one boob

so I’m going to stop telling you that I’ll “write more tomorrow”, because I’m terrible at following up lol. I’m almost always on the go or busy with the kiddos, that by the time I remember to sit down with my laptop, it’s late, and I’m really not a night owl.

…finishing up where I left off with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 14, and deciding that NOT telling me was some kind of great idea.

the day came when she would go into surgery to have one breast removed, and reduce the size of the other one (all the women in this family, and extended, are large breasted), and I know without a doubt that I have never EVER seen my mom genuinely afraid of anything, like she was that morning.

I went to the hospital with both of my parents, and sat quietly (and confused) as my mom slowly changed from her clothing, into the cold hospital gown. I wasn’t sure why she was scared, maybe I didn’t really know or understand the depth of what was happening, no one bothered to actually sit down with me and explain what was happening. so all I really knew was she had cancer in her breast, and she was having surgery. maybe that’s selfish of me to have felt left out, but it wasn’t just a “boo hoo, I’m feeling left out and neglected while my mom is terrified for her life”, I really cant put my finger on how I felt. I do know though, that if I’m ever that sick, I will keep my kids informed every step of the way, and not leave them in the dark, to fear the worst.

I actually watched my mom have a total breakdown. I sat in a chair in the corner of the room, she was in her bed trying to get up and my dad and the nurses were practically restraining her. she had massive body shakes, she was sobbing hysterically and begging them to not put her to sleep because she was afraid she wouldn’t wake back up, and to please just let her go. I’ve said before that my mom is a hard and cold woman, and to actually see her terrified to the point that she wasn’t in her own mind, left me feeling like I wouldn’t see her come out of surgery. I started crying myself. I was feeling the fear my mom felt, and then some of my own.

mom was hyperventilating at this point, and still shaking violently when two more nurses came into the room, they had with them a small bottle and a syringe, and they injected whatever was in the bottle, into her IV. One of the nurses that was holding my mom and trying to sooth her, looked over at me, and then said something to my dad.. he then simply walked away from my mom, without even so much as a “good luck”, let alone a hug or a kiss, said to me “lets go to the waiting room”, and he was out the door and moving quickly down the hall, leaving me to scramble after him. I looked back at my mom before leaving the room, and she was still shivering from her hysteria and her eyes were still wide and wild, but she started to look limp and it looked like she was starting to fall asleep.. I remember thinking she said don’t put her to sleep, what if she doesn’t wake up? whats happening to her? why is she acting like this? why do I have to leave?

I found my dad in the family waiting room, changing the channel on the tv.. I felt like I was going to start crying again, “why was mom acting like that?” and he replied “she’s scared or something I guess.”

“what did they put in her IV? she’s asleep.” I asked.

He ignored me.

A nurse came in and said we could go back in, and that the sedative was working and mom was calm.

Dad made me stay in the waiting room while he went back to mom’s room.. I was upset about being left behind, I wanted to see for myself that mom was ok. But I waited. there was nothing but news, cartoons and soap opera’s (but not my General Hospital) on tv, and some old magazines but all I did was stare out the window down onto my beautiful city.

Pretty soon I heard my mom moaning, and I went over to the hallway, and watched as my mom was being wheeled down the hall on her little bed by two nurses with my dad walking beside the bed. she was moaning and reaching for him, and he did hold her hand for a moment, but then let it go, and fell behind the nurse at the head of the bed, and came to stand beside me. “where are they taking her?” I ask him as I listened to my mom moan the word “no” over and over again as she was pushed down the hallway and through a set of double doors and out of sight. “to surgery” he said simply, “food?” he asked, and I nodded, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of the doors.

we went to the cafeteria and had lunch, and after that I cant remember what we did for the rest of the time, but I know that she was in surgery for several hours. dad didn’t talk much about it, and I knew I wouldn’t really get anywhere if I even asked questions.

after what seemed like an eternity, a nurse came out and told us that my mom was in recovery, but that she would be there for an hour or so, everything went well, and her doctor would come talk to dad, but then we could see her after that. dad just said “ok”, but I sat there with a big grin on my face.

the doctor came in a while later, but I didn’t hear what he said, and then a little bit later, we were allowed to go into a room where my mom lay in her bed.. my eyes about popped out of my head, mom’s skin color was a weird pale color, and she looked like she just got off of a carnival ride that spun her around a million times.. she tried to sit up, but cried out when she tried to use her arms to lift herself. apparently they had to remove some lymph nodes in her arm pit areas, so her muscles had been messed around with.

dad pulled up a chair next to her bed, kissed her on the forehead, sat down and turned on the little wall tv. I stood next to her on the other side of her, barely holding back tears, and just said “are you ok??” and she smiled and said “I think I am.” and I felt like I could breathe again.

one of my sisters came into town to come home with us to take care of mom.. god forbid my dad take any time away from work, even though he’s the boss..

mom got to come home just a couple days after surgery.. I think everything went smoothly, the only thing that stands out in my memory is that the day after she came home, she wanted a shower.. my sister (we’ll call her H), helped mom undress, and got her situated in the shower, and then left the bathroom.. we waited a few feet away in the living room (during this time, it was still the shitty cabin, lol). When mom was done, she called for H, and we went to the bathroom, and as H walked into the bathroom, mom opened the shower curtain, instantly turned white and collapsed. H moved fast, and barely caught mom’s upper body and head before she slammed against the toilet. H was freaking out, and yelled for me to call 911. I ran for the phone and quickly dialed, but yeah.. we lived in the middle of no where remember? 911 didn’t work out there. seriously. I don’t remember why or what the message was on the phone when I dialed it, but I remember yelling back “it doesn’t work!!!!” (it was several years before 911 became an actual thing in our little po-dunk town).

I went back into the bathroom, H was stroking moms hair and kept saying “mom? mom?! mom!” it felt like mom was unconscious forever, but in reality I don’t think it lasted more than 3 minutes.. when her eyes finally opened, H started laugh/crying and said “what the hell happened?!” mom slowly sat up and took the towel that H held for her and said “I just got really light headed, but I feel ok now”. H and I helped mom up off the bathroom floor. we wanted to just get her to her bed where it was safe and she could rest, but mom really wanted her night gown and to watch tv in the living room.. (I told you before, she’s stubborn).

so we got her nightgown and bathrobe on her, and got her to the sofa and made sure she was comfortable. H called mom’s doctors office and told them what had happened.. The nurse was positive that mom just had a major head rush, and after having surgery and being in the hospital bed for so long, that standing in the hot shower, and then opening the curtain to the cool air just caused her to faint. the nurse instructed H to keep a close eye on mom, and if we were really concerned that we should just load up and drive back to town to have her checked out..

mom insisted that she was fine and wasn’t going back to the hospital.. we ended up joking about it later that day. mom said “thank god there was no ambulance, I was naked! those people don’t need to see my naked body.. I only have one boob now!”

she also used to joke (and still does) that she can never go swimming again.. she says, “I only have one rudder… I’ll just swim in circles!”

thanks for reading!







































history lesson

the last few days, ive been stuck in depression mode and feeling emotional, maybe because of the weather? i dont really know, but todays blog is probably going to be all over the place and messy and hard to read or follow.. bear with me, and read on.. hopefully tomorrow’s post will be better!  🙂

from the time i was born up until i was about 12, we lived in a big city (nope, not telling where).. we had a cabin in a small town in neighboring state that my step dad built (will talk about step dad another time too), and we would stay weekends out there during summer time.. our cabin was on a large river, and it was beautiful, the cabin however, was rather crude as it wasnt 100% finished.

so, at age 12, i came home from school one day and saw a “FOR SALE” sign planted firmly in our yard, and when i came inside, my parents were sitting in the living room with another man and woman, and they were going over paperwork. i had NO idea what was going on, but i knew it wasnt good.

30 days later, we were moving out to our cabin in the woods 😦

the first time in my life i had to say goodbye to the friends i had literally grown up with since kindergarten. we had moved several times before, before my mom married my step dad, but i had never left my school or friends. this house was the house we lived in the longest, and i can still mentally picture the layout, and where everything was at.

side note: the family that bought the house, still lives there today, some 23 years later or so… (im terrible at math.)

i was miserable and freaked out and scared.. my parents kept their jobs in the city, and drove an hour each way to commute, and to finish out the remainder of the school year, which i think was only about a month and a half, i got the pleasure of commuting with my dad too.

throughout the summer after school got out, sucked.. my mom left for work at 4:30a.m. and my dad left for work at 6:00a.m.. mom got home around 4:00 in the afternoon and my dad got home at about 6 in the evening. it was like this from the age of 12 up until the age of 19 when i moved out, and we lived literally in the middle of NOWHERE. Zero supervision. my siblings; 2 half sisters, 1 step sister, 2 half brothers, and a step brother (later i discovered that i also had 2 more half brothers), were all grown and moved out on their own, either with regular jobs or whatever, and others were in some branch of the military. so i was utterly alone, 5 days a week, for nearly 10 hours a day. a 12 year old kid is BOUND to get into some kind of trouble, right?


during the summer, until i was about 15, i wasnt allowed to go swimming unless mom or dad was home.. and whenever i was able to, i was ALWAYS in the water. i was referred to as “the fish”. I also had ZERO friends as well. and this was what, 1993? we lived down a dirt roads in the middle of the woods practically.. the closest neighbors were miles away, and most of them were retired people living out their lives on their riverfront property. either we didnt get a satellite dish for the first couple years because there was no service providers out there, or my parents just didnt feel the need for it, i really dont know.. we had basic channels… 2, 4, and 6.. our little antenna at the top of the hill behind our house didnt receive much else. obviously no internet either lol.

i entertained myself by getting into my moms stuff, wearing her clothes around the house and playing in her high heels and acting out Zorro episodes.. or i watched soap operas all day, General Hospital was my favorite, and I absolutely LOVED Sony and Jason, they were my crushes. or i pretended to be Julia Child and would go into the kitchen and pretend to be on a cooking show and i would create (hideous) recipes by throwing whatever ingredients i could possibly find into bowls. i had a very large audience, and they loved me and my creations.

One day my mom came home from work early because she was really sick, and i had a huge bowl in the kitchen full of disgusting green goop, and i panicked. its not like we had a weekly garbage truck, we either burned our burnable trash, or my dad took garbage to work with him to dispose of it. he owned his business, so why not right?

anyways, this bowl, i didnt know what to do with it, i knew i would get into serious trouble as both of my parents were seriously anal, and my mom was borderline abusive and she too hated living out there as the stress of the living conditions and commute were weighing her down.. plus, she had always been this way with all of us kids.. i’ll get into more of that later too, but due to the blog im posting now, i’ll be throwing in some examples of her abuse in a bit..

so, i covered the bowl with suran wrap, and ran out the back door with it, up into the woods and over to a trail i had found some time before, and i threw it over the edge of the trail into a ravine type area. i dont know why i didnt just dump the contents into the garbage and wash out the bowl, that hadnt even crossed my mind. i just threw the entire bowl into the woods to save my ass..

this was the lame stuff i did that first summer to pass the time. there was absolutely NOTHING to do. so, my mom one day told me that i was lazy and getting fat (yes, she said that), and told me that i had to have the house cleaned every day before she or my dad got home.

dont get me wrong, when i mentioned above that my mom hated the living conditions, it didnt mean the house was gross or anything.. but it was an unfinished cabin. the walls were nothing more than exposed 2×4’s, insulation and wiring. bedroom and bathroom doors were particle board with a piece of rope for handles, and now that i think about it, i actually didnt even have a door on my bedroom until i was 14. we had a wood stove and space heaters to keep us warm.. deadly stairs from the living room to the two bedrooms. i say deadly because it more or less resembled a double-wide tilted wooden ladder. patches of super old carpeting that had been placed in some areas back in the early 80’s, and spiders.. spiders everywhere.. plus, we had gone from living in a 2 story, 6 bedroom 2 bathroom house with a rec room, living room and a family room, with an attached garage and storage shed, and an attic full of more storage stuff, to living in a tiny 2 bedroom 1 bathroom cabin with half of a living room, and a “laundry room”. we downsized a little bit, but lets just say there was a wee bit of clutter, and “stuff” everywhere, stacked upon even more “stuff”.

so cleaning was anything but simple.. and my mom was a neat freak in our last home, and there was no way i could perform miracles and make the cabin spotless for her…. so needless to say, her and i had some massive and ugly screaming matches. being slapped across the face was a regular occurrence for me, and she was happy to supply them. she admits today that she took out her misery and depression on me. it was not a happy time for her or me. my dad however was living his dream.

one time, i started my first period.. i didnt move off of the couch that entire 5 days.. i didnt clean anything.. the cramps were unreal. i had no desire to move. she came home from work one day, and she started in on me about my being lazy, and the longer i lay around, the fatter im going to get, and “when you have cramps, you have to move around”… my first period and she had NO sympathy or compassion for me. still sitting on the couch, i was screaming through my tears at her that my stomach hurt and “why are you yelling at me!?” and she literally pounced on me and grabbed one of the little 1970’s style throw pillows and covered my face with it and held it and me down with her weight.. all the fat comments directed at me, and my mom wasnt exactly little miss skinny..

i was in panic mode, i couldnt breathe, and i was scared, so with all of my strength i pushed her off of me and she landed with a loud thud on the floor, still holding the pillow. i screamed at her “you tried to kill me!!!!!” and i ran to my room, for the first time i was actually afraid of her. and she yelled back at me, “dont be stupid, i did not, i was trying to make you stop screaming”.

sometimes during our fights and screaming matches, she would tell me that she hated me and i wasnt allowed to call her “mom” anymore because i wasnt worth it. i would sob and sob.. the next day she would bring something home from work with her to buy my forgiveness.. my dad usually just ignored whatever was going on between her and i, and just turn the tv up. i think her and i had cabin fever… this stuff went on for the first few years living out there.. the brutality of it i mean.. i had no one to talk to, no one to look to for comfort or support.. i felt like a prisoner and i felt like my mom hated me with every fiber of her being..

before i go, i’ll leave todays blog with one amusing story of how i entertained myself during that first summer, and how bizarre my boredom really got. 🙂

my parents bedroom had a sliding door that lead to a tiny 4×9 “patio” with a couple of wooden deck chairs.. for 2 weeks, as soon as i woke up in the morning, i would go out onto their patio, and at the top of my lungs i would pretend to be a crow “CAW!!!!! CAW!!!!!! CAWWW!!!!!!!” and i would go back inside and resume my day. for 2 solid weeks, except weekends obviously.. my parents were home, if they heard me doing this, they would have locked me up in the crazy hospital. i think the boredom was taking its toll on my poor brain.. i was really losing it lol. well i finally quit doing it because little did i know, sound carries very well and very long distances on water. im assuming there were people camping down river, because i heard someone shout back “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!” soooooo, that ended that!

luvs & hugs