Friday, September 1, 2017

{confession time...I'm back!}

It's been a little over two years since I disappeared  abandoned my little blog. I loved my little spot in the blogosphere...and I still do. But then life kicked me in the gut, slapped me in the face and stomped on my hands. And try as I might, I could not write. Believe me I tried. I would sit with my laptop on my lap and my hands hovering over the keys, but that's it...that's all I would do. I could not will my hands to type. All I could was sit and stare at the blank screen before me.

Last year, I shared a piece of my story and I thought that my sharing my story it would open the door for me to write again. But there was more baggage and junk I had to sort through before my mind was free and clear to begin writing again. 

The other night, with my back against the wall I knew it was time. I had to write. I had to open my heart and share what has been plaguing me these past couple of years. I began chipping away at the walls I had built and I started to feel like myself again. I was reminded why I write. I write to share my story. And so I am sharing another bit of my story with you, my loyal readers.

This week I sent out a letter, a letter, that in all honestly should have been sent months ago, but my heart could not write it till this week. Please read the letter below.

I have sat and stared at this screen for the last 2 hours. My fingers poised on the keys and l yet my hands are frozen in place. I have tried to write this numerous times but it’s one of those things never seems to come out right. How do you talk about cancer and ask for donations without sounding too gimmicky. I figured the best way to do so would be to share our story. And to write as if I was speaking to you face to face. So here it goes.

Our story is one among millions. My mom may be the one infected with cancer, but the thing about cancer is that it does not just infect one person--It infects the entire family. Two years ago, I was sitting in the car with my best friend. My taste buds were about to experience the culinary magic that takes place when you combine chicken and waffles in one swift bite when I got the call. The pain that had been plaguing my mom for the past 8 months was a tumor. And not just one tumor, but 6 scattered throughout her lungs and several more hiding out in her neck, and along her spine. Her cancer was back in full force, but this time it was stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. In layman terms, she is terminal and she has to undergo chemotherapy treatments in order to stay alive.

That night, when I got home, I threw open my laptop and hopped on Facebook. I immediately joined/liked every page and group about breast cancer that I could find. I then combed through the City of Hope page to find any opportunities I could find to help. I had to do something. If I could not cure my mom of cancer I was going to find a way to help prevent it and maybe one day cure it. In my search to do something I stumbled upon the Avon 39 walk to end breast cancer. It’s two days, 39.3 miles and women just like me walking for women just like my mom. This is something I could do. I could walk. I could help raise money. I could help change lives.

A few weeks ago, we found out the cancer had traveled to my mom’s brain. The few good years we thought we had left were cut down to a year, maybe months. Our daily life just went into hyper drive.  The time I thought I had to be able deal with all this is gone. The time I needed to prepare my kids for losing the only grandma they have---gone. There is no more planning for things, it’s all about the now and living in the moment.

Cancer has taught us to live in the moment; to take nothing for granted and to make sure to always say “I love you.” Cancer has also taught me to be thankful for modern medicine; to fight like crazy for what’s important, and to take lots and lots of pictures. Most importantly, cancer has taught me not to take time for granted. Time is of the essence and the time is now.

Will you please support me, my mom, my kids, our family and help stomp out breast cancer. Click here to donate.

As of now, I am only third of the way towards my goal. If I do not reach my goal they will not let me walk. I need to walk. Not just for my mom, but for me. I need to do my part to stand up to cancer. It cannot rule over my life anymore...will you please help me.

my sweet momma and my kids 

Monday, January 9, 2017

{hello monday, hello new year}

{source unknown}

Hello Monday, Hello New Year!
Hello, new week. I don't know about you, but I never consider the first week of the year, the first week of the new year. Instead I look at the first week as a transition period...a transition from all the parties and fun to buckling down and getting things in order.
Hello new challenges. This week is already stocked with interesting challenges and I would lying if I did not wish I could just sleep through it all. While part of me would like to chant "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger", instead, I will cling to slivers of hope to get me through the hiccups of the week.
Hello to new routines. With a new year comes new routines. This year I am doing my best to stay grounded and not become over ambitious as in the years past.
Hello to making list and getting things done. My to-do list is about mile long, but I am determined to not let it undo me, but rather conquer it step by step.
Last, but not least, Hello to you! It's been way too long! Let's not let that much time pass between us again.   

Monday, October 3, 2016

{hello monday:its been awhile}

Hello Monday, when what I would really like to say is good riddance, see you later, let's skip right over you and start on Tuesday.
Hello to a new week and praying this one's better...the few weeks, especially last week, have been extremely difficult. My faith and trust in God is been stretched in crazy, unpredictable ways. And I must say, if it weren't for my friends and church family I do not know how I would have made it through. 
Hello to October which usually means cooler weather, dusting the cobwebs off your boots and chunky sweaters, that is unless you live in southern California...ugh!
Hello to rest...My body has been overrun and overwrought by stress and anxiety these past few weeks. And so this week I have decided to make a conscience decision to make it a point to rest, even it's just for 15 minutes...just a time decompress and spend some time in uninterrupted prayer.
Hello to finishing up some books that almost finished reading...There is nothing like finishing a book and immediately starting something new.
Hello to writing again. It's been too long. And it is cathartic for  troubled my soul. 
Hello to making some cupcakes...because why not?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Breaking my silence and kicking some butt


My fourth of July started out like any other....I slept in, hung out with the kids, made my first ice box cake, loaded everyone into the minivan and headed over to our friends house to swim. The air was hot, the pool was refreshing, the food was delicious. The rest of the afternoon we alternated between the pool and stuffing our faces with hot dogs, chips and fruit. And I wish I could say we ended the day with an amazing fireworks show, but life does not always go as I have learned this past year. Instead,  I ended the night in the emergency room waiting to hear if my great aunt had broken her hip.
The frailty of  life slapped me in the face as I drove home and the tears began to roll down my face in waves. I cried and I cried. I cried  for my aunt, lying in the hospital bed and full of fear. I cried for my mom and the last year that I spent surviving instead of thriving. And I cried for the unknown future.
Let me rewind back, to last June. Life was relatively good...We had found a new church family, bills were being paid, the kids were healthy, I was in the midst of grad school and then with one phone call everything began to slowly crash down.  
I do not remember exactly what was said or who it was on the other end off the line. All I remember is this: sitting in my best friend's VW, in the parking lot of Roscoe's  and the words -- "It's breast cancer and its stage four"-- finding their way to my ear. And at that moment, I am in complete and utter control. My voice is even keeled, I am "ok". But minutes later when I hear my husbands voice on the other side of the phone all the fear and the  sadness that has been building up inside of me spews out in one giant gut wrenching sob escapes my lips. These sobs come one after another, over and over again like ocean waves. While the words breast cancer, stage four, and terminal flew through my mind like a runaway teleprompter.
That ordinary June day was just the beginning catalyst of a very turbulent, trying year. And despite all the trials that followed, my mom's cancer is the one that has stunted me the most. If you are at all familiar with cancer, stage four is the worst and basically means terminal. Even now, a year later, saying, or this case typing, the word "terminal" sends a chill down my just doesn't seem real.  I see my mom and she looks "normal", maybe a little more slimmed down, but otherwise the same. When I watch her chase my kids around I cannot believe that inside her body a war is going on. But then there are those moments when she winces in pain, or struggles to catch her breath that the reality of her diagnosis slaps me in the face. 
Cancer is our new reality. It dictates everything we do. It has infiltrated almost every aspect our lives. Cancer does not just infect one person, it infects the whole family. Cancer is our new normal. 
Cancer took my words, but I am fighting back now and taking my words back. So, in an effort to kick cancers butt, I am writing again. Cancer is not going to win.


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