Another successful fund raising event!!
Thank you to all the wonderful friends and family that came out to support our cause!! Thank you to all the NEW friends we were lucky enough to make this weekend!! Thank you to Claire Morris and all the wonderful women of Charmed By Claire!! Thank you to ALL our volunteers who make all this fund raising possible!
We may be exhausted tonight but we enjoyed our two days sharing conversation and SHOPPING with everyone!
We made many new friends and met some people who, unfortunately, could use our help...or at least our prayers! One lovely lady in a clinical trial at Fox Chase for Stage 4 lung cancer...another having battled breast cancer is now battling ovarian cancer with the doctors at Cancer Institute! Several others have battled or know someone who is presently battling...they will pass our info on to them...cancer has touched most people in one way or another...makes them able to relate. Hopefully some of these wonderful people we met will join us as volunteers!
Our NEW foundation photographer, Colleen Rooney, joined us today and took MANY pictures. As soon as they are ready we will post them on our website and FB. We LOVE having Colleen on board!!
Our cupcakes, cookies and chocolate lollipops (all in our foundation colors) were a GREAT hit!! We handed out info along with all our confections! Hopefully it will touch people so they want to join us on our quest to assist families battling cancer.
This should prove to be a productive week....! Meetings Tuesday with a local hotel to plan our "Angels Among Us" event with Gail Lionetti!! Then a luncheon meeting with the Local ChatBox group to promote our practice and our foundation!! We will be sharing info about our next event June 2nd..Ladies Day Out.
We are on a roll here and want to pick up momentum! We are looking for volunteers to help out with all our events as well as with helping families. If you have some time to spare, please consider donating it to assisting families battling cancer. We are especially looking for some one who has experience planning a "run". We would love to pull one off in the fall! Running a foundation successfully is a lot of work...we do ALL of this with volunteers. Won't you consider helping us help others fighting this unfair opponent the only way we can....day by day?? Please contact us TODAY!! We need your help!! Thank you!!
And Bruno and my wonderful nurses, if you are reading this, I will see you tomorrow!!
As I take a moment to relax after all the craziness of preparation, I wanted to take some time to recognize those people who make this whole thing possible for my family to pull off!!
Pete Russitano is the man behind all of our wonderful flyers and SO much more! He is our "go to" guy for so many things!! Not sure what we would do with out him!!
Lisa Carneglia is always there to run errands, bake, decorate, wrap...whatever needs to be done! She never says no to any thing we need!
Agi Simoncelli...someone Agi works with said to me the other day, "how could I not come to your fundraiser, Agi's dedication is infectious" and it is!! She is always planning something! Looking for another way to raise money or to get our name out there....and ALWAYS there for me!!
Sue Engstrom is another amazing supporter!! Always quick with a meal or the offer of assistance, attends EVERY fund raiser as a supporter and helping out!
Barb Demetrician...what can I say...even now that I am not on injections everyday she is still here!! Even ran to the store today to pick up supplies!! Shows up at all our events!! Great at advice...I love having her around!!
Suzanne O'Rourke, our newest supporter...from Local Chatbox! She has helped with media and puts our logo and info into everything she does! Local ChatBox has partner with us and hopefully we will be doing MANY great things together!!
So, to these and the MANY other wonderful people who come out to our events, support us and assist us everyday...we say "THANK YOU!!" With out you all we would not be growing as quickly as we are...would not be able to assist the people who need us!!
Tomorrow we will have the honor of spending the day with Claire Morris and her staff of Beautiful Ladies at Charmed By Claire!! We hope you will all join us, stop by and say hello...buy something wonderful for your Mother, a friend or YOURSELF!! And at the same time help us assist families battling this unfair disease the only way we can....day by day!!!
Things are moving along SO quickly!! Our 2nd Annual Charmed By Claire's Event is this weekend May 4th & 5th!! We are SO excited!! We love the ladies at Claire's...they are the BEST!!
Deana and I will be there all day both days...we will be handing out info about our foundation and we will have chocolate lollipops, ribbon shaped cookies and mini cupcakes!! Thank you Lisa for all your help!!! We will have some of our volunteers there as well so come on out and see us!
June 2nd is our Second Annual "Ladies Day Out" event...which is NOT just for the ladies!! We will have all kinds of things to buy, refreshments and maybe even a little entertainment!!
Our NEW foundation photographer will be at both fundraisers so we look forward to posting some GREAT pictures of both events! Thank you to Colleen Rooney of Astonishing Portraits!!! We are SO HAPPY to be working with you!!
Agi and I have a meeting on Tuesday to discuss our tentative upcoming event...Angels Among Us!! We are THRILLED to have Gail Linonetti planning to do a show for us!! We will keep you updated as things progress.
I am happy to say things are going in a positive direction....both with this wonderful foundation and my health! I am feeling great...afraid to say that too loudly...dealing with the severe pain in my left hand but that is better then my whole body!! I am feeling well enough to spend time with my beautiful granddaughters...they are SO much fun!! I am baking for the fundraiser this weekend...planning to be there all day for two days...what more can I ask for!?!? Life is GOOD!
Trying to stay positive isn't always an easy thing for anyone battling any illness. Cancer definitely can take its toll on a family. With these fundraisers and our wonderful volunteers, we hope to bring some light to as many families as we can battling this unfair disease.
You can help us just by coming out and shopping with us...at Charmed by Claire's this weekend!! We will be there Saturday May 4th from 10-5 and Sunday May 5th 11-4!! Please consider helping us assist a family battling cancer the only way we can.....day by day!
I have not been able to sit and blog for quite sometime...seems like since we lost my High School friend Rich I just can seem to put my words down with out sounding completely negative!!
March was a tough month...it was a year ago in March that we lost Lou...losing Richie, it seemed as if March couldn't get any worse with bad news....
With Easter came the news of two friends on the road to completing their own battles with this unfair disease! How could it be?? But is was...and on April 5th a young woman who lost her mother to cancer at age 55, had now finished her battle at 55. Debbie Waterhouse Bakis was AMAZING! She continued to not only live her life through treatment but she EXPERIENCED her life!! She called it Debbie & Bill's Excellent Adventures! She amazed me in how she kept moving forward! Did ALL the things she wanted to do...LIVED the days she had! We weren't very close through our youthful years but cancer brought us together...a common bond.
Two days later a woman, who was like family, finished her long and difficult battle with cancer. Pam Posh finished her long and arduous battle on April 7th. Again, Pam was AMAZING!! When ever I saw her she had a smile on her face and a positive attitude! Pam & her husband John had a wonderful life...a marriage to be envied. Their lives were not devoid of heartbreak but they loved each other dearly and it was obvious when you saw them together. John was her faithful and devoted husband and was by her side through her battle and he truly "loved her through it"! I am so sorry you have to feel this pain John!
So, not only was this all very sad news...but at the same time it was effecting me in a way I couldn't quite put in to words with out sound self absorbed and negative...which would not be fair to the people who finished their own battles with such grace and dignity.
They were all finishing...we were all diagnosed around the same time...they all came through treatment HEALTHIER then me...traveled, worked, lived and loved life!
Why are they all dying and I am still here...? I know that sounds ungrateful but isn't meant to. It is just sometimes unclear...why my road was so difficult but I am seemingly doing well now...and they were doing so well...and then they weren't! It isn't about...will I get sicker again...it's more about why am I still here? What is my true purpose...I feel as if it is imperative that I do something of value with the time I have been given! Or it seems totally unfair that they should ALL be gone! And there are SO many of them!!
So, where do I go with this blog...do I dwell on my fears...? There are many!! Do I worry about the new people joining our "club" everyday...there are many!!! Do I worry for Nancy, my dear, sweet friend...EVERYDAY!!
How do you move forward on those days when you are paralyzed by fear?? Looking for an understanding of purpose...needing to make a mark on the world...sounds crazy sometimes!!
I try to look on the positive side...(and there was definitely positive for me...which is why it is so hard to blog ...the emotions are all over the map!!!)
Len, Christian & I traveled to DC over spring break and had a wonderful 4 days! The trip was rich with history and we had a great time. We came home in time to prepare for Easter and doctor visits...and tests.
The holiday was beautiful and shared by wonderful friends and family...great food and great company...a wonderful combination!!
I saw the surgeon and had tests so we could make some decisions about my port and medications. All the test looked great but the consensus was not to remove the port. Now came the discussion of medication. As most of you know, I have been on injections in my stomach for about 2 1/2 years. They are painful and EXPENSIVE...costing about $3000.00 a month! My goal was to take this financial burden off of my husband & I!! After much thought and discussion...we FINALLY decided to discontinue my injections!!! This is a trial... Len checks me everyday to be certain there are no changes that can indicate a blood clot...but so far so good!! I am NOT missing my daily injection however, I do miss my weekday visits from my friend Barb who helped me out with those injections!! We have found some OTHER reasons to see each other though!!!
April 14th I was blessed to be here to share in the celebration of the Christening of our second granddaughter, Victoria Juliet. It was a beautiful day shared with family and friends!!
The next day brought me to a visit with my FAVORITE oncologist, Dr. Bruno Fang. We reviewed my complaints and I made sure he saw how FEW there were this visit!! As much as I love him and enjoy seeing him I am happy to say I was graduated to 3 months off!!! This will be the longest I have gone with out him in 2 1/2 years!! I may end up going through Bruno withdrawal!!
So this was my difficulty...so much sadness...so much fear and uncertainty...but so many wonderful and positive things as well!! How could I burden a reader with my emotional roller coaster!!
Now it is here...in writing...I realize I am here for a purpose and it would be an injustice to all those who have finished their battle before their time...so young...with such dignity...if I did NOTHING with the time I am being given!!
I will look at all the positive things in my life and will tell my self everyday that I am here for a purpose and not feel guilty that I have been given more time.
I will carry this foundation into the light for all those people who have finished their battles and for those who are still fighting. We will do all we can to help ease the burden this unfair disease places on a family the only way we can...day by day!
Please be sure to join us at our 2 upcoming events...Charmed by Claire May 4th & 5th and Ladies Day Out June 2nd (it's not just for ladies!!) It one way you can helps us help others!!
Thank you for reading some of my quiet insanity!!
How do I say Good bye to my dear, sweet, long ago friend?? So many years went by with out communication and then....CANCER...I'm sorry it brought us together but glad to have had him back in my life!
So, Once again, we find ourselves trying to say "Good Bye"! Seeing another from out "CLUB" finishing their battle with this unfair disease. Today, my friend, Richard Perkins finished his battle with cancer!
No matter how sick Rich was, he ALWAYS thought of me when we spoke. Always said things like..."don't worry about me, how are YOU! You have had to deal with so much!" And the whole time, I knew how sick he was...how close he was to completing his battle.
Rich (and his sister Sharon) came out to support Day By Day Hope Foundation when we were in Connecticut for the Breast Cancer Awareness Photo Shoot. He came out to support ME! I was so glad to see him and so sad to see how this disease was hurting him! He came out in his pink shirt and we shared a great day! I picked him up later in the evening and we spent the night reminising with old friends and sharing hugs and a closeness as if we had never been apart. I will treasure that day forever!
Years had come between us and we traveled different roads...but ended up in the same place...battling cancer. It was a bond I wish we could have avoided! I wish my friend, his sister Sharon, didn't have to say good bye to her brother...a brother that she stood by through EVERYTHING with a relationship not every sibling is blessed to have. She will take with her the memories of a man she loved and cared for...a man that was more then a brother...he was her friend. I am sorry you have to feel this pain my dear friend!
My memories of Rich will always include a soft, loving, sensitive man who loved to have fun and was always the life of the party. Always had a joke to tell and knew how to tell them! Through these last months we kept in touch, sometimes by phone or on Facebook and he always managed to show that sensitive, loving side by showing his concern for me and the fun side by telling me jokes and ALWAYS making me laugh...I knew he was laughing through the pain! He always told me how proud he was of what we were doing with the foundation and his kind words will forever be with me.
So, we continue to move forward as we say good bye to another friend, a loved one...knowing he is no longer feeling the pain that cancer brought to him. I wish you peace my dear friend...sleep well with out pain. Know that I will do what you said...I will continue my battle for as long as I can...and when my battle is through...whenever that may be...I will see you again and we will share a drink, a laugh...another hug.
Once again, please take this as an awakening...Life is short, health is a gift, love is what brings us through it all...So PLEASE...Hold those you love a little closer tonight, always give forgiveness freely, remember that tomorrow is never guaranteed. And always remember to pay it forward and be there to "love someone
through it" when ever you can!! That is what this foundation intends to do...to honor all those people who have finished their battles...we will do what we can to "love someone through it". We will continue to do what we can ease the burden cancer places on a family...the only way we know how...day by day!
I Love you Rich! I Love you Sharon! Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and that I wish I could be there right along side you to "love you through" this pain...I am so sorry!
Valentine's Day 14 years ago, as a family, we prepared for the BIG day!! The day our last baby would be born! Len and I spent the evening in the office I shared with Michael Burnhill. I put everything into place there and in the office Len & I shared in preparation for the days ahead when we would be busy with our newest addition! Sleep eluded us both that night as we gazed upon the crib that was only temporarily empty! Everything was ready and all we could do was wait...wait for morning when we would leave for the hospital to prepare for delivery. Due to my health (and age) the plan was to induce labor on President's Day 1999. All of our children and their friends, my mother and my best friend were in the plan to join us!! It was a CROWD!
Len and I arrived at RWJ early in the morning and preparations began. We were fortunate enough to have a friend delivering our baby...Michael Burnhill felt he was too old out of delivery practice...so his friend Bill delivered our son.
As was the case with my first 3 babies...labor and delivery were quick and easy but still labor and delivery! Soon our baby was in our arms and my part of the teenage population was NOT going to risk getting pregnant anytime soon!!! My very own style of teenage birth control!!
Our oldest son, Rob, was the first to hold his newest baby brother...it was obvious love at first site. My mother, who had 3 children of her own and 8 previous grandchildren, had just witnessed her first childbirth! Joey, Deana and all their friends were all in awe....the nursing staff just thought I was crazy!!! There were many firsts that day... for the nurses, my mom, our kids. and their friends..it was a blessing! One of many in our lives before and since. One that no one was going to forget. Family and friends still talk about that day...now that those teenagers are adults! Not many babies are born with siblings 23, 19 & 17!
The day we prepared to come home it was just 3 of us and Deana...it was her bonding time with her new baby brother. She changed his diaper and dressed him for the first time...again it was love!
In the days to come, as we learned how to deal with a new baby and work...our children came together and helped. Rob came in from the city on weekends and held Christian so we could sleep...Joey and Deana would stay with Christian when Len and I ran into work to see patients. Our kids and their friends learned fast what it was like to have a baby around the house!! So did WE!! We were definitely not spring chickens!!
Life changed for all of us that day in February...and things would evolve in ways we never expected.
Len and I soon realized we needed to move our office into the house...if God wanted us to have a baby this late in life...then we needed to be there for him. We began house hunting as our home was not convenient for our now larger family!
With in just a few months of the baby's birth our second son came home and told us he had enlisted in the Marine Corp, Deana was college searching ...making trips with Len and we continued to house hunt! Changes!!
Joey delayed his enlistment until after Christian's first Christmas so we set out to have our FIRST Christmas as a larger family!
We celebrated the holiday and prepared for our second child to leave home. Joey left in January for 13 weeks in boot camp. I wrote him daily and missed my son in a way I could have never imagined! We celebrated Christian's first birthday and many other things during those long 13 weeks and I began to realize why God may have chosen for us to have another baby!
We traveled as a VERY large family (13 people in a van!) to boot camp graduation in Parris Island South Carolina and watched as our son became and amazing man!
We celebrated Easter while Joe was home on leave and baptized our now more then a year old baby!! We waited so that all his siblings could be there to be his God Parents!
Life continued to change rapidly! Joe moved on to training...North Carolina, Pensacola, Cherry Point...and we moved into our new HOME!
We were lucky to find a home with the ability to have an office. Our children were moving on and we couldn't expect them to take care of Christian. Life was CHANGING!!
We moved into our new home at the end of July. As we settled in...knowing Deana was leaving in August...we prepared to have an emptier home. Joe didn't even know where we lived!!
The same week we moved into our new home, my partner, Dr. Michael Burnhill passed away suddenly. Changes! Life was changing way too fast!!
Rob came home and told us he had a job offer in California and Joe chose to be stationed in Japan! Deana chose a college...Western New England in Mass. Everyone was leaving in the same weekend!! CHANGES!!
I realized had we not had our new baby I would soon have known what empty nest was all about! I guess God had other ideas for us!!
Life continued to change for us...business changed...it was just Len and I again...I missed Michael terribly! He was my mentor and my friend!
I missed my children but knew we raised them to be on their own and independent!
Life continues to evolve as it should...our kids have made changes...moves, marriges...babies...college graduations, career changes...Our baby is now on the verge of 14!!
Our lives have changed...we are older, new friendships, business lows and highs, family losses, new business associations...CANCER...but life continues to change. We hope to learn something from each change...never regretting anything...it helps make us who we are...changes!!
So many changes have happened... so many people have passed through our lives...so many experiences help mold us into who we are.
Tomorrow will come and at 6:15 PM we will celebrate the 14th birthday of our youngest child. I will consider myself blessed to be here to share the day with him and what ever family we can bring together...Rob will SKYPE with us from California! But while our family has had it's fair share of losses in the past 14 years....we have also had our growth...Anthony, Madelyn, Cameron, Victoria...the newest babies in our family...my parent's GREAT grandchildren...my late brother's 2 grandchildren and our 2 granddaughters!! Making Christian NO LONG the BABY of the family!! After all he is 14 tomorrow!!!
Changes...experiences...no matter how good or how bad...they help make us who we are...even cancer has to have a positive...or how could you move forward?? You always need to find something in every adversity! In the devastation of cancer and my brother's death I have tried to find gratitude...hard task sometimes for certain...but gratitude just the same...I am grateful for my sister in law and the family she and my brother brought to us as well as my sister in law's family that I feel are like my own! I am grateful for the time and the closeness my brother and I had...in part to cancer... Cancer has brought it's own gratitudes...grateful for the time I have been given with my family...for the realization of HOW quickly it can all be lost...for the closeness of family and friends...and for this foundation and the work I am now doing! With out my battle with cancer I might not have ever found this path...Grateful...hard to see it sometimes....but grateful just the same...
Sorry for the length of this blog...seemed only fitting after the amazing 14 years God has given me with this wonderful blessing we call Christian....I pray everyday to be there for all his milestones...graduations, successes, failures, weddings, babies of his own...to watch him grow into the man he is well on his way to becoming...one who sees the importance of "giving back" and "paying it forward"!
Thank you for taking the time to read this LONG and winding blog....just my way of leaving my mark for my family.
Once again...please keep this foundation in your thoughts and prayers and considering helping us to help other be able to find their "gratitude" in this horrible disease...the only way we can...day by day....!
Sunday was certainly a day to be THANKFUL!
Spent the afternoon with my two beautiful granddaughters! It is the best feeling ever to have Madelyn say, "I want Mema to do it"!! We spent the day playing with trains, duplos, chasing poor Bella and eating!! I baked her favorite chocolate chip cookies and had her other favorites... VEGGIES & FRUIT! We had so much fun. She helped me with dinner....making the salad..peeling potatoes!! You forget how active a 2 1/2 year old really is and how much they LOVE TO HELP!! After the week I had I was just thankful to be able to do any of it!! But I did pull it off...we had a great day and I look forward to MANY more! Totally THANKFUL!!
Good days continue!! Monday brought a visit from Susan...bringing meals for Velma!! What a wonderful soul you are Sue! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your help over the years both for my family and this foundation! We had a nice relaxing visit just spending time talking over tea! Thank you Sue!!
Today was a day filled with running around, patients and errands. I am still dealing with a gnawing headache but was able to get Christian and a friend to New Brunswick to meet Deana & Meg so they could go to the play "Green Day's American Idiot". They had a GREAT time!
Now I sit and mentally prepare for tomorrow's test! I hate MRIs!! I hate staying still!!! So, we will head to oncology early tomorrow, have my port accessed for the contrast part of the test, head to testing for an hour then back to oncology to have the IV removed! Then HOME to sleep off the meds!! It is always an entire day! HATE it! We should have the results by the end of the day...not sure what to expect...just hoping for the best! Hoping this headache goes away! Wondering if it is better to NOT have any reason for the pain!!
Thursday brings us to my next appointment with Bruno Fang and a change in my treatment plan. Not sure I am ready for another change!! I am also bringing Velma for her first appointment with Bruno!! So glad that I have been able to bring her some comfort with a wonderful team of physicians!
That is what this foundation is all about!! Bringing some relief, ease some of the burden for someone battling this unfair disease...they only way we can...day by day!
Wednesday began with PAIN....Again! I felt it happening during the night and hoped it would resolve by morning...but it didn't!
I awakened feeling unable to open my eyes, with severe head pain and major weakness on my left side. NOW WHAT!
I gave it some time and things weren't getting any better so off I went to see Dr. Steve Busono. He has been my friend and neurologist for a very long...we had just spoken last week and talked about getting together...I guess my body thought that was a good idea!!!
There was definitely some marked weakness on the left side but it could be from so many different things. So we do what we always do...TESTING!! I am scheduled for an MRI of my brain on Wednesday.
I hate always finding myself looking at such negative things!! So.... on a positive note:
Friday I was fortunate to meet Velma! She is new to our foundation family. What a breath of fresh air! At 86 years young, still living on her own, she is unable to get herself to doctor appointments. I was able to help out by taking her to her first appointment to meet Dr. Joseph Pecora! He is a compassionate primary care internist and she loved him! Tuesday she will meet Dr. Joel Kates a friend and a podiatrist and then on Friday she will come with me for her first visit with Dr. Bruno Fang. She has had a few bad experiences with healthcare so I am glad I could help her get on the road to one of the best medical teams a patient can have!
Soon we will be looking for volunteers to help Velma with some things around her house before she can put it up for sale. She really has a difficult time getting off the main floor of the house...the stairs are really too much for her now...and she is looking to getting rid of some things from the basement. I can also use some help getting her to Shop Rite on Route 130 in North Brunswick so if anyone can help out, please let me know.
It's for people like Velma that our foundation came about! It helps in so many ways to be able to give back...to be there for someone when they can really use the help!
This week was also a productive one for the foundation. I met with Suzanne O'Rourke from Local Chatbox to do some advertising for our office. At the same time we discussed what we might be able to do together for our foundation. She has some GREAT ideas and is willing to help us bring those ideas to light!! I am so excited to have someone else on board!! Thank you Suzanne!! We will keep everyone up to date as we go along!
So, the week was filled with ups and downs...just glad there are more ups then downs these days!
This week will start on a BIG UP...it will begin with a day spent with my BEAUTIFUL granddaughters!! Sunday dinner will be a bit brighter with the sounds of little girls!! How can I not feel blessed??
It's important to see the "UPS"... the good days...it makes it easier to handle the "not so good days"! Here at Day By Day Hope Foundation we hope to bring some bright days to families...to help ease the burden that cancer puts on a family! Consider helping us help others the only way we can....day by day!
And so it begins....
Back to the realities of cancer. Testing, treatment questions...thus the life of a cancer patient.
Had my mamography today...Stable! It's the next best thing to being told you are CURED!!
Picked Nancy up after testing...went to lunch and spent the afternoon together. Spent sometime talking about what cancer makes us think about...things we can only talk about together. It's a special bond we as cancer patients get to share...aren't we lucky?!?!?
Have the next two weeks to think about my treatment options because at my next appointment we will be discussing my multiple rib fractures and what treatment they think is necessary to combat it, what treatments I am on that are causing them and the extreme pain in my hands. We will be discussing different anti cancer drugs and IV meds to help the bone loss. I am presently treating my bone loss naturally and I believe I am making great progress...Bruno is not so convinced!! Having cancer is a constant battle of cause and affect! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger??? Maybe not so much with cancer!!
The bright spot in my days are times I get to spend with my beautiful granddaughters!! Maddy wasn't feeling well this week so we ran over to help out. Hoping to spend time tomorrow as well. I am looking for a car seat so I can keep it in my car so I can always just go get her and take her with me!! Victoria is wonderful and growing fast. She is so calm and relaxed...eats well and sleeps through anything!! She seems to listen and know my voice already!! Grandchildren.....Such a blessing!! Hearing Madelyn call "Mema, Poppy" it washes away everything else...for the moment. Then....back to reality...you can only ignore cancer for so long. But it helps to have my children and my granddaughters to put it in to perspective...to be thankful for the things I am able to share, things I am able to do...this time I have with them...when I look at the past 2 years and the losses we have witnessed, I can only feel THANKFUL! I know it could have been very different.
As far as foundation work...we really have to get moving! "SANDY" really put a crimp in our fund raising and now we need to get things going. We have a few new people we are helping out and we can use some volunteers who can donate some time or meals. If you are able to help out please email me with specifics of what you are able to do.
Each day more people are diagnosed with cancer...each day I wish I could help more. Please consider helping us ease the burden for a family battling this unfair disease the only way we can...day by day!!
With the celebration of the New Year, as with most people, it causes me to reflect on the past year. So many things have changed and so many things deserve to be reflected upon.
With the coming of 2012 we were still reeling from the "firsts" that we were being faced with after losing my brother in October.
We spent the New Year 2012 in Key West! We were there from before Christmas...the weather was wonderful and rejuvenating...definitely something helpful after the preceding year!
However, home to reality was inevitable! With those realities came so much heartache! We saw Lou the day after we returned and it was evident that he was not on the mend. Soon he was put on hospice care and on the same day they were told that Cliff, Amy's father, was also terminal with pancreatic cancer.
I continued to worsen with the treatment I was on and had to receive IV fluids on a few occasions...eventually causing me to discontinue treatment temporarily.
February and March testing was tough...leaving us, for a while, uncertain of my disease progression. But March also brought us our first official fund raiser!! Charmed by Claire! Lou made sure he came out that night no matter how difficult it was for him! He was there with his family at his side. March 17th 2012 Lou finished his battle with cancer.
April found me trying to find medical reasons for the constant headaches and frequent dehydration I was dealing with. April 3rd was also our second official fund raiser!! Fireside Grill & Bar. It was a great night...so many people come out to support us!!
In May we traveled to Hershey Pa to watch as Crossroads Middle School participated in several music competitions...and won them all!! I was blessed to be well enough to be there and see Christian play his trumpet solo! However, May 10th found Nancy and I at the services of Pam! As a foundation we had hoped to reach out to Pam and her family while she was battling and had been unsuccessful. Pam finished her battle on May 5th 2012 We were blessed to be able to connect with the family and through the foundation we have made a lasting connection!!
June 3rd was another fundraiser for us...Ladies Day Out! It was a great success...however June brought us another loss...Cliff completed his battle June 8th 2012! Half the year over and how many losses already?? The rest of June, July and August Deana and I traveled as often as possible to Connecticut to be with Aunt Jackie. We watched as she slowly faded away. August 25th 2012 my Aunt Jackie finished her battle with cancer!
During the course of my battle I had reconnected with a girl I went to high school with...her husband was battling 3 years with cancer...Steve finished his battle on August 2nd 2012...we were able to spend a day together August 19th on her way back from a memorial for him in Massachusetts. A reunion with mixed emotions!
September, the "new year" for any one with children!! September was a full month with school starting, trying to get back to "real" life, seeing "long ago" friends! September 28th Agi, Deana and I traveled to Connecticut to help raise money for a foundation out there. We rallied many of my friends from high school to help out! We participated in The Breast Cancer Awareness Photo Shoot! Pictures can be found on our website!! It was great fun and gave me an opportunity to meet up with so many old friends!! Rich & Sharon among them!! Rich is fighting his own battle right now and I wish him well...I love you Rich!
October was far from uneventful with the onslaught of "Sandy"! We were fortunate and got off with out damage...several friends were not so lucky and we were thankful to be able to share our home with some of them! The one thing that Sandy did do was put most of our fund raising efforts on the back burner.
November was a month to be thankful...but so is everyday! But we had a great Thanksgiving! November 30th 2012 Christian made his first presentation for DBDHF! He kicked off Pajama Day at Greenbrook School!
December 7th 2012 was the actual fund raiser. It was a great success raising over $700.00 with very little out lay! A very successful first venture for our 13 year old son! We are very proud that he is learning about "paying it forward"! Christmas was wonderful and I was very grateful to feel well enough to bake, cook, shop and decorate!! We felt truly blessed! December 28th 2012...a day with mixed emotions!! My Aunt Phyllis lost her beloved husband Bruce after a long battle with this unfair disease! Later that same day...our second granddaughter was born...Victoria Juliet!!! Happy Birthday!! What a way to end a year...!
And so we ended the year as we lived it...with sadness and blessings...always blessings! We lost many friends and family this year...we can pray that this year is better...but we must always remember the many things to be thankful for...good friends/family and the healthy days to spend with them!
I, along with Nancy, Rich, Mary Ann and SO many others, continue the battle with this unfair disease. A disease that sometimes leaves us wondering when it will get better...but should always serve to remind us to be grateful for friends & family...for each day we get to share with them. Remembering to always "pay it forward"!
We will hope for a year with less loss...less pain...less CANCER! We will continue to do our best to ease the burden cancer places on a family the only way we can...day by day...please consider helping us with time, money or just helping us "get the word out"!
Happy New Year!!