Staying in the picture

Sick mama selfie

I’ve never been much of a selfie taker. But when I continued to be sick and didn’t show any signs of getting better I thought about how something could happen to me and my daughters wouldn’t have any pictures of me. Or with me. Thus far their whole childhood has been heavily documented and there are maybe 30 pictures of me in the thousands I have taken of them.

I remember years ago people posting pictures of themselves with their moms on Facebook for Mother’s Day and I searched high and low for a photo with me and my mom. But my family hates photos – they will almost literally run away from a camera. I didn’t even think to get photos taken with my parents or siblings at my wedding because I know how uncomfortable they are in front of the camera. We, as women, usually have an excuse. I’m too tired, too fat, too old, too *whatever* to have my picture taken right now.

But my excuses have run out. And so has my time.

So I started taking selfies, usually with a child. Usually with Oonagh because we spend all day together, often laying in my bed reading books.

I spend all day with her and if something were to happen to me now she wouldn’t remember me. How much does that suck? Because I can tell you, that thought is one of the reasons I can’t stop crying these days. I almost died bringing that little ray of sunshine into this fucking world and now cancer is trying to take me away from her.

I will gladly give up anything. My boobs. My hair. My ability to walk, if I can just stay around long enough to watch my girls grow up and at this point we don’t even know if that is possible.

From the very little I understand so far, Metastatic Breast Cancer is a life sentence. The best you can hope for is that they can control it enough to turn it into a chronic disease.

So I guess selfies aren’t for beautiful, possibly narcissistic teenagers anymore. They are for scared moms hoping to hold on to each and every moment. To leave something behind so my children will remember me.

And I encourage other moms (or dads, or grandparents or favourite aunties and uncles) to take them too because you never know.

You just never know.


I was led to this video today, which I’ve heard sums up what I am about to go through quite succinctly if you care to watch. It isn’t an easy watch though, just to warn you.


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