Oct 21

There is no crying in baseball

My girls saw ‘A League of Their Own’ on the way to New York last week. And we have been throwing that line around a lot as a joke: there’s no crying in homework, there’s no crying in laundry, there’s no crying in cancer….

Oops, there is plenty of crying in cancer. Except that somehow, in the 10 months since that first phone call, I don’t think I had ever cried in front of the girls, maybe once or twice. It wasn’t intentional. I’m not a big cryer and I’ve had the luxury of crying when no one is home.

This morning though, after a totally stupid disagreement over a uniform shirt, at the end of a long series of stressful days with radiation still looming ahead but without a start date, I cried in front of the girls. I don’t mean I had tears in my eyes. I mean I fell to the kitchen floor, between the island and the oven, and I ugly-cried for 10 min. In front of my kids.

Why am I sharing this? Why am I not keeping this a private thing? For many reasons. Because of the pressure to be the Superwoman Cancer Fighter Extraordinaire. Because you might know my kids and they might tell you and I would rather you be prepared. Because you might be reading this blog from your bathroom, crying alone wondering how other people do it. Well here you go, you are not alone. Because you might know me for real and ask me how I’m doing, but if you are going to ask, you should really mean it and be prepared to hear the answer: it’s been 10 months, I’m exhausted and stressed and really don’t know how I’m going to come to the hospital 30 weekdays in a row and not lose my shit over a uniform t-shirt.

And before you write me a comment about it being ok to cry in front of my kids, let me tell you that the new nurse I met Thursday, who will be my radiation nurse, asked me if my kids knew I had cancer…. Because apparently some people not only manage NOT to cry, they manage to HIDE their cancer…. Clearly, I am not those people.


I wrote that post from the waiting room, while waiting for my herceptin, which is a 30 min IV, normally should take 90 min from arrival to departure. At the 4 hour mark, a nurse came clean and admitted she forgot to put in the prescription and they were going to rush it but it would be another hour before it could start. More crying. If I didn’t have a port and hadn’t already been hooked up, I would have run out of there. But instead I had to beg for them to unhook me and lock my port so I could leave. This day just keeps on giving.


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  1. Joanne

    Frankly, can’t believe that was the first time you lost it like that in 10 months!

  2. Nance

    I’ll be honest. I want to know who the hell doesn’t tell their kids? I mean, they need to know.
    How else do you describe what is happening to mom or dad?

    I am glad the nurse came clean, but they really didn’t help your day. I am sorry. HUGS

  3. Linda

    Virginia, you don’t lose any Superwoman Cancer Fighter Extraordinaire for breaking down in front of your girls and ugly crying over an argument that you have NO energy to fight. I feel terrible for the kids who don’t know their mom has cancer. This is life. You are strong, you are weak. You are fierce and you are fragile. Your girls are on this path with you and are so much of your light. It’s ok to show them that you need them to buck up right now. And NJ’s response to you today about your wonderwoman underwear shows you how much they KNOW how strong you are even in your moments of weakness.

    I’m so sorry that the hospital and that nurse fucked up. that nurse probably went home and cried. we all fall down and we get back up. keep going woman. you are doing a fucking kick ass job at this.

  4. Liz

    people don’t tell their kids? What. The. Fuck? I mean, maybe you use some euphemisms if your kid is 5 (mommy is sick and needs a lot of medicine) but *your* kids are definitely old enough to understand, and to be given the amazing chance to be compassionate and to learn from this. Even if they are learning that it is hard for Mom, too, and she can lose her shit. And she still loves them.

    It is ugly. And painful. And so so fucking hard.

    And I agree, you need a lot more wonder woman underpants. And more wine.

    And I hope that the 30 days of rads feels a bit better once it is up and running. I think once it feels like a routine it will get easier. I hope so, at least.

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