Summer camp and update 7/9/2014

July 9th, 2014 § 49 comments

IMG_8583Now that all three of our children are at sleep away camp I get asked a lot “what I’m doing with all of my free time” and “what fun things I have planned.” Clearly what people think life is like for me are a bit skewed. I have nothing planned. I can’t travel and haven’t been able to take a trip for over a year. I’ve missed family celebrations, holidays, and get-togethers. I’ve eschewed visits from family and friends because I’m not well enough. What others consider “free time” is recovery from chemotherapy and struggling to do day-to-day functioning including the many medical appointments. Being able to make it out for a coffee date is a thrill and isn’t possible many days. Most of the rest of the time my “free time” is spent in bed fighting nausea or fatigue or pain or other side effects.

For the last few weeks my blood counts were sliding and I couldn’t do anything without huffing and puffing in a much more severe way than usual. I struggled to bend over to pick something off the floor without needing to sit down to catch my breath. My hemoglobin levels had been hovering around 8.2 for months and I pushed through but they dropped to 7.2 and by then it seemed I needed a boost to be functional. Ten days ago I received two units of red cells in a transfusion that because of some problems with the samples and testing and a five hour infusion ended up being a ten hour marathon day. It was so worth it. Red counts came up within days and I felt better starting about 24 hours after receiving the cells and that continued to increase within two to three days. My platelets were also very low at 24 but regenerated on their own (low platelets are a predictable result of this chemo regimen) and I was able to avoid a transfusion of those. This was, by the way, the first time I had ever had a blood transfusion in my life.

I had chemo yesterday: Carboplatin and Gemzar cycle #6 (that means I’ve had 6 infusions of Carboplatin and 11 of Gemzar so far). Starting now, but especially with cycle 7 and every time after that, there is a risk (reported at 27% for round 7, here is an article for anyone interested) of an anaphylactic reaction to the Carboplatin (and the other platinum-based chemotherapies like it). We are being conservative and premedicating with drugs that will hopefully help blunt or avoid this type of reaction altogether. There isn’t any reliable way to predict if it will happen to any individual patient. I did have a reaction to Taxol when I received it in the metastatic setting (after not having a reaction the first time I had 4 cycles of it seven years ago) but that is not a reliable indicator of a reaction to platinum-baed drugs.

It will be time for a scan soon I think, we are watching my tumor markers which have dropped consistently in the last few months which is fantastic but on yesterday’s test just stabilized without a drop. We’ll have to see if this is just stabilization (fine) or if this is the start of the chemo losing its effect. It is unsettling to think about losing another chemo combination that has been working, even though it’s a tough regimen to tolerate.

My voice has returned to almost normal unless I use it on the phone or talk a lot. With the kids gone I really am not talking much. I had an extra five days off chemo because my oncologist was on vacation and that allowed me to get things done I usually don’t have enough rebound time to do. The transfusion timing helped too.

IMG_8515I haven’t been outside much, the humidity and heat have been too oppressive for me, but I am hopeful it will break soon. I do try to make it to the beach once a week to get a change of scenery.

We will get to see the kids this weekend and I can’t wait to hug them and hear all of their stories before they go back. They love camp, always have. They look forward to it year-round and now that they all go it’s great they can share these stories and experiences (they are 15, 12, and 8. Last year the youngest begged to go for a week to try it out. We said yes, knowing his siblings would be there and he would have a blast. Five days in he called in tears, begging to stay. That repeated every week until after a month we said it was time to come home!).

Some may wonder why, at this time, I let them go instead of keeping them home with me. I do it because it’s not about me. It’s about them. It’s something they love. It’s an important routine, tradition (this is the sixth year for the oldest). In my eyes, it’s important that they have a change of scenery, freedom to be kids, get away from the ways my cancer and its chronic treatment limit what I can do, and therefore what they can do. It’s a gift I can give them and I also feel it reassures them that I am doing better than I was a few months ago. This is important.

IMG_8614I love having them away from electronics, away from wondering if asking me to take them somewhere or do something with them will be “too much” or “bothering me” which I know the older ones are always concerned with. I want them to be with friends old and new, having fun with young and energetic counselors, trying new things. There are so many (most/all) physical activities  I cannot do with them that they can do there. So many new games to play, achievements, laughs, experiences. I never hesitated when they were ready to sign up last October for this summer. I knew that no matter what, they needed and deserved it. On the left is my favorite photo from camp so far: Tristan getting hooked in to try rock wall climbing for the first time. It makes me laugh every time I look at that facial expression!

That doesn’t mean it’s easy for us to be apart. We are very close. Especially the older kids worry about me I am sure. But I stay in touch by email, will see them on visiting days, and I send them weekly care packages.

But the truth is that separation is good. It’s a selfless act for me to teach them how to to be without me. One of the most important things, in my mind. Coddling them and making them stay home is not what I feel is best for them right now. It is part of our job as parents to teach our children how to be independent, how to solve problems on their own, how to go off in the world without us for whatever reason. I will always want more time with them. It will never be enough for me. But this is my old age. I must teach them as many lessons as I can, while I can, for as long as I can. And that is true for everyone, but of course I have not only the urgency to do it NOW but also I have no idea how long I have and will likely be debilitated in some form until that time comes.

Yes, it’s true no one knows how long they have to live. But those diagnosed with a terminal disease know what is most likely to kill them. And that their time is not just going to be shortened, but consumed daily with the treatment and effects of that disease. It’s not having a normal, healthy life that is relatively good and healthy until a sudden accident happens. It’s just not the same as the general worries of growing older or aches and pains. It’s never-ending. I don’t get to count down how many chemotherapy (or other treatment) sessions until I’m done this time. Being done will mean there is nothing left for me to try. Anyone who has had chemo or radiation or some other type of therapy knows how important it is to have an endpoint, a countdown. Knowing that will never happen (and in fact what you’re really hoping for is a lot of them, because that means you still have options) is one of the mental struggles each week, since it isn’t just spending one day a week getting chemo, it’s how it makes you feel each day after that.

My hair is growing slowly back on this current combo. I know many people mistakenly think this means I’m “better.” I do like that soon I won’t be covering my head and that means I can be more invisible in public. But I also know how many comments I get on the occasions I have done it that people think I am done with chemo or all better. Not all chemotherapies cause hair to come out. My hair will come and go numerous times by the time we are done with this. Its presence or absence only indicates something about which chemo I’m on, not its success or failure.

Someone on Twitter asked for my piece on what to say and how to be a friend to someone who has cancer/serious illness. Here is a link for anyone that missed it and is interested (it’s too long to include the text in this post).

Also, I am including two posts from last year at this time. One on the eve of the kids’ departure for camp and one written while they were away. Of course I was doing even better than I am now, my thoughts were similar, but not as urgent, strong, painful as they have been the last seven months.

I’ll post again with an update if there is anything to report on change in treatment, scan results, etc. For now we stay the course which is not easy, but is the best possible choice of the options I have right now. And that’s the best I can do.

I appreciate the support, as always!


In these last remaining hours (Camp) original post here

In these last remaining hours
Before my children disappear


In these last remaining hours before they go and spread their wings again,
Leave this nest,
I miss them already.

I put the dinner pots and pans away.
Wipe the crumbs from the table,
Load the dishwasher,
Play fetch with the dog.

I sit in the garden,
Listen to the wind in the trees,
The birds settling down before nightfall,
As we settle, too.

I tuck them in one last time,
Hear their doors click shut.


Tomorrow night there will be no mess to clean,
No yelling upstairs that the TV has been left on again,
No trunks piled high with carefully labeled belongings in the dining room.

I will cry, I know.
Not because I am sad that they are going– no, that gives me great joy.
Children being children.
Forgetting stress at home and doing new and varied things.
I cheer their independence.

I will cry because I know they will always need me somehow and I just wish I could be there for them to outgrow
by choice,
by time,
by age.

I hear the mother bird in the tree calling out.
I don’t know to whom.
I will be like that tomorrow,
calling out,
with no child to hear.


Like dollhouse rooms left abandoned (original post here)

Like dollhouse rooms left abandoned,
The rooms stay tidy:
Beds made tight,
Pillows square,
Hampers empty.

It’s been one week since the children left for camp.
Littlest Tristan was due back yesterday but a few days ago he said he was having so much fun he wanted to stay another week.

I realized this week that after being sick for the previous two that I needed this time to catch up, to rest, to regroup.

I miss them but am so glad they are having fun doing what they love.

I pack up care packages,
write letters,
wake in the middle of the night and mentally picture our children sleeping in cabin beds.

Our dog Lucy follows me, sleeps in my room now, not Paige’s.
She doesn’t want to be alone and stays within feet of me every moment.

I tell her it’s okay:
The kids will come back.
The rooms will get messy again.
There will be crumbs dropped at the dinner table and car rides galore.

Paige and Colin and Tristan will come back tired and dirty and happy.
They will come back.
They will.

That is the key.

I think of absence like a hole:
How different it is when it’s temporary and filled with happiness,
Rather than when that hole is a pit of grief. Of ache. Of loss.
The way it will someday be for them.


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§ 49 Responses to Summer camp and update 7/9/2014"

  • Erika Robuck says:

    As always, elegant and thoughtful. Thorough, graceful. All the things I hope to be… xo

  • Tami G says:

    Thank you Lisa for taking some of your precious time to write a new blog post. Every time I read your blog post or twitter feed, I realize how hard each day is for you, not just physically but emotionally. On your absolute best days you are far from any of our worst days. It sounds like the children are having a good Summer and as hard as it is for you to be away from them, and them from you, teaching them independence is no doubt a harder lesson for you than for them. We will all be waiting to hear about your latest scan results when you have them. Your journey and those of others in your position like your friend Ann Gregory who you so kindly introduced us all to, teach us all that every day matters and regardless of how bad things seem, there is a bit of beauty in every day. Hugs from Florida. Xoxo

  • Sue Laybourn says:

    I love that you are encouraging your children to live their lives, and that they are enjoying summer camp.

    I’m also happy that you’re slowly recovering to what counts as normal these days.
    Lots of hugs, as always.

  • Sandy G says:

    Lisa, your words show your strength and grace.

  • Molly says:

    Lisa, am so grateful when you post your thoughts and feelings. And Erika said it so well — you express yourself with such grace. i started reading your blog when someone on the advanced breast cancer Team Inspire I belong to referenced you, and how wonderful you are, and an article that had been written about you, saying that people with advanced cancer should be quiet and private and not share what is going on with them.

    It is still upsetting when I think about it. But you are a shining example about how your sharing your journey has been a beacon of light to so many of us. We are all so happy for you that the present chemo combo seems to be working and altho I’m not a mom, it was great hearing you talk about your dear children.

    I regularly send out an email to many folks letting them know how I am doing. Fears, good stuff, chemo working or not working, etc. Folks I care about and who care about me don’t have to ask, and I can express some tough stuff once and move on.
    It makes me feel better to release my thoughts, and I have you to thank for that.

    Lisa, we’re all there with you, cheering you on, and I hope this chemo continues to work, and that you feel a bit stronger every day. Thank you for your pictures of flowers, your tales of your family and life, and sharing what you are going through. So inspiring and comforting at the same time.

  • David Dobbs says:

    This is so beautiful and wise in so many ways. Spot on throughout.

    And Tristan roping up: as you say, a complete crack-up; and a wonderful picture of a boy oh-so-ready for life’s adventures, challenges, and pleasures.

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling bad. May our good wishes and love and admiration ease the pain the wee slightest bit – or more, if we can ask so much. Honored to know you.

    A zillion kisses,


  • Varun says:

    Grateful to you for writing and sharing the part of your life. it helps me as a person to understand a bit what the person with such illness goes through. Reading your posts exposes us to one of the aspect of life. Best wishes and Prayers. No words to thank you.

  • Kirsty Aversa says:

    Thank you for sharing this latest post. Your words send out a powerful message about the ugliness of this disease. I am glad that the current treatment regimen you are on is keeping things at bay and hope that this continues for you. It saddens me greatly when I read about the struggles you have to endure each day and yet you still are able “to find a bit of beauty in each day”. Your lessons encourage me; to journal, to be as present as possible in my own children’s lives while cheering on their independence, and provide me with that “ever-present” hope that yourself and so many others like you are assisting in the scientific research that will one day end this misery. As a Stage 2 breast cancer woman, I am forever grateful to women (and men) like yourself for your words of wisdom, your perseverance and determination. Always in my thoughts! Enjoy your visit with your children this upcoming weekend!!!

  • Laura says:

    You’re an *excellent* mother. ‘Nuf said. 🙂

  • Christon (@barristernboots) says:

    I think you are an AWESOME mom for sending your kids off to camp and letting them enjoy themselves and stick to their much-loved routine. At a time when many people would make it all about themselves, you continue to show selfless love to your children. What a wonderful example. If I ever have kids, I hope I can be half the mother that you are.

    I am so sorry that you’re been having a rough time. I feel like my mom gets a lot of the same comments from people (friends included) about “You look great!,” “Your hair is coming back!,” “So glad you’re getting well!,” etc. The social scientist in me finds it interesting that I end up comforting/educating others who mean well but have absolutely no grasp on reality. This disease will be a part of my mom for the rest of her life…it doesn’t just “go away.” Bad things happen for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. That is part of life. And lots of (ie: most) people have trouble with that concept. So they have to say these things to make themselves feel better.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble. I appreciate so much your honesty and sharing. Thank you for taking some of your precious time to write an update. Hoping the best for you with this chemo regimen.

  • Kathleen says:

    Lisa, You continue to amaze me. You are an incredible mother to Paige, Colin and Tristan. I admire you more than I can say. You have my deep love and affection always. x

  • Karen says:

    I’m always so happy to see a new post from you in my inbox. Keep on keepin’ on! xo

  • Rebecca says:

    Nice to see an update from you Lisa! Glad the kids are having fun at camp, and you are getting to the beach once in a while. Thank you for taking the time and energy to give us all an update.

  • Carol Graham says:


    Once again I read your words with tears. Both for you and your eloquent words, but for myself and how small my troubles are compared to yours.

    You often describe how I feel, but much more fully.

    I often wish i had the power to cure, people sit in my office and talk and I cannot cure their ailment, as I cannot cure yours. I cry because i can’t make you better.

    Please accept my wishes for …I’m not sure what, that you feel as well as you possibly can, and that you are able to do what you need to do.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.

  • Camp is a huge gift and especially so, as you say, to give them another way to love, enjoy, trust, risk… a home of sorts, really. And to let them know you want them to love their lives and not be relegated to worrying about you 24/7/365. Another reason you’re a hero, LBA. Sending love and hopes for every better feeling moment.

  • Amanda H says:

    You have helped me wo even knowing it. I appreciate the term of “better” & hate it. I guess some days are better however. Hard to know. You are a great mom. I loved getting packages at camp.

  • Barbara says:

    Your blog never ceases to amaze me as do you. Each time I read or hear Kathleen’s update
    I take a very deep breath and marvel at your strength. Stay as strong as you have been and know that many thoughts and prayers are with you

  • You are very wise woman Lisa. I know you are suffering but the words you wrote “It is part of our job as parents to teach our children how to be independent, how to solve problems on their own, how to go off in the world without us for whatever reason.” resonate deeply with me, and are true whether we are in sickness or in health.
    You remind me (and I’m sure many others) how very precious life is (and I knew that already), but you often reinforce it in me. I thank you for that too.

  • Dear Lisa,

    It’s great that your kids are enjoying camp so much-very wise decision to send them. My very best wishes and regards to you.

    Barbara Shernoff

  • Jenny says:

    This is another beautifully written piece; how you matter of factly explain what you do with “all your free time”, “it is our job as parents to teach our children to be independent,” how you persevere with grace and open your arms to the beauty around you. THANK YOU! xo

  • jennw says:

    ah dear lisa, this made me weep; i’m so sorry.

  • Lindsey says:

    Oh, Lisa – your words about camp and the selfless but crucial act of helping them be without you bring tears to my eyes. I agree entirely and so admire your doing that here, and putting their needs first. I love you, dear one. xox

  • lisa says:

    I cired so much while reading this post I could barely read it. i pray for you. I was diagnosed with stage II triple positive breast cancer back in January. I finished chemo in May and had lumpectomy with mastoplexy on both two weeks ago. My children are all grown thank God so I cannot even imagine being in your shoes. I understand your decision to send them to camp they need to have this normalcy in there life that is anything but normal. I was caring for my granddaughter while going through my chemotherapy and felt sorry for her while I was very anemic and barely had enough energy to care for her and go to work. I could not wait for it to end. I cannot imagine what you are going through and pray for God to give you strength.

  • JoAnn R says:

    thank you again for your honesty

  • Deb Pysno says:

    “It’s not about me; it’s about them.” So wise and so true for all parents. Wish they all realized it. You are a gift.

  • Denise says:

    Beautiful, touching blog Lisa. I admit my breath caught for a moment when I read “This is my old age…” At 47, with no children I cannot imagine what you are going through and I won’t pretend to try. I have lived with debilitating chronic pain and fatigue for 20 years though so when people ask “What are you doing with your free time?” I have a tiny idea of what that is like; though I would never compare my pain to your terminal illness. Sometimes people either just don’t think – or lucky for them – they’ve never been seriously ill and have no idea that just doing ONE THING in a day – like going for coffee – can be a triumph of the body and willpower. I wish you all the best as usual; I am agnostic so I will just say I hope your chemo is still working, your tumor markers start going down again and that you have more time with your beautiful children than you could’ve dreamed. You deserve this. BTW that is the cutest and funniest picture of your son! I love it.

  • Melissa Weir says:

    Lisa, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your kids sounds amazing, and I suspect they are that way because of your strength and beauty. Your road is hard, yet you find the energy to remind us to take care of ourselves and see the beauty. I wish the best for you and your family.


    PS. Your garden is lovely. Like you.

  • Michael says:

    Hello Lisa,
    Sounds like the carboplatin is doing its job. This is a positive step in place and that you are able to keep going on it is encouraging as well. Ah,the blood transfusions,such “fun” memories of 6-10 hours days doing that but the results are indeed worth it if only for a little while!
    Glad your little ones have having a good time at camp….I will remark on one thing and one thing only….make LOTS of videos for your kids. Even if you are not feeling the best,record something for them,its my second biggest regret in regards to Lori. I never really thought about it until it was pretty much too late. Its just one of many things learned through this journey.

    Thank you so very much for letting me include you on my blog hop,it was a real honor.
    And to those folks who have been touched by Lisa’s life…honor it by donating as many pints as she has been given. Blood is a critical tool in a cancer patient’s life and it is not very much publicized.

  • Elaine says:

    Hello Lisa
    I’ve been reading your blog for a very long time now and I’ve often thought about writing to you but I’ve never thought I could express myself in print….I’d much rather give you a big hug !
    I live in Sheffield, England and for the last few months (seems like a lifetime!) this city has been gearing up to welcome a stage of the ‘Tour de France’. Well last weekend this event took place and the riders were actually passing the end of my road. My daughter was staying for the weekend and we were determined to get a good vantage point by the roadside and set off a couple of hours before the riders passed. There was much anticipation and good humor among the crowd and everyone was having a good time, after what seemed like a lifetime the riders were in sight, unfortunately we live on a hill and the riders sped by at an incredible speed, one moment they were here and the next they’d gone!.
    Whilst walking home we chatted about how thrilling to be there, it’ll probably be a once in a lifetime experience and after all the planning, the bunting, the flag waving it had gone so quickly. It was at this point I inexpicably thought of you !!
    The more I thought the more I came to the conclusion that this is just like our lives, we spend years growing up, becoming decent citizens, marrying, having children, raising them to become decent citizens, and, if we’re lucky being around to see them repeat this, and then in the blink of an eye it’s all over. But what wonderful memories we’ve left.
    I know that your family and friends will have these memories and mine too (hopefully!!),
    So sending lots of love and good wishes from across the oceans to you Lisa xxx
    Love Elaine
    P.S. I bet that’s the first time you’ve ever been compared to a bicycle race haha

  • Dee says:

    As someone for whom camp was part of the fabric of my being, what an amazing, selfless gift you have given your children. Imagine the wonderful stories they will share with you!

    Thank you for educating us how to be more sensitive and understanding of your journey. I think of you often. I pray for you always.

  • Tracy says:

    I am amazed at how much you were able to get into print! I imagine your brain is just fuzzy and tired and wants to sleep or watch trash TV while napping.
    I am in awe of your strength and your choices. Letting your kids have this time in their lives is important.
    As always, hoping for the very best for you.

  • Barbara Baker says:

    Hi Lisa ~ What an inspiration you are! I have been following your blog for over a year now. I connected with your site while doing some research after stumbling on what I thought were some sick ways of creating breast cancer awareness on Facebook. Reflecting back, I may have reacted that way mostly because my fiancé lost his wife 13 years ago to breast cancer which they battled for many years as well. In addition, I have participated in many “Relays for Life” and just did not take to the humor.

    I have shared each of your blog postings with him, and we have teared, celebrated you, and shared many emotions together as he has shared his experiences as well. Your writings help me so much to understand a lot of what he must have experienced and enables him to openly reflect with me. He told me last night (and he’s said it so many times) that if there was one thing he could tell you, it would be to “tape/record messages and stories for your children, husband, and loved ones”. His son was 12 at the time and only remembers his Mom being sick, so he very much regrets not having something to pass along to him especially now that he’s a new Dad himself.

    I highly suspect after having shared your life over the past year that you are doing these things, but I felt moved today to pass along his thoughts ~ maybe as a reinforcement from someone on the other side, who has long gone through the suffering and loss but wishes the memories could be a bit more vivid.

    I pray for your continued strength to cope with your disease and share all that is possible with your family and friends, as well as strength for your family as they travel this road with you. Little did I know that my reaction and research to something on Facebook would lead to such a blessing in my life!

    CYH (Consider Yourself Hugged)
    Barbara Baker

  • JoAnn D Kirk says:

    Lovely and thoughtful post, Lisa, and you know how much I appreciate any news from you.

    When I had my first blood transfusion, I thought it was creepy. UGH. But then I felt the good effects and never even thought about it when I had all the rest of the blood.

    “Free time” — hahaha. Any free time I have is either spent trying to rest up from whatever I have managed to do that day, or resting up for something I am going to do. Most people just do not realize how much damage chemo does to your body, especially once you have had a recurrence. People see me upright and say “I am so glad you are better.” AS IF!!! Just because I look good has nothing to do with how I feel, which is usually crappy.

    The time I feel my best is for 2-3 days after I get a steroid injection for my shoulder. It makes my entire body feel good, and I am more alert. No wonder people get addicted to steroids.

    I am not afraid of death, but dread all of the awful things that will probably occur beforehand…. the dependence, the suffering, seeing my loved ones in pain. Having been through this with my mother, I know how bad the end of life can be.

    I hope the children are having a great time and agree with your decision to have them go to camp. A wonderful experience, especially now.

  • Karen says:

    What beautiful writing and powerful words, Lisa. Anyone who asks what fun things you have planned is clearly not reading your blog or Twitter feed. Which is their loss. I am so sorry you have to go through so much pain and daily struggles. Thank you for eloquently sharing your journey and helping us become more sensitive and understanding human beings.

  • GiGi says:

    Lisa: You are a class act! Thinking of you and sending prayers and love.

  • Hi Lisa, I am glad you wrote another update. I can imagine how much precious time and efforts it takes to write such a long piece.

    I agree that we, stage IV moms, should let our children live normal lives (as much as possible), no matter how strange that sounds to others. Taking time for recovery from the side effects of medication is part of motherhood as well.

    Wish you strength,

  • Your words remind me of my mother. She was sick for 11 months before she died right after I turned 18. Reading these posts rip my heart out but I am so incredibly grateful to be able to do so, to hear your voice as a representation of things she must have thought at one point. Thank you, it means the world to me.

    Wishing you all lots of peace,


  • Alexandra Koffman says:

    thanks for the update, your kids are lucky to have you aa a mother!

  • Christa says:

    Blood transfusions are amazing. Gemzar dropped my hemoglobin and my current navelbine does as well. My doctor and I have decided to transfuse when it’s at 8. I feel so much better after and have been getting them every 4 weeks, just before my off week.

  • njmellie77 says:

    Thank you, Lisa, for your honesty. To allow us all to take a look into your life is a brave and selfless thing to do. We will all be better friends, sisters, brothers, spouses, by having a better understanding of this road that you are on. I’m trying not to sound stupid or trite. But every time I read a new post, I think “thank you, Lisa, for sharing so much”. Plus I also think “this woman is f*cking amazing” for how you work so hard, thinking and planning for your kids, what you want for them, etc. I love that they went to camp and hope it also gave you some time to rest without worry or guilt.

  • Carole Denlinger says:

    Once again, Lisa, I have been so touched by your beautiful writing. I especially admire your resolve to prepare your children for independence, step by step, so they can eventually make wise decisions on their own. My children are grown and on their own now. I remember writing to my son before his marriage of what I call the 4 “p’s” of parenting -protection, provision (material, emotional, spiritual), preparation for adulthood and prayer. When they leave home on their own, only prayer is left; but to me that continues to be the most important aspect. Wishing you continued success in parenting and many, many more years to enjoy your beautiful family.

  • Jane Curran says:

    Another beautiful post. And the commenters put their responses so well and accurately. Be assured that you are an inspiration to those who are having the same experience, and those of us who may have to. With thanks.

  • amy collins says:

    I was just diagnosed with DCIS July 18th, a week after my 38th birthday. I have just come across your blog, and I look forward to reading about your journey to this point, and any other input from your readers. I am in that “DCIS is stage 0/ “only” DCIS -YET you may need bilat mast/ gene testing etc whirlwind of information and emotions” right now.

    I thank you for posting your journey for us. Especially for us in our first few days of ours.

  • Veronica Hill says:

    Hi Lisa – thank you for your inspirational writings. You are truly amazing and selfless. I send you love, pain free days, times to enjoy with your children and also to enjoy, just living. A sunny day, the soft sound of summer rain, the wind in the trees, the smell of freshly cut grass, simple pleasures we take for granted, but are more heightened when we understand that our time may be limited. Know that you are thought about and cared for across ‘the pond’. Keep strong lovely lady.

  • Kris Ebner Martin says:


    What a true inspiration you are, to your children, your family, your friends, and those of us lucky to know you, not to mention complete strangers. As a mother myself, your words have resonated deeply.

    I’d like to thank you for having the courage and the strength to share your children with their camp families. We love and adore them beyond words, and I think that they represent the very best of you! You have taught them to be generous, caring, loving, fun, happy kids! It is my absolute pleasure to have them here every summer!

    By the way, I don’t think you are ever getting Paige back!

    Love and hugs,

  • awosting camper says:

    I know both Tristan and Paige from camp, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. my prayers are with you. Your blog is truly inspirational, it’s tear drawing. God Bless.

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