Doing something right

The first person who came up to me after the word spread that I got diagnosed with cancer was J, an 11-year-old friend of my kids. He said, “I heard the news and I’m really, really sorry.” Then, he gave me a hug. One night, Olivia and a group of girls put on a play to cheer me on. A few kids have dropped handmade cards in with meals their parents bring over. For Christmas, two boys bought me Ventress, a Star Wars character, to help me fight cancer. One day, my friend’s preschool boy stopped in his tracks when he saw my bald head.

“You don’t have hair!” he said. 

“Well, you have a lot of hair,” I said. “Can I have some?”

He got scissors! 

Since I got interviewed by The Oregonian about how to talk to kids about cancer, I haven’t stopped thinking about the kids in this neighborhood. We’ve got something like SEVEN Abernethy moms who are going through or have recently gone through breast cancer. I’m not the only bald mom at the rodeo. I wonder how many conversations come up at dinner. How many kids are wondering if their moms are next? I’m so sorry they have to even THINK about such a thing in elementary school. But the way they have interacted with me, it’s clear they think with compassion.

So to all the Abernethy kids who have wished me well, THANK YOU. I appreciate you guys so much. Thanks for looking out for Steven and Livvie through this mess, too. Our family deeply appreciates it.


1- Took Xena for a power walk to Mt. Tabor in the sun.

2- I got booked to deliver a speech to cancer survivors! Super excited about the opportunity to make people laugh again. Especially cancer survivors.

3- The Abernethy community rocks. Parents who care are raising kids who care. How cool is that.


6 Replies to “Doing something right”

  1. I love this post and I loved hearing Dyllon and Livvie on the way to the swimming pool. “My mom has to wear a bathing cap, she’s bald.” “Yea, my mom’s bald too!” So glad they have each other to relate to and normalize this whole thing in a weird way.

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