Thursday, September 23, 2010

In which I whine about cancer again

Tomorrow morning I'm headed to the TypeAMom conference in Asheville.

The reason I started blogging was to have an anonymous place to vent the dust bunnies in my mind. My parents were sick and across the country. I had just been through a divorce. My soon to be husband had just been through a divorce. I had job issues. Stress abounded. Of course we all know how anonymous the internet really is . . .

I didn't know what a blog was until my friend Susan introduced me to Kristen's blog, Motherhood Uncensored. I was instantly hooked. I popped open Blogger, signed up, and never looked back.

Not too long after that, Susan started Toddler Planet. For months, we were our only readers. It was a great way for us to stay connected. In high school, we often shared our writing with each other. In fact, I still keep a journal that she gave me 20 years ago in my nightstand. It has lived right next to my bed for years and will continue to do so - even though my poetry in it is so cringe worthy, I won't even let Kevin read it.

But Susan has. She's read it and still likes me. A friend that can see through your cheesy poetry is a good friend indeed.

In 2007, we both bought our passes to BlogHer and looked forward to attending the conference together in Chicago. Then, shortly after a phone conversation in May that went sort of like this (and I'm wildly paraphrasing because only the last line really stuck with me):

Susan: Do you remember how your mom knew she had breast cancer?

Moi: She found a lump one morning under her arm. It was the size of a baseball.

Susan: There is something weird going on with me. Do you think it could be cancer?

Moi: Heavens, no. Of course not. You are too young. You have no family history. You couldn't possibly have cancer. I'll probably be the one to get breast cancer. You know, genetics and all.

Oh my dear word, how many times have I wished I never uttered any of those words to her? Could I beat my own head against the wall any harder? Could I have chosen something MORE stupid to say? Bad poetry AND my stupid mouth, and yet, she's still my friend.

Our BlogHer plans went out the window. I went without her and felt a giant hole in my heart the whole time. I wore my Team Whymommy shirt, cried on people's shoulders if they pressed me too much about her, and felt terrible that I was there, while she sat back home, starting her battle with cancer.

In 2008, we both made it to San Francisco for BlogHer. It was a whirlwind. I had Christopher with me. He was six months old, and I was still so full of anxiety that I kept him on his regular schedule which put me back in the hotel room at 3:00 PM for bedtime. I was a crazy woman. Susan was busy. I was crazy. But we were there together, and that was wonderful.

Last year, Susan hit BlogHer and I hit TypeAMom. Again, I had a good time, but for me, blogging is so much a part of our friendship now - I just felt like she should have been there.

Fast forward to 2010, and we were planning again. We both had our TypeAMom passes. I have another infant, but am far less ridiculous. Susan is just coming off of an amazing time at BlogHer where she rocked the crowd as one of the Voices of the Year. I know I would be sharing her with an awful lot of women again, but it just felt right that we were going to be there together.


I know that I am not the one who has cancer. I know this, and I understand that to many people, this probably means that I shouldn't complain.

But for CRYING OUT LOUD. Could cancer please leave the people I love alone??? There will be no trip for Susan again this year. Chemo has got her resting at home.

I miss her.

And while I'm griping about it, chemo has knocked Momma on her rears as well. Colin has yet to be baptized, and I can't decide if I'm being ridiculously selfish even asking her to come administer the sacrament. I mean, I really want his Nana to baptize him, but it's not the best thing for her.

So forgive me. I'm sad today. I'm feeling really put out with the not only the effects of cancer on the two women I love most in this world, but I'm really freaking pissed at how it's messing with our plans.

We have things to do, Cancer. There is LIFE TO LIVE. Why don't you just leave us the hell alone?