• 2018,  Awesomeness,  Celebrate,  Dan,  Father's Day,  Grateful,  Memories,  Parenting,  Raine

    Father’s Day 2018

    Happy Father’s Day to my amazing husband, Dan Herzing.   I am a dork and signed Raine and Dan up for a Father-Son Basketball Camp at Eureka College without even thinking about the fact that Dan has only one reliable lung, vertigo, and a recent complete shoulder replacement. It didn’t stop him from attending today, doing the best he could, and not even caring that he might have looked a little awkward and funny to all the other dads. Since his S4 diagnosis in 2014, we have been blessed with FOUR Father’s Days together. Raine will someday know how utterly amazing this is. For now, he was just happy to…

  • 2017,  Dearest Don Raine,  Family,  Flowers,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Hope,  JD,  JD,  Joy,  Love,  Memories,  Nate,  Nature,  New Years Day,  Oregon,  Parenting,  Raine,  Travel,  Values

    Dearest Don Raine – This Was 2017

    I regret that I didn’t write and share photos more in 2017 in this special space. The loss of Grandma Mary at the end of 2016 extinguished a spark in my heart. I worried that the spark could never return. I now know that her death changed me, Leah, as I know myself, evermore. It feels like I had to get used to this new version of me all year long. If you should lose a physical part of yourself–this is what I imagine it would feel like. How does one begin to live anew without want for what was lost? A leg, hands, sight, or hearing? I find my…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Coping,  Dan,  Gamma Knife,  Lung Cancer,  Metastasis,  Parenting,  Radiation,  Raine,  Targeted Radiation,  Tumors

    Talking to Raine About Daddy’s Radiation

    It was a quiet Monday night. We finished dinner and Raine was anxious to watch the tv show The Voice, his latest obsession (he is rooting for Noah). Rather than head for the living room, I asked him to stay at the table for a talk. I was flying by the seat of my pants in an attempt to tell him about Dan’s radiation appointment the following morning. Dan didn’t even know it was coming. *** First, I busted out his creepy puzzle that reveals all of the anatomy of our bodies. It lets Raine place puzzle pieces in layers–skeleton, organs, muscle, and skin, as well as the clothing worn on…

  • 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?…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Announcement,  Anxiety,  Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Drink,  Dundee,  Flowers,  Lung Cancer,  Music,  Nature,  NSCLC,  Parenting,  Photos,  Quotes

    Medical Update & Announcement

    Hello, friends. I write to you this afternoon from my kitchen table with Sufjan Stevens playing and my laptop flanked by a glass of 2014 Giovanni and a small bowl of tiny blueberries from our yard. It’s not a bad June afternoon. Which reminds of one of Dan’s all time favorite songs… Dan is doing very well. We are 9 months post-diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer (metasticized NSCLC Adenocarcinoma) and feeling very grateful for his subsequent ALK genetic diagnosis because we feel gifted with more time than we would otherwise truly be running out of. We were given a family getaway to Sunriver Resort by Seeds of Hope and enjoyed a long…

  • April,  Awesomeness,  Backyard,  Char,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Drink,  Flowers,  Food,  Friends,  Grateful,  Hattie,  Hobbes,  Jim,  Leah,  Lorri,  Nature,  Parenting,  Photos,  Quotes,  Raine,  Rocco,  Sarah,  Wine

    Two Months in Photos: Celebrations and Growth 2/13-4/13

    Oregon’s spring came generously early this year. I couldn’t help but feel it was meant for us. The last two months have been full of struggle and change, so warm air, full sun, and colorful blooms as early as February were like stars in a deep, dark night sky guiding me along, promising some kind of hope. We are navigating our way and trying to embrace what is new and different. We celebrated Dan’s first scan post platinum chemotherapy treatments (the scan that showed the tumors have all died or stopped growth) as big as we could: we took naps in a luxurious hotel bed in downtown Portland. Haha! That…

  • Carlton,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Honestly,  Illness,  Joy,  Leah,  Love,  Parenting,  Photos,  Raine,  Video

    Christmas 2014

    These are all photos taken by our talented friend, Christie, for our holiday cards. I can’t even tell you how much I love them. We were at Cana’s Feast, and those are my beloved mountains in the background. I’m not one to wear bright red, or even put Raine in bright red, but it happened by chance at the last minute when I raided his hand-me-down boxes and my latest LuLaRoe shipment. I think we look super cute. There is such a great deal of joy radiating from these photos, and that makes my heart swell. I designed a holiday postcard that reads JOY and shares our wish for joy in…

  • Anxiety,  Backyard,  Dan,  Dr. Duffy,  Food,  Friends,  Gifts,  Grieving,  JD,  Jim,  Joy,  Leah,  Parenting,  Raine,  Sarah

    How Is Raine Doing?

    You know, they say children are resilient. I believe it. Raine has been doing so well. We are in a situation where we have great sadness, anxiety, and anger. Our hearts are breaking with it, but also many hearts of people around us and who know us are breaking. It would be impossible for a child to not pick up on that, so I am not naive enough to assume he is 100% unchanged. Just like I said for myself, if you see Raine, he is pretty normal. He isn’t anxious or frightened or sad. He doesn’t really know what is going on. So he might be acting out a…