About 6 weeks ago, Broder had surgery to remove a weird lump.

About 4 weeks ago, the first pathology reports came back, saying the mass seemed to be benign, more tests would be done to confirm.

About 2 weeks ago, those test results came back.

I remember getting the phone call. I remember saying “I understand. Yes, of course. Please. Thank you.”

And I hung up. And I thought:

“How do I tell my son he has cancer?”

I called Dave. He didn’t answer. I called Myrna. She answered. I think I was mostly intelligible in our conversation. Maybe not.

I sat on the porch, with a cup of coffee, not drinking it.

Waiting for Dave to get home. And I thought:

“How do I tell him our son has cancer?”

Because I had been outside, by myself for more than 4 mins, Sunny came to check on me.

I don’t remember what we talked about. But I remember thinking:

“How do I tell Kjell and Sunny their brother has cancer?”

I tried.

I tried to find an elegant and gentle way to soften the razor sharp edges.

And in my head the words were spoken calmly and without fear. I was under control and comforting, as a good mother should be in the face of crisis.

In reality, the words tumbled out, jumbled and disjointed, a mush of terms and statistics, and forced cheer.

So, here it is, 2 weeks after that wrenching phone call.

2 days before Broder and I head to MD Anderson in Houston (our second trip in a week), where he will have another surgery on the original tumor site, to remove any tissue possibly still containing cancer cells.

In all this, there is so much to be thankful for:

Access to(and the resources to access) the finest cancer care in the world.


Teachers who recognized the work done throughout the semester and froze Broder’s grades, relieving him of the stress of finals.

Understanding bosses.

The support of friends and family. Here in Oklahoma, and literally around the world, who have called and emailed to offer meals or rides or a place to stay or a listening ear.

The prayers of thousands.


And (as Broder reminds me daily) our Sovereign Lord, who has it under control.


About Sandie

A little background: A mother of 3, two boys and a girl. Married young to a good man. No longer young, but he is still a good man. Grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, lived several years in small town Alaska, spent a couple years in the city of Madison, currently residing not too far from down town Anchorage. Drink a crazy amount of coffee. Fiercely loyal to my friends. Truly rabid in my defense of family. Beyond thankful that my God loves me enough to allow me to doubt and question.

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