August 8, 2013

This Wild and Precious Life




DSC_9453

The last month have included some of the darkest days of my life.  Days where the pain and the sorrow and the confusion go on, seemingly without end.  And the helplessness, the utter helplessness.  I can't use my arms for virtually anything, and mentally…well.  The realization of how little of life is within our control – the minutiae at best – leaves me on very shaky ground.  

At times I would lose sight of my "real" life.  I would forget that this shitty diagnosis, this horrible recovery, this breast cancer didn't define me.  Although, for the last several weeks, they have certainly defined my world.  The scope of my entire existence has been narrowed down to a single day.  An hour.  My next medication.  The four walls of my room.  Putting one foot in front of the other.  Humbling doesn't even begin to describe it.

During the darkest days, my brain divided my life into the before and the now.  Before breast cancer I was happy and now I was in misery.  And for many days, the now never seemed it would end.  It's as if I was at the bottom of a very tall hill.  And I couldn't see the top.

Eventually, the fog started to lift.  My pain stabilized (for the most part) and I could venture out of the house for short periods of time.  Slowly, I started to climb.  I'd apply lipstick and ride along on a coffee run and I'd feel my legs pushing against the side of the hill.  Someone would call and make me laugh – really laugh – and I could feel my fingers grip as I pulled myself up a little more.  One night I'd actually be awake enough to snuggle with Mike and even watch a movie and it was like finding a toehold and up I'd go, up the hill.

Days and then weeks went by like this – with me, clutching and clawing my way up to the top.  Not just me, but Mike too.  And my boys.  With their kisses and their hugs and their talk of bravery, we all climbed that hill together with sand between our toes and dirt getting uncomfortably under our fingernails and sometimes losing ground but we did it.  We made it to the top.

And then we realized it was a cliff.

That cancer I had?  That stage 0, non-invasive stuff?  It turns out that it was hiding something else.  An actual tumor, hidden through all of the biopsies and ultrasounds and mammograms and MRIs.  Found only in the post-op report of the mastectomy.  It's a tiny little thing, as you might imagine, estrogen and receptor positive and HER2 negative (for those who understand these things) and my lymph nodes are clear and as far as tumors go, this is all good news.  It's a beautiful tumor, if ever you could call a tumor beautiful.

There's just one problem:  it's mildly aggressive.

In the oncotype test that they perform on these types of tumors, I scored a 26, which is right in the middle.  "Mildly aggressive" doesn't sound all that bad if I were, say, 70 years old.  But the harsh reality is that it has a 17% chance of reoccurring somewhere else in my body in the next 10 years.  And once that happens, there is no cure.  There is only maintenance and hope.  

I am thirty seven.  My boys are five and two.  There is no decision to be made: I start chemotherapy in September.  The day after Raines starts kindergarten.

Chemo will cut my risk of recurrence roughly in half, and 5+ years of a drug called Tamoxifen will hopefully do the rest, lowering my risk of recurrence to somewhere in the single digits.   And yes – I will lose my hair.  Most likely by mid-September.  Oddly, this feels harsher than losing my boobs.

Speaking of boobs….my reconstruction is being moved up.  My plastic surgeon has been "filling" my tissue expanders, and since I'm pretty small (boobs included) there is, um, only so much you can "fill".  So I go in for my implant surgery on Wednesday.  Wednesday!!  Just days away.  

Life feels like one big crazy mess right now.  Weeks are flying by, days are passing slowly.  The clock is ticking, and often, I'm terrified.  We are standing at the top of a cliff.  In many ways, this cliff has always been in my life (my mom had breast cancer at 48) and I feel as though I've been marching to this cliff for years.  No matter what path I took in life, no matter what my choices, I would've eventually ended up here, on the edge of this particular cliff.  

I can't tell – and won't be able to for many years – if 2013 was my worst year, or my luckiest one.  All I can do is walk to the edge, grip the hands of my husband and my boys, and jump.

 

DSC_7375

 

Thank you all for your love and support.

xo,

S  (the soon-to-be-bald fashion blogger)

 

ps.  The title is from my very favorite Mary Oliver
poem, The Summer Day.  (Thanks, Amy.)  I find this part especially inspiring:

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

By August 8, 2013 217 No tags Permalink
217 Comments
  • Amy
    August 8, 2013

    My beautiful friend. I am crying and crying for you. Tears of joy, and of fear. But I don’t know of anyone else who can handle this insanity with the amount of grace that you are. Your wild and precious life touches so many of us.
    And don’t worry about your hair. You’re going to ROCK a pixie look. And wear fab hats. And rocking scarves. And we will all love you for it.
    Hugs chickadee. And light and breath and hope and love and all good things are coming your way.

  • Lisa
    August 8, 2013

    Shana, my heart goes out to you. Your words here are eloquent and beautiful during such a difficult time. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Thank you for sharing your experience, you are a brave and strong person and I really admire you. Plus I need your fashion advice. ;)

  • Liz K
    August 8, 2013

    Shana, this was definitely not the news we were all hoping for. So very sorry to hear that your battle is only just beginning. Please know that your readers and friends are pulling for you during this very difficult time.

  • Amanda
    August 8, 2013

    Hugs and prayers to you from afar. I’m sure words from a stranger don’t help too much, but know that your faithful readers are pulling for you!

  • Kelly
    August 8, 2013

    The simple fact that you were able to put into mere words the sheer amount of crazy emotions, thoughts and observations that go through a person’s mind during something like this is a testament to your strength and character. While we have never talked or shared a coffee, I feel that I know you like a sister especially after this trying time. All I can say is keep the faith. Hold on tight to those around you and always try and smile (even when you feel like crying).
    And invest in a great red lipstick – my favorite bald person wears it religiously – and she’s gorgeous in my eyes, even after all the chemo and drugs.

  • Jen
    August 8, 2013

    I don’t know you and you don’t know me but this thing called cancer ties us together anyways. Mine was lymphoma. I started chemo when my daughter was 22 months old. Now she is almost 7 years old and I have a one year old too (something I was told was an impossibility–another baby post-cancer!). I am alive, I am well. I am healthy and strong. I have my hair back. :) You will rock this. Check out my blog for a record of my highs and lows. http://www.houseofwaffles.com
    Nowadays I have a boring blog (just your regular old average stay at home mom) but I wrote my way through the painful days of my diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Sending love.

  • ae4082@wayne.edu
    August 8, 2013

    I think of you often, I think you are so strong that you are brag-worthy. You are handling all of this with such grace that I wish I knew you in person. My thoughts are with you and on the positive, I can’t wait to see how you are going to rock this new look. Hugs.

  • Whitney
    August 8, 2013

    Oh dear, my first comment just got deleted because I went to grab the link of Little Boo Blue in case you are not familiar with her life and work: http://www.lilblueboo.com/the-cancer-chronicles
    Shana, I overwhelmed and grateful for how present you seem during a journey which I would think would be simply numbing. I’m so glad you have your mom in your life as evidence that you are MADE OF SURVIVAL. It is in your genes, right alongside those shitty cells.
    Thank you for letting us follow along. Know that you have cheerleaders around the country who have never even met you!
    Hugs to you.
    xoxo

  • Brooke Lusby
    August 8, 2013

    I’m sad to hear this news for you but please know – we are praying for you! Thank you for sharing your journey. You’re undoubtedly going to inspire others. Thank you.

  • Lydia
    August 8, 2013

    You’ve been on my heart and mind constantly since I first heard. I’ve been praying for you each time you pop into my thoughts.
    Everything comes across strangely on the internet, but I hope this comes across as a hug. After my second was born, last year, I cut all my pregnancy-hormone-driven long brown hair off (before it thinned back out after pregnancy, so it was still nice and thick) and I donated it to Beautiful Lengths. (http://www.pantene.com/en-US/PanteneBeautifulLengths/Pages/default.aspx)
    You are so beautiful inside and out. Nothing can change that. Even when your heart aches, its still such a beautiful heart.

  • jennifer
    August 8, 2013

    wow. that’s a lot to take in. i don’t often comment, but felt compelled to reply to your post. you have lots of people rooting for you. i can’t imagine how bittersweet and WONDERFUL and HEARTBREAKING at the same time it is for your child to hug you and tell you to “be bave.” That is life, precious life, all wrapped in a single moment.
    BTW, i LOVE mary oliver and that compilation in particular. i instagrammed my favorite poem of hers, “wild geese” a few weeks ago. i turn to it when i need to remember to surrender and just BE: http://instagram.com/p/ZJsPkcpYn0/
    I’m sending strength and encouragement vibes/prayers to you and your family.

  • Alice
    August 8, 2013

    So much love and light your way. What a shitty thing all around.

  • Kerri
    August 8, 2013

    Love you doll. This post made my cry and I think of you every day. You are amazing!!! Take that breast cancer!!!

  • Kate
    August 8, 2013

    In tears over here. Praying and thinking and sending all of the good energy I can muster your way. There are no other words…

  • Jenny
    August 8, 2013

    I’m praying Shana, and I’m so sorry. I’m so glad you have all those amazing men in your life to hold your hands and remind you how beautiful you are.

  • miranda
    August 8, 2013

    hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  • connie
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it takes a lot of courage and patience to go through what you must go through, and your strength, resolve, and perspective on your situation is an inspiration to me. For you to be able to share your thoughts and feelings with your readers and friends is a gift to us, and my thoughts and prayers are with you through the next steps of your journey.

  • Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy
    August 8, 2013

    Oh, wow.
    I have always loved that poem. (Doesn’t everyone?) Wild and precious, best year and your luckiest, both/and. Yeah.
    I’m really afraid of how this will come off in a combox….but my child had cancer, and it sucked, yet somehow it was a wild and precious year. There is nothing like it, for bad or for good. I CANNOT imagine going through that as the mama, and not as the protector/guardian of a sick child, try as I might.
    Praying for everything that happens after you jump.

  • Jenni R.
    August 8, 2013

    I never comment on blogs but hearing your story has really touched me. I am praying for you and your family.

  • Laraabe
    August 8, 2013

    Tears. Sending my thoughts and hugs and love and anything I can possibly send to you to help you get thru this. You’re an inspiration.

  • Bethany
    August 8, 2013

    Bless your heart, friend. I can’t imagine the anxiety and fear. I’ll pray.
    (though I’ve been here for awhile now, this is my first comment. So hi.)

  • April D
    August 8, 2013

    You are brave and strong and capture your pain and hope so beautifully. Last night I was awake around 2 and prayed and prayed for you. Love and peace!

  • Law Mama Liz
    August 8, 2013

    Sending so much love and light your way. I’ve got nothing clever or helpful to say, but my heart is heavy.

  • Angela
    August 8, 2013

    My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    August 8, 2013

    Whoa…that’s intense. All of it. I’ve been following along with your journey, encouraged by your strength, your ability to say ‘shitty’ and find humor here and there where you can. Just want to let you know that I’m praying for you and your family.
    I don’t really know much about cancer, I’ve known a few people (even my own sister, granddad, grandma, uncle and more) who have had various types and had various treatments from it. I have watched some documentaries about various treatments that sound much more pleasant than chemo and even though I don’t know how they would relate to you I thought I’d pass along the names in case you want to look into it….. The Gerson Miracle and
    Burzynski….
    Sending love, prayers and encouragement your way.

  • kim
    August 8, 2013

    hugs and prayers…..

  • Lisa C
    August 8, 2013

    My heart and thoughts go out to you and your family. What a terrifying time.
    I would love to know where I could get the shirt you are wearing so I can rock it in support of your fight! I saw it when you posted it on Intsagram. I am sure other mommas would love to rock it for you as well!
    It may be you fighting the fight, but we readers are here to give you support in any way we can!

  • Kara
    August 8, 2013

    Lots of prayers for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. Wishing you health and happiness.

  • jen in pa
    August 8, 2013

    so deeply sorry to hear this news. my heart is heavy for you, and filled with hope and prayers for you and your family.

  • Juliana
    August 8, 2013

    I don’t even know what to say except to say that my heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for your transparency, and your willingness to share these details with us. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this, especially at this stage of your life. My kids are all very small too, and I can about imagine what is going through your (soon-to-be-bald) head. Don’t worry about the hair–it will grow back, and in the meantime, you are going to be one badass mama. Think of it as completing your “edgy” mama vibe. :) Or something.
    Hang in there and keep us posted. Hugs to you.

  • Beka
    August 8, 2013

    Shana …. this is one of the most hopeful, brave and powerful things I’ve ever read. My heart hurts for you and I’m humbled by your courage in the face of such difficult circumstances. I can’t imagine how much pain and fear and anguish you must be dealing with. But I believe in you and even though I’m just a another mystery reader, typing away at a computer, I’ll be thinking of you and sending prayers your way. It is indeed a wild and precious life. Thank you for sharing this with all of us … <3

  • Nella
    August 8, 2013

    Prayers for you from another Chemo Mama, you can do it!

  • LH
    August 8, 2013

    I read this post with such anticipation, thinking it was going to be good news (about emerging from the fog of recovery). And then I felt my heart drop.
    Somehow through all this awfulness, your writing has been so funny and relatable and brave — not shying away from the pain and ugliness, but making it sound as if that pain and ugliness were just small, temporary, surmountable things. I’m so sorry that the pain (and especially the uncertainty) is continuing.
    I don’t really have anything to add to what other people have already written. Like a lot of other people, I feel like I know you a little (even though of course I don’t), and I desperately hope things turn out well for you. I also wanted to say how beautifully, brilliantly written this post was. It says so much in so few words. I always thought your blog was unusually well-written. Now I see that you are an extremely gifted writer, and an exceptionally wise and thoughtful human being, who just happens to write an awesome fashion blog.

  • Amanda
    August 8, 2013

    So sorry for you and your family that this torturous path continues. But I so admire your resolve, strength and grace, which has become secondary to your style (the whole reason I originally began following you). My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Heather
    August 8, 2013

    Oh my. I’m so sorry. I’m in hideous pain myself and gearing up to an operation which might have a long and painful recovery. Please know that your blog has helped me enormously, enormously, even before all this shit went down with you and my own problems. And it’s helping me even more now. Stay strong, stay true to yourself. Best of luck.

  • Zorah
    August 8, 2013

    My heart goes out to you and your family, and I will be sending you prayers and healing thoughts as your start this long journey. You have been an inspiration to so many women, handling this with good humor and grace. You will beat this; you deserve to beat this!

  • Amy v
    August 8, 2013

    Oh Shana, there are no words. You and your beautiful family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • l.shanna
    August 8, 2013

    Beautiful. I love that poem and love the strength you are embodying. All the best to you and your family on this journey.

  • Kendra
    August 8, 2013

    As soon as I saw your title, I started crying. Mary Oliver is amazing. Thank you for sharing the difficult news. Prayers for strength and courage continue.

  • Bwlevy
    August 8, 2013

    Sending love and strength your way! You can do this.

  • Belinda
    August 8, 2013

    You WILL beat this and kick its ASS…period.

  • sangeetha
    August 8, 2013

    I don’t know you, nor do I comment on your blog regularly. But ph I feel so much for you. You are making me cry! So brave and vulnerable all at once. For the sake of your boys, you will ride through this coming out much stronger in the end. My sincere prayers!

  • Rebecca
    August 8, 2013

    Wow…you are brave. I don’t know you, but praying for you and your fam.

  • hillary
    August 8, 2013

    This was a brave and beautiful post. I’ll be thinking of you.

  • Ellen
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. You are an amazing woman and you remind us each day of the simple blessings in our lives. You and your family will be in our prayers. Surround yourself with the ones you love. They will pull you through.

  • Melissa c.
    August 8, 2013

    Shana…. When words won’t suffice, the senses will. We are all gripping your virtual hands too. Hopefully you can feel the warmth, love, strength and support of sell of us whom you have touched. Thank you for opening not only your closet but, most importantly, your heart to all of us.

  • Jaclyn
    August 8, 2013

    Tears. Praying & hoping for you. Stay tough- sending so much love and strength.

  • Lori @ coolgreendays
    August 8, 2013

    Heart heavy but thoughts & positivity high – I am praying for you, and holding your hand, along with the hundreds, thousands, (more!) here that spend our time here with you, sharing our life, and thanking you for sharing some of yours with us.
    God bless you, keep you, watch your children, give your husband strength, and he too is holding your hand, no matter what happens next.
    love, real love, to you
    Lori xx

  • Jaclynkanarish@gmail.com
    August 8, 2013

    Sending love, prayers and hugs to you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing each step of your story with the world. You are an inspiring woman who is a role model for so many…

  • Stacy
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for such a beautifully written post. Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for inspiring us all.
    I had a breast biopsy yesterday and will find out tomorrow or Monday if I have breast cancer. I already know that I will have a mastectomy anyway, since I am BRCA1-positive. I am terrified of what my pathology report will say afterwards. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I grapple with many of the same emotions and experiences. It makes me feel better to read words from others. Thank you for opening up your world to us.

  • anon
    August 8, 2013

    I do not know what to say but, I am crying shamelessly for you in Starbucks and I don’t care

  • Amanda
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I really do care about you and I have been wondering how this news would turn out. I am so sorry that this is not what any of us wanted. I will continue to read this blog through whatever comes your way. I suspect we all wish we could do more for you. Perhaps a friend could set something up where we could send you meals via a local delivery service? Something? i don’t know. If there ever is anything, please say so.

  • Andrea Jay
    August 8, 2013

    We pretend we have control so often; set up these parameters that make us think we are the boss. Sounds like you’re doing your best, which is really the only thing we can control. Best of luck over the next little while. You and your sweet family will be in my prayers.

  • S
    August 8, 2013

    I second what everyone else already said. You don’t know me but I have been and will continue to send you prayers.

  • Rachel
    August 8, 2013

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending hugs.

  • KammyH
    August 8, 2013

    I’ve been following your blog for years. I admire you. I’m praying for you. I hate cancer. :(

  • Kerry
    August 8, 2013

    You and your family continue to be in my thoughts. I am 100% sure you will beat this.
    I also think that if anyone can rock the bald, it’s you.

  • Maggie
    August 8, 2013

    I love the old Irish blessing that reminds us….”When times are hard may hardness never turn your heart to stone. May you always remember when the shadows fall you do not walk alone.” You’ve opened your wild and precious heart to us without a moment’s hardness. It will be a privilege to walk with you through what follows. Peace and blessings, brave Mama.

  • Laura
    August 8, 2013

    I love this blog and barely comment but had to on this beautiful post. I have two young boys too. Will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. Can’t wait to see what you do with your wild and precious life.

  • Jai Oja
    August 8, 2013

    you are an amazing woman! I can’t even find words to right now… at work reading this and tearing up… I probably look crazy! But I’m sending love and prayers!

  • Jennifer
    August 8, 2013

    Hi Shana,
    I am so sorry to hear that you will be going through chemo. I would encourage you to look into this organization.
    http://www.chemoangels.net/
    Basically, the goal of the organization is to offer extra support and encouragement to chemo patients. It is a volunteer organization so there is no fee. You’d register and then be assigned two angels who would send you a card/letter and a small, thoughtful gift each week. It is not a penpal program so there is no commitment from you at all to respond to your angels. They are simply there to send you a little extra light and love during this difficult time. I’ve been volunteering for them for a few years so feel free to ask me any questions if you have them, or you can contact the organization directly if you’d like.
    Thinking of you and your family.
    xo
    Jenn

  • pemora
    August 8, 2013

    i am going to light a white candle for you. you are in my thoughts.

  • N
    August 8, 2013

    Sending love and peace and prayers your way. You are such a brave woman and this is such a well written piece. You’ll make it through this, you’ve got lots of prayers and positive thoughts behind you!

  • Kat
    August 8, 2013

    Oh my God. I’m so sorry, S — let me know if there’s anything I/we can do.

  • Courtney
    August 8, 2013

    Oh, mama. I’m so glad you’re doing everything you possibly can. Please know that you’re in my prayers, every day, along with your family and your circle of loved ones. Peace, healing, love.

  • Sarah Shuman
    August 8, 2013

    I have been there. My kiddos were 5 and 2 and I was 35. Double mastectomy and your description of the mental “hill” couldn’t be a more accurate picture. It does pass. I am now two and a half years out and feel great. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Stay strong!

  • Meg
    August 8, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you are going through this! Sending healthy vibes your way- hope your mom is well, too!

  • Cath
    August 8, 2013

    I rarely leave comments on “big” blogs — I don’t know why, perhaps because it usually feels so impersonal? But you have shared so much with us and I want you to know I am sharing so many good wishes with you right now so I thought I would say so. Thank you for being you. Good luck and good health.

  • KelleyMc
    August 8, 2013

    Damn, this is not the update I was expecting. I may not know you, personally. But it is obvious that you are one tough cookie! Thoughts, prayers, and good vibes to you and your family as you continue the fight.

  • Sara
    August 8, 2013

    I am so sorry for your struggle. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sending brave healing thoughts to you & your boys. Peace & love to all of you!

  • mdt
    August 8, 2013

    We have never met (and you’d probably cringe at my wardrobe); it feels weird to tell you that I’m sitting here crying–big tears–at your news. But it is because you are a real human being, and you’ve been brave enough to share that with all of us.
    I think you must be right to call your healing process humbling; I also think there must be peace hidden somewhere in that humility. Humility is what keeps us human, allows us to breathe, taste, and see what is truly sweet and good in life. Somewhere in this terrifying mess is a gift. I hope that you–and I, when my own terrifying mess comes–will be able to sift through the rubble and find something you really needed.
    Prayers and good thoughts your way…

  • Wendi H
    August 8, 2013

    Somehow I picture you standing at the edge of that “cliff” with your arms in the air. Proud. Strong. And then you jump and grow the wings of a cancer survivor. But the word survivor won’t define you because you are so much more… to your husband, to your kids, to your family, to your friends, and to strangers like me who think you are amazing. This IS a wild and precious life and I, we, are so thankful to you for your beautiful perspective. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones through this next climb.

  • Rebecca
    August 8, 2013

    wow, I don’t know you but I feel as if I do, and my heart dropped as I read your post today. Please keep writing about this so we can send our support. You can do it!!

  • Kristin B
    August 8, 2013

    My heart is aching for you, sweet lady. Will keep you in my prayers.

  • Mary
    August 8, 2013

    I am stunned that in the face of this terrifying situation, you have created such beautiful, inspiring words and images. Please know that you have an army of women thinking of you, praying for you, and following along with you.

  • Amanda
    August 8, 2013

    You are so brave! Brave with the Biggest B. I think of you often with so many warm thoughts. Sending tons of love, energy, hope and strength your way. You’ve got this.

  • Amy
    August 8, 2013

    So terribly sad to hear this, Shana. My prayers are with you and your family. If I might suggest a good blog? The Silver Pen by Hollye Harrington Jacobs, RN, MSW. Hollye went through br ca and chemo as a mom in her late 30′s and has so many helpful posts about breast cancer, chemo, talking w/ children about illness, scarf-tying, and the pleasurable parts of life, too. Beautiful, smart blog with gorgeous photos and sound, funny advice from a woman who has been there and is now savoring post-cancer life.

  • liz
    August 8, 2013

    I am so sorry that you are going through this! I am currently helping my mom through pancreatic cancer, and my primary care doc recommended these two resources- A book called Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber and the movie Forks Over Knives on Netflix. In your case, I also highly recommend a book by Jane Plant called Your Life in Your Hands specifically for breast cancer. Both books are on Amazon and all resources show compelling evidence that diet can make a huge difference in preventing recurrence. If you only do one thing, then cut out dairy!

  • Monika Jones
    August 8, 2013

    My son has had six brain surgeries; he’s only 6. Half his brain was removed in three of those to stop catastrophic epilepsy (unsuccessfully), the other were for hydrocephalus. Throughout my darkest days I had very few moments of escape. Of normalcy. Of being just a regular mom. It was your Ain’t No Mom Jeans posts that helped me escape my world for just a moment (what outfit would look cute after countless days in the hospital? What yoga pants are perfect for the therapy sessions my son must attend?) And I have you, only you, to thank for that. A million times over.
    So it is now that I offer you my words of support, light, and love. May you power through these difficult times held up by the love of your family, friends, and all of us here. I too wish for you to have nothing but health and happiness.

  • Mary
    August 8, 2013

    What it takes is the right doctors, which you have, the right treatments, which you will get, (and get through, you just get through and use every friend and source of help you can find) and the right attitude, of which you have more than you’ll ever use up. You are showing your kids strength and, as someone else said, you’ve got this. It’s not the news you wanted, but it’s not the worst news it could have been, and you*have*got*this. We are all with you.

  • Beth
    August 8, 2013

    Truly, what words can I write that are different? None. But I can send so much love to you- and that is what I am doing. Sending you. So. Much. LOVE.

  • Rebecca
    August 8, 2013

    One huge-ass hug, coming your way.

  • sarah s.
    August 8, 2013

    You are an inspiration, and such a blessing to this world. You’ll be in my fervent prayers. xoxo.

  • Kelly
    August 8, 2013

    prayers for you, and good thoughts.

  • Joyce
    August 8, 2013

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Shannon
    August 8, 2013

    I started out loving your blog for your mama fashion sense and your spot-on fashion advice. I have learned so much from you. I continue to love your blog for your sweet and honest words. You and your sweet boys are in my prayers…may you be full of strength and hope!!!

  • Molly
    August 8, 2013

    Every good and supportive thought I have is with you. Children always speak the truth – yes, Brave you are.

  • megan
    August 8, 2013

    sigh – gorgeous & heartbreaking. all my best to you and yours.

  • Alexis L
    August 8, 2013

    Oh mama, what sad news. My heart aches for you. Be strong, be positive, and hold on to those boys.

  • Laura
    August 8, 2013

    I’m crying for you right now. This is hard, and sad, and terrifying. You can do this, because you WILL do this. One step at a time. You write beautifully. I hope you will continue to write for us

  • Amanda
    August 8, 2013

    You are amazing. And you’ll continue to be amazing for years to come.

  • Jess S
    August 8, 2013

    You are beautiful with hair and you will be beautiful without. Stay strong Mama. We’re all pulling for you to stay at the top of that cliff.

  • April
    August 8, 2013

    You are an amazing woman and mother! All your readers are here behind you on your climb.
    I’m so excited for your new boobs! I bet they’re going to be so nice and perky!! (Jealous!!! After 2 kids, mine have seen better days.)

  • Nell
    August 8, 2013

    I thought the same thing. I’m sure all your readers are feeling this way.

  • Nell
    August 8, 2013

    Sending positivity and strength to you and your family. Wishing you only good things from here on out. That cliff- that jump, it leads to a lake were you can all swim safely to shore in blissful weightlessness.

  • Cortney
    August 8, 2013

    This is heartbreaking. But somehow I just feel like you are going to beat this. I’ve been going through a lot too lately, had a molar miscarriage which has a slight chance of leaving cancer (very treatable) but CANCER in my body. Have to be monitored for six months and it my levels go up at all I have to go in for chemo. It’s a mild chemo that doesn’t make you lose your hair (I think you are upset because hair is so much more unhideable than missing boobs. Missing hair means you have to tell the world everytime you go outside.) I have a 2 yr old daughter and still hope to have another child. I love following your story and your openness with your emotions. I am listening, I am here, and we all have challenges in life.

  • Stephanie
    August 8, 2013

    i am heartbroken to read your post. i am a praying woman, and I will pray for your healing, shana. you are so loved and so cherished. your light shines brightly for so many, and we are so grateful for you… sending warm thoughts and many prayers your way.

  • Tegan Aubrie | Twelve13
    August 8, 2013

    Geez. Just know people are praying. Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for your right this moment, sister.

  • Emily
    August 8, 2013

    you and your family are in my heart. many healing wishes to you

  • Meghan
    August 8, 2013

    This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I have no profound words to share, but I’m thinking of you and your family. You have shown such great strength in your journey already, I’ll continue to send some virtual support through your upcoming treatment.

  • Vera
    August 9, 2013

    Oh, Shana, tears in my eyes. Be brave, be calm. This too shall pass. Your blog really means a lot to all of us, keep on writing. xoxo

  • Megan
    August 9, 2013

    Hi Shana -
    This is awful! But can I say, on your behalf, that I’m really, really glad they found that thing now, and not, say, in a year or something? Thank God you went to the doctor when you did, thank God. The next few months will suck, but then it will be over, and you’ll have the best summer ever in 2014. Thinking of and praying for you.

  • Ariana
    August 9, 2013

    I admire your bravery, and I am sending good thoughts to you and your family.

  • Emily
    August 9, 2013

    Sending warm, warmest thoughts your way.
    My mom is 10+ years out after similar tumor + chemo + tamoxafin, and is fine now. Was bald for her two daughters’ weddings (6 months apart, urg) but having a pretty amazing time in hats and encircled by rallying-around friends. Hoping, knowing, you’ll have an experience of warmth and support and wonder right along with the awful. And that’s just your actual circle! The virtual one, of which I am one link, comprises layers and layers of love more. xo Emily

  • Brenda
    August 9, 2013

    You are amazing! I’m so happy you discovered the tumor when you did, but saddened incredibly that it even existed at all. *hugs*

  • Julia
    August 9, 2013

    This is so incredibly beautiful,and yet haunting, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m so incredibly sorry this is a chapter in your life but admire your strength and honesty more than you could know. Sending you and your family all the positive energy one person can muster.

  • Michelle
    August 9, 2013

    Shana, so sorry to hear about the tumor. I can’t imagine all of things you are feeling. I think you are inspiring. You blog manages to help boost my confidence and make me laugh. And after today, it has made me cry. There will be dark days ahead but I believe you will conquer that darkness and look back at 2013 as the best year. Bc you will have kicked cancer’s butt! Thinking and praying for you, your Hubby and your boys during this difficult time.

  • ana
    August 9, 2013

    Oh Shana. You and your precious family are in my thoughts. I know you will find a way to rock your new hairstyle. Your bravery astounds me and inspires me.

  • Karen
    August 9, 2013

    Oh Shana,
    I have been a follower for some time, but have never commented. I feel compelled now to speak up. As a fellow 30something mom of young ones, my heart goes out to you and your family. Sending you and your family love and strength through your journey on this rough road.
    ~Karen

  • Sarah
    August 9, 2013

    You and your family have been, are, will be in my thoughts. I’m so sorry you had to receive this news when you had been led to expect more positive results.
    You have beautiful hair, and I know you will feel its loss deeply. However, I am certain you will be the most stylish bald woman on the Internet. I can’t wait to see what you will do!

  • e
    August 9, 2013

    You will rock bald! I’m sure of it. and think of the fun you can have with wigs when you feel like it!
    I’m so sorry you are going through this all, i’m glad you are taking us with you. We’ve got your back!!!
    minute by minute is just fine. you do what you need to do!
    Praying for you and your family my fashion friend.

  • Tanja
    August 9, 2013

    I wish you all the best and will keep you and your family in my thoughts!
    Greetings from a (usually) silent reader from Germany…
    T.

  • Amber
    August 9, 2013

    Sending you lots and lots of love, Shana. So many of us feel like we know you and you inspire us on a regular basis in a thousand ways. I have a feeling you may well help more people than you know by inspiring more moms to make that doctor’s appt . . . I know I need to for one. Your boys are so lucky to have a brave mama who loves life. Many many hugs.

  • Ladybug
    August 9, 2013

    That is a lot to process. You are brave to be so honest. Thinking of you and your kids and your husband. I loved what Emily said above about the layers and layers of warmth and love and support that are around you. I hope, even with all the negative emotions you will inevitably feel through this experience, that you also get to feel unimaginable love and support. Count me as one of the many online supporters!

  • Spiff
    August 9, 2013

    I am so sorry–and I know first hand how much this sucks. I have brain cancer–and two small children also. And I am bald from the radiation I received earlier his year. You can do it–it will be hard, but you can!

  • Kara
    August 9, 2013

    Thoughts, prayers, and love. To you and yours.

  • PH
    August 9, 2013

    Hi Shana – I found your blog a couple of months ago (after I had my first baby). I wish you all the best for your health and continued strength. You and your family will be in my thoughts. Take care.

  • JAN
    August 9, 2013

    I am so sorry. Please know there are others thinking of you and praying for you.

  • Robin
    August 9, 2013

    Cancer is the suck. Sending you strength and love from DC, our nation’s fashion black hole.

  • Marcie
    August 9, 2013

    I am so sorry. I don’t know what else to say.

  • Maria
    August 9, 2013

    You are one very incredible woman–honest and human and beautiful. You’re such an inspiration to me, and I’m sure so many others. I hope you continue to write for years and years to come!
    love and strength to you and your fellas.

  • Alexia
    August 9, 2013

    There are no words… only thoughts and prayers.

  • Brooketopia
    August 9, 2013

    Oh, I’m sorry for all the hard stuff that has come your way recently. We’re all cheering for you and sending prayer/good wishes/positive karma your way.
    My mother went through brain cancer when she was 32. (I was eleven.) This August marks her twentieth anniversary since the diagnosis.
    I remember watching her go bald, and being jealous that she got to wear all those gorgeous scarves…I still have a soft spot in my heart for head scarves because I think they’re so beautiful.
    I remember watching her go through chemo…she slept a lot.
    I remember the mom I had before the cancer, and I know the mom I was left with after the cancer…they are very different women. Cancer took my mother even though she is still here in physical form. She let it get to her and she became angry about all the bad things that happened to her. She’s been angry ever since.
    Cancer does more than ravage your physical body–be on guard for the psychological effects. It’s a tough battle, and we all understand that it is taxing, and we love everyone who goes through it.
    I’m totally failing at conveying my happy thoughts…that’s all I have for you. Love yourself, allow yourself to heal. Let this be a blip on your timeline, twenty years from now. Hugs to you and your family. :)

  • Charyl
    August 9, 2013

    I’m rooting for you! You can beat this– stay positive! Long-time reader and big time admirer. Praying for you and your family.

  • Madeleine
    August 9, 2013

    You made me cry (again). Sending love and tons of positive thoughts to you, your husband and your gorgeous boys. P.S. – I get the hair thing – what is it about us women and our hair?
    - Mad

  • Dee
    August 9, 2013

    My heart breaks for you… I wish you and your family strength and healing. Losing your hair is just a short-term loss for what will be a huge long-term gain. You will be a beautiful baldie!

  • Jennifer F
    August 9, 2013

    Tears.
    Hope.
    Strength to fight and take back your one wild and precious life!
    Keep shining brightly Shana. We are all here for you and your family.

  • Marjorie
    August 9, 2013

    Shana – it’s Marjorie Arnold (Heidi Hippeli’s sister) … just wanted to tell you that you are in my thoughts. I love that you’re still embracing life with as much tenacity, love, laughter, bravery and more … sending as much energy and support your way!

  • Amanda
    August 9, 2013

    Thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and big hugs are being sent your way from all of your faithful readers, including me. You are truly an inspiration and you will get through this–there is too much love and strength in your corner not to!

  • Rachel
    August 9, 2013

    Will be praying for you and all your family as you walk through this together.
    Much love,

  • Courtney
    August 9, 2013

    You can do this. You CAN do this! Please watch Crazy Sexy Cancer…I’m not trying to plug anything, but she is super inspiring (and beat stage 4 incurable cancer)!

  • Sharon
    August 9, 2013

    Your diagnosis brings up so many emotions…I was 35, my youngest 3month when I had my double mastectomy….somewhere behind/in my nursing breasts were 2 small, separate tumors. I too started Chemo the day after my middle child started Kindergarten, that was 2 years ago. I am praying for you and your family!!

  • Amanda
    August 9, 2013

    Floored by this news. Hugs, thoughts, prayers & tears for you, your hubs, the littles & the rest of your fam. Thank you for the poem. I. HATE. CANCER. xo

  • denise
    August 9, 2013

    Beautifully written.
    Live whatever you have left in this life (be it 5 years or 55) far and wide and deep.

  • val
    August 9, 2013

    Prayers..hugs and good thoughts. Stay strong and positive. You will get through this and you will make bald a fashion statement I am sure!

  • jill
    August 9, 2013

    XO, just that. XO

  • Katherine
    August 9, 2013

    You are in my prayers. You are strong and beautiful and you will overcome this. I’ll be thinking of you.

  • Heather Novak
    August 9, 2013

    I kind of knew this post would be hard to read and wanted to skip it. How often to we look away from another’s misery just so we do not have to face it, feel it? I read, I angst, I pray healthy for you Woman. Mama. HEALTH and peace.

  • Monica Woo
    August 9, 2013

    You are a beautiful and wonderful woman and mama. Stay strong and stay positive. You are bigger than this challenge. I’m praying for you and your family, and I just feel deep down to my bones that you will beat this. And one more thing, I would be spoiling the crap out of those cutie patootie boys of yours, and do not feel one ounce of guilt. XOXO

  • Brooke
    August 9, 2013

    Shana, I’ve been reading your blog every day for a couple of years now and I love it! I am so sorry you have to go thru this battle, but you are strong and you have two little precious reasons to fight. When my son was 4 and my daughter 4 months I was diagnosed with leukemia, I felt like my world was over. I went thru chemo, radiation, and then a bone marrow transplant that saved my life. That was in 2010, and I am doing great now! Being sick changes you forever but in so many ways I have learned so much, I am so thankful for each day I spend with my beautiful children and it brought my husband and I so much closer and stronger. I just want to encourage you one mother to another and tell you that you will get thru this and come out with so much perspective. When I had no hair I wore alot of pretty scarves with big fun earrings, I kinda felt like a pirate in a cool way :) sending prayers your way.

  • swilper@sbcglobal.net
    August 9, 2013

    Praying. Praying every day. You are so strong, your husband and boys… they are so strong. Sending you love and happy thoughts.

  • Courtney
    August 9, 2013

    Shana,
    I truly don’t understand cancer. I’ve worked for a cancer hospital for ten years (in PR – I’m not a doctor or nurse) and I will never understand it – it’s just not fair. But having talked to probably over a hundred breast cancer survivors at this point, I will just say this – just feel whatever you need to feel. If you are empowered and happy by embracing friends and family during this time, and are able to turn this into part of your story, that’s fabulous. But if you are bummed and angry and just want this to be, say, a bad year and a half of an otherwise awesome life, that’s okay, too. I watch the TV parenthood and I thought the way they handled a story line about breast cancer was spot on – it’s going to give you a bad year or so, but it is treatable and you are going to make it through.
    The treatment regimen you are on is awesome – it works. You are going to be okay.

  • Deni G
    August 9, 2013

    Even though I’ve never commented before, I’ve read your blog daily for years. I just wanted to say DITTO to all the beautiful, loving, inspiring comments, and to let you know that there are probably lots of women like me, women that you’ve never heard from, women that love what you have to say, women who now make bolder, better fashion choices, women who (silently, prayerfully) wish you love, strength, and health!

  • Erica
    August 9, 2013

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and what an inspriration and joy it has been! I’m saddened that you have to struggle with this now, but I know you’re stronger than this, and you have a very supportive community with you every step of the way.
    Like many others here, I, too, was diagnosed with something very scary when my girl wasn’t even quite 2. I had an absolutely huge ovarian tumor, and it grew so quickly, and it seemed so aggressive. Given those factors and the location, my doctor wanted me to be prepared for malignancy. I remember sitting in my daughter’s room, holding one of her blankets, and crying and crying and crying, and begging God to let me live to see my daughter grow up. I remember the terror and the helplessness, and the horrible emptiness of considering my own life ending. And I remember the saying that one of the most heart-felt prayers you’ll ever say in your life is “Please, please, plese.” And I remember trying to stuff all that stuff down when she was around so that I wouldn’t scare her. It was some serious existential stuff.
    Many of us have been where you are, and we made it out the other side. Medical science advances all the time, and we know so much more now than we used to. It sounds like you’ve caught things early and made all the right decisions. You have probably saved your own life by being so proactive about the mastectomies. The other most heart-felt prayer you’ll ever say in your life is “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
    But wouldn’t it be great if there was some other way to truly appreciate every moment, and to be grateful for every day without having to have the living shit scared out of you?

  • Lisa C
    August 9, 2013

    Thanks! I see it is sold out. Boo! I will keep an eye out for it!

  • Jen in LV
    August 9, 2013

    Maybe If we write and ask, and enough of us want them, they will remake a batch for us! :)

  • Grace in TN
    August 9, 2013

    Shana -
    I love your blog and I’ve always admired your take on life on motherhood. Your honesty in this post was truly moving. I am so so sorry you are going through this at this time in your life. I think of you and pray for you often. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • cams
    August 9, 2013

    Oh, Shana. I apologize I’m just now getting caught up.
    You know what.
    You’re going to beat this. This is going to be the luckiest year of your life, lady! I feel it. I know it. I believe it.
    Your writing is beautiful too. :)
    Hey, also…I KNOW and I BELIEVE you’ll be the fly-est bald fashion blogger out there. Yeh, you will! Oomph. *fist pump* #takethatbreastcancer
    You are loved.
    xoxoxoxo.

  • merciblahblah
    August 9, 2013

    Shana,
    Tears came to my eyes reading your post. Please know that there is a legion of people who are supporting you. Praying for you and your family.
    Love and Hugs

  • Mary
    August 9, 2013

    I am sitting in the Boston airport crying. I hope your treatment is as easy on you as possible.

  • chez
    August 9, 2013

    Shana-Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been an avid reader of yours since mamahood caused my fashion sense to take a nosedive (thank you for helping to bring it back!)… and I’m so sorry to hear of this challenging time in your life. Health issues are scary at any age or chapter, and I know that the overall vulnerability and “I.need.to.be.here” feelings after becoming a mama are at times staggering. You are brave, real, and inspiring. You are doing what you need to do, and I am thinking about you and sending you healing thoughts while you walk this road right now. Thank you for trusting us with your experiences and helping us to live more fully in the moment alongside you. Love to you and your family.

  • Erin
    August 9, 2013

    My heart is breaking for you. I cannot imagine. I have read your blog since I had my first baby in 2009. I have two little boys 4 and 2. I keep thinking this could be me, this could be my best friend. I have nothing profound to say except that to say that there are so many other moms out here in cyberspace who are praying for and cheering for you and we won’t stop. With all my heart I wish you strength. P.S. You will continue to be beautiful bald.

  • Yo
    August 9, 2013

    I apologize for coming in so late, but sending lots of love and healing thoughts your way. Crying as I write this and admiring your brave soul. You are an inspiration in so many ways. Love.

  • Katie
    August 9, 2013

    I have never commented on any blog post ever, however I read all the time and just wanted to share with you my support. You can kick this cancer to the curb! My kids are very similar ages and I cannot imagine. I hope to keep hearing updates. Thoughts are wih you.

  • Michelle
    August 9, 2013

    You can do this. Just take it one day at a time!

  • Emily
    August 9, 2013

    from another Emily…
    I was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago, when my daughter was 1 and we were trying for a second child (IVF; lesbian couple) — like you, I was floored by this. Stage 2, aggressive, and they threw the book at it. Mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and now tamoxifen. (I also had reconstruction this spring, though I did a DIEP flap with my belly flap; provided I live a nice long life, it is an AMAZING new boob. if such a thing can be said in the world of cancer.) Like you, I was freaked out about the prospect of losing my hair, and in the end, I went bald most of the time. My wig (from my own hair) was too clumpy on my head, and a scarf was fine for work, but unnecessary otherwise. You will find strength and presence in yourself. You will learn to tell your boys that it is the medicine that is making you feel yucky, not the cancer. You will rock this uninvited intrusion, and you will exercise a lot eventually. (apparently tied to much better statistics :) You will watch movies. You will have no idea why anyone ever has the energy to cook, and then one day months later, you will be whipping up a fabulous party. You will do this; it is all warrior training. Love and patience and strength to you.

  • Rebecca
    August 9, 2013

    Praying for you and your family. You will get through this and soon it will be but a distant memory.

  • Vanessa
    August 10, 2013

    Sending prayers up to heaven for you and your family. Praying miracles will come down upon you. Love and hugs.

  • Shameem
    August 10, 2013

    Good thoughts and quiet prayers from across the oceans… All your readers are with you in spirit.

  • Melissa
    August 10, 2013

    Shana,
    Please know that you have a group of loyal supporters, that although we might never be fortunate to actually physically meet you, we care for you and wish our support could wrap around you like a strong hug to lift you from this.
    XO – Melissa

  • Christine
    August 10, 2013

    I just found your blog this morning because I was doing a search for “stay at home mom style”. I will pray for you and your family. Your story really moved me and makes me think I should be more proactive about my own health as well. My mom passed away from breast cancer at 48. I was 27 and pregnant with my first child but losing her still hurt and still hurts to this day. I don’t want my kids, ages 4 and 7, to have to feel that kind of loss so I’m trying to take care of myself for them and have started my annual mammograms. I think it’s good that you’re being thorough in trying to reduce your risk of recurrence. I wonder if there’s anything else I should be doing because I feel like I might be heading toward that same cliff. (Sorry, I don’t know any technical terms. My mom didn’t really give me many details about what she was going through.)

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    You know…it HAS.  Unbelievably so.  I seriously cannot thank you guys enough.  xoxo

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    Emily, these words are beyond encouraging. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, but they are of hope, Babe. Thank you for sharing. xoxoxoxox

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    YES. I mean REALLY. I didn’t need this additional reminder of how precious life was, dammit! And I so resonated with your prayers: “please, please, please”. Exactly. But somewhere, in all of this shit, is a gift. Thanks for the reminder. xoxo

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    Thanks Courtney – sometimes this treatment shit feels like a HUGE leap of faith. My mom still jokes that she thinks she never really had breast cancer. “I was FINE until those doctors started with that chemo nonsense!!” :) But the happy news is that despite the original Stage 3 diagnosis, she’s been cancer free since 1996. So yeah….bring it.

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    “Being sick changes you forever but in so many ways I have learned so much, I am so thankful for each day I spend with my beautiful children and it brought my husband and I so much closer and stronger.”
    LOVE this Brooke. Thank you so, SO much.
    Oh, and your might relate to this: http://mikeandshanadraugelis.com/2013/07/27/so-now-we-have-have-conversations-like-these/

  • Amy
    August 10, 2013

    Sending love and prayers to you and your family from Japan.

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    Such an honest comment, Heather. I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for hanging in there, Chick. xoxo

  • Shana
    August 10, 2013

    I almost bought a Fuck Cancer t-shirt, but there were two problems: 1. One of the neighborhood kids just learned how to read and 2. The font was all pretty and scripty. I wanted it to be in something hard-core, like a typewriter font. You know? :)

  • Shana's Mom
    August 10, 2013

    I could not agree more with your words, Emily. When cancer arrives, it’s all consuming. Slowly, ever so slowly, you come out of the fog and often you don’t realize you are out of it. And with that realization comes thankfulness . . . for so many things. Right now I am so thankful for the powerful words of encouragement that you and Shana’s other readers are sending her way. So very thankful!

  • kate C.
    August 10, 2013

    Tears, but no words… know I’m (we’re all) sending good thoughts your way.

  • Lacey
    August 10, 2013

    Shana,
    This is a very scary time and I’m so sorry that you and your family are having to walk this journey. I am praying and believing for you that health and wellness are going to be yours!! We will all be here to help encourage you and lift you up during all this very hard stuff!!!
    Sending love from Oregon,
    Lacey

  • Patricia S.
    August 10, 2013

    You are an inspiration. Hang in there! Sending lots of love and strength your way.

  • Jessica M.
    August 10, 2013

    So sorry to hear this. Prayers for your family.

  • Jennifer
    August 10, 2013

    My prayers are with you, your family, and your doctors.

  • Hannah
    August 10, 2013

    Praying for you, Shana. This blog has been such an inspiration for me as a mom after having 3 kids in the last four years. Sending lots of love your way…

  • Andrea
    August 10, 2013

    God bless you Shana! This happened to my sweet friend last year and she is doing wonderfully. You will too. We will keep you in our prayers.

  • Jean
    August 10, 2013

    praying for you, girl!

  • Kristen
    August 10, 2013

    I have been reading your blog for a over a year but have never commented. I have been thinking of you since you shared your diagnosis. I am so sorry you got this bad news. Sending many prayers your way.

  • Nina
    August 10, 2013

    Shana- you are an amazing and inspiring woman. Thank you for continuing to blog and share through all of this. I am keeping you in my prayers.

  • Lindsey
    August 10, 2013

    Shana,
    When I told you in a previous comment that my thoughts and prayers are with you, I guess I really meant it, because the night before I read this post, I had a dream about you. We met in the hospital. You looked really happy and good. My heart aches for you. I know what you mean about caring more about losing your hair over your boobs, I would feel the same way. I find myself wanting to tell my friends in conversation about my friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, but then I remember that we are “internet friends”, and that might sound weird. I ended up having to tell my husband about you, I had to talk about it. I know you can do this, you are already doing amazingly well. Keep it up, and I will continue to think positive thoughts and most importantly , pray, for you my internet friend.

  • April
    August 10, 2013

    Shana,
    I think this hurts so much because you are US. We are YOU! It’s all too close to home and too relatable and terrifying. Probably you will handle this with your usual fresh, authentic spin, but go ahead and sob and rage about it too. Because that’s what we feel.
    Love to you, Mama!

  • Carrie Pearce
    August 10, 2013

    Shana,
    Sad to read your post…I hope that your treatment goes smoothly. Sending healing thoughts your way. Stay positive.
    xo
    Carrie Pearce
    (we met at jazz at the zoo in Grand Rapids)

  • Monica
    August 11, 2013

    Dear Shana,
    I stumbled across your site despite not being a mother or very interested in fashion, however you’re a beautiful story teller. Wishing you and your family the very, very best luck for 2013. 8 years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and hopefully, it’s long gone. I can clearly remember the agony that she was in after her surgery and through the period of reconstruction.
    It was a terrifying time for our family, but we all changed for the better. Her diagnosis shaped my life in an unexpectedly beautiful way, I’m now halfway through my second year working as a doctor.
    With love from oz,
    Monica

  • Veronica
    August 11, 2013

    Shana,
    I’ve been reading (and sharing) your blog for over a year… you are part of my life, and a part of so many others. We share your style (items sell out the night you post), we share your laughs (still laughing about the ONE tissue the guy sitting next to you on the plane brought back to help clean up Pax’s vomit), we share your tears (which makes it *really* hard to type right now)…
    You have hundreds… millions of ripples of positive support
    Go ahead and jump off that f-ing cliff – we’ve got ya… you, Mike, Raines, and Pax
    And do it in style Mama… as always!
    -V

  • Katy246
    August 11, 2013

    My mom had breast cancer when she was 51. I vividly remmeber having that same feeling you’ve described, the “I’m sure I’m going to ger it too”.
    My mom’s diagnosis was pretty similar to what you describe. Same treatment plan minus the mastectomy though. She had chemo and radiation treatments, then 5 years on the tamoxiphen pill.
    It’s been 7 years and she’s well and healthy. She’s being checked half-annually of course.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for speedy recovery. Also, if you’d tell me your mom’s name, I would like to add you to a special Jewish prayer ritual when I next perform it (and until you’re well )
    http://www.secretofchallah.com/50708/Hafrashat-Challah

  • lncharpentier@gmail.com
    August 11, 2013

    Shana, like EVERYONE else who commented, I am writing this through hazy eyes. We have never met, but I read your blog constantly, and you actually helped my husband and I start thinking about relocating to your area, namely because Philly has so much to offer young families and our home city of Providence…meh. In any case, you are (to me) a warrior. You are Eye of the Tiger…and F this Cancer. You stand on the prayers, goodwill and lots and lots and LOTS of love from people (mamas, largely) who you may never have met or may never meet. But your boldness in speaking your truths, be they good, tough, silly, whatever–you are never far from my thoughts, and I deeply believe in you, and your ability to jump off this cliff…because you have wings (yours) AND a parachute (us, your family, our prayers).
    Big Hug.
    -Leah

  • Jen
    August 11, 2013

    We will all be here cheering you on. I hate that you have to go through this–but admire your grace and courage. I am sure we will all see that bald can be awesome :) sending much love to you and to your family.

  • Nicole
    August 11, 2013

    I too am on the journey you are now on…just a little further down the road. I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost three years ago when my oldest child had just turned 3 and my baby girl was only 9 months old. I did the chemo, surgery, radiation, reconstruction (I had expanders but my body rejected them so I ended up having them removed and doing a double DIEP Flap just last October). This is all to tell you that you can do this…people talk about cancer survivors being strong (and we are) but I also know that when you are a Mom and your only choice it to get through this you find a way to do just that.
    I ended up cutting my hair into a short pixie to get used to the look and then when it was time had my husband shave my head at home. I was sure I would be a wreck but I was actually fine and he was a mess! I am sending you all the strength, patience, & acceptance I can to get you through this.
    Remember it is OK to ask for help…that was my biggest lesson to learn from cancer..sometimes it’s OK to be vulnerable.

  • Tina
    August 11, 2013

    I sending love, prayers, faith and positive energy…most of all a mother’s determination to do whatever it takes to be present for and protect your babes.
    Much love.

  • shannon
    August 11, 2013

    I’m a long-time reader who’s bought lots of your recommendations but never commented. Just wanted you to know that you and your sweet family are in my prayers. Cancer sucks.

  • Lisa H
    August 11, 2013

    My eyes are filled with tears, but I have so much hope! I send you blessings and love. I will dedicate my yoga practice with you in my heart!
    Lisa

  • kristen park
    August 12, 2013

    I’m so sorry I missed this before now. I have been praying for you and will keep on. I’m so sorry about your news, and praying for hope and healing.

  • Poochy Mama K
    August 12, 2013

    Well Shana, if nothing else, I can’t wait to see the great scarves, hats and other accessories you dig up come September! I feel like any words I could offer are meaningless, but this lovely community that YOU’VE created will be here for you and cheering you on the whole way. Best of luck!

  • Ashley
    August 12, 2013

    Shana – You and yours are loved and prayed for! My family went through a too-scary, too-personal experience with cancer this past year. One of the biggest and most surprising lessons I learned is that chemo is not always as bad as we might imagine. You probably know this from your mom’s experience too, but it bears repeating. There are many, many things that can help with side effects. If you’re miserable, press your doctors on it because you might not have to be. If they aren’t listening (REALLY listening), get new doctors, no matter how entrenched in the treatments you might be. You AND your family deserve great care and to feel informed and listened to and as great as possible (physically and mentally!) along the way.
    So, big hugs from my corner of the world. Thanks for sharing this, thanks for your honesty, and thanks for being a BIG part of why I look at least a little put together, most days :)

  • Kelly
    August 12, 2013

    I love your blog because you are both a master of fashion and the pen. This forum has always been an inspiration for how to be a stylish mom, but now it is an inspiration for so much more. Thank you for so honestly and poignantly sharing your journey with us. You have leagues of mamas supporting you.

  • clancychristine@hotmail.com
    August 12, 2013

    Dear Shana,
    As a very ordinary Mom of 3 whose loves loves loves your blog, can I please send you much love and prayers from a very small corner of Ireland. A very good friend of mine at my wedding said that “all of us can only live in the one day” and he hoped that me and my husband would make each day a happy one. I hope that today yours is a happy day. Reading your blog brings a smile to my face and has reignited a passion for fashion that had become lost under the mayhem of family life. Planning on being one hot Mama when school returns in Sept! Ha ha! Wishing you & your beautiful family all good things. Le gra (Irish for with love) Christine.

  • Marcy
    August 12, 2013

    They say a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet. I am so glad to have found your blog, and I feel so often that you are speaking directly to me when I read your words. I consider myself your friend, though we haven’t met yet. And as your friend, my heart broke for you when I heard that you didn’t get good news from the doctors this week. You’ve been in my thoughts, and I hope that you find strength for all that is to come from your beautiful family and your multitude of friends. Thank you for helping me look less like a total slob, and for sharing your newest journey with us all. Love from your friend in Oregon.

  • Jenny
    August 12, 2013

    First of all, you are gorgeous, and I’m sure you’ll look fabulous even with no hair. More importantly, I want you to know that I’ve always admired the real-ness of your blog. You are such an inspiration to so many other moms out there. Just know there is a community of us keeping you in our thoughts. Hopefully you find some strength in that.

  • Jennifer
    August 12, 2013

    Oh, Shana. We are all here for you as much as we can be. Thinking of you.

  • Jenny
    August 13, 2013

    Blessings to you and your family during this (continued) rough time.

  • Mel
    August 13, 2013

    I’m so sorry to hear this. So scary and I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions that go along with this especially as a momma. I’m praying for you and your family! Put on your lipstick and laugh at those funny lil boys!! Maybe everyone needs to ‘don the super hero cape today ;).
    ps. I’m a catch up reader so sorry for the delay! Lil late ;)

  • Allisonc Stevens
    August 13, 2013

    Shana,
    I am so sorry, I’ve lived thru some really dark times and it’s HARD. You seem like you’re keeping up such an amazing attitude, don’t forget that it’s ok to crash sometimes when you just have to crash. There are a whole lot of mamas out here praying for you and your family, I have been every time I’ve thought of you guys for the last couple months. Your blog still rocks, I second what cams said, and I hope it continues to encourage you to know that you are helping so many mamas out here in the Land of Goldfish.
    Love,
    Ali

  • maura
    August 14, 2013

    Shana – I read this blog weekly but don’t think I’ve ever commented. But today, after reading this beautiful entry, I have to tell you I’m thinking about you. It seems odd to think about a stranger but your story has stuck with me and I’m so sorry to read this update. Wishing you an easy treatment. Know that many people are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Maui Lopez
    August 15, 2013

    Shana, just wish to send you my hugs and prayers all the way from Manila, Philippines. Your stories and photos – always full of life, always filled with color- have always been a source of inspiration for me as a mother and a wife. Please know that you are in my prayers. Go girl! We moms, we are made of though stuff :-)

  • esther
    August 15, 2013

    Love and Light my dear. Love and Light.

  • Taya@TypeB
    August 16, 2013

    I just did a google search for Kokopax carriers and read your review from several years ago. I just stuck around to see what your blog was about and read the above post. It touched me and I just want to say that. Be strong, be brave, be good to yourself. (I love that Mary Oliver poem, too :))

  • Kim
    August 17, 2013

    Shana – I have gotten behind on my blog reading with the end of summer/start of school year stuff, and I am so sad to get caught up only to read this news. You can add my name to the many who are praying for you and supporting you and your family from afar. I loved the Irish blessing another commenter shared, “remember when shadows fall you never walk alone.” I imagine if nothing else, you can feel that you are not walking alone on this scary path that you are on. You have so many people pulling for you. Also – I love the Mary Oliver poem and shirt. So true. Love and light to you.

  • cortnie
    August 17, 2013

    You’re amazing and I love you.
    xo
    cortnie

  • Lena
    August 19, 2013

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I admire your courage and the way you’re handling everything. You are a very strong woman and an inspiration to all.
    My prayers and encouragement are with you!
    Love Lena xoxo

  • kim
    August 19, 2013

    I’m just catching up on old posts from when I was on holiday – this news just sucks hard. I’m thinking of you (even though I’ve never met you, I admit I cried when I read this post – I’m sure I’m not the only one). All I can say is that you will come back and give amazing advice on how to wear head scarves/wigs/whatever when bald. You will make the best of it, and you will beat this.

  • RunningMama
    August 22, 2013

    I’m so sorry to hear that this is happening to you. Life is cruel and harder than we would have ever imagined when we were young, right? Thank you for being real and honest about your journey. My son was recently stillborn after years of infertility and I sometimes have a hard time coping with blogs because they are typically so glossy shiny perfect. While you may be fabulously stylish, you still struggle in life and you are honest about it. Thank you for that. While our struggles are different, it helps to know that there are others in this life that have been given a raw deal as well.

  • Shana
    August 22, 2013

    Shit.  I cannot imagine anything worse.  I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Mama.  My heart goes out to you guys.  Life is oddly hard.  I'm a mess in so many ways…but I feel like a grown-up now about that.  You know?  xoxo

  • Bonnie
    August 23, 2013

    Shana, thank you for sharing with such honesty. I’ve been in a position to do the same as in May I was given the news I’m positive for BRCA2. 3 weeks ago I had a bilateral salpingo oophorectomy to remove ovaries and fallopian tubes because my risk of ovarian cancer in my lifetime was 30%; in November I’m having a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy because it’s 85% that I’ll develop breast cancer. My sister had DCIS 15 years ago and a triple negative 3 months ago. I’ve also had melanoma which is on the gene mutation.
    Real stories are scary because of the truth. But I believe that if you don’t prepare for the truth you risk big disappointments. I’d love to know more about those first few weeks after your surgery. They sound really tough. But if I know what I’m going into, maybe I can really prepare mind, body, spirit.
    I’ve been writing about life in BRCA here…http://brca2gether.wordpress.com/
    Sending positive vibes your way for continued recovery and a breast cancer-free future.
    And I haven’t seen that you’ve written about your BRCA results. Feel free to reach out if you want to know more about my process.
    ~ Bonnie

  • jessicabarron@ihopkc.org
    September 12, 2013

    I just found your blog today and this may or may not mean anything to you coming from a stranger but I will be praying for you and your family. By that I mean good things :) Ill be asking that God gives you strength and grace on the days you feel you cant make it, and peace in your heart. And I will pray that fear and discouragement stay far far from you. May God be near to you and your family in this time, and uphold you with strength beyond your own. I will be praying for healing and for your family to be knit even closer together in love in this season.
    You seem like such an amazing woman, and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I admire your courage.
    Jessica

  • Debbie Nelson
    June 29, 2014

    My daughter, who follows your blog has forwarded me this.
    About 15 weeks ago, I started my journey in breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, I was told surprisingly that I would need chemo. As you can imagine, I was not happy. But, I have settled in and decided that I would not let this thing they call cancer defeat me. I went yesterday and got my hair cut super short and super chic…I love it. I start my chemo treatments on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 and they will continue weekly for 12 weeks followed by another 9 months of Herceptin (HER2 positive). Thank you for your poignant blog of your journey and though everyone is different in their reactions to treatment, I will be reading about your journey throughout mine.
    I am a strong woman and this I will overcome. Thank you

Leave a Reply