The ‘C’ Word

I found out today one of the moles on my back went…well, south. Which in the end is not a huge deal except it’s attached to the ‘c’ word that bring fear and dread into most people’s minds.

Especially my children.

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Because this mole has already been removed, and treatment for said ‘c’ word will only be another procedure to clean up a few more millimeters of skin around where the mole used to be…my husband and I have decided not to tell the kids Mom has cancer.

Mom has cancer.

Jesus. Could that sound worse?

Sure they will find out someday, but by then visits to the hospital from the entire Spring, Summer, and Fall of Lupus 2010 will be long gone. And they won’t need 300 more rounds of therapy to get over their fear of Mom dying. We won’t order another stuffed toy to commemorate this surgery, nor will we discuss it at length so they understand what will happen before, after, and during.

Nope. This time, we’re staying quiet.

Call me a liar, tell me I’m hiding things from them. I don’t really care. They just do not need to be bothered with this minor annoyance right now, and because we trust the doctor, there is absolutely nothing for them to worry about.

My kids have been through a surgery where no one, not even the doctors knew what they were looking for, a surgery to remove my colon and gall bladder, and a surgery to remove my uterus, ovaries, and cervix, and countless hospital stays in-between emergency and otherwise. They do NOT need to know that in January my back will have a few more stitches that will take all of three minutes with a numbing shot.

They have been through enough. And to hell with anyone who thinks otherwise.

*Update: We’re aware of a commenting issue on this post due to the heavy traffic. Please try again later as we work to fix it! Thanks and yes, #fuckcancer

***Update: Comments are fixed and enabled. Thank you for coming back or sticking around.


  1. Just a note of support. Anything you need, please ask.
    You know your kids best and you and Aaron are always going to do what’s best for all of you.
    Cancer, cancer had better #suckit hard.

  2. testing comments!

  3. I completely respect this and think it is definitely the right decision. People who disagree can suck it. Your kids aren’t their kids. They don’t know them and they can’t know what’s best for them. You do. You’re Mom. So don’t give a thought to naysayers.

    All the best to you.
    .-= Hamlet’s Mistress´s last undefined ..Response cached until Tue 30 @ 3:45 GMT (Refreshes in 58 Minutes) =-.

  4. Love and hugs to you. You’re the only one who knows what’s best for you and yours…and anyone who thinks otherwise can just #suckit. So keep quiet, because when all is said and done…you will be just fine.

  5. This makes perfect sense to me. Kids don’t need to, nor are they equipped to, deal with the shittons of drama that we adults face sometimes. There’s no sense in borrowing trouble.
    .-= Amy B.´s last blog ..Monday Mashup… =-.

  6. I am so, so sorry you and your family are going through yet another damned surgery, damned procedure, damned anything.

    But your kids? Are YOUR kids. You know what is best for them!

    Wishing you and your family only peace!
    .-= cagey´s last blog ..Lucifer Sam =-.

  7. Sigh. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. You guys don’t deserve this. Am glad it’s minimal though. For what it’s worth? I think not telling them is the right move. Just too much for them on top of everything else.

    Will be thinking good thoughts your way.

  8. My mother has had MS since I was 5. I found out when I was 9, after two brain strokes. I always thank her for graciously dealing with this and protecting me at least through elementary. Even now, I wish I would have found out maybe even years later. Its Christmas. They have been (still are) worried about you all year (us too BTW). You are very wise, and you know best. Moms (and dads) always do. Blessings and protection.

  9. Sending lots of healing thoughts your way.

    FWIW, my mom was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma just last week, and it was only at my dad’s insistence that she told me about it. I’m glad she did, but even at nearly-thirty it was still damn hard to hear about it and to process it. As a younger adult? As a child? I wouldn’t have processed it nearly as well.

    You know your children better than anyone else “here,” and you know what’s best for your family. And? #fuckcancer indeed.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Five =-.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about all you’re going through, health-wise. Cancer sucks. I’m so glad you found out early and I’m glad th procedure will be what it is going to be. I had a suspicious mole removed from back earlier this year. Waiting for the results was agonizing. I too wouldn’t have told my children. Good luck to you!

  11. You know what, I think you are absolutely making the right decision. No one knows your children better than you do. In my opinion, with everything else they are dealing with and have had to face at such a young age, why add to the list of scary things when, most likely, this will be a non-issue long-term. Good luck with everything!
    .-= DanaK´s last blog ..Babywearing =-.

  12. With you on this one. And hugs. Big, big, big hugs.

  13. You know better what’s best for your kids than we do. Go with your gut on this one and know you have friends who will stand beside you unconditionally.

  14. I understand why you are not telling you kids about your diagnosis. When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer she didn’t tell her kids right away…my brother and I were 31 and 33 years old at the time. A mother wants to protect their children from pain, no matter how old those children may be.
    All of my good thoughts are with you.

  15. I applaud you for not telling your kids. It’s nothing to worry about, no need to freak them out.

    Especially not with all you’ve been through, for sure. xo
    .-= Mia´s last blog ..I won a mixer =-.

  16. Wow. I just read about this on Twitter and my heart SANK to my toes. Damn sam, haven’t you been through enough? I’m glad to hear that the cancer is mild and nothing to get too worked up over. I totally agree with your decision to keep this from your kids. They’d never hear “mild”, “ok”, “gone”, they’d just hear “CANCER”! You are doing the right thing.

    And, yes, #fuckcancer. Seriously.
    .-= Fairly Odd Mother´s last blog ..Thankful to have moved to a new chapter =-.

  17. I have had 3 precancerous conditions in the past 10 years. I have not mentioned them to my kids. I think that if it gets to a point where I need treatment, then I would tell them. I don’t see any reason to tell them when it’s something that is simply going to create anxiety. #fuckcancer
    .-= mamikaze´s last blog ..Day 3 =-.

  18. I’m getting kind of annoyed with the universe and the crappe it’s been handing you. I’m glad that this seems to be something that’s easily resolved but still, it’s just one more thing in a whole heap o’ shit that’s come down the pike for you.

    I totally understand you not telling your kids right now, but down the road, some day, you’re probably going to need to, just for their own medical history. But now? No. I’m with you on that one. They’ve definitely been thru enough. Hang in there, lady.

  19. i don’t blame you…i’d do the same.
    i almost lied to our oldest about having to go to iraq in ’07 but then i figured the enormous green bags and teary spouse would give me away.

  20. Elizabeth Fox says:

    Cancer and lupus can #suckit!

    I know that any decision that you make for your family will be made with love and with their best interests in mind. I stand behind your choice 100%.

  21. You don’t need anyone’s approval but I agree with your decision to spare your kids this latest health crisis. They’ve been through enough BUT SO HAVE YOU. I’d give anything to spare you having to deal with anymore worry, inconvenience, pain and fear. You’ve been a great role model on keeping positive and brave through dark times. It’s time for you & your family to move on to the sunshine of your lives!

  22. Wishing you no more crappy health news. I agree with other commenters; you know your kids–do what you think is best for them. In your shoes, I’d do the same.

  23. You know your family best and you have to do what is right for your family. I believe that sometimes children don’t need to know everything and it’s best to protect them from more worry. I would do the same if I were in your shoes.

    It seems like you have been through a lot and I know this will not defeat you! #fuckcancer I wish you the best and a healthy recovery!

  24. Erin, can I please wrap you and your family in bubble wrap and put that inside a bubble, and then put that bubble inside another bubble with a sign on it that is marked NO BAD THINGS ALLOWED PAST THIS POINT? And then perhaps park an armored tank outside the bubble contraption?

    Because, seriously, I think you have far exceeded your yearly quota of bad things.
    .-= Jaelithe´s last blog ..So That Happened =-.

  25. I’m with Jaelithe on this. I send hugs and every ounce of strength I possibly can send, to you and your entire family.

  26. I knew, from reading your Twitter stream, that you had some health challenges this year but I had no idea that it was THAT bad. I sincerely hope that the road to health is, from this point forward, smooth for you and your family.

    And if you need anything at all, give me a holler. 🙂

  27. i’mma let you finish, but lupus was the best horrid fucking disease this year, cancer, so fuck off.

    sending my best with a smile.

  28. i’m here if ya need me <3
    .-= drew olanoff´s last blog ..The Intimate Social Revolution =-.

  29. I personally Blame Drew’s Cancer.

    Erin, you know you have thousands and thousands of friends who have been watching your struggles and supporting you. We are everywhere and we will not let you down. Your choice to talk with the kids is yours. Stay safe. Keep being a great mom.
    .-= Louis Gray´s last blog ..Unfriending- Unfollowing- Unsubscribing Less Is More =-.

  30. I’m usually a completely transparent parent – my daughter knows everything she can understand that occurs – but I’m with you on this one. The kiddos don’t need to be worried, more, when not even your doctor is. Thinking of you, lady.
    .-= Zoeyjane´s last blog ..This is not what poverty in Vancouver looks like =-.

  31. Erin, I’ve been following your dance with lupus while I have been going through my own dance with cancer. Like you, I have chosen to be open about my illness partly in an attempt to bust some of the taboos around cancer, chemo and female baldness. I had to tell my kids I had cancer because my treatment has pretty much dominated our lives for the last 6 months, but I’m guessing you wouldn’t necessarily tell your kids about your procedure for melanoma if the “cancer” word wasn’t involved so why should you just because it is?? I’m sorry you are having to go through another health issue now and send you positive energy vibes!
    .-= Kirsten´s last blog ..Now with tattoos! =-.

  32. Holy crap on a cracker. This is getting ridiculous and I think it’s high time that 2010 leave you and your family alone!

    Melanoma is a four letter word in our house right now, but that’s because it went from an odd spot on the sole of my mom’s foot to stage iv metastatic disease with less than a year to live all in about 3 months. In other words, the melanoma was deep. It wasn’t caught in time and surgery became irrelevant.

    I’m glad yours was caught early and i applaud that your not tellin the kids, because they don’t need anything else to worry about; especially something that appears to be a non-issue.

    Good luck my friend.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..The Hourglass =-.

  33. We all do what is right for our own families at any given time. It is our job as parents to know what our kids can and cannot handle. Don’t stress yourself about the uninformed opinions. Not that I think you are. I’m sure you’re giggling at the stupidity.

    Thinking of you through all of this.
    .-= FireMom´s last blog ..Fire Tree- 2010 =-.

  34. Dammit. This year of hell is almost over. IT HAS TO BE. If I have to I will come back to LA and make a huge ass bonfire on New Year’s Eve and do whatever voodoo it will take to be done with this, all of this whackedness. So glad you caught it right away. Here’s to a uberhealthy 2011! #fuckcancer
    .-= Deb Rox´s last blog ..Sheep Top Holiday Gift Giving 2010 SO Haute It’s Cool! Enter the Giveaway! =-.

  35. Cheesus, woman. At least (?) they caught it early and it’s very treatable.

    I wish for the best for you.
    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..The one where I can’t even finish a =-.

  36. (Trying this again)
    Dude, lie.


    Those kids have been through enough (as have you) and frankly, I don’t diminish cancer ever but yours sounds well in hand and very treatable at this point. There is less than zero reason to have to tell them that. I am not confident a little kid can hear “cancer” and NOT think “death”. It’s hard enough for adults to do. You are making the right call here.

    And my god…the universe needs to just STOP SHITTING ON YOU. MUCH love. xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo
    .-= Loralee´s last blog ..Wilbur – =-.

  37. Holy frijole – only 31 more days of this crappy year and you can smack it on the ass and call it DONE.

    (I wouldn’t have told my kids, either, especially given all the hard work you’ve done to get them through the anxiety about the heavy duty stuff.)
    .-= Velma´s last blog ..In Which My Point is Lost and Anxiety Disorder Rules The Day =-.

  38. I wouldn’t tell my kids either. You did the right thing. My SIL has Lupus as well, and after a year of torture she rebounded and is doing so much better. The end is sight! Hang in there!

  39. ENOUGH for you. Karma now owes you one HELL of a 2011. Wishing you so much health and strength and love. Be well Erin. Blessings.
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..When Yours is the Family That Comes to Stay =-.

  40. Thank you all. So much. So very, very much.

  41. You are absolutely doing the right thing-I don’t know that I would tell me kids if I didn’t have the hell that you have had this year.

    So glad it was caught early and is treatable!

    Off to call and make a derm appointment. This is definitely a wake up call.

  42. My Dad fought cancer for 25 years when there wasn’t always today’s modern medicine and technology. It’s all about catching it early, a good doctor and most of all a great attitude- you have all three! You’re going to be fine, and I’m here for you if you need ANYTHING! <3

  43. I totally agree. There is no need for them to know. Also, so glad this one is an easy fix for you!

  44. CapeCodGurl says:

    My co-worker just went through the exact same thing with the second expanding of site as well..that was 6 months ago..and so far so good..Doc light.
    it’s hard enough as an adult to go through this drama..the ups, downs, and G*d-awful waiting..too much to ask from kids.
    Best to you..with all the health stuff you’ve dealt with keeping the depression that often accompanies chronic health concerns at bay may be the bigger challenge. So keep tweeting, my friend:)

  45. What a sucky thing. I’m so sorry. And I wholeheartedly support lying Ben does not have a clue how close I came to dying having Katie. He also doesn’t know how serious Katie’s surgery really was.

    He was 3 & 4 years old telling him would have been cruel.

    Hugs to you & yours.

  46. One more use for a good hockey stick, to beat the crap out of cancer. I agree 100% with your decision to withhold information from your kids. No more trauma. Celebrate the holidays and all the love you share together. God Bless You all. Amen.

  47. Cancer can #suckit and you’ll whip it into submission. You’re my hero, seriously. You get through the hell you’ve been through with such grace, it puts my life into perspective.

    I agree with you. Don’t tell em.

    Sending you lots of healing wishes.

    .-= Gina Ruiz´s last blog ..Latism- Sprint and the Jorge Posada Foundation =-.

  48. Dude, I’m about to roll up my sleeves, break out a baseball bat and stand in between you and this bad karma and tell it to back the fuck off, you guys have been through ENOUGH already, damn it!

    Hugs and healthy thoughts to you, honey. 2010 can #suckit just like cancer can #suckit #fuckcancer #waytoomanyhashtags #anduseofthewordfuck
    .-= Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting´s last blog ..Just A Day in the Life =-.


  1. […] The 'C' Word Just too much for them on top of everything else. Will be thinking good thoughts your way. 8 Nikolai @BE_PURE November 29, 2010 at 05:08 pm. My mother has had MS since I was 5. I found out when I was 9, after two brain strokes. As a younger adult As a child? I wouldn't have processed it nearly as well. You know your children better than anyone else “here,” and you know what's best for your family. And? #fuckcancer indeed. Kristen´s last blog . Five My ComLuv Profile . […]

  2. […] today, after reading about an online friend’s melanoma diagnosis, which followed another online pal’s Thanksgiving Day heart attack at the ripe old age of […]

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