“Something has to give. There’s too much.”

My therapist has been telling me this for months. I wholeheartedly agree with her. The amount of time and energy that my therapy schedule requires and the attention and time my dance studio requires is too much. But what gives? Neither. Both are equally important in my eyes. 

I talked with my social worker about my concerns with finding a healthy recovery-work life balance. All of my different therapists and doctors were made aware of my concerns. Strategies and coping skills were put in place. Extras were delegated. And I was on the road to recovery again. 

And then we found out Allen has cancer. 

Our world is rocked once more. How do we deal with this? How do we manage? How do we cope? 

Now there are three major things that need juggled and three major things that all need very specific and very intense time and attention. Instantly my list of priorities has gone from:

1. My recovery

2. The dance studio/reintegration into working again

To now:

1. Allen and my family… Full and undivided attention

2. My recovery

3. The dance studio

There’s too much. Those aren’t three things that can be juggled while maintaining health and sanity. 

What gives?

The dance studio. 

As soon as the doctor told my mother and I that Allen has cancer I instantly shifted my priorities. There was no hesitation or question. 

After 5+ hours in surgery, his doctor came out to meet with me. He explained what they found — A softball sized tumor. It’s not what they were expecting. It’s not what the scans had shown. His undescended testicle had turned cancerous. We originally thought he had a hernia. 

Talk about a smack to the face. 

Because of the size of his tumor, his incision site and surgery became much more intense. They also found that they needed to do reconstructive surgery while they were in there. His other testicle was not cancerous but it was not in its proper place… stuck in his abdomen. They had to create a new canal so that it could descend safely. It too will become cancerous one day. We watch it. We wait. We leave it be until that day comes. 


We want to put off hormone replacements for as long as possible. Now that we know he is high risk, we can better monitor and handle it when it’s time. 

What’s next?

Tuesday. We follow up with Allen’s oncologist to see if the cancer has spread. We talk about a treatment plan. 


We’ve been told that he will need one or two rounds even if the cancer has not spread. 

Okay. We have already been through hell and back several times. We can go again. We can handle this. 

But something has to give. 

Allen is unable to work now. We don’t know when he will be able to return and it is driving him absolutely crazy. And I get it. I truly do. That helpless feeling. But right now it has to be this way. 

I’ve stepped away from the dance studio minus two Parent & Me classes. Even if I had the time or energy, I don’t know that I could focus enough to give it what it deserves. We have our 1st Annual Spring Showcase coming up in TEN days. 


There are two reasons this show is still happening and the studio is still running. 

1. The incredible faculty. They go above and beyond their job descriptions. They put their heart and soul into the studio and all of our kids. 

2. The dance families. Their patience, their understanding… Their willingness to come forward and ask how they can help. 

For that, I am incredibly grateful. 

Am I worried? Am I anxious about the big show? This is my first year in business and I’m hardly in the picture. 

I have not worried at all. We have good people… We have a good community. The big show will be fabulous. 

Does being gone hurt? Absolutely. I don’t want to downplay those emotions. I fully trust my staff, but I’m still feeling sad about not being “present” so to speak. 

My husband. He’s my world. He’s the most compassionate man I know. He’s the hardest working man I know. And right now he needs me. 

Mahal, Mrs. Cruz


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