Wednesday Advice Smackdown
You Will Never Ever Guess Who Bought Herself A Scanner This Weekend

In the Pink

Yesterday I received a lovely, actual-handwritten-on-paper note from Minarae, thanking me for an embarrassingly paltry donation I made to her Breast Cancer 3-Day fund. She also enclosed a pink wristband.


Now, for the record, I'm fairly tired of the whole wristband thing. Sure, it was awesome when the LIVESTRONG bracelets first came out, because who doesn't love Lance Armstrong? (America-haters, that's who.) And they're a great idea, really, for people who truly and passionately support a certain cause. But the whole craze took a fairly distasteful turn when the yellow bands became some sort of must-have fashion accessory and everybody was wearing them, even if they'd only given the actual charity a dollar just to get the band, or got one from someone giving them away for free at the office.

And now it's officially gotten out of hand, what with collector's sites selling 400 frillion different bands along with retired Beanie Babies and all these half-wits running around wearing three or four different bracelets that COORDINATE WITH THEIR OUTFITS, and oh my God, those rainbow ones are soooo cute. Who do you have to support to get that one?

Please don't think I'm bashing everybody who wears a wristband. Just, you know, the assholes.

Because I'm sure as hell going to wear this pink one.

Because my mom's been diagnosed with breast cancer.

When my mom called to tell me about the lump, it barely registered. Between my mom, my sister and I, the doctors have found dozens and dozens of lumps. We all have the fibrocystic breast disease. Which is not so much of a "disease" as is it is a "huge pain in the boobs," because our breasts ALWAYS have cysts and lumps and suspicious activity going on, but in the end, the lumps are ALWAYS benign. ALWAYS, I tell you. I'm only 27 and have already had four breast ultrasounds, one mammogram and three aspirations of suspicious-yet-benign cysts. Lumps are just not a Big Scary Thing around here.

And unlike my poor dad, whose entire life in one experiment in medical terror after another, my mom's always been the healthy one.

So when she called to say her doctor was ordering a biopsy on yet another lump, we kind of mutual-eye-rolled and sighed because DUH, it's just another cyst that's absorbed some blood so it looks abnormal but everything will be fine in the end and when are you coming down to help me paint the baby's room?

She won't be coming down to paint the baby's room. Instead she'll be having her second surgery in a month to remove more breast tissue because they aren't satisfied with the margins they got the first time around.

And then she'll be starting radiation.

And then she'll be starting a five-year drug regimen to fight the other strain of breast cancer she has, because oh yeah, she's got two different kinds blah blah blah lots of letters and abbreviations and one strain is apparently scary and aggressive and does this mean you won't be able to come down and help me take care of the baby after Jason goes back to work? Because I don't know what I'm doing and want my mommy?

Her prognosis is good. Her oncologist is confident they caught it early enough. Huge props and shout-outs to routine mammograms.

But still. I'm wearing the damn wristband. And writing a bigger check next time.

Because that one-in-eight statistic is suddenly talking about my mother. And my baby's Nana. And we both need her around for a good, long time.



I'm not always so much with the praying, but I'll definitely be doing some for your mom. And the squishy too, just for good measure.


De-lurking to say I'm sorry to hear about your mom, and I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.


I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. She will be in our thoughts and please do keep us updated as to how she is doing. They are doing such wonderful things now, the prognosis for breast cancer can be fantastic. Especially since they caught it so early.

Hugs to you and the entire family. Thoughts and prayers are with you.


Whoa, nothing like being blindsided. At least it was caught early.

I'm thinking about you and squishy and squishy's Nana.

I don't pray, but I'll send the good vibes your way.


All my very best wishes for health for your mom and strength for your family. I'm one of those wrist-band wearers who is a bit disgusted with the whole thing too. Mine is green and says "Reach the Day", meaning that someday we will reach the day when every child diagnosed with cancer can be guaranteed a cure. It makes me ill when I go into my local drugstore and see a giant bin full of bracelets - with really uplifting messages like 'peace' and 'love'. Except that no worthy charity (like is reaping the benefits of those sales.

I'm glad your mom's prognosis is good. She'll be in my prayers. My baby boy, at 2.5 years old now, is already a 2 year survivor. Go Nana!!


Sorry to hear that. Good juju coming you and momma's way, stat!


I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis. But very glad to hear about the early detection.

Prayers for you and your family.


Sending prayers to your mom and your family.

I'm 36 and was just diagnosed with breast cancer (Invasive ductal carcinoma) ... I'm doing 8 rounds of chemo (just had my first one yesterday) to be followed by 30-35 rounds of radiation.

It's good that she's eligible for Tomoxifin..the prognosis for that "kind" of cancer is much more promising than they type that I have.

Holding your mom gently in healing prayer.



I'm sorry to hear about that damn cancer. I'm sure that everything will be fine and Nana will be around for a good long time but it sure is a punch in the gut to hear that word.

Damn Fates. Couldn't leave the good ones alone and just gone for the evil people! BAH!


Sending prayers up for your mommy.


Oh, no, I'm so sorry. I'm glad they caught it in time to treat it.


Another lurker coming out to send wishes to your mom for a speedy recovery. Glad to hear that it was detected early.



Amalah's mommy, we love you! You made a perfectly beautiful Amalah that we LOVE so how cool must you be? VERY. COOL. We send you love and prayers and whispered hopes and lots and lots of love and chocolate dreams.

I once found a lump in my neck. And I had NO MEDICAL. And it was scary. It was nothing. Then I found another, also nothing. I can't imagine the stress of a cancer diagnosis, but I send my heartfelt love to all the fam. Be blessed and well.



Delurking to offer a special prayer for you and your Mom. That said, I agree about the whole writband getting out of hand thing. However, if you check out my blog, my daughter suffers from Epilepsy, and in lieu of a "rubber wristband", a jewelery artist created a very special Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet for my daughter (she also has a very cute breast cancer bracelet as well), that I wear everyday to remind me that I am strong, and will survive this. I hope your pink bracelet does the same for you!

Best wishes!


My little family will have all of you in our prayers. (You too Jules!!) There's power in all the voices and thoughts united in prayer and in good vibes. Believe it. I'm convinced it is what made all the difference with our little miracle man--who defied all negative doctor predictions and is doing fantastic. Hang in there. And thanks for reminding me it's time for another check for Susan G. Komen.


I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis, Amy. Things like that make you remember not to take anything in life for granted.


Hugs to you and your mom. I have had to deal with my grandmother having melanoma and hubbys mom having breast cancer too. The pink ribons, bracelets and everything else has gotten LOTS of our money. The thing that I have noticed is that one in eight seems to be a little off. I dont know one person that doesnt have a family memeber that hasnt had a brush with breast cancer.


My God, Amy. I am so sorry to hear that! And now I have one more person to add to the list of reasons why I will keep doing this walk every year until my feet fall off. My mom and I share the fibrocystic breast joy but have been blessed to have all of our scares just be that...scares. Tell your mom there's at least one person walking in her honor this October....I'm so glad to hear that they at least caught it early enough for her doctors to be optimistic.

Bonanza Jellybean

Thoughts and prayers to your Mom and you.

Next time I see one of the pink bracelets, I'll grab it and throw it on, ignoring my aversion to the whole bracelet thing, and think of you.

Good Luck.


I usually lurk too, but this entry broke me of that habit. I am so sorry to hear about your mom, but thankful for the early detection. I work on a children's oncology unit, and every day I am amazed at the strength and determination that these families possess. Your family seems just as strong! Your mom is blessed to have such loving and caring people in her life. Praying for a swift recovery for your mom!


Damn, I'm really sorry, and all I can offer is the best of wishes for your mom and the whole Amalah clan. You seem like a strong bunch, so I'm sure you'll get through this just fine :)


Oh, Amy, I'm sorry. You seem strong but I know this must be very hard. You and your whole family are in my prayers.

Sarah King

Amy, I can't really know what you, your Mum and your sister have gone through already with all these scares, and I certainly can't claim first-hand experience with a family member. The only woman in my family ever to get breast cancer is my aunt, and thank God she is surviving it, and has since seen her first two grandchildren. I am thinking about your Mum, and about you, and about your whole family, and I hope she get's better real soon, and is there with you and Squishy for many more decades.


*hugs* You and your family are in my thoughts.


Many prayers and positive vibes for your mom. Fortunately, we live in a time when early detection does mean early cure. My mom is a 10+ year survivor of breast cancer. She has 3 other sisters who've had breast cancer, two who've beaten it so far.
Please take care. I am sure your Mamalah would much rather be with baby Squishy than where she needs to be... (HUGS)


I am so sorry to hear about your mom. You and your family are in my thoughts, though. And I agree about the wristband thing! I wore mine before it got "popular" and actually took it off when it became "cool" because I'm like that. Although my pastor had a purple one that said "Jesus is my homey" which totally cracked me up. (I'm not good with all the serious stuff, but do know I'm pulling for you guys!)


I can't add anything that hasn't been said already. Just wanted to let you know another reader is sorry that your family has to go through this.


I'm so sorry.


Thinking of all of you.


Have to add my best wishes and prayers...


Sending my best wishes and prayers along for your mom and you.


I'm really sorry, and will keep you, your Mom and the rest of your family in my thoughts. My Mom had melanoma about six years ago and it was the scariest thing ever (even though people think skin cancer isn't serious, it can be and it was for my Mom).

Hoping for the best...


Lurker here, praying for your mom. My grandmother had breast cancer and my mom had cancer of the soft tissue twice - when I was 11 and 13. She lost her hair, had radiation, had chemo. That was how we spent our summer vacation two years. It was the scariest thing, but she's now been in remission for 18 years.

My dad told us when Ma got cancer that nobody can fully gel as a human until they've had at least two SEEs (Significant Emotional Experiences). You can't truly empathize unless you've been through it. It was his way of trying to make us view life's trials as the initiation process into the human race. It helped me - I hope it helps you.


Damn. Lots of thoughts and prayers, Amy. I might lurk, but I do care.


Oh Amy, I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this. It does sound like she's going to be in the clear soon enough, though. Many thoughts and prayers are headed your way.

Miss W

Amy, you are the second of my friends who lasted between 1/2-1 year at the lovely Christian college in the Midwest (shut it--I have good memories!) to go through this with her mother. Five years later, her mom is healthy. I will be praying for your mom to have the same results. Thinking of you.


The best of wishes for you and your mom. Sounds like a rough road ahead but a good prognosis is promising. I will be praying for the best for you both.


My grandmother has the cystic fibroid condition as well. It had gotten so bad that they did a complete mastectomy on her. I'm so sorry you and your family are dealing with this more-common-than-it-really-should-be situation. Prayers to your mother and your family for a healthy recovery.


Listen, my mom had it too, 25 years ago! And she had exactly what your mom had, and the radiation and the surgery all of it. And she's fine. And my best friend, two years ago, now on Tamoxifen. And she's fine too. And your mom will be fine. She will. She's got a squishy to look forward to!!!


I'm so sorry to hear that. Sending her my best!


My condolences and wishes for a quick recovery, I know that is so generic but I do mean it. I wanted to put in that buying postage stamps is another way you can support the cause, one of my 'side jobs' is to handwrite about 50-100 thank you note's a month for a company and I make a point to use the Breast Cancer postage stamps, every little bit helps!

Bad Penguin

Amy, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm sending my best wishes for a fast and full recovery her way.


Sorry to hear the news, but it is GREAT that they caught it early. My mother-in-law is a survivor and she's been cancer-free for eight years now. She proudly takes part in the Race For the Cure each year and she donates tons to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Your mom will get through this and she will be stronger for it. But how sucky for you to have to worry about that stuff on top of the Squishy worries!

Lisa B

Thinking of you and your mom and squishy lots and lots.

Real Girl

Oh Jeez. I fear nothing anyone says will make you feel better because This Is Your Mom. But just in case, I've known about 10 women with breast cancer, including my aunt, and from my experiences, the words "We caught it early enough" have always meant: "You will eventually be OK." For real, though, it's not fun and I am so sorry.

But you'll be there for your Mom. And your family will be there for your Mom, including your dad. And she'll get back a hell of a lot of the love and support she's been dishing out all these years.

You've got lots of people's thoughts and prayers with you.


Prayers for you, your mom and squishy. my aunt was diagnosised last year and I am still working on her scarf that I said I would crochet for her.

Fraulein N

You and your mom are in my thoughts.


Delurking to wish you and your mom strength and courage.



I just started reading your blog recently and I LOVE your blog. What a shock when I read about your mom. I am sorry that anyone has to go through that. My mom also had breast cancer in August of 2003. She too had scares in the past and when the Dr's finally said it's cancer, she and I were just sort of stunned. She survived that but has since past on from other complications unrelated to cancer. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please update us on her progress and know that you have tons of people across the world thinking of you and your family.


So sad to hear about your mother - what a stressful time for your family. My mother had breast cancer, but has been cancer-free for over 10 years now.

Think positive and hang in there!


Wow - what the hell do you say to that??? I am so very sorry that this is happening. I'm sure that sounds odd coming from all these people that have never met you, but I'm sure that we'd all agree. Please have faith and trust that she will be fine! I am sending many good thoughts your way and hope that Mommy gets through it all with a minimum of distress.


My mother and I have also had problematic boobs all our lives, and my mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago. But, like with your mother, they caught it early because they were checking her regularly. She had a lumpectomy and radiation and she's been cancer-free since. But I'll never forget how terrifying that situation was.

Hang in there. It's such great news that they found it early. I will be thinking of you and your family.


So sorry, Amy. I'll be sending positive thoughts and prayers for both of your parents and for LOTS AND LOTS of years playing with bablah until they are old gray and wrinkled and 112 each.


Prayers to Mamalah. Every year when I do the Races for the Cure (I try to both the MD and the DC every year,) the number of pink-shirted survivors seems to increase. Some say that's because the cancer rate is rising, but I choose to believe that it just means that more women and men are beating it.

I did the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day in 2002. Some of my donors gave me in excess of $100, some gave me $5 or $10. Some people couldn't give me anything except a pat on the back. It all mattered.


I'm also sending prayers to your mom and your entire family. Cancer just hits me really hard -- all 4 of my grandparents had it -- so I'm always sending random donations out there to various ACS things. I hope one of them helps your mom.


My mom was diagnosed w/ breast cancer in 2000, and it scared me to death.

5 years later, she's a survivor: healthy and happy.

and i'm walking the breast cancer 3-day in sept. to try and stop this madness.

you're all in my prayers.


So sorry to hear about your mom, girl. I know she's going to be okay. Just hang in there.


I had to actually stop, and scroll back up to reread. Best of luck to your mom. That statistic is one of the most frightening things ever.


oh - my thoughts are with you and your family. may nana be around for many years of kissing booboos and nana hugs - both for you and the wee one.


I couldn't stop on by and not comment....I am sorry to hear what you - your mother - is going through. I remember you commenting on your father's health before. It is never easy. I am channeling positive thoughts your way.


Delurking to add my good wishes to the rest of the responses. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, and will be thinking good thoughts for her that she will be around for many many years to spend time with you and the squishy.


Totally praying for your mom and family Amy. My mom has stomach cancer and her mom has cervical cancer. My chances are pretty good huh?


Wishing nothing but the best for you, your mom, Squishy and the whole family.


Sending hugs to you and wishing for your mom's speedy recovery.


Dear Cancer, we all hate you. Please go away and never come back.


Oh, I'm going to think positive and send out hugs and prayers for you and your family. I'm so, so glad it was caught early.

Scarlett Cyn

Hey Amy,

So very sorry to hear about your mom. My own Mama has a similar problem to you all, but it's always kind of scary until they know for sure one way or the other.

I hope your baby's Nana responds well and quickly to the radiation and that she will make a complete recovery.

You are ALL in my prayers, for what they are worth.

I just HAD to delurk for this!


Hugs.. My mom is a 3 year survivor now. Scary, scary, scary..

But I bet the baby will be a nice distraction for her in the upcoming months!

Best of luck, and keep us posted.


This post immediately brought to mind for me the post about your dad being hospitalized and you all sitting around trying to reenact his head trauma. If there's a family that can just SCARE cancer away, yours is it. Best wishes for all of you as your mom fights this bastard.


I'm so sorry. Having just been through the whole cancer thing with my MIL, I know that it's scary and it sucks. I wear my Lance Armstrong bracelet every day in her memory. (Don't freak out, she had aggressive lung cancer...TOTALLY different from breast cancer). It sounds like they caught your mom's cancer early which is obviously a good thing. I'm just sorry you all have to deal with this. Sorry isn't even an adequate word for these situations, is it?


well, best wishes to your mom and your whole family, because i know how hard it is to get that phone call.

and i'm with you on the wristband thing being a bit annoying, but i'm still going to wear my ONE campaign one when it gets here (in a MONTH, dammit). and yours is cute and pink, so will make any outfit even prettier. ;)


I'm sorry your family is going through this, and like Lindsey said, sorry really isn't an adequate word for what you're all going through.

If only the words of a stranger could do more than just wish you all well.


Oh my gosh I'm so sorry! I'm wishing your mother a speedy recovery and thinking about you!


My mom has had breast cancer twice, ten years apart, and this Spring she was diagnosed once again. It is scary, but with new drugs etc., the chances of curing women are very good. I'll be praying for your mom.


I wear a pink wristband as well. Your mom is definitely in my thoughts & prayers.


I'm so happy that most everyone who has commented and has had a mother/aunt/grandparent, etc who has been diagnosed with breast cancer has been fortunate enough to have beat it. My mom had it twice and passed away when I was 19 - way before I was seriously thinking about eventually getting married and having a baby :) But that was 12 years ago and I know things have totally changed in the meantime. Prognosis and protocol are so much better now than before.

I'm not one to pray, per se, but I will be sending lots of good thoughts and well wishes to your mom. I'll ask my mom to do so too :)


Long time reader (or lurker), first time commenter. I just wanted to say that, as someone who follows your life via the Web as most of the people who comment, I was very saddened to hear about your mom (because, you know, i feel like i totally know you). I wanted to add my thoughts and prayers and good vibes to the chorus.


Much love to you all.


Thinking warm, fuzzy, healing, loving thoughts... for you and your mom

Linda B

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. Sending positive thoughts for her to get better soon.

Lisa V

Prayers, good karma, hope, and pixie dust for all of you.


Delurking to send thoughts and healing stuff from over here for your mother and for your family.


NOW it's personal. :(


I'm praying for your Mom and whole family. I'm a nurse and work in a radiation therapy clinic.
I have met so many amazing and strong women with breast cancer. It's a scary disease(like all cancer)but treatment and cure have come so far.


Oh, Amy... I just found this entry, and read the one about your dad, and I could cry for you. It sounds like your mom'll be just fine, though, and I'm glad to hear that: keeo wearing that band.


Sending good thoughts for you, your mom and your family. I loudly second your props and shout-outs to routine mammograms. We Karma women all are fibrocystic too and know the value of finding those kinds of things early.


I got tears in my eyes reading your post. Amy, I'm keeping your family in my prayers and I am so sorry that your mom (and you) are going through this.


I'm very sorry.
My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 17 (two years ago). She had the surgeries and radiation and is still on the 5 years course of drugs (which I think all women take after treatment? but maybe your mum has something different...) I'm sure though that she'll get through it and everything will turn out fine and good.



I know exactly what you're going through. My mom was diagnosed almost 20 years ago at age 38. My husband's mom is a breast cancer survivor.

It's amazing how far they have come with teatment of this disease. Early diagnosis is key. My thoughts will be with you and your mom.

suzanna danna

Keeping your mother and your family in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear the news Amy.


I'll be thinking of you and your mom. My mother had breast cancer when I was in high school. She fought like a tiger, and after one mastectomy, kicked it in the ass, but it was a tough time.


This made my heart ache. My mother was diagnosed in Dec. 2004 and had a bi-lateral mastectomy in Jan. 2005. 4 chemos later, loss of her hair and countless upon countless hours of crying and hugging, she is making a full recovery. Cancer took her breasts and it TRIED to take her hair (we had a shaving party before THAT happened) but it will never, ever, EVER take her beautiful spirit. Tell your mom to stay strong!



You and your mother are in my thoughts. It will be rough going, but it sounds like she'll be back to "Mommying" you in no time..

On another note, coincidentally, last night my husband rode home from work on the El next to a group of college kids, one of whom had an armful of rubber bracelets. His friends were kind of making fun of him, and asking how much he had invested in rubber-based arm accoutrements, but he was quick to reassure them that he "didn't pay for all of them. People gave most of them" to him. Umm. So the point of wearing them is as a fashion statement, then?


Hi, I completely agree with the comment about too many bracelets. It has lost its power. I can relate to the alternate reality you're living right now. Here you are in what should be one of the happiest times of life, but have to deal with this kind of crap. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer the year after I married, and then passed away when I was newly pregnant with my 1st preg. I miscarried that baby, and no one can tell me that it wasn't due to the stress from the illness, emotional upheaval, funeral, probate, etc. It sounds like your mom has a great progosis, enjoy her while you can.


It is tough having a parent sick- especially 2 (as it sound sin your case). My Mom has had cancer, a brain tumor, horrible glacoma and a bone condition and all kinds of problems from the 1st 2 and the last (could she have more wrong with her). It is hard to see our parents suffer and so hard to even think about them not being there. Hang in there! I will keep your Mom in my thoughts. I am pg too and I don't know what I would do without my Mom there- so hugs!


I am 28 and had breast surgery a year ago. I, too, have the fybrocystic breast thingy, but this time, it was a solid mass. And benign. Thank god.

My thoughts are with you and Nana. Wear the bracelet with pride - and if I can find someone and give them money and get a pink bracelet...I will, and wear it with hope.

Even if it doesn't match.


Hey allison, I still have more fundraising thank you bracelets like Amy's just waiting to be sent out to my next donors. :-)


Oh, no. I'll be praying for you all. I'm so glad it was caught early.


Amy, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm an editor at a cancer journal. Please e-mail if you'd like any information -- or any information interpreted. Two friends of mine were recently diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly this Thing I talk about casually every day was way too Real. Prayers and hugs to you and your mom.


i'm so sorry amalah.
my nana and my most favorite person in the world - my aunt - have breast cancer, and now the lady i work for has been diagnosed (yesterday).
i will say prayers for you and your mom and your family.
i hope everything will take a good turn and it will get so much better.

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