Cancer Sucks

The twins were born about nine months ago. It was a wonderful experience for me and my husband and despite a NICU stay, and some hiccups (aka Louie, my drama queen), I felt very grateful to have my boys in the world and relatively healthy.

At that same time, however, some serious drama was unfolding with my family. Drama that wasn’t mine to talk or write about despite the fact that it took up a large part of my consciousness. I have gained the necessary permissions so I can tell you all this story now.

You see, in June, while I was lying on my side on mandatory bed rest, doctors found a tumor in one of my sister-in-law, Sadie’s, bronchial tubes. This was after months of horrible coughing and a general deterioration in her health.

Scary is an understatement. The stats on lung cancer are grim and it took two different procedures to get enough tissue to get a sample for testing. Meanwhile, I’m stuck in the hospital by myself and wishing there was something, anything I could do. I’m a doer and lying around waiting to heal from a c-section is pretty much the opposite of doing anything. Well, I was pumping milk, which gave me plenty of time to stew and worry and maybe cry, but didn’t make me feel one iota better about not being there for my brother or his wife.

We spent three painful days waiting for results and when they came in it was official: she had cancer. She had just turned thirty and in the course of six months a tumor had developed that was so large it had managed to collapse one of her lungs. Doctor’s surmised that pneumonia had set in there and that it would stay as long as the lung was unable to work properly. All in all, it was a pretty hellish diagnosis.

The good news, if you can call it that,ย  was that it was not lung cancer. It was actually a form of lymphoma with a fantastic remission and treatment rate.

Last month, after a six rounds of chemo, Sadie was declared cancer free. These days instead of planning her life around oncology appointments, rounds of chemo, and PET scans, he’s busy planning a trip to London with my brother. We are all so happy and relieved and hope that this is behind us for good.


When the American Cancer Society asked me if I would tweet about about their big Final Four event this weekend, I jumped at the chance. I mean, I was surprised, but glad that I could do something when I’ve felt so completely useless in the past. They are a great organization with a fantastic website that I have turned to often when I need more information.

So this weekend I’ll be attending The Coaches’ Huddle Cocktail Reception in New Orleans–an event that occurs in conjunction with the Final Four Basketball Tournament. There will be music, food, and lots of basketball people that I know nothing about. It’s also going to raise a ton of money for cancer research which is my idea of a wonderful cause. Everybody should get great statistics. Everybody should get a fighting chance.

So. . . I’ll be tweeting the hell out it on Friday plus posting pictures and whatnot. Hubs and I will be dressing our best! Please don’t expect much sports talk–I don’t have any. If you live in the New Orleans area and want more information, visit their Facebook Page. If you want to buy tickets, check out their website.

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  1. Wow, what a wonderful blessing for her recovery! Congratulations on the opportunity to give back to Cancer Society, wishing it much success. Plus a wee bit jealous about the final four!

    • You must live somewhere where people watch basketball! I will say that Final Four fans have been some of my favorites–polite and not overly-intoxicated.

  2. Hug…my bil has melanoma, so I have been off the radar..thank you for telling her story..Cancer does suck..

    • I am so sorry to read this, Becca. I’ll say a prayer for him right now. Cancer doesn’t just suck–it’s also scary as hell.

  3. Cancer sucks, but how wonderful is that recovery story? What happy news for your family. Guess I need to figure out twitter once and for all now.

  4. My 20 month old daughter was born with cancer and it more than sucks. Glad your SIL is doing well. I gotta find you on twitter!

  5. What a happy ending :) I will be tweeting along side of you all night, and like you no sports talk. I know nothing about basketball. In fact my husband us quite disgusted that I get to go to this and he doesn’t haha.

  6. There is nothing worse than feeling like you can’t do anything to help when someone you love is struggling. So thrilled you are able to participate in the event and wonderful news that Sadie has been decalred cancer free!

    • You are so right! I am such a DOER–it helps me process. Hard when you’re not needed or you’re not physically able to help.

  7. Oh yes Cancer sucks salts! Just lost an uncle to it on Monday :(
    So happy that your SIL is doing great. Thank God
    She is so young glad she has kicked that dreaded cancer. praying that she enjoys enjoys her life.
    Have fun at the event and remember to take it easy and drink lots of water ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. I’m currently in helpless mode myself. My best friend (who lives 3.5 hrs away) was just diagnosed with breast cancer… at age 30 as well. Your story is of success and I hope by summer’s end my best friends will be too. Yes, cancer sucks!

    • I can only imagine how tough that is for you–and with little ones, you’re not supposed to visit, which is just the absolute pits. Hope you are able to find a way to sneak in a visit or two at least.

  9. My dad is currently battling lymphoma. He has finished 4 of 6 treatments and then will continue one of the chemo meds for another 2 years. I agree- cancer sucks!!

    • Oh, Jamie. And I know things are a bit strained in that area. Two years of chemo meds? Ugh. Praying for strength for him, you, and your mother.

  10. Her big smile makes me have a big smile! So glad to hear that she is cancer free!! Thank God!!

    Hope you’re having a great time tonight! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. That is so awesome that she is cancer free now. how scary that must have been for her and your whole family. Cancer does suck.

    • I think the scariest part is that you just don’t think that can happen to someone so young–so you are shocked when it does. So happy she’s cancer free now!

  12. Hi – Such a great recovery story – hate cancer but love cancer-free stories! I just found your blog via “No Time for Flash Cards.” LOVE your stories and the cute pictures of your adorable kids! I was a special-ed teacher before kids too (and I’m from New Orleans). I’ve got two boys – 28 months and 16 months. Will be trying out some of your activities on them soon!

  13. So glad that Sadie is fully recovered! So nice to hear of people beating cancer. So happy for your family:)