware.

The list, of course, is endless. And with the other choice being fear, I’ll take awareness. It holds the beauty of a double-edged sword, sharp in focus and gleaming with stunning danger. I embrace it yet tread lightly…

It’s back, and it’s in my bones. But cancer has chosen to fuck with the wrong girl. I will fight this with all that I am, and for some reason that I cannot explain, it does not scare me; I shall not so much as tremble.

I ache, however.

I ache for our friends; we are in the prime of our lives, with the growing pains behind us and kids who will some day soon go to college. We weren’t supposed to nurse our friends quite yet…

I ache for my parents. The laws of nature dictate that parents not have sick children. No parent should ever watch a child do this; the helplessness is inconceivable. I can’t bear to imagine…

I ache for my husband. He could not be more adoring or devoted, and I sense that he will seek to shore up. Now He cannot so much as suffer a cold. He must stay well, he must work and provide. He will seek immortality so that I can be mortal…

I ache for my son. My son, whose first comment was “I’m going to have to know it this time.” My son, who can’t possibly deserve what he must now face. My son, who is already wise beyond his years. My son, who keeps asking “why?” My son, for whom I have no answers….

And with all that, my glass is still half full. There are many blessings in this. It is early, slow-moving, and can be treated with a host of therapies. It is only in my bone, and I have no pain. My PET and bone scans are still NED (no evidence of disease). Treatments have already begun, and considering the possibilities, they are quite tolerable. In fact, no one else would even notice.

So much of this path is familiar. We have been here before, and as we have before we will get through it again together. I know that this will now walk with me through the rest of my life, and I am banking on that being a very long time. Cancer has chosen to fuck with the wrong girl…

*An interpretive translation of the traditional Hebrew blessing “Asher Yatzar”

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elynjacobs
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 06:28:08

    You are right Lori, wrong girl. You are amazing and I am sure you will make f-ing-c a most unwelcome guest. Yeah for the small good news, hugs for the bad and will be thinking of you through out. It is beyond me how you can write such a powerful and incredible post at this time. Just further proof that you are a survivor. It may put up a fierce battle, but you are a worthy opponent, one it will be sorry to have dealt with.


  2. DebbieWWGN
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 07:18:11

    I am so touched by your post. Your focus on your blessings is amazingly positive and uplifting, despite the bad news. I will be thinking of you and your loved ones and sending you hugs and support.


  3. Jo Ann Leeds
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 08:47:07

    You continue to amaze me at how eloquent and powerful your words and YOU are! xox


  4. AnneMarie
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 10:54:40

    Simply stated, I send support and I send love from beyond the computer and into your home.



  5. Erica
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 12:41:44

    Your posts hit right to my heart every time I read them. When you say “relieved” I know exactly what you’re talking about, even though I haven’t had a recurrence. I feel constantly like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, for that post-scan phone call to come. I know the statistics, DX at 30 but found my lump at 28…I have a lot of years left to live. I’m praying for just that for both of us-a lot of years left to live. God Bless you.


  6. toby
    Sep 22, 2011 @ 14:30:22

    One foot in front of another…. one day at a time….don’t forget to ask for help…more important take help when it is offered. Remember the word is “living “with cancer.


  7. Marcia Fishman-Petersen
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 13:22:58

    “Eil na r’fa na la!”



  8. Lori
    Sep 24, 2011 @ 08:40:09

    Thank you ALL for your love, support and blessing (Marcia…one of the most eloquent and poignant blessings I know, and always close to my heart!). Whether in-person or online, it truly means so very much! XOXOX


  9. Pink Ribbon Blues
    Sep 24, 2011 @ 14:36:29

    Sitting here with you, Lori. I really didn’t want to read about that damned shoe. The awareness principle, and that aching in the midst of it, really rings true to me. Thoughts and energy are with you. – Gayle


  10. Sandy Marx (@smsavta)
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 08:24:41

    I have feared the shoe for so long…I ache…and I’m here.


  11. Jill Lasker
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 11:58:15


    My thoughts are with you and if anyone has the strength and courage to beat it, that would be you!
    Jill Lasker


Please join the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: