Who am I?

Hi you guys! I’m Beth Caldwell, a mom and former civil rights lawyer who lives in Seattle. I have two kids: The Boy, who was born 3 months premature in 2007 and who has ADHD, and The Girl, who was born 4 days late in 2011. In 2014, I found the lump in my breast that turned out to be metastatic breast cancer, and I left my lawyer job so I could focus on convincing my kids that there are foods that aren’t pizza, blogging about any crazy idea that pops into my head, and hanging out in my oncologist’s office.

You can find my writing on Huffington Post and in I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone, a collection of essays by some seriously kick-ass bloggers. You can also find me on Facebook and on Twitter.

I don’t do sponsored posts, but I’m always looking for publication opportunities, and I love to speak at events! You can reach me at cultofperfectmotherhood@gmail.com.

31 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. I need HELP in a serious way… The nurses can not draw a sufficient amount of blood from my “Power Port”. They struggle with syringe and muscle power.Pulling as hard as they possibly can on the syringe. Not using a pump machine as prescribed. Why do they not use the pump??? HELP…….

  2. On a phonecall, years back, with mom, where I’d been babbling about who knows what, I stopped and said, “Oh Mom! I don’t want you to ever die.” It was an impetuous blurt and I was already in my 30’s and well-versed in the “everyone dies” truth. She took a breath and said, steady and low, “Oh Jo, I will never leave you.”
    I watched her take her last breath, at 67, and 12 years later, still remember the depth and truth in those words. She STILL teaches me that moms don’t leave their kids. Even death can’t force such a thing.
    Still, my heart is heavy for you and your family. I send you love and thanks for your great works and legacy. What a meaningful impact you have made. Go you…

  3. Beth, I’ve been following you for about a year now. I was also diagnosed with MBC in February of 2015. I just read your post about receiving treatment at Avera in Sioux Falls, SD. That is where I go for treatment, as I live in a small town just outside of Sioux Falls. I also see Dr. Leyland-Jones. If you ever come to Sioux Falls again, I would love to meet you!
    Both my 1st cousin and I live here, and both have MBC. I think we’d both like to be more active in the community, as there isn’t a lot of awareness in the area. But, mainly, I would just love to meet you! I enjoy your blog and follow you on Twitter as well.
    If you wouldn’t mind, feel free to email me or find me on Facebook under Danielle Kruse Karber.

  4. I have followed you after discovering you on Coopdizzle’s FB page. You are so smart and logical and thorough in your research and advocacy. Doing that while getting treatments, raising kids, (and Thank You for your electoral vote for Hillary!) is amazing.

    I mentioned this to Jenny (just FB friends, but she was so awesome and jumped into my heart immediately after reading her posts and watching her videos!) and thought I’d share this with you since you are working so hard for some many with cancer.

    This is not a cure for cancer. It’s a pro bono offer from professional photographers to take photos of cancer patients and their families. “Magic Hour Foundation” is the name of the organization that matches clients with photographers. The website is https://magichour.org/ and they are on FB @magichourfoundation. It really is an awesome group and you can see a few of the photos from some sessions posted.

    Jenny said they have a friend who is a photographer who took lots of pics of her family and didn’t need this, but was going to pass it on. Since you were her friend, I thought I’d share it with you, too. Feel free to pass it on.

    Hope you don’t mind – I will pray for you and your family.

  5. Amazon book Dancing with breast cancer and facebook page under the same name. Just about to give birth.
    I got the fright of my life when I was told after four surgeries and tamoxifen that the MRI found a lesion on T3… Three years later they think it’s a hermangioma still no commitment on the reports.. I’ve chosen just to live on and enjoy my life SND stay away from doctors as much as possible! I re posted your post about metastatic breast cancer. I’m just usually fucked off that people run marathons all year long for cancer and the same drugs that don’t really work get dished out..that the misinformation about cancer in general. Nice to read your work.

  6. Hi

    I am a seattle mom with kids your age and breast cancer in my liver. I am a year and three months post diagnosis and was Ned for about 5 months. Writing this from Swedish after my latest liver biopsy. I would like to meet you.

    You are longer on the journey and I think I could learn a lot from you.

    Lisa. 206-227-1330

      1. This meal turned out absolutely wo!drefuln! I was a little unsure of the combination of chicken sausage with the apples and cider, but it was melt in your mouth awesome. We love potatoes over here so that's what sold me on it, but this is going into our regular line up!! Thank you for sharing it!!

  7. Hi Beth, I’m a good friend of Kim Forde’s, she’s a blogger featured in those books with you, and she passed on your info to me as a newly anointed member of the fing breast cancer club. I was told I was stage 4 but a bone biopsy gave same hope (although it may be false negative) of a negative biopsy, so I’m being treated as stage 3C at Sloan Kettering in NYC at the moment. 2 chemo rounds down. I’m new to the game but already outraged at the lack of funding for MBC and the inadequate diagnostic standards of care in general and especially for women with dense breasts. I am just starting my mission of advocacy and blogging to create a platform and some awareness and can use any direction, help, advice or humor you can give me. Please reach out when you get a chance, congrats on all you’ve done so far in this realm and I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Look forward to connecting. rebecca

    1. Welcome to the club nobody wants to join! Can’t wait to see what you write! Fingers crossed you stay at stage 3c and that treatment isn’t too brutal on you!

  8. Beth, I so appreciated your story. I recently retired as a Registered Nurse. My last job was pre-admitting patients for their surgeries. A big percentage of them were women with breast cancer. I rarely got to hear about life after surgery. I followed one young women who was my son’s classmate and I had known quite well. The reality was that it was affecting younger women more and more. In talking to one of the breast surgeons she agreed it had a lot to do with our diets today. My husband now has cancer, Multiple Myeloma, and his immune System will always be compromised taking a chemo pill for the rest of his life. Thank God he is in Remission after going thru a Stem Cell Transplant.
    You are an inspiration to me and I pray for total healing in a miraculous way. My son and family live in Seattle and I would love to run into you one day! I understand more and more why my son and daughter in law are so into organic,
    healthy food. Continue to educate the world with your blog and your knowledge. My best to you.

  9. I somehow found your site when I fell down an Internet rabbit hole. I began by googling the set from BBC’s “As Time Goes By” and, about 35 minutes later, I wound up reading how you spoke to your son about his ADHD.

    That’s the Internet for you. Anyway, my middle brother was diagnosed with ADHD in the 80s. The advantage he had is that my mom was a special education teacher and realized the symptoms added up to something. Back then, few people knew about avoiding sugar, processed food, and food dyes. My mom eliminated all of it from the house. She and my dad also brought him to specialists that taught him how to deal with his mind that processed differently. He was put on Ritalin. And never, ever were we allowed to say ‘stupid’ about him or any other person.

    My brother doesn’t have to read instructions – he’s mechanically inclined, wired our surround sound, fixed broken items, and taught himself to play the guitar. He struggled in school but, his personality helped quite a bit as did my parents going to bat for him when necessary.

    My mom used to worry about him because school didn’t come easily to him. Our other brother and I had the opposite experience in school. I know he grew frustrated seeing our good grades which required little work.

    Then one day it hit me. He’d be fine. And I was right. Of the three of us, he made the best decisions about a career. Things beyond our control happened as well but, he’s definitely the most resilient of we three.

    So, this has been a very long note. I read your posts about your health. I can’t begin to imagine the feelings you experience on a minute by minute basis. I sincerely hope the cancer leaves you the hell alone. Permanently. Beyond that, I hope your different-thinking kid sees that a brain which doesn’t seem to cooperate can very much succeed. By the way, of the three of us kids (we range in age from 38 – 42), my mom long ago stopped worrying about my ADHD brother. He learns differently and was taught that learning differently allows one to see problems from other perspectives. I can’t wait to read about your different-learner’s accomplishments.

    Wishing you better than the best. Like infinity × infinity.

  10. Ohhh Beth, your ‘Who Am I’ section puts tears in my eyes because a new reader probably will never know the Beth that so many of us love. I know that the majority of your life today is consumed by cancer but I want people to know the pre-cancer Beth. You even had this ‘Cult’ blog prior to your diagnosis.
    I want people to know that thirteen months ago what you knew about cancer could fit on the head of a pin. Then, you were a young mother who was (is) happily married to the love of your life. You were (are) a brilliant, organized, lovely, bedimpled, talented and caring friend–the first person to help someone in need. You are an ‘old’ soul–someone who can be a close friend to scores of people, whether a middle-aged Church goer from the deep south to fellow parents met while living at the NICU to your college bandmates!
    You were a pie maker, a loving mother, a person who, along with your sweet husband can organize trips all over this planet (and who passionately loves to travel). You were a HEALTHY, active and valiant crusader, raising money for The March of Dimes (and yard work for a friend’s handicapped child) or just campaigning for a Presidential Candidate . You were mature enough to move across the country as a 17 year-old to attend George Washington University in DC.
    I could go on and on. I am heartbroken that your life has taken a horrific fork, that you have to live with such a diagnosis and that you feel horrible and that your life is now doctor and hospital visits, surgeries, radiation, chemo, research, setbacks and fear. But cancer doesn’t change who you are. You have the same traits (well, maybe not health, unfortunately). I know if I asked, you’d rip out your IV and board a plane to Alabama to help a friend who loves you with all her heart.

    1. There is a sign up button for emailed updates if you click on the pull down menu on the upper left corner of the site. Thanks for reading!

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