Thursday, May 28, 2015

for beth

it is time (well, it always time but we want to kick it up a notch in the next week) to send love, good vibes, and prayers to beth. starting tomorrow she has a week of procedures and scans coming up. so we need to have all of the good mojo she can get while she heads into this round of tests. since you all are coming off of a great track record with my scans, i know you can make the same magic happen for hers too.

with beth's permission, i thought that you might like to hear in her own words how she is feeling about the week to come.

"I've been having a lot of anger recently, and seeing it manifest itself in odd ways for me. not everyone will see, but I see it in me getting frustrated quickly, or irritated, my reactions, and my thoughts. So I know it is there, and it isn't normal for me to react that way or think those things. And I think me having some anger is justified. But I am trying to figure out why I am angry and how to move past it. Because I don't want to be angry forever.
My anger seems to center around my grief. The grief of things I have lost, and the grief of things that will always be a part of my future. And I don't really know how to move past it, but I am working on it and know it will take some time. And eventually I will accept my new reality. At least I hope I get there. But as I said I have no idea how to do it yet, this is new to me. But we have all moved through the stages of grief before and at the end is acceptance.
I have been thinking a lot about one of those greeting cards I posted about a couple weeks ago. The one that said "I'll punch the next person who says everything happens for a reason." Because I don't believe that everything happens for a reason. So I personally really like that card. No one gets cancer for a reason. Why is a child born with a fatal disease? Why do thousands die during a natural disaster? There are no good reasons for those things. God doesn't let bad things happen to good people. To me the fact is bad things do happen and we live in a broken world. But what does matter, is what we do with those terrible things that happen. How we deal with them, how we live our lives, and how we move forward. Because I could shut down and get angry, and always be angry at the world. Or I can figure out how I want getting cancer to change me, and I get to control that. Because there isn't much else I do get to control. It is so easy to get caught up and focus on the bad things in life when they happen.
A few weeks ago I was driving home from a really nice dinner with friends. And there was a guy on the side of the road with his sign asking for help/money. And also on the sign it said "I never thought I would be doing this. But God humbles us all." I've also been thinking a lot about that man and his sign. It's so true. I never lived my life thinking I would get cancer. And I wasn't prepared for it. But we never know what will happen, and we will be humbled.
Tomorrow starts a week of anxiety for me. Tomorrow I have my procedure at 12:45 and check into the hospital at 10:30 am. I get to take the pre-surgery showers, my favorite. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go under general anesthesia, but unfortunately I do. I get so nauseated when they give me general anesthesia. So my recovery will be a bit rougher and I expect to be pretty uncomfortable over the weekend.
Next Tuesday at 10 am I check in for my colonoscopy. Then Wednesday at 10 are my CT scans. That afternoon I also get the biopsy results from my procedure tomorrow. Then next Friday at 1 pm I get my scan results. I assume I find out the colonoscopy results while I am there, but not sure. So I am hoping next Friday to celebrate being done with all these tests and exams and have it only be good years. Because I know I am not prepared for anything but good news. And I can't handle anything but good news right now.
Thank you for seeing me through this and all your love, support and prayers."

beth and i are co-captains for our "cancer you can suck it" team for the upcoming shore walk. if you would like to join our team, can you can register here (make sure that you join up as a member of our team) or you can donate to our team through that site as well.

i hope that you all have great weekends.

do something fun simply because you can, and send some mojo beth's way while you are doing it.

i know that she would really like that. xo

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

6 months

rooms to paint.
projects to complete.
flowers to water.
happy mail to send.
hugs to give.
hugs to receive.
milestones to celebrate.
books to read.
miles to run.
finish lines to cross.
trips to plan.
trips to take.
moments to capture.
pictures to take.
photo albums to assemble.
recipes to make.
smoothies to drink.
picnics to have.
friends to root for.
adventures to plan.
tidying-up to do.
memories to make.
i love you's to say.
kisses to give.
laughs to have.
laughs to hear.
ciders to drink.
berries to devour.
campouts to enjoy.
sleep to get.
naps to squeeze in.
thanks to give.
time to savor.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


you all know how much i love goals.

right? right.

last week i got my get to work book that i have patiently (ok, maybe not so patiently;)) waiting for since my pre-order went in.

i pretty much always love anything that elise does and so this is no different.

i do feel like this book is going to bring a little magic.

once i run those 13+ miles next month for the half-marathon, the major goal i have been working towards for months will be over and it will be time to move on to the next one.

i have a couple of big ideas that i am going to be working on, and of course, a million small ones.

to finish goals, you gotta do the work.

i have never been afraid of that. in these last years that drive has been stronger than ever. hearing the ticking hands of time on a daily basis is pretty great motivation for making things happen.

i am looking forward to making some new big goals happen.

one day at a time.

as my friend kerry says...let's do this.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

around here

around here i am pretty much exhausted. i am always exhausted going into scans, but once the anxiety is gone, the exhaustion hits even harder. so tired. feel like i could sleep all weekend. hmmm, that is sounding like a pretty good idea.
around here i loved reading  me before you. it was so, so good.

around here i am excited to start reading the life changing magic of tidying up after hearing so much about this book. so curious about this one.

around here i am running a lot of miles.

around here my legs are wondering when they are going to get a break.

around here i am telling my legs to check in with me mid-june but to just keep going along with me in the meantime.

around here honey chex are my favorite go to snack.

around here i am looking forward to dinner and shopping tomorrow night with one of my most favorite peeps.

around here i kind of can't wait to sleep in on saturday morning.

around here i am pretty in love with ed sheeran's latest song photograph.

around here i am so excited that my get to work book showed up today (more on that next week). i kind of want to sleep with it under my pillow because i love it that much and am so inspired to make some big goals happen (insert fist pump emoji here).

around here i am eating a couple of jelly beans while i write this post. because jelly beans. enough said.

around here i am wishing that a little work fairy would show up and get the 1,000 things on my plate done. i keep watching for her, but she must keep getting lost.

around here i love coming home and seeing the colors of all of the flowers in our planters.

around here i have been loving the sunshine that we have been graced with the last couple of days. hello, summer.

around here i feel like i should buy stock in green tea because i drink so much of it.

around here i am going to head to bed now because it is 19 minutes past 10pm and my big brother is not going to be happy with me.

around here i wish you a great weekend. xo

Monday, May 18, 2015

good things

i love it when good things happen in this world.

in this post, i wrote about emily mcdowell's new line of empathy cards. apparently the rest of the world felt the same way about them as i did. i saw this nbc news headline article about them today, and was so happy for her and for everyone who know will send/receive her cards. go emily!!

in last week's results post, i wrote about how on the momastery blog they were raising funds to support "sHERoes". the world came out big time for this one. you can get the update here. it is so amazing what can come from people uniting for important causes. i can't wait to hear more on how my friend jill's playgrounds are supported by the generosity of so many.

good things.

they make me believe.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


 yesterday was a great day. one of the very best.

the scans looked good and my organs looked clear. the moment he said all was good it was like we could breathe again. it is always such a big reminder to me of how i have essentially been holding my breathe for so long when we go into those appointments. the ability to breathe again feels so good.

i will go back in again in 6 months for my next round of scans. we will do brain scans at that time too. if melanoma comes back (which we know it won't, right? right) it can come back in the brain so he wants to a scan just to ensure that everything is ok. if it would show up in the brain he would want to make sure that we catch it early, and it has been awhile since my last brain scan. so we will add that to the list next round and so we will focus on a clear brain and clear organs in the next round.

after getting the good news, we celebrated with our parents at the same restaurant we have now gone to after every good scan report. it is now part of the tradition around scans and we do not intend to break it. as you may guess, i had a cider.

we then crammed in a quick power nap as we were so tired, barrett and i had got almost no sleep on tuesday night so we were exhausted and good news allowed us to actually rest for the first time in a long time.

my mom got to be a special guest reader in malena's class so that was a great way to wind down the day. barrett and i got a 5 mile training run in while the rain poured down. we ate great food and celebrated with our parents and malena over dinner.

thank you all again for your love and support to get us through another round of scans, it always feels good to know that no matter what comes we are surrounded by so many that are rooting us on.

if you are looking for a great way to make the world a little bit better today, there is a great event happening on the momastery blog today. they are raising funds to provide support to 176 "sHERoes" who are doing amazing things to make our world a better place. my dear friend jill is one of those 176 sHERoes and she is doing great things by working to support the development of a new playground at her local pre-school and the development of a dream park in her community where all kids can play -- including those that may require special assistance and are not typically able to play at a playground like the rest of the kids.

go jill go, you have always been a sHERoe to me. xo

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


my scans were clear!!! i come back in 6 months for scans. thank you so much for all of the love and support --- we are so appreciative! xoxo

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

this will hurt a little bit

i am really tired although we all know that doesn't mean i will actually sleep tonight.

the day started out with some good laughs with kiddo, and registering her at her new school for first grade. first grade. how is that even possible? i do not know either.

but i do know that time flies, being on the eve of scan results proves that. in some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that i was writing my last pre-results blog post, feeling like hell from the contrast, and debating whether i want time to hurry up or slow way down.

when putting the iv in today, the nurse decided that she would have a better shot at success if she put it in on my wrist. damn that hurts. not that having an iv put in anywhere feels good, but for some reason, that spot on my wrist is more painful for me that in the middle of my arm. but she got it in, i winced and closed my eyes for a second, and then we moved on.

not sure it if was because the iv was in my wrist, but when they injected the contrast into my arm, i got really really really nauseas. but i took a couple of deep breaths and then it passed, but for a second, i thought i was going to have to call the attendant and tell them to get me off of the machine asap because i was going to be sick.

ellie, as she always does, knocked my post-scans snacks out of the park. i was actually pretty hungry by that point because it had been 17 hours since i had ate.

got home, crashed out hard for an hour, and then got up and went to malena's gymnastics lessons. although i felt like you-know-what, i went. because i will be damned if i am going to miss our routines due to scans.

got home after that, crashed on the couch with my favorite blanket and layed low for the rest of the night.

another scan day done. ugh.

thank you for all of the prayers, mojo, love and good thoughts -- we appreciate it so much, and it means more to me than you know to feel like i carry all of you with me when we move through these days (not to mention every other day of the year).

we will walk into the office at 9am wednesday to hear the results.

less than 12 hours from right now as i write this, we will know.

whatever it is that we end up hearing, i know that we will be supported with a ton of love for whatever may come.

thank you all for that.

anywhere i go, you go.

here we go again. xo

and here we go again

monday went fast, the days before scans always do.
i got a run in first thing in the morning before my 24 hour exercise restriction kicked in.
lunch and a cupcake with one of my favorite people.
took time to sit in a coffee shop, drink a green tea, and read my book. i never have time to do that so i took advantage of the opportunity.
a long massage which actually helped me to relax for 90 minutes.
time with my girl.
monthly dinner in seattle with my friend chris.
opening of happy mail.
now tuesday morning is here and in four hours i will be checking in to start the process. we all know how it goes at this point.
thanks for all of the good vibes and prayers as we make our way through these next two days.
anywhere i go, you go.
i wish we were going anywhere else than where we are headed to today.
deep breaths.

Monday, May 11, 2015

the calm before the storm

ok, to be honest, there is really never calm before scan week.

but there can be fun and i gave it a hell of a run over the weekend.

as expected, the weekend was full of lots of good things.

a lot of laughter with girlfriends under a gorgeous blue sky day. catching up while eating great food. s'mores by the campfire. stories shared. connections made. hugs all the way around. a 40th birthday marked with memories to always hold close.

a training run on saturday that was a grind (it was a hot day in the pnw) but we got miles in and we did it together. go team hanson.

the mariner's game on a sunshine filled pacific northwest day that could not have been more perfect. great family time while watching malena instantly fall in love with baseball, pretty sure that she has had a ball in her hand for most of the time since we were at the stadium. i don't think that she ever wants that new pink hat to come off of her head. the family definitely has a new baseball fan, that is a given. she is counting down the days until we can go back.

mom's day was a really good one. family time. great food (mom, i am still full). laughter. hugs. time around women that i love. if i had also been with my sister it would have been just about perfect.

so now monday rolls around and the pre-scan traditions come into full effect. superstition kicks in and i take comfort in keeping all of my patterns the exact same.

i got about two hours of sleep last night and i am exhausted, which is pretty typical as i head into scan day. but i will keep moving on this empty tank because i can't sit still. constant motion is the name of the game when the stress level is off the charts.

so i am off to wake up my girl and get our day started.

have a good monday peeps, make the most of it.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

what i feel

the week before scans, there are a lot of things that i feel.

but instead of all of those things, i am going to focus on the good.

i have received awesome happy mail this week and i am so grateful for that.

i got some good training runs in with barrett.

i have had some great tickle fights with malena.

i get to celebrate a dear friend's 40th birthday with good friends tomorrow. yes to that.

saturday i am going to run 10 miles with barrett and put my legs to the test. they aren't quite sure if that sounds awesome yet, but i know they can do it.

we will take malena to her first mariner's game - pretty sure that will result in the purchase of at least one huge bag of kettle corn (for her) and a cider (for me).

i will enjoy another mom's day with my family. so damn thankful for that.

i will celebrate, laugh, cheer, love, and say my thanks for another great weekend.

that i know is the most important thing.

whatever comes next will happen, but i have some great things to keep me busy in the meantime.

have a great weekend peeps, i hope that yours are full of good things too. xoxo

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

psa #2: empathy cards

time for another public service announcement (psa).

i have loved emily mcdowell's cards for quite a long time.

i have given many of them to friends and family through the years.

but my love for her cards grew immensely today with the launch of her new "empathy card" line.

you can read all about the new line, the reason she created the line, and see the new 8 cards on her blog. check them out.

i can so relate to her words in the blog post, and i think that these cards are some of the very best i have ever seen to send to someone who is fighting cancer, illness, etc.

as you all know by now, i am a huge fan of happy mail and getting a great card with a handwritten note is such a good thing at anytime -- but especially when you are both feeling like hell and going through hell at the same time.

my friend jill (hi jill -- love you) saw this same post today and said that thought of me when she saw the lemon card. if you read my psa #1, you will totally understand why.

so now if you need the perfect card to send to someone you love who needs support, you know where to go.

i love it when people like emily make the world a better place.

one card at a time.

vibes for mary, part iii

there was great news yesterday -- there were no other tumors that showed up in mary's mri. which is awesome and was exactly what we were hoping for.

the next steps are not known quite yet as there is some follow up that her doctors need to do based on her biopsy results. so hopefully a plan of action is known soon. as mary told me yesterday, it is tough when you don't really like any of the options that the doctors give you.

as it always is with melanoma, you don't like the options, but you go forward with a path because you have to.

you have to keep moving forward.

i know that mary will keep moving forward because she is a fighter.

she will go as many rounds with the black beast as it takes to knock it out.

go mary go. xoxo

Monday, May 4, 2015

vibes for mary, part ii

keep sending your love, mojo and prayers to wisconsin today. mary gets her mri results today and so we need all of the good vibes we can get going her way.

i know that the results will show the melanoma is in that one place in her leg, no where else, and she can get this taken care of quickly.

we need monday to come through with some good news.

you have got this mary, sending you much love. xoxo

Friday, May 1, 2015

vibes for mary

mary goes in for her mri this morning to confirm if the melanoma is back only in that one spot in her leg.

i am not a mri machine, but i know that will be the result. it is really the only option for how this latest dance with the black beast can turn out for her.

so please send your love, prayers, mojo and good vibes to wisconsin today. it is very much needed.

yesterday i had a tough day due to some hard conversations with HR about my diagnosis and some (really shitty) decisions they are making around it. i never, ever cry at work. but i did yesterday on the call with HR because sometimes i just get to my breaking point. at one point, hearing the words "i understand this must be hard for you" left me wanting to scream back into the phone "unless you have been fighting cancer for the last 5 years and are less than two weeks out from scans and absolutely terrified and are now having to get shitty news from your HR department then i don't think you really can understand how hard this must be for me." but of course i didn't scream, because i could barely even talk through the tears. the call ended, and as it always feels like, i was left to quickly get my shit together and make it through the rest of the day.

tomorrow barrett and i head to the annual melanoma clinic for the day. as usual, some parts of me really do not want to go because it is so damn hard to hear some of the stories. as usual, some parts of me do because i want to hear about the latest research and the stories of those kicking melanoma's ass. as usual, we will go because the ability to be informed will always keep us going back.

i hope that you all have good weekends, i hope that you are able to do something that you really love to do.

please make the most of it. xo