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Hey Hey, Holy Cow! It’s Our Home Opener…

8 Apr

April 8, 2013

Time to bust out your uniforms…

Dust off your good luck tchotchkes…

And cut a rug…

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… because this is the year!

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I Hope…

25 Jan

January 25, 2013

In my last post, less than 2 weeks ago, I said I would be very happy to not talk about cancer… so I’m not going to talk about cancer.

Instead, I’ve chosen to talk about hope because hope is positive and optimistic. Hope keeps you going when times get tough. Hope keeps you dreaming. Hope looks forward to a happy tomorrow, even if today isn’t so happy. Hope is believing and trusting. Hope is one of those things in life you cannot do without. I’d rather talk about hope than cancer.

There’s the kind of hope you use in your everyday life…

I hope I get a good parking spot…

I hope that sweater is still on sale…

I hope I remembered to set my DVR…

And then there’s the kind of hope and longing that fills your entire heart and soul.

I’ve known that kind of hope all too well. First with my own diagnosis, then with my father, and now for my cousin Jenny and her husband (my cousin-in-law) Charlie. Just a short while ago we found out that Charlie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was one of those sucker punches that came from nowhere. One day you’re celebrating Christmas, then you turn around and you’re dealing with cancer.

We’ll never understand why these things have to happen so the best we can do is to hold on to hope, and to give hope in whatever way we can. I sent Li’l Charlie, my superhero of Hope, off to Charlie and Jenny to watch over them and to remind them that we believe in them and that we believe in the power of hope.

Li’l Charlie

Complete with a purple ribbon heart!

Jenny has been writing about their journey on their Caring Bridge website and I wanted to share the site because the more positive, good thoughts heading their way, the better.

Real Charlie

I recently came across a sweet quote…

“Hope is knowing that people, like kites, are made to be lifted up”

Charlie, as you begin your treatments next week, our hope is that you and Jenny will continue to feel loved and lifted by all those around you.

Please know that your aunt, uncle, cousins, and cousins-in-law are sending our love to you!

A New Year and a New Direction…

13 Jan

January 13, 2013

It’s been 2 months since my last post about my dad’s fantastic news. We had a wonderful holiday season with so much to be happy and grateful for. Topping that list of course is that my dad has continued to receive positive news from his doctors and he feels stronger and healthier every day. Look at him…

Doesn’t he look amazing? (and my mom too of course!)  To look like he does after all he went through–and at age 80–is absolutely incredible.

So it’s January 2013 and I’d like very much not to write about cancer. Happily, my blog needs a new direction and until I figure something out, I suppose I’ll do what I did back in 2009. I’ll post pictures of the dolls I’m making…

And the food we’re eating…

And feel grateful that I can take a blog break from cancer.

Here’s to a very happy and healthy New Year!

Short and Sweet…!

14 Nov

November 14, 2012

Yep, it’s WONDERFUL news!  My dad is CANCER-FREE!!!

Just as I was texting my sister to see if she had heard anything, my phone rang. At 3:28 my world stood still… until I heard his voice. Even before he said it, I knew the news was good just by the tone of his voice.

And when we hung up, I let myself cry. The good kind of cry though. There’s nothing like a good happy cry!

And I let myself listen to the Christmas music station. (I know mom, it’s not Thanksgiving yet but it was just a song or maybe two!)

And now I’m drinking a glass of wine…

And homework? Who cares about homework…

And I’m really happy!

And yes dad….

IT TURNED OUT OKAY…!

With a little help from our friends of course…

I must say, we have quite a few angels up in heaven and here on earth who have been with us these past few months. Thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts. It means so much and we are forever grateful.

Dad, I hope you’re enjoying a good dinner and have a good night’s sleep.  You SO deserve it!

I love you so much!

Waiting…

14 Nov

Wednesday, November 1410:30am

Waiting is the hardest thing to do.

When you’ve done everything you can and there is nothing left to do but wait, it’s absolutely the hardest thing in the world. Today my dad is having the scope that will tell us that he is cancer-free.

I feel numb. Void of emotions. I’m on auto pilot. It’s a very familiar feeling for me, as it’s how I survived between the time I was diagnosed with cancer and the day I had surgery.

I remember feeling normal as I went on with life as usual after my diagnosis. I scheduled appointments and saw doctors. We went swimming, had cook-outs, laughed, and drank wine. We went for bike rides, walks, and even took a 4-day trip to the Wisconsin Dells.

I began to make arrangements for when I’d be away. I made play dates for Bobby. I cleaned the house, washed clothes, stocked the kitchen. I made sure that phone numbers, directions, and instructions were all available to whoever might need them. I had to know that everything would keep running while I was away because if I didn’t do all of those things, everything would fall apart. Or so my mind kept telling me.

My mind kept itself busy with the logistics, the plans, the checklist… always the checklist. I didn’t really start crying until the surgeon began drawing all over my back. Drawing where he was going to cut. Then the tears started… and they didn’t stop for quite a while.

I feel that way today. I woke up and thought, “Good, it’s Wednesday. It’s finally Wednesday.” I got Bobby off to school, I made coffee, I’m writing this blog and thinking back to 2 years ago. I’m thinking of what homework will need to get done tonight, who was eliminated on Dancing With The Stars, what I have to pick up at the store. So much to think about…

Or so my mind keeps telling me.

But once I peel away the layers that my mind is working so hard to bury is the thought of my dad’s scope. Waiting to hear the words that we so desperately need to hear. The words that he’s okay.

Waiting is the hardest thing to do…

And we’ll know soon.

Sweet October…

28 Oct

October 28, 2012

What a mixed bag of emotions this October has been…

The month began with the sweetest surprise, both literally and figuratively. Bobby’s good friend Jacob surprised me with this adorable cake…

Not only did he make the cake from scratch, but he designed it all on his own. Using a pattern he made himself, he cut the cake into a ribbon shape (no ribbon shaped cake pan for this baker), rolled out fondant, made the frosting and the cake…everything from scratch. It was beautiful, and probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted. Bobby obviously agreed…

I see a future Food Network star here… and future CEO of  Jake’s Cakes Inc. Thank you Jacob for this incredibly touching and tasty start to Breast Cancer Awareness month. You are a special guy with a special family, and we are so blessed to have you all in our lives.

Then the October issue of Lake County Magazine came out with an article about Hope and Fundraising. A few weeks earlier I had received a call from a writer who was doing a story on fundraising. We had a lovely conversation which resulted in a wonderful article that touched on my blog, ACS fundraising, my dolls, and our Life In A Day experience. We were so excited to see the magazine when we were out one night that I grabbed 8 copies. Bobby then told me that I should have left some for others to read. Hmmm, how did he become the voice of reason at age 9? Well, the article is below!

Cathy in LC Magazine

On October 21st, my team Cathy and Her 2 Bobs took to the pavement and walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event at Independence Grove. My sisters-in-law Diane and Jennifer, and nieces Kylee and Nicki (in spirit!) made the day so very special for me. They surprised me with our team sweatshirts…

Diane made the greatest team sign…

And of course, we had our traditional post-walk breakfast at Wildberry…

Along with hundreds of other people with the same idea.  But we waited it out HALTS and all…

And left HALT-less and happy.

Our close friends Jill, Robert, Laura, Nick, and CJ rounded out the team with the quote of the day going to 5-year old CJ when, after having walked long enough, he said “Mom, why are you making me do this?”

He doesn’t know it now but someday I hope he’ll know that he made his friend Bobby and Bobby’s mom very happy by being there that day!

And of course in my thoughts and prayers all the time is my dad. This has been a rough month for him. He’s been through hell and back but the blessing here is “back.” He’s on his way back.

The combination of chemo and radiation has been brutal. There is really no other way to describe it. It took a toll on him both physically and emotionally but even so, he was determined to keep going for his radiation treatments. The will he had to keep pushing through is none other than amazing, and a testament to the human spirit and my dad’s amazing strength.

He’s now 3 weeks out of treatments and feeling stronger day by day. Not by leaps and bounds but just little by little. And we’ll certainly take that.

The next milestone will be confirmation that the treatments did what they were intended to do. In my heart I know they did but we just have to hear the words from the doctor.

So yes, October was a mixed bag of emotions with many ups and downs. It was very tough and we felt very sad at times, but it was also very happy and we felt very grateful at times. Through it all though, we felt hopeful. We feel hopeful. Always hopeful.

And that’s a sweet way to end October…

Okay, We’re Changing Colors…

9 Sep

September 9, 2012

In my last post (which really was going to be my last!) I said it was time to wrap up this leg of my journey and put my little blog on the shelf. Well my blog is literally on the shelf thanks to Blog2Print, a website that magically turned it into a real book…

Oh, if only life were as neat and tidy as that. Wrap it up, magically put it on a shelf, live happily ever after…

But we all know that life isn’t as neat and tidy as that. Life’s journeys change course and change colors–and mine has done just that. My newest journey, along with my family, is to be a support to my father as he bravely navigates his journey with bladder cancer. Pink has now changed to blue, lavender, and marigold (the official colors of bladder cancer awareness). It’s not a journey any of us wanted to buy a ticket for but it’s one that we will travel together.

I’m new to this side of the road, the side of being the supporter in a cancer diagnosis, and I didn’t start out doing a great job–evident on the day we found out dad had to have chemo and radiation. I was a mess and there my dad was soothing and reassuring me, telling me that he felt good and that everything was going to be okay. Words he has always said to me throughout my entire life. No matter what my worry was, he would always say it was going to be okay, that I was going to be okay. And those words from him always did make me feel okay.

And things are okay. His prognosis is a good one and the PET scan showed that thankfully the cancer did not spread. He is, however, going through a rigorous treatment of radiation and chemotherapy, so I’m going to ask for prayers. Prayers for his continued strength and optimistic outlook. Prayers for my mom who is by his side daily. Prayers that he’ll continue to be okay…

Because now it’s his turn to hear those words.

Dad, it’s going to be okay, you’re going to be okay.

And you’re loved so very much!

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