Keeping on….

This morning has been tough.  Really tough.  Sweet new friend Kim the Midwife asked a question the other day on her blog:

“What does WhyMommy think of now in those moments when she’s not strong? What is normal in her house? I swallow hard now and hold a future for her in my swelling heart.”

It’s a funny question, this.  I’ve only known that I have beast cancer for six days.  It’s been a whirlwind of tests and plans and staying strong and positive, so I haven’t really had any time to think about it.  Which is good. 

You all have really helped me with your stories of survivors and fighters and positive thoughts.  And the Team WhyMommy bling that you’re displaying on your blogs.  You’re all too wonderful.  This is keeping me going.  This is keeping me positive.

But in the dark moments….

I hurt.  They say that beast cancer doesn’t hurt.  In fact, it isn’t painful at all compared to what I went through last year with a difficult pregnancy and 7 months of bed rest.  But there are insistent little shooting pains, and aches all over as my body corrals its strength to fight off this intruder.  Today my neck is stiff, and I’m weak in my right arm, shoulder to fingertips.  My breast is really bothering me. It’s hot.  And red.  And angry.  And frankly, I’m a bit angry at it too.  It’s just WRONG to have to carry around the thing that’s trying to kill you.  It really is. 

I worry.  I don’t want to leave my little boys mommyless.  No one can mommy them like me.  And I don’t want to talk about it (because it’s NOT going to happen), but it still nags me in the back of my mind.  They’re too young to even remember me, should the worst happen.  SO I CAN’T LET IT HAPPEN.  I try to set it aside and concentrate on loving them.  I’m doing pretty well, I think.  Right now we’re having a Curious George-fest.  I’m not strong enough to go out and play (had to cancel a playdate at the park, which I’m upset about), so we’re just cuddled up watching the Curious George movie together.  And then, Mr. Rogers.  He’s so comforting.  Maybe TV isn’t always such a bad thing after all.

I am tired.  So very tired.  The mornings are the worst.  Starting on Thursday I have just had a hard time making it through the morning.  I’m just tired.  And I ache.  But it doesn’t make me feel very strong at all.

And now this has become just so the post I didn’t want to write.  The one I didn’t want you to read.  Whiny and all that.  But you know, the funny thing is, every time I get so down and don’t feel quite so strong, I open my computer to talk about it (because talking through my writing helps me communicate with those who I know in the blogosphere and those who I have known and loved for years.  Even my parents are reading my blog now — and my Aunt Linda — and my best friends — and even the mothers of my best friends from childhood (Hi, Pastor Margaret and Brownie!) — and I can type about it even if I can’t talk about it).  And can you imagine what happens?

Every time I open my browser window, someone else has come to visit.  Someone else has come to say hello.  To share a story of a survivor who has inspired them.  To say hey, I’m thinking of you, and you can DO this!

And suddenly, I’m not down about it anymore.  I’m part of a huge network of survivors.  Of fighters.  Of women who just basically give a d*mn about each other and who will lift each other up.

And I have the strength to go on.

Thanks for your comments!  As I’m just beginning my fight against breast cancer, I am particularly sensitive right now and need positive comments and wishes of strength only right now.  No pity here!


86 Responses to Keeping on….

  1. clifford says:

    Hey! You left out “and a guy” again. I’m starting to feel unloved.

    As for the rest…duh. Like you were ever alone. Or ever will be. Your buds are on the scene!

  2. Luanne says:

    This is what we are here for. Not just the huge network of love and support. But to listen to you. Whatever you want to say, good or bad, high or low. We will be here through the battle
    If it is Mr. Rogers and Curious George, instead of the park, so be it. The boy’s love each moment with you. And you love each moment with them. Closeness is what matters. Family, friends, bloggers, we are all here listening. Hug yourself, because I wish I could reach on over and give you one.

  3. Steph says:

    There will be good days and bad days, right? And those adorable little boys ARE going to grow up with you mothering them.

  4. Mom says:

    If I can learn to do THIS, then YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! (And I know that’s true!!!)

  5. Jana says:

    Honey, you are positively *oozing* with strength. Grace under fire. Your boys are lucky to have you as a role model.

  6. Sarah says:

    I am new “someone else” who has come to visit. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Just hug up those little men as much as you can!!!

  7. Kendra says:

    I’m another newbie here. You are amazing. I’m sure that someday you’re sons will look at you and think “My mom is awesome. She’s a fighter. She is one tought lady.”

  8. pinkpelican says:

    I read your story through a mutual friend’s blog. Although we don’t know one another, please know that I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers, in the hopes that every bit of positive energy can find it’s way to help give you strength and joy and life.

  9. twithhoney says:

    I came across your blog when you first detected something was wrong, but I lost my link. Today I finally found you, and my eyes teared up as I discovered that it was cancer.

    Don’t give up hope. My mother is a 17 year surviver of breast cancer. You too will say the same thing in 17 years! Just know it! Will it to be! Pray that it is!

  10. Lainey-Paney says:

    You’ll be in my prayers, WhyMommy.


  11. Pam says:

    I just had a biopsy done — no needle for me, my calcifications were so great and so many I had the slice and dice version — and am in DC, too (went to Sibley that same day that Cheney’s daughter had her baby there… ). So far, everything is “fine” but I also now get to add MRIs to my yearly exam to be sure.

    My kids are older (15 and 20) but I’ve only been remarried for two years and I want 40 years with this guy, so, like you, we have only positive thoughts.

    B/c in the middle of the night, that’s what we need to sustain us.

    So — all the positive thoughts that were shared with me, I now pass on to you. And add to them, my own.

  12. Mom101 says:

    I am surrounding that angry boob of yours with white light and happiness. Down with angry boobs!

  13. Lady M says:

    Here visiting from Motherhood Uncensored. I’m sorry about your news. You have the right attitude to beat this! In our circle of college friends, five got cancer in their 20’s, believe it or not. Everyone made it through, and many are running after their kids now.

    Sending you good wishes!

  14. Stimey says:

    It’s okay to feel down because the rest of us are out here bringing you back up. And you’ll get back up too, because that’s who you are. Sending you some thoughts of love!

  15. Robin says:

    Be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to let yourself feel down when you need to. You don’t have to be strong all the time. We’ll just flex our collective muscles and carry you that much higher those days.

    You WILL beat this.

  16. ella says:

    My mother-in-law is another survivor. There are so many women out there kicking cancer’s ass and you will be one of them.

    Keep writing and we’ll keep coming here to surround you with strength.

  17. Andrea says:

    This is totally beatable. You are a scientist which means you are smart. You are a mother which means you are tough. Perfect combination for success.

  18. Your oldest friend says:

    We’re here, too – reading, learning, praying. Fight the good fight; finish the race! This is your calling. Or I’ll bite off you kneecaps!

  19. Amy says:

    Imagine the water in the shower, washing the cancer away… washing the pain away.

    Remember – courage is not a lack of fear (or pain, or misery, or anything else), it’s facing the fear, pain, and misery and fighting anyway.

    You are fighting! You are so brave! You are so strong!! Even when you’re feeling whiny.

    Are you getting my e-mails? If not, e-mail me. I’ve sent two – one about our upcoming visit to a city near you, and one about Cafepress. I know you’ve got a bit going on right now (gee, ya think?) so I don’t expect immediate responses, of course, but I’m concerned that I’ve misspelled your e-mail or something and that would be a bummer, because I’m really excited about both things!!

  20. Heather says:

    Sending healing thoughts your way….

  21. Mom2BeinWV says:

    Hi Whymommy!

    Greetings from West Virginia! I have read all of your postings from about the last month (I got behind) and I must say I am soooo impressed and inspired.

    From the moment I met you I was inspired by what a brilliant, driven and amazing person you are. I am not at all surprised to see that you are handling this new challenge in your life with the same strength and grace with which you met your most recent challenge: bed-rest pregnancy. And just look at the wonderful result – Little Bear!! He is just adorable! He should stand as a tribute to what you can do when you summon up all of your strength and courage and push ahead (even in the tough times).

    Of course the whole Whyfamily is on GTech Doc and Mom2BeinWV’s minds. We will pray for you and think of you. I know we are too far away to drop by with dinner, but if there is anything we can do from here in WV, PLEASE let us know.

    I am proud of you, Whymommy. You can do this. You are stronger than any cancer. GO! FIGHT! WIN! . . . Now if only I could find my foam finger and pom-poms…

  22. jen says:

    you can’t let that happen and you won’t let that happen. simply, you won’t.

    Team Whymommy rocks.

  23. Bon says:

    the dark moments are part of any transition process, any fight, any success story. it’s not whiny to say “hey, sometimes i’m scared and tired…”, not at all. i understand and support fully the positivity with which you’ve chosen to fight this, and it makes me lift up my head a little higher just thinking of you doing the same. but i think that occasionally siphoning off of the darkness, in words, here where it’s safe, does nothing to get in the way of that positivity…rather, i think of it as cleansing your mind and body so that you can refocus on your own strength. you’re human. this is a hard battle, and will be a long one. and we’re here for all of it, to stand with you through all of it. okay? so don’t hide the dark bits in fear of giving them power…just flush them out at us, and we will take them away from you, i hope. and give back what strength we can in return.

    i am so glad you are surrounded by all this caring, Whymommy.

  24. Kristin says:

    You sound anything but whiny. Righteously indignant? Angry? Tired? Brave. If there’s anything I can do, all you’ve gotta do is ask. Or I’ll ask you and all you’ve gotta do is say “yes.”

  25. I don’t think “staying positive” and “being up all the time” are the same thing. You can stay positive (and you are, you are!) without necessarily being up. In fact, if you were up 100% of the time, I’d be a little worried about you.

    You are doing this about as well as it can be done, IMHO. Rock on.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness, you are not whining, not at all! And if you were, you’re allowed.

    You are gonna beat that angry boob.

  27. mamatulip says:

    I am a huge believer in a positive attitude and the power of intention, yet I do think that you need to allow yourself moments to be scared…to let it out, to get it out, and then move forward.

    I’m in your corner girl, and even though I’m way up in Canada, I’m sending my strength to you.

  28. Joel Maners says:

    My wife was diagnosed with stage 2 BC a couple of months ago. It’s easy to get down and angry, especially at God. We’ve learned to give thanks for baily bread and rejoice in the blessings we have. It’s easy to get scared and panic. Stay focused on hope. You will be riding a roller coaster the next couple of weeks until you start your treatment regimen. Be patient and wait for all the facts to come in. You and your family will be in my prayers.



  29. Colleen says:

    Whiny? Good Lord — you’re anything but. I remember meeting you for the first time at that kid’s indoor playground thingie right after the baby was born and thinking, “what an awesome woman” and “I hope I get to know her better” and “7 months of bedrest, Holy &*!@” Nothing I’ve learned about and from you since then has changed my opinion of how great you are. You’re one tough cookie, even when you don’t think so. God bless.

  30. Jessica says:

    Your bravery is inspiring. I’m amazed at how little whining you are doing!
    My mother is having a mastectomy in the morning, your strength is helping me be strong for her.
    Thank you!

  31. Ally says:

    I agree 100% with what Bon said. You are not whiney. It is fair that you should feel this way, and this is a safe place for you to blow off the negativity so that we can absorb it, run in through the love-mill, and send it back to you as positivity. We’re all rooting for you! You will beat this, angry boob and all. Hang in there, WhyMommy!

  32. Imstell says:

    Whymommy – I just found your site. I’m sure I was led here for a reason. I’ve only skimmed your cancer posts and haven’t had a chance to read your comments. But I feel the connection already. I was diagnosed with IBC in Dec 05 – when my breastfeeding baby was 8 months old. I’ve done the chemo. I’ve done the mastectomies. I’ve done the radiation and reconstruction. I know how you’re feeling and where you’re going. You are absolutely correct in knowing that POSITIVE ATTITUDE is everything!!!! Please contact me.

  33. Poppy says:

    I’m here via “the Trenches”. I’ve read the last few weeks of your blog…I’m impressed with your strength and bravery. You keep hanging in there…you’re obviously well loved here in cyberspace and all of us are sending you positive vibes and many prayers.

    I’ll keep checking on you and you keep charging forward 🙂

  34. Neil says:

    My wife just had two surgeries last month for breast cancer, and has been attending a wellness group. And there seems to be scientific proof that remaining positive can go a long way towards strengthening your immune system. Of course, you will feel down at times. But you should always remember all the support you get from your friends and family… and even strangers in the blogosphere.

  35. coolbeans says:

    Sometimes the posts we don’t want to write are the ones that we need to. Get it out. Lay it down so you don’t have to carry it all yourself.

  36. Kim says:

    whining? of course!! don’t we learn it from our toddlers? and doesn’t it feel great sometimes?! i wish temper tantrums were socially acceptable… honestly, you are burning off necessary feelings. and you are still pure strength with every expression. thanks for sharing your dark thoughts. they don’t weaken, you, they let you swing back to the positive.
    onward sister!

  37. NYfriend says:

    Such wonderful comments by the previous posters!

    The ups, the downs, the ho-hum in-betweens – we’re here for you through all of it. Keep getting it out, you already know what’s best for you. You’re doing it now, and will forever more.

    “The forces of the brightness will have destroyed the wholeness when there is no more night.”

  38. gwen says:

    Will be praying with you.

  39. Daren says:

    You’re in my prayers. God Bless.

  40. Aliki says:

    Don’t feel as if you must put on a cheerful face each day–“being there” involves support through the good and the bad; the beautiful and the ugly.

    Continued hugs…

  41. bubandpie says:

    Not so much whiny as clear-eyed and strong. Write what you need to write here. We are listening.

  42. Olivia says:

    Hugs of support from here.

  43. Cait's mom says:

    I know that a positive attitude does help you heal, but that doesn’t mean you have to be Pollyanna all the time. Cancer sucks and it is great to be able to express all your feelings. Admitting them will help you to stay positive and beat this thing. I am thinking of you nad praying.

  44. Linda Lawrence says:

    Thank you so much for yesterday’s blog (Is that the right term. I am new at this). I just finished reading it and was glad you could share your thoughts. I have been a consistent journaler for many years, and I have always felt writing thoughts down is so good.

  45. Linda Lawrence says:

    Thank you so much for yesterday’s blog (Is that the right term. I am new at this). I just finished reading it and was glad you could share your thoughts. I have been a consistent journaler for many years, and I have always felt writing thoughts down is so good. I am sure you know we are praying for you and probably have several hundred people praying for you also. Oops, I think I messed up and I already see part of my blog already posted. Eventually, I will get the hang of this. 🙂 Hugs those nephews for us.

  46. Linda Lawrence says:

    Oh, I just realized I can do smiley faces. Wow! I often put smiley faces on students papers! This excites me.:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  47. canape says:

    Part of being positive is being honest with yourself. Being positive does not equal being happy with the situation. It simply means that you your long term thoughts are those of success.

    I’m positive that you will fight this and win. And at the same time, I’m pissed off that you have to. And I pray that you are alright in the short term. That your dark days will be far outnumbered by the bright ones.

    And I’m positive that they will. And that in the end, you will be healed.

    Keep writing the truth.

  48. rose says:

    You can leave all your sadness and fears here and give the boys all your happiness and positive attitudes.

    It won’t be long before you will be saying you are a Cancer survivor.

  49. BirdieRoark says:

    Kick cancer is the ass for me, alright?

    And continue to speak your truth.

  50. Damselfly says:

    We are on your side! We are pulling for you!

  51. girl says:

    I agree, kick cancers ass. I think you have a posse to help!

  52. Stephanie says:

    Hi WhyMommy,

    I want you to know that you are in my thoughts each day. I am reading your blog and sending good vibes your way.

    I think that your honesty with yourself about the rough spots on this journey is a healthy part of coping with it. Whine if you need to; do whatever works for you.

    Warm healing thoughts,


  53. Sally V says:

    I am an amateur at this mommy thing, but I believe that showing strength and happiness and sadness and weakness and heartache and joy all in the same person teaches our kids to experience all of that fully for themselves. You are in my thoughts. We haven’t seen each other in many years, but I will keep reading your blog and appreciate you sharing your experience with others.

  54. Meg Wolff says:

    Dear “WhyMommy”,(your kids are adorable)

    There is a LOT that you can do to heal it through diet and lifestyle if this interests you.

    I too, had stage 3b breast cancer and even with conventional treatment was told that it would return within a year.

    I really wanted to live as my kids were 8 and 12! I sought out a doctor who told me that, “some women had been helped by the macrobiotic diet(grains, beans, vegetables) and lifestyle changes. I immediately started…I read, took classes, and made it my top priority.

    Today(9 years later) I am cancer free and in great health! I watched my son graduate from high school and go on to college. And recently helped my daughter celebrate her 17th birthday, something I feared I would not do in the beginning!

    I have met many women who have used this approach and I started a Web site and added their uplifting stories. We need uplifting stories!

    If you are interested please read them and believe that you can do it too!

    I hope this helps.

    Lots of love,
    Gem O’s & X’s
    (my name was already taken, so it’s Meg backwards)

  55. geepeemum says:

    I found you via Limberlime. I’m just here to say that I’m thinking of you and praying for you – as I’m sure are lots of other people…

  56. summer says:

    Your going to be ok, I can tell your a strong person and you will make it!!

  57. Binky says:

    Here’s to Curious George and Mr. Rogers and friends around town and online and to turning angry boobs happy again. We’re all here for you.

  58. Jennie says:

    You are such a strong woman and a remarkable person- I can tell you have the strength you need to beat this thing!!!
    You are an example for us all- thank you!

  59. Kim says:

    My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old with two small children like yours. She is a 16 year survivor and is thriving now! AND YOU WILL TOO!

  60. Katie says:

    I’m here from Ella’s. I wanted to let you know that I am supporting you 100 per cent and I will be thinking of you over the coming days and weeks.

  61. Caren says:

    I am simply amazed by you. Please know that although I don’t have a blog, I am still on Team WhyMommy. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. The Bible says that when people gather together in prayer, Jesus will be there. I imagine He is all over you and your family now.

  62. Kyla says:

    Hi there. This is my first visit, but I’ve been reading wonderful things about you all over today and had to stop by. You are amazing and we’re all out here supporting you…even those of us who don’t know you well.

  63. Jenn says:

    Just going to stop by every single day to let you know I’m thinking of you.

    All the time. When I rolled over and looked at my clock this morning and it said “1:42”, and I looked out my window and looked at the stars, I thought, “I wonder what WhyMommy is doing right now”

    And I said, “Please God” and sent it away to the heavens.

  64. Lynn says:

    ((((HUGS)))) to you and your family. I don’t know you, but through your insightful blogging, I feel like I do! I am pulling for you to kick total butt! Praying for lots of energy and strength for you in the days to come!

  65. shauna says:

    So many people are cheering for you. I hope you can feel all this positive energy swelling inside you, pushing the cancer out. I’m thinking about and praying for you, WhyMommy!

  66. Worker Mommy says:

    I’m praying for you and sending healing vibes your way!
    My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. She had a bilateral mastectomy in November and started chemo three days after Christmas. She just finished her chemo on June 8th and is doing amazingly.
    I hope the same for you too. I know you will spit in the face of this disease and you will come out on top!!

  67. Andrea Lawrence says:

    My mom and I just shared a good laugh a few minutes ago as I called her to see if she knew how to add a comment on your blog site and she was very proud of herself that she could tell me the steps to take. Yes if our moms can become blog experts you can beat this cancer! Love you so much cuz!

  68. GamerGirl says:

    While I don’t have children I have been through a similar situation. When this is all done and over we can compare scars. Remember it’s one day at a time and one foot in front of the other. I’d tell you to take it easy but with two wee ones thats not likely, just remember that we are all thinking about you and are here when you need us.

  69. Beth Bridges says:

    Let it be known that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood bone marrow cancer, last January (2006) right after my 23rd birthday. While I don’t have kids and what I have is not breast cancer, I know how scary and overwhelming it all is at the beginning. I have been going through chemo for a year now, and let me tell you the things I have learned:
    Get to know your chemo nurses, they will be there on those days that you don’t think you can sit through a treatment.
    For every drip of chemo that goes through that line…it means healing in the future.
    I learned right away that I had two choices…be angry, and bitter….or I could be a fighter. I honestly believe with my whole heart that this has all happened for a reason beyond my understanding.
    Someone told me that it’s okay to sometimes just look up and ask forcefully for help. I’ve done it many times in the past year.
    You have to believe that prayer works…I’ve seen it work many times lately. They get answered…even if it’s not when WE want it to.
    If you haven’t already, read “What Cancer Cannot Do”. I find that sometimes, I even now, I have to remind myself of these things.
    As my husband always reminds me….this is only a speed bump. If you need someone who has been through it, I’m all ears. Sometimes the best gift is someone just to listen who knows what it is like.God bless you and your family.

  70. Colleen says:

    I clicked a link that brought me to you last week. (I can’t remember where now). I’ve started to comment a number of times… but find myself not knowing what to write. Your strength and positive attitude are amazing to me. I believe that your posts will be a true help to so many. You will survive this… and you will help others as you beat this cancer.

  71. christine says:

    no pity at all, my dear. just strong, good vibes sent your way. . .

  72. Tara says:

    You CAN do this!! Sending tons of healthy vibes your way.

    ~Just another “someone” stopping by to wish you well!

  73. Ann Marie says:

    Katy sent me over.. and my bloggie friends know me as the one who hands out the smoochies! To YOU I give as many as I have. You have all my smoochies. I wish I could do more than send you my thoughts. I will visit often be here for your fight!

    Ann Marie

  74. Arkie Mama says:

    I am so in awe of you.

    You are strong. And you *will* get through this.

  75. Marla says:

    You are Warrior Mommy from here on out. You will stand, fight and WIN your battle.

  76. I found you through a number of different blogs. Stay strong, stay focused, and stay positive! Our prayers are with you.

  77. Mieke says:


    My friend Kim, mother of three, was just diagnosed with breast cancer too – she blogs. You should check her out.

    Good luck with everything. You’ll come through this. You are not alone.

  78. Rebecca says:

    I don’t know you but I have run for you several times. You have now motivated me to get my sometimes lazy butt out there and particiapte in more pink ribbon events! You sound like an amazing woman and I think you are handling your diagnosis with such grace. My thoughts & prayers are with you!

  79. Eve says:

    I’m adding my positive energy to the army of supporters here- GO GO GO!!! If anyone can beat this, it’s a mother- we are the toughest creatures on earth.

    Thinking of you and yours,

  80. Keep on going, strong miss mama. We all love you so much out here. Can you feel it?

  81. practiceliving says:

    Another new-to-your-blog cheerleader, here.

    Stay strong, mama. You can win this fight!

  82. julia says:

    I’m new to your blog – here thru several other bloggers – and wanted to add my good wishes to everyone else’s. Keep on staying strong. If you falter, you have an enormous army behind you, ready to help you back up.

  83. Trisha says:

    I’ve never been to your blog before, but I can’t imagine a better time to “meet” you and comment. You are going to kick cancer’s ass and take names, I know it. You have beautiful boys, and I look forward to seeing them grow through your words over the years.

  84. whymommy says:

    You are all awesome. Really awesome. You are helping me through this. And yes, I can tell. The other night, I woke up at 1:30 in the morning and felt alone and scared. I lay there for a few minutes, and then I felt the most incredible reassurance wash over me, and suddlenly I was okay again.

    I know it was one of you. Or maybe more than one of you. Or maybe God just remembering one of your prayers.

    What I’m trying to say is … thanks.

  85. […] Keeping on…. […]

  86. Becky Baker says:

    Hello…I just wanted to let you know that I am currently going through treatment for IBC…I have had 7 out of 8 of my chemo sessions and then I will be having a bi-lateral mastectomy, followed by 4 more chemo sessions and 6 weeks of radiation. You can do this…I have three children and I, too, am not going to go anywhere…I am going to be here for their weddings and my grandchildren, etc. There are 3 of us on the Komen boards and everyone there is very supportive. I would encourage you to join and post there for more support. You can also e-mail me at if you would like to . Best of luck to you…YOU CAN DO THIS!!

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