“Mom, are you stage 1 or stage 2?”

This popped up in my Facebook memory feed today. I remember this car conversation like it was yesterday.

Here’s to all the moms in all the stages, especially my fellow stage four thrivers.

“Mom, are you stage 1 or stage 2?”

Yup.

Maddie just asked me that in the car. Apparently she had been googling.

We were talking about mindset, and how high school may be more challenging, but mindset will help her get through it. Just like when I drink my magic Chinese potion. I don’t think of how much I gag and how gross it is, but instead think of how it is curing me.

Then she asked me.

“Mom, are you stage 1 or stage 2?”

Took my breath away. I kind of thought we discussed it, but I guess we glazed over it.

I didn’t know what to say. I gripped the steering wheel, then took a deep breath.

I told her the truth.

I said, “Maddie, I’m what they call stage four.”

I knew from her expression she knew what the internet says. How the internet takes away all hope.

But then I kept talking…

“But mindset, Maddie! Some women hear that and go home and wait to die. Not me! That’s not my story. That’s not OUR story. That’s why I’m always researching and putting on oils, taking detox baths, eating organic, going to the reiki class. I’ve spoken to women like me and they have been alive for years! I’m cured Maddie. I’m going to live. Do you believe that?”

She said yes. Then said she thinks eating organic is what everyone needs to do.

At that moment, my brother Rob texted me “I am stronger than I think I am.”

Then Madison spoke about paintball, got out of the car, and went to confirmation class at church.

Me?

After I walked her in, I sobbed on the side of the road in my car and texted my husband at work so he knows she knows.

Then I called my brother rob.

Couldn’t breathe, sobbed, and he just let me cry until he could calm me down.

Dried off my tears, went back home and made Quinn organic cereal breakfast.

I hate she even googled it.

I don’t know if I handled it ok.

I think she is OK.

But I plan on sticking around for years and years and years to make sure she is ok.

This is hard.

(I picked a hell of a week to go off my Zoloft anxiety meds they put me on when I was diagnosed.)

Today I feel pain and sadness deeply.

No more numbness from the Zoloft taking it away.

But I will go out and find Joy in life, just as Dr Snuffleuffugus told me to do.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to when we didn’t think about stages, planned surprise vacations (even though they never happened).

We will work to find joy every day.

And the only stages Maddie will have to think about are stages of life.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

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