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Cancer, I Hate you. Part 2

This would be my continuation of my Cancer post. It’s hard to talk about and I really want to make sure before I publish anything that my Aunt is comfortable with it. I don’t know how any of us could really digest everything her and her family has had to deal with over the past few weeks, but you just do. Just keep on keepin’ on, as they say. Whatever the hell that means.

So here goes.

Cancer, I hate you (insert every expletive imaginable with explanation points here). Part 2.

Do you know that feeling like you want to throw up, cry, scream or run and hibernate? I know that feeling well. It sucks. I really don’t know any other way to describe it. This is the feeling I have had so much lately and the only way I can make it go away is bawl my eyes out and have a strong talking session with someone that is a neutral party. Yeah, a psychologist would be ideal, but my friends and hubby are pretty damn amazing and I should have kept a tab for them years ago.

The journey so far has been a very bumpy and curvy road. Sometimes you try to think that it can’t get worse because you seriously think that one diagnosis of breast cancer is more than enough. Life has a funny way of showing us different.

But as my aunt said,“If you’re gonna do it, ya might as well go big.”
Aunt, Cancer, Breast Cancer

My Aunt came to my Bachelorette Party (’07). She drove here and back that night for dinner (5 hours), just to be there for me.

When I first found out she had cancer, I was in shock. It did not seem real and really how can it be? It’s the fear of the unknown and of course not knowing what is to come. Why can’t I have psychic abilities to know what the future holds?

I try to continue to reach out to God for guidance because I truly don’t know how else to get through it. I have never thought of myself as a strong person, but I am trying my very best to be that person.

More Diagnoses

So, after the initial phone call (read the prior post: Cancer, I hate you.) We thankfully found out that Aunt Di did not have liver cancer. n the spirit of staying positive, that was definitely news that helped us to breathe easier…for a little bit at least. You always have to look at the positive or you will find yourself in a landslide that seems to be never ending with thoughts of worry and dread. (This is not to say that I don’t think about these things, but I try my best to block them out and just take it day by day.)

The Surgery

After many pre-tests and consultations, the day for surgery at the Cleveland Clinic was here. We knew we would be getting results, but in my mind, I felt like it was the worst it could get. Why do I have a horrible intuition these days?! I just want to be right, especially when it comes to this.

cancer support, family, cancer, breast cancer, bone cancer, Cleveland Clinic

My Uncle entertaining Aubrey for a bit, while we waited.

It was a long day. My nine-month-old daughter, my Aunt’s three kids and husband, her best friend and her mother and father in law were all there to offer support. I have to say that we all tried our best to keep it a pleasant experience, as much as you can. Plus, when you have a baby to keep you entertained and on your toes, it’s really hard to think about things too much. Children manage to keep things light.

We had been in the waiting room all day, only leaving for walks to try to get my little “eyes wide open, not gonna take a nap monster” to sleep. I was so thankful that everyone chipped in to help with Aubrey. Love her to death but she is a hot mess (I don’t know where she gets it).

Updates during Surgery

Of course, most of us left to go get some Starbucks in the later afternoon. That would be the exact time the doctor came to give us an update. They had to remove around 15 lymph nodes and 11 of them were cancerous, which was a sure sign that cancer had spread to other areas. There are a lot more technical terms of why and how, but that’s a little too much for this post or even my brain.

With more testing after surgery and further scans, it was also revealed that she is now dealing with metastatic bone cancer, on top of cancer in her breast and lymph nodes. There is no way to sugar coat this, she is dealing with a shit load of cancer and it is total bull shit.

Post Surgery

I won’t go into too much detail, because, although I am sharing her story, I don’t want it to infringe on her privacy or make her feel uncomfortable. (I’m pretty good at doing that to people with words and getting into the most uncomfortable conversations to make sure no words go left unsaid. It’s kind of my thing. Ask my husband and Mom.) I guess I didn’t realize all that was involved in the recovery and aftermath of a mastectomy and lymph node removal. But how would you unless you’ve lived thru it?

My Aunt handled it with grace and I am so proud of how far she has come in opening up and talking about the whole ordeal. Being the extremely active, doesn’t sit down often, perfectionist that she is (I am not dissing her, I am much the same) she listened to the doctor’s orders. (Well, except the leaf raking incident while she still had her drains in, but we won’t talk about that).

And seriously, shout out to her thirteen-year-old daughter that helped her with her drains and her first shower. That is something that I don’t know if I could have done at her age. I probably would have ended up on the ground, like the time my sister had a series of dental work and had to be put under anesthesia. I was and still am that mom that is an empathetic sicky. Whenever my babies are sick I start feeling the symptoms too and I am sick with worry the whole entire time. You would think that it would have gotten better after three, but nope, I just take stronger meds to dull it down a bit. Ok, more Mom ADD moments…back to the story at hand…

aunt, cousin, breast cancer, bone cancer, family support, caregiver

My aunt and cousin at one of her brother’s soccer games (at least ten years ago. You can even see Grandma in the background watching the game).

My cousin, Abby, has said that she wants to take care of her mom and I just think that is pretty damn amazing and the last thing I want to do is get in her way. Nobody is perfect, but this girl has got her priorities in check at such a young age. At her age, I was ridiculously obsessed with boys and other stupid shit that is not worthy. I will end this here because my aunt is pretty private and I am already sharing so much. I will just say that the after effects that she has had to deal with post-surgery has shown me, even more, what a strong woman she is. I am so thankful that my Aunt and I are so close and she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about everything she is going through. Plus, she does have a niece that will not let any words go unspoken, I don’t really give her much of a choice.

F*$%@ ing Chemo

And now, here we are. December 12, which ironically enough is my grandma’s birthday, the first day of my aunt’s chemo treatment.

Grandma and Grandpa would have had such a hard time with this and I am so thankful that they are looking down on us as our guardian angels, instead of standing beside us here on earth, being the worry warts that they have taught me to be, (well, in grandpa’s defense it was mainly grandma that had the problem of excessive worry).

It’s also very ironic, being the worry wart that I am, that I am here doing my best to be supportive of my aunt during this time. This is not me tooting my own horn, this is me trying to talk myself up and give myself strength. This shit is hard.

My Aunt tried to talk me out of coming many times. She has her reasons and I totally understand and appreciate that. I also have my reasons and I can say that she truly seems to understand and appreciate them as well.

Aunt, son, cancer, caregiver, bone cancer, breast cancer

My aunt is not used to asking for help. Hell, she may not even feel that she needs it and I pray with all of my heart that she actually will not need it. But I’m here. It cannot be. I realize that life is too short. You need to be there for those that mean the most to you. So I will be here. I will do my best to be a positive, supportive force and it will be good.

If anyone that is reading this has or is going through this, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at

I would love to hear your story. Let me know what helped you.If you are a cancer caregiver or support person, how did you help the person going through the chemo treatments? What did you find were some helpful remedies during the treatments to help with side effects? Any input is greatly appreciated

What’s your story?

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