The day I realized that I was pregnant with my youngest child, my mother had a mastectomy. The pregnancy wasn't planned. My mother didn't plan on getting cancer, either. Life is funny that way.
With my first pregnancy, I woke up one morning and my first thought was, I'm pregnant. I didn't have any pregnancy symptoms, but somehow I just knew. I lay in bed, thinking about the life growing inside me.
With my second pregnancy, I woke up the morning of my mother's mastectomy and my breasts hurt. My first thought was, I'm having sympathy pains. But then I just knew. I lay in bed, thinking about the tumor growing inside my mother.
My mother, as usual, had downplayed the whole thing. She mentioned in passing one afternoon that she had found a lump a few weeks before, and it was cancer, and she'd be having the breast removed. I think she wouldn't have brought it up it at all if she thought we wouldn't notice her being away for a few days. She didn't want us to bother going to the hospital, didn't want us to interrupt our routine for her. Not a martyr, but ever practical and never sentimental. Not no effin' pussy, my mom.
At the hospital, I sat by my mother's bed while she nodded in and out of sleep after the surgery. I didn't mention the pregnancy, because I knew she would be mad at me. My first delivery had been complicated and scary, and I knew she didn't want me to risk another. But the thought of going through another labor and delivery didn't scare me. Like my mom, I'm not no effin' pussy, but there are a few things that can scare me. My mom getting mad at me. My mom having cancer.
That was eight years ago. Yesterday, my mother thanked me for being the kind of child that made motherhood fun. I think her memory is starting to go. Maybe she's starting to get just a smidge sentimental.
Today, I registered for a Susan B. Komen 5K. It's September 13th, in NYC. I'll be hooking up with my BFFs and some other online friends, most of whom have already done at least one 5K before. I am not a runner. I have no hope of getting a decent time. If I'm being realistic, I'm not entirely sure I can even walk 5K, especially if hills are involved. But I will. I will finish. Because I am no not effin' pussy, and because I'm walking for my mom.