Thursday, September 18, 2014

My mom has cancer.

Everyone is sleeping. {silent party!!} I should be sleeping, but I'm not. Haven't been feeling well the last week and it's taken it's tole on everyone. Definitely not a nice sick person. Not that I know too many who are. Instead of sleeping I am googling and etsy-ing 'chemo hats.' Which is nothing I ever expected to do, yet, here I am. Looking at pictures thinking which one would my mom like most. Which one would make her feel beautiful when she is sick and not feeling very beautiful.

My mom has cancer. {crazy hard words to type.} I've been avoiding talking about it. Because when you talk about it it's real. And, I don't want it to be real. Not for me. Not for my mom. I want to read other people's blogs about their moms having cancer. NOT MY MOM. Not the woman who's given 30 years caring for a child with special needs. Not the woman who has spent 32 years caring for me, and we all know I am a piece of work. Not the woman who would give all her time and energy to her grandkids even when she is sick. NOT the woman who just 10 years ago buried her mother because she lost her own battle with cancer. NOT MY MOM.

We've know for a few months and at first we were told it's very simple easy lumpectomy and minimal to no radiation. She did the procedure and the doctor was very optimistic. But, there's always a but, when the final pathology came out there was a different type of cancer mixed in that can be a beast of a different kind. Rather than the basic and super normal (odd thing to say, but true) breast cancer this is an invasive estrogen based cancer that like so spread to other places. So, they recommended chemo for 3 months, and then a year of drug therapy every 3 weeks.

The prognosis is still positive and they feel the chemo will reduce her chances of relapsing down to 5%, which is very good. She is not dying. That is a huge blessing. None the less she will have little to no contact with us for the next three months. Chemo means no germs. My kids are large germ magnets. So, chemo means no kids. How am I going to explain why we can't go have waffles on Sundays at grandmas anymore? Or why we can only talk to her on the phone. How am I going to explain why grandma is so weak and has no hair when we finally see her at Christmas time?

I know we will figure it out but it's so stressful. My overwhelming world is always a little bit easier to handle when I know I'm going to my moms that day. "Just make it to grandmas." That option is no longer available. And, yes, I am aware it's just a season. No need to remind me of that. And yes, I know she is still alive and I need to have good perspective. I am all about that. And, lots of people who already know have said, "Well, we'll be here to help you." Thank you. But the honest honest truth is that a lot of people say that and almost no one will really help. We all love a good emergency, but it's staying the coarse and being consistent and purposeful that I myself and all of society are really bad at.

And, in the midst of all of this my best friend moved away. Which super super sucked. My husband is in school as well as working. So he is studying or working or at school or working or working. Which really really sucks.

My mom has cancer. I am going to need help. I am going to need people to volunteer to help take my kids. I have gotten a lot better at asking people if I can come over (Brooke) or asking for someone to watch my girls so I can go help my mom pick out her wig (Stacy), but it gets hard and tiring being the one asking for help. So if you think, I wonder if Amy needs a break? Or I wonder if Brent and Amy would like a date? Or I wonder if Amy and the kids are lonely tonight? The answer is probably YES!

Please pray for our family to be strong. Please pray for me to be strong and patient and full of peace. Please pray it will all work out for God's glory.

Monday, September 15, 2014

chicken nuggets and good parenting

There I was standing in the frozen food section staring at the chicken nuggets. A reality that I face daily about our kids and life stage and chaos that sometimes still shocks me is our food consumption. It's unreal some days. I find myself buying more in bulk than I've ever before, and it's so much sooner than I had imagined. Everyone says, when they're teenagers you'll go through food like crazy. Not so. When they are alive and breathing and eating you'll go through food like crazy. Thus, I go to Costco more for food than paper products like I used to.

However, Costco is my nemesis. I can not go without someone helping me, which makes us look like a side show at the circus. Juggling not balls, but children literally. Someone doesn't like the seat they are in. Someone might have gotten a little too amped up about the free samples and needs the cart to restrain them. Someone might be pulling her sister's hair and starting one of the 100 little girl cat fights that happen on a daily basis. Someone might be squashy in the ergo happily puking down my shirt.

But I was alone with the baby, staring at these chicken nuggets when I had an interesting dialog with myself. Something along these lines...

"I can't believe I'm buying chicken nuggets in bulk. I have so many kids. What kind do I get? Mickey mouse or dinosaurs? None of these are organic. Who cares! They are chicken nuggets. It's not like I'm buying them filet minion. But, what if people see me buying non organic processed food to feed all my babies with? I'm a good mom. Sometimes. Chicken nuggets is the least of my bad mom problems. But seriously. Are people looking at me judging? Screw it, they are microwavable and sometimes 30 seconds makes the difference between meltdown #157 of the day and peace and quiet."  {and in my cart they go}

I was actually surprised at my own thought process. The fact that the type of food I serve my family seems to completely reflect my parenting is amazing. Shouldn't we just be worrying about feeding our kids?

Please do not send me emails about how we are being poisoned. I totally agree. If I could I would take my family and go live with the Waltons. No joke. I would have a farm and a relationship with the butcher and know the people who I bought our milk from. I would live the way we were meant to live. None the less our HOA doesn't allow chickens. So there is that. BUT thats not my point.

My point is that social media and everyone seeing and being in everyone else's business is killing me. Seeing what everyone else does with their kids and how awesome they are kills me. I have a friend who has two older kids and then two twins. She home schools, does crazy cool projects, sews, serves at her church and it an all around rock star. I hate her and I love her. (kisses to you lady if you read this!) I can't do that. And I kick myself for not doing that or even being in the position to do that. i couldn't even if I wanted to. And I so want to.

Today is Cora's birthday. And I am feeling like a terrible mom. I lost my temper in the worst way.

You guys. Everyone is out there pinning all their projects and recipes. I'm over here trying to figure out what to microwave for dinner and googling, "why am I so angry?" Thats the God's honest truth. I want to feed my kids good food and I want them to have good memories of their mom. But if my ability to parent and raise my kids is based on tbe food I put infront of them then I am a failure. If my parenting is based on my projects and craft than I am a huge failure. {Even if I am a crafter at heart.} If my level of good parenting is about the parties I throw or the experiences I create then I am a failure. 

Thankfully I know that's not all it's about. I know that my parenting will never be enough. I know that  there are going to be great days and there are going to be depths of despair days. Today was a depths of despair. I want to choose joy, I want to find hope and grace and Jesus. But today felt so dark and hard and terrible. I sat with my family half laughing at the chaos over dinner and half fighting back tears because I couldn't help thinking this is my forever and this is hard. hard. hard. hard. hard. hard.

But this life is grace driven. And if my children will be good at anything it will be giving grace and forgiveness. Especially with a chicken nugget in their hand. 
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