Tag Archives: loss

Friendship on our Level

A friend told me something powerful today.

That if I wasn’t here, she wouldn’t still be here.

Let that sink in for a moment…

That if I wasn’t here, she wouldn’t still be here.

That if I wasn’t here, she wouldn’t still be here.

It took me aback for a minute. I took it like, if I wasn’t here, neither would she be, as in like…life. It could go so many ways, suicide? Running away? Wither up and dying from my lack of horrid jokes and hummus desk snacks?

She said it seriously, with tears in her eyes. I was speechless for a moment. That is quite a powerful message to hand someone…without an explanation. But that significant message was oh-so precious. It must be handled carefully, like a delicate orchid and treasured for the meaning behind it. It is not something you can laugh off or pish posh.

If you weren’t here, I wouldn’t be here. Think about it.

Looking back on it now, I believe she was speaking of work, like she would have quit her job by now. But either way, it is quite the statement.

She values our friendship so much that my simply being here, alters her life, her path, her choices. That my dear folks, is friendship at its most deepest and cherished level. We are not simply co-workers that sit beside each other and fill our days with idle chitchat. I care about her life, I feel like I know her daughters and mother on a deeper level than I actually do. I feel her pain and I share her shining moments. We get a kick out of word play and grammar puns, she is my go-to gal for English questions, like, “do you ‘bare’ with me or ‘bear’ with me? Either way sounds not too fun!” She cares about others, to the point that she puts herself out. She will stay late after her shift to finish your conversation and she slips you a homemade concoction of essential oils when you have the sniffles. She is older than me by a generation I would say. One of her daughters is my age and yet, I don’t feel “mothered” or that generational gap that I feel with other older people…she is just…her. Beautiful in both mind and spirit. She often gives me pause. She will say something or forward me something to read and I have to actually think about it before I respond. She understands life differently than most. She understands life on a different level than most. She gets what is hidden in-between the lines and words and interprets them for me. She stops and looks at sunsets and frost patterns on  windows. She sees the beauty that most of us just walk by without notice. She literally stops to smell the roses. She’s like a Buddhist monk hidden in a little lady’s body who wears 2 coats in the winter for quite logical reasons.

Cancer has taken so much from her and although we have cancer in common, both being caregivers and supporters, our journeys have taken very different paths. Our roads with grief, guilt, stress and eventually healing has been rocky and bumpy and filled with potholes. But we share it together, over cold leftover toast and a cuppa tea.

She has seen some dark places but she has also lived in the light. She married her very best friend only for him to be taken away by cancer at a young age. You can tell his presence is missed daily and also deeply. She lights up when she tells stories about him. There is a twinkle in her eye that is rarely there…it is great to see. And yet, the pain is evident. She sometimes reminds me a granite boulder. Strong and powerful, hard to break and why would you want too, as the colour and texture is breathtaking. And yet, there is a crack. A single, small, chip in her granite. The water gets in, year after year, the fall of winter and the rise of summer brings this crack to the surface, getting bigger, more significant and stands out. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see a chip in a perfect piece of granite and not be able to do anything about it. No amount of duct tape, hugs, tea or alcohol (my go-to fixer uppers) will fix this crack. It will always be there. That is what cancer does. Cracks a perfect life, splits a happy marriage and family, chips a woman until she is on her knees baring the weight of all these broken pieces on her back. This is not weight that anyone else can carry. I hope with time and support and love, she will be able to stand tall again. Some days are worse than others, for both of us. But I think, together, we got this…

We may differ in so many ways, her husband died, my son survived. She struggles with loss and loneliness, I struggle with clinginess and neediness, I love pretzels , she threatens my life if I mention them and she is Scottish where I am English! It is amazing we can even sit together! And yet, as shitty as cancer is, I feel like this friendship is something amazing that came out of it.

And on some levels, if she were no longer here, a very big, granite sized piece of me would be gone too…

And please remember, no matter how alone you are feeling, you are never, ever, ever alone. Please reach out…



With a broken heart, I have to tell you that I lost our baby girl. She was born asleep on March 11, 2016 at just 4.5 months gestation. Willow Diane Hammond will be forever in our hearts.

Willow Diane Hammond Born asleep 3/11/16








“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

~William Shakespeare

Originally posted in March, 2016.

It is with great happiness and a lot of surprise that Marty and I would like to announce we are expecting a little GIRL in August!

May all their Stars Shine Bright

Emily Hammond with her five-year-old son Griffin at their home in Niagara Falls on Dec. 11, 2015. They have a special Christmas ornament they put on their tree every year as a reminder of all the children dealing with cancer. Mike DiBattista/Niagara Falls Review/Postmedia Network
The tiny silver star has a well-deserved place among the very tip top branches of my Christmas tree. The star has a hole in the middle with a crystal hanging inside. This little star means so much to me.
In Dec of 2011, my 22 month old son Griffin was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of muscle Cancer that grew in his eye orbit. That holiday season was the scariest and most heart wrenching Christmas my little family had ever been through. We didn’t know if Griffin was going to make it and my Husband & I didn’t know if this would be his last Christmas…
After 48 weeks of chemo, 25 radiation treatments directly to his face, and countless pokes, scans and appointments, December of 2012 rolled around and that year, Griffin was Cancer Free!!! You would think I would have been so happy, unfortunately I was not. My heart and soul were hurt from all the cancer kids we had lost that past year as well as all the kids still fighting. I could not let myself feel happy while others were still suffering. Some mothers did not have their babies that Christmas, how guilty and horrid was I to enjoy mine?
I struggled with PTSD, survivor’s guilt and depression until I found this cheap little tin star at our pharmacy while I was getting meds for my son. It sparkled at me, it reminded me of the sparkle in the eye of one particular child we had lost recently. I clung to that ornament all the way home, crying tears of sadness but also relief. I realized that I could HONOUR those children with a place on my tree. I can remember them, laugh at their memories and remember their sparkle. These families would not want me to suffer; they would not want me to be consumed with guilt over something neither of us can help!
 Emily Hammond with her five-year-old son Griffin at their home in Niagara Falls on Dec. 11, 2015. They have a special Christmas ornament they put on their tree every year as a reminder of all the children dealing with cancer. Mike DiBattista/Niagara Falls Review/Postmedia Network
So Griffin is five now, perfectly healthy and happy. And so am I. Each year, I hang that amazing little star near the tip of my tree, the little crystal catching all the light and winking at me. These Cancer Kids are not forgotten, but they are no longer painful. I will always remember those children with this little silver star. I will always remember their bravery, courage and heart.
May all their stars shine bright.
This story was published in the local Newspaper:
Emily Hammond with her five-year-old son Griffin at their home in Niagara Falls on Dec. 11, 2015. They have a special Christmas ornament they put on their tree every year as a reminder of all the children dealing with cancer. Mike DiBattista/Niagara Falls Review/Postmedia Network

Feeling Guilty

All cancer survivors! Walking together, surviving together!
All cancer survivors! Walking together, surviving together!

Have you ever felt guilty about something? Maybe you stepped on a bug on the sidewalk? Elbowed your kid in the head by mistake? Ran over a squirrel in your car? I think we have all done these things, felt guilty about it for a moment and moved on. I once was shopping in Zellars (The Canadian version of Kmart) with my Mom, and I was young enough not to be able to see over the counter, so I was five maybe? I was REALLY excited over this new Barbie my Mum let me pick out. I clutched her in my arms throughout the entire store, I looked into her eyes and day dreamed of the dressing changes we would be doing and plastic car rides we would be going on. My Mum bustled me along, as she grabbed her bags to leave. Out in the parking lot she realized I was still clutching the dang Barbie and had not paid for it. I remember her DRAGGING me back into the store like some common criminal. I was embarrassed, but more than anything, I felt GUILTY. Like a deep ache of guilt, like would be Mum ever forgive me? Could I ever forgive myself? Will I still get into College?

Fast forward 20 years and here I sit, snuggling with my beautiful healthy five year old boy that happens to be a cancer survivor. Yes, we have a few side effects and setbacks due to Cancer, but in the grand scheme of things, we had a very lucky journey. As I sit here, running my hands through his hair that grew back a much darker colour, I cannot help but to think of the friends of ours that are still battling the disease. Why is my child ok but theirs has relapsed? Why did they go through 12 ports and ours was perfectly fine? Why is my child alive while theirs is dead? The guilt swallows me up some days. Do I deserve to have a healthy child when some great Mums out there are missing theirs? I can’t wrap my head around it. Logically, I know it’s silly, I should be shouting from the roof tops and dancing a jig at our luck. But how can I be celebrating when other kids are dying? When other kids are still fighting? Apparently it’s called Survivors guilt which is a part of my PTSD. That’s great that there is a nice little name for it…but how do I fix it?

The long and the short of it? I DID make it in to college, LOL the Barbie trauma is long behind me. But the Survivors Guilt? I find myself inserting myself into my Cancer Community, doing things like running a Parent’s Support group, organizing a Super Hero sewing bee so every sick kid gets a Courage Cape and lots of fundraising events through the year. Events like Relay for Life is a great day where Cancer Families and their supporters plus great members of the community get together to walk together and raise money. Its a way of connecting. Look up your local Cancer Society or Ronald McDonald House as they always never volunteers I feel like instead of filling my heart with guilt and dread, I actively fill my heart with love from these other Cancer families. Yes, by putting myself out there, I could get hurt again as our friends may relapse but the love far outweighs any of the bad.

The guilt? I will never be able to fix it but I CAN put it in a figurative little box, with a pretty little bow. I know it’s always there, tugging at my heartstrings but I don’t have to open it all the time. I keep it close to my heart, I think about those kids all the time but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to take over my whole day, I don’t let the guilt consume me anymore. I’m allowed to laugh and enjoy my cancer-free child. We all know life is just too precious and too short to be worried about something I cannot change.

Hug your babies tight tonight…and remember, you are not alone.


A Different Kind of Loss

We have talked about losing your child, we have discussed the loss of friendships, now lets talk about a different type of loss…your innocence. I know this might sound odd at first. But I find myself grieving my loss of innocence and now I’m intimately surrounded with Cancer, and hospitals and everything that goes with it. I didn’t go into a medical field on purpose. I don’t want to see the ugly realities of cancer and sick babies. I hate that Cancer has FORCED me to be an expert in the field of Momcology. I don’t like that I can change a feed tube, de-access a port, or give a shot in the leg like a pro. I want to be a Mum. I want to raise my child without the constant worry of illness. I feel that I can’t let him go like I should. I’m a hovering helicopter Mum, making sure he doesn’t hurt himself, or hang out with the kid with the runny nose or lick the swing. Yes, Griffin is Cancer free now, but I don’t feel like I’M cancer free. I wonder if I ever will be? I’ve seen the dark side of life. I’ve danced with the idea of losing my child. I’ve seen how fragile life can be, can I ever go back to the carefree days? I don’t think so. Once you have opened that door, the fear and anxiety creep in.  I’ve watched as they radiated my son while I hid behind lead, I know what its like to watch your child get sick in your arms and to be helpless to help them. I’ve watched other Mums grieve their babies while I hug mine tight. Its a reality that haunts me to this day. Am I crippled by it? No, but some days it still hurts. A lot. Its not something that I think about everyday or anything, but every now and then it keeps me up at night. I hate that my head is no longer mine…


Hug your babies tight tonight. XOX


A WOW Letter-This is WHY I do what I do!!!

Mar 27, 2014
I got this letter today, and I spent the rest of the day all sniffy and emotional. When you start a blog, you never realize how many people it will touch and in how many ways. I was WOWed when this Mama took my quotes and stuck them together…how powerful! Its very rare that I am speechless. This was one of those times. I rarely look back at what I write. Thank you for putting it all together for me. WOW And I thank you too! XOX*******************************************************************************

Dear Emily, I am also a “Cancer Mama” as you call them. What a shitty club to be part of. And I’m a hoarder of information. I spend my sleepless nights trolling the internet for bits of information I can write in my book. It can be anything from inspiration quotes to cancer facts to germ fighting recipes. And then one night, I followed your pin to your blog. It was a life changing moment reading your posts, shifting through your story, following your adventures. I laughed with you, I cried with you, then I laughed again. But most importantly I took the good bits. I started scribbling them down, then I moved on to cutting and pasting, stealing good tidbits of info. I ended up sharing your blog with everyone I know, including all the “Cancer Mamas” here and now have bookmarked your blog. I check it everyday, hoping for a new post, wondering what you will come up with next. And as usual, I’m surprised every time. Congrats on building an amazing go-to place for Cancer families. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your soul. You are doing an amazing job. I wanted to share with you what connected with me the most. Here are the quotes I “stole”:

Ahem, Attention, Attention please. I, Mama Emma will now share my secrets as to how to “deal” with Cancer…Um, yeah, I have no idea.

Then cancer hits us and rocks my little boat. I’m suddenly clutching the sides and trying not to be thrown overboard.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Children’s Hospitals filled with sick children. Please wash your hands.

And the sad part? I didn’t spend my money on booze or drugs or tattoos or vacations or fast cars. I spent my money on Cancer. Fucking cancer. What a complete waste of money. A waste of my money and my time and my health and my sanity. Fuck Cancer…

Dear Cancer, Because of you, our family grew stronger as you grew weaker. Because of you we have gained the friendship and kinship of other cancer families that I consider as close as family. Because of you, I don’t take anything for granted. Because of you, I wake up each morning thankful for the day I had yesterday with my child and looking forward to the day I will have today. Because of you I will never be the girl, daughter, wife, mother that i was before. There is no “going back to normal”, there is a new normal now. Its stronger, bigger and badder than Cancer.

I’ve put my whole life on hold to dance with Cancer.

Yes, I said a “family with Cancer”, because really, when one member has Cancer, it affects the family unit as a whole. One member suffers, all the members suffer. We work as a group, as a team, with one goal. KICKING CANCER’S BUTT!

Hold their hand through the most terrible, stressful, awful time of their lives. Their baby is sick, their marriage is rocky, their finances are in the ditch.

Another issue would be the tube itself, being there. Your child will get stared at, babies will try to yank at it, children will ask about it. Some cancer parents would get upset. But just like any other medical disability, instead of getting insulted, or awkward, turn the situation into a learning experience.

And they were wrestling on the camp cot, you know, like tigers do, and “somehow” Griffin’s feeding tube got pulled out. Off to the camp medical office we go. We decide that we are not going to put it back in, Griffin will have to struggle through the last couple of days of camp without it. Fast forward a couple of hours, we are back in the medical office, now his leg needle has “somehow” came out as well. With our heads hung low, we have to explain that a “tiger did it”. Griffin thought this was WAY too funny and giggled himself silly as we had to explain the story to the camp medical staff, the camp director, and also the nurses and doctors as we had to attend the hospital to get everything put back in!!! hahaha LOVE IT! Tiger wrestles is the best kind of wrestling! teehee!

Of course, it could be me! I like to think that I have not changed, but that would be a lie. I HAVE changed! (I hope for the better!) I’ve lost my innocence for sure. I’ve faced my child’s mortality and of course pondered my own. I’ve buried chemo buddies, I’ve watched children waste away to nothing. I’ve watched cancer rip families apart, tear apart marriages and drain every cent a family has. I’ve watched child take medicine that poisons thier bodies to the point of death, meds that take thier hair, sight, hearing, mobility, and watched thier parents give it to them. I’ve put on a lead bib as my baby gets radiated, over and over and over again. I’m not the same person. I’ve seen the dark side of life. But because I’ve seen the dark side, I hang on tight the bright!

I’m here, my heart hurting for my fellow Cancer Mama. I’m here to represent all us Mamas out there. I’m here to respect and say good bye to the littlest cancer warrior I’ve ever met. I’m here, I’m present and I always will be.

I hope we can blaze a trail of friendship and understanding for new cancer families coming in behind us! Do not be afraid to love your fellow cancer kids and supporters! You will be thankful that you did! Thank you fellow Cancer Parents for opening your hearts to me, to us.  Thank you for putting your heart on the line and your heart on your sleeve. I understand the risk you take opening your soul to others. I understand and I’m thankful.

Once your life is ripped for you and you work HARD to but the pieces back together, you savour every moment you’ve got left.

Put altogether we get these amazing “words of wisdom” which I recently read at a cancer support group. Again, everyone laughed, everyone cried, and everyone laughed again.

Thank you from the deepest depths of my soul. Thank you for letting me out, for giving me permission to enjoy the blessings as well as the ugliness of cancer. Thank you for opening my eyes and letting me see the light as you see it. I look forward to your next post! (no pressure or anything! Hahaha)

Your fellow Cancer Mama from BC

Pondering, Rainy Day Doom

The snow has finally melted here in Ontario Canada, its been a very long winter for us. Today its a rainy day, lots of grey clouds, fog and rain. A cool wind whips your hair around your face as you dash to your car, avoiding puddles in the empty parking lot. I sit in my car enjoying the thunderous spattering noise of rain hitting the roof and windsheild. It’s a calming sound for me, it clears my head. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for me. I organized our local Daffodil campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society, then I worked a lot of shifts, on top of my full time job. I’m physically and mentally exhausted. It’s not just selling a few pins. It’s standing on your feet for hours, smiling, but you also hear story after story of how cancer has affected people’s lives. My heart reaches out to each and every person that shares their story. Lots of hugs are exchanged, whispers of good luck, as they hustle along doing thier errends. Some are survivors, some lost a loved one, some are still fighting and then others are angry. They think that a cure as been found but drug companies are keeping the secret to make more money. I have trouble shaking the lasting effects of these people. It must be so hard living a life filled with so much negativity and hate. And then to feel the need to spread your negativity to an innocent volunteer who has nothing to do with drug companies? sigh…I take a deep breath, breathing in the glorious spring air and the smell of rain. It’s wonderful. I feel my body relaxing and my mind starts to wander. I remember sitting in this car, in the parking lot of Ronald McDonald House when Griffin was at his sickest. I remember the rain and the gloom and sitting there balling my eyes out. I retreated to my car to cry by myself. I remember thinking I couldn’t do this anymore. I remember questioning why me? Why my child? Why my little family? I remember wishing that I could take Griffin’s cancer, I would sacrifice my own life for his in a heartbeat. Why my only little baby? Why cancer? Why so much sickness and pain? I sat in that car for a very long time, hoping the rain would wash me away with it…

Fast forward 2 years and look at us now? I’m still tired and exhausted but for different reasons (thank gawd) I made it through to the other side. The doom and gloom only lasts for a little while, then it passes by, leaving everything washed clean and fresh.

As horrid as your cancer journey seems at the moment, just know, this too will pass. Your journey will continue to march forward. Some of you may lose your child, some may have complications that they have to live with the the rest of thier lives, but we move on, we survive, we conquer.

I sit back in my car seat and smile. No gloomy day can keep me down. I no longer cry in the rain. I now smile and jump in the puddles.

Don’t let the dark cloud consume you ladies, look for the silver lining, if there isn’t one? The cloud will move on, taking with it the cold and the rain and the wind, rainbows will follow, from heaven or from earth, our children are our blessings!

Let us Talk about Loss

© Joseph Cortes
Early Walk © Joseph Cortes

When it comes to Cancer Kids, we must talk about the loss we all feel when we lose one. It hurts the whole community. I can only talk from an outsider’s point of view. Our son Griffin is still with us, but we have gone to a lot of funerals of his Cancer Buddies over the years. Yes, they are not my children, but it still hurts, almost like they ARE my kids. And I have a loss of innocence. I have survivors guilt. Why did my child live and theirs did not??? So I share with you my thoughts on child death:

Words of Advice From a Cancer Mama

When speaking to a recently grieved parent, please do not say things like, “It was his time”. We are talking about a child here. This was not his time. No parent should have to bury a child. A child that dies? Its not his time. Cancer stole his time…

Other things to avoid? Talk like, “God has a plan” or “God only gives you as much as you can handle”. When a parent loses a child, its a very trying time for them and they could be questioning their faith. Phrases like these do not help. I would HATE any God that did that too me, no matter the religion.

I know you are trying to relate, but please refrain from comparing a parent’s loss of a child to a dog or a Grandma. They are not the same. And it can hurt, a lot if you think that they are. This loss is a hole, their child has been ripped from them after a long hard journey. Be their safe place to fall, be a shoulder to cry on, be the supportive hand to hold. Do not be the jerk who thought that Fluffy’s passing was the same as a child. It can be insulting and hurtful.

Please DO ask if the parent would like to hear a story about your favourite moment with their child. (Some parents will not want to hear anything, others will love it, so its always best to ask) Tell a funny or touching story, how you will be remembering their child. Or tell them a story about what reminds you of their kid. Maybe every time you see a penny on the ground, or a cloud shaped like a dog, the colour lime green or whatever. It lets that parent know that you a are thinking of their child all the time and that they are still alive in your heart.

Do dedicate something for the family. A bench or tree in your favourite park, a song on the radio, anything to touch their hearts. I love to see people walking/raising money in honour of these little ones we have lost. The more money we can raise, the closer we will get to a cure. Let the family know what you are doing to honour their family.

Do listen to the parents. See what wording they are comfortable using when they are talking about their child. Some people do not like the word “loss”. To quote a Cancer Mama, “I did not ‘lose’ my child, I know exactly where he is! Right were cancer left him!” Some don’t like to refer to them as angels or their fight as a battle and they “lost” the fight. They tried their very hardest, saying they lost their fight makes them sound like losers! Some families refer to them in the present tense, others start talking in the past tense right away. So I would recommend listening closely to how the family is referring to the child and follow their lead. Every family is different, it can be very tricky but its worth it!

Sometimes there are no words

Let that sink in for a minute.  No words. You being there, present, is words enough.  Sometimes silence is worth a thousand meaningless conversations.

Don’t be afraid to smile and even laugh. Yes, this is a horrid time. But its like a roller coaster, their world is crashing in around them, and then someone reminds you of a hilarious story about your cancer kid, you can’t help but to laugh right along.

Please don’t be silent, be vacant or disappear. They are still your friend or family. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Please call, take them for a walk, dip your feet in the sand together, connect, please cook food, please hold a hand or give a hug. Everyone needs a hug sometimes…

Please hug your babies tight tonight, even if they are just in your hearts.


Many thanks to the Cancer Mamas that helped me out on this one. I talked to some of you directly, and then some were just experience. But thank you for sharing your baby with me, even for just a little while. They will live forever in my heart…

A very special RIP to Kerry’s child (name withheld), Rowan, Austin, Matteo, Alivia and Kelsey.


Just get over it!

Remember who you're fighting for... not just ourselves, but the next generation, and the next, and the next...Today I was asked why I wasn’t “over” cancer yet. I am not often speechless. But in this moment, I was absolutely at a loss for words. As I sat there with my mouth hanging open, a range of emotions flooded over me. Shock, horror, anger, self doubt, pity and then I settled on the good old “smile, nod and a walk away”.

This lady might have just been trying to make idle conversation? Or maybe she was actually wondering why I’m still obsessed with cancer? I don’t know. But what I do know? I WILL NEVER GET OVER IT! My son and my family and I, as well as thousands of children fought a war. A literal battle for his life! Call it PSTD, call it worry-wart mama, call it insanity, I don’t care. I will be talking about, advocating for and try to raise money for cancer forever. I will never ever stop. I will never get over it. I’ve lost my innocence. I know the facts, the numbers and the stats. I’ve watched babies wither up and die. I’ll seen the disease take thier hair, their mobility, their hearing, their limbs, their light…it is horrid. And I’m scarred from it. I will never, ever be the same. But instead of letting it consume me, instead of letting cancer win, I’m choosing to fight back. I’m choosing to stand up, to not accept one more child dying, not one more!

I’m sorry that as my friend, family, or co-worker, you cannot see, accept and/or understand that. I hope its because you have never had anything as scary and tragic as cancer in your life. You are lucky and nieve. Just like I was before Griffin got sick. I don’t blame you and I will not hold that against you. But if you are around me, you will be hearing about cancer. A lot. Quite possibly forever. lol So to answer your question, nope. I’m not “over” cancer. I never will be…

Hug your babies tight tonight…



When talking about loss and cancer, together, one would assume we are talking about people, like actual physical people and their souls but I’d like to focus on another type of loss a Cancer Mama can meet along her journey with cancer. Friendships. Yup, its true, when you are in the worst battle of your life. You will be surprised at the people that just dissappear from your life!

At first I took this personally. but then, the more it happened and the more it happened to my fellow Cancer Mamas, the more we realized that it was a common issue! I no longer take it like an insult. People come in and out of our lives many different times, for different reasons. Who knows why but I would like them to know that the door is always open if they ever what to come back!

I tried to think up reasons. Of course, it could be me! I like to think that I have not changed, but that would be a lie. I HAVE changed! (I hope for the better!) I’ve lost my innocence for sure. I’ve faced my child’s mortality and of course pondered my own. I’ve buried chemo buddies, I’ve watched children waste away to nothing. I’ve watched cancer rip families apart, tear apart marriages and drain every cent a family has. I’ve watched child take medicine that poisions thier bodies to the point of death, meds that take thier hair, sight, hearing, mobility, and watched thier parents give it to them. I’ve put on a lead bib as my baby gets radiated, over and over and over again. I’m not the same person. I’ve seen the dark side of life. But because I’ve seen the dark side, I hang on tight the bright! I don’t take my life and my family for granted. I love my friends and family even deeper now. I see the good in people and the amazing organizations that helped us. I love watching kids kick cancer’s butt and watch them walk out of that hospital a victor. There is a new normal for me. And maybe some of my friends cannot handle this change. Is that my fault? Nope. Is it my friends fault? Certainly not. I just have a different focus, I’m on a different path and sometimes friendships cannot follow along. And thats okay. It is a hard reality to accept and that’s okay too.

Cancer is intense. Like seriously intense. Some people cannot handle that. I think a few of my friends just couldn’t handle the stress of cancer. Even though it wasn’t thier child, it wasn’t thier family, it still hurt just like it was. They had to put walls up. We all have these walls, in order to protect our hearts, but we all have different levels and strengths to our walls. Some can let me in, with my cancer baggage and all. But other people already have had assualts on thier heart, thier walls are a little shakey and already crumbling, there are hastily stacking brick on brick thying to keep it together. The added weight of a sick child on top of that? Would cause the walls to break down, that person to break down…and there for, we are no longer speaking. It does hurt me that I’ve lost friends. Of course it does. It takes notches out of my armour. But just like a knight going into battle, I still wear their ribbon daily. I hang onto the good memories and the wonderful advice, laughter and friendship they have given me over the years. They need time to regroup, time to build up thier heart and soul til it is strong again. I will be here when they do. (I hope a certain person reads this, because yes, some of this is about you. Life has given us shitty paths to take, not even a choise on our parts, just the cards we were dealt. I wouldn’t mind playing poker again…my chips are all-in)

Aaaaand I talk about cancer…a lot. I’ve been told that it can be “negative”. Take it as you will, but I’m getting the word out. Its on my facebook, twitter and pinterest, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would imagine it can get a little “much” for people. But there is never enough for me… I talk about it alllll the time. I’m making it my mission to find a cure and raise awareness. I’m not focused only on the doom and gloom, I’m fundraising and going to events, I’m dropping off donations, I’m visiting cancer kids…I’m busy. I don’t have time to dwell on what used to be. And I’m not going to apologize or even feel sad for the friendships I have lost. They were part of my story, they made me stronger and better then before I knew them. And for that I thank them. I will love them til the end of my days. But quite frankly, i don’t have time to worry about the past, or who is talking to who. I’m moving on, I’m rising up, I’m kicking ass. If you want to join me, hop on board! If you’re not, thats okay, maybe i’ll see ya on my way back around!