Thursday, November 24, 2011

Many Blessings On This Thanksgiving Morning

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I woke up at 5 this morning full of emotions and thoughts racing in my head.  I decided to head downstairs while the house is still quiet.  I've poured myself a nice hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee and I'm going to just type away.

It seems as though life for us has found the "new normal".  The kids are keeping us busy with school and sports and activities.  I have returned to subbing in the schools.  With the exception of taking a few pills a day  and going to the doctor's once a month, I really don't have to think about "cancer" all that much. It is crazy.  I wonder how I even got here.  Last year,  on November 18 I had my stem cell transplant.  Looking back at all my journal entries of that time, I can still remember every moment like it was yesterday. I can remember how the top of my  head tingled as my hair follicles died.  I can remember the smell of the Transplant Unit after I received my stem cells.  Ugh, who knew something that could save your life would smell so bad! If I close my eyes I can still hear the beeping of all the monitors in the room.  I remember the exhaustion I felt just from getting out of bed to go to the bathroom or to take a stroll in the hallway.

Last Thanksgiving, Mike, the kids, my brother Rob and my parents came in to visit me in the morning.  I can remember as they left to go have their dinner at my sister's house, how sad I felt.  I was sad that I was stuck in the hospital on of my favorite holiday.  But even more, I was scared that this was a glimpse of how the future may be.  Was I ever going to be able to really enjoy the holidays again?  Would I even be healthy next year?  I was so scared and felt so lonely.  I can remember the nurses coming in and holding me and letting me cry on their shoulders. When I didn't have any more tears left, I fell asleep and slept the day away.  I literally slept 18 hours.

The day after Thanksgiving it is our family tradition to go to our favorite Christmas Tree Farm in Sterling, MA and pick out our perfect tree.  We have been doing it for years, every since before the boys were born. Although Mike expressed to me that he didn't want to do it without me, he rallied and did it for the kids. I can remember him sending me photos of them cutting the tree down.  Once again I was a puddle of tears in my hospital room.

It is really easy to let life get busy and just go through the motions.   When I allow myself to slow down and really reflect on the last year I quickly become overwhelmed with emotions.  I cannot believe a year, as difficult as it was,  has passed by so quickly.  I have way too many blessings to even count.  First and foremost is of course my health.  Today I still have no Myeloma detected! Thanks to incredible doctors, amazing medicine, and the power of prayer.   Family and friends are next.  Without all of you, I would not be here today.  You have given me so much strength and love.  There have been countless other people that I have met over the year.   Your stories inspire me and continue to give me strength.  I have seen first hand the incredible human spirit that exists.  The hundreds of letters, emails and messages I have received have touched my heart and kept my spirits up on my saddest days.

Last month I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation 2011 Fall Gala. The best way to describe the night is magical!  The gala took place in a beautiful tent, while a snow storm was going on outside.  Over 1300 people braved the weather and attended.   $2.1 million were raised that night.  Incredible!  There was a silent auction and Suzi and I won tickets to the Ellen Show!  Wahoo!  We can't wait to go to LA!   Stevie Wonder, Michael MacDonald, Darius Rucker (from Hootie and The Blow Fish) and Javier Colon (winner of The Voice) were the entertainment.  Over the top, right?  Together on stage, they were amazing!  Stevie Wonder was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award.  His acceptance speech was very moving and he left us with this thought, " Don't just talk about it, be about it."  That is exactly what the MMRF is all about.

Eric, Suzi, Mike and I 

I had the incredible honor of meeting Kathy Giusti, founder of the MMRF.  She is an incredible woman.    Being in her presence alone is in inspiring.  She is an incredibly warm beautiful woman with such awesome drive and determination.  I couldn't help but tear up when I met her as I tried to formulate words to express  my gratitude for all that she has done.  She then told me how much I reminded her of herself.  Wow!  This is coming from the woman who has given me so much strength hope and has inspired me so much.  Meeting Kathy is definitely one of those magical blessing that has come out of my cancer diagnosis.

Suzi, Kathy Giusti and I

The MMRF 2011 video was played during the Gala.  This was the first time we had seen it.  It was overwhelming to say the least, listening to our voices and seeing us on the big screen in front of so many people.  The video came out beautiful and it truly was such an honor to be a part of it.  I have attached the file here so you can watch it.

MMRF Gala Video 2011

During the Gala, I had the opportunity to talk with so many people.  Both patients and caregivers.  One woman in particular Deborah Dietzler stands out in my mind.   Suzi and I were waiting in line to go into the ladies room when we met up with Deborah.  Her sister is the patient. Deborah's energy was infectious!  I could just tell in the short time that I spoke with her how much she loves her sister.   Deborah has dedicated herself to supporting her sister in every way possible.   She has dedicated her time and energy to the MMRF.  She had just completed the Chicago Marathon in October to help raise money and awareness for Multiple Myeloma.  Her sister is about to go through the stem cell transplant.  I could see the fear in Deborah's eyes.  It was wonderful to be on the other side of that, and show her how strong and healthy I am now.  My thoughts and prayers  are with Deborah and her sister and her family as they travel the difficult path that will hopefully lead to years of health.

Well, the table is set, the pies are made, the vegetables are chopped and the big 21 lb. turkey will be ready to go in the oven shortly.  Soon the house will be filled with the incredible aromas of a Thanksgiving and the kids will be sitting in the living room watching the Macy's parade.  Our challenging year is behind us as we celebrate so much this year.  Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning in her home.  I have to pinch myself to really truly believe that I am here.  I am healthy and heck I'm hosting dinner today!  Amazing!  Tomorrow we will go to our favorite tree farm and pick out this year's Christmas Tree!

On this Thanksgiving Day I wish you all beautiful moments of love and family.  You will all be included in my blessings around my table today.  Thank you for all your continuing love and support.


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Morning After

It's the morning after the big race, the Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA.  I am happy to report that I actually walked down the stairs this morning without too much pain and made it down to the bus stop and back!  The legs are feeling pretty good and no blisters!  But this is not to say that the marathon was uneventful.  It was anything but.  What would life be with just a little drama, right?

Mike, me,  Leslie, Beth and Sarah before the race

Yesterday morning, Mike and I woke up very early to make sure we could have a power breakfast of oatmeal and 1 cup of coffee.  With that, we woke up the kids up and we were out the door by 6AM.  It was a beautiful cool autumn morning.  Fantastic day for a long run. A little windy but overall just beautiful. Our first stop was to drop off the kids at Beth's house and pick up Beth and Leslie.  They were running the half marathon along with Mike.  Once we reached the start of the race, we were all excited and our nerves were in check.  We of course had to capture some pre-race shots!  Notice all the smiles!  When it came time to leave Mike and the others to get in the marathon start line I was feeling confident that I was going to have a great race.  Suzi and I had trained so hard for this day.  The miles we clocked, especially in the heat of the summer.  My only hesitation, was how I was going to get through the last gruesome miles after mile 21 without  Suz.  She injured her hip about a month ago, and unfortunately could not run.  This was such a disappointment to both of us.  But, she would be on the sideline cheering me on.  She was certainly going to be in spirit with me every step of the way.  But, I knew those last miles were going to be the most challenging.

MIke and I before the race

A good luck kiss!

The start of the race was great!  For those who have not experienced it yet, just the sight of all those runners together all setting out to run the long 26.2 miles.  Everyone was there for different reasons.  Some, to qualify for the Boston Marathon, others as a goal to check off their bucket lists.  And then there was me. Why was I there?  What did I have to prove?  Well, it has been 11 months since my stem cell transplant.  Eleven months since I was given the gift of life again.  I can't help think how all of my health issues have affected my 4 children and my husband not to mention, my parents, siblings, and close friends.  I felt like I needed to prove to them and to myself that I am strong and I am determined not to be defined by my illness  But rather, accept it for what it is, (a crappy diagnosis) and live everyday stronger, happier and so determined to win in the end!  So that's how I started the race.

 I reached the 13.1 mile mark at 1:58.  Halfway there, and so far I felt great!  I met some great people along the way, and really found my groove. Now, if I could only keep it up.  My next goal was to reach 16.   I passed 16 and was on to 18 still feeling great.  No pain, no major issues.  I tried to be good with fueling.  I finished my water pack and was on to the water give at every couple miles.  I finished off a package of Clif Shot Blocks.  I was really going to do this and do it within 4 hours.  I was so pumped.  The head winds started to pick up a bit, which added a little challenge as well seeing runners dropping out.  But, I tried to stay focus at each step, and move forward.

By mile 21, fatigue had certainly set in.  My left quad was really tightening up and my stomach was not feeling so great.  I so much wanted to stop and stretch, but I knew if I did, it would be hard to get running again.  So, I tried to just run through it.  My pace certainly was slower, as many runners were beginning to pass me.  It began to feel like each mile mark was 10 miles away.  Mile 22, only 4.2 more.  I can do this.  I kept repeating myself.  After all that I have been through in last year and a half, this is nothing. Well,  it sounded good.  But my body did not agree, and did not want to listen.  My stomach was feeling weaker and nausea had definitely set in.  Fatigue was at a high and my quad was burning.  God, did I want to stop. But I couldn't, not with my kids at the finish line waiting for me.  I tried every mind game to ignore how I was feeling.  Finally, I reached mile 24.  Only 2.2 left.  I could do this. I grabbed a cup of water from the sideline, took in some pretty deep breaths and tried to kick it in. Of course, at this point it felt like my legs were barely lifting up.  Seriously, I think I could have walked faster.  I finally reached mile 25.  Only 1.2 left.  At the most 10 minutes left  and then I would be done.  For a brief moment I felt a high and a little burst of energy.  But that was quickly replaced with sharp pains in my stomach and feeling light headed.

My amazing kids literally pushing me to the finish line!


Well after the excitement of the finish line, the drama set in.  I guess I was looking very pale and even a little green. As well as the fact that I couldn't walk a straight line.  I was quickly escorted to the med EMT's where I was put on a stretcher to the med tent.  Just as I suspected, my blood pressure had severely dropped.  I usually have very low blood pressure to begin with, but it had dropped to about 80/48.  At the same time I was shivering.  Well, this was nothing that a bag of fluids couldn't fix. So that's what they did.  After several attempts, they finally got an IV in me.  I guess being so dehydrated, even makes it hard for people like me with great veins. I think the worse part of all of this, was the fact that my legs began to really tighten up as I was lying there.  Fortunately a nurse by the name of Maureen, was also a massage therapist.  She was the woman with the magic hands!  She also hooked me up with some warming blankets!  This wasn't so bad.  It almost was like a little spa treatment with the exception of of the the IV!  Ironically Maureen, shared with me that her brother-in-law also has Multiple Myeloma and was just released from the hospital from his stem cell transplant.  She was amazed that I ran and she shared with me that she couldn't wait to tell her brother all about me.  He is an avid skier and hopes to hit the slopes soon.  I told her to tell him to do it as soon as he feels strong enough.   Getting back to things I love and are passionate about has been the best therapy for me.

After a couple of hours, my blood pressure finally reached 90/62.  Low for some, but pretty normal for me.  So, they let me go!  Once we picked up the kids, I took a much needed hot hot shower , as I was still shivering.  After my shower I collapsed on the couch and slept for 3 hours.  I woke up just to drink some water, and eat a bowl of cereal.  Finally my stomach was feeling a little better.  And then I was back to bed by 8:30.

So after some much needed sleep I am finally feeling alive again.  I now finally am realizing all that occurred yesterday.  My husband had a major accomplishment.  He not only ran his first half marathon, but he did it in an impressive time, 1:58.  I am so proud of him! He says I am his inspiration for running.  I think he had it in him all along.   Also, my friends Beth, Leslie and Sarah had an awesome race as well.  I am so proud of all of them!    Although, I did not sprint across the finish line with a smile on my face, I did finish it.  And I have the photos to prove it.  They are not the most flattering photos, as I look pretty pale and pretty slow.

So what's next?  Well, some very much needed rest and recovery.  I am looking forward to taking a little time off from the long runs and maybe switching it up a bit with a little boot camp and kickboxing and much needed strength training.  In another month or so, it will be time to start training for the Boston Marathon.  Hopefully I can learn to fuel better during the race and hopefully avoid another trip to medical tent!

The MMRF Gala is coming up on Oct. 29th and I am so excited.  I just got my dress and now I just need to find the perfect shoes.  Mike has decided he is going to wear a tux!  I can't wait to see him all dressed up.

Thank you all for your love and support.  So far living with Multiple Myeloma isn't so bad!  You all really know how to make a girl feel loved and special!  Enjoy this beautiful day for all it has to offer!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cancer Sucks But Life Rocks!

It is a rainy dark morning here in New England.  I skipped out of my morning run today so I could bake a pumpkin apple bread and finally do some writing.  It is starting to smell yummy!  I have so much to write about, as it has been a pretty busy and exciting last couple of weeks.

My mom and dad flew in from Florida to visit.  We all had missed them so much.  Our relationship with them is so tight.  A blessing that has come out of my illness has been the incredible relationship we all have.  My parents were so supportive over the last year and continue to be.  Mike and I would not have gotten through the last year, was it not for my parents.  They literally left their lives in Florida to come and take care of my children.  They have become so intimate with the kids schedules and routines.  In fact, even when they are back at home in Florida their daily calls are to check in to get an update on the kids' days.  Watching their relationship blossom into this incredible bond has been such a gift.  They have also been so strong and supportive of me.  They listen to me during my dark moments, as well as embrace all the happy times.  I never understood what people meant when they discussed the gifts that come from cancer.  Now I get it.

On the 17th of September we all participated in the MMRF Race for Research in Boston, MA.  It was a beautiful morning.  We had about 60 members of our team Cancer Sucks But Jeanie You Rock!  Together, we raised over $12,000.  And the donations are still coming in!  We had a big presence at this years' race.  Our team had a tent where we all met.  There we had hats in rainbow colors for everyone to wear.  My Uncle John, being the fun guy he is who will do just about anything, agreed to wear the rainbow costume.
My Lovable Uncle John!

It was so wonderful to see everyone who have been so supportive of us during the last year.  This was a celebration of how far we have come.  I say "we", because we have all had to go through this cancer diagnosis together.  My family, friends we all went through the many emotions together during this journey.  Last year we were all terrified of this Big "C".  Scared of the year ahead.  Now, 10 months later, I have fully recovered from my stem cell transplant and I am in a complete response, zero M-Spike (ie: no Myeloma detected!)  Prior to the race, I spent time talking with fellow Myeloma patients as well as families who have lost loved ones to this disease.  Their stories were beautiful and truly inspirational.  Some families continue to participate in the MMRF Race as a way to honor their loved ones and to be encouraged by people like me who are benefiting from all the advances in treatment.

This year I was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award.  It truly was an incredible moment to listen to my story being told in front of all the people gathered that morning.  And then to step on stage with Mike and the kids to accept the award, I was speechless.  I couldn't help but be overwhelmed.  How did someone like me get here?  I can still feel the fear and sadness I felt when I first got diagnosed. I remember how weak and beaten down I felt those first few months.  And now I was on stage feeling strong and healthy looking out at the crowd of people many who had been my shoulders to cry on and sources of strength over the last year.  Tears rolled down many of their cheeks.  It really was a moment I will never forget.

Receiving the Spirit of Hope Award

My beautiful kids were selected to start the race.   They were so excited to do the countdown and blow the air horn.  During the race I had the privilege to personally meet Dr. Kenneth Anderson. and Dr. Paul Richardson, both whom are leaders in the Myeloma Community for their research.  For the first half mile, Dr. Richardson, Suzi and I chatted about running and my treatment.  This was real treat to speak have this awesome opportunity to talk with a man I am so grateful for.
Mike and I with Dr. Richardson and Dr. Anderson!  What an honor!

My Awesome kids starting the race!

Even with chatting with so many people while running and listening to such compelling stories, Suzi and I managed to both tie for second for our age group!  This seemed so perfect! Suzi has been so supportive with me during my journey.  And together we are committing our efforts to raising money for the MMRF.  We were so excited that we surpassed our goal of $10,000 this year!    Her dedication, love and loyalty is truly one of my greatest blessings in life.  When I was sick she cared for my children, as if they were her own.  A lifelong friend who has been more like a sister to me since the age of 4.  This year we have even closer than ever before.  We have running and training together since April for our participation in the Bay State Marathon in October and Boston Marathon in April 2012.   This past week Suzi injured her hip and will be unable to run in the Bay State Marathon, which is in less than 3 weeks.  She is devastated.  It just will not be the same without having her by my side chatting about life and whatever other subjects come up during a long run of over 4 hours.  We are hoping she has a speedy recovery, so that we can run over the winter and train for Boston.  But for Bay State I know she will be on the sidelines cheering me on (even if she is holding crutches).

Also on our team, our close friends Beth, Jay and their daughter Kaitlin all placed for their age groups, as well as our niece Chloe!  Team Cancer Sucks But Jeanie You Rock was a powerhouse of incredible athletes this year!

After the race we spent time speaking with so many other team members.  Patients themselves, as well as people who had lost loved ones.  They would come up to me and share their personal experiences , give me a hug, and tell me to never stop fighting.   At times, it was too difficult to hold back the tears.  So many of these people I had never met before, yet I felt that we were all connected.  We have all been thrown into this Multiple Myeloma Crazy World.  It is not something we asked for, yet this is the card we have been dealt.  We have all had to face the pain, sadness and sometimes loss that this disease brings.  Yet on this day, we were all filled with love, happiness and real hope for the future.  It truly was an unforgettable day.  

The day topped off with a fun party at my Aunt Sue and Uncle John (you know the rainbow guy!)  It was such a fun day  My Uncle John, a beautiful singer,  dedicated and sang a beautiful song to me.  Again, tears strolled down my face.  The love I felt on that day by my amazing Aunt Sue who put together the party and all who attended was overwhelming.  I am so so blessed to have each and everyone of them in my life.  

Well, the rain is still falling and my kiddos are going to be coming off the bus soon.  I hope you all feel as blessed and peaceful as I do today.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Welcoming Change

I just got back from an incredible run this morning with Mike and Flower.  It was a crisp autumn morning only about 50 degrees and sunny and the leaves are beginning to change.  Just as the air is changing in New England, my life is welcoming some new exciting changes.  The kids are all back to school and the busy fall schedules of sports, homework and activities have begun.  My days have become very full with lots to focus on.  Tomorrow is the big MMRF Race for Research in Boston, MA.  Our team, Cancer Sucks But Jeanie You Rock has earned so far over $11,000.00!    I am so excited and overwhelmed by the support we have received.  We have over 59 participants running and walking with us on our team tomorrow.  I think back about our last year when we participated in this Race.  It was only a few months after I got diagnosed.  We were all so scared.  We had no idea really what we were up against with this disease.  But being a part of that day brought us so much hope.  We were so inspired by all the people that were there.  In fact , the walls in my house are full of beautiful photos that were taken last year at the MMRF Race for Research.  My mother-in-law Trish did a beautiful job capturing all the emotions of that day; fear, sadness, love, hope and excitement.

This year we are returning to Carson Beach in Boston with full enthusiasm.  Today I am healthy and strong.  Today I have no detection of Myeloma, M-Spike of Zero!  We will be having a big presence at the race.  We will have a tent.  Also the MMRF has selected me to receive the Spirit of Hope Award.  This award is given to individuals who show strength and inspiration.  I am honored to be the recipient and to be recognized by such an incredible organization.  It is because of efforts from the MMRF that I am healthy and alive today.  Velcade and Revlimid, 2 drugs that have been critical in my treatment, were funded by the MMRF.  I will be so proud to be standing on that stage along side with such dedicated people.

Also I received a message that my four children will stand on a platform and start the race.  No air horn needed with the four Dreyer children.  I am so excited for them.  Tomorrow will be a great day.  A day that we can all fully enjoy, look straight in the face at Cancer and tell it that it sucks and that it will not win.  We will DOMINATE it!  After the race we will party it up at My Aunt Sue's and Uncle John's!

Attached is a link to my MMRF Race for Research Fundraising Page.  If you would like to donate we would be ever so grateful!  You can feel great that 90% of your donation will go directly to research to prolong the life of a Multiple Myeloma patient.  In addition, these drugs are also being looked into treating 30 other cancers.

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful weekend.  I'll be sure to post some pictures of the big day next week!


Friday, August 12, 2011

In The Spotlight!

We made the MMRF Newsletter!  Check it out with the link above!  So exciting!  We are having so much fun raising money for this incredible organization.  It is wonderful to be recognized by them!  We are hoping this leads to even more awareness!  Thank you all for all of your incredible support!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Beautiful Gift

Yesterday I celebrated my 41st birthday.  Funny, I have never been happier to be a year older.  I woke up yesterday with a beautiful poem in my email box written by the love of my life, my husband Mike.  He was traveling on my birthday, and on his flight he wrote this beautiful poem.  He has always had an incredible gift of expressing himself.  I wanted to share this with you, so you can get an understanding of the incredible strong man I have by my side.  Mike's love and support has given me so strength over this past year.  I am where I am today, because of him!

Ships quietly sail by
as she stands watch
passive, waiting, ready
Over the years, built with the bricks and mortar of support and strength by many,
her presence is strong, majestic, interminable, certain.
Character built by the absorption of power from crashing waves,
brilliant sunlight, 
turbulent storms.
Her beacon of light provides guidance,
direction, spirit, with unwavering stability
firmly rooted in the foundation of desires,
hopes, and dreams of many;
to live through the storms and to be a point of flight for those
who need her, and a symbol of courage for those who regard and admire her.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Night of Hope-An Incredible Night of Love and Inspiration!

Suzi and I 

Click on the above link to watch My Story of Hope we showed at last night's event!

Last night we held our first annual "A Night of Hope".  I am still smiling just thinking about it.  The night was absolutely perfect!  The room was filled with so much friendship, love and support.  It was the first big fundraising event Suzi and I have ever planned.  We were completely overwhelmed by the support from local businesses who generously donated to our Silent Auction.  We had beautiful items and all of the guests had so much fun outbidding each other. We had 21 items that varied from beautiful jewelry from Lia Sophia, a Vera Bradley collection, A Coach Bag, custom made dresses, gift certificates, gym memberships, a private airplane ride, to even a complete Party on a Patio (that included wine, tequila, a cooler, a bistro table set and fire pit)!  We had so many generous fun bidders!  A big shout out to David Kubick and Beth Falkner, our highest bidders!  With all of your donations, the auction items alone have brought in over $3000!  

The dinner was amazing!  Giorgio's in Milford, NH did an incredible job putting together an unforgettable night.  The food was absolutely perfect and paired with such delicious wines!  My brother Rob with his incredible talents really made the night flawless!  In addition to the great menu and auction,  Suzi did a fantastic job giving an overview of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).  Everyone there was so inspired by all that Kathy Giusti and her sister and all the incredible people at the MMRF and their efforts to raise money and their forward thinking to advance efforts to find a cure for Multiple Myeloma.  Suz is a natural public speaker!  My husband Mike help me put together a short movie that I am so proud of!  It really captures all the emotions and love over the past year in our lives.  And it truly displays all of the awesome energy and determination that we and so many of our supporting friends and family have to help raise awareness and money to help the MMRF!  I can't wait for all of you to watch this!  

So where do we go from here?  Well first on the calendar, is to celebrate my birthday this week!  I have never been more happy to celebrate turning another year older!  This year is the big 41! And what better way to celebrate than to bring my kids to an amusement park and ride the most thrilling rides with them!  This girl has no fear now!!  And then we are heading for some much needed R&R time with the kids for a week down Cape Cod!  I can't wait!  Before long, fall will be here and busy schedules and school will start up again.  We have so much to look forward to!  Suzi and I got up to the 16 mile mark the other day.  We are hoping to reach 20 miles by the end of August.  Our first marathon is in the middle of October!  And before that, the Sept. 17 MMRF Race for Research in Boston.  We are so excited for this race!  We are planning on having an even larger team than last year!  We are going to have a tent with lots of goodies for all our team members.  We hope all our team members from last year come out to join us again and we welcome new faces as well.  We hope everyone brings their kids along, as it is such a fun day!  Last night, my beautiful Aunt Sue told everyone she is going to have a big party at her house after the race!  If we are lucky, Uncle John will entertain us with his amazing voice!  Every year, the MMRF honors someone they feel demonstrates hope.   This year I am honored to be the recipient of the "Spirit of Hope Award".  I hope many of you can come out and celebrate with me!  

Well, off to have some fun on this humid August day!  I hope you all enjoy the little movie we put together.  Thank you all for your continuing love and support!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Night of Hope

Join Us For
A Night of Hope
Sunday, August 7, 2011 6-9 pm
Giorgio's Ristorante and Meze Bar
Milford, NH    
Come for a night of fine dining, entertainment and a toast for hope. Join us for a chef inspired four course dinner and wine pairing. There will also be a silent auction. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Please call to reserve your table by 7/31/2011 by calling Giorgio's at 603-673-3939. Cost for this event will be $65 per guest.

We are still looking for donations for our Silent Auction!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Well we got some great news from Dr. Munshi at Dana Farber....... There is "Zero" Myeloma detected in my latest biopsy!  Yup ZERO!!  It feels so good to say that!   All the treatments I have received for the last 12 months including the Stem Cell Transplant worked!  And I'm sure all the prayers and positive thoughts have helped as well.  I was told by Dr. Munshi to keep up my running and that he would see me in October!  I will be continuing my maintenance therapy of Revlimid and Dexamethasone and my monthly infusions of Zometa.  But that is just fine.  My body, so far seems to be tolerating the drugs fine and my energy has never been better.  So hopefully my body will continue to get stronger and I can focus more of my energy on what is most important my four beautiful kids who are the center of my universe and my incredible husband.  

Now with all my new found energy, I am excited to focus my time on helping others fight this incurable cancer by supporting organizations such as the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). The MMRF is the largest non-profit sponsor of myeloma research and  has raised over $160 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide. In addition, the MMRF has facilitated 30 clinical trials.  An example of success has been the development of Revlimid by Celgene which was made possible by support from the MMRF.

I have begun several fundraising efforts which you will all hear about in the upcoming months for MMRF.  All these events will raise money towards our total goal of $ 15,000.00 between now and April 2012.   I'd like to take a moment to share more about them and the fantastic people that are helping me.

First, Lindsay Silvestri and Suzi Larson are helping me organize a neighborhood yard sale with baked goods on Sawtelle Road on July 17th from 9-3.  All the proceeds will go to support the MMRF.

Second, on August 7, 2011 we are holding a Night of Hope at Giorgio's Ristorante and Meze Bar in Milford, NH.  It will be a night of incredible food, wine and entertainment.  We will also be having a silent auction.  All of the proceeds from this event will benefit the MMRF.  If you would like to reserve your table please call by 7/31/2011 (603) 673-3939.  The cost of this event will be $65 per guest.  If you have an item you would like to donate for our silent auction, please contact me at

Third, on September 17th, we will be participating in our 2nd annual MMRF Race for Research - a 5K Walk/Run.  This year will be bigger and better than last year, and we hope that many of you who joined us last year will come back this year for a morning of family fun in Boston.

Finally, I have also begun forming Jeanie's FEAT ( Fitness, Endurance, and Athletic Team ) to participate in fitness/endurance events as part of the MMRF Power Team in support of MMRF's messaging and charitable fundraising.  Members of my team will be able to participate in endurance events of their choice and help to raise money/awareness for the MMRF.  I will be participating in the Bay State Marathon in October and the Boston Marathon in April.  One of the benefits is that you can sometimes get into exclusive events such as the Boston Marathon ( which sometimes require qualification ) by running on behalf of a charity.  If you want to be part of the team and help raise money for the MMRF, I can get you some really cool gear as well.

Well as you can you can read, there are lots of things to look forward to.  But first up is the big State's Tournament for Mitch's 10 Year old All Star Team this weekend!  It is going to be so exciting!  Well it's time to catch up on some much needed rest.  I think tonight I am going to sleep better than I have in the last 13 months!  Thank you for all your continuing support and prayers!  

Sweet Dreams!

Early Morning Chatter

Good Morning.  It is a beautiful morning here in New Hampshire.  Despite the warm temperatures, everything looks nice green thanks to the powerful storm that rolled in last night.  I found myself sandwiched in bed this morning between Mike and Sarah staring at the ceiling wide awake.  So I decided to come downstairs and enjoy the silence and try to write a bit.  Today I have my follow up appointment with Dr. Munshi at Dana Farber.  We will discuss the results from my bone marrow biopsy.  This is the first biopsy since my transplant in November.  Mike and I have decided to take the kids into Boston with us so that they can meet the incredible Dr. Munshi and take a tour of the new Dana Farber Institute.  We are also going to take advantage of being down in Boston and hang out at Faneuil Hall.  We are expecting positive news so we thought it would be a good time to bring them down.  Let's hope my expectations are right!

Summer in New Hampshire has been great.  The weather has been beautiful and we already enjoyed many beautiful days down the lake.  My mom recently flew back home to Florida after a wonderful 6 week visit. We loved having Nana here and we all miss her so much.  My mom and dad have really been so supportive and incredible to us this past year. They have been here so much that Brookline has become their second home.  I think my mom knows half the town!  While she was here she was the biggest cheerleader at my son Mitch's All Star Baseball Games.  And she watched them come in first place in their last tournament.  We are heading to State's this coming weekend!  Mitch's 10 year old All Star Team is like a Dream Team. It is made up of incredible baseball players and the coaches couldn't be any greater!  We are getting pumped up for the big weekend!

Last week my friend Kristin lost her battle with cancer.  Kristin was a beautiful vibrant woman.  She had just turned 40 and was a mother to two beautiful small children.  Kristin and I were friends in college.  She was diagnosed with a rare carcinoma in March, 2010.  When Kristin heard of my diagnosis she reached out to us last summer.  Her strength and courage amazed me and fueled me.  We spent lots of time talking on the phone.  We totally got each other.  We spoke about our frustrations, our fears and we cried together.  Last year, while at Dana Farber, I ran into Kristin.  It was the first time we had seen each other since college.  There we both were in the waiting room bald cancer patients.  When our eyes met, we both filled up with tears held each other, and said, "how the hell has this happened to us?"  It was a moment I will never forget.  I don't think I have ever felt more connected to anyone so quickly in my life.  Mike and I had a chance to meet her wonderful husband Brian and we talked about the four of us getting together.  Well, unfortunately we never got to.  Last week, cancer won and took the life of my beautiful friend.  I still am having such a hard time comprehending it.  I stood in line for over 1 1/2 hours to pay my respects at the Wake.  The Funeral Home was filled with all the people Kristin has touched in her lifetime.  While there I couldn't help but think, why am I standing here and she is lying in that coffin? It just didn't make sense.  She was a strong positive woman with an incredible faith who was determined to beat this awful disease. Why didn't she make it?  And why am I doing so well?  I spent time speaking with her husband and family about how Kristin's strength had enriched my life so much.  Her father-in-law read me like a book.  And reached out and held my hand and said, "This must be so difficult for you!  I know how scared this must make you.  But just remember more people make it than don't."  Tears rolled down my face as I squeezed his hand.

The next day was the funeral.  It was a beautiful celebration of Kristin's life.  Her sisters and friends got up and spoke about her and shared beautiful stories and moments that they had with her during her lifetime.  The way Kristin approached her cancer with her positive spirit and her desire to be "The Best at Cancer" reminded me so much of myself.   I am left so sad that ugly cancer won and took this beautiful soul from earth.  It does not make sense to me at all.  Everyday I find myself thinking of Kristin.  She was a positive spirit right to the end.  She was determined not to let cancer rob her of her precious moments while on earth.  She worked real hard at staying present and enjoying all the gifts and blessings of life.  Although her life was cut way too short, I truly believe her life was so rich with love.  Her death is a reminder to me of how very precious life is .  I know I am so fortunate to be here today.  The fact that I can wake up every morning without any bone pain and spend the day being an active mom to my four beautiful babies overwhelms me with such joy.

Well I can here little footsteps upstairs.  It looks like my day is about to begin.  My appointment is at 1:30 today so send me some positive energy if you can!  Enjoy your day!


Friday, June 3, 2011

One Year Ago Today...Life Changed Forever

One year ago this morning, I received a phone call that changed my life forever.  It's true what they say about those life changing moments.  I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing exactly at that moment.  It was a beautiful June morning and I was the only one up in the house.  Flower and I were on the back porch and I was enjoying my first cup of coffee.  Life was great at that moment.  I had just had surgery a week before on a stubborn bump on my chest which at that time was believed to have been a cyst.  I was getting the stitches out that morning. After that I was going to go for a nice run and get some things done around the house.  The kids only had about 3 weeks left of school.  Which meant I only had about 15 more mornings to get up and make the lunches!

After I finished my last drop off coffee, I returned in the house for a refill and to start making all the lunches and prepare for the day.  Flower was waiting patiently for her piece of turkey.  Just as I was slicing the last sandwich, the phone rang.  I looked at the clock and it was only 6:30.  I thought it was the school looking for me to sub that day, as that was the usual the time they would call.  I was surprised to hear my doctor on the other end.  It was my plastic surgeon that had done my surgery on the cyst.  I was due in his office that morning to get the stitches out.  Maybe he was just calling to confirm?  He was very serious on the phone and asked me if Mike was planning on going in with me this morning.  I thought that was odd.  He suggested that he come.  At that point I was getting nervous.  What the hell was going on?  He said that received the lab reports back and that it was not good.  I insisted that he tell me what was going on.  Mind you, I still had the knife in my hand.  In a very serious voice he told me that the lab confirmed that it was a malignant tumor.  Well, at that point, the knife fell and I nearly collapsed on the floor.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  My heart began racing and I felt like I was going to vomit. Was I dreaming all this?  Could this just be nightmare?

I carried the phone up to my bedroom, and handed the phone to Mike, who was still in bed.  I could not even speak.  Mike knew from the look on my face that what ever the call was, it wasn't good.  I can remember then going in the kids rooms and waking them up for the day.  Holding back the tears I gave them all a big hug and told them how much I loved them.  They all came down for breakfast, Mike and I held it together and only once made eye contact.  The look in our eyes told it all.  We were both in complete shock and scared to death.  What was happening to our lives?  How could this be?  Everything was fine just a few minutes before.  Why did I answer that phone?

I don't know how we did it, but we managed to get the kids down to the bus stop.  As we waved good bye to them as the bus pulled away, we clenched our hands together.  As soon as the bus passed, we held each other and cried.

The next few hours of that day are a bit blurry to me.  Mike got on the phone with his mom and I made the difficult call to my parents.  We had an appointment with the doctor at 9.  I can remember standing in the shower with tears rolling down.  I had never been so scared in my life.  The drive to the doctor seemed to take forever.  Mike and I barely spoke a word.  We were so scared.  We were too young to be dealing with this?  Hell we have 4 children under the age of 9.  This should not be happening!  When we walked into the hospital, Trish (Mike's mom) was waiting for us.  Again, no words were spoken, she grabbed us and held us tightly.  The waiting room was another moment that seemed like an eternity.  Mike and Trish held my hands as we waited.  There was nothing to say.  What could we say that was going to make all this go away.

Finally they called me in to the doctor's office.  The three of us walked in and took a seat.  Dr. Chatson walked in.  He went over the lab results with us.  At this point I could see his mouth moving but I couldn't quite make out what he was saying.  I was in a complete daze and could not comprehend a thing he was saying.  What I can vividly remember, is how sincere he was.  In fact he had tears in his eyes and he looked at me and said, "Now you are a cancer patient.  You will fight this and you will be stronger because of it".  He gave me a hug and then he left the room.  You could tell that he was just as shocked as we were.

I should mention that this "cyst"  had grown back in November/December of 2010.  It was causing me discomfort and I had it removed right before Christmas 2010.  The lab results should that it was in fact a cyst and that it was normal.  So when it grew back, no one was worried.  We knew that cysts can grow back.  I had already had it tested and it was fine.  So how is it that now it came back as a malignant tumor.  I was still convinced it had to be a mistake.

Well, jump ahead exactly one year later.   I am once again the only one up drinking my coffee.  Only this time I am stronger, healthier, and confident that I am going to beat this.  In fact, I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make an announcement and I think now is the time.  I am currently training for the Boston Marathon with my lifetime friend Suzi.  We are going to run the Marathon next April as part of the MMRF Endurance Team!  We have been running for the last couple of months and actually ran 13 miles this past Tuesday.  To get us ready for Boston we are going to run the Bay State Marathon in October.  Mike is helping me put together a team to help us raise money.  We are going to be forming "Jeanie's FEAT", Fitness and Endurance Team.  FEAT as in a notable act of skill, endurance, imagination and strength.  Mike came up with the name!  We are super excited to get started. I feel so fortunate that today I am strong.  I plan on running every day I can and to raise money for Multiple Myeloma at the same time, well that is the icing on the cake!  If any one would like to join our team please let me know.   Mike and I are putting together our website.  So if you are active and like to participate in races from cycling, to running to triathlons consider joining our team.  I'll hook you up with some cool gear and you can feel good about what you are doing.  You will really be making a difference.

I no longer see my cancer as a death sentence.  It has truly changed the course of my life and of those close to me.  Yes cancer sucks!  The stem cell transplant sucked!  Chemo sucked!  Being bald sucked!  But you know what, I came out the other end stronger and better.  Cancer is no longer holding me hostage.  Yes it is true, it may come back.  I may get real sick again.  And it may get harder and harder to fight it.  But I will be strong and both physically and mentally with my gloves on ready to give the fight of my life ready to dominate!

To mark this one year anniversary, I toast (with my coffee) with a smile on my face.  Here's to enjoying every moment of life!  As I have experienced first hand life can change in just moment or with just one phone call.  Get out there today and live it, love it and have no regrets!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Special Mother's Day

It's been way too long since I last posted a blog.  Life has gotten busy!  Which is a good thing.  Most of our free time these days are spent on the soccer and baseball fields.  I feel like I am being pulled in a million different directions.  Every night I plan on sitting down to write, but  usually collapse on the couch and fall asleep!

Well, tomorrow is the big day.  Mike and I are competing in a Mother's Day Sprint Triathlon in Sudbury, MA!  Before I went into the hospital in November before my transplant, Mike wanted to make sure that we both had something BIG to look forward to and to strive for.  So he registered us for the triathlon.  I had participated in it last year.  Swimming is definitely not my strength but the race itself was so exhilarating.  Just being surrounded by so many people (of all shapes and sizes) all participating in the same event.  It is amazing to be there and especially to be a part of something so great.  For so many it has been a fitness goal or on their bucket list, for others, it is a training triathlon for a bigger race in the future.  I can remember last year Mike telling me that he had no desire to  do one.  And now today, he has gotten in the best shape of his life, he has become a great runner and he has been swimming for the last 12 weeks.  I am so proud of him.   I know initially he signed up for me, but you know what, he really is excited about doing it!  

I have not physically trained for this race all that much.  Although my running is stronger than ever, Thursday was my first time in the pool since last year.  I managed to swim the 16 laps necessary for tomorrow.  It is not pretty and not fast, but I can get from point A to point B.  Yesterday Mike, my friend Shayna and I did a brick. We did a 9 1/2 mile ride followed by a 2 1/2 mile run.  I forgot how challenging the transition is from riding to running. My legs felt like tree trunks!  

It's funny I can feel the anxiety from many of my friends doing the race tomorrow.  And all of them have been training for it.  I am probably the one who is least prepared for it!  Yet  I am so excited to do it.  You see, it is coming up on my one year anniversary since I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  Last year at this time I was still struggling with a healing sternum and I had a strange bump on my chest which was later confirmed to be a plasmacytoma.  I can remember swimming in the last triathlon and struggling with the pain in my sternum.  Little did I know what was really going on with me.  The fact that it is one year later, a stem cell transplant later..... I can't freaking believe it!!  In the last year I have felt so close to death.  I honestly was doubting whether or not I was going to make it to see my kids begin school last September, let alone be running again or participating in a Triathlon!

As I explained to Mike on the soccer field this morning, I feel like I need to pinch myself everyday.  I feel so happy and so incredibly blessed for how my life is today.  It's funny so many people tell me that I should move on.  That last year was last year and this is now.  But you know what?  Every day I do reflect about the past year.  But I also think of where I am today.  I feel stronger than ever.  In fact I am up to running 10 miles!  I think reflecting on the last year helps me really appreciate today and how lucky I feel and how happy I am.  As we all know today is all we have.  Life can change on a dime as I have experienced firsthand.  So everyday I feel great, I get out there and run and enjoy it fully.  I beat this cancer this time and I only plan on getting stronger from this point.  So when it tries to attack again I'm ready to put up a good fight!

As I was running the other day, reflecting on all that has happened, a special person came to mind, Kathy Giusti, Multiple Myeloma Survivor and founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, MMRF.  Kathy was diagnosed in 1996 and at the time was told that she only had 3 years to live.  Today she is still in a "Complete Response".  I am so grateful for all of her efforts with the MMRF.  The MMRF has played such a big role in bringing four new treatments for myeloma in the past four years.  These treatments, now the standard of care for multiple myeloma patients  have helped to almost double the life expectancy among some patients.   Kathy Giusti was just recently named one of Time Magazine World's 100 Most Influential People.  Tomorrow I am dedicating my race to Kathy Giusti.    I feel strongly that I am here today largely because of her efforts.  It is my way of thanking her for all that she has done for the Multiple Myeloma World.  Her strength and perseverance to be there for her daughters, her refusal to give up hope,  and her dedication to finding a cure, has truly been such an inspiration for me.  So on this Mother's Day, I will be thinking of one very special woman.   Kathy, as I am struggling in the pool swimming my last lap, pedaling to the transition area, and running to the finish line,  I will be thinking of you!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.  To my mom, I love you and miss you so much and I am counting the days until you and dad come out to visit!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

Sitting on a plane heading to Las Vegas this morning I wonder, can the couple next to me tell that I am a cancer patient?  I am wearing my new jeans, a cute top, my wedge black open toe shoes with freshly new light blue painted toes and my hair is finally growing out be a little like Halle Berry’s short look!  I have to admit I’m looking pretty cute today!  Who would have thought?  A few months ago, I was in the transplant unit closer to death than I ever want to be.  And now I’m heading to Vegas to meet Mike for the weekend!  Wow, life has a way of taking some unexpected twists and turns. I love the direction it is going for me right now!
I have a direct 5 hour flight to Vegas this morning.  Seeing how I don’t particularly enjoy flying I thought I would keep my mind busy by blogging a bit about how life has been going.  I feel like life is getting busy once again for me.  Mike has been traveling for business just about every week now.  So I have resumed life as a busy stay at home mom with 4 kids with endless amounts of energy.  I have enjoyed not having to make my bi-weekly trips to the hospital for my Velcade infusions.  This adds about 12 hours to my week!  The mornings are usually spent dashing out to the bus stop with the kids by 7:30 and then enjoying my morning runs with Flower.  I have been averaging about 4-5 miles about 4 times a week.  Flower is getting her sexy little figure back!  And once a week, I work out with my trainer Kim.  I love my sessions with her.  And lately she has been kicking my butt! 

Last weekend, Mike and I and the kids kicked off our spring with all participating in the Groton Road Race.  The weather was perfect, sunny and 60!  The kids all ran the 2K and did an amazing job!  They all finished strong and sprinted to the finish line.  Mike and I ran the 5K with some of our closest friends.  I am so proud of Mike.  He has never particularly enjoyed running, but he has recently added running to his daily routine.  He has really taken control of his health and fitness and has gotten himself in incredible shape!  He is looking pretty damn hot!  He ran his best 5K yet!  I am so proud of him and the kids.

At the start of the race, my friend Anne found me at the starting line.  Anne is in incredible shape.  She is a fast runner and a tri-athlete.  We decided that we would run together.  The first mile I was able keep up with her.  By the 2 ½ mile point I was struggling to keep up.  We were definitely running at a fast pace and the weather was warm.  But I knew I had to finish strong.  My four kids were at the finish line waiting for me.  At about the last ½ mile Anne (who had been ahead me) waited for me and told me we were going to finish together!  She is one of those beautiful gems in the world!  She knew exactly what I needed at that moment and I am so thankful.   We headed to the finish line together taking off 13 seconds off my time from last year! I finished 7th for my age class!   Take that Myeloma!!!   The smiles on my kids’ faces is one of those images I will never forget.  I knew right there at that moment I showed them that mommy was strong and determined.  Tears filled my eyes as my kids gave me a huge group hug!  I did it!  I was back! 
For the last couple of months, I have been battling with moments of sadness and depression.   I love the fact that I feel stronger every day and have recovered from the transplant.   It is wonderful to be able to be in public without a mask, be able to take care of my kids and the house, exercise, clean( anyone who knows me knows me knows that I am a bit of a clean freak) , shop, cook and resume all the activities that a short while ago I could not do.  I know that I should just embrace all this and feel blessed and enjoy all that is “today”.  But and that is a huge “BUT” it is still a daily struggle not to worry about the future.  I feel like I am a very informed Myeloma patient.  I keep up with the all the disease the treatment.  Although the knowledge makes me feel empowered I also have a sense of realism.  I am very fortunate to be one of the lucky ones to have had an almost “Complete Response” to treatment.  I do know however that this is not a Remission.  This disease at this point does not have a cure.  I am hopeful that being on maintenance regimen will prolong the disease progression and ultimately add years to my life.  However, I do find myself caught up with moments with my kids or Mike where I end up back on that roller coaster ride worried that I won’t be around in 10 or so years.  I try to stop myself from going on that ride, I really do.  However, sometimes I end up on it. 

Running has certainly helped me in so many ways.  Not only am I feeling my body getting stronger, but my mind as well.  I feel my strongest when I am running, almost invincible.  My anxiety level has gone done so much and my spirits seem to soar on the days I run.  I told Mike that every day I can get out and run is a great day.  So, that is what I am going to do.  Running that race last Sunday and finishing strong is exactly what I needed to do (thanks Anne J) for me, Mike and the kids.

Reflecting on life, I have noticed some things that I need to work on.  I don’t  know if it is the “chemo brain” I read about, but I find myself not being the multi-tasker I once prided myself with.  If I don’t write it down, forget it.  I am guilty of not returning phone calls, messages, and being a little bit of a flake.  Please be patient with me.  I find myself getting completely consumed by life at times and overwhelmed at times.  The noise and activity level of just my kids in the house is sometimes all that can handle.  I find myself pleading with my kids to be more patient and quieter.  Sometimes the thought of packing them all in the car and heading to an evening baseball or dance practice completely gets me stressed.  I recently explained to Mike that life seems to be moving on a fast train full speed ahead and I am not quite caught up.  I think I am trying to be the best that I can be for my kids.  I was out of commission for so long, I am trying to make up for lost times.  I know they can put their laundry away, make their beds, and get breakfast for themselves.  But you know what it feels good to do for them again.  They were doing so well being more independent and helping out around the house when my parents were here and I was in the hospital.  And now I find myself overcompensating and doing almost everything for them once again.  Back to country club living!  Is it the guilt that my kids even have to even think of cancer at such a young age?  In a way I am trying to make life easier for them again, but at times making my own life a little crazier. 

For example, before I even began packing for my trip to Vegas do you want a little insight into what mentally I needed to do?  My incredible Mother-In-Law is staying at the house and taking care of the kids.  The girls will be heading to my sister-in-law’s house to spend the weekend with their cousins.  So yesterday I packed up all their bags, sleeping bags and lined them up in the dining room.  I Packed up all the kids’ backpacks for school today and prepared their lunches.  I organized the boy’s sport bags with all their soccer/baseball gear and wrote out the sports schedules for the weekend.  And get this, I pre-sorted the vitamins, fluoride, into individual plastic bags for each day.    ( I need professional help, right?) I also stayed up folding every piece of laundry in the house and putting it away.  I think finally at about 11 PM  I began to think about packing.  So do you think I’m nuts yet or what?  I have four very capable kids, yet I find myself doing just about everything for them.  Just about the only think I don’t do is wipe their butts!!  Crazy I know.  I guess I feel like things have been so tough lately on them.  They deserve to have life be a little easier for them.  They deserve to be kids and enjoy life without all the worries and complications that come along with it.

So I guess my new challenge is finding the balance.  I know I need to empower my kids and get them doing more for themselves so that someday they move out of the houseJ  I also need to make time to spend quality time with friends family without feeling the guilt that I am away from the kids.  My friends have been so vital during the past year.  I need to nurture those relationships and keep them strong.  At times I feel like I was a burden in some ways.  They have been so supportive and strong for me.  I feel like I have been out of the loop for quite some time with what has been going on their lives.  I need to stop trying to fill every moment of every day doing, doing,  and doing.  I think for a while now, I have tried to do as much as I can today, because I fear that tomorrow I may not be able to.  It is OK to leave the dirty laundry and go out and enjoy lunch with a friend or favorite TV show with my kids. I am trying, but again it is a daily challenge.  

There is about 2 hours left to my flight.  I still cannot believe I am heading away for the weekend with Mike. I think that he is still in shock that I haven’t canceled.  Honestly, I have never been more ready or excited to get away.    I hope that he is not too burnt out from his week in Vegas because I am ready to live it up!  I am looking forward to 48 hours of fun!  I’m taking off the “mommy/cancer hat” for the weekend!    Mike and I need so badly to have fun and not worry about anything for one weekend.  I told Mike to get ready for a crazy fun weekend.  You know what they say,” What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!”    Well time to catch up on some sleep that I won’t be getting this weekend! 

Love and Hugs,