Thursday, April 24, 2008

life chapters

It's so wierd. When I was engaged, I got really into wedding planning. I loved it. I obsessed about it. I visited reception sites with Steve, pondered invitation fonts, researched florists and listened to samples of wedding ceremony music. I joined the chat boards on and got to know other brides-to-be, a few of whom are still good friends of mine today. Later, when Steve and I began our struggles with infertility, I joined another chat board and got to know other women who were trying to conceive (known in the online world as TTC). Their support and encouragement kept me afloat during some dark times. When I finally got pregnant, my focus shifted again. I got really interested in childbirth, read lots of books about it, and chatted with other women on the TTC board who had become pregnant. And then I became a mother, and I read even more books, joined classes and met yet another group of (mostly) women who have become friends through our weekly play group.

And now I have to start learning about sarcomas. I have to apply all my energy to a subject I never wanted to know anything about (well, who does?), a subject that frightens and depresses me. And yet, here I am, getting cozy with the new reality in my life. All week, I've been discovering new Web sites, getting tips from people who have been there or know people who have been there. Today, I even joined a sarcoma list serve. I can't help wondering if the next group of important people in my life will be those who are facing down the dragon together, with apparent humor, courage and spirit. I am amazed as I read about what people go through in fighting this fight, and I hope I can draw strength from them.


Anonymous said...

Emilie, I highly recommend you join the following website:

It's for young-ish people with cancer. Age ranges from about 12 to 50, with most people in their twenties, thirties, and early forties. Many are married with kids. Please check it out. The founder, Heidi Adams, had a sarcoma.

- Susanne

Steve said...

Fondly remembering our lunches on Selby Avenue discussing religion and newspapers, I am humbled by being introduced to your blog by Christina and offering prayers for you and your family from throughout our household. (Methodists' prayers are good, too, yes?)
-- former religion ed., PPress

Lisa said...

I'm from the spinoff TTC board that formed from the board you used to be on...we all just found out about your situation. OMG, I'm so, so, so sorry that you and your family are having to go through this. I'm heartbroken for you, Steve, and your beautiful boys! I will send all my thoughts and prayers to you, and spread the word so others I know can send their prayers, too. Please know you've got a whole new crew sending lots of good stuff to the heavens on your behalf!

Lisa (MrsSept05wed on the TTC board)

Anonymous said...

When my daughter was born with down syndrome I learned everything I could about it, but last fall when I was diagnosed, with angiosarcoma, I knew I did not want to learn cancer!

I am doing better with it now, but would give almost anything to not have to live this.

Anonymous said...


Find strength in anyway you can. Pour your heart into life, and live everyday full of the life that you have. You are an amazing woman. You are surrounded by love from both friends and strangers. Let us lift you when it is needed. It is our honor to help.

Much Love-
Jennifer, Jaime, Hampton & Malia

Theology Girl said...


Delurking to say that, while this is not a source of information about cancer per se, it is a place to get support and love during chemo. Maybe that would also help in some small way?

Coach Megan Thomas said...


Yes, yes, it makes sense. Having known since you were 12 years old, I have to say that you are much the same person today as you were then.

And to know that you are tackling this "chapter" like any other, that you will bring the same heart and the same intellectual curiosity, tells me that you are a very centered person who truly knows herself -- and what a gift that is.

Love always,

Megan & family

Roxy said...

it is amazing to meet all these people along the way. I am one of the former brides-to-be and am very proud to call you a good friend. All these little chapters have given you a TON of people to support, encourage and pray for you.

we love you Em!

Ellen said...

You are getting to know yourself even more. The plunge into this chapter in your life isn't like the others but do you remember how you came out of each one? You will be surprised how you come out of this one, and knowing you, it will be better. From what it looks like, these life chapters you mention didn't start until you were in your 30s and so maybe the 40s will be dark but then when you come around to your 50s...Rock and Roll!

Jamie said...

Susanne - I want to thank you too for the planet cancer link. I joined yesterday and that site ROCKS.

Ahuva Batya said...

I agree with Ellen; you come out of every challenge stronger than you were before, and this will be no exception.

Marie Beckerleg said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My heart goes out to you.

Marie Beckerleg
Moorhead, MN

Anonymous said...

I am a friend from the TTC6 / nest board (now garden cafe). I am just shocked by this news and want you to know that I am holding you and your family in light and love.
Rebecca / roswellgahokie

Beth said...

I think it's wonderful that life can be full of so many 'families'. I believe our lives are added in value by touching others.

Anonymous said...

Just want to let you know that you are in my thoughts. Dont know if you remember me from the MSN board hunmcbunny. I have your blog in my favorites so I can keep updated. I love the pic of you on your bed with your babies...its so timelessly classic and so very precious.

Mary said...

Yes, I have many friends now who have sarcoma. It's funny, I was always squeamish about medical stuff - and I still am! I think most people in the sarcoma groups have a love-hate relationship with them. You come to truly love the people, but at the same time you hate having to be there! So people tend to have periods of time when they are very active in the groups, and then periods when they back away and try to get some "normal" space in their lives.

I am the SAME way. I have always been a preparer, a researcher, a planner. I hope that all of this learning will do for you what it has done for me. I am centered and grounded in all of the things that I've learned. I still get frightened and overwhelmed sometimes, but this is where I need to be. It works.

Piccinigirl said...

Em, I am thinking so much about your these days.
As someone who came from the Knot and TTC and then the Parenting boards, I know exactly how you feel about coming so far and having a community to help you do it. Happy or sad times, we are here for you and each other. I hope you know that no matter what , we are here, cheering you on, crying with you, hurting along side you and your family.
And most importantly, BELIEVING in HOPE with you.
that is the miracle of friendships, they hold you up when you can't do it yourself.