I Don’t Know How She Does It

There have been a lot of comments about the similarities between the main character in the book and movie about the working Mom who does it all … and I have to admit I have been doing a lot. Between the hot pink hair dye party, speaking at a Komen event, hosting a party for 21 kids, making sure to please my children on their 6th birthday and prepping for Halloween, it’s been a busy two weeks.

But that’s not why I haven’t written.

I am scared to face a reality. My breast cancer could come back at any time. In any place.

Why on earth would I be worried about this in the middle of all this fun chaos? The lovely woman, Courtney, who wore my art bra last year (Hooter for those of you keeping track) to the event … who just got married … who is 33 and exercises like crazy and eats paleo and everything … found out her cancer is back last week.

And, for those of you who don’t know, when you have a bilateral mastectomy, breast cancer can come back – that’s why they don’t use the term remission – because it never really is ever totally gone. At five years they start breathing a sigh of relief – Courtney was a year 2.

And, when it comes back, it comes back in another part of your body – because, yes, you have no more breast tissue really so instead it comes back in your bones and liver and brain. Courtney now has breast cancer tumors in her liver.

And, when breast cancer comes back in another part of your body – because where else could it at this point, right? – it’s Stage 4. relative survival rate of 20% for 5-years. In and out of chemo, just trying to hold it off as long as possible.

Everyone thinks I’m brave, and yes, I had courage to fight something every day but I knew that it would work.

I am in pain right now – physically and emotionally for Courtney. I am scared for myself and my other survivor friends. I know I can’t dwell on it every day, but it is there in the shadows, and with Courtney’s diagnosis, I find myself thinking about it at least 5 times every day. at least.

When my mind wanders, it’s there. SO I don’t let my mind wander, I make pirate themed art bras for Davis to wear in front of total strangers. I host the soccer team end of year party with two hours notice, I pitch in to help with the Doss Chinese Immersion Advisory Council.

Even tomorrow, when I will fly to California to celebrate my Mom’s 70th birthday, I download three movies and two books because if there’s too much quiet time, I will slowly go mad. Or sad.

This last day of Pinktober, and Halloween, I don’t mean to scare you. I just mean to share – there are bigger things to fight. There are real things to be scared of, and there are also real heroes.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “I Don’t Know How She Does It

  1. Lauren, your thoughts and worries are “normal,” not abnormal. If you weren’t concerned about recurrence you wouldn’t be living in the real world. However, there is a big difference between worry and fixation and I admire that you are working hard to avoid the latter through keeping your mind busy. That’s all you can do. Have a safe trip. Rich

  2. You are definitely one of the heroes!!! I applaud you for taking the steps you take to help yourself and others…

    My son was a preemie, born with a patent ductus heart murmur, After a year, it was surgically repaired. When he was 10, we went to get everything checked, and when the technician took so long checking everything, and would not say a word to me, except, “I’ll go get the Dr.”…I began to have the, “Oh,no we’re not going to go through this again are we???” thoughts in my head!!

    I prayed so hard, “Lord, I don’t want to go through all this again…I will if You say I must, but please, Lord, let this child be ok!!” The Dr. walked in and said, “Well, everyhting looks just great!” Miracles still happen! Amen! I’ll be praying for yours…and for Courtney’s!

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