Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finally Facing The Facts

As most of my readers know I have metastatic cancer but I'm sure you also know that I've tried very hard to keep that part of my life off this blog. It seems as soon as I told my readers about this part of me I did them and myself the disservice of pretending that it's no big deal and then proceeded to joke my way through the last few years. I now realize that by doing this I'm not facing it but instead pretending it's not there. By making sure most of my medical posts are on Cancer Is The "Easy" Part..., I have been able to make Life With Heathens the place where I am normal and just like everybody else. If I could delegate the cancer and MEN2a to my medical blog then I could pretend it's not there right?

This year though it has gotten harder for me to seperate the two because at times life really is all about the cancer and health issues whether I want it to be or not. So instead of trusting you guys (and myself) to be able to take the whole package I've just not been posting much. For that I apologize to all of us.

There is a mama named Lisa at Clusterfook who is fighting her third battle with cancer. She is facing this newest trial with such grace and she is so inspiring to others of us who are living with cancer. Even faced with the knowledge that the odds are against her this time to beat it, she is fighting with everything she has. This lady and others like her have unknowingly given me a great gift.

That gift is accepting that the cancer and disorder are a part of me, a part that is going to be with me until I die. I've never felt sorry for myself and even when I was diagnosed I really didn't cry much at all. When my oldest two children were diagnosed with MEN2a and cancer then you better believe I cried. It sucked so bad and was so unfair. All the diagnosis' hit us so quickly that all I could think in the midst of it was "What the fuck"!

From now on I will be posting about ALL parts of my life except one and that is my children. I don't mind blogging about them occasionally but I will never be one of those bloggers who talks about their kid's shit or how cute they look wearing mommy's bra on their head. So blogging about my kids will continue the same as it always has. What will change is that I will share the "sick girl" part of my life with you more and not relegate it just to a medical blog.

I have nothing to be ashamed of and shouldn't be hiding from my cancer. I shouldn't feel like I have to be funny all the time so people who read this blog won't get bummed out. I can still be my usual sarcastic funny self but it's okay to also admit that sometimes I'm not doing so hot. As someone said earlier, I'm part of an exclusive club. I didn't ask to join it and I will never be happy to see new members come in but I'm proud of the person I've become in the last three years since I was diagnosed. I'm stronger, smarter, a better person, a better mother, and more alive than I've ever been.

So on a brighter note, I have been able to do a little blogsurfing lately and I'd like to share some of these amazing people with you. Most of them probably have no clue I even exist but I know they are out there and that I'm really not the only mom/person dealing with cancer. I hope you will read their blogs and maybe leave them an encouraging comment. Some are new finds while others have been in my blogroll both here and at CITEP.

Weebles Wobble But They Don't Fall Down (this woman's HUSBAND also has cancer! Amazing!)


Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Whoa. I'm new here and didn't know.

Crazy? And the kid? Crazy?

Plus. Are you making fun of my kid posts with bras?? Not really, but I think I'd have to post it if I caught that one on camera?

God Bless. Nice to 'meet' you.

Angie Lee said...

Welcome back, love. I missed you much.

Meg_L said...

Hey girl,

Good to see you.

Homemom3 said...

I'm so glad you'll be letting us in. We are all friends here and we should all share our feelings. Glad to see you'll be on more. (btw- I'm on yahoomessenger now)

Killlashandra said...

Yeah for blog surfing. :) I've been doing a bit of that too with the bloggy carnival thing going on this week. You know giveaway is up to 123 comments! That's a record for me. Funny I haven't seen you over there. But then I planned to make you something anyway, whenever that thing called time happens to stop and stand still for me.

Write about what you want to write about. I'll always read it. And I'll have to cross my fingers to get lucky with one of those bra shots. LMAO

Anonymous said...

((((Jo)))) I am glad you're back.

Never That Easy said...

If it's a part of you, then you get to decide how much of it to share. I'm glad you'll be sharing more of yourself here, and I think you should be proud of what you're able to say.

Anonymous said...

Giving you a standing ovation from DC on all counts-- especially the part about not whoring out your kids. YOU GO GIRL!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm Susan. I also go by WhyMommy (because those are the words I love to hear from my toddlers) at Toddler Planet. I've just completed a year of treatment for cancer, and blogged about it, and I want to tell you that although we've just met, I am SO PROUD of you for this. It takes guts to reintegrate our lives after cancer, and I'm impressed.

Nice to meet you!

Norm Deplume said...

Love you, Jo. I so wish I lived closer.

John said...

Jo, thanks for commenting for my giveaway!

Good luck to you... and not just for the giveaways.

Summer said...

Hun, we love you and certainly don't expect you to be funny and witty all the time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story. You go girl!

Jeanne said...

Hi Heathen Mom--I just found your blog because you linked to mine, The Assertive Cancer Patient (

Thanks for that, and also for this post. I've been living with cancer and raising my kids for 10 years now. Don't know if I have any secrets to share, but I do like talking about these issues, as you probably gathered from my blog.

Every once in awhile, I also ask my closest blogger friends to write about the same topic at the same time--would you be interested in joining us for one of these?

Here's a sample:

Cancer Bloggers Join Forces Again: Health and Happiness


PS Leaving tomorrow for a week at the beach, no phone, no e-mail, so if you e-mail me and don't hear back right away, that's why. J

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed stage III in April 2006 and spent what seems like forever in treatment. Keep up the good fight, we're cheering for you out here.

Anonymous said...

I'm cheering you on and applauding your decision.

And I have always respected you for not writing a lot about your kids. I feel the same way, and even though with six I'd have loads of material, I just can't seem to do the mommy blogger thing.

Love you and miss you!

P.S. new url: (coming back for another round LOL)

Nessa said...

So sorry to hear this......I just found out that i don't have it and i've been ecstatic. Personally I think the way you have been dealing with it wasn't necessarily bad. Maybe you hid the sick part here but you didn't let the healthy side go completely away either. I'm glad you are opening up, but I sincerely hope that the cancer never defines who you are as a person, a blogger, or a writer. I know.easier said that done right?
While I was freaking out on the inside waiting to find out if i had cancer or not, I really tried not to say much of anything about it unless i needed to. That is all that kept me sane. But i know that it's different for everyone.
You and yours are certainly in my prayers and I genuinely hope that your new resolve to share more about your life helps to inspire others as you feel they've inspired you. Somehow i think you definitely will.

Anonymous said...

Damn. I was hoping to see a photo of your son with a bra on his head. You're such a wet nurse, Jo...

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am new to your blog and I was sucked in by your story.

Honey, I will pray for you tonight.

That was a beautiful post. I think it might be cathartic for you to not hide that part from all your readers.

Keep fighting!


Prison Teacher said...

Hey Jo, You know we are all here for you. You even got those crazy Mormons out in VA who care and pray for you!Don't worry about always being funny. We care about getting updates on how you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. Sometimes it's easier to blog to forget about things. I think a lot of us are guilty of that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've already seen it, but Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer site is really upbeat and inspirational:

Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

this is so great you are sharing with us. I know it takes guts. You should be more than proud of yourself.