Topic: Kids Going Off to College

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Posted on: Jun 5, 2017 11:55AM

Posted on: Jun 5, 2017 11:55AM

blainejennifer wrote:

I've got the one DS, and he is off to college. Four. Hours. Away. We are - perhaps - too fond of each other, as he homeschooled for the last two years of high school, so I've seen a lot of him.

I'm sure he's going to have a grand time in college. He's been chomping on the bit for at least a year now. "But what about me?", she whined.

Before Stage 4, I had planned to get a job when he hit high school (ha!), so that by the time college rolled around I would be very involved in my next "act", and wouldn't droop too much when the nest emptied.

Life is different now. I hope I see him graduate. I hope my health issues don't derail him. I also don't see how I could maintain a job outside the home, given chemo fatigue and all that.

How have you guys managed this transition? I want him to thrive, without getting in his way. As much as I wanted him to go to college close by, I think the distance will be good for him. I see the anxiety on his face when I talk about cancer. He's a big fan of FaceTime and Skype, but I am yearning for the day he tells me that he's ending a call because he's got plans with his mates. He should be creating his own, unique life.

Come September, I fear I will be blubbing for days. DH asked what my plans were for filling my time, come Fall. I grinched at him, then started crying. See what I mean?

Heavy sigh and shoulder shrug. Cancer sucks.

ER/PR+, HER2-, Grade 3. Stage 4, July 2012. Currently on Gemzar/Carboplatin Dx 5/2006, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage IV, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/28/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/5/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 7/1/2014 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/14/2015 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 1/31/2016 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 8/31/2016 CMF Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Jun 5, 2017 12:45PM bigbhome wrote:

Oh Blaine Jennifer, I have so felt your pain. Our ds left for college and went to school six hours away. Back then there was no Skype or Face time. We did have instant messaging and the telephone. I can tell you, you will grieve some. I used to im him and then want to see him so I would jump in the car and drive up for the weekend! Fortunately huge was always happy to see me! After several months I found other things to keep me busy. I served on boards of a few organizations that didn't require many presence very often, but I always had tons of reading and research before each meeting. Maybe that might interest you. What about taking a class in something that interests you? You will get through this. It won't be easy, but it is doable.

Hugs and prayers


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Jun 5, 2017 12:46PM - edited Jun 5, 2017 12:46PM by bigbhome

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Jun 5, 2017 05:32PM Kandy wrote:

Awww, how I so remember those days. It is so hard to let them go even though a part of you wants them to so they can start their own life. It is so difficult at first and I cried a lot. But it's funny how a person is able to mentally adjust, which you will. You will find other interest and other things to occupy your time. And as we all know, time goes by so quickly. I think I was more upset over the fact that I knew that once they left, it would never be the same again. I mourned over that chapter of our life ending. But with that being said, the next chapter will be just as exciting. I wish you the best through this transition. Try to enjoy the moment

Dx 1/20/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 3/9/2009 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Gemzar (gemcitabine), Navelbine (vinorelbine) Radiation Therapy 10/7/2009 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 10/31/2013, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 11/18/2013 3DCRT: Bone Hormonal Therapy 12/3/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 10/7/2016 Afinitor (everolimus) Hormonal Therapy 10/31/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy 2/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 5/8/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Chemotherapy 8/15/2017 Halaven (eribulin) Targeted Therapy
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Jun 5, 2017 06:36PM - edited Jun 5, 2017 06:37PM by Scwilly

My eldest went to college two years ago, and now my youngest is off at the end of August.


No 1 went to Seattle, and No 2 is going to Boston. We live just north of LA - so both will be a flight away, with DS2 in a different timezone - almost closer to my homeland of England!.

Whilst I miss DS1 - we do have a wonderful relationship communicating by text most days, and regular calls or FaceTime. His often calling either my DH or myself to get help proof reading his essays. In fact - last summer, when he was back, I missed our text conversations and we texted most afternoons to check how he was getting on at work (he was a Bellboy/BellHop) and how many tips he had managed to make. DS2 is being instructed in text convos - has he's not quite as good a communicator! DS1 sometimes calls out of the blue to tell me about a great lecture he has. Only once did I get a real scare when I got a call from an unknown Seattle number - but it was only a nurse calling to checkup on him (thinking my phone was his) after he had a fall, and I was already aware of his cut chin.

When I went to college we had no phones and I called home from the college phonebook every now and again. My poor mother had to remind me to call home by once send me a letter just saying "Our telephone number is still 777724" (love how I can remember that 30+ years since)

Right now I am stable with my current treatment - and I keep thoughts of what might happen if my health changes well away - not ready to face that yet!

So I know I can't take away the sadness - but I will say there will many many good times and great communications to come.

Dx 11/4/2013, IBC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/14/2013 AC Chemotherapy 1/14/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 4/29/2014 Radiation Therapy 6/24/2014 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Dx 2/16/2015, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 3/23/2016 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Dx 11/15/2016, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 2/17/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy 8/31/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 4/5/2018, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Surgery 4/5/2018 Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 Chemotherapy 5/3/2018 Other Chemotherapy 7/27/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Chemotherapy 9/20/2018 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 6, 2017 09:35AM blainejennifer wrote:

Thanks for all the kind wisdom. I'm still not looking forward to it, even though I'm the one who encouraged him to apply to colleges that weren't in the neighborhood.

Cancer steals so much from us. Time. Physical vigor. Put this on the list of things that cancer has messed with - my ability to have an interesting second act once the nest was empty. Someone asked my husband what I do (coffee party chat), and he paused, then said that I was really a full time cancer patient.

Have to go to the MO today to get the results of my scan on Friday. I know it won't be great news as my TMs have been rising, and I am running out of chemotherapies. The only anti-hormonal I got good results from was Faslodex, and so far it is the only SERD available.

I am planning to get to NYC and fire up getting into a trial or two with Weill-Cornell, Dr. Linda Vadhat. Hey - that's one thing I can do when kiddo is at college! Trial traveling.

Onwards and upwards.

ER/PR+, HER2-, Grade 3. Stage 4, July 2012. Currently on Gemzar/Carboplatin Dx 5/2006, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage IV, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/28/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/5/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 7/1/2014 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/14/2015 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 1/31/2016 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 8/31/2016 CMF Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Jun 6, 2017 10:13AM runor wrote:

I homeschooled my daughter her entire education. She was my companion from birth to 18. Hub worked an average of 55 - 70 hours a week for all those years. Not because he had to, because he wanted to. I was, effectively, a single parent.

Daughter and I did everything together. Went everywhere together. Used to drive through the rural back roads looking for old trucks and horses. I was at every event of her life. Our homeschooling did not keep us tied to the table doing book learning 5 days a week. We were very fluid and flexible and moved as the spirit told us. Because she didn't have to get up to go to school in the morning, there were many late winter nights, so cold and crystal clear, that we used to haul out the toboggans and go sliding through the snow, under the stars, laughing like fools.

When she got her own license, truck and then moved out, I was ready for her to go, encouraged her to go. In fact we were clashing so bad one of us had to go! But I crashed all the same. It hurt so bad some days I could hardly breathe. I would sit in this still, quiet, empty house and pray that my heart would stop. Just stop. Just stop beating. I truly felt that I had lived long enough and did not, at this point, need nor deserve to hurt so bad.

I take huge offense when people sweep the leaving of children under the rug as a minor life blip and tell parents (often moms) to get up and get on with life. Have you seen what happens to a man who invests his life in his job and then suddenly loses that job? That is a crisis !! But when a mother is suddenly faced with the unjobbing of her life and left in an 'empty nest' (that term makes me gag) it is often glossed over and the insensitive question of :what are you going to do now? gets blared in your face. Usually followed by lots of happy, upbeat suggestions and oh, having given your life and time over to the citizens you've just raised and invested in, step right into fulltime employment so you can give over even more of your time and energy to someone else's cause and don't miss a beat acting like kids leaving is a big deal, cause it isn't.

Well yes it is! Blainejennie, this is a big kick in a mom's solar plexus. Go ahead and feel lousy and DO NOT tell yourself to gloss over it by getting on with your life. It can be a horrible, painful time. It brings to light many things, not all of them good, like maybe your spouse has chosen to NOT be a companion in any way and you never realized how he ducked out of that obligation and responsibility - yet we reward and praise men who work in excess. We feel bad for them when they lose those jobs, those objects of their focus and desire. But when mom's are left behind as kids fly off... hey, what job are you going to do now, you old work horse you?

I cannot even imagine how much worse this is compounded with a cancer diagnosis. You are torn knowing your kids need to go and knowing that your time with them may be limited. I do not envy you. This has got to be indescribable. I am very, very sorry that you are in this situation. But do not belittle the pain of that empty place that is left when our children leave us. Things will never be the same again. Mourn. It is appropriate.

Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 6, 2017 07:53PM Lynnwood1960 wrote:

Runor, your words are beautiful, so heart felt and absolutely true.

Dx 4/6/2015, ILC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jun 6, 2017 09:47PM artistatheart wrote:

Blainejennifer, It is pretty hard in the beginning. Like Kandy said, it was sad to know that chapter of life was over. However, after a few months I realized that things slowly slid in to fill my time and it actually became rather enjoyable to rediscover who I used to be, what I used to like to do before children. I was lucky I had 3 in a row so the emptying of the house was a little more gradual, but I did adjust and thrive. My two daughters live 9 hours away and we only see them about 2 or 3 times a year. So I do miss them terribly but we talk several times a week on FaceTime. I think your DH saying that about a full time cancer patient would be a little hurtful....

Dx 7/22/2015, ILC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/10/2015 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 8/25/2015 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)

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