Before the biopsy

I’ve done this before.  I’ve waited for doctor’s appointments where I feared worried about the outcome.  I’m pretty sure we all have, between our own, our kids’, and our parents’ appointments.  We know how it will go, and we know there will be more waiting afterwards, for tests, pathology, or treatment, and yet we fritter our time away worrying about fearing the result.

It’s not been an easy week.

But it has been the best that it could have been, I think. The Moms and I have had playdate after playdate in the bright sunshine and the cool air of parks around the county and our own backyards.  The kids have played and hollered and laughed in glee as they rode their tricycles and bikes with training wheels around and around the walking trail.  C has been the best of all husbands, cooking, reassuring, keeping me company as I go to doctor after doctor and test after test, and making sure that the children are happy and engaged, my wishes for them.  Facebook friends from back home, from college, from work, and from play cheer me on, and every time I get down, I come back here and read comment after comment wishing me well and making me laugh (Really, Sarah, you wouldn’t send me a lock of your hair? But Devra had such a great idea!  I KID.)  Twitterfriends send me messages at all times of day or night (Hi, Kate! It’s great to have NZ friends who are up when I can’t sleep!) wishing me well and wishing this cancer to go away.

For it is probably a cancer.

But there will be time to talk about the cancer.  Today I want to capture the lightness of the last week, the deepness of friendship, the hugs that have made me cry and taken away a bit of the fear with each one.  The hugs that don’t come easy to some of you (Hi, Kristen!) or remind you of family who you have lost to this dreadful beast (oh, so many of you to list — but you know who you are, and so do I, and I don’t know that you want your names bandied about so casually), but that you give.  Because you are givers.  You are, overwhelmingly, moms, and you make me teary and grateful that motherhood expands our hearts so much that not only is there enough love for each child, but there’s always a little extra for a friend, without diminishing what was there was before.

Last night was no exception.

Around 9, I was expecting a friend who had called and asked if she could drop something by.  I had been mopey since well before dinner, and C thought that it would be a great idea to distract me (I was way mopey. I’m not proud of it, but I’m always honest here, so I’ll admit it.).  So I put the children down, told them story after story as they fell to sleep, and then got up to see my friend.  Thinking I heard her van door, we walked outside in our PJs, and were startled by the clear, crisp night, and bright constellations that shone above.  We stood on an old tree stump to get a better view — and I was struck by the ridiculousness of it all, by the sheer humor in the situation — tomorrow, I would have a surgical biopsy that would tell me whether there was surgery, radiation, chemo, or nothing at all in my future, and tonight I had the GALL to fritter away hours with worry.  Hours I would want back.

And so, I began to dance.  I pulled C up on the stump with me, and convinced him to do a little jig with me, on the stump, in the moonlight, with the stars our audience, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the leprechauns, and the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

We danced in celebration of life.

Car after car pulled up at the neighbor’s house, and a group of moms gathered, giggly after a night out or in anticipation of a night in, and we glanced at them, with, admittedly, a little envy.  C said, “Hey, look — Moms Night Out!” And we laughed, and grasped each other’s hand, and went inside to wait for L.

Not five minutes later, the doorbell rang.  The children slept soundly, and I opened the door to find — not L, but FIVE of the Moms, bearing pie (from L), and gifts, and cards, and hugs.

We talked the night away, about children, about kindergarten, about the little ones, about our own work and hopes and dreams, and not about cancer.

And that was the best present I could have ever hoped for.  As I finally fell into bed, my last thoughts were not of cancer. Not of worry. Not of fear.  But of friendship.

Making it easy to face today.


61 Responses to Before the biopsy

  1. marty says:

    Right here waiting with you.

    Love you much.

  2. *m* says:

    Sending you another hug, and wave after wave of positive thoughts!

  3. Amelie says:

    I’m so glad you have your wonderful friends.

  4. Wife says:

    What a great reminder of how important relationships are. I wish you all the best!

  5. I’m still hoping and praying for “NOT cancer” for you – and I’m so glad that you have wonderful friends who are in your area to come see you when you need a lift.

  6. Bon says:

    the image of you dancing on a tree stump, you & C, leprechauns celebrating at the crux of life, will be the smile on my lips all day as my heart walks beside you.

    sending you strength to bolster what you already possess, in spades.

  7. Another hug here, and lots & lots of positivity. and another hug. Cuz I’m so so so a hugger.

  8. I have a great image of you dancing on the tree stump, much like you were dancing in second life, bald and decked out with a tiara the first time we met. I’m wishing you well today. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

    And if we all sent a lock of hair… maybe they’re on to something!

  9. ClumberKim says:

    I read this as soon as I got to work (shhh!) and noticed the ACS daffodils on my desk opened over night, probably while you were dancing.

    Sending you a hug today. I’ll be thinking of you every time I see those daffodils.

  10. Linda Lawrence says:

    Glad that little bit of Irish in you came out! How better to celebrate! We all send our love and prayers.

  11. MDTaz says:

    I’m a stranger from a bit far away sending warmest intentions to you…in France where I live we say, “Bon Courage.”

  12. Mad says:

    Just learning about this now. Am wishing you all the best today.

  13. Jodifur says:

    All my love, all my thoughts. I believe in you. In your power to fight.

  14. Niksmom says:

    Here’s my wish that your little leprechaun dance conjured that pot of gold (negative biopsy!) at the end of the rainbow.

  15. Susan K says:

    This Sunday I took my 9 year old daughter to the hair cutting place, for I think the second time in her life. They chopped off 11 inches all at once, in 2 long pony tails, and bagged it. We wrote down her name and address on a piece of paper, so that in a few days or weeks Locks of Love could acknowledge her donation – her second donation of her beautiful hair in her young life. She looks older now. And is visibly proud when people ask, “did you donate it?” and she can respond in the affirmative.

    And as this happened, I thought of you. And hoped VERY MUCH that you will NOT be in need of head covering that is not your own. Thinking of you today and hoping for a long wait for your results, for the best results possible.

  16. The New Girl says:

    In virtual and real-life support.

  17. Stimey says:

    Wish I could have been there. Much, much love to you today. Imagine me (us) holding your hand while you’re there.

  18. Amy aka Mrs. Chicken says:

    Wishing I could dance under the moon with you. Thinking of you today.

  19. Jenster says:

    Love, love, LOVE good friends!!! You are in my thoughts and prayers today, Susan.

  20. amanda says:

    I am so much better for having you. So many lessons, so many smiles, so many dreams. To pie and friendship.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    my dear susan. I found your blog just lately but I was so moved by it and..I’m so happy for you that you have such nice friends. to have such friends that turn up just in the right moment to just be with you are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

    keeping all possible and avaible fingers crossed for you.

    sending hugs

  22. pgoodness says:

    thinking of you…glad you were able to go to sleep with pleasant thoughts. 🙂

  23. kmum says:

    One more hug sent your way.

  24. Vicky says:

    We’re all here thinking of you, hugging you and sending positive wishes and vibes your way!

  25. Tracy says:

    The wagons are circling for you. How beautiful.

    My son believes that a combination of fairy dust (and nanodiamond technology) can fix just about anything that ails you. I’ll ask him to fling a pinch for you today.

  26. slouchy says:

    Here, always. What a beautiful night you described. Wish I’d been there with you.


  27. Sylvia says:

    I am a stranger to you, but today I read your story and want to tell you that I have a sister with IBC, she is a fighter and has been fighting now for 5 1/2 years. She is doing great. I am sending you a hug and praying for you to have the strength that you need. What a beautiful image I have of you dancing with your husband. I wish you the best of luck and only good news.

  28. Donna W says:

    What a wonderful entry.

  29. Amy says:

    Thank you for teaching me how to help someone who is going through a severe illness/scary diagnosis/medical crisis. Because of your blog and the posts like this that you’ve shared, the next time it happens to someone I know IRL, I will be a better friend.

    Pie and conversation – I can do that.

    I’m so glad you have such a wonderful group of friends.

  30. Judy says:

    And posts like this – and all of who you are – are why it’s so easy to love you so. *more hugs*, Susan.

  31. jojo says:

    “…tonight I had the GALL to fritter away hours with worry. Hours I would want back.”

    And there it is – the secret to life. Keep finding ways to enjoy the passage of time. After reading this post, I know I will. Thank you for the reminder.

    Sending you strength and happy thoughts!


  32. Andrea says:

    Thinking of you Susan!

  33. kami says:

    You have an army beside you, friends rock.

  34. magpie says:

    Love to you. I’d bring you a pie if you were closer.

  35. A great night after all. Think of us as your Verizon network. You are the person in front and we are the three million people standing behind you to help.

  36. Darryle says:

    You never fail to inspire me. (and hope comment shows up this time…) This post made me feel like going out and dancing—only wish I could be closer to dance with you.

  37. upsidebackwards says:

    I am honoured to be numbered among your friends, and awed by your wisdom. Too many of us fritter away precious hours worrying – but to recognise it at the time, and consciously push it away, that is true wisdom. I hope that next time I’m caught in fruitless worry, I can summon up the image of you capering on a tree stump in your PJs! Sending lots of love, hugs, and blessings.

  38. Kristen says:

    Those girls. They are good.

    Love you! And don’t mock my awesome hugs.

  39. BMom says:

    So glad to hear of your lovely evening and incredible friendships. I love Kimberly’s comment above about being the Verizon network. That’s perfect! Thinking and praying for you.

  40. Sending love and good thoughts your way,
    Because of you I’d be late to work any day! 🙂

  41. I missed a whole week on your blog and everything goes to pot!

    I’m not going to say the S word because I don’t want you to kick my butt.
    And I won’t say the F word, because you don’t strike me as the swearing type.
    But I am sending you endless hugs – as gentle or as hard as you need them to be. And I’m thinking HARD of you, and the kids, and your husband.
    May there be many more celebratory dinners in the near future.

    HUGGGGGGS and endless love.

  42. Colleen says:

    So sorry I wasn’t able to be there last night — my darned cell phone wasn’t working properly so I didn’t get the message. I’ve been thinking of you all day. A very dear friend of mine sent me the following CS Lewis quote and it made me think of you.

    “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” — C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

    You are a palace. Much love,

    • Susan (WhyMommy) says:

      This rocks me to my core. I will be open to what He has planned for me.

      I admit, I do not know what it is, and I ache at the not knowing. But perhaps later I will know.

      Thanks, Colleen.

  43. Kendra says:

    I have read (lurked) for a long time. Your stories brighten my day and always remind me to appreciate the small things in life. How AWESOME to be blessed with so many thoughtful friends!!!

  44. Lara says:

    You have been in my thoughts all day! I loved spending time with you last night and am looking forward to many more nights of catching up and sharing in engaging conversation and funny stories of the everyday. Next time I’ll bring cocktails 🙂

    And, wow, do I love that C.S. Lewis quote that Colleen shared! I’m hoping God is just working on a big addition, filled with space to stretch out, relax and just be content and happy!

  45. NYFriend says:

    Oh my gosh, I love the story about doing a jig out on the tree stump! I’m just giddy with it! Thanks for sharing that!!

    You have some really amazing friends, and I am so very, very happy you have this outstanding, supportive group of friends in real life. Would have loved to have been there with you last night. 🙂

  46. Stephanie says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the visit – sorry I couldn’t make it. Warm thoughts your way.

  47. Okay, okay, okay, so did you get my cyber-hugs last night and today?!! Because I’ve been sending them, big-time.

    Next par-tay? I’m there. Sending the warmest of thoughts your way.

  48. Safire says:

    It was great to meet you the other night (and sit on the stairs and talk about dogs). I hope that your results are workable. 🙂 Good luck!

  49. Joyinchaos says:

    What a blessing it is that you are so surrounded with love!! Virtual and the kind you can touch.

  50. Robin Hurwitz says:

    God bless friends! And your family…and a potful of golden hugs…

  51. Marcia says:

    Thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts and many hugs from a reader in CA.

  52. I figured if I came up with an elaborate plan for the worlds most bizarre wig, then you won’t ever need it. You know that saying, right? “People plan, G-d laughs” I was going for the laughs, because then it would mean the wig won’t be necessary.

    Of course if the wig must happen, I’m totally taking my scissors and going over to Sarah’s house first.

    See, there I go again, making a plan.

    Yo G-d? You best be laughing!

  53. And the dancing? THE best thing. Evah!

  54. Joan says:


    I had been assuming that this would turn out to be a NON-cancer issue. (Perhaps I am in denial.)

    Supportive thoughts will be coming your way from Philly today.

    You are surrounded by friends, in real life and in cyber life, known and unknown.

    My best wishes to your family for a JOYFUL spring.

  55. lizzy says:

    You have wonderful friends. And dancing in the dark, I need to try that.

  56. kgirl says:

    Dancing, friends, distractions – doesn’t get much better than that. Hoping things went well yesterday.

  57. maryelena says:

    Susan —

    So glad that the past few days and the next few will be filled with warm sunshine for you to soak up and play in and dance in with the kids and C (or sit in if that is what is necessary after a biopsy) and while God builds your palace as Colleen said and as the Verizon network stands behind you hugging you and offering you support.

    Just another mom thinking and praying for good news.

  58. J.J. says:

    Keeping you in my very positive thoughts and prayers. Dancing is definitely good for the soul!!

  59. Johanna says:

    Have been following your story here since your first cancer diagnosis. You are an amazing person and I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you today.
    Sending love and prayers.

  60. NoR says:

    It was indeed a beautiful sky last night. Did you see the moon? amazing.

%d bloggers like this: