Yes, it did happen. I’m starting to embrace The Happy.


Now, c’mon, how many of you thought that would never, ever happen? If you just jumped on board in the last few days, you probably saw a very different Mb4M than in months past. My apologies. But, friends, I’m coming back.


First, nothing could make this blogging Mama more happy than seeing record breaking stats on Joli the Fabulous’s guest post last night. With almost 500 hits, Joli has far surpassed any single post in the past 11 months. You go, girl! And, thank you to everyone who wrote her a special note. She was just beside her self hearing all of the nice words you all wrote. Thank you!


My post-mastectomy friends, in their Zen-like advice, said that I would eventually — eventually — get to some zone where I just realize “Well, that’s all. Now, all that’s left is to just go get this mastectomy.” And, hard to believe, but they were right. By 6:30pm, I had finished everything on my checklist and then some. By 7pm, I was surrounded by family. By 8pm, I was hanging out with my girls telling secrets and lounging on the floor in our pajamas. By 9pm, the girls were getting ready for bed and I was getting into my new warm pajamas that Sally sent me. By 10:20pm, I was finally calm enough to sit down to write.


The bag is packed (complete only with toiletries and a phone charger). The in-laws are here. The schedule is printed on large paper and hung up in the hallway (doesn’t everyone do that?), and the groceries have all been bought. Laundry is done. Karate uniforms laid out. Sheets have been washed. A single prescribed anti-anxiety pill has been placed next to a small glass of water. Even yesterday, while driving to the hospital to do some simple pre-op tests, I had to pull over and throw up. I yelled at my sister who was just trying to smack some logic into me, and I cried when the Dining Hall manager said, “Can I bring you any pasta while you are home?” Yes. Even Pasta made me cry.


But, in just a few hours, I’ll fall asleep and begin the early morning — totally non-routine — preparation. Then soon, I’ll fall asleep again, and sit spectator to the true marathon.


Marathon Before Mastectomy.


Last night, while I was desperate for ways to feel better, I revisited my very first blog entry. Even back then, I realized that

Honestly, already, there have been 100 times when I’ve wanted to quit this idea of a 1/2 Marathon. And, there have been about 200 times when I’ve wanted to quit this idea of a mastectomy. But, I’m so thankful that I have really great people in my life!


It’s been 11 months. I didn’t quit the 1/2 marathon (in fact, I banged out 2 this year!), and though I have definitely wanted to quit this idea of a mastectomy more than 200 times, it’s here. I’m here. Tonight, I heard from two friends who thanked me. Not as Liza, not as Mb4M, not as teacher or friend. Rather, they thanked me as children who have experienced the loss of parents from cancer. They reminded me that their parents weren’t able to choose, I have been given a rare gift; a rare genetic risk but also a rare chance to save my life.


So, thanks.


Thank you.


All of you.


Thank you for reading, for sharing, and for encouraging me these past few months. It’s been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to write about it honestly, emotionally, and painfully. I realize that the most painful moments in our lives are the ones that transform into the most beautiful gifts when we allow for them — give room for them — to take shape and fill the emptiness within us. For it is through this pain that we see joy; through the darkest moments, we learn to appreciate light; and, when we feel most lonely, that is when we can truly embrace the warmth of friendship around us.


Thank you.


All of you.


Please be sure to follow along throughout the day as Jorge updates this site.


Marathon Before Mastectomy.


Peace, love, and moving towards The Happy,


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8 Responses to HAPPY

  1. Casey says:

    Love you, Liza. Rest well and let others take care of you.


  2. olivia says:

    I’m heading to bed and all my prayers are for you tonight. Much love!

  3. Anne says:

    Here’s one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets:

    by Nikki Giovanni

    the last time i was home
    to see my mother we kissed
    exchanged pleasantries
    and unpleasantries pulled a warm
    comforting silence around
    us and read separate books

    i remember the first time
    i consciously saw her
    we were living in a three room
    apartment on burns avenue

    mommy always sat in the dark
    i don’t know how i knew that but she did

    that night i stumbled into the kitchen
    maybe because i’ve always been
    a night person or perhaps because i had wet
    the bed
    she was sitting on a chair
    the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through
    those thousands of panes landlords who rented
    to people with children were prone to put in windows
    she may have been smoking but maybe not
    her hair was three-quarters her height
    which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
    and very black

    i’m sure i just hung there by the door
    i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady

    she was very deliberately waiting
    perhaps for my father to come home
    from his night job or maybe for a dream
    that had promised to come by
    “come here” she said “i’ll teach you
    a poem: i see the moon
    the moon sees me
    god bless the moon
    and god bless me”
    i taught it to my son
    who recited it for her
    just to say we must learn
    to bear the pleasures
    as we have borne the pains

  4. Shannon says:

    So glad that you used that phrase — you are absolutely saving your own life. You are a life saver. For real.

  5. Emily says:

    Go, Liza – go!!

    You’re not only saving your own life, and making the future more certain for your kiddos and Jorge… You’ve also helped me – and so many of us – change our own lives, for the better.

    Keep going for The Happy. 🙂
    You’re awesome.

  6. Kathleen Burkhalter says:

    Sending you love and prayers Liza, for the easiest operation in medical history and a fast and easy recuperation.

    You are a brave inspiration to us all.

  7. happybear75 says:

    The HAPPY!!!!!

  8. Carolyn says:

    Liza – I hope to join you in the Marathon After Mastectomy. I second the thought above – you are an inspiration.

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