“Us lucky”

If I were to detail yesterday’s events for you, as I try to when they are relevant to this cancer experience, I would simply break down and cry again, and that would be useful to almost no one.  Let me just say that I met with a lawyer, drew up the outline and contents of my will, asked him to stop joking and saying “if you die tomorrow,” named guardians for my children, considered who to give the power of attorney over my medical and financial affairs, and who could make the decision to withdraw life support, sipped a cup of hot and steamy tea that shook in my hand a little as I played the grown-up to a seasoned professional, and then spent the afternoon cuddled up in the big bed with my littlest one and PBS Kids, calming down and gathering my senses about me again until it was time for my oldest to come home from school.  (He stood in the sunlight streaming in the window by my bed, and I cannot believe it, but when I looked at his feet, I saw that he was standing in rainbows, broken by the glass.)

After a wonderful and distracting evening event at school, I developed a splitting headache, sensitivity to light, nausea, and dizziness from it all and had to lie down alone in a dark room, listening to my husband read the bedtime stories and wishing it were me.  I worried that these were the dreaded side effects and that I couldn’t continue in the trial — and of course that made it worse. 

But there were two redeeming moments to the day that I must take a moment to share with you.  The first was as I was getting Little Bear all snuggled up with me in the big bed, blankets pulled up around us and a freshly popped bowl of popcorn at our sides.  Sherlock Holmes was on the screen, and my baby sighed and said, “Us really lucky, Mommy.”  Well, yes, baby, we are.

And this afternoon, my oldest was in my office (when he shouldn’t have been), and he asked me about the lego figure I keep at my computer, the Princess-Who-Can-Defend-Herself, complete with eyeglasses and sword, and he smiled with recognition as he responded, “I know!  She’s you!  She’s inside you, fighting the cancer!”

And so she is.

And so I will simply say that the rest of the day was a day horriblis and leave it at that, and leave you with the image of a very tiny and very strong lego girl inside me, fighting the cancer with her minature sword, side-by-side with the new medicines that at once starve the cancer cells of estrogen and deprive them of their ability to grow and divide.  She is fighting, and I will fight, and my little ones will not crumble, but cheer me on in this new trial.  No, we will never be back to normal.  But we are finding our way to the path of the new normal, and we will do it together.


93 Responses to “Us lucky”

  1. What a hard day. Thank goodness for wise little children, huh?
    That Lego Princess totally looks like you!
    Lots of love and hugs to you and your menfolk.

  2. jodifur says:

    I hope it helps us a little to know all of us are here, cheering you on.

  3. Thien-Kim says:

    Children say the most amazing things, don’t they?

  4. Stacey says:

    I LOVE hearing the story of your son visualizing the Lego Warrior Princess fighting the cancer cells. Thanks so much for sharing your touching and inspiring stories at the end of otherwise terrible, no good, lousy days. (I hope your story will also encourage everyone to draw up the necessary legal papers to protect themselves and their families.)

  5. *m* says:

    Love the minifig! And we know what her superpower is. Keep wielding that sword, and fortifying yourself with those snuggles.

  6. oh wow. wow. how can THAT much have happened to you in one day? i hope your headache and sick feelings yesterday were a result of putting off eating, and then eating kid-carnival-junk, and not a side effect. and that you are feeling much better today, in every way. i love you. you will win the fight.

  7. I’m so grateful you saw that rainbow. And your boys?? Brilliant like their mama!!

    I will build an army of one MILLION lego princesses if yours would like the company.

    LOVE YOU!!!!

  8. cristie says:

    I was the little one, snuggled with my dad. Ours was Hogan’s Heroes instead of Sherlock Holmes. “Us were lucky’ too.
    You are an amazing gift to your kids and to all of us with whom you share your unstoppable spirit and beautiful soul.
    Thank you.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Wow. I like the lego girl, and Widget’s comments about her – a great image to envision. The snuggling time with Little Bear sounds like a lovely moment as well. I’m sorry you had an otherwise horrible day. I hate that you are having to face such a hard hard time with the cancer, that is so lousy and seems so unfair. We are here, cheering you on, and listening to your ups and downs, whatever you want to share about it.

    • JoC says:

      What she said… and sending supersonic warm fuzzies for you and yours while you ride this rollercoaster.

  10. Donna W says:

    God bless you. You are SUCH a skilled wordsmith.

  11. OK, I’m trying not to cry. I really am. I’m trying to find my Lego Warrior. But you write so beautifully Susan. I’m not tearing up out of pity or sadness. It’s really about how you capture the moments – the good and the bad, so beautifully.

    As always, thank you, than you for sharing.

  12. Yet more proof that lego is one of the most AMAZING inventions of all time… Now, I can absolutely visualize that Super Chick Warrior kicking cancer’s ass!! And I will keep on visualizing it, Susan, and willing all the strength and fortitude and relisience I can possibly muster, to you and your family.

    All my love, CGF xoxo

  13. Linda Lawrence says:

    Love you! Thanks for sharing!

  14. C.Mom says:

    I love the Lego warrior! It goes without saying that I think you are
    Stronger than any warrior princess in any fairy tale i have ever read. I can only imagine what your day was like– and I’m so glad that you are surrounded by so
    Much love! Xoxo

  15. […] an awful day yesterday–and I mean awful by ANYONE’s standards.  And yet?  She wrote a beautiful post about being […]

  16. Michelle says:

    You are the Warrior Princess, and we are the army. You write so beautifully of a very bad day, and the rest of us are with you in spirit. Even those of us you have never met…

  17. Amy M. says:

    I will be thinking of you every day and praying for you often. Your kids are very lucky to have you for a mama. 🙂

  18. I remembered you tweeting about the rainbows, but I didn’t know that’s where they were! What a day–and what an incredibly beautiful warrior princess you are! I’m totally right there by your Lego warrior princess side and will be until we’re old and white-haired warrior princesses!

  19. @sweetbabboo says:

    I never know just what to say so I’ll just say that I think of you daily. I know how much you mean to Marty, and because of that, despite never having met you, you mean so much to me.

    Keep fighting. You are strong.


  20. Elaine says:

    Princess sword is drawn – and ready to join in whatever way possible. I hold in my heart the hope that this trial should give you some time, and time is exactly what the scientists working with your princess need. Here’s hoping for more beautiful rainbows ahead.

  21. You awesome. Me sending hugs. And a princess army can totally kick cancer’s ass. Or keep it tiny and insignificant. Whichever comes first. (((you)))

  22. Corina says:

    Princess who can defend herself. She will find this new normal and rock it. Much love to you, susan.

  23. Lego is tough stuff, just like you.

  24. Mel says:

    Sending energy to Lego Girl to keep fighting that cancer.

  25. Chrysula says:

    As all of us who’ve stepped on our children’s lego pieces in the middle of the night, recognize the strength, stealth attack power and indestructibility that are hallmarks of this amazing invention. May your wee warrior be emblematic of all these qualities and so much more. Gratitude to you for sharing these moments with your children with all of us.

    • Kristen says:

      The profoundness of this description of Legos and the analogy of the Princess Lego kicking cancer’s ass is awesome.

      We love you, Susan.

  26. Dotty says:

    I’ve just found your blog. I’ll never look at a Lego minifig the same way again. Now, each time I see one, I’ll remember you and whisper a prayer.

  27. […] Princess Alone button" width="125" height="125" /></a> Now go visit Susan's site and read "Us Lucky," a truly amazing post about a the kind of day that is hard for any parent but is so touching […]

  28. Steph says:

    I keep a Lego figure on my key chain. Have since I was 13. Those Lego girls kick ass and so do you.

    I sent something your way a bit ago, but I’m pretty sure there’s no gift card. The rosary beads are from me. My grandmother always said that a girl with pretty rosary beads was doubly blessed. (-;

  29. jaydub26 says:

    I love the ‘princess who can defend herself’ but I have also joined the ‘no princess fights alone’ army as well. We can defend ourselves but we can also have each others backs – will always be fighting alongside you. Love and Hugs as always

  30. Amanda says:

    Together, indeed. Oh, Susan, we do adore you.

  31. I want you to know that I don’t comment that often, because I am usually all choked up, and don’t know what to say… but want you to know that I read you always, and think of you often, and I am one of those here with you, too. I loved meeting you at BlogHer this past summer and hope to see you again in San Diego this upcoming summer. I am now picturing tiny Lego warrior doing her job…

  32. […] right-hand-side?  The “No Princess Fights Alone” one?  Click on it, you’ll see Susan/WhyMommy’s latest post on joining a clinical trial, updating her will (with an insensitive lawyer cracking jokes), and […]

  33. ilinap says:

    I believe in the restorative power of LEGOs. And friends who love you. I think about you all the time. I’ll be channeling you for my 39 mile walk!

  34. Amy@UWM says:

    What a moving post. What sweet little boys you have. Go Princess-Who-Can-Defend-Herself!!!

  35. Hang in there.
    Your boys are the best! They are wise beyond their years – old souls, my gram would call them.
    I read every day, but don’t comment enough.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers…

  36. Merry says:

    Sending you strength and good wishes. As a family, we’ve been through a different thing this year, supporting each other as we come to terms with the loss of our little boy. I wouldn’t dream of saying I can understand what you are going through, but the sense of somehow seeing the good, fighting to find all the positive and strong stuff, trying to keep the little people upright and honestly, just making it to tomorrow – that I understand.

  37. Karen says:

    I do not know you personally, but want you to know I am out here in blogland, cheering on that little lego princess, and you, in your battle.

  38. Christina says:

    That little lego image is such a great one after the hard day you described.

    Stay strong, and know we’re all cheering on that little lego princess as she does her work.

  39. Hi!

    You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Here’s to the little lego princess.



  40. Susan, I don’t know you. I come here from friend’s tweets, and I just want you to know that you’re so inspiring, and I think of you often and send healing thoughts and prayers to whatever God there may be. I hope that knowing so many are with you in warrior woman spirit puts a smile on your face, and gives you strength.

  41. I have nothing articulate to offer, but I wanted to let you know that you constantly inspire me. You and your Lego Warrior Princess are tough stuff. So thank you.

  42. FishyGirl says:

    I love this picture of the Lego Warrior princess inside you, fighting against those cancer cells. What a wonderful visualization! Glad you got your lucky moment and your rainbows on an otherwise horrid day. *hugs*

  43. annettek says:

    I think we’re the lucky ones – because you share so much of this part of your life with us. Good news or bad, you’re always honest and real.

  44. Jennifer says:

    If you look behind you, there are so many of us standing with you and wishing you on toward good health and better days. But it sure helps to have that Lego Princess for backup.

  45. Mama Echo says:

    I love your posts about those quiet and special moments with your sweet boys. The love you all have for each other is amazing and beautiful.
    And LOVE the Warrior Princess. Perfect!

  46. Lynn says:

    I’ve read your blog often over the past few years and always admired your way with words. I’ve admired your spunk, too! I’ve never commented but I know now you must be living in a little black fog and I think it might help to know that total strangers think you are pretty special! I’m praying that the fog will lift very soon and you’ll be in the bright sun with your sweet family enjoying life. I’m going to be praying very hard that this trial will give you better days together.

  47. Fight on, little warrior girl. Fight on.

  48. Bon says:

    i love Lego people.

  49. Colleen says:


  50. Colleen says:

    Your children are such amazing little people.

  51. Andrea says:

    I am amassing a legion of Lego warriors to support the Princess as she does battle.

    Susan, I think of you everyday. I hope some comfort has found its way to you. Hugs. Gentle ones.

  52. J.J. says:

    Hot damn, leave it to a boy to think of Lego people fighting cancer. The boy’s got it right. Fight on Lego princess, fight on. Cuddle those boys, that’s some of the best medicine on earth. And oh yeah, that awesome hubby of yours, too. I’m envisioning those cancer cells starving and shrinking and being rendered completely useless. You are in my daily prayers.

  53. Capital Mom says:

    I am imagining your little Lego girl fighting away. Go girl!

    It is scary doing your will. My husband and I did ours when I was pregnant with out first. It feels morose, but it is a good thing to do/ have.

  54. Eve W. says:

    Keep on hoping and pushing forward. I love the image of the lego princess warrior. I’m thinking of you here.

  55. man, those boys of yours sure are amazing — just like their mama 🙂

  56. Carol says:

    praying for you, and imagining armies of lego warrior princesses fighting along side of you. you are amazing!

  57. Lindsay Lebresco says:

    If only love and comments could actually make you better-not just feel a little better- you’d be healed by this community 1,000 times over. Wishing you a better day tomorrow.

  58. Cyndi says:

    I’m part of the army led by Marty — you’ve got a lot of troops rallying for you here. Thank you for sharing your strength with all of us.

  59. Gill says:

    And I’m over the ocean, cheering you on too! {hugs}

  60. The New Girl says:

    I am so frequently left speechless after these posts but I wanted you to know that I’m out here, reading, thinking of, hoping and pulling for you.

    You remain an inspiration to me and, I imagine, countless others.


  61. Aunt Pat says:

    Love, Hope and Prayers. May the Logo Princess be your strength and energy. Hang in there.


  62. Sandi Newby says:

    Susan, I am praying for you and I applaud your fighting attitude. Visualize that little lego warrior defeating your cancer. You don’t know me, but I am JJ’s mom and have been following your fight from afar.

    Much love and hope come your way.


  63. MDTaz says:

    I am wordless but not without prayers and hopes. I send them your way.

  64. Give me an S! That’s for Susan and Survivor and Sunshine. I’ll be your cheerleader.

  65. Joining your army today, Susan. Sending “The Force” of hope and healing your way.

  66. Samantha says:

    Sending you warrior princess vibes from California. Badge and post are up. http://www.garzagirls.com/2011/01/24/f-off-cancer/

  67. annie says:

    You can do this lego warrior girl! What a beautiful heart wrenching post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

  68. sutari says:

    Just please, please, please don’t start wearing your hair in rolls on either side of your head!

    I am SURE the headache etc. was just from the stress of the day.

    And you have done the right thing, hard as it may have been to do. It is what all of us should do, the second we have a child, whether we are sick or not, whether the dreaded C word has entered our lives or not. Because there is always that bus to worry about.

    Focus on those wonderful boys. And practice with the light saber!

  69. Niksmom says:

    I have no words today. Only love and prayers. LOTS of both coming your way.

  70. Kate says:

    I’ve come to learn your story only during the last three weeks and you’re touching my life in a way that I can’t explain. Thank you for sharing this journey I wish you didn’t have to take.

  71. Nancy says:

    I’m going to line up all my Lego warriors at home in your honor. They can work with your warrior princess to keep on fighting.

    And I’m wishing for more rainbows at your son’s feet. What a wonderful moment.

  72. Ruthie from California says:

    Love it! Princess-who-can-defend-herself…..keep on fighting! Praying for you and your family, Susan.

  73. Nor says:

    It’s good you can capture the here and now.

  74. Laurie says:

    Susan, I have wanted to comment for days and have been at a loss as to where to begin. Mostly I just want to say that this is a beautiful post, full of strength, love and joy amidst the grief. And also – just that I’m thinking and your family lots.

  75. em says:

    noble lego warrior princess, we are with you.

  76. Trina says:

    I just found your blog through Teach Mama. Oh, but if only kind words were all you needed, I would type until my fingers fell off. I have two little boys myself. I don’t know if you are trying to be inspiring or just trying to get through this. I find you the former, I wish you the latter.

  77. ella says:

    I already love Lego but now there is another reason to love it 🙂

  78. Jackie says:

    I’ve joined the army, badge on my blog http://www.educatingjackie.com

  79. […] Princess Warrior Amie – leading the charge Brave Princess Warrior Susan […]

  80. Amelie says:

    Your kids are awesome, and so are you, and the princess. Keep fighting!

  81. […] You may have wondered what it was doing there.  If you click on the picture it takes you to the post that explains it.  This Princess is part of Susan (WhyMommy’s) mental armour and she calls […]

  82. Little Lego Warrior is up and beaming out the force into cyberspace, raising awareness, strength, fighting spirit. The Army of Princesses is on the march!
    Sending love, prayers, and a very broad grin!

  83. Just wanted to say I think you are AWESOME! Keep fighting, Princess! 🙂

  84. Corrine says:

    Susan you are remarkable. When you were talking about the rainbows, it reminded me of this talk about the which is one of my favorites.

    You continue to be in my prayers! I hope many more rainbows make an appearance.

  85. Little Lego Warrior Princess bringing up the rear.

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