• Anniversary,  Coping,  Grieving,  Honestly,  Hope,  Leah,  Memories


    On September 18th, four years ago, incurable cancer became a part of our story. I had to write about it in order to cope. Writing felt like the air I needed to breathe. On September 8th, only one year ago, the remains of my beloved mother were sealed inside a niche in a columbarium at Glendale Cemetary in Washington. It had been eight months since her death. At the time, I couldn’t write about this.   I have been bereft and I have been silent. I would like to try to find my way into a new space of writing. I’m not sure what that will mean, but I do…

  • Announcement,  Awesomeness,  Cancer,  Cardinal + Finch,  Dan,  Gifts,  Grandpa Don,  Honestly,  Leah

    Young Cancer Family Starts Gift Business – We Need Your Help!

    {Medical Update: Dan’s shoulder replacement surgery was successful! He is such a rock star; he was sent home the following morning. Like, 24 hours later–In a giant hospital t-shirt that said “get moving,” super tight scrub pants, and no shoes. Clearly, I was not prepared with an overnight bag. He started physical therapy after two weeks of resting and is driving, cooking, and managing his pain well. We are keeping a close watch on his edema for signs of infection but so far so good!}   I developed this little hobby of making gift boxes full of wonderful goodies. I pretended it was a real business and gave it a…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  Alcensa,  ALK,  ALK-Inhibitors,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Corey,  Dan,  Honestly,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Nick,  NSCLC,  Radiation,  Scanxiety,  Surgery,  Surgxiety,  Targeted Radiation,  Tumors

    Medical Update – Shoulder Surgery & Radiation Results

    We spent a Saturday evening in Chicago celebrating the 40th birthday of our bestie, Corey. (Shout out to Corey! He is the reason we ended up dating and getting married.) Dan had just enough energy to live it up and enjoy being with friends. So this guy likes to keep me on my toes. Wednesday Dan will have surgery for a complete shoulder replacement. First thing I know is that his shoulder hurt while golfing, and then all of the sudden we are in for a matrix bionic shoulder. Ok, that might be extreme, but I have seen the sling he will need to use and it kind of makes…

  • Awesomeness,  Beer,  Berry,  Books,  Dan,  Friends,  Grandpa Don,  Gratitude,  Grieving,  Home,  Honestly,  Illinois,  Leah,  Photos,  Sunday Sunday,  Taylor

    Sunday , Sunday – Edition 2

      Things that made me smile the last two weeks … What made you smile? Having drinks with my neighbor and friend, Taylor, Friday. We used some of my mom’s glasses from the hutch collections to sip our blueberry sour lambic. She helped me untangle ribbon for the gift boxes. We talked about anything and everything while the kids played. You know, adulthood? Raine describing the new business to his buddy: My mom got a business. She makes boxes (gesturing to them). She puts little surprises inside and when people open them, they’re like, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHH!” Should I make that my tag line? The sun. I know everyone here thinks it…

  • Announcement,  Flowers,  Grandpa Don,  Grieving,  Home,  Honestly,  Hope,  Illinois,  Life Lately,  Moving,  Scanxiety,  Washington

    We Are Moving (Again)

          In 14 days, we are moving to my dad’s house in Washington. We will also get another round of scan results. Honestly, I can’t figure out what I want to write about. I feel numb with exhaustion. The move wasn’t an easy decision. There were so many different layers to our choice. I still can’t exactly put into words the myriad of emotions I have had about it, back and forth, over the last six months. I still find myself shocked over and over again at how life is so unpredictable, for better or worse. We’d appreciate your thoughts and good vibes for the next two weeks.    

  • Feminism,  Honestly,  Leah,  Optimism,  Special Events

    Why I Didn’t March Today

    My husband has cancer. He just had chemo on Wednesday and is sleeping like a bear today. My mother died. I spent the afternoon watching the recording of her funeral service because when I was actually there, I had a five year old talking to me and climbing all over me the entire time. I am bipolar and have chronic pain and fatigue. A month ago, I started a new 30-hour-a-week-job, but getting my mind and body used to the routine has been a challenge. I just wanted to sleep in and be lazy. Plans to go with a friend to D.C. fell through. Plans to go to Chicago fell…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Cancer,  Dan,  Flowers,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Honestly,  Hope,  Hospital Stays,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Metastasis,  NSCLC,  Oregon,  Raine

    My Mega Blog Post

    We have enjoyed a beautiful start to Spring here in Carlton, Oregon. Raine enjoyed celebrating Easter with egg hunts, gifts, treats, and time with friends. Dan’s exam and maintenance chemo treatment on the Friday that followed Easter was without concern or change. For Christians, Easter is a celebration of Hope. I remember learning about Easter’s entire procession as a child in Sunday School. What stood out to me was the palm fronds waved and placed in adoration of a spiritual leader. And then the death of such a beloved teacher and inspiration, to be followed by the mystical resurrection of his body. It was fascinating for me to contemplate as…

  • Anxiety,  Art,  Dan,  Depression,  Hattie,  Home,  Honestly,  Leah,  Life Lately,  Memories,  Nature,  Optimism,  Photos,  Raine,  Therapy,  Travel,  Vineyard

    Summer Recap

    I believe what I would remember most about this summer (and the quickly approaching end of it) was 1.) Trying to come to terms with the demands of my own health, and 2.) A fierce nesting phase as I tried to both prepare to launch my new graphic design business and transform our house into a rather lovely home. Before Dan was diagnosed last year, I was so busy working full-time managing the shop in McMinnville and operating my LuLaRoe business, our house was pretty empty and neglected, save a lot of toys. I also spent little time focusing on my health other than occasional diets and taking meds without stopping to consider…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Cancer,  Honestly,  Lung Cancer,  Lung Cancer Community,  NSCLC,  Optimism,  Raine,  Special Events,  World Lung Cancer Day

    World Lung Cancer Day 2015

    Yesterday was World Lung Cancer day. We spent it letting Raine play at a park. He ran and jumped and squealed and shouted. There was a sand pit with a “mountain” that he fought hard to climb up to the top of…over and over again. Sometimes older children held his hand and ran with him up the mountain and helped him. (What sweet children). Sometimes he did it all by himself! Then he’d launch himself down again to the sand. There was a play train he poked around in, sprouting fountains to run through, and a super mega playground structure with three slides and rope climbing. Pure kinetic joy. Dan and…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  ALK-Inhibitors,  Alternative Treatments,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Grieving,  Honestly,  Journaling,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  NSCLC

    Eight Months

    I took this photo for Instagram, 34 weeks ago. The caption was “Quiet noon hour.” Four friends of mine ‘liked’ it. It wasn’t the only photo I took that afternoon of myself. I was in the business of taking selfies back then. I took selfies or made Dan photograph me constantly to promote the clothing that I sold. Here, I was wearing a kimono that I wanted to feature, so I had been snapping different shots to feature it in the hazy overcast afternoon light coming through the window of Dan’s first hospital room. He was in his bed, probably working on his phone. I was taking selfies and fidgeting. We had no…