Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the spaces in between

dear floss,
this is my i-broke-up-with-you-but-i-want-to-get-back-together plea. i know that i pretty much dropped you cold last july, and have used you only when i felt like it or when i had to (i.e., i would look like a total idiot with food in my teeth - although i think that you are clear i would never use you at work in front of others). i am sure that you have felt like i have moved on and left you behind. in the last year you have represented effort, and i haven't had much motivation for effort if it wasn't effort i absolutely needed to expend (michele j - i know that you spent a million years going to school to take care of people's teeth, and so you probably think that i did need to expend the effort - i hope that you can still love me after reading this. my teeth and my gums and i still love you dearly). you represented a delay in going to bed, even if only for a minute or two. truth be told, in the last year, a minute or two of not being able to lay down seemed like an eternity. you just weren't worth it, even though i knew that i would eventally pay the price when my hygienist made me sorry you weren't worth my time. which she did. as i expected. but i love her nonetheless. i deserved it. i do hope that you will take me back. i promise to never let you go again (if i can help it). you are again worth the delay in going to bed. i will take good care of you and will treat you better than anyone else does. i will tell my friends about you. i will take you with me when i go on trips. i know that you love me too, so let's work this out. talk to the elliptical, i am totally back in a routine with her (she also got dumped last july) so i can be trusted to stick to my word. i plan to see you tomorrow night. don't stand me up. unlike you, i am not good at rejection. you know you missed me too. much love.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


that is how this last weekend was.

the sweet was...
- time with family for multiple days in a row
- sleeping in and even one quick nap on thanksgiving
- cupcakes

- games
- laughter
- great food
- decorating for christmas (not necessarily out of being in the holiday mood quite yet, but not sure when else we would have time)

the bitter was...
- wanting to be able to wrap a good friend entirely up in bubble wrap to protect her from pain and not being able to do that but supporting her the best i can
- the loss of a family member on thanksgiving to cancer. my mom had told me when i got to her house on thanksgiving that her cousin diane was in the hospital and not doing well. the call came to notify us just as we were sitting down to thanksgiving dinner. on wednesday we will meet to say goodbye to diane. this will be the third funeral since my diagnosis, funerals are never easy, there are harder for me now than ever before. i wish there were no more goodbyes to be had this year. i can't remember the last year that has gone by that we have not lost a friend or a family member. i hope that 2012 breaks that cycle and there are no goodbyes. i hope. i hope. i hope.

i saw my counselor last week and we had an interesting talk about my nightmares. the nightmares continue although i don't have them every night. she had an interesting perspective as she always does. she told me that she thinks it is likely the trauma of the last year finally finding its way out, and i hope, out for good. since i went right from diagnosis to surgery, to high dose treatments, to low dose treatments, and so many doctors appointments in between, there hasn't been much time for me to just process as i was always focused on the next hurdle i needed to cross (for the bulk of the year, that focus was always on getting throug the next shot). i have known for a long time that i should have taken more time off at the beginning. but going back to work was a decision that i could make at a time when there weren't many decisions i had control over. it was my routine and what i knew. it provided me the ability to think of something other than how scared and sick i was. it gave me comfort that some parts of my life could continue as usual, even if i felt like hell doing it. i got to spend my days around people that i liked and who made me laugh. but it was too fast to go back, and i knew even before i ended treatment, that if i had it to do all over again (which i hope i never do), i would have taken more time to really deal with the diagnosis and how my life would forever change - in both good ways and bad. so i am going to take some time soon to catch my breath and give myself the time i didn't take last year.

i look forward to december coming and feeling up to more this year than last. last year was brutal and i remember spending most of christmas day on the couch with nausea. so this year can only be better than the last.

i have a fun list of things that we will do, including...
 - the reindeer festival at cougar mountain zoo
- making a gingerbread house and getting to eat candy at the same time (jill, i won't make mine from scratch like you do - which is a tradition that i think rocks by the way, so i hope that we can still be friends after you read this)
- going to snowflake lane and hearing the drummers rock it out
- watching malena open her advent calendar surprises every day from the calendar my mom made her from scratch
- going to the garden d' lights at the bellevue botanical garden like we do every year between christmas and new years
- drinking hot chocolate
- making these flourless peanut butter cookies
- hopefully making it to zoolights for the first time
- eating my mom's chocolate covered pretzels and my friend chris's homemade peppermint bark (yum)
- painting wooden snowflakes with malena for homemade christmas presents (everyone who is getting one and is reading this will need to act surprised)
- doing some on-line shopping from artists like kate endle, malena will be getting this book and i will getting this calendar (thanks mom, i will totally act surprised when i open it, you are such a good shopper;)) or tag team tompkins from which i have purchased two pieces (this one and this one) that are framed and in my craft room and now nerd has this one

happy monday all, november comes to a close this week and december begins. the final transition of the year. bring it on. i am ready for a fresh start.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

many thanks

malena's mr. turkey

this thanksgiving i am thankful for (these are some highlights, the list would be endless in its entirety)...
- being here to celebrate this holiday
- my family (inclusive of melhoff, ray, sheehan, hanson peeps)
- my friends (how did i get so lucky?)
- a warm home
- a car to drive
- my job (even on the days when i don't get to use the restroom more than once)
- the food we will eat tomorrow (and friday, and saturday, and sunday)
- denise being able to be in texas to see ty graduate from basic training (love you ty!)
- laughter (can't get enough)
- smiles
- good hugs
- cinammon bears
- thinking that i sound good when i sing in the car (i do sound good, right?)
- music
- hats
- the gf pecan pie i am going to eat tomorrow (assuming it is good, haven't had this brand before, i may revoke this one from the list if it isn't good, stay tuned)
- fresh air
- my general doctor
- my oncologist
- my nurses
- all of the staff at scaa
- cupcakes
- my counselor (her ability to always make me feel like i am doing better than i think i am)
- fun times to come in december
- having a new round of holidays to look on back next year that won't remind of me of treatments
- cheese
- my craft room and all of my crafty goodness inside of it
- time to make cards
- games (current favs in house is "five little monkeys" and "let's go fishin'")
- an upcoming new year
- umbrellas (especially in last two days of sideways rain with major wind)
- endless memories
- happy hours
- pictures
- my favorite blanket
- art (and being lucky enough to have some of my favorite pieces in my house to see every day)
- traditions
- malena loving to bake, cook, and do craft projects with me (hence mr. turkey)
- flowers
- not having to do a treatment shot tonight
- love
- finding the perfect card or gift
- my elliptical (even when it kicks my you-know-what)
- kindness
- seeing fun mail  when i open my mailbox
- candy
- "modern family"
- naps
- mornings when i get to sleep in
- wine
- fun jewelry
- having time to just walk around my favorite stores and take it all in
- my nightmares starting to decrease
- this blog
- dora the explorer (because she makes malena happy)
- good health for family and friends
- waking up tomorrow to have another day
- hope

Saturday, November 19, 2011


"i am your mother, the first mile of your road. me and all my obvious and hidden limitations. that means in addition to possibly wrecking you, i have the chance to give to you what was given to me: a decent childhood, more good memories than bad, some values, a sense of a tribe, a run at happiness. you can't imagine how seriously i take that - even as i fail you. mothering you is the first thing of consequence that i have ever done." (kelly corrigan, "lift")

my baby girl turns three today - at 1:52pm exactly. i do not know where the time has gone, but it has gone in the blink of an eye - and i have loved every single second of it. i remember people telling me when i was pregnant that life moves at lightning speed after you have children, they definitely knew what they were talking about.

i found the book "lift" when i wrote this blog in july. i had come across the video that i shared in that blog, and that led me to find kelly's books. the excerpts below are from the same book. i will forever hold on to my copy of this book. i will however be rotating it around because i think that every mom should read it (chris, you are the first on my list my dear, i will bring it on monday).

she is now officially a big girl. not my baby anymore, she would tell you that herself. i loved having her as my baby, but i love this stage - we can have conversations, we can do projects together, we can bake, we can really laugh together, she can give me great hugs and kisses, she can run to me when i pick her up at daycare (like she does every single day, and i know that someday she will no longer run towards me so i cherish it while it lasts), she can show her independence and her own personality, the list goes on and on.

"i think about your futures a lot. i often want to whisper to you, when we're tangled up together or i'm pinning your poetry to the bulletin board or repositioning the pillow under your head so you don't get a crick. remember this. this is what love feels like. don't take less. but what i end up saying is "this was my dream. you were my dream." i've said it too many times though; now when i look at you all soft and gushy and say "guess what?" you say "this was your dream. i was your dream."

malena's party last year was fun of course, but it was a hard day for me to get through without showing how i really felt. i was an emotional mess. her birthday snuck up quick last year after treatment started and i had a hard time not thinking about whether i would see more of her birthdays - would i be there for the sweet sixteen, the 21 run, etc. - not to mention all of other birthdays which are no less important.

in some ways, it has been tough over the last year with her being so young while i was going through treatment and dealing with the harsh realities that come along with the diagnosis. when those dark thoughts have crept in, i have thought about whether or not she would remember me if i wasn't around to see her grow up because she would be too young to remember me. i try to put those thoughts out of my mind quickly when they come, because nothing good comes from dwelling in that place for too long. but i would lying if i said that there haven't been times over the last year that i was at some of my lowest points wondering if she would just have pictures and stories told to her to know my part of her story.

"you'll remember middle school and high school, but you'll have changed by then. you changing will make me change. that means you won't ever know me as i am right now - the mother i am tonight and tomorrow, the mother i've been for the last eight years, every bath and book and birthday party, gone. it won't hit you that you're missing this chapter of our story until you see me push your child on a swing or untangle his jump rope or wave a bee away from his head and think, is this what she was like with me?"

i think that since malena was born, and even before that day, i have felt like being a mom was the most important thing i have ever done. i have always felt a very strong desire to chronicle her life, to take tons of pictures and to memorialize all of the good in her life. i have had a tough time in the last year with pictures, because i would often get upset thinking about not being around to be in pictures in the future. i am slowing moving past that hold that pictures had on me. on my current "to do" list is to get caught up with printing our pictures and to start to scrapbook pictures for malena to document her life.

when i think about getting back into documenting our lives through pictures, i think of this video that kelly did with paper coterie (love!).

"i don't know when you'll read this. maybe when you're a teenager? no, probably later, when you're on the verge of parenthood and it occurs to you for the first time that someone has been loving you for that long. maybe (let's hope not) you'll read it because something's happened to one of us - my cancer came back or dad was reading a text going across the bay bridge and cars collided - and you want to piece together what it was life before. no matter when and why this comes to your hands, i want to put down on paper how things started with us."

in "lift", kelly also talks about the being a parent when your child becomes unexpectedly seriously ill.

"it's one thing to know your child is in pain, it's another to attend it."

when malena was just over one year old, she had two surgeries at children's for what was thankfully a non-life threatening condition. that was brutal. you never think about having to take your child to children's. but, if you have to, you are so thankful you live close enough to get there quickly. i am forever thankful for children's. when we went through that time with malena, it was emotionally overwhelming. seeing her get poked and prodded (her screaming at the same time and looking at us with this sense of wonder as to why we were not coming to her rescue, i will never forget that look), holding her hand and looking at her as they put her under general anesthetia (no parent should have to see that, trust me), her screaming and reaching for us when the doctors took her from us to take her into the surgery room, etc. i remember the morning of her first surgery bawling to my mom because i was so scared, and then shutting that off so malena didn't see me scared because she needed to see me strong. i realized then it was natural instinct - that is just what parents do, without even thinking about it - you protect your kids from knowing how scared you are because you need to protect them from being scared as much as you can.

"she said no matter how stark the diagnosis, parents never fall over or scream like they do on tv. they keep breathing and listening and asking very good questions, and minute-by-minute they expand on the spot to take it in."

i have thought a lot over the last year about my parents as they watched over me. i know that they were (and probably still are) very scared. but they also let me know that they would be with me every single step of the way and that we would get through this together. they drove me, and were in the waiting room, on the day i had surgery. they stayed with us in the days that followed. my mom helped me to shower when i needed help cleaning around my stitches and i couldn't lift my arms to wash my own hair. they drove me to treatments. they sat with me in the room while the iv dripped into my arm. they watched as i winced when the nurses missed my veins, when they had to manipulate the iv in my arm. they saw me as i started to get sick on the drive home from treatments. they helped sneak me in the house so that malena didn't see me when i was too sick to see her. when i was crying because i was shaking uncontrollably from the chills. they fed me. they ran errands. they did laundry. they mowed the lawn. they listened. they cried. they listened as i cried. they waited on test results. they told me my new haircut looked good. they let me lay down and rest when i was too nauseas to move. they celebrated good news. they comforted when there was bad news. the list is endless, and luckily for me, i have a similar list for my other set of parents that i got the day i married barrett.

i remember the afternoon i came home from surgery. it was a beautiful july day and i was in bed upstairs and was in and out of it due all of the drugs. the windows were open and i could hear malena playing outside and laughing. i was so sad to not be out there with her, and to have had to hide upstairs because i knew that the blood and bandages would scare her. my mom came in to check on me. i can still remember clearly that she started to cry and told me that she so wished she could trade me places. i of course wouldn't trade her places even if i could, i wouldn't want anyone i loved going through what i was going through. but, i got it, i felt the exact same way when malena had her surgeries. you never want to see your kids in pain and would trade them places in a second if you could.

"but the smell of the hospital, the sting of those overhead lights in the night, the snippets of conversation i'd overheard stayed with me and marked the beginning of how i came to know what a bold and dangerous thing parenthood is. risk was not an event we'd survived but the place where we now lived."

"mothers go to the hospital with their children. we hold their hands and look at them with our most reassuring expressions and whisper encouraging things like the medicine will help you sleep. we slip into the hall for a minute to talk openly with doctors. we make decisions and sign forms and go back into the room wearing that same put-on look of composure. we check for signs of pain, we reposition pillows and lower the bed and curse the paper-thin shades as we darken the room the best we can. we sit, we stand, we stare and stretch, we shudder and sit back down and hold our heads and decide it's better standing. we lean over the bedside and run the backs of our fingers across our child's cheek and close our eyes in a moment of passion and physical memory of every other time we touched that cheek, that singular orchid of a face."

so with this miletone of 3 years, another fun years begins with malena. i can hardly wait to see what adventures this year brings us. i know that it will bring me another year of finding my way as a mom and that can only be good for both of us.

"my default answer to everything is no. as soon as i hear the inflection of inquiry in your voice, the word no forms in my mind, sometimes accompanied by a reason, often not. can i open the mail? no. can i wear your necklace? no. when is dinner? no. what you probably wouldn't believe is how much i want to say yes. yes, you can take two dozen books from the library. yes, you can eat the whole roll of sweetarts. yes, you can camp out on the deck. but the books will get lost, and sweetarts will eventually make your tongue bleed, and if you sleep on the deck, the neighborhood raccoons will nibble on you. i often wish that i could come back to life as your uncle, so i could give you more. but when you're the mom, your whole life is holding the rope against these whily secret agents who never, ever stop trying to get you to drop your end."

i know for sure there will be a ton of craft projects. that is a given. we share a craft room after all.

"you girls can pin your fixation with file folders, hole-punchers, and three-ring binders on me. watching you fashion a wallet out of index cards and double-sided tape, or embellish the edges of place cards with deckle-edge scissors, or swoon over a metallic, fine-tip paint pen? talk about genetic validation."

so bring on year three, i am ready to see all that it brings. the good and the bad. hopefully more of the former than the later.

"turbelence is the only way to get altitude, to get lift. without turbelence, the sky is just a big blue hole. without turbulence, you sink."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

all in all

the good/great outweighted the unpleasant today.

unpleasant category included the following:
- not one spare minute at work to catch my breath - i was lucky to make it to the restroom. once. a catheter might be a wise investment for me. or a big bag of depends. or both. while i was in there, i saw a coworker flossing her teeth. three thoughts - 1) wow, must be nice to have time to pee and floss, 2) wow, you don't mind having coworkers see you floss your teeth, 3) wow, i will never have a coworker see me floss my teeth. ever. even if it means i have food in my teeth during a meeting. never. ever.
- i got jammed on a super crammed bus where i had someone on all sides about 2 inches from me. if malena wouldn't have been locked in daycare overnight, i would have waited for the next one. i hope that she appreciates sleeping in her own bed tonight. it was a close call.
- i had to spend quality time with poop and dora at day's end. yesterday when i picked up malena's bag at daycare, there were two bags tied together. two bomb bags. when i see two bags, indicating one bag was not enough, i know that i will be spending some quality time with dora underwear and clorox. there was only one bag today, a break in the middle of the week. the end of potty training can't come soon enough. i still hold to the hope that if she can take pictures, craft, bake, and work my iphone better than i can, she can figure this out. maybe there is an app she can download to help her out. i should have her look into that tomorrow.

good category included the following:
- i had a chocolate gluten free muffin waiting on my desk at work for me today when i walked in this morning - love the days my muffin fairy visits me. especially on chocolate days.
- my umbrella did not fly inside out while i was walking between buildings during sideways rain and wind today.
- i got to bake and decorate cupcakes with malena tonight which was a blast, time spent with her baking is so great (oh, and we ate some chocolate after all of our hard work - yum).
- malena and i watched a video i took on my phone the other day that made us laugh everytime we watched it, which was ten times total i think by the time she was ready to move on to something else. love laughing with her.

great category included the following:
- my friend got cancer free test results on his mole biopsies. it simply doesn't get any better than that. the unpleasant category could have been 1,000 items long. wouldn't have mattered. that news meant the day was officially a great day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

their day

"As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them."

today is the day we say thank you to those that have served and continue to serve.

so on this day we say...
- we love you tyler, we are so very proud of you, and we think about you all of the time while you are at basic training. i have always thought about what you are up to, but now i think of you more consistently and wonder if you are running, doing push-ups, getting to sleep, if the food is ok, etc. i often wonder where this journey will take you. you are now the one person that i send mail to each and every week, i plan for that to the case for a long time to come. it has been so good to hear your voice the couple of times that i have got to talk with you. we can't wait to see you next month. we love you, hang in there, you can do this.
- we miss you jamie (and thank you for serving in the navy), samantha, and kyrstin. we wish that we could keep you all with us here all of the time. we are happy that you are back in a home and town that you know. we hope that the adjustment is going well (minus the awful nachos you had) for all of you. we love you, hang in there, you can do this.
- we wonder where you are kevin, but not knowing where you are is the point, right? we are very proud of you and miss seeing your smiling face and red hair at family events. i often think about where you are in the world, but am always comforted by knowing that i may not know where you are, but i do know you are ok and that we share the same sky. we love you, hang in there, you can do this.
- to all of our other family members and friends who have served, those physically here with us and those with us in spirit, we thank you for the time that you dedicated to serving in the military. we remember you on this day and we say thank you.

as i write this and watch malena all cuddled up in her blankets watching her cartoons, i am thankful for all of those that have served to allow us to have a morning as easy as this one.

i hope that you all in some way say thank you as well to all of those that have served for you.

photo by denise hamilton, very proud mom of tyler who will graduate from basic training in the air force in two weeks (yay tyler!!!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

friday, are you here yet?

seriously. today was a long day. i mean looooooooooooong day. work was rough, one problem after another. that always makes for a brutal run at the office.

then i had the pleasure of riding a super crowded bus. when i got to my car, i had the following note on my windshield:

apparently i didn't park far enough within the lines. i will keep this note in my car so that i can use it when this happens to me again. i guess i should be thankful she didn't key my car (right kelli?;)).

about ten minutes later, i rolled into daycare where this note was waiting for me:

yep, nothing better than dora underwear and poop to end the day. totally appreciated the note. the wrapped up bag of poop and underwear attached to malena's bag wasn't a good enough clue. the fact she was wearing different pants also did not make it clear. couldn't have put that one together on my own without the note.

so, friday, i am not sure what is taking you so long, but you need to hurry the hell up. if i get one more note i will officially be pushed over the edge.

seriously, get a move on. don't make me write you a note, it won't be nice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


"we are reminded how short life really is, and how we are just passing through.
so, all the people you haven't told you love lately, tell them,
and live your days like you mean it"
(hall sutton)

today was a strange day for me. when i was getting off of the bus, i realized that my oncologist's office had not called me to schedule my scans in january. i made a mental note to myself to call later in the day and check in with them to see what the status was on getting the appointments booked.

when i got into the office about 5 minutes later, i had an email telling me that a woman i know of through work (not personally) had passed away from lung cancer. she was diagnosed in august. she is gone now. i forwarded on the email to other colleagues that needed to know the news. without feeling it coming, i then had tears streaming down my face. in part because i was so sad that was her story. in part because her story scared me and sent me spinning for a little bit. but i am used to being scared now, so it took a little bit of time but i pulled it together and continued on with my day.

one of my best friends had some moles biopsied this morning. i trust that he is my counterbalance for the day, and he will get clean results. trying to figure out how to make time move faster so that he gets clean results sooner than later. couldn't quite figure it out today, have to add it to my to-do list tomorrow.

out of the blue, around 10am i got a call from my oncologist's office telling me my scans are booked for january 10th and results will be on january 11th. the morning had come full circle without any help from me. now when i think about the new year, i will immediately be thinking of my scans that wait for me on the other side of it.

you can probably guess what my new year's wish will be. i came up with it at about 10:05am this morning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

take what you need

how awesome would it be if these signs were everywhere and you could take what you need when you needed it? love that idea. on kelly rae robert's blog she has this sign available to download - for free!!!! i will be doing so immediately. kelly rae roberts is one of my most favorite artists in the world and i have surrounded myself with many of her pieces in our home. i have one of her pieces in my living room, one in a hallway, one at my craft desk, and one at my desk at work. i really connect with them and i like getting to see them each and every day. i have big love for her and her paintings. i would highly recommend checking out her shop if you need the perfect gift for a woman in your life. spread the kindness. take what you need. i bet you will get what you need in return, maybe when you least expect it. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


"there are people who take the heart out of you,
and there are people who put it back"
(elizabeth david)

on this november night, i am feeling very grateful for the joys of my friendships.

- the amazing friends (both the guys and the gals) i am surrounded by who continue to bring me so much joy, in ways too limitless to count, in ways they may not even realize
- the sound of their laughter. the knee slaping, smile beaming, laughs all around type of laughter. i have always loved that sound, but after the last year when there more days without laughter than with, i love the sound of my laughter combined with theirs more than ever
- memories shared with friends that will always be times to remember and hold close. knowing that those memories can never be taken away from either of us
- the fact that it doesn't matter how often we see each other (both for those that live close and those that live far), we can pick up as if there had not been a day in between that we hadn't talked
- knowing that when i need help, i have friends who will come running regardless of what i need and when i need it, them knowing that i would do the same for them

more than ever, i try hard to really focus and remember moments in time. i now take the time to just watch my friends as they laugh, talk, cry, whatever the emotion is at the time i am with them. whether it is time spent over something good or something that needs fixing, it is a moment with them in my life that i will never get back. i want to remember them all and hold tight to the memories.

as i continue to move through life after treatment, there also continue to be ups and downs. the truth is that it has been a tougher transition for me than i had anticipated (not that i really had a clue how it would be and am still learning as i go) for different reasons. but i can do this. i have friends to help me through. to make me laugh. to make me cry (in good ways). to listen. to hug me. to sit with me. to encourage me. to support me in a million different ways.

while i think about what may or may not (let's hope that includes recurrence) happen in the future, i know that i will have my friends beside me.

that is one of the things that cancer has not taken from me, and couldn't even if it tried.

i am thank(full) every second of every day for my friends. they continue to help me put my heart back. they are my heart.

i am - and always have been and always will be for all of the days i have to come - so very, very grateful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

dear 16 year old me

i posted this video this summer on facebook. a melanoma blog that i follow had the link to it this weekend and i watched it again. it made me cry just like it did the first time that i watched it. i think that no matter how many times i will watch it, it will have an impact on me. on saturday i think that it had a more distinct impact because i was just about to get my my hair cut when i saw the link. though i like my new short hair, it is still emotionally tough for me to get my hair cut because i feel all out of sorts to not have my long, curly hair anymore. so my emotions were already running a little bit higher than usual (they are still running pretty high as i continue to feel like i am detoxing off of the interferon). hearing some of the parts of this about not wearing sunscreen and tanning beds made my stomach turn because i thought about choices that i made previously in my life. as i have heard before, when you know better, you do better. i certainly know better. i hope that if you know better now too from knowing me, that you will do better as well. i hope you do it for yourself. but, you are also doing it for me, because i like having you around and i don't want you to go through what i have had to. i sometimes like to think about my fight as taking one for the team, so don't prove me wrong.

dear 16 year old me, on july 16th, 2010 you will be diagnosed with melanoma. it will rock you to your core. but, you will survive it with the help of family and friends and a whole lot of determination. you will have a great life and a gorgeous little girl to fight for, she will hands down be one of your most favorite people on the planet. i can't wait until you meet her. she will be worth it all.