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Focused on the fight
Mommy Musings 7-10-24

It’s been less than a handful of times that I’ve penned this piece.

As I type this I chuckle to myself, as typically speaking when a columnist is penning their final piece, another doesn’t follow.

Yet here we are – again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024 was my last “in office” day as I go off to heal and get well once and for all.

For those wondering, there have indeed been a few other times that I penned a final “in office” piece over the past two-plus decades. The first two came before the birth of my two children, as I entertained the idea of retiring my keyboard for the dedicated Mom life.

As I’ve shared before, I missed people and as much as I loved being a mommy, I craved adult interaction and thus returned to office life.

In late 2011 I stepped away from the Editorial desk to return to the “management” world as the Circulation manager. Still driven to share anecdotes and thoughts with our readers, I returned to penning an occasional column when time allowed in the Circulation world.

I love column writing and while some might think this must be because I possess narcissistic tendencies; that’s not it.

It’s quite honestly because of each of you and the community at large that penning my simple little “Musings” is so rewarding. Being stopped in the Post Office, grocery store or restroom at a restaurant; you name it, I’ve been stopped by someone sharing their appreciation for a specific piece they enjoyed.

May of 2020 would be the most recent time that I bid our pages adieu as I went off to face all that comes with a cancer diagnosis, encouraged by my medical team (and family) to take the time to focus on my health. And I did.

There’s just one problem with that 2020 plan.

As a single mother of two, the idea of leaving work for disability pay was frightening. I knew it was not something I would be able to maintain long-term, as living off 60 to 70 percent of my current income in 2020 economy, plus the expense brought on by cancer – yikes.

That being said, I gave it the good ol’ college try, taking a total of six months off.

Not one to sit still well, on my good days I found myself picking up my laptop and, you guessed it, penning a column. Even penning a 209 Magazine piece for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The thing about doing what you love is, as the saying goes, it doesn’t feel like work.

From then to now, what I’ve come to learn is while it may not feel like work; it is.

So this time around, there will be no penning a column on my downtime, offering to do a piece or two for the magazine or anything even close. It’s time to truly shut down and set my focus on being well once and for all.

As some of you may already know, battling an illness is its own full-time job. The last few weeks have included a lot of juggling of trips to UCSF for tests, meetings with my medical team and an outpatient procedure. All while maintaining my workload until we have a plan.

With the plan now in place it’s time to officially check out.

From the financial side, nothing has truly changed from 2020 to now personally speaking. Gratefully I have two gainfully employed young adults who have no problem paying for their own gas or meals out with friends. Every now and again they even treat mom; winning.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t note a few fundraisers hosted by this beautiful community which will indeed help this single momma breathe a little better in the months to come. Four years into this battle it’s hard to express how much these gestures are helping our family, not to mention my sleep at night.

So until next time, my loyal readers, you are each a definite highlight to this thing the rest of the world calls “work.” While I will miss popping around town and covering my beat(s), I will most definitely miss Musing with each of you.

Cheers to wellness and beating cancer. God Bless.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.