• 2016,  Advice,  Anxiety,  Awesomeness,  Beer,  Chicago,  Dan,  Grateful,  Leah,  Memories,  Music,  Optimism

    2016 Put Me in the Same Room as Robert Plant

      On a whim, as I sometimes do when it comes to concerts, I bought tickets for myself and a friend to see The Milk Carton Kids at the Vic in Chicago. The exciting news was that it was a performance as part of a concert to raise funds for refugees and would also feature Emmylou Harris and friends. I could check Emmy off of my concert bucket list! Guests included Patti Griffin, Steve Earle, and Buddy Miller as well as Emmylou’s special guest, Ruby Amanfu. As with anything I plan ahead, and especially if it involves travel, I commit myself while completely thrilled about the idea of it, and then the week of…

  • 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…

  • ALK,  Bipolar Disorder,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Gratitude,  Hydrophrenosis,  Laughter,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  NSCLC,  Optimism,  Raine,  Tumors

    Guess What? I’m Still Here. And It’s February!

      I ended the year 2015 with a bit of a bitter back glance (and a secret note to the future that I had better not get any more s**t.) This might come as a surprise because I talk so much about joy, gratitude, and hope in my writing on this blog. The truth is, after a year like 2015, full of a desperately sick husband on chemotherapy, a mother increasingly lost to me in the impenetrable fog of her own mind, closing two businesses that I started in good faith, crushing financial problems landing us in the office of a bankruptcy lawyer, and essentially pushing myself to the limits of…

  • 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…

  • April,  Beer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Drink,  Fibromyalgia,  Flowers,  Food,  Gratitude,  Home,  Leah,  Life Lately,  Love,  McMinnville,  Optimism,  Oregon,  Parenting,  Photos,  Raine

    Lately In Life

    So let’s talk about life lately. We are nearing the end of July, folks. Summer is pretty busy, isn’t it? It certainly has quite a zeal to it. If it were fall or winter, I suspect we would be judging our busyness and blaming it on “back to school” or the holidays, or this or that. But because summer is sunny and the days are so generous, we feel kind of relaxed about our busyness, don’t we? Where we live, farmers are hustling and the swimming pool is crowded. Every single weekend is booked with a festival of some sorts–not to mention a personal social invitation or two. But who minds?…

  • Amy,  Awesomeness,  Backyard,  Dan,  Drink,  Food,  Grateful,  Joy,  Leah,  Optimism,  Special Events,  WLS

    Cheese & Chocolate Party

      At Dan’s last platinum chemo treatment day, February 21st, we joked with our friend Patrick that we should have a “Cheese and Chocolate Party” in six weeks to celebrate the supposed return of Dan’s taste buds. We origicnally christened it the “5 C party,” the C’s to stand for Carlton Crest Cheese and Chocolate Celebration. We were a little dramatic about it, possibly due to a post-Lardo sandwich blood sugar drop, or we are all just super nerdy. Patrick set up the date on the Google calendar and sent us reminders. My face flushed with excitement. (I will later explain to Raine that it is that quarter slice of French heritage that gives me desire…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Announcement,  Awesomeness,  Cancer,  Char,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Family,  Grateful,  Jim,  Joy,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Medical Jargon,  Metastasis,  NSCLC,  Optimism,  Photos,  Tumors

    Happy Friday (Great News!)

    The results are back and I bet you can guess by our celebratory selfie in the oncologist’s office that they are good! The MRI of his brain showed NO infection, NO clots, NO new tumors, and all lesions are confirmed necrotic–Dead. “Tumor necrosis” is the fancy medical term for that, and I feel like I want to carry a balloon around today with that written on it! What makes me even happier about this news is that there is also NO inflammation due to the necrosis. High five! The CT scan showed NO growth and NO new tumors. Double high five! Oh man. So relieved. Repeat MRI won’t be for…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Announcement,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Joy,  Leah,  Love,  Metastasis,  NSCLC,  Optimism,  Photos,  Tumors

    The Friday Before Christmas

      It is hard to believe that three months ago to this day, we were receiving the shocking news about Dan’s cancer. All we knew at that time was that it was considered stage 4 lung cancer because it had spread to his spine, lymph nodes, and brain. In a strange way, I don’t even feel like the same person who received that news. I took that hit. And I survived. We both did. I don’t suppose you ever go back to the person you were before. Today, at Dan’s 3rd chemotherapy infusion, I brought in sandwiches for lunch from Potbelly (Dan’s request) and I was concerned the odor might cause fellow…

  • Advice,  Alternative Treatments,  Awesomeness,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Family,  Gratitude,  Honestly,  Leah,  Love,  Medical Jargon,  NSCLC,  Optimism,  Oregon,  Photos,  Radiation,  Raine

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

      Every day is about adjusting to our new normal. But our new normal shifts like sand under our feet. I just keep walking in the sand, letting it slide around me. At least I have his hand in mine. Today I slept in while Dan and Char attended to Raine. I showered and took Raine to daycare. I went into Dry Goods and answered questions for the new manager. I bought several vintage suitcases. I upgraded our small garbage bin to a large garbage bin at Recology and also purchased a large bio-hazardous safety waste container for Dan’s used Lovenox needles. Debbie at customer service gave us a free month…