I Love You, Mom

Stacey:  “I’ll tuck you in, if you hurry to bed, David.”

David:  “Okay – thanks, Mom.”

He hurried.  The fireworks boomed in the background.  He was not distracted.  David loves, loves, loves to be tucked in at night.  No matter that he is now 13 and much taller than me, he still loves to be cuddled.

David:  “I’m ready, Mom.”

I gave him a big hug.  He wouldn’t let go.  He just held onto me.

Stacey:  “Oh, David.  I love you, my boy.”

David:  “I love you too, Mom.  So much.”

And with that he broke down and sobbed.

Stacey:  “Oh, my.  What’s wrong?  Are you okay?”

David:  “You don’t deserve this, Mom.  You don’t deserve cancer.  You are such a good person, why did this happen to you?”

I gasped inside my head.  What to say?  I searched for words.

Stacey:  “David, there are so many people who have such worse things.  We have to be assured that the Good Lord only gives us that which He thinks we can handle.  You are sweet to think that – but really, it’s okay.  We’ll get through this.  We are strong.”

David sobbed again.

David:  “I don’t … I don’t want to… I don’t want you to…”

I knew what he wanted to say.  Do I articulate the words for him?  Do I account for the elephant in the room?  I did.

Stacey:  “You don’t want me to die?”

Again, sobs.  He grabbed my neck once more.  And sobbed.

David:  “Yes.  I don’t want to lose you, Mom.”

(What to say, what to say, what to say? )

The battle against cancer is not just about me.  It is about my family.  It is the fear of loss.  It is the courage of warriors.  It is the grit of dirt farmers.  (those of you who know me will know what that means)  It is the strength to face an uncertain future.

Stacey:  “David, none of us know when it is our time.  I’m not ready to go yet.  I’m fighting.  There is so much hope for me – for us right now.  I am in treatment so that I won’t leave you.  When it is our time, though, there will be a reason.  You have to have faith that I am meant to be here going through this for some reason.  I believe that it has made us stronger.  Don’t you?  We need to live each day as it comes and be grateful for every day.  I am so very lucky to have this family – to have you.  You were one of God’s very precious gifts to me – as were Ben, Katya, and of course your Dad.  I have been very lucky.”

David:  (quiet)

Stacey:  “You need to think positively.  It is okay to be sad.  (I heard that from my readers yesterday)  It is okay to cry.  But, we have each other.  I am too “badass” (I read from one of my readers yesterday) to let cancer get me yet.  This coming week, I’m gonna whoop it’s butt one more time – I have chemo on Thursday.

David:  “I know.”

And with that, he gave me another hug.

David:  “I just love you so much, Mom.”

And in walked Kevin.

Kevin: “What’s wrong?”

Stacey: “David is upset that he thinks he will lose me.  So, I explained to him I was too mean to die yet.  And that we need to have faith.  Medicine is wonderful. Faith is wonderful. We have each other.  I’m not going anywhere.  Not yet.  I want to have grandchildren and live to be a ripe old age to be their favorite Nanna!”

Kevin: “Oh.”

Kevin talked to David in the same manner as I had.  I listened to my words come out of his mouth.  Then, the three of us lay together for awhile.  We just hugged.  We were quiet.  David had calmed down.

Stacey:  “It is time for me to go to bed, David.  Spukuna – noche.  (Russian for good night)

David:  “Wyeestyana, Spukuna noche.”  (Indeed, good – night)

Stacey:  I love you David.  I’ll see you in the morning.  Sweet dreams.

One more hug and I was on my way, leaving Kevin and David to be together.

I fucking hate cancer.  I hate that it makes my family have to face these sorts of fears.  I hate seeing David sad and worry that his Mom won’t be around for him.  I remember how hard it was to lose my own parents – and I was old.  I hate the prospect of David not having a Mom at a young age – or Katya – or Ben.

And so – I will fight.  I will fight tooth and nail.  I cannot do this to them.  I cannot leave. Surely God understands…  I have children to raise.



About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in cancer, Cancer Journey, children, family, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to I Love You, Mom

  1. Wilma says:

    Oh Stacey .. give David some hugs from me! And Ben and Katya and Kevin … and then wrap your arms around yourself.. You and your family are always in my thoughts xoxo
    You are an amazing woman …. FUCKING CANCER!!

  2. Fuck cancer.

    Praise love.

  3. Jan says:

    Damn RIGHT, Stacey! You have more spunk and strength and fight in you than any 10 ‘dirt farmers’, Gal! (-I’m one of your readers who understands precisely what that term means.) It’s in your genes. And no one has greater motivation and reason to keep on battling the big C bastard than you. All the positive energy flowing from your loving family and MANY caring and supportive friends will only enhance your ability to fight this.
    See you Wednesday.
    Love you, Stacey.

    • inmycorner says:

      Ha ha – yes, you would understand that term. (Dad would have been proud of me yesterday digging in the dirt). Ha – big c bastard indeed. Love how I’m not the only one pulling out the big gun words! Looking forward to our time together, Jan. Thank-you!

  4. G. William says:

    What a gentle soul your son is. Treasure.
    The experience you just had with him is rare. Far too few mothers and sons ever have the heartwrenching joy of that conversation. Strangely, cancer gave you that. Once it is gone, you can thank it.

    • Laurie McCarthy says:


    • inmycorner says:

      Indeed. Your words just made me cry, my friend. Which is not a bad thing. I cannot hold my emotions in – and I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. I think it funny that I agree with you that that conversation was a “joy” in the most odd sense. It most certainly was intimate and I know he will remember it for the rest of his life. And, yes, strangely – a gift from cancer. I so love the way you think and have re-phrased things for me. I espcially like your phrase, “when it is gone..” Fingers crossed. So appreciate your message to me. All the best, my friend to you.

  5. Judy says:

    What a painful story to write. I cannot imagine the emotions surrounding what you are dealing with. Many years ago, a good friend of mine went through a lot dealing with ovarian cancer. Her son acted out and got into trouble during the time she was in treatment. She was heartsick. After she passed, he dropped out of school but eventually turned his life around. Today he is a teacher and I wish she knew how well he is doing now. I currently have another friend whose son has dropped out of school temporarily due to his stress. It is horrendous to think about these effects from cancer.
    I’m not mentioning this to sadden you. It helps me understand how tough this must be – to reassure him while facing your real fears. These dialogs with your son are so important and cancer cannot destroy your love. It is infinite and will hold everyone and everything together no matter what. Thinking of you.

    • inmycorner says:

      It was a painful evening. I didn’t sleep very well that night – David felt better in the morning. We always do. Funny how we, as parents, feel what our children feel 10 x more! Oh, how sad about your friend. I totally get that story and understand BOTH sides. So wonderful that he turned himself around and is now teaching. Talk about the insight and compassion he must have for his students. Bravo. Cancer cannot destroy our love – you are so right. Listen – I just got your package in the mail on Friday — WOW – you gave me a lot of things to listen to. I’m in treatment (i hope) on Thursday and will begin listening at that time. What a talented lady you are! Good grief – is there any end to what you can do? Much, much appreciation for your friendship, Judy, and your support. You make a difference.

      • Judy says:

        Thank you so much for your message, Stacey. Knowing I’ve made a difference has me smiling from ear to ear. What could possibly be better than that?
        So true about our children – they bounce back from things, and leave me still agonizing about their struggles.
        Please, no hurry nor pressure to listen to anything – it’s just there for you if you are bored. I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday and glad that you’re one step closer to getting through chemo hell.
        Oh, here’s a link to the story about my friend’s son finding me years later. Her was a young man when my friend died and I had last seen him at her funeral. https://myjourneysinsight.com/2013/11/27/i-was-blessed-to-be-healed-part-2/

      • inmycorner says:

        I look forward to listening and reading. You are such a very special person, Judy. It is clear that you have many people in your life who you have supported. Going to read that story now.

  6. I, too, am wishing you all the best in your battle. My own battle with leukemia seems so minor by comparison, and the prognosis quite good, yet cancer in whatever form just is a big bully. I’m glad to see your courage and determination to fight on.
    This was one question I wanted to face and talk about with my husband years ago, “What if I don’t make it?” It took real courage for you and your son to hash it out together. Some folks stay in denial— “No, mom/dad/child, you’re not going to die!” — right up to the last day.
    I want to be here for my family, too, and to see my grandchildren grow up. However, I don’t feel I should make any promises I can’t certainly deliver. I’ll do my best to beat this, but no one can say what life may bring. I could survive cancer and wipe out on a stretch of black ice.
    That said, as someone else has pointed out, it’s those love bonds that give us our best feelings, our fears, our hopes and courage. I think it’s beautiful and I rejoice with you that you’ve grown those bonds so strong.

    • inmycorner says:

      Christine – you are right that no one cancer is better or worse. They all suck. We each have our own “unique” row to hoe. (Just in from the garden – grin) YES – it was tough. YES – It was something I wanted to avoid. BUT – I have never lied to the children – and I have always told them news as it arrived. I don’t know if that’s the right way to do it or not. I hated when my Mom edited news out because she didn’t want me to worry – but then I was always behind the grieving more than others who had heard news well before me. Hence, the decision to be honest – that way they can ALWAYS trust that I am telling the truth. Christine – you are right too about the black ice. We have to keep that in perspective. I wish you all the best with your battle – you and I must remain strong for those grandchilren. i’ll be you want to be the favorite Nanna too!!!! grin. BLessings.

      • I think it’s great to be upfront honest. I feel this business of not telling someone the truth because you don’t want them to worry can be both a big joke and a cop-out. I worry far more about the things folks don’t want to worry me with — because guesses and suspicions have room to run all over my mind — than I do about the troubles I actually KNOW.

        Secondly, “I didn’t want to worry her,” can so easily be another version of “I don’t want to face this. If I tell her, I’ll have to admit that things really are this bad.” It also saves “unpleasant reminders” — aka ‘nagging’. Hubby can tell wife, “We’re a little low on funds right now, but nothing to worry about. Just be careful” This is a lot easier than to admit, “We’re broke, the car payment is coming up, and the power bill was due last week.” It also avoids her mentioning, “But you bought yourself a new $300 — last week!”

      • G. William says:

        That is an insightful comment, Christine. I gave a lot of thought to whether I would tell anyone in my family about my cancer at all. I had to admit to myself that what I was really trying to do was avoid the pain of discussing it, or even thinking about it. I wasn’t protecting anyone but myself.

        I’m so happy I emerged from hiding to blog openly about my experience. It has lead to great things in my life.

      • I’m so glad to hear that. 🙂

      • inmycorner says:

        G. William – it is not easy to know what to do, for sure. So glad that you finally could emerge as well. It just makes life so much easier. And do you find blogging helps others to understand you better? I do. You are doing so very well – and helping so many. How exciting life can be when you take one step forward at a time, eh?

      • inmycorner says:

        Ha – yes – I totally agree with the “I don’t want to face this”. It is sooo difficult to tell anyone, especially the second time around, that you have cancer. You are bang on with the money analogy too — good insight. It takes a lot of courage to deliver unpleasant news.

  7. sharechair says:

    You are one amazing lady. In spite of all you are facing, you handled your son in the most perfect way ….. with blunt and sincere honesty. It’s the only way.
    Before retiring, I was a counselor and I remember a situation where a child was acting so strangely. After MONTHS of dealings with the family, the truth arrived. Mom and Dad were having a few financial troubles, but they didn’t want their daughter to be concerned, so every time she walked into the room, they hushed up. Well, kids are pretty darn smart, and she knew they stopped talking about something important, she just didn’t know what. So her imagination kicked in, and she was thinking up the most awful scenerios. If the parents had just told her the truth, a great deal of angst could have been avoided.
    You clearly have a beautiful and very special connection with your children. Why am I not surprised??? 🙂

    • inmycorner says:

      I am relieved to know that you think I handled that appropriately. Seriously – I guess no one has a rule book telling you what to do. What an interesting career you must have had! No wonder your posts are so thoughtful and supportive. (Is that where the name Sharechair comes from?) I do have a wonderful connection to my children.. don’t know why I’ve been so very blessed. This – is my silver lining. Thanks for that insightful story – it really does help.

  8. Thanks so much for following http://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com I really do appreciate it – Fonz

  9. Wendy Insley Saint-Onge says:

    Hi Stacy. A few weeks after my husband passed away, one of my daughters sobbed and said, “What if I lose you too?” There was no rule book for me to follow at the time, but after taking a deep breath and answering her, I felt good about my answer. One of my better parenting moments in the last year, I think. Nothing about these situations are easy, but we get through because that is what we do, right? Even the kids. They get through too.

    I am desperately sorry for what you and your family are going through, not because I don’t think you will make it (on the contrary, I believe this will all be a distant memory for you in a few years as you watch your son graduate) but simply because cancer sucks. Period. My husband and I referred to it as ‘cancer with a small “c”‘ … I refused to give it the power of a capital “C”.

    I learned a lot through the last year. So did the rest of my family. I have been meaning to read through more of your blog but have still been trying to tie up loose ends so time always seems to get away. I will read more later. In the meantime, read the below link to what I said when my daughter asked me the dreaded question. I hope you have a joyous day.

    • inmycorner says:

      Dear Wendy – thank you so much for reaching out to me and offering me your words of wisdom. I will read them with great gusto. I am so sorry that you too had to trod that sodden road. I still think it is harder on the ones who are left behind. My heart aches when I think of that. I missed my Mom soo terribly much when she died – I wasn’t ready. Dad too – but I was more prepared. And I guess that’s the key – to prepare. Thanks for your interest in sharing my story too. I wish you peace, courage, and joy. So nice to meet you.

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