Circus (And A Giveaway!)

Perhaps you’ve heard the term Thanksgivukkah?  Or Christmukkah?  How about Thanksgivukkahbirthmas?  Yeah, this time of year, we have Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Dylan’s birthday, and Christmas.

When I was pregnant with Dylan, my actual due date was December 24th.  When he came early on December 6th, I thought, Phew, I dodged the Christmas baby bullet!  I was an idiot.  When you have a family that celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas, any birthday between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a holiday baby.

We hosted a successful Thanksgiving dinner at our house (cooked with a lot of love and just as much butter), and we’ve lit the menorah seven lovely nights so far.  We also bought our first real Christmas tree, and it smells amazing!   So far so good for this most busy stressful anxious wonderful time of the year, right?

Next up is Dylan’s 7th birthday party bonanza at the ice skating rink this weekend and a blizzard themed bingo night at Dylan’s school next week for which I am the event co-chair.  There are way too many items on my to do list for these events, but it will all get done, right?  After the birthday and bingo bashes, we’ll plow ahead to Christmas and the New Year, but smack in the middle of it all, there’s the itty-bitty dilemma of the basal cell carnimona on my face.  Carcinoma is another word for cancer.  On my face.

Remember the bandage?


Well, the biopsy came back malignant.  It’s basal cell carcinoma, and according to my dermatologist, it’s “infiltrated” (i.e. deep).  It’s not melanoma.  In other words, it’s not going to kill me.  But it’s still cancer.  Deep.  On my face.

Cancer on my face for Christmas. (You shouldn’t have.)

Cancer looks for me, I swear.  It seeks me out, which is why I go to a team of doctors regularly and why I have thyroid ultrasounds that reveal concerning nodules and colonoscopies that reveal precancerous polyps and annual skin checks that uncover “infiltrated” basal cell carnimoma.  I’m sensitive, yes, but I’m also the girl who once got pregnant and ended up with cancer in her uterus instead.

This too shall pass, but in the meantime, it feels like a kidney stone.

December is a wonderful time of the year, especially when I see the joy on my boys’ faces when the Christmas tree is lit up and when they light the Hanukkah menorah candles all by themselves.  But December is also busy and dark and expensive and endless.

The holiday cards need to go out and teacher gifts need to be purchased and the birthday cake (for the ice rink party) needs to be picked up and the cookie cake (for the school party) needs to be ordered and the cake plates and napkins and forks need to be bought and the inflatable hockey stick party favors must be inflated and the blizzard bingo decorations need to be delivered and the winter music needs to be downloaded and the menorahs eventually need to be put away and the Christmas presents need to be bought and wrapped and hid and the house needs to be cleaned up and out because Terminix finally gave us a date in January to finally tent the house to finally get rid of the termites scheming to swarm again in the spring.

And Harry.  My Bo Berry is still gone and I still listen for him when my keys jingle at the front door and I still think of him when I stumble upon a leftover hamburger in the refrigerator and I still get sympathy cards (and bills) from the doctors who treated him and his remains are ready to be picked up and I have no idea what to do with them or where to put them or how or if to tell the kids about them because how do you explain remains to children?

And the cancer on my face.  I have basal cell carcinoma and it’s deep and I need to have Mohs surgery and a plastic surgeon needs to close the wound and there will be a scar and the thing is that I’m still having a hard time with Everything.

I feel buckets and buckets of gratitude under all of It.  Underneath Everything.  I promise, I do.  Like when Dylan winks at me (thanks to Kevin McCallister from Home Alone) and when Riley gets so mad but laughs hysterically when I accuse him of having a monkey in his belly (he does!).  There’s a truth, too.  Cancer doesn’t look for me.  I know this.  I’m not that special.  And, of course, the lesson.  Go to the doctor, Mamas!  Take care of yourselves!  But right now life feels like a freakin’ circus.

Speaking of which…awkward segue in 3-2-1…the circus is coming to town.  Seriously.  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Built To Amaze! show rolls into Miami in January, and I’m giving one lucky winner four tickets to the show on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3pm at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL.

Color Hi-res Logo

Ringling Ringmaster

See, I told you it would be an awkward segue.  Nonetheless, I’m excited about this giveaway because free stuff is fun, I’ve never taken my kids to the circus, and I think it will be hilarious to take the kiddos to the big top when there’s circus tent covering my entire house.

All you have to do to enter to win the tickets is leave a comment here on the blog telling me why you like the circus and/or if you’re afraid of clowns like I am (damn Poltergeist!).  You can also comment on the circus that is currently my life, but please clarify if you also want to enter to win the circus tickets.

Do not enter if you cannot arrange your own transportation and/or lodging.  Winner will receive circus tickets ONLY.   

The deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, December 13th.  After that, I will pick a winner at random. 

Good luck!  Ha!  Get it?  Unlucky Friday the 13th?  Ha! 

(Seriously.  Good luck.) 


Filed under anxiety, boys, cancer, Christmas, circus, colonoscopy, gratitude, Hanukkah, holidays, Thanksgiving, thyroid

17 responses to “Circus (And A Giveaway!)

  1. OneCurvyBlogger

    I always love reading your blog. I get so much from reading about you and your boys and your husband and poor Harry. 😦 I too just lost a beloved pet and I know how hard it is. It’s losing a family member; hard and difficult and sad, but relieving because they are no longer in pain. So sorry about the cancer. Happy holidays!


  2. So sorry about the cancer on your face. ;(. I had melanoma on my leg and as treatment my Dr removed a big chunk of my calf, in the summer. Other than a big scar (fading), liberal daily sunscreen use and some serious sun restrictions all is well. Thanks for promoting awareness and enjoy your super busy holiday season.


    • Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m glad to hear all is well since the treatment. The thing about this blog is that if it’s happening to me, it’s probably happening to other people, too. It’s the biggest reason I share. We’re all in this together, right? Enjoy your holiday season, too!


  3. Hi! I am Jewel and I thought I would enter! I have been reading your blog for several months now. I’ve meant to come out of hiding before but haven’t. I have laughed and felt fuzzy warm over many of your Riley/Dylan stories and related to a lot of your worries. And I cried like a big baby over Harry. I understand…I have been there.

    I don’t know how I found you several months ago but somehow I did and partly because I really really enjoyed your writing and partly because you live in Miami and somehow I thought that was pretty cool (we have real bloggers in Miami?!?!) and partly because you are a Jewish mama who celebrates both holidays, and probably a bunch of other things, I ended up bookmarking you, adding you to my feed, and sticking around. As a Jewish mama in a mixed marriage living in Miami I can relate to all of these things!

    At any rate I would love to go to the circus! I can do the lodging and transportation on my own as well I live out by Zoo Miami so they won’t be too much 🙂

    I have always loved going to the circus in January down here. I grew up on Miami Beach and went to Beach High and at that time the circus was at the Miami Beach Convention Center so after school (or maybe during…but I won’t fess up to that) my friends and I would hang out over at the circus where the animals were kept and would dream of joining the circus. Thank goodness I didn’t.

    At any rate I would love to take my kids now so I figured I would enter. Didn’t mean to write a blog post for you though!


    • Hi Jewel! Welcome to the Runaway Mama! Yes, there are some bloggers in So Fla! Thanks for all of your kind words. I’m glad to hear we have so much common ground…except for the joining the circus part. 🙂 Thank you for reading! (p.s. I love Zoo Miami!)


  4. Cindy Matus

    It’s funny, I feel like my life is a circus act…and everyone else around you has it easy…that’s why I love reading your blogs, cause it shows the world that you are not afraid to let people into your life and know the real you and your circus…I hate it when people pretend their life is perfect on the outside, cause we all know it’s not! No one’s is!


    • Nothing is what it seems, right?!?! Thanks for your kind words about the blog. I try my hardest to be as honest as possible because we’re all in this together, right? Did you want to enter in the giveaway?


  5. Robyn Gottlieb's

    I love reading your blog. I find myself laughing and crying with you. I am so sorry you are going through a tough patch. I hope that things get better for you soon and that you face heals quickly. I am entering the contest because I love the circus. My son Noah loves all kinds of animals especially elephants! He has loved them since he was old enough to talk. His first word was actually “duck.” I think going to the circus reminds us all what being a kid is about and allows us to see life through the eyes of our kids while enjoying all of the crazy stunts and tricks those acrobats can do.


  6. Oh sweetie. Yes, this too shall pass. But allow yourself to wallow, which I’m sure you are. Smell that tree. We just got our first live one too. xoxox


  7. Brought tears to my eyes….especially the Bo Barry part. If there is anything I can do……I am here


  8. I loved going to the circus when I was a child, and I’d like to give the same good memories to my granchildren (who live in Miami) by winning your contest. The segueway – a little rough, but kinda sorta made sense after a bit, was a perfect analogy for life. And life Bella, is what you have and what you fill us with when we read your blog. Hard Hugs & BB2U.


  9. Tracy Towle Humphrey

    I love your blog and all your adventures! Since my little one is still a toddler it is fun to read your stories and prepare for what is ahead! 🙂 I would LOVE to win the tickets to the circus and bring my son to the circus for his very first time! I remember as a kid watching the elephants walk over the Venetian Bridge for the circus in Miami Beach since they were too heavy to be transported in a truck! True story!!


  10. Eden

    Oh Jen! I know about the circus of life… but didn’t know about the cancer on your face. I am soooo sorry it found you! You are such an amazingly talented writer, thanks for telling us about this at the meeting (which is just another ring in our circuses!). Dec-Jan is a complete circus for us too….of course Thanksgivukkah and then… Maddon’s 1st is Saturday, Ellie’s 5th is Xmas Eve (yes, she thinks the Santa that comes around Plantation comes just for her birthday every year), New Years, Gav’s 7th on Jan 14th and our anniversary on Jan 15th. HAVE YOU EVER?! That being said, we would love to take our circus to the circus…especially because Gav only wanted to be a clown for Halloween since he loves to do nothing more than make his friends laugh (and “Dylan always think’s I am the funniest”, says the clown that is Gavin). Good luck with your circus and even more with your face and Moh’s.
    🙂 Eden


    • You’ve got me beat on the holiday time special occasion madness, er, circus! Thanks for your support, and good luck with the giveaway! (Gavin told me the other day that he and Dylan are the two class clowns. True dat!)


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