My kids - I would not be me without them, I can’t remember what life was like before them. Becoming a mom defined me like nothing else would or could. Not even being a survivor is more tattooed on my soul than being a mom.
I had some issues with mom-hood - my mom left the family when I was young and it left me all kinds of skewed with what being a mom means. To me, pre cancer, being a mom was all it was everything it was all that mattered. I did not do anything without my kids and partly there were circumstances that made that my only option but also I made it my only option, too.
When I got sick the hardest thing the only reason why I wish I never ever got cancer is because I had to tell my kids and in my opinion ruin their lives - or did it?
It sucked donkey balls but it really opened up their lives in ways nothing but stage 3 fucking cancer can do - I had no option but to let go to give them freedom and to watch people step up and help out.
Day in and day out though even during my illness I am the stable person in their lives - meaning I’m the one who provides the sense of routine and order - it is just who I am deep down but I also know that I’m still Lisa and though I was a motherless child they are not nor will they ever be - they will know I worked hard to balance my need for control with my love of them and my love of myself and that sometimes I lost that particular tug of war and sometimes I won.
I want them to look back on their childhood as a time when their mom went from being their all their only to being a more balanced and open person who still was the one with the bulk of the child caring and work but who also focused on herself and them with equal care and love.
Recently I told my son I needed to rest and he told me I should have done that before I had kids and that moms can’t rest and I fixed that and told him that was mom 1.0 and now we have mom 2.0 and I’m better because I can rest and opt out of the constant entertainment of children...
My daughter knows I’m leaving to go to Italy with my dad in February and she’s all like,”you are abandoning us...” and v1.0 of my software of motherhood would never have let me even consider this trip period - I would never have wanted to go. At all.
But I know that I’m not like my mom - I’m not leaving for good and no matter how statistics and reality hits me with the world of cancer patient / survivor I have no intention of leaving them motherless - and I won’t. Fuck cancer.
I’m thankful for my kids because they teach me every day how it feels to walk around knowing my heart and soul lives in large part with them - that they follow me and learn from me and that the most meaningful contribution in this world for the future is raising them to be normal, functional and most important kind.
One day they will take my narrative over or explain in their own words what it was like to watch Lisa their mom go from living only for them to living for herself and them and I hope they always know I love them and support them and won’t leave them...
November is caregivers month and wow I have a caregiver — I am laughing hysterical at this because I am the caregiver the guru for everyone in my life - I am
The Mother for so many people, the designated driver since birth, the surrogate for my brothers, the mom of my mom... well you get the idea.
My whole life is about taking care of others - especially of my husband. He had some issues (to put it lightly) and I spent a lot of time doing the heavy lifting for uhm everything and tolerating his inactivity and his inability to meet me half way on life.
I never considered being married forever - I expected that eventually when the kids were older that I would dtmf because he was not with me with me ...
Then I got cancer and damn if this man did not become the partner I always thought he could be - damn if he didn’t come to every appointment and every treatment and do more than I ever thought he could do to keep things “normal” at home during my surgery recovery, chemo and radiation and on and on as I go for follow ups and shots and more he’s at every one - and looking to the new next thing my ovary and fallopian tube removal in a few days he’s ready to ramp back up again.
After my first chemo, he was sitting with me on the bed and I began to cry and say, “I am so upset!” And he was like, “ok, what’s wrong? Are you nauseous?” And I was like, “No, I’m so upset that I can’t divorce you now and it’s not because I have one boob it’s because you stepped
up and you’re helping me so much and now I have to totally revision my future plan of being a single old lady living with cats and dogs!” He cracked up and said, “That is the most romantic thing you have ever said to me.”
Lately I have naturally fallen back into the do it all mode and he has naturally gone back to the laid back not involved mode but we are working on keeping him as a partner for more - and despite how much cancer sucks I am so damn lucky to have met and married this crazy man who loves me and supports me no matter what.
Another grateful day - it was a tie to have this be about my husband or my kids but without him, I would not have them...
Super Mom BC Eradicator - connect with me via the icons above :). Thanks! XOXO LISA (my secret identity ... )