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Scans yesterday

Friday, May 17th, 2013





Just a little update to let you know that Jack did really well yesterday with his scans.  We got to the hospital and he was in great spirits.  We were able to deliver some of our “Stronger Than Cancer” shirts to some of the PCH employees since we had a little bit of time on our hands.  Walking back in to radiology used to feel like you were walking into the hallways of doom because it’s simply terrifying but now, even though we are still nervous about it all, we walk back there and we are greeted by our second family.  The nuclear med team, the CT team, nurse Angela, and of course Dr Maze are all there waiting for us and with open arms.  They care so much about Jack and our family and knowing that they will take such amazing care of him while he is under, makes a huge difference.

Jack fell asleep well, with a smile on his face but with a very strong grip on to Zac’s shirt.  We gave him kisses and ran up to the oncology floor to deliver some more shirts while he was asleep.  The scans didn’t take any longer than needed and we were back in recovery in about 1 1/2 hours.  Jack was sound asleep and after about 20 minutes, he woke up well, ate his popsicle, and we headed home….with a small stop at Toys R Us of course!  Once we were home he had another snack and out he went to play in the backyard….all was back to normal again!

Now we sit and wait for Dr Eshun to call.  We know we won’t know full details until Tuesday but I am really hoping that we get some preliminary results today at some point.  My birthday is on Saturday and the only thing I want is for Jack’s scans to be clear and for him to be cancer free forever.

Thank you all for your love and support…it means so much to us…


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Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

It has been so long since I have done an update so this may end up being a long one!  We have had a very busy few weeks around here, as I am sure you all have!

The cold/flu bug hit our house the week before Christmas with Braden and has slowly made it’s way through our house.  I ended up with it on Christmas Eve and I was so bummed.  I have not been sick since Jack was in infant so for me to be sick, was honestly a shock for everyone!  We had our annual Christmas Eve dinner at our house with family and friends and I was stuck up in my room listing to everyone else have a good time.  Yes, I threw myself a tad of a pity party…especially when Jack started singing Christmas songs.  Naturally, I cried.  I was glad to hear them all having fun and after everyone left I made my way downstairs to keep up with the tradition of leaving reindeer food in the front yard for Rudolf and his friends as well as leaving a note and cookies for Santa.  Let’s not forget that Jack wanted me to make a scarf for Luigi the elf to take home, so we did that too really quick before I slipped back upstairs while  Zac and the rest of my family set up for Christmas morning.  I guess that is the good thing about being sick over the holidays…everyone is there to help!

Since I had to much time to myself, I found myself looking back at pictures and posts over the past couple of years.  2 years ago we were celebrating Jack’s 100 day post transplant.  Some of you may not realize what a big event that was…we were able to go outside again without wearing a mask.  Jack was able to leave the the house…period.  He could go to the grocery store, the park, a friends house, a restaurant.  My parents were able to stop flying here from CA with masks on the plane.  We could let up a tad on the extensive cleaning we did on a daily basis and we started to allow visitors in our house instead of having them sit at our entry way while we visited.  Literally…I had friends sit on the ground, outside of the front door while I sat inside on the tile and chatted just to keep extra germs out of hour house.  We were also able to celebrate with Jack’s helicopter ride with Bruce Haffner…what a way to celebrate such a big accomplishment!!!  We are still so very thankful for that!!

This year we were celebrating Jack’s 748th day post treatment.  My gosh how time flies!  Now he does everything “normal”.  In fact, he was one of the only ones out of all of us to not catch this awful cold.  Go figure!!

Zac and I were able to attend a comedy event on the 29th that benefitted Sandy Hook and that went really well.  It was so nice to be able to do something to give back to a community that was so devastated.   We are still working on our 26 acts of kindness but so far we have bought coffee for people at Starbucks, brought baked good to the baristas, left goods for our mail lady, adopted a US Solider, gave an Albertons gift card to a family in need, gave a Honeybaked Ham gift certifcate to our favorite grocery clerk at Bashas, gave goods to our crossing guard since she keeps us safe, Zac gave money to a homeless man in need, and we still have blankets to donate to the local family shelter, goods for the local fireman, and so much more.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to give back to so many.  We think there are things you can do every single day as “acts of kindness” but to do things specifically in honor of those killed at Sandy Hook…it takes on an entirely different meaning.

We are finalizing our next event, Comedians for a Cure, which will be on March 10th at Stand Up Live and we are so excited about it!  We expect this year to be bigger and better than last year and with your help, we can make that happen!  Mark your calendars now and please save the date and get a sitter!!

Last thing…we are putting in our 3rd “Stronger Than Cancer” t-shirt order this week!!  How exciting is that!?!  If you want to be included in the order, please email me at  We are also selling long sleeve shirts for $25…they are my favorite!!!



Reality check #111

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

It’s been awhile since I have had a post and I have been jotting down things to write about but it all went to hell when Jack gave me a reality check tonight at bed time.  We just got done reading “Warrior Baby” by Shannon Laffoon and he told me he loved the book and put it in a special spot on his bookcase.  He said, “I know just where to put this one….” and off he went.  I asked him if he liked the book and he said he really did and wanted to know more about Wylder and his dog Maddie.  We talked for a bit and then turned off the lights.  He lined up his “guys”…Norbert, Tiger, Bunny, Mario, and Luigi in the correct order and then put his head on his pillow with a smile.  I asked if we should do our prayers now and of course he said yes.  We thanked God for our family and friends.  We thanked God for our health, the food on our table, and the roof over our head.  We asked God to protect our family as he has been…not just us, but our aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents…everyone.  We asked God to help the kids at the hospital that were hurting…to somehow take away their pain and give them hope.  After we were done with our normal prayers, I asked Jack if there was anything he wanted to say and he said…

“Am I allowed to thank God for my toys?”

I told him of course he was…

He said, “Thank you for my toys, my mom, my dad, my brother, my family, my friends…”

I asked him if he wanted to thank God for anything else like “No more…”

And Jack said, “Cancer?”

I said, “Yes, do you want to thank God for no more cancer and to ask him to keep it away forever?”

Jack said, “I already do.”

Me, “Oh…you do?  When?  Every night”

Jack, “pretty much…I always ask for that.”

Oh.  Ok.  Really?  My 5 year old asks God for no more cancer every night on his own, by himself, before bed…Wow.

I am not sure if I should be screaming with pride that my 5 year old would do such a thing or sick to my stomach that he is even thinking of such a thing.  This is what I am going to go with…

I am proud of him.  I am so very proud of him.  When I was asked what gave me the strength to get through the months of treatment that he went though, I said Jack is what got me through. He gave me strength.  He gave me power.  He should be the one getting strength from me and Zac, but he is the one who was doing it.  He knew from the beginning that hew as going to fight and he did.  He knew when he was 2 1/2 that he was going to be ok, because he told me.  He took my face in his tiny little hands and told me, “I am ok.” I believed him and that is what powered me through.  I think he has a connection with others that we don’t have.  Maybe it’s my Grandpa…maybe isn’t his Nanna Lou…I am not sure what it is, but he is wise.  I am a planner, but he plans it out before me and doesn’t even tell me.  He continues to go on with his little life like nothing has happened to him because he knows that every second counts.  Sounds a bit much for a 5 year old…maybe so, but it’s honestly the truth.  He got up every single day through treatment and kept on pushing.  Continued fighting.  Continued loving his life while he was going through hell.  He is my inspiration.  He is my strength.  He is my reason to fight and my reason to never give up.  He prays for no more cancer at night while he is falling asleep.  He is my hero.



Are you standing up?

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Excited, nervous, emotional, happy, thankful…only a few words to describe how I am feeling right now.  Honored…that’s another.  What an amazing opportunity we have to be able to attend the SU2C event tomorrow in LA.  Unreal.  I know not everyone understands this to the level that I feel, but I truly hate cancer so very much and I will do anything to make it go away forever.  Tomorrow I will stand with my sister, Nikki, who has been more than a sister to me…she is my best friend, my children’s second mom, my confidant, my babysitter, my “stand in husband” when Zac has been gone for work…Nikki and I get to go to an event that means so much to so many.  Hundreds of people will be standing up to cancer together while millions are watching on their tv’s.  They all hate cancer because they are a survivor, a fighter, or because they have lost a loved one.  Can you imagine the energy in that room?  It’s one thing to go to an event for fun, but this is an event full of meaning.  Full of fire and fight and I am truly still in denial that we are going.  We get to meet some of the wonderful and amazing people that work for this group and thank them for all they are doing.  Really, it’s amazing and as I type with my stomach doing flips and my nerves about to crack with excitement and nervousness, I want to say thank you to those of you who have supported us for so long. Thank you for being there, thank you for reading, for understanding, for donating, for pushing though the tough times and for celebrating the good times.  Love you all.

It the long run, we are all there to fight the same fight, right?  I wish everyone thought that, but they don’t.  Some are too concerned with their building their own identity and some are just too scared of cancer to stand up and fight.  For those who join, thank you.  For those who don’t, that’s unfortunate…because if it happened to your child, we would be there standing up next to you and fighting.

As I said, a lot of emotions running tonight but please tune in tomorrow night to watch Stand Up 2 Cancer!  We will be there and you may see a face or two you recognize!  Thank you again to you all, to Stand Up 2 Cancer, and to all of the little ones who have fought the fight or are battling it now.  We are there for you.

LOVE school, can’t stand germs…and a big Thank you to Kacey

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

As the post says, we love school so much but we cannot stand the germs!  I know this is very “normal” but really…ughhhh!  Jack came down with this second cold for the year over the weekend it it was pretty uneventful (which is good!).  He did come down with a fever on Sunday and Monday so he had to skip school for a couple of days but he bounced back much faster than his previous colds so that must mean his immunity is back up to par…very exciting!  He did not like staying home from school and was very excited to get back in the swing of things yesterday.  Braden woke up yesterday with the same cold so we are now on lockdown again, but what can you do!

Nikki and I have been planning our trip to LA for the live Stand Up 2 Cancer event and we are so excited!!  I was thinking last night that I haven’t given credit where credit is due.  The amazing photo that you have all seen of Jack leaving his stem cell transplant was taken by my friend, and amazing photographer, Kacey Droz from About Love Studios (  Kacey and I were best friends back in the day and we had lost touch after we started going to different high schools.  When Jack was about 1 1/2, Nikki, Jack, and I were flying out to CA and we ran into Kacey’s mom at the airport.  It has been so long since we had seen each other but she got Kacey and I back in touch and I was so thankful.  Kacey volunteered to come to the hospital the day Jack got out of transplant to take photos for us because she understood what a big moment it was for us all.  We probably wouldn’t have had such an amazing picture if she wasn’t there that day….not to mention that the second we left the hospital the air went out in our truck and she was there to take us home…thank God!  Thank you Kacey for capturing so many emotions that day!  Love you.

Here are a few more pictures that Kacey took that day…

Just chillin’…waiting to break free!

Jackers standing up for one of the first times in a couple of weeks…hard to believe how small he was

Our wonderful transplant nurse, Katie, unhooking Jack from all of the machines!!  He wasn’t thrilled apparently about something but we were so excited!

Jack hijacking Nikki’s cellphone so he could play with it on the way home.  Yes, we had sanitized it before he took it!

It had been a few weeks since we had seen Braden and he was so big!!!!

Yup, the tears started the second the door opened!  The girls expected him to be walking so the strings were up high and when he came out on his scooter, they all started laughing and cheering for him.  It was so sweet.

This is in the elevator…we had to take a few separate elevators to carry all of our stuff out of the hospital.  PCH treated us so well while we were there as did our amazing family and friends!  He rode that thing all the way to the front of the hospital!

Waiting for the car to pull up…before the air went out!  Jack’s first time outside in so long!