Wednesday, May 28, 2014

when cancer is told to suck it (it makes me happy)

i got some great news last night. my friend mike that has been fighting diffuse large b cell lymphoma had a bone marrow test last friday. his oncologist called yesterday to let him know that the test was completely negative -- as in 0.00% cancer. isn't that the best number ever? i think so too. i love (big time) the days when good news comes, a reminder that cancer doesn't always call the shots. in fact, sometimes it is told to suck it (big time), and you know i love that.

on thursday mary goes in for the first of two appointments this week. tomorrow is the ultrasound to determine the location needed for the surgery. let's hope it is as small of an area as possible so no skin grafting is needed. friday she meets with the surgeon. so send your mojo, luck, prayers and love to wisconsin over the next two days. i know that mary plans to tell cancer to suck it, she is in fact probably chanting that in her sleep right now as i type this;)

happy thursday all -- one more, super long, taking forever to get here, day -- and then friday. for a short week, it could not take any longer to get here.

+++ i have never met an andes mint that i haven't loved (thank you grandma josephine for introducing me to them), pretty sure that i am going to have to whip up a gluten free version of these. yum, yum, yum - give me some.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


“you have to put your flag down and draw a circle and inside that circle put all the things you love. your favorite memories and people you cherish and art and poems and all the rest. when something tries to slide into the circle you didn’t put there, you have to give it some serious thought whether or not it can stay. keep drawing circles and every so often, check in and see what has snuck in when you had your head bent over reading an email. if you find your circle is filled with things people you have said about you or ways in which you hate yourself, here is my advice, which comes, of course, with a grain of salt: pick up your flag and replant it. carry that unwieldy flagpole straight across the world if you need to and draw a new circle and make it smaller so less crap can come in.”
(jennifer pastiloff)
i am going to remember this and will pick up my flag and draw new circles whenever i need to from now on.
i hope you will do the same.
maybe we can meet up somewhere along the way.
i would like that.

Monday, May 26, 2014

around here

first, mary got her results on friday. the good news is that there was no melanoma in any lymph nodes or organs - yes! from the last surgery she knew that there was an area where clear margins were not obtained and further surgery was going to be needed. the not great news on friday was that there is another melanoma tumor in her leg that also requires surgery. so her 6th surgery will be coming up, but in mary's words "suck it melafuckanoma. i'm still winning!!" i love that attitude - don't you? i know, we all do. so we will have some more rooting to do for mary as she gets the logistics lined up for surgery. you are definitely still winning mary, and that is how it will be continue to be.

after getting mary's news, i felt like i could start breathing and the weekend could begin.


starbucks date with my girl. two good training runs in for the 10k. distillery tour in seattle (more on that soon). family. horse races. down time at home. it was a good weekend, i don't want to let it go.

i also have a couple of updates that i wanted to share:

on beth (her latest update from today):
"As of today I am off the pain meds. I have not taken any today. And it has been a long time that I was on pain meds and I think it's healthy to be off of them for a bit leading up to my next surgery. So this is a big deal.
I spent some time today with a good friend who hadn't seen me since I was in the hospital. And she reminded me of how far I have come. Rather than focusing on the things I don't do the same since I was diagnosed, I should celebrate the things I am doing and really how far I am come. She was amazed at how much more I was doing since she last saw me and I could barely get out of my hospital bed. I am taking the stairs again, I am going out in public and I look "normal" again, I am driving. She is right and I need to focus on how far I have come in the 2 weeks since I left the hospital. It already seems like so long ago, and I was still so sick when I got home. I was in a lot of pain and a big walk for me was walking my condo hallway a few times.
State of mind is so important in this fight and in life. And I am such a worrier and I struggle with how to stop myself. So I need these people around me to remind me that things are different this year but this disease does not define me and it will not take my spirit even though I am having an awful year. As I have mentioned before my body is being attacked so it does affect my emotions as well.
I still get more tired but I am only two weeks out of the hospital and you know, that is ok I get tired. I am trying to build my strength back up. I have been really sick for 2 months. But I am still getting out there and trying to do more each day.
So I will tell you about my weekend. Friday I got downtown and met with my Nordstrom stylist, yes I have a personal shopper and she is awesome. She bought me some nice fancy Nordstrom truffles as a gift to me. Saturday my mom and I went to a nursery to get flowers for my containers on my balcony and then I went out Saturday night to see a movie and get ice cream. Yesterday we went to church and then met up with some friends in the afternoon.. And today I went downtown to run errands and had lunch with a friend.. So as I look back I made a lot of good strides over the weekend. Today I drove by myself for the first time in months. It felt both weird and was also exhilarating.
I am still touched by people's support. Over the past few days I have heard from people from my college days who I have not really been in touch with since college and I am overwhelmed by their offers of encouragement and support, wanting to know what they can do to help. I was touched by my stylist giving me truffles. I am touched by Alli's happy mail campaign and getting cards and gifts from people who don't know me.
So as I get anxious for my mom to leave and for my upcoming surgery I want to remind myself of all these good things in my life and I am being watched over.
This week brings my mom leaving on Wednesday. It will be hard to see her go, the transitions are tough on us but she needs a break and it will be good for me to try and get back some of my independence even though I want people around me. My niece and nephew will be in town and they bring me so much joy and I can't wait to see those crazy kids. I meet with both my oncologist and radiation oncologist this week. I assume my oncologist will start to talk to us more about the next phase of chemo after surgery and I know it will be tougher. Sigh.
As always, thank you so much for your love, support and prayers"

on chaser (weekend update):

"With Uncle Chad behind the wheel, Chaser comfy in his mini recliner, Ava hanging in the top bunk, Tanner in the back, and the rest of us gripping tight for the 10-15hr trek ahead of us- The RV is loaded on its way to Indianapolis for the Indy 500!! I gave Chad the challenge to drive Indy style and not take any right turns- 35mins into it, hes doing good- but it could make for a long trip....

Chaser is has had a great couple of days. He has handled the absence of Keppra excellent- and we have started the weaning process of the Gabapentin this week as well. It seems like the allergy med we put him on has really helped. With a typical night of waking up every 2hrs to suction Chaser, we haven't had to once in the last two nights! Not once! - He has really been alert lately too. Today I was lucky enough to join mom and Chaser for PT with Kathy. We did more work with the NMES. I was really amazed at how cool that is. I posted a video a couple weeks back of him moving his fingers and pushing down blocks, but after seeing it in person, the video doesn't do it justice. - I put my hand in Chasers hand and watched and felt as he actually squeezed mine back. That may not sound like a big deal, but when you have been longing for that hug that your little guy used to give you the minute you walked in the door from work, it sure felt good! I get that the machine is making the muscles contract- but the beauty of it is this:
A- the muscles can still move that way
B- Hopefully it is training his brain to relearn how to make those motions-
C-Helps keep the elasticity of the muscles
D-He didn't moan or make a face once throughout the entire session- and looked like he was really trying
After therapy we made it to Ava's party in the park , and to Tanners classroom to see his Poster project of Gods Country (North Dakota) proudly on display. Chase handled it great- there is really something different about him today. He seems sooo there. I was telling Lisa that this is the best I have seen him be -looks, and mood since the accident. Shortly after I said that, he started to make some really cool noises again, as if trying to communicate. Lisa grabbed my phone to try and record, but of course once in the spot light he failed to perform. Take my word for it, if we would have recorded it and played it backwords, Im sure it would have been -Daddy ....Walleye!! I hope you all have a great weekend- I know we will! Thank you all for your continued support and prayers- we really appreciate it!

God is Good!!"

i hope that you all had a good weekend, and i hope that your tuesday is a great one. xo

+++ if you signed up for happy mail for beth 2.0, you should now have an email from me with the info. if you don't have an email, let me know as i must have goofed somehow.
+++ if you haven't signed up for happy mail for beth 2.0 and would like to, let me know anytime.
+++ if you are a wonder woman in seattle and would like to run in the 10k in september, info is here
+++ if you would like to walk/run in the shore walk this year and aren't signed up yet to be on my alli's angels team, registration info is here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

mary, part ii + weekend

thanks for all of the good vibes for mary's pet scan today, i know that it will bring good news tomorrow. at 11am wisconsin time on friday, mary gets the results. so keep the love, mojo, and prayers coming her way for the results that we are hoping for. i know it will be news that the margins are contained and one more surgery will take care of the black beast (for good). there is just no other option so that pretty much has to be how this goes down. thanks for the extra security with all of the good vibes you are sending her way.

i don't know about you, but i am ready for a weekend. this has been a long kick-me-in-the-ass kind of week. i am tired and ready for some down time, hoping that my work phone doesn't light up over the weekend. i can only hope.

in the meantime, the weekend will be full of good things. starbucks date with my girl. lunch date with my melonoma mate deb. running, lots of running. sleep, hopefully lots of sleeping. a visit from my sister (yay!!). horse races where i will hopefully win enough money to be able to retire and not go to work on tuesday (or ever again --- big money, no whammies). did i mention sleep already? time in my craft room. organizing the happy mail for beth version 2.0 (if you want to be part of the happy mail campaign let me know anytime). three campout nights. downloading some new music to listen to on my runs. getting some happy mail ready to send out. on and on it goes.

have a great weekend peeps, make the most of it. xoxo

important sidenote:
+++ mary -- you are going to get good news, i know that without a doubt. i will crack open a cold hard cider tomorrow to celebrate the news, i have it chilling right now. btw, f&ck cancer.
+++ one thing on my 6 month list (will share that soon) is to do a gallery wall in our living room. elise blaha cripe just listed this amazing print and i ordered mine right away and am super excited for it to come. if you too need a little inspiration to believe that the best is yet to come, you should get yourself one (they are limited edition and i can't actually believe that there are any left so hurry up. go now. don't wait. you aren't going fast enough).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

for mary

on thursday at 11:15am wisconsin time my dear friend mary goes in for pet scans. after mary's last surgery in february to remove melanoma from her leg, the follow up scans showed that some of the margins were not clean. this scan is to determine if the only area of concern are those remaining margins (which i know will be the case as it is the only option), with the hope that another surgery to remove those margins is the only action that is needed.

it is classic melanoma irony to talk in terms of hoping that the news is good in that only a another surgery on her leg is what is needed. ugh.

melanoma has a way of making unpleasant outcomes (aka another surgery) turn into really good news compared to the other news the oncologist could be telling you.

so send your love, mojo, vibes and love her way on thursday and friday.

both mary and i thank you -- she has so loved getting all of the happy mail that has been sent to her since her last surgery.

i also happen to think that the shirt she is wearing in this pic is pretty great.

mary -- you have got this, no doubt about it, crank up those tunes to get you in fighter mode and show that pet scan and melanoma you mean business. f*ck cancer. xoxo

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

rabi, part ii

last september i wrote about rabi.

now it is time to write again, but there just really seem to be no words.

rabi now knows that he is in the final round of his fight against cancer, and is preparing to hang up his boxing gloves for the last time.

8 years of fighting since his first trip to the mayo clinic. that is a long time to be in the ring, there is no doubt about that. he has put those boxing gloves on more than enough times to be a champion. i think everyone who knows him knows that he was a champion long before cancer came calling.

after we got the news on thursday, my heart has been heavy thinking about rabi and the entire family. on friday night, i was on a run and spent most of my steps thinking about them and wishing we lived closer. so that in addition to our love and prayers, we could make food, do laundry, babysit, run errands, mow lawns, whatever was needed whenever it was needed. but the distance between washington and minnesota doesn't really allow us to do that, so we send our love out on the winds to be carried across the miles.

so i thought about what i could do for rabi.

i could run.

as you know, i decided last week that i was going to sign up for a 10k run -- the biggest physical challenge i have given myself yet (next to surviving cancer treatments for a year of course).

i will run the 10k for rabi. 

at this time when he is getting ready to hang up his gloves, i will carry his gloves and mine and we will do this 10k together.

every step i run between now and that finish line will be for rabi.

when i run, there are moments where i look down at my feet -- i think that i am subconciously checking to make sure that they are still carrying me along. i have a habit of always looking at my right shoe (don't ask me why, i have no clue). so that exact spot on my right shoe now carries rabi's name. i always carry him in my heart, but now on my runs i will carry him in eyesight as well.

so if you are looking for me between now and september, you can likely find me out with rabi hitting the pavement and training for this 10k goal.

we've got this.

champions always finish their fights.

love to you rabi and peterson clan -- we carry you with us everywhere we go.

anywhere we run, you run. xoxo

Monday, May 19, 2014


today was one of those days. the joy and the shit days. when you feel the weight of carrying both, but the shit just seems a whole lot heavier.

a long work day -- even though in the grand scheme of life it isn't important (at all), a day full of hard conversations and constant problems and being talked to rudely by unhappy people can make for a really long day and leaves you trying to remind yourself why it is you keep showing up each day.

thinking of impending scans for a friend.

beloved friends saying goodbye to their cherished dog.

the words "hospice care" entering the necessary vocabulary of loved ones.

a friends impending surgery this week.

so you do the best you can do to make it through. you come home from a 13 hour work day and crack a hard cider. you put your favorite pants and t-shirt on and watch a disney movie for 45 minutes because that is what makes your 5 year old happy. you talk with your husband to swap stories of your day. you think about cracking a second (and maybe a third) cider because one just doesn't seem like it will be enough.

you remember that all of this, the shit and the joy, this is what you wanted to be here for. this is what you prayed for and what you begged for when you were in those scans two weeks ago. when you were laying in the dark room by yourself while you could hear your family below, but you couldn't join because you were radioactive, you hoped that life in two weeks wouldn't include doctors but would include living life on your terms.

as i learned along time ago, you don't always get things on your terms. so you keep showing up, saying your thanks, and looking for the joy that can tip the scale back to center.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014



i am such a sucker for a good goal.

over the last couple of weeks when i have been running i thought about aiming to run 4 or 5 miles by my birthday in july.

yesterday my friend kerry asked me if wanted to do a 10k (6.1 miles) at the beginning of september.

i said yes.

over the last couple of weeks as the weather has turned i thought about how we could spend time outside every night when the weather was on our side.

tonight we brought out all of our watercolors and painted until it got dark. we also ate some jelly beans (and you know they were jolly rancher jelly beans because they are the best ever) at the same time for a little creative fuel.

over the last couple of weeks i have kept these goals to myself. i didn't want to tempt the fates with my dreams of what i could do during these months if i got to call the shots.

it definitely feels good to live them now.

i am such a sucker for a good goal.

Monday, May 12, 2014

6 months

6 months until the next scans.

that is a long time.

which is completely great and which is completely scary at the same time.

clearly i am not excited about the "more conspicuous" spots on my lungs. who would be? but just because they are more conspicuous doesn't mean it is melanoma, it could be random spots on my lungs. it could be cancer. it could not be. the spots may grow. they may not.

before the last round of scans i had quite a bit of anxiety thinking about a six month interval between scans, but i didn't end up having that as a reality.

this time i do.

here is where the anxiety comes from. my worst nightmare is that i go in at 6 months and the spots were melanoma - and they spread or grew - and we may have been able to do something sooner if i would have had scans at the three month mark.

so while i balance that nightmare in one hand, i also know that if i am going to kick cancer's you-know-what that having long breaks in between scans is the goal. more time is what i am aiming for, both in life and in between scans. so this is a good great thing. i just need to remind myself of that when the anxiety starts to creep in and my mind wanders to what may occur at that six month mark (which is already has, it doesn't take long for your brain to start spinning on the what if's of the unknown cancer future).

i also know that at this point, i have already broke the common stage iv statistics. statistics are just numbers, i also know that. but they are hard to get out of your thoughts.

but i am breaking them. that part isn't too hard to get out of my thoughts.

in the midst all of this, i plan to live the hell out of the next six months.

that much i know for sure.

you count on it. all six months worth.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

around here


around here....

mom's day tea at school. a book made just for me by my girl. popcorn and friday afternoon fun with our friends. girl time on friday night with my girl. sleeping in (i feel like i could sleep for days to rebound from the stress of the last couple of weeks). running. time catching up with beth in the hospital. trying out a new restaurant and getting some frozen yogurt for dessert. time in the craft room catching up on our pictures. waking up to a dozen red roses and my favorite green tea from starbucks. mom's day brunch with my in-laws. talking to and laughing with my mom. sunday afternoon nap (which rocked). picnic at the park in the sunshine. caramel popcorn. fruit. my new favorite sandwich. a pottery frame painted my malena that says "i love mom" (aka the perfect gift).

around here...

all of it was good great.

around here...

i am so very thankful for these days.

around here...

i have been given more time, and i will not take one second of it for granted.

around here...

i wish you a good start to your week. xo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

relief + happy mail for beth v. 2.0

i think that we are still in the good kind of shock.

thanking our lucky stars for the good results yesterday.

a little more on the results --- the spot on my liver that we were worried about did not pick up any of the radioactive material which would indicate that it is not a cancerous tumor (tumors absorb the radioactive material). there were no spots that picked up the material on either of my lungs. awesome news!!!

the ct scan showed a spot on my right lung and one on my left lung. but the spots are small enough that my oncologist is not worried at this time - the spots could be anything. in looking at my previous scan, one of the spots was there but just showed more pronounced on this scan. that doesn't automatically mean it is a problem. so we will watch both of those spots in my next round. the goal would be that they do not grow between now and then.

six months. i have a couple of thoughts on that six month mark for my next round of scans and will write more on that soon. i also have my list of things i will do in the next six months and will share that next week.

for all of the moms out there (or for anyone that is looking for a great way to acknowledge a  mom for everything she does), you should do yourself a favor and read this post about moms by kelly corrigan. you will love it, i promise. you are "the glue beneath the glitter." i hope that you enjoy your special day on sunday.

last, but certainly not least, thanks to those of you who have signed up for "happy mail for beth, version 2.0" (an awesome name my friend jill came up with yesterday;)). if you would like to send happy mail to beth, let me know anytime and i will get you the info. if you have  minutes that you can spare in an upcoming week to cheer up someone who is fighting cancer, then you are the perfect person for the happy mail campaign. i would love to have enough happy mail lined up that we can cover the weeks through her surgery/recovery in june and into chemo -- i know we can do it! 

beth's surgery yesterday went well and she got good news that they were able to determine that her tumor has shrunk significantly which is the goal and will be really helpful for the major surgery to come in june. we like good news -- shrink tumor shrink!! thank you for all of the prayers and mojo and good vibes you sent her way, clearly they worked;)

i hope that you all have a great weekend, may you take in and enjoy all of the moments -- big and small.

i know that i definitely will. xo

+++ i think that this is one of the very best commercials i have seen. ever. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


the scans looked good!!!! a small spot  on my left lung and a small spot on my right lung, but they  are small and we will continue to watch them. back in 6 months!!! thanks for all of the good vibes and love and prayers --- they worked!!!!! xoxoxo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

send your love to seattle + more happy mail for beth

tomorrow we are going to need you to send a lot of love to seattle.

my results are at 9am. there are a million things that i could say about how i feel about going in to tomorrow, but if you have been reading this blog long enough, you know what i would write and you know how i feel. thank you for all of the love, mojo, prayers and good vibes you are sending our way. we feel all of it and we are carrying it with us as we face this long night ahead and the morning hours until my oncologist walks in that room and tells us what our lives will look like.

beth is having an unexpected surgery tomorrow at 12. due to side effects from chemo/radiation, she is having a surgery tomorrow that was originally intended to be part of her major surgery in june. so we need a ton of love and prayers sent her way tomorrow for this surgery and for her recovery and for her to mend on the other side of it. she will still have a major surgery in june but she did get good news last week that the tumor is shrinking which is awesome. now we need to focus on getting through tomorrow. i will know that she will do great because she is a fighter and she is brave and she can tackle whatever comes her way. but cancer should never have had to been one of them.

i also want to take this opportunity to ask for your support to continue the happy mail campaign for beth. now that we know that her surgery will be in june, and she will have recovery, and chemo on the other side of all of that - i would like to extend the happy mail campaign to get her through this. i know that both her and mary have been so appreciative of all of the happy mail that they have received. in a recent post, beth shared the following...

"I have attached a picture of my basket full of cards I have received since the diagnosis. I have gotten a couple comments on it from people when they have been over recently. It's definitely full! I am so touched by all the caring messages I get from people and I look forward to my happy mail. 

Thank you all for continuing to lift me up, for your love, support and prayers."

so if you would like to sign up for the happy mail campaign, let me know. i will assign you a certain week and you send beth some happy mail that week -- a card, a postcard, anything you would like. if you would like to sign up, leave a comment on the blog, email me, text me, send me a message, send me smoke signals from a fire, send up roman candles into the sky, communicate with me anyway that you know how and i will be in touch with the details.

oh wednesday, i have a lot of hopes for you. please, please, please do not let me down.

thanks in advance for all of the love you are going to send to seattle tomorrow.

we all appreciate it.

anywhere i go, you go. xoxo

ps) to the awesome and anonymous person in cali who sent me the gorgeous flowers, thank you -- they are beautiful and i really appreciate it:)

thumbs down

today was a long and tough day.

lots of tears.

i checked in at 12:45, filled out my usual paperwork, got my wrist band, and then got called back for the prep work and iv.

on a good note, we got the iv in on the first try, so i was super thankful for that. that was pretty much the highlight of the entire appointment.

maybe it is my fault for forgetting, or maybe i intentionally blocked it out to take it a little easier on myself mentally going in to the scans. but i thought that since i had the radioactive injection for the pet scan, and i got the contrast through the iv for my ct scan, that i was not going to have to drink the contrast too.

i was wrong. the moment when they told me that i had to drink the contrast was a really tough one. it was one of those moments when the entire last four years creep on me and i feel like i just can't do this anymore. i am so tired of being poked, of drinking contrast, of being in machines, of having iv's, of needles, of seeing my blood in tubes, all of it. i am sick of all of it. i get frustrated and i get angry. after i stare at the wall for a few minutes  reminding myself that i promised to always be brave, i shake it off and i get back in the fight. i have a life to live and i am not going to let cancer and all of the shitty things it brings with it stop for me from doing what i have to do to keep going.

this picture sums up how i felt when they told me i would have to drink the contrast.
what immediately followed this moment was the nurse telling me that because i was having a pet scan followed by the ct scan, i would have to drink the contrast down in 15 minutes after the radioactive solution had been injected for 30 minutes. i usually need the full hour to drink contrast but now i had to chug it in 15 minutes. now i was super bummed.
as you all know, i hate contrast (and that is putting it lightly).
since i am injected with radioactive material, no one can be in the room with me and i have to be in isolation. so as soon as i am injected, they leave me in my room by myself for an hour. it is just me and the timer. the timer telling me that when it goes off in 28 minutes, i have 15 minutes to drink the contrast.

this is what it looks like when you are in isolation. they even have to shut the door. at least i had some warm blankets and music in my ears to keep me company.

after all of that, i got to spend the next three hours of my life in this machine. they raise the bed up so that you are closer to the top of the tube, my face was about 5 inches from the top of the tube while i was getting the scans. for the pet scan, you have to have your arms above your head the entire time, that gets pretty uncomfortable when you hit the 45 minute mark. trust me. did i mention that you can't move at all the entire time? you are supposed to lay completely still to not mess up the imaging, so once you go in, you are in that position the entire time.  they wrap you up like you are a burrito and even put towels on both sides of your head and on top of your head to ensure that your head does not move. not fun.
you all know that looking up at these are my most favorite part of the entire day. the "oh-look-you-really-aren't-getting-cancer-scans-and-feeling-like-hell-you-are-really-outside-where-it-is-sunny-and-nice" fake ceiling tiles. enough said. there are not enough words for how much i hate those. oops, i just said "enough said" so i guess i should have stopped my rant at that last sentence;)
so after 3.5 hours of being in the tube, i finally emerged back out in the waiting room so that i could go home and go to bed. i was so tired and nauseas i didn't even have the energy to smile but i was glad to be done.
i was in bed for the rest of the day, emerged after malena went down. i got to give her a quick kiss before she went to bed, and we made plans for a starbucks date in the morning. i can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to be upstairs in the dark and to hear her voice and laughter below. it is the hardest and the worst part of the day, and in those moments, there are no words for how much i resent cancer and all of the hard things that it brings to my life. the moments that it takes from me. the days i spent like i did today. it isn't fair, and i don't deserve this. no one does. but cancer doesn't seem to care about that now does it?

so tomorrow is another day. i am looking forward to some time in the morning with my girl. getting out and about a bit, i can't ever sit still the day before scans, i need to be in constant motion. i am going to follow the same routine that i do every time before results. my routines around scans and results bring me a lot of comfort. i am going to have lunch with my friend rob, i have had lunch with him the day before almost every scan result (i think that we have only missed it once) in all four years of scans, it is a tradition that helps to keep me calm. then i am treating myself to a massage to relax for a bit. my parental team comes into town tomorrow and my mom is making me one of my favorites for dinner. tomorrow should be a good day.

thanks for all of the love and support you are sending our way, barrett and i so appreciate it and we feel so very lucky to have so many people rooting for us. i can't imagine how much harder it would be to go through all of this without so many by our side. i am grateful every day for all of you that go on this journey with us.

i hope that you all have a great tuesday, go out and do something fun -- trust me, you should always make time for fun.

lastly, to my big brother, i know that i am up way past my bedtime, but i am guessing that today you will give me a pass. xoxo

Sunday, May 4, 2014

around here

around here we had a really good weekend.
around here we had campouts and fruit smoothies.
around here we slept in both days which was awesome because i am so tired. i am always reminded of how anxiety and stress can absolutely wipe me out when scans are near and i have zero energy.
around here we had a princess in our house before she went to a special birthday party.
around here we had a magic show for a couple of hours, there was a lot of abracadbra-ing in our living room. my kelly rae roberts box was her special magic box.
around we went to our favorite coffee shop for breakfast this morning. so good.
around here we went to the aquarium and saw every fish, otter, seal, bird, octopus, jellyfish they had. she got to high five the diver which she thought was so cool.
around here we went for a ride on the merry-go-round and raced our horses, of course hers won.
around here we went for a ride on the great wheel and got to see downtown seattle looking good even on this rainy and dark sunday.

around here we laughed, and hugged, and hugged some more.
around here we watched toy story while curled up under our favorite blankets, maybe my most favorite part of the day because she got to lay next to me which we won't get to do tomorrow night.
around here i took a couple of moments to myself when the tears started to come and i needed to catch my breath.
around here we are so thankful for all of the love and support that we have surrounding us this week.
around here i saw this sign at the aquarium today and my first thought was my vision of a perfect world is one that doesn't have cancer in it.
around here i am super bummed that beth is back in the hospital again due to the side effects from her radiation/chemotherapy. it is just not fair and it pisses me off. we were supposed to both be at seattle cancer care alliance at the same time tomorrow as she had some appointments there. i never wish that any of my friends have to be there for their own appointments. but in this cruel twist of fate that cancer causes, i would chose for her to be there meeting with her oncologist instead of in the hospital. we have both been saying some f*ck cancer mantras today as you can imagine.
around here i am dreading tomorrow.
around here i am begging the fates to give me more time.
around here i will take as much of it as i can get.
around here, anywhere i go, you go. xo

Thursday, May 1, 2014

i am

i am a lot of things these days.

i am thankful for my two legs that took me on a great run tonight before dark finally fell. that warm fresh air felt so good.

i am excited that tomorrow is friday, and at some point tomorrow (probably late), i will wrap up work and get ready to disconnect for next week and focus on breathing and putting one step in front of the other.

i am bummed when i see a voicemail on my phone (like i had today at 3:30pm) that i know is from seattle cancer care alliance telling me the details of my upcoming scans.

i am dreading being really hungry on monday as i can't eat anything for 12 hours before my scans, and my scans aren't until 1pm on monday. that late time for scans always makes them that much rougher because my stomach is so empty and i always feel that much more sick afterwards.

i am angry.

i am pissed off that i have to do radioactive scans this time.

i am irritated that i can't run after noon on saturday because i can't exercise for 48 hours prior to my scans.

i am devastated that because i will be radioactive i am not supposed to be close to malena for 10 hours - yes 10 hours - after my scans. seriously. i won't get to hug on her when i see her on monday night (which will of course be the only thing that i actually feel like doing on monday night). i won't get to lay next to her when she falls asleep. i won't get to, it is like being punished again right after you have already been punished. so if you will be around kids on monday night, give them as many hugs as you can. lay next to them when they fall asleep (if they are young enough to still let you). give them some extra love from me. give them some extra love from you. simply because you can and you know that there is at least one mom that won't be able to do the same. thank your lucky stars that you aren't radioactive.

i am disappointed (in a major way) that i will miss her gymnastics lesson and having a picnic on monday. super bummed.

i am appreciative of all of the love and support i will carry with me into next week.

i am scared.

i am mad that beth has to have an mri on friday. please send her lots of love and mojo and prayers to make it through the test, and that the results show the tumor has decreased in size.

i am sad.

i am anxious.

i am unsure of what my future holds, hell, i am unsure of what the next 6 days hold. which is always true, we never know what the future holds. but the daily reminders that it isn't within my control is a tough pill to swallow each day as you prepare to make it through the day the best way you can.

i am emotional. i should invest in kleenex, i might make some money back.

i am bitter.

i am overwhelmed that i have to do this again. it never gets any easier, only harder.

i am ready to download a bunch of music to listen to while i am in the scans for 3 hours on monday.

i am telling cancer that i am a fighter and i am getting ready to pick up my boxing gloves for this next round.

i am doing a little mantra of "f&ck cancer" in my brain on repeat about every 15 seconds.

i am tired. so tired.

i am going to fight like hell. no matter what comes.

yes, i am.