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Friday, June 6, 2014

Two Weeks On, One Week Off

Two weeks on, one week off. That's how my chemotherapy schedule is supposed to work.
My family 2010

Week 1: Carboplatin and Gemzar
Week 2: Gemzar
Week 3: NO chemo

Carbo, as we call it, is the mean and nasty one. That's the one that keeps me in bed or in the toilet for a full week. Gemzar seems to be a bit more friendly but still, it's chemo, it's not easy.

Carbo, is the one keeping me alive. It's the drug that's killing the cancer in the most miraculous way! It's the drug that I'll keep on taking for as long as it can do its job. That's a big deal because no one was sure that the cancer was platinum-sensitive and no one could have predicted that the tumors wrapped around and deep inside my vital organs were going to respond. It's a miracle.

Summer vacation is coming! The kids will be home from school, full time, before we know it. Some of our kids will go to day camps, some of them will be home for 2 months. I will be the full time entertainment provider. I will also be in chemotherapy, 2 weeks on, one week off.

My mom & 4 of us in 1988
I've always looked forward to summer vacation. As a child, it was filled with good times, good memories. We stayed home a lot and enjoyed just being a family, reading, drawing, doing art projects, swimming, cooking, baking. Sometimes I went to summer camp. The one constant was, I always knew that my mom was there for me. Whatever time of day or night, when I came through the front door of our home, I knew that my mom was there to hug me and love me. Mom would always make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had tadpoles in a big fishbowl and bugs in the bug-catcher. Mom was there to watch us swim in the pool or paint with watercolors. We could play in the mud and plant vegetables in the garden. Mom was there to drive us to Nojoqui Falls for a hike and a picnic, or to Santa Barbara, for a day at the beach. We always had the best sandwiches, cut up veggies, and of course a big juicy watermelon! Even the summer that my twin brothers were born - mere weeks later, we were off to the beach and hiking the trails! Mom did it. Dad was often at work, as dads tend to be. Mom never let us down. We always had fun. We were never hungry, we were never bored.

I used to be the one who took my kids to the beach without a second thought. I was the mom with the year round pass to the zoo and the Safari Park. I was the mom with the home made play dough and the caterpillars and the bubbles. I grew up with the perfect example of the Mom everyone wanted to have. It's hard to be the Mom With Cancer but what can you do? I still need to be the Mom. I want to be the Mom. I know that I'm being given the best chance that a Mom With Cancer could have. It's still very hard sometimes. Sometimes it's just hard. I feel guilty and I just want to lash out at the world. I want to be That Mom again. I want to be at the beach with my kids and make a lifetime of memories.

Two weeks on, one week off. Thank You, G-d for another week, another day. I will hug my babies, even when I'm weak and nauseated, and tired. Two weeks on, one week off, if I'm here, on this Earth, I hope it's enough. I hope my kids will forgive me; I love them more than anything.
Two weeks on, one week off.


  1. As always, your words confirm to me what I understood all these decades that I have loved you. That you are as your name, these days so clearly, states…. LOVE . and FAITH… As you know alll to well, I, in my own life have had to accept realities in this life, that disrupted the "normal routine, ebb and flow of my relationship and childhood experience, of family". You also have experienced a family {ours), that cherishes the memories of all those routine and not so routine moments that we had as a family without judgement , but instead gratitude for what was… nothing less. I love you and am grateful for everything you do , everything you wish, and all that you even imagine!

    1. What a wonderful tribute to your Mom.....I'm sure you are the MOM you are because of your childhood...which sounded delightful!! Praise all MOMs who dedicate unselfishly and play in mud!!

      You are so sweet...such a love.....keep looking up and wear PINK!!!

  2. I am not that kind of mom, like you describe. I worked full time for the past 20 years, including all summers. I made sure to go at least twice a year to a fun vacation as a family, even just camping when the budget was low. I was there in the afternoons and evenings. I have a great relationship with my kids and they have grown up happy and loved. I guess they can tell when you are doing your best and when you love and adore them even from the office. Your kids can tell too.

  3. Your journey is heartbreaking as it is uplifting. Refuah shleima.

  4. Lucille DeMartinoFriday, June 06, 2014
    What a wonderful tribute to your Mom.....I'm sure you are the MOM you are because of your childhood...which sounded delightful!! Praise all MOMs who dedicate unselfishly and play in mud!!

    You are so sweet...such a love.....keep looking up and wear PINK!!!

  5. What a post. It sounds like you are doing as much as you can, and that I'm certian is enough. It's a hard cycle, but I am glad that the chemotherapy is working. ~Catherine

  6. When I think about the lessons your beautiful children are learning from you about life, I can't help but think that they have one of the best Mom's in the world.