the truth about cancer

The Truth About Cancer: Part 3

After my “probably cancer” diagnosis

I had this brief feeling of mourning. You know that deep sadness you get when you hear that someone died? I felt like that. It was like I was mourning my own inevitable death, but then that feeling just pissed me off. I wasn’t dead yet and I wasn’t going to go without a fight. I was preparing for this battle that was happening between my mind and my body. It’s like mentally preparing for war. I knew the odds were against me but I couldn’t just lay down and die. It would be painful and it would be ugly but I had no choice. This is the Truth About Cancer: Part 3.

My dad was standing in the driveway as we pulled up. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. We sat everyone down and I opened my mouth to deliver the news but nothing came out. I physically could not say the word “cancer”. I didn’t want my kids to think their mommy was dying so I tried my best to protect them from that thought. In fact, they never really knew the seriousness of the situation. I didn’t know the right way to tell them. There is no manual on how to tell your children you have cancer and I didn’t have time to Google it! Maybe I should have prepared them for the worst and hoped for the best. Who knows what strategy would have been best but I didn’t have the heart to even mention the “C” word. I just held them and cried as these words kept playing in my mind:

“My babies need a mom. Why is this happening to them? God, please save their mother.”

the truth about cancer


Two days later, I went into the hospital for a biopsy.

I’ve never had a biopsy and I didn’t know what to expect. I assumed that I would go into surgery under General Anesthesia and wake up after it was all over. Instead, I was taken into an imaging room where more images of the mass were taken and markings were being strategically placed on my back. I was completely unaware of what was to happen next. They gave me IV medications that were (according to them) supposed to sedate me. One nurse held my hand as they took these long needles and started to jab them through my back and into the tumor. It felt like they were hammering a knife into my body. One apparatus wasn’t working sufficiently so they repeated the procedure again. It was so incredibly painful as I felt every single hammering stab. I wanted to kick and scream but I couldn’t move or they would have stabbed my liver or lung or whatever organs were nearby. So, I held my breath, I moaned and I squeezed that nurses hand as hard as I could until the brief torture was over.

I was quickly referred to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona where the real work began. There was a lot of blood work and then there was more blood work. Imaging was done from my head to my feet and everything in between. I felt like I was literally a lab rat. By the end of all these tests we discovered that I not only had the one giant tumor in my pancreas but I had one small tumor in my brain above my eyebrow, one in my neck inside the spinal cord and several smaller tumors further down my spinal cord. These are tumors that are different from the Neuroendocrine tumor in my pancreas.

the truth about cancerthe truth about cancer

So basically, I have two different types of cancer. Awesome…

as if having one type of cancer isn’t enough. Our obvious decision was to deal with one thing at a time. My abdominal surgery would be primary concern as the tumor was taking over my entire body, restricting and distorting all of my organs. The plan was to perform a Whipple Procedure to remove the tumor. This procedure would remove the tumor and the part of my pancreas that it was attached to along with removing my spleen and gallbladder. They would also remove part of my stomach and intestines, reconstruct the bile duct and portal vein which is the main vein that feeds blood to the liver. Our main goal was to leave part of my pancreas intact so I wouldn’t become an insulin-dependent diabetic from one day to the next. The surgery was was planned to take around 8 to 10 hours.

At 5 AM on October 20, 2015

I kissed my babies and their chubby cheeks as they slept so cozy in their bed. I had no idea what life had in store for me or if I would even survive the surgery so I softly touched their sweet faces and whispered into each of their ears, “Mommy loves you so much. I’m so proud of you and I will always be with you.”

I didn’t want to leave them. They were so peaceful. I wished time could have stood still forever but I wiped the tears off my face and I walked away not knowing if they would ever see me again.

the truth about cancer

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The Truth About Cancer: Part 3

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the time i ate all of my daughter's candy

The Time I Ate All of My Daughter’s Candy

I was reading through some old journal posts that I had and this made me laugh out loud (literally)

This is about the time I ate all of my daughter’s candy.

We took a little “end of summer road trip” before the kids had to go back to school. The trip was only a 3 hour drive but factoring in all the elements of 2 kids, 2 toddlers and 3 adults in 1 vehicle makes for a long day.

To start off, it wasn’t even an hour into the trip and I’ve already spilled someone’s pee all over me! I forgot there was pee in the car-potty (yes, we have a car-potty. Lol) Basically, I forgot there was pee in it and picked it up over my head to move it to the other side of the car. Not like a little splash of pee; all the pee. All. Over. Me. It’s also quite possible that some of the pee may have spilled (just a tiny bit) into the hubby’s water cup. However, I didn’t say anything because he was laughing so hard and making fun of me pretty badly. So basically, jokes on him… 

The Time I Ate All of My Daughter's Candy

As if smelling like a porta-potty wasn’t bad enough; we’ve heard kids crying and complaining, I’ve endured the hubby’s sarcastic comments and I’ve dealt with the attitude of a three year old asshole all-flipping-day. Yes I said it, she’s an asshole. She’s damn cute, absolutely no doubt about it but for goodness sake; she’s sarcastic and she never stops talking. I know we created that little monster and I wouldn’t want her any other way. She’s strong willed and I’m so thankful that we’ll never have to worry about her when she’s older but damn… she’s an asshole. 

Once we arrived at the hotel

I bought some candy for all the kids to share. Right away, the 3 year old little girl decides to try and manipulate her way into keeping more candy for herself by telling me that her 2 year old cousin would choke on the candy and that she’d better not give him any. Then she eats her candy and proceeds to throw a temper tantrum for unrelated reasons. In turn, she chokes on her candy nearly scaring me half to death!

Once she gagged up her candy onto the floor and I was certain she was out of any danger; all I wanted to do was strangle that little girl by her neck! I was so upset! I had already dealt with her shit all day and now she’s having a temper tantrum for absolutely no reason and almost killed herself in the process; ironically after she suggested the 2 year old would choke on the exact candy she was choking on. Not only did I sit her little ass in time out but I took the rest of her candy that she was no longer allowed to enjoy and I ate it in front of her. I’m pretty sure that’s not the best solution to our problems and I’m in no way suggesting that I’m mother-of-the-year but I will take a small victory where I can get one. 

By the way, it felt so damn good!

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The Time I Ate All of My Daughter's Candy


The Time I Ate All of My Daughter’s Candy

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the mom saga

The Mom Saga

The Mom Saga: a long and complicated series of events.

Do you ever feel like you rock the shit out of being a mom?

I NEVER do but I damn well try! I’m a damn good mom but I never rock the shit out of any of it. My life is mostly a story of same shit, different day. This is The Mom Saga.

Here’s a week worth of sarcastic chaos in my shoes…

the mom saga


Between finding matching socks, clean underwear, getting the kids dressed, lunches and backpacks packed, everyone’s teeth brushed and off to school on time (or at least before the second bell rings which is still considered on time), I finally made it to my dentist appointment only 5 minutes late with mascara on only my right eye lashes. The 3 year old is watching Kids Netflix and eating fish crackers in the corner. I remembered to put it on the “Kids” channel this time so at least she won’t be watching The Wolf of Wall Street again. (Mother of the year, right here) 

Then we’re off to feed the princess before she becomes the hangry beast. Yes, hangry is a word.  Look it up. 

We pick up the boy early from school so I can get to an MRI appointment before we head out to his baseball game and reluctantly miss volleyball practice for only the first time this week. At this point I feel like I really need to get my shit together but there’s no time to dwell on it because I need to find a sports cup and a jock strap before we are late for the 3rd time today. Did I even feed the boy? Who knows, I’m sure we can find some leftover fish crackers in the car somewhere. 

The game ends and it’s now 8:00 pm. Kids are starving and I’m not even about to start the “cooking dinner for picky eaters” process right now. They’re ecstatic to be getting fast food but I’m feeling like a failure. 


6:30am… Snooze 

6:45am… Snooze 

7:10am… Holy shit, car pool is coming in 20 minutes and I still need to get the boy up and functioning enough to brush his teeth, find his clean underwear, matching socks and make his lunch. Hopefully the girl will sleep long enough for me to get through the morning rush… Nope not today. Now we have to hear her complain about how sleepy she is (but no one made her wake up) and someone needs to hold her, someone needs to turn on the TV for her, change the channel and then change it back. Then she has to pee but too tired to walk to the toilet so someone needs to carry her. 

7:27am… Car pool is early! 

Throw together a pb&j sandwich, toss it in a lunchbox and send the boy out the door.  I’m pretty sure he brushed his teeth but that’s not even on my list of things to stress about anymore. 

The rest of the morning is trying to get the girl to cooperate

We need to get out of the house to run errands and do a little work before we have to pick up brother from school. I’m personally feeling like shit today but that’s neither here nor there. We finally get out of the house and she falls asleep in the car. So much for running errands. The little girl slept in what looked like a very uncomfortable position but I wasn’t about move her. You wouldn’t poke a sleeping bear and you never poke a sleeping toddler! 

Then it’s time to drive to the school to find a parking because if you’re not there 45 minutes early you will NEVER find a parking! Of course the hibernating bear wakes up hungry! I promised I’d feed them both after school pick up but son of a bitch, I forgot we have a parent teacher conference today! It’s fast food time again or else they’ll never eat before soccer practice! Quick stop for a bean burrito! Beans are a vegetable, right? Whatever. 

Parent teacher conference yada yada yada… (I only cried once. 3rd grade is hard! Lol)

Stop at home to change for soccer. The little girl had one pink sock and one black sock. (Mom didn’t even try) Water bottles, soccer equipment, kids buckled up and… go! 

Dealt with parents bitching and complaining about soccer time and how hard it is to get there on time. Seriously, don’t f**king go there… 


Same shit, different day…pb&j. 

Early pick up from school again so I could make it to my Oncologist appointment. 

Quick stop for dinner before we attempted to make it to volleyball practice on time but failed miserably. The boy excitedly reminds me that he doesn’t have school Thursday or Friday. Great, what the heck am I suppose to do with them for 4 consecutive days!? I’m running on empty! 


6:30am… Snooze 

6:45am… Snooze 

7:05am… Holy shit, not again! Oh, wait there’s no school today! 


7:08am… “Mommy, can I watch TV in your bed? I need to pee. Hold me, I’m sleepy. Can I have cereal?”… Seriously? 

Worked on the computer as much as I could while the kids ate junk food and watched scary movies all afternoon (which I knew would bite me in the ass at bed time) but it’s the only way I could have a few hours of peace. Of course time finds a way of sneaking off, so now I’m scrambling to find a “clean enough” baseball uniform in the laundry basket. The little girl had matching soccer socks this time but one of them was dirty. Water bottles, soccer equipment, baseball equipment, kids buckled up and… go! 

Shit, I’m the snack mom today!

Holy mother f**ker!! Quick stop for snacks then drop off the boy at baseball. Drove across town to soccer practice. The girl falls asleep in that “I’m pretty sure her neck will snap off if I slam on the breaks,” position again but you never poke the bear! She slept for the duration of her practice then we ran back across town to see the rest of the boy’s baseball game. Of course the kids are starving afterwards and it’s fast food again. 

I can never seem to “get my shit together”

I’m sure tomorrow will bring another story of the mom saga but in the midst of all this chaos and feelings of half-assing life, I’ve realized that this is what it’s all about. I may fail everyday at one thing or another but I’m here and I’m trying and that’s all my kids will ever remember. I will always TRY my very best to be the mom I want them to remember. They won’t remember all the chaos. They won’t remember my stress or anxiety but they will remember that I was there. 

This is the story of all moms. The details may change but every mom has their own version of same shit, different day. There is one thing I know for sure. We need to remember to enjoy every minute of this mess we call “life” because in the center of it all are these tiny humans that only want to experience EVERYTHING that life has to offer and is that too much to ask? Absolutely not. You’re probably exhausted and delusional but at the end of it all, they will remember these experiences. Most importantly, they will simply remember that you were there. 

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The Saga Continues…

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