Thursday, April 26, 2012


My dad has always been unique. Always different in a good way. It's no wonder his cancer is just as unique as he is!

He has been diagnosed with a malignant Neuroendocrine tumor. It's very rare in that only .5 percent of malignancies are this kind. That's 1-3 people per 100,000. Insane.

So he is scheduled for surgery. Pre-op is next week and surgery the following. The tumor is possibly attached to the Vena Cava which if that is the case they will not remove it. It's too risky. He will have chemo and radiation in hopes to shrink it. They also believe its attached to the small intestines which will be no problem removing as they will just remove part of his intestines.

I'm worried. A lot. Especially since its attached to a major vein in the heart. It's so scary. I love my dad so much and the fact he's going through this tears me up. The fact he can die with this surgery (as anyone can in any surgery but this is pretty risky) makes me sick to my stomach. I'm scared but I'm praying. I know God has a plan for all of us and I just more time with him and I'm praying God allows that.

PLEASE keep praying for him!

Please also keep my grandma, his mom, in your prayers. She's 94 with fluid in her lungs and having problems breathing. She's been in the hospital a few days and was suppose to transfer to an assisted living home to gain strength. Well tonight, right at the end of dinner, I received a text from my cousin telling me she's not having visitors right now because she's had a setback. More problems breathing. I guess it's not looking good.

I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders right now. Between my dad and grandma I'm worried and scared. It's hard to focus on other things but I have to. It's been REALLY hard on me but I'll get through. It's a part of life.

But on a bright Sweet little Allison has taken to her glasses just fine! Hardly any issue of her taking them off at all. And can you believe my precious Emily is actually reading! It blows me away when she can read something. It's SO amazing watching her! They are growing so fast! Hard to believe Emily will start kindergarten and Allison preschool this year!! Oh how time flies!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


It has been a whirlwind lately.  So much going on in my life.  So many things occupying my thoughts.  It's been hard to sleep.  It's been following me around everywhere.  I just need to remember this isn't something I have any control over and I need to just pray.

Of course I am talking about my dad.  The new tumor they found, the one that is 5 inches wide, 4 inches deep, way bigger than his kidney...turned out to be cancerous.  I foolishly believed it wouldn't.  I mean, how can it not have been cancerous if he already found out he does have cancer?  But I woke up Thursday feeling so hopeful that when I received the call - it would be to say "it's benign and he just needs surgery to remove it".  But an hour after the appointment time and still no call...I felt anxiety set in.  Then the call came an hour and a half after the appointment time to tell me it's malignant; tests are being run; he will meet with the surgeon next Thursday.

Oh this waiting will kill me more than anything.  So I am just asking for prayers.  Prayers that it is something they can remove.  Prayers that he won't get sick from chemo or radiation.  Prayers he can have the new kind of chemo that doesn't make you sick or make you lose your hair.  Prayers that it isn't pancreatic cancer.  BIG HUGE PRAYERS that it isn't pancreatic cancer.  If you pray for anything; pray for that.  I am nervous.  I am scared.  I am sad.  

I know as we grow up, we lose our grandparents.  We lose our parents.  We lose our siblings (or perhaps we go before they do).  But although we all know this...when you are REALLY facing it...REALLY being reminded that it's scary.  It's emotional (oh man is it emotional).  It's scary.  Scary scary scary.

So I just ask for prayers if you are the praying type.  Maybe good thoughts if you don't believe in prayers.  Perhaps send out positive vibes and energy is you believe in that.  For my dad.  None for it all for my dad.  

And if anything?  Pray for an end to cancer.  As most of you know, I participate in the Relay for Life each year and this year it has taken the most personal turn for me.  So I am working my ass off even harder so no one else has to hear "you have cancer" and feel these emotions I am feeling.  Or feel the emotions my dad is pretending he isn't feeling.  We need an end to this.  We need it soon.  For my children.  For their children.  For everyone's children.

I am not soliciting donations by way of this post...just soliciting prayers.  BUT if you DO want to donate...please let me know and I can send you a link.  I won't post it because it's not about that.  It's about my dad and the serious need for prayer right now.  I am praying this meeting with the surgeon on Thursday goes okay.  So far each appointment it hasn't.  I am hoping there is some good ( won't be 'good' but perhaps decent) news.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My four eyes...

I read this blog post and it immediately had me in tears.  This lady knew everything I was feeling.  She had felt it too.  I am not alone in how I feel and I am happy for that.  Sad for that but happy for that.

Allison needs glasses.  It SHOULDN'T be a big deal but it kinda is.  I have so many emotions about it.  I'm glad it will help her.  I am sad she has to be helped.  I worry about kids being mean to her.  I worry about her not liking how she looks.  I hope it isn't a battle to keep those glasses on.  Allison is VERY strong-willed and VERY difficult to get her to listen sometimes.  I pray and pray these little glasses will stay on her face.  But...lately she's been tugging at her bad eye and saying "my eye" and things like that - so it gives me hope that the glasses may just stay put.

I worry how it will look when she takes them off because I know it will magnify her eye that turns in.  She has Accommodative Estropia.  Her right eye turns in.  Not 100% of the time but enough to be a problem.  Glasses will help correct the problem   But once she is in glasses and the glasses come off for bed or bath or swimming or whatever...her eyes will be a lot worse.  Ugh.  That scares me.  I'm scared to see it (fear of the unknown) and worry about other people seeing it.  I shouldn't, but I do.

At any rate...I came upon this blog and read this post and it hit me so hard - I cried.  It said EVERY.SINGLE.THING I am feeling.  The comments from others also stated everything I am feeling too.

I think tonight, after watching her tug at her eye and say "my eye" in a whiny "this doesn't feel good" voice...I have resigned myself to the fact she needs it.  She doesn't need the 2nd opinion we were going to get.  She just needs the glasses.  Point blank.  As much as I don't want her to have them...she needs them and THAT is what is most important.  Her health.  Her well being.  I am her mommy and that is my take care of her.  She won't be any different...just will have glasses.  That's all.

So this is the blog post that touched my heart today...enjoy:

Last week, we found out that our sweet girl needs glasses.
She is quite farsighted, in fact.
She was having trouble reading her T.S. Elliot Poems at bedtime, so I decided to have her eyes checked.
Oh. You know I’m kidding. She can read Preludes just fine. It’s her daddy’s car magazines that she’s having trouble wading through. I don’t blame her, actually.
In any case, we started to notice her eye turning in,
which happens to be exactly what happened to my mom at 3 years old
and my sister at 2 years old,
so we took her to a wonderful eye doctor and low and behold my baby needs glasses.
This news rocked me.
The rational, sensible, adult part of me accepted it with a smile,
while every other part of me was screaming “No! I don’t want them!”
They’re just glasses. Many people (including many people I love) have them.
But, to me, they’re a (n albeit small) challenge for her. They will, as my best friend said, make life only 1% more difficult for her, but that’s 1% more than I’m comfortable with.
And so, I’m looking inward, mustering up all of my strength, and trying to cope with this situation with a sound mind
and clear eyes.
All four of them.
There’s my one eye,
my scared eye,
that worries for her. Will this make life hard for her? Will she be sad that she can’t just jump in the pool without worrying about being able to see in the water? Will her eyes get worse? Will she feel bad about being the only kid in preschool with glasses on her face? Will she resent her glasses? Will they make her cry? Worse, will other kids make her cry?
And then, there’s my shallow eye.
My eye that sees my daughter, my beautiful, precious little girl, with the most perfect angel face, and the most soulful “Atlantic Ocean eyes” and thick, long black lashes, that will now be covered in a pair of little wire frames. Will the lenses distort her eyes? When people look at her, will they see only glasses? Will she only be known as the girl with the glasses? Will she be “cute, despite” them? Why do I care? Why can’t I get past this?
And then there’s my ashamed eye.
I’m the one who celebrates differences. I am the one who stands up for equality and tolerance. I am the one who preaches about acceptance and beauty that comes from the inside out. And yet, I am the one who is worried about the way my daughter will feel and look and think. I’m the one, who when I am being really, deeply candid, cares what other people will think. I am ashamed to say this, but it is the truth.
And then there’s my grateful eye. The eye that sees, so vividly, how lucky we are. We have a problem that has a solution (as my dear colleague reminded me yesterday). So what. They’re glasses. They will help her to see. We have a great doctor, and wonderful friends, and the resources to buy her whatever glasses she chooses. She has a tiny problem. Her problem has a cure. For that, I feel so very blessed.
Four eyes, all in conflict inside of me, sitting together like a lead weight in my gut as I stare at my little girl, and want only the easiest, most perfect, happy life for her. When I ask my sister, who has been wearing glasses for over 20 years, if she ever felt bad about herself because of her glasses she laughs, and reminds me of how cute she was.
She was known as the girl with the big, red Mickey Mouse glasses,
but also as the girl who woke up whistling because she was so happy,
and who always was surrounded by friends
and boyfriends
and was showered with more love than she knew what to do with.
And so, I’m going to try my very best to quiet my worries,
to assuage my anxieties,
and to keep on showering my baby with all of the love that I can muster.
I am going to look into her eyes,
now magnified by her tiny lenses,
and tell her how beautiful she is,
how smart she is,
how everyone who meets her loves her,
and how she makes my heart sing.
How proud of her I am.
How I cherish every part of her,
including all four of her cute, little eyes.
And, I am going to continue to give her as many bites of my Key Lime Pie gelato as she likes.
Yes, from here on out it’s eyes bright, heart light and glass(es) half full.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


It's been so long since I blogged.  I feel like I never have much to say.  Seems like life is the same thing every day.  Kids are growing so fast, Erik is working, I am busy with things I am doing...same ol' same ol'.

This time of year always finds me extremely busy doing something I am so passionate about...Relay for Life.  I started doing this because I lost my grandmother to Leukemia, a very close person and mentor to breast cancer, my uncle was fighting, a sweet 2 year old was fighting, and my closest friend was a survivor!  Last year the experience was something I don't think I could even put into words.  I was told it would be life changing but I didn't really KNOW how life changing it would be until I participated.

I was able to walk with survivors, was able to be honored as a caregiver to my grandmother, was able to meet those fighting and hear stories of those who lost their battle.  I was the second-highest fundraiser last year and I vowed to do the same this year.

So far I am!  :)

But sadly...this year I am adding two people to the reason I Relay.  I am adding a sweet two year old boy, Jared McDaniel.  He is only a couple weeks older than Allison and is fighting Leukemia.  It's so unfair ANY child should have to fight this battle and it breaks my heart to know there are many like him.

I am also adding my dad to my reason.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks ago.  Monday of last week he had a scan done because he was losing weight and having some other symptoms.  Come to find out, they found a very large mass (5 inches wide, 4 inches deep) in between his kidney and liver.  I am so very scared.  They biopsied it on Thursday and we will get results this coming Thursday.  The waiting is the worst part.  My mind goes crazy with worry and I feel stressed.  I guess the good part about the stress and the worry is that my house has never been so clean!

I am praying praying praying this mass is non-cancerous but since he already has cancer...I am not too optimistic.  He isn't either.  The doctors are not either.  :(  So I am praying.  Praying praying praying.

At any rate, our team is in 2nd place right now with the most funds raised and I am hoping we come in first again this year!  We raised over $11,000 last year - the most any team has ever raised!  YAY! 

I was asked to create a website for our team so I can always check on what is happening with us (we have a bazillion events coming up) by clicking Here.  I just created it today so there is A LOT to be added so beware!

At any rate...that is where I am at.  I am fighting to find a cure for cancer and doing something I am passionate about is awesome!  I encourage all of you reading to join this fight with me!  If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you can do so here:


ANY donation - no matter how big or small is so very appreciated!