This Slattern Needs A Favor
Monday, December 20, 2010
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Today is all about favors. 

We sure could use your prayers, good karma, good thoughts and anything else you've got in this house today. 

My mother-in-law is a cancer survivor and at her usual routine checkup, there were some results the doctors didn't like too much and so there were tests and scans and I am sad to say the cancer has returned to her one remaining kidney. 

She is a tiny, feisty Italian woman who didn't like me too much when I started coming around. I think she saw this little harlot, this little slattern, (isn't that a great word?), who was out to undo her son. 

She may have been right about some things. 

I undid that man, all right. By surrounding him in estrogen for the rest of his days. 

But over the years, my mother-in-law has developed a healthy respect and love for this undoing slattern-in-law. 

We were so hoping those spots on her kidney were cysts or polka dots or smiley faces or anything that would have kept her rocking and rolling and walking her miles every morning and blasting the Fox news 24/7 and bustling about the kitchen whipping up all her gourmet delicacies, making her heavenly handmade gnocchi for my girls and her baklava dipped in chocolate for my hubby and keeping my father-in-law in line, whether he wants to be kept in line or not. 

In all bad news, there is always a blessing if you look hard enough. And the blessing in this pile of awfulness, is there is a surgery, one that isn't performed in many places, where they take out just a portion of the kidney. We live around the corner from one of the best cancer hospitals in the nation. And they do this surgery. She has a consultation on Tuesday 

I told her that she will be in the most capable of hands. Our cancer center is truly an amazing place. We have, unfortunately, been there one too many of a time with loved ones. And even though it is a place where life is held in such precarious balance, it never ceases to amaze me when I walk through their hallowed doors, the feeling that greets you there. It is a feeling of hope, a feeling of, "Come in. Worry no longer. Leave it all up to us. We'll take care of you here." I'm not sure what kind of training program they have there, but it is the stuff that produces angels. 

I've been on the phone with my mother-in-law several times over the last few days, as appointments and plans are made. And I can tell you, the distress and fear from this resilient firecracker of a lady are so achingly palpable across the phone lines.  

I wish I could take it all away, but I am powerless as God flourishes his mighty hand and determines our fates from up above. 

So I told her, the only thing I knew to say, what I tell my girls when there are no answers, that everything is going to be all right. I told her this over and over again. It is my healing mantra and I believe that with all my heart. 

No matter the course our lives are about to take, everything will be all right. I find great solace in those words.  

And so Christmas will not be this year, what we had planned. There will be some somberness, maybe a few tears, a lot of Fox News blasting throughout my house, but we will have the gift of knowing that not a single moment here together should be wasted as we celebrate family and all of the blessings before us. 

And everything will be all right. 

I'll probably be around even less than usual since I will be busy watching Fox News and The Weather Channel and trying my best not to send my father-in-law to his room for a time out when he gets too crotchety. I will try and visit and sneak in a post here and there and keep you updated. Watch for me.

I have a feeling, this slattern's going to need the break.

And I do have another post lined up, but it was much too goofy to add to this bit of heartache and so, I will post that in the next few days. 

And I'll leave you today with a fun note.

When we explained to the girls that Grandma's cancer was back and that they were going to see if they could take just a portion of her remaining kidney since she is now down to one kidney, one of my girls, I won't say which one, but one of my teens who should know better, said, "Hold up. We have TWO kidneys?"

I know. I'm raising rocket scientists.

Today's Definite Download: Speaking of funny, I know I pimp out my friend Cheeseboy's blog a lot, but he never ceases to make me snort with laughter. Besides being a bad-ass blogger, Cheese is a first grade teacher and every year he puts on these incredibly awesome, non-traditional music programs. Last year, he rewrote "Bohemian Rhapsody"giving it more of a six year old groove and it was just brilliant. 

This year he's up to his old tricks. He has the videos of his Christmas programs up on his blog, right here. Check it out. He's got his first graders rapping a Christmas song. They also sing a Weezer tune that Cheeseboy turned into a holiday classic. Cheeseboy also rewrote Cyndi Lauper's biggest hit and instead of girls having all the fun, it's "Elves Just Wanna Have Fun". The best part of that song is when the kids break out into the Robot. And then there's my personal favorite, Cheese imitating The Boss as he sings "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" with his own personal first grade E Street Band. If his videos don't fill you with the Christmas Spirit, then you've got some major Scrooge vibes going down.

You've never seen a Christmas program like this before. I sure wish Cheese had been around when my kids were small. I'd definitely prefer the robot over all the "Oh Christmas Tree" renditions I had to sit through.

UPDATE: My in-laws are here with us and it is clear to me that I will be doing more hand holding than I realized. My hubby took them out to lunch, so I could have a few moments to myself. So unless I get more of these blessed moments this week, I'm not sure how much I'll be around. Hopefully, some. But know that I'll be with you all in spirit. I'll try to wedge in another post this week. And I'll visit as soon as I can. But in the meantime, I will be UP on the news, so if you have any questions on current events, I'll be glad to answer them for you. 



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47 comments:

twelvedaysold said...

Is this the same daughter who thought for a beautiful moment that Transformers were real? Because that was awesome. She needs to watch the short film Kidney Thieves.

http://vimeo.com/1872856

I'm praying for your MIL. Stupid cancer. It's a big fat ass.

In any case, a little love from me and mine should be on its way to you in the form of our Christmas card.

Dee said...

Prayers, girl. :(

singedwingangel said...

Prayers are yours but might I suggest you and I discuss some high grade nutrition to help her fight back. I know of several people who have employed the use of the product I use and won the battle against cancer because their body was using the nutrients in the product to fight back. LIke the body is designed to do.

The Furry Godmother said...

She does need to eat clean, Joann. At least while she fights this. My hopes and prayers go out to her and your family.

Cancer is the kipper's dick. Or kipper's rik as it may be. Which ever's worse.

duffylou said...

The reason we celebrate Christmas is due to a miracle. Let this be a week of miracles for your M-I-L as well. Good thoughts beaming from me to you.

And may I also suggest a book on anatomy for your girls.

From Tracie said...

I hate caner. HATE with a capital H. and that is not a word that I use often or lightly.

I will be praying for your mother-in-law, for healing, peace, hope, strength, and courage. And for you and the rest of the family I will pray the same (even healing, because now is not the time for anyone to develop a winter cold at your place)

Stay strong! Be Blessed! Have a Christmas full of beautiful memories even in the midst of all of this.


(oh, and those videos from Cheeseboy-best Christmas program evah! I have loved every single one of them!)

deb said...

Prayers for your MIL ( I have an Italian one myself ).

Wishing all of you peace this season and always.

Eva Gallant said...

May the good Lord take your MIL in his hands and take care of her!

TesoriTrovati said...

We are each angels with only one wing. We only fly when we are holding each other.

Consider me your cyber wingman, Joann. I am thinking of you and wishing you peace.

And my signature quote...
"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day." Find your 'something good' through all of this. If it is just that you will be up on what the latest blabbering is out of Fox News, well at least you will understand the jokes that Jon Stewart has on The Daily Show that much better.

Breathe deep. Seek peace.

Enjoy the day.
Erin

Cheryl said...

Hold tight. You're in my thoughts.

Katie May (or may not) said...

Best of luck to your mom-in-law and all of you, who will be stressed out and worried. Glad to hear they will do surgery! They wouldn't, when my mom had kidney cancer.

Noelle said...

Joann, your faith inspires me.
Your trust in God gives me hope.

Your mother-in-law will be in my prayers, as will you and your family be.

Sending a tight hug.

lvankuiken said...

Joann, You are ALL in my prayers...but especially you as you try to keep everyone's spirits up and make a happy Christmas in spite of this sad news. I know you'll do it too!

Sending you hugs...

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Prayers, best wishes, good thoughts – they're all winging your way. Miracles do happen. Especially at Christmas. (I'll wish for one for you.)

Sparkling said...

Oh crap, TWO KIDNEYS?? Per person???? Now, my question, are you right kidneyed or left kidneyed like you're right and left handed? And when you snowboard, you're goofy foot or regular. So, in the kidney realm, do we have a stronger one? Hmmm. Something to ponder while you're waiting.

Brittney said...

praying that the procedure is a success!!
Merry Christmas, and just keep your head up "everything will be alright"

aLmYbNeNr said...

I will definitely keep your mother-in-law in my thoughts. The Christmas season is a special time and I think that's a good thing to have on that feisty Italian's side!

Judie said...

Ooooh! You used "slattern" in a sentence!! Bravo!
I knew I was right, so you were forewarned. Also, I forgot to mention the Fox News crap, but THAT TOO!
I will be thinking of you, but only when I regain consciousness from the GOOD DRUGS I got today, since my back went out and Rod had to DRIVE ME TO THE DOCTOR because I couldn't move without SCREAMING!
Tomorrow will be better--for both of us!!
xoxo

abitosunshine said...

Joann, you and your loved ones are in my heart and prayer for sure. There are few things I hate in life, but this dreaded disease is one of them.

Season's Blessings & a bit o' sunshine!

Poster Print Giveaway: Let My Spirit Live

Ash said...

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Cancer has returned for a dear friend of mine as well.

Cancer sucks sweaty donkey cojones (sorry, too vulger for the season?)

Two kidneys?! Learn something new every day ;-)

XO - A

Deborah said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and I'm sending white light.

amyblam.com said...

Oh lovie, sending hugs and Christmas sparkles ya'll's way. You're in my prayers!

Cheeseboy said...

You always have such great perspective on things. You are a strong person... someone that I'm sure your family is uber grateful to have around. Wishing you the best.

And I am glad I could bring SOME cheer to you. I appreciate the pimp. You do the very best pimping of all my readers. Glad you are enjoying our program. I have one tomorrow that will blow the rest out of the water.

Pat said...

I will say a prayer for your mother-in-law. These situations make you aware of just how precious life is.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

This is just sucky news. I have so many friends going through such crappy stuff this month. Ugh! Makes me want to scream as I'm sure it does for you. You will all be in my thoughts my friend. Stay strong. And as Duffy said, this is the season for miracles. :)

Two kidneys?..what a hoot!!

Kimberly said...

Ugh cancer...I like to refer to cancer as another c word that starts with c and ends in unt.
Know that my thoughts and prayers are with her. She's a feisty Italian and they don't go down without a fight. I know this because I am one ;)
PS. The Boss? Awesome...

Missy@Wonder, Friend said...

Sending prayers!

The Empress said...

I loved Cheeseboy's Xmas concert. He is fantastic.

And, yes, calll me for prayer anytime. I am a prayer warrior of epic dimensions, if I do say so myself.

Tell sweet mama that she will be taken care of. xo

Gigi said...

I just watched Cheeseboy's video before coming by here...darling.

I will hold your sweet Italian MIL in my prayers and thoughts today. It sounds like she could not be in better hands.

And Joann, my dear, if I don't get back here before Christmas, I hope that you and yours have a very blessed and peaceful holiday. Thank you for bringing the gift of laughter to me every day that I visit your blog...and for your friendship.

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

Feisty is good - great caregivers and medical care are even better. On the other hand, Glenn Beck raving and ranting instead of Perry Como crooning carols is somewhat less than wonderful. You and your family are in my heart this season.... I'll think of you as I click past Fox on my way to Rachel Maddow.

Happy Holidaze :-}
a/b

granny1947 said...

Oh Dear My Friend...positive vibes coming to you from Africa.
You are in my thoughts.
She is lucky to have you as support.

Shell said...

Sending your mil prayers.

And you, wine.

Yuliya said...

Sending good thoughts your way. Hope you get those moments to yourself. And hoping you have good wine to help tide you over!

Baby Sister said...

My prayers will definitely be with you and your family. You are an example to us all.

I'll be asking for a report on the news at the end of this. So study up. ;)

Liz said...

LOTS and LOTS of good vibes going your way!

randine said...

I have been hemming and hawing about what to comment for a day now. I never know what to say in these situations. It just plain out sucks, is all I can think of to say, but it feels terribly inadequate,

I'm so sorry your family has to go through this. Your mother in law sounds like an amazing person and I'm sure she will kick cancers ass. Again.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Joann.

Oh, and I tried to watch those Cheeseboy videos, they sound fabulous but my computer at work is really archaic and it can't play videos, so I tried to download some flash player, but it crashed the computer, and the IT computer had to come, and she did NOT look very happy with me.
Long story short- I'm working on watching the videos.

MommaKiss said...

i'll be thinking about your mother in law. cancer should get cancer. hope your holidays are full of love as they should be.

Ami said...

Sending good thoughts.
Cancer sucks. I'm tired of losing people I love to it.

I'm tired of being scared every time I find an anomaly because of the aforementioned people I love who are now gone.

(((hugs)) and lots of them to you all.

Heather said...

Just for me will you please see how many kidneys you can convince her we have??

Best of everything to you MIL. YOu too.

Mrsblogalot said...

oh, Joann, I'm sending the biggest most hopeful wish out to you and your MIL. (My other wish is that I could launch a rocket straight up cancer's ass).

You know my thoughts are with you my friend.

Rebecca Grace said...

Hugs and prayers go out to you and your family. It sounds like your MIL is a fighter, though, and that she is in good hands. You, on the other hand, deserve a pedicure!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Add my prayers as well and I will pass the request to my MIL too. She has a tremendous prayer network. Peace to you all.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Oh Joann, I am just so sorry. You and your family have been in my prayers and will continue to be.

On the newsfront: What is the deal with terrorists putting cyanide in salad bars/buffets. I LIVE for salad bars!!! I read that on CBS news.

And then I cried because I will never look at another salad bar the same way ever again :-(

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

And please never apologize about not blogging. Life comes first.

Christine Macdonald said...

"there is always a blessing if you look hard enough..."

It's true.

Hang in there. Sending love and prayers to you and yours.

xxxooo

jayayceeblog said...

Everything will be all right. Sending prayers to your family and your MIL. We recently found out that my FIL just completed treatments for cancer. They live in a different state so were able to keep it from us until it was all over. Now we're waiting for the next checkup in 3 months. Everything will be all right. And thanks for the laugh -- slattern-in-law -- snort!

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Thinking of your and you MIL this holiday weekend. I know you and your family will shower her with love and support. XO times two.

Kate said...

OK, I'm late to the party (as usual). Re your daughter and the kidney surprise (which sounds like a pretty awful dinner), my very smart teenage son is frequently surprising me with things he doesn't know. I'm not sure how he's going to make it away at college next year. Hopefully he has a roommate with a bit more common sense.

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