On Becoming a Cheerleader

rah! rah! Go, Mom, go! rah! rah!

It’s been an odd couple of months for me and my family. What started as a routine surgery, ended with a diagnosis that starts with a ‘c’ and ends with an ‘ancer.’

It’s my mom. And it’s cancer. It’s two things I am intentionally not putting in the same sentence despite the fact that the two can be found together in real life.

Uncharted territory. That’s where my family is at the moment. Unexpected, unforeseen, and unwanted. No man’s land. Somedays I wake up thinking that this isn’t true, but all days I go to bed knowing it is our reality, wether or not I attempt to wish it away.

I find myself navigating a situation I don’t want to and (frankly) don’t know how to navigate. Despite my best research, I’m not sure if I truly understand what it is I am supposed to be doing at the moment. Answer me this: What does a daughter do when her mother is ill? Answer me this again: What does anyone do when someone you love is sick?

Gifts? Jewelry? Perfume? Flowers? Seems impractical.

Vitamins? Health shakes? Miracle cures? I’ll leave that to everyone else.

Prayer? Wishful thinking? All over it.

Running Away?  Bad idea.

Every ounce of my being wants to do the dirty work – put that IV in my arm, let me swallow those pills, give me that chemo drug puhhhlllease – that’s just not the realistic option.

After lengthy discussions with my dad and brothers, we all have individually come to the same conclusion: become cheerleaders.

While the thought of my dad attempting a toe-touch, my brothers doing synchronized dance moves, and me cartwheeling may sound ridiculous, we could care less.

You see, for so long, my mom has been the one on the sideline. She was literally on it when we participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, and every other sport on the planet. She was literally on it when we played (insert instrument) in the marching band. Figuratively, she was and is still on it as we have plodded through scholastic achievements, life blunders, and everything in between. My mom has been cheering us on for years and years and years and years. And now, after all this time, the roles have seemingly reversed. We find ourselves cheering on the sideline while she does all the hard work.

Please don’t say anything if you see my brothers working on their pyramid stunts in the front yard. They’re tall and not particularly coordinated, but practice makes perfect. There is a good chance I will pull a muscle trying to do the splits. I’ve lost my flexibility over the years. Forgive my dad if you see him running around town carrying pom-pons in his briefcase. Also, tell him to get a new briefcase. His looks a little raggedy.

Long term, we don’t really see cheering being our thing.

But for now, we are cheerleaders.

rah! rah! Go, Mom, go! rah! rah!


Raw Cacao Energy Bites
Source: Unknown
Printable Recipe

3/4C almond butter
1/4C tahini
1/2C chopped dates
1C sesame seeds
1/4C raw cacao powder
1/2C shredded, unsweetened coconut (+ 1/4C more for rolling)

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend until ingredients are incorporated together. Roll into small balls. Roll balls in additional coconut. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.


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