Thursday, December 28, 2017

she laid her gloves down for the last time

"on the death of a friend,
we should consider that the fates through confidence
have devolved on us the task of a double living,
that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also,
in our own, to the world."

this morning i woke up to the news that my friend greta had laid down her fighting gloves for the last time in her long fight against melanoma.

in her husband wallace's words, "greta put her fighting gloves down after a long and courageous battle with melanoma. she passed with the same gracious dignity with which she lived life. please keep our family in your prayers."

there are many things that i could write about how i am feeling and the complete sadness that immediately washed over me as soon as i read those words. and maybe those words will someday fill this space.

but for now, i just ask that you send your love to wallace and traz and their family and friends as they find their way forward without her physically being with them each day.

she was one hell of a fighter, and i will wear my gloves they gave me in her honor and continue the fight.

much love and prayers to their family, i know that i will never forget her or her friendship, i know there are countless others in this world that are feeling the same tonight. it is very clear that she was loved by so, so many.

she will never be forgotten. that i know for sure.

anywhere i fight, she will fight right along with me.

she gave me the best gloves to get in the ring with after all.

i will give it everything i have got, and i will take comfort in knowing she will always still be in my corner of the ring.

goodbye my friend, you will be missed more than you know.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

bittersweet holidays this year + an ask to send love

"say not, in grief, that she is gone, but give thanks that she was yours"

we lost my beloved grandma dot wednesday during the middle of the night.

she lived 95 full years.

this picture of her with malena is one of my most favorite pictures i have of her. they were goofing around on easter of this year with some funny glasses that malena had got.

i had the chance to see her last weekend, she was sleeping soundly from the meds, and didn't know that we were there. but i knew in my heart that it may be my last time to see her, and i stayed by her and gave her a kiss goodbye without waking her. and i held out hope that maybe life would give me the chance to see her again. but that was not in the cards, and i am thankful that when she left us she was not alone and she was not in pain.

i could hear my phone ringing early thursday morning when i was in the shower and i knew.

she was gone.

it is those life moments when you just know. my sister said the same thing, when she saw her phone ringing and that it was our mom she knew before she even answered that grandma was gone.

i stayed home on thursday with barrett and malena to grieve. and the tears fell all day.

and they continue to do so.

it would have been hard to lose her at anytime, at the holidays feels especially rough.

i will have more to write about her in the future, but for now, i am just keeping her in my heart, giving myself time to just be sad, and the words will come when i am ready.

the holidays are upon us and they are as always, bittersweet for me. the feeling of being in the moment with my family and friends, and that voice in my head that wonders what life will look like during the holidays next year. but i try to focus on my counselor telling me to try my best to stay in the moment. this year feels incredibly hard since i am in the trial and because of the scan results we got and now with the loss of my grandma. but i am doing my best and that is all i can do.

i wish you all a very happy holiday season, may it bring you peace, comfort and joy whether you celebrate solo or with friends and family or some combination of both.

in closing and very close to my heart, i ask that you send your prayers and love to greta, wallace, and traz in new jersey. greta is preparing to put her fighting gloves down for the last time in her fight against melanoma. send them all the love you possibly can. thank you.

peace to all of you, enjoy your holidays. xoxo

Monday, December 11, 2017

long monday

today was a long one as to be expected.

a couple of hiccups along the way, as to be expected.

bloodwork went as expected. but when we met with the trial team, they told me i had to continue to fast until after my infusion was going. so i didn't get to eat until 12:30 which isn't a huge deal, but i was so hungry by the time that i could eat.

in total, two rounds of bloodwork from my port, two rounds of ekgs, one nivo infusion, one iron infusion, one round of oral meds, waiting for test results, four rounds of vitals, lot of warm blankets, and when all was said and done - we were there for about 7.5 hours by the time we walked out the doors. 

we talked with my counselor for an hour, and i am not going to go into what we talked about (at least not yet anyways), but i can tell you that it was a tear filled hour. it was emotionally exhausting but good at the same time. good in that i said some words that i haven't been able to say yet, and she gave us some good ideas of things to talk about and think about as we move forward. let's all keep our fingers crossed that this counselor doesn't move on me, or i might have to stalk her and go where she goes. for reals. but not in a scary way;)

i fell asleep on the way home. sat on the couch next to my mom when i got home, fell asleep again, and laid down with my legs across her like i did when i was a kid. i was lights out.

up for the rest of the evening as i have to take  my second round of meds at 10:30pm since i took my first round so late in the day. brutal at this point as i am so tired. but it is what it is.

at the same time i was getting my infusion, my friends michael and jennifer were we at UW as she is having her latest round of scans to see what the cancer is doing. hopefully it is doing nothing and shrinking or at least not growing. they get their results on friday. please send your love and prayers and mojo to them all week as we need those results to be what they want them to be on friday. thank you (insert big heart emoji here).

well, i am off to eat now so that i can take my meds. 

thanks for all of the support and good thoughts ---- and thank you especially for sending them to michael and jennifer. 

anywhere i fight, you fight - and today we put in one hell of a round. you can tell by those kick ass gloves that we weren't messing around. xoxo

Sunday, December 10, 2017

it's one of those mondays

"i like living.
i have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow;
but through it all i still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing"
(agathie christie)

yep, it is one of those mondays.

treatment day.

but due to the trial, i have to fast for this one.

bloodwork starts at 7:40am.

then two ekgs at 8:30.

then doctor appointment and meet with clinical trial lead.

then infusion of my drug should start around 11:30.

then i take my trial drugs.

then my infusion of iron around 12:30.

then either home to rest or work, depends on how the day goes.

the gloves above are new boxing gloves that were sent to me from my friends greta and wallace in new jersey. greta is also a stage iv melanoma fighter and is now home with hospice care. i have wrote about them many times and recently in this space. please continue to send them all of the love and prayers you can. they sent me these gloves and told me to keep on fighting. 

so tomorrow i will pick up these gloves and put them on and officially walk back into the ring. although i have a couple of weeks in on the trial, i don't think know i was not fully ready to pick up any gloves again.

but tomorrow i will.

for wallace and for greta and for their son.

they asked me to keep fighting, and one fighter doesn't let another fighter down.

i had a smaller pair of boxing gloves that i would take with me to my appointments, scans, etc. when my sister-in-law kim went through her surgeries, i gave the gloves to her because i knew they belonged with her at that time. she eventually gave them back to me when we knew things weren't going my way and i just recently gave them to a boy i know who is fighting crohn's disease and has to go to infusions too (which is only a small part of what he is going through). i figured they belonged to him now since he has had to join the fight club and needed some battle gear of his own to take to his appointments. as i said above, fighters stick together.

so bring it on monday, you will be tough but i will be tougher.

anywhere i fight, you fight.

here we go again. xoxo