Thursday, December 31, 2015

hello 2016

the holidays have been great.

full of magic as they should be.

some good and much needed down time.

tonight we will ring in 2016 and all that it will bring.

i have decided that my word for 2016 will be "fight".

seems fitting since the second week of the year will find me in surgery, and who knows what will come after that.

more to come on why i chose that word and how i expect to embrace it in the new year.

i have to go into seattle today to have blood drawn as a prep measure for surgery. a blood draw on the last day of 2015. i am not sure if i find that to be ironic, frustrating, or just how my life seems to be rolling these days.

but this day will be full of much more joy than shit so i am choosing to focus on that.

if you are looking for some inspiration for 2016...
- elise has her 2016 daily goal trackers ready for download, and i loved checking off the dates this year on my goal for being active - you can download the 2016 version here (you can also read about her word of the year on her blog)
- ali edwards has her "one little word" class starting up for 2016 and you can read more about that here (you can also read about her word of the year on her blog)
- my friend liz makes amazing talismans and jewelry to help you remember your word through the year, i already have my heart ordered with "fight" on it so that i can physically carry it with me to my appointments this year. you can check out her shop here

i hope that you all have a great start to 2016.

may it bring us all a lot of hope, magic, laughter, and joy. xo

ps) please send some of your new years prayers and love to our uncle kevin in minnesota as he is a fighter just like me and could use some mojo and good vibes for ringing in 2016. keep taking it day by day kevin, we are rooting for you each and every day from here. xo

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


i have been quiet in this space for a mix of reasons.

all of the good things that the holidays bring.

work being a little bit crazy as i tackle everything normally on my plate as well as getting a plan in place for coverage when i am out.

finding it hard to hold on to time as it feels like it is racing by.

going to try and slow it down a bit over the next couple of days.

but the good has been good. time with family. laughter. eating some favorite holiday treats. maybe a cider and maybe a glass of wine. talking to santa, telling him her wishes. wrapping gifts. checking out christmas lights. making plans for fun to celebrate the holidays. all of the good things that the holidays bring.

in between all of the good, there are the stresses with work, the discussions about disability leave, leave without pay, insurance, what i do and what i don't qualify for, discussions with our girl that no parents should have to have about what will happen next in our lives.

so there is the typical balance of the shit and the joy.

but i am going to do my best to focus on the joy and have it outweigh the shit. because the rest will come regardless, and it will take more than its fair share of time when it does.

i hope that this week brings you some magic of your own. xo

Monday, December 14, 2015

good things

holiday fun.

making gingerbread houses.

eating candy.

looking at twinkle lights.

ornament exchanges.

dinner with friends.

seeing santa.

feeding reindeer.

drinking hot green teas.

addressing christmas cards.


giving and getting hugs.

cracking up laughing with my parents.

drinking a cold cider.

drinking some red wine. (not the two at the same time)

finding the perfect gifts.

wrapping up tight with scarves.

wearing my favorite boots.

making the most of this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


surgery is a go.

it will be on january 11th.

this time the surgeon thinks that he will need to take a little more of the lung because the nodule is not as far on the edge as it was for the last surgery. but i shouldn't notice too much difference in terms of how my recovery will go, which will take about 4-6 weeks depending on how i feel.

i will have multiple incisions on my side and back, and will have a chest tube put in for about 24 hours likely.

the thought of surgery is hard. that was a really tough experience for me last time as i talked about in this post.

but i made it through that somehow and i will make it through it this time too. right now i am not sure how, but i know i will.

if all goes well, i will be in the hospital for one night and will be able to come home sometime the following day.

it was hard to be back in that office again. last time we were there was february 20th, 2013 after my last surgery, and that was an awful experience as i talked about in this post.

after the appointment today, we grabbed some lunch and then come home and crashed. we were both lights out. total and complete exhaustion.

sleep is hard to come by these days, and with the stress on top of it, rest does not seem to be coming easy.

but that is what is to expected so we will just keep rolling forward, and i will keep drinking green teas to keep me functioning:)

thanks for all of the love and support and prayers, it means so much.

have a good thursday. xo

Monday, December 7, 2015

the results are in

finally got the call today.

it was as good of news as we can get at this point.

the full body scan showed that the only area of concern is my left lung.

huge, huge, huge, huge relief.

so now we head to wednesday.

the appointment with the surgeon is in the morning around 9am.

the best that can come from that appointment is that he will say that he can do surgery and get the nodule out of my lung. the worst is that he will say he can't get to it.

it is like making a deal with the devil in these ways that cancer makes you consider the good and the bad. another lung surgery that will be cause me unbearable pain is my current best case scenario.

but tonight, that is a scenario that i am very thankful for.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


"you don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt.
you have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding."
(cheryl strayed)

well said cheryl, well said.

btw, you all may be seeing many more quotes from her on this blog as i recently purchased her book brave enough because i could tell from the title it was a book i was going to need (and i pretty much knew if she wrote it, i would probably love it.)

this weekend was a good one.

camp outs. sharing popcorn with malena while we watched project runway junior (which i am sure that she will be on one day soon. i will invite you all to her runway show). sleeping in a little bit. drinking a cold cider. (sidenote - just to be clear, those last two didn't happen in that particular order;)). checking out local artists and their amazing goods. walking along a lighted luminaire pathway to check out holiday lights with four of our favorite people, and getting to eat dinner and laugh with them. a breakfast with 5 women i think are pretty great at my favorite breakfast spot (aka sunday morning dream come true). putting up the tree. decorating the house. touching all of the ornaments and thinking about the memories of each one (ok, and maybe a few tears along the way as i decorated but that happens even on years when i am not a total emotional mess). oh, and there was some laundry -- and a trip to the hospital to see my dad-in-law who came down with pneumonia but is doing much better now and is home which i am thankful for (and so is he).

all in all, it was a really good one. lots of fun memories. laughter. and just a few tears each day which isn't too shabby.

i hope that your weekends were good too and full of exactly what you hoped they would be.

i am anxious to see where this week leads, but for now, i am going to stare at these lights for a minute more and then try to get a little bit of sleep to rest for what i am sure will be a long week (and because my big brother gets a tad upset if i am up late).

+++ while i can't quite psychologically pull the trigger on making goals for myself in 2016, i would encourage you to and elise has her new goal trackers out and ready for downloading. and they are awesome. and you can download them for only $4. and they are awesome. did i already mention that? i used one for 2015 to track all of the days that i was active (walking, running, etc.) nothing like crossing off the day because you met your goal. you know i am all about that. you can find out more info and download them here. you and your new goals are welcome;)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

good news for beth + more waiting for me

great news.

beth got really good news with her scan results.

her scans did not show any signs of growth, and one small new spot that showed is small enough to not be a concern and could just be an anomaly of how the scan image was taken.

such great news.

beth is currently celebrating the good news in canada with her mom and i am so happy that they get this time to celebrate together.

i didn't hear back from my oncologist on my news, so i will wait through the weekend.

i expect that i will hear on monday at this point, but we will see.

i hope that you have a great weekend, may it include some fun new memories for you to hold close. xo

Thursday, December 3, 2015

the waiting....

the waiting continues.

i didn't get the scan results today, so hopefully tomorrow we will know.

so we are in the waiting period.

the oh so nerve wracking waiting period.

as i predicted, it took multiple attempts to get my iv in yesterday.

having them push the needle with no luck, on a stomach that has been empty for over 12 hours, was not a good time.

it was about 4 hours long by the time the scans wrapped. so although by that time i didn't feel great, i also was a little hungry since it had been about 20 hours since i had ate anything.

we got home, and i crashed. was lights out for a couple of hours, was able to give malena one quick hug (all that is allowed due to the radiation) and went back to bed (hence no post last night, was just too tired to do anything).

beth has her appointment tomorrow at 1. please send her your prayers, love and mojo. i know these results are going to be crystal clean, but just for extra insurance, send her your mojo too;)

i know that she says thank you, and so do i. xo

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


so here i go.

12 hours of fasting.

only water.


getting pumped with radioactive fluid for an hour.

and with my luck, probably more than one try to get the iv in my arm.

being in the room solo because i am radioactive.

moving tiny bit by tiny bit in a small machine so that every inch of my body is scanned.

feeling like hell afterwards.

not being able to be close to my daughter tomorrow because i will be radioactive.

pretty sure that there a million other ways i would rather spend a wednesday.

but on this wednesday, this is what i will be doing.

my friend sent me a card last week in which she wrote "i know you are tired of fighting".

that is so true. she was so right.

i am tired. really tired.

it has been five and a half years since i got that first call.

not a day has gone by since that i haven't been in treatment, surgery, physical recovery, or dealing with the emotional toll that comes from thinking about your own mortality every single day.

since we got this latest news, i have felt like i have been walking around the outside of the boxing ring. knowing i am going to have to go in. knowing i am going to have to pick up the gloves. knowing i am going to have to go some more rounds. knowing i am going to have to get my emotional and physical strength up. knowing i have to step into the damn ring again.

i am not going to lie. this time is worse. if i go into surgery, i know the exact hell it is going to be, i know what the pain will be like. for me, knowing is worse.

but tonight, i just have to ready myself to pick up the gloves in the morning. to climb back in the ring. to put the gloves on. to get back in the fight.

please send your prayers and love to beth tomorrow as she heads in for her scans. her and i were just texting each other about our days tomorrow, i so wish that we would have no need to trade texts about the times we are heading in for scans. but we do and so we root for and support each other.

thank you for rooting for us too.

anywhere i go, you go. xo