Thursday, February 27, 2014

oh hello friday

oh friday, it is good to see you. i would love seeing you even more if i wasn't going in to the office, but i will greet you with a smile nonetheless.

i am looking forward to the weekend. shuffleboard playing (mike, you are so going down). my parental team being in town. crafting up baby shower invitations. making cupcakes. celebrating beth's birthday. sleeping in. play date with some of malena's classmates. the oscars (jen, can't wait to see you on the red carpet one of these days - xo). all good things.

ok, and maybe i will watch this lip sync and a little of this one too. just maybe;)

i also wanted to give an update on chaser, here is the latest:

"Keep on Tickin Captain Lykken!  


Chaser rocked another one! Everything went great. We are hanging with him now in recovery- sounds like we get our walking papers in T-Minus 30 mins.... His breathing is good, all vitals back to his norm! We met with the doctors just prior to coming in here. The scope of his stomach look great. The Nissen is holding well, and the doctor was pleased. The view into his lungs looked good as well!- A big improvement from 4 months ago- This is GREAT news! If he is aspirating, it does not appear to be hurting his lungs....we just need to get that little flap moving normally now! (the epiglatis) As the doctor was explaining this, I think I saw him actually crack a smile :)
We are back tomorrow morning at 7am for a Stomach emptying test. This is a 4hr test we measure how much of his food he digests every hour- Hopefully he does better on that test as well. Then Friday we are back at 7am to an EEG - and get a meeting of minds with the doctors - to get an explination of their conclusions, and hopefully some solutions.
Chase thanks you all for your thoughts and Prayers.

God is Good!
Shields up! I'm Goin in!
Chaser is going into the OR this morning down at Mayo. As part of the follow-up AERO study we did in Sept, this week they are doing more tests and evaluating his condition again. He is going under General anesthesia- at 9ish.... While under, the team is going to inject Botox into salivary glands- (to slow down secretions) a scope of his stomach (to check the Nissen), take some samples of his stomach to check for bacteria (possible solution to the throwing up and stomach pains?), clean his ears, replace his Mick-ey, check his lungs- Basically give him a surgical "tune-up" . He should be under less than 1 1/2. Its a simple procedure, so nothing to worry about!
This is our 2nd day down here. Yesterday, Chaser met with 7 different doctors. This place is awesome! It was an assembly line of the worlds best coming in that tiny office and evaluating him, asking us if we had any questions. We expressed our concerns, and they either answered them, or set up a test later this week to try and find the answer. We are definitely blessed to have this opportunity to this much brain power paying attention to our little dude!
Chaser did a swallow-study, scope as well yesterday. They stuck a camera down his nose while mom fed him. We watched as the secretions bounced around his epiglottis, and he struggled to keep them out of his lungs. The good news, is he is getting better from the last time we did this test, but he is not ready start taking food through his mouth.....Yet....
Chaser has been showing some potential signs of "pre-puberty"- which can related his TBI. He had an X-Ray taken of his hand to check growth patterns with that of other 5 year olds on file. (This comes from a study that was done in England in 1940 at an orphanage- crazy!)We will get these results, along with the other tests on Friday at our consultation. We are very optimistic we will get some answers- some of them may not be very pleasant to hear, but hopefully there won't be any more guessing.... Lets face it, we know our warrior has a mountain to climb here on his road to recovery, and the only way to get to the top is to keep movin up- Which he is definitely doing! Have a Great day, we will keep you posted. Thank you all for your thoughts and Prayers.

God is Good!"

beth is about to finish her second week of chemo/radiation and is hanging in there like a warrior, super proud of her. mary has been having follow ups with her surgeon (healing is going good - yay!) and her oncologist to determine next steps as one of the margins was not clear from the tests done to confirm that they got all of the melanoma. so it looks like she will also be having a pet scan in may to determine next steps. i am pretty sure that we are both going to have great pet scans that will indicate that we don't have much to worry about.
i have not yet heard the results from mike's tests and will keep you posted when i do. keep sending all of them your love, prayers, and good mojo -- and to the ruth family in these days as they keep patty close in their hearts.

beth also asked me to pass along the following, "I also want to send a big thanks to all your peeps. (I have been getting mail from people I don't know :) ) I have really enjoyed the happy mail and appreciate all the good thoughts, prayers, mojo, etc. There is one thing you realize through this is that this is not somehting you can or should do alone. So everyone's support is so touching and encouraging." so a big thank you from beth and from me as well for those sending her happy mail and for all of you sending her your love, prayers, and mojo.

have a good weekend peeps, may yours include some time to relax and catch your breath -- and maybe a little lip syncing too;) xoxo

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the great adventure

i came across this video a couple days ago and have watched it now a few times. and there have been tears. there are so many things within the 5 and a half minutes of this that i can identify with. i think that it is a great one for any parent to watch, but i think that anyone whose life includes kids will take something from it.

i would also ask that you send your love and prayers to my friend mike as he will have scan and bone marrow tests this week to see what the next steps are for him in his fight against the devil (aka cancer). thank you, every prayer helps to bring good results.

happy wednesday peeps, make the most of it. xo

Sunday, February 23, 2014


the weekend.

it was a good one.

barrett and i spent friday night at alderbrook celebrating our 7th anniversary. our favorite spot. some much needed down time. if i wasn't carrying this cold with me, it would have been perfect (yes cold, i am talking to you -- i am over you so you can move on anytime you are ready.) everytime i go there i feel like i leave a little bit lighter with a deep breath and ready to dive back into life.

as is our tradition, we took a skipping stone down to the water and made our wish. there are a lot of stones with our wishes on them in that water off the dock, and knowing that always brings me some comfort. you know i can't tell you what the wish was, but i am sure that you could probably make some educated guesses;)

we got to celebrate my dad's birthday and watch him make his own wishes for the upcoming year.

the weekend also included some major inspiration from my friend jenny. i met jenny at the your story retreat last year and have been so honored to call her a friend since. she wrote two posts about the grateful tree that her daughter emily has created. you must take the time to read these two posts, it will inspire you and remind you to remember all that you have to be grateful for. trust me. so what are you waiting for? start reading good life and the grateful tree. go emily, go.

and last, but certainly not least, please send your love to the ruth family tomorrow as they gather to honor patty, to beth as she starts her second week of treatment, and to a friend (you know who you are) that is waiting on some scan results tomorrow morning.

i hope on this monday, you take emily's advice, and remember all that you have to be grateful for. xo

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

one year

february 20th.

it has been one year since my stage iv diagnosis.

365 days.

this day has been looming large for me.

the anniversary of a day that i remember like it was yesterday, i can vividly remember every detail.

i feel like there are a million words that i could write to mark this day.

but, i will keep it pretty simple.

i am so, so thankful to be here. i honestly didn't know when i heard those words a year ago if i would be.

i am still just as scared as i was then.

but i will continue to take deep breaths and carry on.

it is also very important to note that february 20th is the day my dear friend ann was born and so on this day i celebrate her and all of the good things that she has brought to my life.

she is hands down the best part of february 20th.

i hope your february 20th is a good one. xo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

around here

++ around here i am fighting a killer cold that makes me want to curl up in a little ball and stay in bed all day. which is exactly what i did today.

++ around here we celebrated valentine's day with chocolate donuts for breakfast, a valentine's party in malena's classroom, a starbucks date in the afternoon, and lots of smiles and hugs.

++ around here we had a baby shower to welcome baby harper who is coming in march and will be our newest family member, can't wait to meet him.

++ around here we had tons of cousin play time, which included these two owning a restaurant and the rest of us being their customers who were very busy eating and paying on a regular basis.

++ around here we are rooting for beth as she starts her radiation/chemo treatments.

++ around here we are sending mary good vibes in wisconsin as she continues to recover from her surgery. mary also sent some thoughts that i wanted to share with all of you, "Thank you to all of Alli 's followers. I appreciate all the good mojo, positive vibes, prayers, and happy mail. I know I gain strength knowing I am not fighting alone. God bless you all."

++ around here we are keeping prayers and love going to the ruth family as they move through these first days without patty.

++ around here we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary by watching our wedding video. i am so thankful for that video. not just so that barrett and i can watch it back, but so that i know that malena will always have it to be able to watch. i also love it because i get to see some of our loved ones that are no longer physically with us but who we carry in our hearts, and it reminds me of how thankful i was and continue to be for those that were there to share that day with us. it is emotional to think of those vows of in sickness and in health and how we could never have imagined how fully we would have lived those words in these first seven years.

++ around here we loved watching the video of chase's warriors doing the polar plunge for special olympics -- so awesome!

Chasers Warriors polar Plunge Video! Here is a YouTube link to the teams jump. Thanks Brad Soderberg for sending this- and thank you everyone again for your support. -Especially those of you that came out to cheer us on!!!The team raised over $14k for Special Olympics. Only bad part of the entire jump is - it's done. we are taking recruits for next year!'s Warriors Polar Plunge Prior Lake '14

++ around here i have been loving this etsy site and trying to decide how to limit myself on not buying every card;)

++ around here i thought elise's list on ideas for the brand new mama was right on

++ around here i think that all three of us hansons could wear this t-shirt on any given day

++ around here this recipe for salted caramel molten chocolate cakes might have made me drool just a little bit (ok, a lot)

++ around here i am hoping that this family gets the help they need to buy a continuous glucose monitor for their 4 year old son who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. i have followed her blog for a quite a while, and my heart could relate when she said "it's uncomfortablet to ask for help. but, we need help. we need peace of mind." i think that all parents should get the peace of mind they need to take the best care of their kids as possible.

++ around here i am thinking that i might download ann-marie's desktop wallpaper to help me get through the wind, rain, wind, rain...

++ around here i am also a sucker for to-do lists and ann marie's printable would make me pretty excited about creating some lists;)

++ around here i think that every kid's room might be just that much better with this kelly rae roberts print in it

++ around here i am looking forward to heading to alderbook later this week to celebrate our 7th anniversary and catch our breath at our favorite place

++ around here i am working hard on lowering my stress level and focusing hard on taking the best care possible of myself. one of the ways that i am going to do that is to take liz's hand to heart series.

++ around here i am hoping that you all have a great wednesday.

Monday, February 17, 2014

for beth


tomorrow beth starts her chemo and radiation for the next five and a half weeks. so please send all of your love, prayers, and mojo to her as she starts this first round of treatment. the overall goal is to shrink the tumor as much as possible. i am pretty sure that the tumor is going to evaporate and make her surgery as good as it can possibly be. but just for extra insurance, send your love her way so that we ensure that we have all of the bases covered.

thanks peeps, both beth and i really appreciate it.

beth --- i know without a doubt that you can do this, and you are going to kick cancer's you-know-what. you have got this my friend, and you will come out on the other side stronger and braver than you even know. xo

Thursday, February 13, 2014

for patty

early this morning patty hung up her boxing gloves and finished her fight.

she was an amazing fighter.

she did anything and everything she could to get in the ring and tackle the brain tumor.

she never, never, never, never gave up.

she will be missed terribly.

she will be remembered always.

please keep the entire ruth family in your prayers and thoughts.

i hope that you all have a good weekend, hold your loved ones close.

in your hands and in your heart. xo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

prayers for patty

today i got the update that patty is giving her family the signs that she is getting ready to finish her fight with her brain tumor. back in december when patty was admitted to the hospital the doctors thought that time was short (and it is always too short when you are talking about someone fighting cancer), but patty continued to be a hell of a fighter through january and now into february. she picked up her boxing gloves again and was ready to go a few more rounds, and she has been swinging the entire time.

so please send as much love, prayers, and mojo as you can to patty and her entire family, and my dear friend kerry as they spend these hours together.

i love this picture of kerry, bentley, and patty -- such a special shot to capture a precious moment in the fight.

thanks for sending them your love, i know that they all feel it and appreciate it.

as chuck, patty's husband, wrote to me in an email earlier this week...never, never, never, never give up.

patty and the ruth clan never have.

a lesson for us all to remember. xo

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

recovery for mary and beth

i am very happy to report that surgeries for both mary and beth went well today! so all of your love, prayers, and mojo worked their magic in wisconsin and washington today.

as mary's post said when she was finished, "Yay! Mary 5, melafuckanoma 0!" love that! i also wanted to include a picture of mary so that you could see her awesome outfit today;)

beth is also doing good, using meds to help with the pain and nausea and watching some olympics.
hopefully both of these lovely ladies are sleeping right now as i type this post.
they deserve some good rest.
my dad had a great birthday too, so all in all, february 11th came through as i asked.
i love when days don't let me know.
happy wednesday all, we are half way there - and i have to say, i for one am pretty happy about it. xo

Monday, February 10, 2014

february 11th (for my dad + beth + mary)

february 11th.

a day that is always special because it is my dad's birthday, and you know i love my dad.

i looked back tonight at what i wrote about him on this day last year:

"i love my dad, i think that he is the best. he will turn 68 this year. he taught me to ride a bike. to fly a kite. he played with me at the park for endless hours when i was a kid feeding ducks and watching me go down the slide (over and over again). he has taught me a million and one things that i carry through my daily life. not the least of which is how to set a good example and be kind and generous to friends and family. he has been so proud of all of my accomplishments. the big and the small. he has been a cheerleader when things haven't gone my way. he is a great grandfather to all his grandkids. he has been there every step along the way with me. he was at my first surgery, he will be at my second. he drove me to treatments. he sat with me in the room while the interferon dripped into my arm through the iv. he took me anywhere i wanted to go when i just wanted to get the hell out of the house for a while when i felt like hell during treatments. throughout the last two years, he has done everything possible to help. mowed the lawn. ran errands (and they have been endless). dropped off and picked up my drycleaning. waited in line at the post office to mail packages for me (he will do that again this week). went to the grocery store (sometimes more than once in the same day). washed our cars. filled them up with gas. made numerous costco runs. got the oil changed in the car. took my car to have the tires rotated. made a million trips to my mailbox for me. paced our sidewalk outside waiting for the phone to ring with results. he has done it all, and he has done it all without ever thinking twice. that is my dad. he is the reason that february 11th is an important day in my life."

last year my dad spent his birthday at the uw hospital as it was the day that i had my lung surgery. i am so glad that i am here to celebrate with him this year, and that his day doesn't revolve around me being in the hospital.

my dad turns 69 this year. this year i could use many of the same words above to describe what he has done for me. he saw me through my second surgery. he ran countless errands for me when i was recovering and not feeling well enough to get off of the couch. he heard me wailing from my upstairs bedroom when barrett took the bandages off my scars after surgery. he sat with me when i talked to him and my mom about what it would mean if the diagnosis came back as stage iv and how afraid i was, a conversation that none of us wanted to ever have to have. he has paced our neighborhood every time him and my mom wait for me to call with scan results, i am surprised our sidewalks have any pavement left. he has cheered for me when we got good news. he has done whatever i have needed on the days when i feel like hell after scans. he made me his world famous nachos to celebrate my latest scan results, and told me that those results were the best birthday present that he could have got this year.

when we went out to lunch to celebrate my good scan results, my dad pulled a lucky fortune. if you all remember, last time i got good scan results we went to lunch (same place, i believe in repeating lucky patterns) and i pulled the fortune that said in three months i would have good luck -- clearly that fortune cookie came true for me in january. so my dad is now carrying the below fortune in his wallet, and he will be the one to bring the luck for the next round in may (briel -- this is why the necklace was so perfect - xo).

so on this february 11th, i wish a big happy birthday to my dad -- the best dad a girl could ever ask for.

also on this february 11th, i want to wish two other people a ton of love, mojo, and prayers and hope that you will do the same:

+++ tomorrow afternoon in wisconsin mary goes in for her surgery to remove the melanoma tumors from her leg. she already has her outfit picked out which includes a shirt i got her that says "i am going to kick cancer's ass" (which btw is a shirt that i think everyone fighting cancer should own) and so i know that she is ready to go.
+++ tomorrow morning in washington beth goes in for a prepatory surgery for her treatment and larger surgery. beth has also started her caringbridge site so for those of you that you want to follow beth's story in her own words you can find her page at this link. i talked to beth tonight and i know that she is going to rock this one tomorrow.

both beth and mary's surgeries are outpatient so i should have updates to share tomorrow night. please send them both lots of love, mojo, and prayers. i have told them since 2/11 was my surgery day last year and we got all of the melanoma in my surgery, i think it is going to be a day when their surgeries will go well too.

c'mon february 11th, i am counting on you.

don't let me down.

happy birthday dad. love you beth and mary (you've got this girls -- f*ck cancer). xoxo

Sunday, February 9, 2014

until the next round


my scans are going to be may 5th, results will be may 7th. i got the schedule on friday, no rest for the scan weary.

but between now and then, i have a lot i am planning on....

+++ celebrating the upcoming arrivals of some much loved and much anticipated baby boys entering our family and my tribe of girlfriends

+++ going to malena's valentine's day classroom party on friday. this year i got an idea from a blog and decided to do something a little different. i bought a paper mache mailbox (and some sparkle paint that malena used to paint it) and each day leading up to valentine's day i have been putting a little surprise in it (thank you target dollar bins for coming through with many of my fun surprises -- sheri, seriously, i couldn't love target more than i do) every morning. it is a fun way to start each day, i am going to miss that routine after this week.

+++ doing craft projects with malena, and cherishing the times when we both work at our desks in our craft room - i love to watch her imagination fly when she works with all of her papers and pens. i love to watch her play.

+++ continuing our friday starbucks girls date mornings, we sit at the same table each time (it is always magically open) and drink our tea and chocolate milk and eat a little food before we start our day at school and work.

+++ celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary, seems like just yesterday that i walked down the aisle with my dad

+++ playing shuffleboard with my friends mike and joel, and joel and i beating mike (mike - hope you were practicing this weekend buddy, we all know you are going to need it)

+++ doing some planning for our trips we will take later this year, including a fun surprise for malena

+++ showing up for my friends and family whenever they need me to in any way that i can

+++ dying easter eggs with malena, going on easter egg hunts, maybe eating chocolate and jelly beans (just maybe...ok, we all know that is very likely...ok, we all know it is going to happen)

+++ making green smoothies

+++ continuing to eat as healthy as i can to give my immune system all the strength it needs to kick cancer's you-know-what in may (and beyond)

+++ celebrating family and friends birthdays

+++ watching malena jump, swing, tumble in gymnastics

+++ jumping on my trampoline and giving my lymph nodes a good workout

+++ having date nights

+++ enjoying movie nights

+++ cheering for malena as she conquers swimming the lap pool all by herself, first time i saw her do that i thought my heart might burst, it has felt the same way every week since. i love to watch her swim.

+++ loving three more monday monthly dinners with my friend chris

+++ going to a bunco fundraiser for the cancer walk this year

+++ sending lots and lots of happy mail

+++ reading books, including this one, this one, this one, and this one

+++ trying out some new craft ideas, maybe even this one

+++ focusing on having the first word out my mouth when i hear the words "momma, do you want to play with me?" be "yes". reminding myself of this article when i catch myself saying "just after i..." or "in just one second..." instead.

+++ creeping closer towards 39 (yes!!!) and thinking about this post and how i too bet i am only just going to get better from here

+++ putting our weekly into albums and loving the sight of malena flipping through our photos with a big smile on her face

+++ getting a new drivers license, since the picture on mine is from when i was pregnant and had long blonde hair. so every time i have to take it out, i am reminded of life before i had cancer - before my hair fell out and before i knew that would be my first and my last pregnancy.

+++ going to the your story retreat, can't wait. so excited to go!

and the list goes on and on...but it is a good start, right?

yep, i thought so too.

happy monday peeps, hope your week gets off to a good start. xo

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

i heart good news on world cancer day

while i wish that there was no need for a "world cancer day" to even be necessary, i am glad that this year's brought good news.

sharon's tumor markers were way down, awesome news!!!!! so, so happy for her and her entire family as i know that they are all (as we are collectively with them) having a huge sigh of relief today. i just knew she was going to kick cancer's you-know-what and she did.

love that.

i also wanted to share an update on chase who continues his own fight on a daily basis:

"Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Chaser sure didn't like the tub. (we posted a video on Chases FB Page)....The last few days have been fairly routine around the Lykken Household. Chase is doing well, and has fully recovered from his cold. He has really been doing some great things these last couple of days. In therapy the other day, he was in a tall kneel position while holding his head straight up - for over 4 minutes! His neck and core strength seem to be improving almost daily! The kids are back in school- Lisa's hoping they are going to finish an entire week without a weather related closing. While getting a tub, Chase decided to show his voice and express himself- We have heard him cry and moan, but lately it definitely seems "different". We are looking forward to seeing-hearing what Chase will do next!

God is Good!

PS. On Behalf of all of us on the Chasers Warriors Polar Plunge team members -Thank you to all that have helped us get halfway to our goal. Not to be outdone by his sister- tanner came to me on Sunday after his post hockey practice shower "Dad, I tried that shower challenge thing for 2 seconds.....ya, not so much- dad, it was cold- I don't think this Plunge thing is gonna work out." Do you still want me to sign you up? I asked him with a smile on my face. "Ya, ok, sign me up." :) Its pretty cool to think that we take a couple hours out of our busy lives ,jump into some exhilarating, less than room temperature, seemingly walleye-less H2O..... and help some well deserved kids make memories of a lifetime! - Here is a link if you want to check our our team page."
i am going to head to bed now for hopefully some much needed sleep. last night was one of the most brutal runs of nightmares i have had yet. i kept waking up out of the nightmare about every 25 minutes or so, and would then fall right back into the nightmare, just to continue to wake up. a vicious and brutal cycle that lasted from about 30 minutes after i got in to bed until i had to drag myself out this morning. i was so tired today that i felt like a walking zombie. a zombie with low patience that just wanted to curl up in a ball and take a nap while my friend the daylight was still out.
happy wednesday peeps, i don't know about you, but i am pretty happy that we are half way to friday. xo

Monday, February 3, 2014

for sharon

i am still catching my breath after the scans last week.

i have a lot i intend to write about -- more info on the scan results, the list of for the 90 days, etc., --- but on tuesday there is one thing more important than all of those words.

tuesday at 1:30 sharon gets her bloodwork results and i just know that her tumor markers will be low and she will get good results. i told her when i got mine last week that the two of us are on a roll and she will keep the momentum going. i just know it.

so please send your mojo, prayers, and love to sharon as she gets those good results.

we need more reasons to celebrate and show 2014 that we are working hard to ensure that cancer gets its you-know-what kicked this year. big time. for all of the cancer warriors that are in still in their fights.

go sharon go, and f*ck cancer.

i know you will. xo