Where Have I Been? A Quick Update…
Yep. I’ve been absent for about a year.
What’s the excuse?
Wow! It’s the word no one expects to hear, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2021.
Stage 2. ER/PR +, HER2-. If you know, you know.
It was a year of surgery, chemo, and radiation. Still, the weird thing is that this experience made me even more passionate about helping Modern Parents create the families of their dreams. Now that cancer is behind me, I’ve got so much planned that I think you’ll like this year.
For this first blog post from taking time off to deal with my health, I thought I would give you some quick updates. I’ll give you updates on what it’s like to beat cancer, how I continued to grow my Southern California group practice (where my team of therapists and I treat kids ages 3-23 with their mental health challenges), and how my modern family continues to evolve and make me proud.
Cancer is definitely a word I never thought I would hear, especially at my age, but it happened. And everything seemed to go so fast once I had an official diagnosis.
I found a lump on a Thursday and saw my OBGYN the following Monday, where she confirmed that the lump was a “something.” She got me into a mammogram and ultrasound the same day (they further confirmed that it was a “something” worth exploring further) and a biopsy on Friday. I had my official diagnosis the following week.
It was a year of lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, but it’s over now. Last week, I even had a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound without any noticeable “somethings.”
What got me through this scary year? Definitely my support system of family and friends and a belief that I could handle whatever happened – good or bad. These positive thoughts came directly from my spiritual faith and my previous study of stoic philosophy. The Stoics say that the obstacle is the way, so I used that phrase as my inspiration to get better.
Now that I’m on the other side of cancer, though, I’m so ready to work on my Modern Parenting work again.
Growing The Practice
So my psychologist peers are researching the heck out of the consequences of the pandemic right now, and much of their research is being published. Just the other day, a study came out confirming what most of us already know – that the pandemic created a mental health crisis that is negatively affecting our young people.
Part of my overall goal for helping Modern Parents is having an offline, in-person place where my local families can bring their kids to therapy. So Modern Parenting Solutions has an ONLINE side (where you can read articles like this one or purchase online parenting classes) and an OFFLINE one where my team of therapists provides in-person therapy and telehealth.
Because of the pandemic, our phones at MPS began ringing off the hook, so I did my best to keep up with the demand for mental health services by searching for just the right therapists to join my practice. I’m still hiring, so check out our employment page if you are a licensed mental health therapist in the San Bernardino County area and are interested in working with us. We need more talented individuals on our team to meet the demand for services.
Concentrating on growing the practice also allowed me to have something else to think about other than my health. It was nice to have a project to work on while I recovered from treatment.
So what’s going on with my Modern Family?
As many of you know, I parent within a non-traditional family. I have a son and daughter who are 24 and 21 now. I can’t believe that they’re so grown up these days. The son will graduate from law school next year, and the daughter will graduate from undergrad and then hopes to go on to law school.
I’m so proud of them! They really stepped up for me during my cancer journey too. My son happened to be home when I was initially diagnosed, and he blew me away with his grown-up ability to provide the support I needed while I waited for test results and a treatment plan.
My daughter also came home from college (all of her classes were online anyway), attended doctor’s appointments with me, and took care of me after my surgery.
When did my kids get to be so grown-up? So responsible? So dependable?
It made my heart so proud to see my kids step up like that. This experience really brought us closer together, and I’m grateful for their support, even though they were so busy with their education.
But my Modern Family also contains two other important members – my ex-husband and his husband. After a 14-year marriage, my ex-husband and I divorced after he came out. Several years later, he married his husband, and we’ve been raising the kids in a supportive, although non-traditional, family structure. Both of the Dads also really stepped up for me this past year.
Because my son was home when I originally went to the doctor, he found out about my diagnosis in person, but my daughter was 7 hours away from me at her college. I didn’t want to tell her about it over the phone because I knew she would need someone there to comfort her. So the dads flew up to her college to be there while I told her the news over the phone. They ended up flying back with my daughter, and she stayed with me over the next month while I went to more doctor’s appointments and recovered from a lumpectomy,
This is definitely an example of how Modern Families – no matter what they look like – can come together to provide love and support during a crisis.
Goals For 2022
I’ve been writing about Modern Parenting topics for the past six years, so taking a year-long break from it created a fire within me to begin again in full force.
I’ve got some great stuff planned for the rest of 2022.
First of all, I’ve got to address the pandemic’s mental health and academic fallout. We have an office full of tweens and teens at MPS who struggle to find the motivation for school, friends, and interests. We’ve just GOT to get our kids motivated to pursue their natural talents and interests again. Instead, I’ve seen too many young people become comfortable with just staying in their rooms doing classes online, maintaining friendships online, and not developing their interests.
This must be addressed before this generation of young people gets too comfortable with what I call “opting out of life.”
I have podcast episodes planned that address the backsliding from the pandemic, specifically how to use the summer to do important things like building good habits, improving the parent-child relationship, and enjoying the summer offline. Then in the fall, I will address how to motivate the unmotived tween or teen so that your child starts the next school year right.
I also feel like I do my best work when I work one-on-one with parents, but this only helps a limited number of families. So what I want to try is taking parents as guests on the podcast. I’ll work one-on-one with you while I answer your questions about your parenting challenge, and in this way, more parents can gain help.
If you have a parenting challenge that you would like to discuss with me on the podcast (and help lots of other parents in the process), reach out to me by emailing me at podcast@ModernParentingSolutons.org or by filling out an interest questionnaire at
As always, my content will focus on the five topics that I call Modern Parenting 101: confident parenting, effective and respectful discipline strategies, kids and technology, the parent-child relationship, and non-traditional parenting.
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