Thursday, January 28, 2016


"she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails."
(elizabeth edwards)

july 16.
july 23.
august 29.
february 11.
february 20.
january 11.
january 27.

the dates that mark hearing i have cancer, had surgeries, started treatment, or got the news that the cancer came back.

kind of incredible how many dates i remember now that carry significance for me.

so we knew that it was going to be likely that at least the spot that was growing was melanoma. but i always held out hope that it was going to be benign, i didn't want another recurrence of cancer - recurrence with stage iv melanoma is not good news. so yesterday when she said "so let's talk about the pathology. 2 out of the 3 tumors showed metastastic melanoma" i couldn't help but immediately start to cry. in one sentence, the hope is taken away and the harsh reality sets in.

the cancer came back. for the second time. and i try my best to quickly get any of those dreadful statistics out of my head about the rates of recurrence and what that means for life expectancy. so i quickly refocused and listened to her words, asked our questions, and tried to catch our breath and focus on the good news.

they got the cancer out. they got clear margins on the tumors which tells them that they removed enough lung to ensure that the cancer is gone. that is best news you can get when removing tumors. i am super thankful for that.

i am also super thankful for my awesome doctors who are the best of the best. yesterday my surgeon sat immediately in front of me with his knees pretty much touching my knees, looked me straight in the eyes, and said "i know you hope that you don't need to see me again. i hope for that too. but if you do, we can do this again if we have to." you can't ask for more than that, and i take a lot of comfort in my team of doctors and that i know they will help me fight.

and in the end, the chance that the spots on my lungs were cancer is the reason i chose to do surgery now. i could have waited to do one more round of scans. but i wanted to go aggressive and find out what was on my lungs as soon as we could. we did that and now we know, and it isn't continuing to grow inside of me anymore.

so i will continue to focus on my recovery and getting myself healed up to return to normal routines.

i am working with my oncologist to determine when we are going to meet, and will let you know next steps on that.

thanks for all of the love and support and mojo that has been -- and continues -- to come our way. on the days when you hear that the cancer came back, you take a lot of comfort in knowing that no matter how hard and long you are going to have to fight, you aren't going to have to do it alone.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Two of the three spots were cancer --- but they got clear margins so we know the cancer is out. We will determine next steps with my oncologist. More soon --- thanks for all the love and prayers. xoxo

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

it's raining, it's pouring -- and i am definitely not snoring

no walk for me today. it is dumping rain here today.

imagine that. rain in january. how unusual.

was feeling ok (which tends to mean sore and totally exhausted) this morning, starting to really feel the word-i-won't-write-about-anymore (which insomnia might start to fall into that same category of banned words), so we will see how this afternoon goes.

my appointment with the surgeon is tomorrow afternoon. was supposed to be in the morning but got a call yesterday that they had to move it. so x-ray first of my lung, appointment with him second to hear how my lung/incisions are healing and the results of what the tests showed.

i probably won't post anything else until sometime tomorrow evening, because a) i won't have much to say before that, and b) i will be trying to distract myself from watching the minutes go tick tock on the clock.

hope your tuesday is great -- and a little drier that ours.

anywhere i go, you go.


Monday, January 25, 2016

no zzzzzz's for this kid

"the women whom i love and admire for their strength and grace
did not get that way because shit worked out.
they got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it.
they handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days,
but they handled it.
those women are my superheroes."
(elizabeth gilbert)

my friend chris just shot me a text with this quote on it, so it seemed right to put it right onto the blog. oh, and because of course, i love this quote. so good.

well insomnia has someone snuck in this house and doesn't want to head for the exit door. i have not been able to fall asleep until about 2:30-4am the last 5 five or so nights. if you could have seen me last night at 2:15am i was in my living room reading a magazine because i just couldn't lay in the dark any longer. it must have helped, i think that 2:45am was the last time that i saw the time as i went to lay back down.

what i hate about insomnia (other than the total and absolute exhaustion it creates) is how it gets you when it is dark. when there are no other noises around. when it is just you and your swirling thoughts. and how many times, it allows thoughts to come out that you probably knew were there, but aren't the ones you want to keep company with. it isn't really surprising to me that insomnia showed up, i have been trading calls with my oncologists office, we have the appointment on wednesday with the surgeon, i have been having to coordinate with hr at work, the bills have started to roll in from surgery and continue to roll in from the appointments in december so we figure all of that out with insurance. it feels like a constant assault at times. and let's be honest, i am in a state of constant emotional assault in addition to the scars that will eventually heal but will always remain.

it is hard, there is no way around that. i would never claim it is anything other than. it has been a long fight. i am tired. i am scared. i am anxious. i am hurting physically. i am angry. i am really sad. and of course, i am grateful for the love that comes our way.

and feeling all of those things is ok. i learned along time ago from this diagnosis that it is ok to feel all of those emotions. it is ok to cry. it is ok to be so sad that you can feel it in your bones. it is ok to be angry that you just want to scream, and sometimes you do scream but it happens in ways that don't come across as a full on yell, but a tone or lack of patience that indicates you are holding on with all you can because you feel like you are going to totally unravel. feeling all of those emotions is natural, it is acknowledging that they are there when the work actually starts. but the work allows me to figure out how to best move forward, so it is necessary even though it is tough.

so i feel all those things, and carry them with me for as long as i think that i need to or can. and then at some point, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, i start to let go of them in pieces to make space for other things.

i am going to go now and put on my walking shoes. all of my current feelings and i are going to take a walk around the block. it will look a little bit like me walking with the characters from inside out if you have seen that movie;) i think that we all need a little fresh air after a rough night and early morning nap.

i hope that your mondays are starting out good, and that this week looks to hold only good things for you. xoxo

Friday, January 22, 2016

hello friday, good to see you

ok, here is the deal -- i am tired of feeling nauseas and i am tired of writing about feeling nauseas, so i am not going to write about it until i can say that i no longer feel it -- which will be a pretty kick ass day. that day is not today, but i know that if i just hang in here long enough, that day will come. that day has to come. right? right. that day's blog post might just be the shortest blog post ever. it might say just "nauseus. no more". you will know what that means;)

i got in a walk around the neighborhood today (don't worry mom, i did not over do it i promise) and it was so nice to see some blue sky and feel some fresh air in my lungs. i had just come around the corner to my house when it started to dump rain. so i figured that i couldn't have probably timed that walk any better because i am not going to take a chance on getting sick by walking in the rain (i am sure that my mom is thrilled to see that in writing).

i started reading tiny beautiful things today and so far am loving it. my friend ellie borrowed it to me because she had read it and thought i would really like it (thank you ellie, xoxo). my kind friend kirsten in texas asked if i would like to read a book together while i recover so we are reading this one. we both just started so i am looking forward to getting to see what she thinks of it as we move along through the pages.

i heard the song "humble and kind" and watched the video by tim mcgraw yesterday for the first time. wow. just wow. i loved the lyrics and i think that the video is so beautiful due to the images within it. the image showing the woman entering the scan machine was when my tears started to fall. a new favorite song that will be on my music rotation for sure.

i hope that you all have really good weekends. ours is going to include the start of girl scout cookie season (i will give you one guess who is the lead cookie mom for the entire troop). i am hungry for some fajitas so i told barrett that if i am up for it i want to see if i can gimp my way into town for some food. we have a girl scout event for malena. we have projects to finish due to the flooding we had last year (and when i say "we" i really mean barrett since i can't lift anything and will essentially just be supervising his work;)). i also hope it includes the chance for me to get some more walks in and a little more reading -- and some games of "sorry" in which malena will undoubtedly win like she always does (for the record, i used to be the champion of that game when i was a kid, but the girl is giving me a run for my money).

i hope that you all have a great weekend -- do something fun. please. it is the weekend. you aren't gimped up with four incisions and a healing lung. you can make the most of it. please do it. i plan to even with four incisions and a healing lung.

talk to you on the flip side of the weekend. xoxo

Thursday, January 21, 2016

the latest

i think that it will be easier to assume that my days are filled with nausea and pain until i actually can write that they aren't.

yesterday was another bad round in the morning, and then it started to lift a bit and i felt good enough to do a couple of walking laps around our block with my dad. the fresh air seemed to help a bit so i was hoping to do that again in the afternoon.

but nausea had other plans for me. i was feeling ok in the afternoon and then got hit with what i will lovingly call a tsunami wave of nausea. it came on so bad and so quickly that it honestly felt like getting hit and knocked over by a huge wave. i was able to sleep a bit of it off and was then pretty much wiped out from that point forward.

i am feeling really tired today - had a hard time falling asleep last night due to pain so i think that it was around 1:30am by the time i finally got to sleep. no partying for me tonight (as if that would happen, i am still in such rough shape that a taste of cider doesn't even sound remotely good. you know that means i feel tough;)).

i hope that your thursday is going well, and you are doing something fun as part of your day. get some ice cream. read a book. watch a favorite show. take yourself out for some dinner that sounds good. have a cold cider (or two) for me.

thanks for all of the good vibes that you are continuing to be sent our way, we really appreciate it.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016


mornings seems to be my roughest time for some reason.

i was very nauseas again this morning so had to take meds and lay back down for a couple of hours until i felt good enough to get up.

when the nausea comes, it really comes on hard. hoping that as i start to head farther out from surgery that the nausea dissipates a little more each day. i am definitely still really sore on my left side and can feel when i breathe that my lung is working its way back up to full strength. no running for me in the next week or two;) but i am looking forward to feeling well enough to go on some longer walks outside of the house to get some fresh air when i can.

going to leave the house today for the first time since coming home to go to a doctor appointment for malena. it will nice to be out for a little bit, and hopefully i can do it without too much pain or discomfort. i am sure that little trip will pretty much wipe me out.

next wednesday is our follow up appointment with the surgeon to get the results of the tests on the nodules and for him to see how my lung and incisions are recovering. i am working on scheduling my appointment with my oncologist (which will be after the one with my surgeon) where we will talk about the results and what we will do next. i am glad that those appointments don't start until next week, i am not feeling physically strong enough (not to even mention the emotional side of it) to make it through those yet.

i hope that you have a great day;)

Monday, January 18, 2016

monday morning

yesterday was a slow day, was again down more than i was up. slept through the seahawks game which i guess was a good thing.

this morning i woke up with really bad nausea so i took my meds and immediately went back to bed. just got up and had a little to eat, feeling a little better so we will see if that holds.

malena is out of school today so hoping that i feel good enough to play a game or two with her today.

hope that you all had a good weekend, and that your week gets off to a good start.

take care. xoxo

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I wish my first post on here was under some different circumstances but I got called off the bench to be the pinch-writer tonight.  Today was a rougher day as Alli spent more of the day laying down in discomfort than up and about.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better as she is one more day into recovery. 

We do want to thank everyone for their kindness and generosity in helping us out, especially our parents.  While we never wanted Alli to go through this again it does mean a lot to us of how many people have helped in every way imaginable.

-The Husband

PS - Go Hawks!!!

Friday, January 15, 2016

hello friday

first off, big thanks to my awesome sister for doing updates all week. i so appreciated it - and once someone showed me her update each day, i laughed each time. nice work nerd, love you. (ps - "shalom" has been how we have greeted each other for as long as i can remember, for absolutely no particular reason at all. so her using that as her intro each time was hilarious to me, which i think was her goal;))

today has been another long day of nausea, hoping that it trails off more and more as each day goes by. because of that, i have been down more than i have been up today. but i am just listening to what my body needs and going with that.

we took my bandages off today which is always rough. hurts like hell physically to take the bandages off and hurts like hell emotionally to see the four new incisions that will now carry my wounds of this fight. my left side looks like a battleground which was to be expected. i also have multiple bruises on my stomach from where they injected heprin (sps?) directly into my stomach to ensure that i didn't get any blood clots, and very sore hands from the large iv needles that were put into the top of each hand.

so i am moving slow but getting better day by day, slow and steady wins the race, right?

thanks for all of the love and support this week, we really appreciate - it helps so much to know that we have so many rooting for us as we move through this.

i hope that you all have a great weekend. get outside. do something fun. go on a new adventure. start a new book you have wanted to read. check out a restaurant you have been curious about. stay in your pjs a little longer just because you can. whatever would make you happy this weekend, do that. everything else will be on the to do list later (and is not as important anyways).

trust me.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Recovery Day 3

"People have scars in all sorts of unexpected places.
Like secret roadmaps of their personal history.
The scars you bear are the signs of a competitor"


Allison didn't have the best day today.  She was having dizzy spells and is nauseous.  It was supposed to be a shower day…. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. 

Please keep sending your good thoughts and recovery wishes toward Sammamish.

oh… btw in case you didn't guess I wasn't not a winner last night with the PowerBall.  But my daughter did win $4.  not quite sure how she is going to divide that up between her friends and her family.

Good Evening to you all


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Recovery Day 2


Soooooo…. is anyone reading this a new Billionaire? I believe they just had the drawing.  I haven't checked my numbers yet.  But oh what fun it has been dreaming about what we would do with the money.  My daughter (she's 24) asked tonight if giving each of her friends a million dollars would be ok or it it would seem cheap?  I simply answered by asking if I would get more than her friends :)  She said of course.

 Alli is doing very well.  She still has quite a bit of pain but she is trying to stay on top of it with the medication.  She has been doing her breathing and her laps around the house.  Our mom says she is a very good patient.

Will report again tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recovery Day One

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes my way"
-Eleanor Roosevelt


Here is what I know.  She had a rough pain filled night but that seems to be getting under control. The tube was removed this afternoon and she has had a couple sets of X-rays.  While I am typing she is getting ready to be discharged. (yippie) I am sure she will feel better in her own bed with several people lovingly taking care of her.  Not that the hospital staff was lacking but you get my meaning.

Funny story…. Monday morning I get a panicked text from Alli telling me she can't put on lotion or chapstick.  It should have been written in ALL CAPS because I know she was freaking out. Between us two we corner the market on chapstick…. its a obsession.  So I put on chapstick and lotion and text her back to tell her it would be ok that I put it on for her.

I will update you all tomorrow.

where she goes you go…. and right now thats HOME


Monday, January 11, 2016

Post Surgery Report


This will be short but I have good news to report.  Surgery went as well as we could have hoped and when I spoke to our mom a short while ago Alli was in recovery.  She could possible be released from the hospital tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers, good mojo and crossed fingers.

I will update tomorrow when I have more information.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

here we go

i am eating a big bowl of fruit, it will be my last food for a long time to come.

so i am really enjoying it.

my special shower of the night has been taken. the work "out of office" messages and voicemails have been set.

now it comes down to packing the hospital bag, getting things ready for malena to keep the routine moving while we are at the hospital, downloading some new music to listen to, etc.

the final details.

i am feeling the usual mix of emotions.







i really wish this wasn't my story.

but it is.

and so onward i go.

thanks for all of the prayers, love, and mojo -- it all means so much to us.

my sister will do updates on the blog starting tomorrow until i can take it back on. so check out the blog for updates (and reminder, if you get blog updates via email, the emails have a delay so you will see updates on the actual blog before you see them in your inbox), i expect that surgery will be done sometime towards early evening but we will see how it goes.

bring on the fight.

anywhere i go, you go.


Saturday, January 9, 2016


check-in time is 12pm on monday.

i stop eating at midnight on sunday (not like i will actually be eating at midnight on sunday but you know what i mean).

no water past 8am monday.

shower sunday night with the special soap that is needed before surgery.

shower monday morning with the special soap that is needed before surgery.

surgery is long so i probably won't be out until early evening time.

not sure how that will affect whether i am in the hospital for one day or two so we will just see how that rolls. not like i am going to have any amount of control over that - or like i will be able to make a run for it with a chest tube in - so i am pretty much going to be there until they tell me that i can leave and i gimp myself out of there.

i will write more tomorrow, but wanted to let you know to start channeling the vibes for noon on monday.

that will be go time.

have a good weekend peeps, i finally just finished up working after a  really long night at the office and an early morning at a coffee shop.

i am heading home for some down time with my family, and am very much looking forward to that.

thanks for all of the good vibes, prayers and thoughts - we feel and carry with us each and every one.

anywhere i fight, you fight.


Friday, January 8, 2016

for beth

it was two years ago today that beth was diagnosed with cancer.

i can still remember the exact moment she called me.

it was dark out. it was raining. i was driving on my way home. i was on state route 202 and was just about to turn off to head up the hill towards our house.

i remember seeing my phone ring with her name lighting up. i remember answering the phone and hearing her voice and knowing something was wrong. very wrong. and then she told me.

it is amazing how you can remember every detail of those conversations. i remember her calling me as vividly as i remember the doctors telling me i had been diagnosed. i remember it is vividly as i remember when my parents had all of us kids in the kitchen to tell us that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. i remember every single detail of those conversations.

so today i am sending beth extra amounts of love as she finds her way through this second cancerversary. an anniversary that i really wish that she didn't have, but i am thankful that on this one (as i know will be the case for all others to come) she has no cancer present. super, super thankful for that. could not ask for more than that today.

so send out some extra love to seattle today as she gently finds her way through this day. these days when you remember the exact moment your life changed are hard ones. i know. i really wish she didn't have to.

and have a good weekend. i hope that you all do something fun. ours is going to include me wrapping up work. camp outs. sleeping in. a new round of swim lessons starting for kiddo. watching the seahawks win on sunday. lots of good things.

i will write more later this weekend, and then my sister (aka nerd) is going to take over the blog as she did last time i had surgery.

so until sometime on sunday, have a good one. xo

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

this week

this week.

it has included a lot of things so far and i am half way there.

a lot of work.

not much sleep.

tickle fights.

a giggle fest with my girl.

calls to insurance to confirm when they will tell me if my disability leave will be approved (spoiler alert, they actually don't tell me until after i have had surgery. don't even get me started.)

green teas.

more work.

a great letterpress class with great friends.

the woman at human resources ending an email about my leave with "congratulations! it's close!;)" which immediately indicated to me that she had clearly not paid enough attention to remember that i wasn't going out on maternity leave but was having surgery. you know, basically the same thing. in opposite land. just another little punch to the gut and reminder that i won't ever get to go out on maternity leave again and the only disability leave i will take will be due to cancer. as you can imagine, her email to apologize when she realized the mistake was a little too late to make up for it.

kindness from friends.

watching my girl tumble and jump at gymnastics.

having a woman stop me at work as i was on my way to a meeting to tell me that she is sending me prayers. it caught me off guard because i was in work mode and had my mind focused entirely on work. i totally appreciate the thoughts, don't get me wrong, but it was hard to recover from that as she talked to me about how kids need their moms. i literally had to take some deep breaths to pull it together because i was about to fall completely apart.

a girls dinner with kiddo including a chocolate milkshake and extra sprinkles.

tears at a counseling appointment. talking through the hard stuff. passing the kleenex. taking comfort that him and i are doing the best we can for her. being a parent going through anything with cancer is harder than you can imagine. it feels like your heart constantly breaks for yourself and for her.

so one day at a time.

actually one minute at a time.

because that seems to be about as much as i can handle at this point.

happy thursday all.

ps) for those of you that love emily mcdowell's cards, she has some new ones out this week. you can see them here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

kicking it off polar style

we started the year of with a 5k run and a polar plunge into lake washington.

they don't call it "polar" for no reason.

it was cold but it was fun. this was our second year in a row doing it and we had a good time (considering we were running 3 miles and then going into the super cold lake). go team hanson.

so the week before surgery is here. this week will be very busy with getting things wrapped up at the office and doing a transition to the person that will keep things moving when i am out.

transitioning is a mix of anxiety, anger, frustration -- you name it. i don't want to be from out (unless it is a planned vacation;)), i don't want to miss things happening on the projects i work on, and so i get bitter and i get angry. just two of the many emotions swirling around here this week.

i hope that you all had a great time ringing in 2016 whether you did it quietly or loudly with horns and kazoos like we did.

i hope that whatever you are hoping for this year comes your way.

happy 2016 all, here we go.