Hope4Peyton header image

Perspective, getcha some

By 9:30 last night I’d worked myself up into a good old-fashioned pity party. Oh yes. With the appropriate music, my handy dandy bowl of chocolate and a chip on my shoulder the size of an Easter Island Head….that spoke to me….and said “EAT MORE CHOCOLATE”.

Which I did.

As the most irrelevant of events, yesterday morning I got the “you do what?” from a new mom I met at my kids’ school. I GET it that most of the world may not understand the blogging thing…they don’t see the need for it…it’s a monumental waste of time and if you were a real writer you’d have something I can pick up at my local Wal-greens best seller rack.

Mom – So, do you work?

Me – Well, sort of, I write. I have a blog….”

Mom – Blog? You mean one of those website thingys?

Yeah, on that whole INTERNET thingy…you know, the one Al Gore invented?

Me – Yes.

Mom – What a neat hobby.  Must be so nice to have the extra time to do that.

Me – I make the time, it’s important to me, I write about my family and my daughter’s cancer—

Mom – WOW, that must be depressing.  Who reads it?

And that’s it, folks.

I have a depressing, useless hobby on my internet website thingy.

They just don’t make Hallmark cards for that kind of love.

After that rousing game of “Use Anissa’s Sense of Purpose as a Verbal Pinata”, I had to take Peyton to her clinic appointment.  If you read the post previous to this one, you can see how I felt about that.

It sucked. Up one side and down the other. It both sucked and blew at the same time.  It was one long never-ending stream of suckage.

It involved:

1. Peyton not being able to eat anything from 7:30-4:40
2. Peyton’s port not cooperating, making special meds necessary, driving our time over the school pickup and having to call in reinforcements to go get them from school
3. The spinal tap from hell that involved screaming, tears, mistakes, insufficient amounts of pain medication and a child in unnecessary excruciating pain.

I took the kids to dinner because I knew I’d be throwing rolls of Ritz crackers and fruit snacks at them if we went home to eat.  This, in turn, made it impossible for me to get Rachael and Nathaniel to chess class in time.

They were disappointed, but so sweet about accepting the weary look on my face as reason enough.  I felt another blow to my heart.

By the time I got everyone to bed and I sat down with my bowl of chocolates, I was ready to just call it a day…a sucky day that makes me wish life came with a do-over button.

I didn’t answer my phone. I didn’t answer emails. I didn’t answer chat messages.

But what I did do was open my Google reader, and start reading. Maybe someone had a worse day than me out there in the world of blogging, and by Joe, I needed to find them and realize my sucktoberfest wasn’t the worst.

It wasn’t.

It’s not often I read about other cancer children on sites that don’t originate from a cancer parent.  Last night there were 2.  One shared about the loss of a friend’s child to cancer.  The other was from a mother who lost two twin sons before birth and how she was sharing her grief with a mother who lost a daughter to cancer.

I felt the big hand of God come down and just slap the snot right out of me.

Anissa, you hearing this? You? You don’t get to complain! You don’t get to sit down and have a pity-me moment because you had a bad day. Yeah, Peyton’s day was rough. There will be more of them coming.  You get to be thankful that your child is still breathing, is still in remission and you’d BETTER be thankful that she has treatment options because too many kids don’t.

I was humbled beyond belief.

Yeah, I get that.  My day was awful. I hope not to have another like it for a very long time. Do I think for one moment that my day compares to every day in the life of a parent who walks in their house and hears an emptiness where a child once ran?  Who walks by that bedroom door and wishes with all their heart for a voice to call out and ask for one more story, one more drink, one more kiss goodnight?  No.  And I know that.

I got to wake up this morning and start a new day with all of my kids.  Yesterday is a memory. A bad one, but it’s in the past and I can sit and brood about it, or I can grab the joy that today offers and make a better memory to replace that one.

This was a good start.

I told her, “Leave your sister alone, she doesn’t feel good and she’s hurting.” Thank God she doesn’t listen to me.

50 Comments on “Perspective, getcha some”

  1. #1 Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    You are an amazing mother, a wonderful writer and the best kind of person. Your children are so fortunate to have you as their mom, on good days and bad. And we are so fortunate that you share your “hobby” with all of us.

    My love to you, Anissa, every day. I hope you feel it all of the time.

    Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundrys last blog post..A break

  2. #2 Brittany
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Wow. That picture at the end really says it all. This post was beautiful,and you earned every piece of that chocolate my friend.

    Brittanys last blog post..I saw Jesus in Ikea

  3. #3 inthefastlane
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I got here through Beth. I love the pictures and I am so glad that you are able to share your story on this place.

    inthefastlanes last blog post..Taking Advantage

  4. #4 Beth/Mom2TwoVikings
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Don’t worry if “they” don’t get it…there are always those who do who are reading and you never know where your “pebble” and its ripples will reach. Hang in there.

    Beth/Mom2TwoVikingss last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  5. #5 Janet
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Your “little hobby on the internet thingy” is much more than that to those of us who get where you are coming from. Whether it is one of those laugh until you hiccup moments that you share or one like today, where the tears start to flow as you make me recount my own blessings, every post is something that makes life more precious. Praying that today is a better day for both you and Peyton. BTW – keeping the chocolates in the freezer so that they are cold helps – you lay them across your forehead for a personal cold pack while you take them off one at a time to eat!

  6. #6 autumn dahlia
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    That picture is worth a thousand words. I can’t imagine what you are going through, and I’m sure that mom certainly doesn’t…. sometimes people talk before they think. I love your website thingy 🙂

    autumn dahlias last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Fair Game

  7. #7 Kristine
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Oh honey, you know it’s ok to feel sorry for yourself every once in a while. We all have bad days. Just because other people have it worse doesn’t take away from your own pain.

    You have a great attitude though and I’m proud of you. I could certainly learn from you!

    And that Mommy with her comments about blogging…she can suck it!

    Kristines last blog post..Part 2 – grandparent lessons anyone?

  8. #8 Jaime
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Print one entry of your blog and give it to this ” mom” she will be hooked on Anissa.

    Hope Peyton feels better fast!

  9. #9 Elaine
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Chocolate always makes me feel better too. A little too often actually. ; )

    This is a beautiful post – words, picture and all the heart you put into it. You are very strong after such a trying day.

    Oh and blogging certainly isn’t just a “hobby,” in this case it’s a moving experience…

    Elaines last blog post..Wordless Wednesday #31 – Ready for School!

  10. #10 Sam (The Edge Of Insanity)
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I’m right there with Kristine… we all have bad days. But the fact that you turned it around into something positive says something about yourself.
    And the mom? Yeah, be glad she didn’t ask to to babysit or pick up her drycleaning. I’m a sahm, too, and you wouldn’t believe some of the things people have said to me!

    Sam (The Edge Of Insanity)s last blog post..“Sam, Do You Want To Play?”

  11. #11 Celia, Darling
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Blessings on you, Sweetie. I don’t know, this has been a weird-ass week for a lot of folks, but things are shifting.

    But one thing I’ve noticed over and over this week is that women can be really mean to other women. Is it competition? It is being self-absorbed? WHAT? WTF people, we all have boobs and hoo-hoos, why the hell can’t we just be supportive to one another.

    Whew. Maybe I need chocolate.

    Sending you tons of angels and love and light and kisses.

  12. #12 SciFi Dad
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Jeez… on top of everything you had to deal with yesterday, you had that encounter with the moms at school too?!?

    No wonder you were so down. Hopefully she (and you) will feel better soon.

    (Also, re: blogging… if you like it, don’t worry about what other people think about it.)

    SciFi Dads last blog post..A(nother) Weekend Of Nesting

  13. #13 always home and uncool
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hmm … I need to bug my new neighbor, the Hallmark marketing guru, ASAP. I’ll give you 50% of what her gives me – deal?

    always home and uncools last blog post..Remnants of Summer’s Demise

  14. #14 mary lynn kesler
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    People who are having a hard day may look at your life and feel bad that they complained. Even though Sierra now lives in Heaven and no longer here with me, there are still people who have it much worse. That is life. What I do now is try and be grateful for each day as it comes. Don’t let any bad situation change the person that God made me. Hold on to the fact that I will see my baby again. Know that she is safe in the arms of God. Give back in any way I can to keep Sierra’s memory alive and know that sometimes we just have to expect the unexpected good or bad. Peyton had a bad day and you have a right to complain. You are her mom and she looks to you for comfort and to feel safe. We can’t always do that and when we can’t we have the right to complain and feel bad about it. I pray for better days for Peyton and of course a life forever free of cancer.

    mary lynn keslers last blog post..I Hate Being Sick

  15. #15 Basi
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Anissa,
    Always refreshing to read your blog, which is more than a hobby! It’s amazing to me how quickly I lose my perspective and let little stupid transient things and people’s comments get me down. I think what matters is becoming aware of that and changing the way we see a situaiton. Thanks for sharing.
    love, basi

  16. #16 Ashley Hast
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I’ll be the mature 30 year old that I am and say that “mom” sucks balls. Huge balls. What an idiot. Pisses me off in general, and also probably because I’m a hormonal pregnant cow. I would’ve had to slap her teeth out. And although I don’t know all the details of why Peyton had to but through so much yesterday, I’d go ahead and add “those idiots” to the “slap their teeth out” list…and they could spend the rest of the day picking them out of the wall. Isn’t that Christ-like of me? Good thing God forgives.

    Again, let me reiterate my superb “speaking” skills and say, “You are awesome and funny. I love your blog. That lady sucks balls.” And there you have it.

  17. #17 Michelle
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I stumbled on your blog through the whole Internet-thingy, and I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I’ve been there, too. Wondering why things happen they way they do and to my own child.

    And then something happens or I read a story of a family who is struggling to cope with a hardship far worse.

    Perspective is necessary, but sometimes, so is chocolate. One day at a time….

  18. #18 lucille
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    We should never be shocked at how rude someone can be……if I were you, I wouldn’t be her friend. (Thats like the worst thing to do to someone in my kindergarten class) Your blog isn’t depressing at all. It is reality and it helps many people. It is also a witness of your faith. Words are sooo powerful, keep on writing. I am a better person because of your blog.
    That picture is precious. You should enlarge it and have it framed. I’m sorry Peyton had to feel so much pain. She is a trooper….give her an extra hug from her fans.

  19. #19 alayna
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Hang in there, girl. And, yes, you do get to feel bad, you do get to have a bad day. And I’m glad you got to eat your chocolate and feel bad for a while, and I’m glad you had the courage to snap out of it. But please don’t feel bad about it. Thank God Peyton still has treatment options – but they still suck. And it’s okay to think, feel & say that. I think both of us like to see the humor in situations – it helps get us through. But sometimes, life just calls for some chocolate and some tears – tears not for someone else, but for you and your child and your situation. And sometimes, when it’s really bad, I like to picture myself crawling right into Jesus’s lap and crying and screaming and maybe even a few pounds with my fist. And He just holds me and strokes my hair and lets me cry and then gives me the strength to get up and get back out there – and laugh again.

    And next time you get that mom’s email, and we’ll all send her hate-mail – don’t forget about your minivan mafia!

  20. #20 Rhonda
    on Sep 4th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    What a wonderful example of the unconditional love of a sister. I treasure mine daily-and I am so glad tha Peyton and Rachel have each other.
    Hope she’s feeling better soon!

  21. #21 Zen Mama Wannabe
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    It is funny, isn’t it, that thing called “perception?” I am constantly getting reminders that I have lost mine — and your touching entry was another one. I’m worried about keeping (or not keeping) up with the Joneses and whether screen time is turning my kids into brats. You are playing on a whole other level.

    Just as you got some perspective with the 2 blogs you read, thank YOU for giving me some as well. Our children are a gift. Your photo is priceless! Thank you for sharing!

  22. #22 Natalie
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Oh Anissa ~ that picture is priceless … what a sweet sweet picture. Thanks for always keepin’ it real — that’s why I love ya!

  23. #23 Holly at Tropic of Mom
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Day of great suckage, for sure. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though.

    That photo almost made me cry.

    Holly at Tropic of Moms last blog post.."Great Wilmer Valderrama news" at Tropic of Mom

  24. #24 Marie
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Definitely humbling. One of the reasons I come to cancer kid websites is to be reminded of what some people in the world are dealing with and to put life’s little problems into perspective. But of course, just because someone else has worse problems doesn’t minimise yours. You had a pretty awful day by anyone’s standards. Someone else maybe had a bad day at work, nothing compared to your day, but bad enough to them. Perspective is good but you shouldn’t feel like your problems aren’t as important!

  25. #25 kelly mcg
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 2:48 am

    (pw: ladybug)
    Thank you so much for putting my “bad day” into prespective! My (healthy) 5 month old son decided to not nap today. It made it hard to care for his twin sister, 2 1/2 year old sister and 4 1/2 year old brother. Wah for me. My so called suffering is nothing compared to others. I enjoyed reading your blog on this great internet thingy. God Bless!

  26. #26 Beverly
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Perspective keeps us sane sometimes.

    And that picture…oh my! It’s beautiful!

  27. #27 Joanne Lee
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I’m so so gald you have that “depressing, useless hobby on my internet website thingy”…there are loads of us that read it and way too many of us that understand… Thank you for putting it all into words for me. I don’t always feel the exact same way, but man, you sure know how to put it down in black and white.
    Now, I’ll stop eating those M&M’s and get back to cleaning my floors (I start my “real” job on Monday…) love u.

  28. #28 Melisa
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Wow. The photo? Totally unexpected and made me cry. How sweet. I’m sure it’s very difficult to count your blessings all the time; I can’t even imagine. But I’m happy for you that you were indeed able to snap out of your funk, even though funk IS allowed now and then. You are a strong woman and I admire you very, very much. xoxo

    Melisas last blog post..My Furriest Baby, My Last Baby

  29. #29 Angela
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    You know, I read this “bloggy” thing you do every day. I enjoy it every day – and it makes a difference to this mom. You are awesome, funny, insightful, compassionate, and so many more things. The stories you tell about your children make me laugh because I am reminded of my own. You are an inspiration to so many of us, even if we only “lurk” here. Please don’t ever stop!! Way cute picture on the bottom of the post by the way….so sweet.

    Angelas last blog post..Labor Day Fun

  30. #30 Debbie
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Well, I want you to know that I have been reading this blog everyday for a couple of years now, and I look forward to new posts. I don’t even really remember how I ended up reading about Peyton – I think you must have commented on someone else’s blog and I clicked on it or something.

    Anyway, for some reason God seems to be putting children with cancer into my life via the internet. Usually a friend of a friend will link to a blog because a child is needing prayers or something, and then I’ll get caught up in their lives. I don’t know why this keeps happening, but I can tell you one thing – reading their stories, your stories, laughing and crying with all of you as you struggle to help your kids through this, really inspires me.

    No, I don’t personally know you, but I feel like you’re a good friend anyhow, because of how you are so open about everything Peyton (and all of you) are going through.

    This blog is so important, not just to you, but to all of us. Keep writing.

  31. #31 threeundertwo
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    That picture.

    I’m at a loss for words. I’m all mad because my kids are refusing to practice piano.

    Like my life is so rough. Sheesh.

    threeundertwos last blog post..Vintage Thingies Thursday: Workbasket Magazines

  32. #32 Evon Mease
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    1) Your blogs often make my day so you do a lot for a lot of people…just reading your comments says that. For every comment you get you probably have 5 or 6 that come and love to read but don’t comment. I use to.

    2) One thing I found out about hose ladies with those remarks about it being nice to stay at home…..get to know them and they will often confess that they do not work so much for the money but that they can not stand to stay at home with the kids…their own words not mine. I always thought hey said that stuff from a feeling of guilt.

    3) Yep…we all need that perspective. We need to get use to looking at what is good in our lives and remember there is always plenty of people who have it worse.

    Love you Anissa…keep these blogs coming!

  33. #33 Evon Mease
    on Sep 5th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Let me say the t on my keyboard sticks 🙂 I do know how to spell…really I do! As long as I have my handy dandy spell checker!

  34. #34 Kelsey
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Annisa you brought tears to my eyes with that photo. Your blog inspires me and humbles me beyond belief. I will be sharing this post on my blog Sunday. You inspire me.

    Kelseys last blog post..::Imagine Seeing Me On National TV- Really!::

  35. #35 goteeman
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Praying for you and your family…
    and I loved the pic of them together, so sweet…

    J/ (goteeman.blogspot.com)

    goteemans last blog post..Connected…

  36. #36 D's Mommy
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve never had a child of mine have cancer so I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. I have however had several family members, including my husband and mother, have cancer and if the pain of them going through that is even an 1/8th of what you’re going through then you are truly a more remarkable woman than I thought you were. I offer no words of wisdom b/c honestly I didn’t want to hear them when I had to sit by and watch my loved one fight a battle I’d have gladly fought for them. All I can say is you’re a rock, you’re a beautiful, beautiful mother and hang in there.

  37. #37 JaimeM
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I just popped over here from Beth’s blog. Wow. And I’m not sure why, but my eyes just filled with tears as I read your post. You’re a great mom and I am glad I peeked in for a visit.

    Thank you for sharing.

    JaimeMs last blog post..Back 2 School Bot

  38. #38 Sarah Clapp
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    You are allow to have a bad day every now and then, and feel it and dwell in it, and eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

    You bring so much joy and laughter to so many people through your blog. I would just chalk this woman up to being ignorant.

    That last picture proves that you’re a great mom!

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..It’s Safe To Drink The Water

  39. #39 Lovely
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I don’t know where to start so I’ll use bullets to make sure I hit all the points I wanted to:
    – I was sent here from Beth for the first time and I knew I loved this post when you talked about chocolate off the bat. I have a real connection with you already. 🙂
    – I was very frustrated by this mother’s comments. Why do people lack appreciation in other’s ESPECIALLY when they don’t understand what you even do? The “extra time” comment sent chills down my spine and is still stinging ME…I can’t imagine how it must have made you feel.
    – Your strength and ability to see the truth in your situation acknowleding the tough days ahead made me respect you. As did your faith in God. You gave me a new perspective on my life with my kids and I thank you for that.
    I felt tons of emotion reading this one post about you. You’re clearly a very talented writer and a mother to be envied. And your children are beautiful!!!

  40. #40 Lori
    on Sep 6th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Anissa,
    I’m just now catching up on a few days of your blog posts and I’m so sorry to hear that Peyton hasn’t been feeling so good. Peyton, I hope you are feeling better real soon, honey! You are sooo very brave!
    And Rachael? You are such a WONDERFUL big sister, sweetie! Peyton is lucky to have you and Nathaniel and I know you guys feel the same because you love her so much.
    Annisa, that photo is breath-taking… made me tear up in awe of such devotion and caring between two sweet sisters. Again, I have to say what an awesome family you guys are! Hugs and prayers, Lori

  41. #41 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Oh my. This was beautiful.

    When my son was finally seizure-free but the treatment was hard and my heart was still sore and the going was still tough, I found myself surrounded by parents of kids no where near as well as he was. Part of me felt guilty for feeling that way, but I also realized that what I was going through was my thing and very much real feelings. But yeah- that perspective thing. Will getcha everytime.

    (by the way, Beth sent me…)


    Adventures In Babywearings last blog post..So Just What Day Will It Be?

  42. #42 Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Hugs to you momma, I can’t imagine what you go through on bad days like the one you had here, and your perspective is inspiring.

    Your blog is anything but depressing. How sad to have such a small world view – I’m so glad to be able to meet and interact with wonderful women like you on this internet-thingy!

    Steph @ Problem Solvin Moms last blog post..My baby is a year and a half old!

  43. #43 Mozi Esme's Mommy
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I pray your future days go better . . .

    That is such a gorgeous photo.

    Mozi Esme’s Mommys last blog post..String

  44. #44 Melissa
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Visiting from Beth’s blog…

    That is a BEAUTIFUL picture. I hope better days come your way soon. :o)

    Melissas last blog post..Gym Virginity -GONE!

  45. #45 Brandi
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    This was great Perspective for me today! I just found your site a minute ago from 5 minutes.

    I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    Brandis last blog post..What Kind of Pillow Person Are You?

  46. #46 Lynette
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Awesome perspective! I am so glad Beth directed us over here.

  47. #47 Alana @ Gray Matters
    on Sep 7th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your family’s journey. I look forward to reading more.

    Alana @ Gray Matterss last blog post..Going Green in Preschool

  48. #48 canadacole
    on Sep 8th, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for reminding us to have perspective. No matter how great or horrible our lives seem, there are always people experiencing better or worse–and God is watching over them all. What a lovely post (I came here from Kelsey’s).

    canadacoles last blog post..Finalists!

  49. #49 Elle Charlie
    on Sep 10th, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Thank you for sharing. That picture reminded me of something very important in life, when I’d almost forgotten it.

    Elle Charlies last blog post..They weren’t kidding

  50. #50 Marcia "HDMac" McFarlane
    on Sep 11th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Mom, you are doing an excellent job… look at those sweeties!!! As the mom of a special needs child, I certainly applaud you…… and I just love your “hobby”… bless your heart and I so agree with what Beth said…

    Prayers lifted for ya!