"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."


Day +89 and I'm officially back at work!!

What a week! Wow, I didn't even work a full week but boy was I exhausted!! My body aches, my mind is still trying to remember everything and is going into about a million different places. It was so good to be back and see all those familiar faces. It was good getting back to work, but it's much harder than I anticipated as far as adjusting. Everything seems so familiar and yet so foreign at the same time. But I am trying my best and Lara and Liz have been extremely patient with me getting back into the swing of things.

I had my CT scan Friday. That went ok. It was my first CT scan with pre-meds since the last time I had a reaction to the dye. I must say, Benadryl was a really nice surprise after such a busy week. Since I drove, they wouldn't let me leave on my own until I had flushed everything out. So, I enjoyed the meds' side effects and actually napped for 3 hours!! It's been months since I've napped and it felt so good. So, let's hope my docs have nothing to report. I see my SCT doc Tuesday morning and then see my Lymphoma doc Wednesday morning. I'm just glad it's over and I'm hoping I have a few months off before I go back again for more tests.

It's been crazy here as Gabriel and I have switched roles yet again. And to top it off, he is starting his own property tax business and the season kicks off in a few months....so that's made our lives even busier. Oh, I happily volunteered to be the cookie sales manager for our troop this year, so that's getting ready to take off in a few weeks. Our house will be filled with cookies from floor to ceiling and then I'll be at stores bright and early every Saturday in March until we have sold our last cookie!! :-) And that's just skimming the top of what goes on in our house. lol! I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

Much love to all,


Happy 3rd Birthday Valerie!!

What a busy weekend! My 'baby' turned 3 - how is that possible??? Here are some pics from her party at Chuck E. Cheese, which we learned when we got there that she was deathly terrified of that big ol' rat!!

It wasn't too hard finding a cake for her...

Chowing down on some pizza...

She didn't even want to look at Chuck E.!

Finally, having fun riding Barney!

Olivia and Taylor...

Nicholas sneaking in some icing....

Seth having fun in front of the camera...

Nicholas and Seth in front of the camera...

Daddy with Valerie and Jhonen...

After it was all over, Valerie was in pony heaven!!!

One down, three more to go! Also, my scans are rescheduled for Friday. I should say scan, since my PET scan has not been rescheduled. That is fine by me, I don't want to glow any more than I need to. I go back to work Tuesday and see my my doctors the last week in January. Here's to clean scans and smooth transitions at work!!

Love to all,



My scans were rescheduled for sometime next week. I should know by the end of this week when I'll have my PET and CT scans and when I'll see the doctors.

Until then, no news is good news. :) I'll post some pics of the kids in a bit.

Oh, I also wanted to add that Amy is halfway to her goal of $3,400 for the TNT LLS Marathon in April!! You Go Girl!! If you haven't a clue as to what I am talking about, see the link over there (to the left of you!). A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed. It is because of people like you that the LLS is able to help people like me. You Rock!



Day +69 and scan time again!

Wow, I'm almost to Day +100! I feel good. I am doing everything I was before, even vacuuming. I should have tried to hold out on that one a bit longer!! :) I have my scans again (has it been over a month already?) next week. I have my PET and CT scans next Monday, see my SCT doctor Tuesday and my Lymphoma doctor Wednesday. There goes a quick $100 between parking and office co-pays...And then if all goes well, as it should, I go back to work on the 22nd of this month! I'm a little nervous and excited about returning. It's been 6 months since I've been out and I'm hoping it all comes back to me. I know how hard it is after coming back after a long vacation, can you imagine being gone 6 months??? Liz and Lara have done a wonderful job of keeping everything running smoothly, do they even need me at all? ;-) At any rate, this is going to be my last quiet week. Starting next week, it's going to get busy and stay busy.

Birthdays are coming up, Valerie is kicking off the season with hers on the 21st. We're having her party at Chuck E Cheese, her request and she's so excited!! :) Then comes Nicholas' on the 26th of February, then mine on March 9th and then Seth's on the 12th - Whew!!

Here's to getting back to life and all that entails...



In Memory of Shannon Irby...

Shannon Irby passed away from a two year, hard fought battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma today. She was 30, wife to Jesse and mom to five beautiful kids. Hodgkin's has stolen yet another young and beautiful soul, leaving behind a devoted husband and so many loving children. Why does life have to be so damn unfair? Why didn't the chemo work on her body? Why???? I don't see anything "lucky" about getting the "easy" cancer. If only I got a dollar everytime I heard a doctor or friend say this, I would be well off! There is certainly nothing lucky about getting cancer, and there is certainly no easy cancer. Hodgkin's is supposed to have a 90% cure rate and yet here I sit in the 10% after undergoing a SCT, writing about a woman who was also in the 10% of this 'curable' cancer. Both of us in our 30s, both of us devoted wives and mothers, both of us God-fearing women, both of us with young, impressionable children. Maybe I'm going through, what they call, 'survivor's guilt'. I never understood that concept until now and even now I don't know if that's what it is. All I know is a young mother passed away today from this horrible disease and left behind a young family. My worst nightmare. I'm not scared of dying, I'm scared of leaving my babies while they are so young. I know she is finally at peace and pain-free. That should be enough, but somehow it isn't. Stuff like this isn't supposed to happen to good people. At least that is how I wish life worked. My heart aches for her husband, but especially for her children. Wrapping them in my arms tonight and praying for her family.

If you are reading this, please say a prayer for Shannon Irby's family. You can read more about her and her incredible journey here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/shannonirby

With a heavy heart,

Happy New Year!!

I hope someone out there stayed up until at least midnight! We rang in the New Year popping fireworks and watching the other beautiful displays throughout the neighborhood until about 10:45 p.m., that's when the kids and I apparently fell asleep. I should clarify that Gabriel, Olivia, Seth and Nicholas rang in the New Year popping fireworks. Valerie was still scared of them (this is the girl who hates balloons because they pop!), so she, Harlo and I cuddled on the sofa and watched movies since I am not too fond of popping fireworks myself. Poor Harlo was shivering on the sofa, after giving up from hiding under the bed. It seems the three scaredy-cats were inside, huddled together. :) I did wake up right after midnight, so Gabriel and I did get to ring it in together, but then we quickly retreated to bed. Is that pathetic or what? lol.

Playing with sparklers and poppers....

All the noise proved to be too much for Miss Valerie...

And Harlo....

Ahhh, finally relaxed....

Happy New Year!!