A.P.B.: You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer

[Via Looky, Daddy!, I learned of Toddler Planet, the blog of a woman who’s a “scientist turned stay-at-home-mom.” Since some of my best friends and dearest family members are scientists turned stay-at-home-moms (no, really!), I’ve enjoyed reading her. Six weeks ago she became a scientist turned stay-at-home-mom who has inflammatory breast cancer. I found out from L,D! that she wrote a post that she wants folks to “steal” and pass on, so that fewer women are caught as unawares by this as she initially was.

Disclosure: my mother, a hydrologist turned stay-at-home-mom, died of breast cancer fourteen years ago this September. The hole in the universe is as big now as it was then, only I have since become accustomed to its being there. Not so the hole my nephew just left two springs ago (Glioblastoma Multiforme, or brain/spinal cord cancer). So I accutely appreciate this woman’s missionary zeal. My family was only just there. Please read what she wrote, pass it on, and help her make a difference.

After you read the Inflammatory Breast Cancer piece below: if you’re a lesbian (or love one), check out Kathy Belge’s Lesbians and Breast Cancer, too. Lots more to think about on the subject, but that’s a concise start. And consider what Twisty Faster has to say about her own “tiptoe through the garden of [breast] cancer,” if you haven’t been following her fierce, unsentimental, unvarnished undressing of it all.]


Guest post from Toddler Planet: Inflammatory Breast Cancer

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Read moreA.P.B.: You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer

Our family is like a lot of families

The other night I was reading to the downstairs cousins and the lil’ monkey together. We live upstairs from the beloved’s brother and his family, and we each swap childcare an afternoon and a night a week. The nearby Granny and the GrandBaba take on an afternoon of kids themselves. Basically, it takes a village of family labor to give us all time for work and dates.

So there I am on our kid night, poised to read the book chosen by my nephew — eldest son, I might add, of a white, Christian (insofar as no one’s Jewish), currently able-bodied family of ample means. Did I mention he is blond, blue-eyed, tall, and smart? Well he is! And guess what book is his current favorite, for night-time all-cousin reading (since he reads his own baseball stories in bed)? Todd Parr’s The Family Book !

Many of you with kids know Todd Parr’s work; he’s done It’s Okay to be Different, another LGBT family favorite. For those who don’t already know it, The Family Book celebrates family diversity, illustrated in Parr’s Keith Haring-esque, primary colored, graphically bold style.

We’re all hunkered down together on the couch, cuddled up close. Page after page, the big thrill for one and all, led by Apple Pie Boy, let’s call him, is to quickly identify which ways our family — which to him is always already an extended family — fit the condition named on the page. It’s usually a disappointment in the rare cases where we don’t.

“Some families are big,” I read.
“That’s us!” they call out triumphantly, since they begin with both up and downstairs families plus the grannies, and then start counting.

Read moreOur family is like a lot of families

After the music class

Thanks to the patronage of her DadDad, we enrolled the lil’ monkey and her peanut brother in a local Music Together class, a thrill for us all. Okay, a qualified thrill. In class, the LM does her best impersonation of Michigan J. Frog, the one-hit wonder of the Warner Brothers’ cartoon “One Froggy Evening,” pasted below. Michigan J. Monkey sings every damn song from the CD at home, even plays them on kazoo while “reading” the sheet music. Kid you not. Then at the class: Ribbit.

Though she will dance.

If you’re not already a Michigan J. Frog fan, I won’t give away the plot, you really just have to watch all seven minutes of it. Especially if you’re at work.