The days pass

The days pass by in a slow not-quite-rhythm as we learn to adjust to this, yet another “new normal” of cancer and chemo and pain and weakness and pills and side effects and always, always fatigue.

Close friends have begun to stop by with their children for a playdate in the late morning, spreading into lunch, and then the children are tired but I am more so, and we all lie down for a nap or at least a few episodes of Phineas and Ferb.  They arise and play in their playroom, but I am lost in slumber, waking only at Daddy’s gentle nudge for dinner, or, worse, late in the evening, when the house is silent and I am still tired, but not sleeping between the hours of 3 and 6.

The meds relieve my pain but also take away my energy, and I am so tired that the days pass one into another without my noticing.  Work is slow but doable, I parent the best I can, with all my energy until just after lunch, when if I have family here, I nap, to awaken hours and hours later.

The heat is oppressive, and we live indoors this summer, as when I go outside my arms swell up, even in my lymphedema sleeves, and my belly bloats as well.  And I get crabby.  So that’s not a solution, and won’t be until we have a handle on the meds a little better and I can drive again (trying not to on the opiates), and the breakthrough pain is less and less, so I won’t get stuck somewhere in pain and we somehow find my energy again, so I can walk around at our destination.

I don’t mean to paint a bleak picture.  I am as always thrilled to be alive, but it is a quiet existence, and the side effects are more than side effects, and I am so very tired of sleeping so much.  I’m fighting so hard — we’re all fighting so hard — to keep me alive, that it seems that I should be able to do more than play quietly with the children in the morning, keep up with the most basic chores, and write two days a week when everything magically balances.

Friends are a wonderful blessing, bringing meal after meal and thoughtful things to keep the children distracted, or games that we can enjoy together from my couch or bed.  I don’t have the energy to say yes to all of them (how blessed we are!) but when I can, it is lovely, and the love — from spouse, from family, from friends, from those two perfect boys we call our own — keeps me going.

The love keeps me going, and I remember what a gift each day is, as I take the rare step outside and catch a glimpse of the butterflies we raised this spring — or their grandchildren — or the gravel pit Grandpa made just for us — or the azaleas, the playset, the shovels, the toys, the detrius of a live well-lived.  And I take a deep breath, remembering to enjoy it.  Remembering that life is made of moments, and I am so lucky that I get to live such wonderful, wonderful moments all smooshed up together in this beautiful life that exists between the sleeps.


124 Responses to The days pass

  1. slouchy says:

    Oh, Susan, this is utterly beautiful, this post.

    As are you.

    I love you. Can you feel it, gentle, always, and true?

  2. Susan, this is so beautiful. You are so beautiful. I am thinking of you so, so often, sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. xoxoxo

  3. Longtime reader here, just sending a little cyber love your way. My thoughts are will you and your family as you adjust to this new rhythm.

  4. Pam Hunter says:

    You are amazing … I know I am a stranger to you, but I hope you know that I pray for you often! I just wish there was something more I could do for you. A book? A flannel pillow case? Flowers to look at? Something for your children?

    I would love to do something that makes a difference for you!

    Hugs and prayers …

  5. Ellie says:

    You are an amazing lady. I continue to keep you in my prayers.

  6. Hang in there strong, positive warrior. I know, easy for me to say. But somethign else I know too: YOU ARE STRONG!


  7. Stella says:

    You are blessed indeed. It can be so difficult to remember at times. I am always awed by your focus on the boys and motherhood when no one would fault you for focusing on yourself. You are my hero.

  8. justenjoyhim says:

    Beautifully written, Susan. I pray for SO MANY more wonderful moments for you and your family. My love is with you always.

    ~ Judy

  9. *m* says:

    Thinking of you and yours every day, Susan. xo

  10. Meredith Shapley says:

    Such a beautiful post, Susan. Thank you for sharing your gift of words with all of us. You inspire me everyday. But you were always the “cool, big sister” to me anyway! 🙂 I think about you all and pray for you daily. Wish our boys could play star wars or legos together. I think they would be great friends. Please give your mom a hug from me.

  11. Jackie says:

    Susan, I have been a long time reader, who has remained quietly on the sidelines, reading your every entry, shedding a tear or two, and always, always holding you close in my thoughts and prayers. Being a Cancer Survivor (I had Ovarian Cancer back in 96, but am now Cancer free), I know much of what you are going through. I have wanted to leave you a comment so many times, but for some reason, always hesitated to do so. After reading your entry today, and realizing that time doesn’t stand still, I knew I had to at least let you know that I am out here, reading, and keeping you in my prayers. You are so brave and so optimistic and that is just a couple of the many things that gets you through those times that you feel like you just can’t go another step.
    I am reading, praying, and wishing a cure upon you, and do admire you so very much. Just wanted to let you know that. Never say never, my friend, and stay ever strong.

  12. I would imagine that this is so very, very frustrating “I’m fighting so hard — we’re all fighting so hard — to keep me alive, that it seems that I should be able to do more than play quietly with the children in the morning, keep up with the most basic chores, and write two days a week when everything magically balances.”

    We are here. I am praying.

  13. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    You bless us – by your brilliant perceptions of new normal after new normal, by your incredible ability to verbalize your thoughts, and by teaching us something valuable and lasting every time you post. I am so thankful for the grace and wisdom you have brought into my life. I am yet another person out here in the universe that watches over you, your family from afar, with love that hopefully supports you, with deeply, heartfelt prayer & virtual embraces of pain-free, light filled, luminous life. You are in my thoughts all through the day, at odd times, and odd moments. I hope you can feel it.

  14. loran says:

    Susan, you are so strong. You can do this. You are doing this. You will do this. I love your view of the world…reminding us that each breath and each hour and each day is precious. You continue to inspire – as a cancer survivor, as a parent, as a woman, and as a human being. Thank you for making us a part of your days – it is an unbelievable gift. We are out here while you sleep – praying and sending love and strength. And we breathe with you – relishing the air of now. Today. xo

  15. Jess Lippy says:

    We think of you often and are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Another amazing post.


  16. A beautiful reminder to everyone to enjoy these moments between the sleeps. Thanks for sharing your reflections with us all, Susan!!

  17. Lindsay says:

    Your outlook, Susan, is so inspiring. Thank you for reminding ALL of us that each day is a gift. I’m thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

  18. I wish I could volunteer to bring you casseroles, or to take your kids out for an afternoon, or to clean your house so you wouldn’t have to worry about chores.

    I wish I could send you a box, wrapped in brightly colored paper, a riot of ribbons and bows, full of pure energy that you could swallow and it would fill you with enough fire to get through three days without sleep.

    I wish I could take your pain, stuff it inside of an enormous rocket, and send it off into deep space for you, where it would freeze and shatter into a billion pieces and never plague you again.

    In honor of all these things I can’t do for you, I promise to find someone nearby who needs me, and to help her instead.

  19. Twice Five Miles says:

    Love to you…

  20. Lahdeedah says:

    I’m struck, as usual, Susan, at how you can take your pain and turn it into something poetic. “This beautiful life that exists between sleep.” Your writing is just breathtaking. I echo Amy above, who wishes she could take your pain and stuff it inside an enormous rocket (what a great visual!).

    Love to you, your lovely family, and those fantastic grandparents.


  21. tracy thompson says:

    One of the characters in “Our Town”–revisiting her life after she dies in childbirth–says, “Do human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?” “No,” says the Stage Manager. “The saints and the poets, maybe. They do, some.”

    I won’t burden you with the title of “saint” but you are most definitely a poet. “This beautiful life between sleeps”–a pretty good description of the human state. If only we can see it.

    Thanks for seeing, and sharing.

  22. Meg says:

    Wishing you even more love than you ever thought possible – and sunshine and butterflies and peace. Thank you for sharing your journey here.

  23. Denise says:

    Thanks you for using your precious energy to share your story with us. You are an inspiration, and I pray for you every day.

  24. You are such a beautiful person. It shines through your writing, and even through your pain. Much love to you, dear friend.

  25. fran53 says:

    Susan dear….. You are an amazing, fighting warrior, indeed. Please know that even though my hair has hardly grown yet and my legs are crippled by Neuropathy of both legs still all from toxic chemo, I pray for you and your family daily with every ounce of my being. You are in my heart and in my thoughts. Let the narcotics take you to that special place only you know and let it take you to dreamlands that only you know. You have such strength, bravery, determination and courage. I admire you so much

  26. ilinap says:

    You have such a way with words, yet another gift you give the world. So grateful to call you my friend.

  27. Karianna says:

    Hoping for many more butterflies. XOXO.

  28. MG says:

    Susan, I do not know you, but have been following your fight via your blog. Your words are so powerful and your strength in the face of cancer is truly amazing.

  29. Laurie says:

    I will concur that feeling uncontrollably sleepy is so annoying, even when your body really needs it. I hope the pain is lessened today…always glad when you can update.

  30. Stacy says:

    We love you Susan. You are a true fighter.

  31. jodifur says:

    It was so wonderful to see you on Saturday. Thank you for bringing the dress.

  32. Niksmom says:

    Susan, your beautiful words are a poignant reminder to ALL of us to pay more attention to those precious moments we have “all smooshed up together in this beautiful life that exists between the sleeps.” Thank you for the gift of your wisdom and the sparkling glimpses into the love and ligth which sustain you between sleeps. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  33. Kathi says:

    Dear Susan, thank you for sharing your beautiful writing in the midst of all this. It matters to so many of us. And do you.

  34. Niksmom says:

    *ahem* that would be LIGHT…sorry.

  35. Linda Lawrence says:

    Thinking of you and keeping you in our daily prayers. We love you so much.

  36. Pam says:

    Butterflies, what beauty they bring…Just as your words bring out the beauty in the life your are living between those naps. Continue to think of you and your family often, keeping you all in my prayers.

  37. Susan,

    This is a poignant, magnificent posting that had me in tears. You are so right about enjoying life’s moments. I am a breast cancer “survivor.” Just take one moment at a time.

    Sending you hugs…

  38. Donna says:

    Just sending some love. Sending the smell after a cool rain, the smell of sunkissed little boy skin, a cool pillowcase, the smell of sweet corn in a hot kitchen.
    You know so many of us have so many wishes for you. If it was in my power there would be even more things raining down on you.
    hugs from Donna and her boys tooxoxo

  39. Kim Slavis says:

    Your writing continues to be beautiful and inspiring. I can hear the quietness of your life though through your words. You live your life with such grace despite the challenges that continue to be heaved upon you. You are truly inspiring, both in actions and words.

    Wishing you many more beautiful moments every day.

  40. I thought of you so much at BlogHer this year, remembering the joy of meeting you last year, wishing you were in that same place of energy and health right now. I wish you ease at getting through the days, hoping for a return of strength and wishing for all the world I had a magic wand, a genie in a bottle, some way of wishing a thing into (or in this case OUT of) existence. Hugs, as always.

  41. Mary Ellen says:

    praying…stay strong and be encouraged…you are a blessing!

  42. Sue Farrell says:

    Susan, my heart breaks for you. I remember when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 39 and my youngest was in 6th grade. I fought a good fight. I now have been in remission for six years and he is 35. I wish I could give you a hug and help with your children. My prayers are for you.

  43. If only cancer could be cured with casseroles. We woman would have done it long ago. You have sent so. much. good. out into the universe. Let it flow back to when you need it. It’s your turn.

    Your writing is simply breathtaking. As usual, you have reminded me to take joy and be present in the every day. I love the quote from Our Town, above.

    I am hoping that you find the peaceful balance between palliation and energy. And in the meantime, I wish you many snuggly, happy moments of the in-between.

  44. Susan, you not only get to enjoy your beautiful life in between the sleeps, but I think IN YOUR SLEEPS you come with your bloggy friends as we pray for you and you come to us when we are reminded of you…just as you came to me and the young female science students at the Museum of Natural History. You saw their smiles on Twitpix! I told them about you & women in planetary science….they were smiling for you!!!

  45. Lynn Brooks says:

    Praying for you IBC sister. You are doing everything perfectly well, living in the moments 🙂

  46. Jackie says:

    I have come here a few times today, and thought of you in other times between, and I still don’t have the words to say. What can I say? You’ve said everything so well already.

    Just know that you are loved, and supported, and we are here for you, always.

  47. Bon says:

    love you. thinking of you.

  48. gorillabuns says:

    you are nothing short of magical. love, peace and more love…..

  49. Kate says:

    You have such a great outlook and your family and friends are just as blessed to have you are you are to have them. As my 5 year old says “you have to rest when you are sick so the good guys can fight the bad guys”. So before you sleep, you give those good guys a pep talk and have them go to work 😉

  50. Michelle says:

    Wishing you well. You are in my prayers.

  51. I am so grateful to you for sharing, Susan. Before I went out of town I was so low energy due to thyroid, I felt pretty rotten. Your writing both inspires and humbles me. I will embrace all the moments I can and do my best to simply heal and honor my body’s needs in the others. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.

  52. Stimey says:

    Always sending love, always thinking of you, always knowing that you are doing everything you can for your family and yourself. XO

  53. DrAttai says:

    Sending love, prayers and hope

  54. Susan, I don’t comment often, but I want to tell you that you are such an inspiration to me.

    While I was going through chemo, I read your blog regularly. It helped me get through. It helped me understand for myself that no matter how hard it got, I would find ways to get another snuggle with my baby – That she would be happy and know that I love her. On the bad days, we piled blankets and pillows on the floor so I could lie down there, and my baby could crawl to me to play and snuggle. You reminded me to be present and notice and enjoy those moments.

    There’s a lot of information on the internet about living with and battling cancer, and palliative care and related issues as well. But precious little info about raising young children while going through the above. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

    • This. This.

      Thank you. You know exactly what I mean. Would you like to write a guest post for Mothers With Cancer? We should collect our stories, for there is no reason to hide them.

  55. Beautiful, as usual. Thinking of you often.

  56. elyse says:

    Well that post propelled me out of lurkerdom . . .why I can’t say but I honestly felt a visceral sense of rhythm as I read through that post. Almost as if you were rocking something or someone with the cadence of your words.

    I think the highest aspiration of my soul at the moment is to more fully realize that each moment and each breath are beautful. Living in the now is so hard to do. I don’t really have any advice or words of wisdom. I just want to thank you for this post. It hit me right smack in the soul.

  57. Elesha says:

    I think of you often. All the way over here in Australia. In fact every day. The choices I make the way I feel about silly things, how much I let them get to me, have all changed since reading your posts. You inspire me ever single day. X

  58. Jennifer says:

    Thinking of you in Switzerland as well. This is so beautifully written. Because, I think, you are living such a beautiful life.

  59. I think of you so often, wish I was closer to take your kiddos out to play, to make you a meal, to give you a hug. You are so strong, so beautiful, inside and out. Much love.

  60. Bobbie says:

    Praying from Connecticut. Your words take away mine.

  61. Barbara says:

    You are such a gentle soul and I’m wishing you the strength and determination to win this unfair battle. May your childrens hugs be your medication, may your husbands arms be your stability, may you beat this with the love of your family and friends. Much love to you.

  62. Lisa B says:

    Just wanted to add my love and hugs to everyone else’s – who have, as usual, said all that I want to say way better than I could ever put it.

  63. sending thoughts and prayers your way… long distance hugs sent your way…

  64. amy says:

    sending love your way- that post was so beautiful. You are so beautiful…you are amazing and my prayers keep coming for you love. xoxoo

  65. Tina says:

    Love and happy thoughts and tons of energy being sent your way from all of us over here, across the pond… You’re in our prayers and on our minds. Hugs and hugs

  66. Deb says:

    Life is only the present but we are human and we grieve the lost future, the might have beens, the what ifs At least I do.

    I got a job last week at our local cancer hospital. You and my girlfriend my inspiration. Thank you.

    Take care woman and sending positive thoughts your way.

    • Wow. Thank you. That’s incredible.

      Everyone – from the greeters to the cleaners to the nurses to the pharmacy – matters at a cancer hospital, for every patient or caregiver or friend that you meet is strong in the face of adversity, they are there to fight. And every single person you touch has been – or will go through – immense times of grief. A small word or a smile goes a long way in dark times.

  67. Oh, Susan… so beautiful, as always.

    Sending love, prayers and all the strength I can possibly muster.

    xoxo CGF

  68. Amanda says:

    Wishing you beautiful dreams in your sleep and tender loving in your waking moments. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  69. Bridget says:

    Praying for you and your family…

  70. abbeyviolet says:

    Hugs and prayers for you and yours.

  71. Sandi says:

    Bless you sweet lady. (HUGS)

  72. mary says:

    Sending love and prayers. Also, I have to say when I think about my mom (I am almost 50 and she has been gone 8 years) I don’t necessarily focus on the trips we took or the high-energy times but on reading together, cuddling, talking and just hanging out — I enjoyed the others and they are good memories too, but the cuddles are what I treasure still.

  73. sutari says:

    I wish I could have brought the weather from our New England vacation home with me and thus to you… It was warm, maybe even hot, but none of this horrid humidity that just wears you down. And always, a whisper of cool in the breeze. It was glorious to be outside. I pray for a break in this summer soon, so you can enjoy the butterflies and the dirt and the gravel pit.

  74. Thank you all. I am overwhelmed by your words and treasure each as I recover from Monday’s chemo.

  75. Cindy says:

    Susan, thank you so much for offering some of your precious energy to inspiring us here in the blog-o-sphere. Continued prayers for you and your family!

  76. the emotion baked into every word of that post is overwhelming, and I’ll just add my voice to the chorus here, sending well wishes and thanking you for the opportunity to glimpse at your life. But I’ll also say this is some amazing writing. I couldn’t write this well on my best day.

  77. Cassandra says:

    Lovely and beautiful post, Susan. Just like you!

  78. magpie says:

    Love to you, Susan.

  79. Colleen says:

    Susan, this sentence. Oh my gosh, this sentence. “I am so lucky that I get to live such wonderful, wonderful moments all smooshed up together in this beautiful life that exists between the sleeps.”

    I love you for feeling that. I love you for writing that. It’s the distillation of everything that I know about you, every encounter I’ve ever had with you.

    I was thinking the other day about the first time I met you pre-IBC,, at a playdate at FunFit shortly after your littlest was born. I remember admiring you so much and thinking to myself how great you were for coming through a bedrest-filled pregnancy with a toddler and keeping your sanity — even more, your equanimity and gracefulness. I remember hoping that I’d get to know you better.

    I am so grateful that I have gotten to do that. I am so grateful to you for being my friend.

    You know that I pray for you every day and think of you so often. It is so much my privilege to know you. I hope that you find the balance you deserve soon.

  80. Christie N. says:

    Wow Susan! Never did I think that when I first contacted you I’d be speaking with such a power house. After loosing my best friend last February to ovarian cancer I reflect on the moments we shared together. Now reading your posts I sympathise with the physical pain and ambition for life you have. This must speak volumes about the support, medical staff, family, positive energy and the children you have surrounding you. Please tell me how you won your fight 4 times. Was it through alternative/wholistic medicine, prayer, family doctors, all of the above? Which country and city do you live in? This is amazing! Congratulations, God bless, strength and courage is yours. Stay well.

    • Thanks. That’s very sweet of you to say that. I have used all the medical options available to me, including chemo, radiation, surgery, and doctors at a nationally recognized Cancer Center. I do also pray for healing – a lot – and many pray with me, I know. I live on the East Coast of the US, in a city with excellent medical care, and I am lucky. So lucky.

      Each day, my goal is to live a little longer, and to be around to parent my children through their many challenges. I love them more than life itself, and that’s what keeps me going back to chemo.

  81. lscheuer says:

    Susan – nothing to say, except “thank you” for writing such meaningful words. 🙂

  82. Kristen says:

    Can you feel the love, Susan? You are loved. And what you say matters. To all the people above me on this list and to all the people who will follow.

  83. MyLifeAsItIs says:

    Life is full of wonderful moments, isn’t it. Keep enjoying them in your dreams and when you’re awake 🙂 It was so nice to see you last Saturday, and to be part of the Red Dress with you and everyone else.

  84. I keep coming back to read these lovely comments. It says a lot about you, Susan, that you inspire such love and draw such wonderful friends both online and in “real” life. I hope your team is succeeding in helping you find a medical balance, and that the wonderful moments last longer and longer. Much love & hugs!

  85. sutari says:

    Oh, and by the way…. aren’t you(r) boys a little young for Phineas and Ferb?

    Why yes, yes we are….

    And where is Perry anyway?!?

    Best. Show. Ever

  86. e says:

    I found you through Bon and have been lurking for ages, and want to add my voice to this chorus of good thoughts and gratitude. My grampy lived with cancer for more than 20 years. He called a family meeting once, which is unusual since there’s just 5 of us we see each other all the time – we all thought it was to say goodbye or to share some devastating news, but instead he wanted to tell us something and the gathering was to make the point. He said, be good to one another and love each other, and always take care of each other, this family is small you find strength together. It’s the thought I come back to every time I’m daunted by something, or when I feel sad or lack courage. Reading your blog reminds me of him, because you live his advice so fully each day. Thanks for being so generous with your story, and your strength. My small family are thinking of you, and yours.

  87. So many people love you, Susan. And for good reason. Please know that even though some are less active in the blog world, sometimes it’s because we’re less active in general. I’m praying for you and pulling for you.

  88. clergygirl says:

    ((hugs)) You are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m not blogging anymore but I check in on you and the other ladies from MWC. I am throwing myself in to studying things like biochemistry and statistics so I can get in to a nursing and midwifery program. My drive comes from understanding this horrible disease….I vow to stay late for the plugged ducts and mastitis cases and preach “more than a lump” because I never want a woman to go another day with IBC. It breaks my heart to hear what you are going through.

  89. Alice says:

    Your strength, peace and commitment is an inspiration, please keep fighting!

  90. In addition to cooking meals, I’ll volunteer to sleep on your behalf and give you my energy. If only I could find a way to make that happen, you know I would! Maybe I should just search around for the instructions on the internet. I’m confident the answer can be found on The Google, The Facebook and The Twitter.

    Then again…

    Maybe the answer is just giving you my love, time and attention. And more food when you want it. xxoo

  91. Adam says:

    Like those little “candle blows” when bringing a tiny new one into the world, you bring beauty into the world with gentleness despite the pain.

  92. You are beautiful.

  93. Brandie says:

    Susan, I am thinking of you and sending many prayers your way. It is hard when you feel you should be doing more, but I’m positive your family feels you are doing enough. Enjoy every moment. I hope things get better for you soon.

  94. I always tell my kiss that love is delivered to us on the wings of a butterfly.

    I hope you have much love and are surrounded by butterflies, always. You awe me.

  95. Mommakiss says:

    I am here via @maggiedammit and I’m so glad im able to share in your story. My very best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last fall. I’ve gone thru everything with her, wishing I could take the pain myself. She is doing incredible now. For she is strong. So. Strong. As I suspect you are as well. About 3 weeks ago I walked the 3 Day walk in Boston. For my friend, at first but now I know I walked for so many others. I hope you continue to fight. So hard. I’ll be thinking of you.

  96. […] for me. My friend Susan has been fighting cancer on and off since 2007, and right now it’s a full-on battle. My friend Brandie was also recently diagnosed with cancer; she’s halfway through her chemo. […]

  97. Tracy says:

    Quite a few years ago, a coworker and very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Being teachers, the staff pulled together and soon meals were planned and the family was blessed with wonderful dinners. This dear friend of mine once joked with me, wondering if I even had a kitchen in my home (LOL) so I decided my gift to the family would be for her children. I took a video camera and tripod to her house and asked her to read their favorite picture book aloud to the camera. I also asked her to select around 30 pictures and give a narrative behind why she selected each one. She did this for each of her two children. I then took the video, the picture books, and the stack of pictures and made a movie for each of her children. My intention was to give the children videos that they could watch during those times when the chemo was making things worse before it could get better.

    Unfortunately, my friend lost her battle after a long, hard fight. Multiple copies of the videos were made. The kids were each given their own copy, personalized to them, and copies are tucked away in safety deposit boxes in case one ever gets damaged. The kids will never forget the sound of her voice, the twinkle in her eye as she read or talked to them, or the stories that she told about their birth and childhood.

    This is one thing that might be helpful to others who are raising children while battling cancer, so I wanted to share it here where it might make a difference to someone else.

    Many hugs, healing thoughts, and much love is being sent your way.

    • Sara Ryan says:

      Tracy, what a wonderful gift for the children of your friend. We made a similar video with my mom just before she passed away so that her grandchildren would have the opportunity to hear her voice and see her beautiful eyes twinkle.

      I often gently coach my friends who have parents in similar situations to interview their loved one or share special moments through videos. Those who are ill experience the comfort of knowing that their legacy will live on… It is a healing, bitter-sweet experience for all.

  98. Liz says:

    Your strength and attitude is so inspiring Susan. I’ve been stopping by here for many years now and am so in awe of you. Love will get you through this fight. Your children are so blessed to have such a smart beautiful mother. Sending you lots of love from New Zealand Susan. Kia kaha.

  99. very nice story. Memories are sometimes all we have, and that makes them even more special treasures.


  100. Sara Ryan says:


    I am new to your blog and new to your personal story. I am not, however, new to the story of mothers and breast cancer. My mother fought breast cancer off and on for 22 years starting when I was ten. Her determination through immense suffering sadly reminds me of you.

    I am sure many others have told you this, but I wanted to say it as well: You have given your children timeless gifts that will help shape their character and their children’s character for the rest of their lives. I can already tell how much of your heart and soul is expressed in your blog. By reading your story, your boys will know and appreciate you in such a greater depth than they ever could have if circumstances would be different.

    – By learning about your fight to live – for their sake – they will learn how to fight for what they love.
    – By seeing your appreciation for life, they too will appreciate life to a greater degree.
    – By your demonstration of strength and resilience, they will become strong and resilient.

    I could go on…

    They will become better human beings because of you… and that is the greatest gift a mother can give.

    Of course we all wish circumstances were different… Still, we take the gifts as they are given to us.

    Wishing you much love, much strength, and most of all much peace.

  101. Karen says:

    I found you through the Bloggess’s link and I agree with her that you’re amazing. I may not have kids, and I’ve never had cancer (knock on wood), but I have family and good friends that are surviving both. *grin*
    Just to toss out the offer, I make super comfy caps for people with ‘hair issues’, at little or no charge for the first one. Drop by my site if you want and see some of the hats I’ve made and the happy people who’ve received them.
    Wishing you courage, strength, and healing!

  102. Amanda says:

    I just found this blog, courtesy of the Bloggess who usually leads me to extremely funny and slightly inappropriate pages that I just can’t get enough of – and of course I found a very different thing here. I wish I was a regular reader and not suddenly catching up post after post, but I wanted to say that you are an inspiration and will stay in my prayers from here on out.

  103. hey beautiful.

    As always, holding you in my heart.

  104. Tricia says:

    Beautiful post….so inspirational. I am speechless and deeply touched. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers through your journey as well.

  105. Somer says:

    I went through cancer 2 years ago. I was blessed that it was only thyroid, blessed that it had only gotten as far as the lymph nodes in my collar (instead of lung, where it wanted to go)… but more than anything, blessed that I caught every lucky break one can catch in that situation… mostly I was blessed to have the realization of how precious every day is. That’s really what I got from your post, that you’re taking each day the best you can, trying to get the best out of it, and that’s beautiful.

    Recently, my mom observed that my life is better now than it ever was before, that I’m happier than I’ve ever been, despite the constant “is it back?” and meds, and tests… and I told her I was, because I finally learned to appreciate it in the moment. I told her that I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, but I wish the perspective on everyone.

    I wish you many many more moments to enjoy, sleep that leaves you rested, pain-free time to do what you need to, and the energy to clobber the disease again so you can go on doing what you want. Take care!

  106. abibabi says:

    Thank You!

    Thank you for your wonderful, beautiful insight.

    Thank you for using your precious energy to positively impact people you have never met.

    Life unfortunately is not simple or easy, ironically the most important and enjoyable parts of life are very simple. You are enjoying all of them.

    Family, friends, children… butterflies

    Bless you –

  107. Natasha says:

    Able or not, these are words for us all.
    It’s sunny outside, I think I’ll go for a walk.

  108. I think about you everyday. I have said 100 times there is no bravery or courage in cancer; it is what it is and we ”fight” with the tools given to us and hope our bodies cooperate. But there is grace and striving to find the beauty in a rotten situation and you embody that perfectly.

    Keep fighting & hold tight to your grace.


  109. NOR says:

    We all have much to learn from you about enjoying life.

  110. thank you for your heroic strength, whymommy.

  111. […] The Days Pass: Susan of Toddler Planet is one of my heroes. She’s battling her fourth cancer in four years. This is the big one. She writes so beautifully about balancing her pain management so that she can tolerate the pain, yet still savor the moments with her husband and young children. Share and Enjoy: […]

  112. beautiful post and a reminder for all of us to stop at watch the butterflies. *hugs my friend!*

  113. Beautiful post. I pray you keep fighting and keep writing. xoxo

  114. […] posted at Toddler Planet. Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed The cleantech graveyard […]

  115. sending many prayers your way…..Karin

  116. I really love how you write and deliver your sentiments here. All my best wishes for you!

%d bloggers like this: