..........were dropping like flies here.........

i dont know how to write this.


so I will tell it in the way I did over the phone late Wednesday night to Annabel, my youngest, whose graduating from Missoula and getting married next summer.

"first, is Chris there"? 

(if you dont have your own 6'1 Chris, then make sure you have a comfort item nearby)

"From the c-scan multiple reviews by everyone and their janitor, the bloodwork, and the irregular shape that looks like a squashed lime and placement of the mass, the Oncologist  we met, who happens to be one of the heads of the Cancer center and top notch definitely Irish guy, is fairly certain its lymphoma."

"he says he will hook me up with his best friend there who not only graduated from Harvard, but did research at John Hopkins and is an excellent hematologist  - and then he said he always takes care of his ladies so he gave me some good drugs to help sleep at night when I cant sleep"

"surgery to remove it and to check my pelvic cavity, for anything else and for adhesions from that surgery i had done 10 years ago that neutered me will be done in less then two weeks with him and the general surgeon, and then from there we can start talking treatment. It most likely will be a 
chemo thing"

"I have great chance of beating this into submission as I am young, in great shape - he had to ask me age again as he said "you dont look 48!!" and that we CAUGHT IT EARLY during a regular checkup. It was good I followed the dr.s advice at that regular exam and didnt put off that cat scan"

"and I most likely will have short or no hair for your wedding...is that okay?"

After listening to my baby daughter sob and sob and then start to sniffle, then begin to breathe normally again, her words were exactly the right words that a feral mom who doesnt want to screw up her daughters planning for a perfect gorgeous weddiing day needs to hear ~

"mom, you will be beautiful no matter what"

and then

"you have a nicely shaped head, you can so get away with it, mom"

we laughed together and sniffled at the same time, sharing a little of the burden of the unknown in that way, having small girl talk about her and sister teaching me how to put on some really cool fake eyelashes...then the conversation dwindled to quiet reflectiveness...

And unfortunately I had to continue.

" Hey ann, is Chris there with you now?"

I waited.

"yep, hes in the room with me".

"while i was talking with Aunt N. tonight while she was at Grandpa's, Grandpa Ray died - you know hes 87 and since he was recently put into hospice, he just didnt have that long"

this took a little time while she sobbed - I was soooo glad Chris was there.  Thank you Chris. You are now an official member of this family in my book, wedding date be darned....I could hear him asking whats wrong baby?  in the lovers tone, the one reserved only for your beloved, the loved one you marry for forever and can count on always....i imagined he was holding her, and I knew she would be okay always, even if I couldnt hold her...

but  I still wasnt done.

"okay Sweet pea, one more thing..."

"oh gosh Mom what now? really?  

she laughed a harsh tough little adult laugh - one that sounded remotely like me a few hours before. Its funny how even the littlest mannerisms get passed down from generation to generation.

"Your aunt K had a mini stroke yesterday - she was in the hospital but she is out now."

"Is she okay?"

The rise caught in her voice echoed her concern; this was my oldest sister, the one who always took care of the girls when I was a single mom so i could go to my once a year spring fishing retreat in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. She did this because she knew that being a single mom herself once, that all moms need a healthy break from their children. She and Uncle B. would take them to the bestest places, and they felt loved and on vacay too - so much so that they wanted me to go on more trips then once a year lol...

"she will be okay. They did lots of tests and they came up good.  This apparently was a warning stroke and she has been put on meds along with diet changes and stuff. we gotta keep her in our prayers that she lives a long happy life..."

" yes!....and you too, mom!!"

"yes Ann...

...and me too."


March 1924 -  September 2011

My Dad

 taught me how to catch, clean & cook fish, use power tools, 
throw horseshoes, change oil,
hang drywall, and drive a stick shift.

Hes a good part of why I am so strong.

Thanks  Dad.



  1. Sending prayers your way. Sometimes life just sucks, and then we get through it. And you will have a beautiful, happy wedding with your daughter.

  2. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I don't know how you got through that phone call, you are one tough cookie.I know your sister will be fine so do not worry about her now. The medication will work wonders. Now YOU I am so happy you have a nice shaped head, :) I myself have a head flat on top like a table. You are lucky for that. The rest not so lucky but you have an amazing family. They and their sense of humour will get you through this terrible time. Your sense of humour has always cracked me up and I know you have it in you to beat this. I sit here crying as I type I am so upset but my parents raised me to be strong and laugh at the hard times it can not get you if you laugh, and I sense your family is the same way. I am truly sorry about your Dad I know what that one feels like. Take care my dear friend and keep laughing. Lots of hugs to you. B

  3. What a beautifully written post, albeit so difficult! I am keeping you, your sister and your whole family in my prayers. With your strength and the strength of your family; what you're going through, and what your sister's been through will be reduced to just memories soon.
    While the decades of beautiful memories with your precious father are what keeps him alive in your hearts. I adore the photo you shared of him.
    May I send you a cyber ((hug)). Take care - thinking of you,
    Dea (Deanna)

  4. What a brave lady you are!!! You have enough grief to last you awhile.
    I will remember you and your family in my prayers. It's all gonna be ok one of these days! Really! It's hard as hell to see right now, but it will!!!

    Take care lady,



  5. i read this. then had to come back a while later. i know that you and your sweet hubby and your girls will manage this hitch just fine. it will not be fun, but you'll make it funny. i know you will.

    i am truly sorry for the loss of your father. i don't care what age they go, it leaves a hole in your heart.

    and blessings to your sweet sis too. God bless you all...

  6. That had to be one hard post to write. So sorry about your Dad -- I loved your tribute to him. I am praying for you and your sister.

  7. That had to be the hardest phone call for you to make. I'm terribly sorry about the loss of your father, and sorry about your sister although she will be fine.

    You will be too, you were on my list before I wrote it down. I really can't remember your name, so prayers are sent for you with your alias. I hope you don't mind, I'm sure He knows who I am asking for.

    Hoping everything goes as expected and it is a memory in no time.


  8. I lurk here most times but I want to send my best wishes along as well. I had a similar diagnosis last spring that turned out to be non-cancerous but still scared the socks off me. Strong family is the best crutch to lean on in difficult times. Even when they are worried sick about you they can lighten the load.

  9. You'll be in my prayers. I know your a strong gal and you have lots of people who care in blogland!Like me!

  10. Omgosh girl..I had to read this three times and still can't believe it!!! I somehow missed your last post!...I just don't know what to say...you are a stronger woman than I for sure.

  11. Praying for you. So very much on your plate right now. Stay strong and positive.

  12. Praying for you all. My sister is going through cervical now. Keep your collective chins UP.

  13. That was one difficult conversation you had with your daughter. Thank God for daughters like her, for strong women like you, and for the bond you share.

  14. Prayers for you all. Blessings from Wisconsin

  15. I went to the woods for a month and all hell broke loose in your world. Words cannot describe how much I feel for you right now. I'm sure your dad was a great man, because you are an outstanding woman. My deepest sympathy.

  16. ok, i read your other post.... then i talked to bastiaan, and came back here...

    i guess i just wanted you to know that even though we never met, i will be thinking about you, tonight, tomorrow and the next week.

    We will kick this thing to the curb.

    Big hugs

  17. Thank you for being brave enough to share your journey on your blog. I don't know you, but you have touched me with your honesty. My heart breaks for you and your family. Sending support, comfort, and all the good thoughts I can muster through the internet. You are one tough woman with an incredible sense of humor! You will beat this!

  18. I only know you through this wonderful world of the web, but I feel a kinship. A shared love of a special corner of Montana does that. Sending light and love, best wishes.

  19. we may have never met but just know you are in our thoughts today as you venture down the path of recovery!!!..just from reading this post I realize what a great woman/mom your are!!!..take care of yourself..your family is very lucky to have you!!..remember that god only made a few perfect heads..the rest he covered with hair!!..

  20. this one, hard.to.read. Going back and back reading and crying. Perfect life, then boom the rug is pulled out from under your feet. It's happened to me before, not cancer but I know the fear of cancer..it hangs in the air everytime I go for checkups. Praying and sending cyber hugs to you and all who love you.


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