From Chemo to Canapés


I remember being handed a phone, at 5:00 am on a Saturday morning.  I heard my youngest daughter’s voice saying,  “Okay, Mom… don’t freak out.”  

The Moms out there already know that the very next thing I did was to initiate a “Total Freak Out” count down sequence, because according to “The Mother’s Guide to Appropriate Reactions,” that was and still is the correct protocol for this particular situation.

Half asleep, but already in moderate panic mode, the next words I heard her say were “cancer” and “hospital.”

That was all I needed to hear.

Time stopped.

My body went totally numb and tingly.

A nightmare had begun.

Hearing that your 30 year old daughter has ovarian cancer is a shock under any circumstances, but I was on holiday in the US and she was alone in England.  I may as well have been on the moon, because we were light years apart and I felt totally hollow and useless.

The next few days are now a blur, but thank goodness they are well documented. As I sat on the plane from Miami to London, less than 24 hours after receiving that call, I wrote my very first Blog post and “rantingsofamadwomenblog” was born.

The nightmare began in July and it wasn’t until February that I began to stir.  My daughter had undergone 3 cycles of chemotherapy (more than 20 sessions) and a major surgery. And although she wore the bald badge of cancer, she was feeling strong, confident and talking about going back to work!  Need I add, “Much to my dismay?”

She wanted her life to go “back to normal.”  She wanted to put all this stupid cancer stuff behind her and just move on.  To her, it was like it never happened. It was just an insignificant blip on the radar.

I too would have loved to have forgotten about this nightmare!  However, isn’t it true that nightmares have a way of lingering?  All of the horrifying, disturbing, little details; lying just below your consciousness.  They swirl around in your head undetected and then pop out and scare you to death, when you least expect them.

So, for me… the nightmare continued even as I lingered between sleep and reality.  I found myself, on High Alert, Defcon 1, Guard Duty.  How I ever let this happen in the first place was a question that would haunt me forever, but I damn sure would NEVER let anything like this happen again.

Days turned into weeks; weeks turned into months; and months have now, unbelievably turned into one and a half years and all is well.

I remain optimistically cautious.  I say my prayers, keep my fingers crossed and barter regularly with God.  So far he has kept up His end of the deal,and He hasn’t collected yet, so I’m still here.

Last Friday evening at about 5:30 pm the phone rang.  I don’t like when the home phone rings, because it rings so infrequently my fist thought is,  “OMG, what’s happened?!”  I hesitantly answered, “Hello.”  The first thing I heard, coming down the other end of the line was an unearthly, yet joyous, shrieking sound.  I then heard my daughter’s voice saying, “Mom, I’m engaged!!!” 

That was all I heard.

Time stood still.

My body went totally numb and tingly.

A Mother’s dream had begun.








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