Cowden’s Syndrome – You’re NOT the boss of US!

“You’re not the boss of me!”


Sometimes little kids can be misguided. Sometimes, Mom, Dad, or teacher is in fact the BOSS of them. But that statement from the mouth of a child is the beginning of their move towards independent thought. And, if nurtured properly can lead to a productive, independent, determined adult.

That’s what we are getting at here.

You see I spend enough time around children, that their words and phrases sometimes stick with me. And this one is stuck with me this weekend. So I reflect how it applies to my 9 and a half year old daughter and my 39 and a half year old self.

you're not the boss of me mommy is

See, even though Meghan is very good at realizing I am often the BOSS of her, she will not be easily ruled. And while I love her independence, I love more the fact that she remains respectful towards her father and I – and dare I say, all the adults she deals with. She, as an only child has lots of bosses, but I encourage her to rise up against the tyrant that is Cowden’s Syndrome – and she does.

If Cowden’s Syndrome were her boss, she would sit idly by while the pain persisted; in the knees, the ankle, the shoulder, the wrist or whatever joint it currently is attempting a choke hold on.

hide in corner

But, since its not – she goes to dance class on Monday, Swim practice on Tuesday, Music and Movement on Thursday, and Swim Meets on the weekend. She often cries in pain in the hours following these events. But never once does she talk of stopping.


You see, Cowden’s Syndrome is not the boss of her.

Cowden’s Syndrome would have her hide in a corner, ashamed of an “orphan” disease that no one can really understand. But hiding is not for my girl. Instead she asks for a denim ribbon necklace. She learns about the Global Genes Project, she understands “Rare Disease Day,” and she actively participates in the “Wear that you Care” campaign. She makes thousands of denim ribbons, and informational fliers. She gives 2 speeches at her school. She even wrote a book about it. HA! Don’t tell her no one really knows about Cowden’s Syndrome – because she will take it as a challenge, and fix it.

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denim ribbons

A denim cause ribbon, crafted after the Global Genes Project's slogan, "Hope it's in our Genes!"
A denim cause ribbon, crafted after the Global Genes Project’s slogan, “Hope it’s in our Genes!” (To see Meghan’s speech)

Cowden’s Syndrome – with its biopsies and cancer risks would like to leave us terrified. Instead, we are empowered. Meghan got the anesthesia she needed and deserved, to have her last thyroid biopsy with dignity. The terror is gone. We will have anesthesia next time too. And, if the cancer hits – we are ready. We are empowered.

thyroid cancer awareness

Cowden’s Syndrome – You’re NOT the boss of us.

You certainly don’t rule me. 85% risk of breast cancer – yeah, so? Endometrial cancer? Nope – don’t need that either. Thyroid cancer – half gone already, and checked every 6 months. Melanoma – nope. And annual skin exams just to be sure. Colonoscopy – did that. Clean enough to wait until 2015. My spleen – well. That’s still in limbo. But you know what? Whatever. I have stared down worse.

Just came back from my girl’s first swim meet. Time to relish in the satisfaction that something normal happened here today. We will handle the pain, with the smile of knowing – she’s pretty fast.

basemenr closet

I know you’re staying Cowden’s Syndrome. I know we can’t ever get rid of you. But, seriously. Unpack in the basement closet and stay away from us.

Cowden’s Syndrome – You’re NOT the boss of US!

broken pieces into masterpieces

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