Batman v. The Joker and Fears of Cancer Recurrence

My sweet 4 year old great-nephew, Brady, and I play a lot of Super Hero pretend games.  His favorites are Batman, Robin and the crew.  Every time we play, he always gets to be Batman and I’m always a “bad guy”  usually The Joker or The Riddler.  On one of his Batman houses there is a jail.  Brady said to me, “You know sometimes the bad guys are in jail and sometimes they just get out.”batmanjoker2


That is how fear of recurrence is.  Some days Batman has all the bad guys locked up, and other days, the bad guys are out in full force.  I know you understand!   For me, the bad guys were out the last few weeks.  Fear of your own recurrence comes barreling down on you when you least expect it which can easily be triggered by every day life and your compassion for others.

My very active 80-year-old mom who was my caretaker during breast cancer found a lump in her breast after a self exam, had an emergency mammogram and ultrasound and is scheduled for a biopsy this week of both breasts as they found one in each.   “Here we go again” are the only words that play in my head.  I know the odds are that there is a good chance that they are benign.  That’s nice, and I know there is that chance, but I must be prepared with a medical plan for her.   I know the phone calls I would make, the cancer center I would take her to, and what would need done if she gets that dreaded phone call.  I’m no longer naïve and unfortunately have lost my ability to think “it will all be fine.”

Then I went to the funeral home to support an elderly woman who goes to my church.  Every Sunday this wonderful woman tells me she continues to pray for me.     This week her daughter died of  cancer.   I didn’t know her daughter had breast cancer until I got to the funeral home.  Her mom kept telling me she had bone cancer.  At the funeral home my elderly friend told me that she never wanted to make me feel bad and did not want to tell me her daughter had Breast Cancer that had metastasized to the bone.  Her daughter was Stage 4 out of the gate and fought for 5.5 years until she could not fight anymore.  Her daughter outlived the medical experts’ expectations.   I had never met her daughter, but I felt such a kinship with the woman.  As I stood by her casket I had to literally hold back sobs and my heart spoke to hers, “I know a little bit of what you have gone through.  I am so sorry.  I celebrate your new life with you!”

And the topper was  a beloved breast cancer sister that I met through my Blog, was diagnosed with lung metastases.  Her world came crashing down even more than it did with her initial diagnosis as she has to deal with a Stage 4 diagnosis.  It all starts over again and her life that was just settling down, is in total upheaval.  I had been telling her that her bad cough was just from a virus she had contracted.  I was wrong.

I’m working on getting those bad guys locked up in jail again.  I prefer they stay in jail, but sometimes they get out and there is not much you can do about it.












  1. Wow, what a horrible week for you! I don’t even know what to say. **hugs** That’s a lot of scary news, as it was meant for you… I know how that goes and nothing I can say will make it better. But I do send the best, positive thoughts for both you and your mother… I can’t even imagine being in your situation, but will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Denise you have had a rough few weeks. Sometimes I feel like caner is all around me and will never leave me alone. At 16 I lost my mother to BC and 8 months later, my dad died of brain cancer. So unfortunately those weeks can lead into years. I pray for my children that they never have to experience it privately.

    Now take comfort with all the admirers you have out there and remember we are each entitled to our bad days. Just don’t let them linger. I pray that all goes well with your mother.


  3. Breast cancer — what is the cause and where is the cure: So sorry your mom has to go through this; and, I know she feels blessed to have you by her side as she begins this journey. My heartfelt prayers go out for you and your mother.

  4. Oh Denise….what can one say? I am a one year survivor, but with a grade 3 and the highest on odd score I wish I had been offered a mastectomy…but I wasn’t. A friend had a double, was declared fine and 18 months later succumbed to cancer…everywhere…this disease is evil and unknowable…..we just have to try and push the anxiety away and live each day….

  5. Oh Denise, I pray your mother gets good news from her biopsy. I’m so very sorry to hear this scary news. Your mother is very blessed to have you as a daughter to walk with her through this. Love, Katie

    Sent from my iPad


  6. Just read this after I read your note to me. I so feel for you. Wish I could hug you, hold your hand, tell you everything will be okay. But I trust our Lord to do that for me – to comfort you, support you, and give you strength to make it through with flying colors. One day at a time. You will get those bad guys back in jail. My love and prayers to you oxox

    Sent from my iPad


  7. Just know that I am praying for both you and your Mom. It will be a tough ride I’m sure but both of you are very strong women. Love you both.

  8. Denise: This was a very powerful post. I hope the news is good for your mother. I was especially touched by the story of church woman and funeral for her daughter who struggled with Stage IV for years. I think that is one of the things that angers me most about cancer — the fact that after so many years of research, there are still no effective treatments for our sickest patients. Although my mother successfully battled an early diagnosis of breast cancer years ago, I continue to search for answers to questions about cancer that continue to bother me years later. — Sherman Morrison

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s