• Anger,  Grateful,  Leah,  Mary,  Memories,  Rocco

    My Dog Peed on My Mother’s Obituary

      At a time when we were unaware, Rocco chose a plastic bin of mine on the floor to lift his leg over and urinate on. He is a well trained dog and this was unexpected–so unexpected, he kept his secret for what might have been an entire day or two. The bin was one of several in a plastic storage unit that contained every note, card, letter, photo, and sentimental piece of paper (or pipecleaner) I had saved since I was in the third grade. So Rocco chose to not only urinate inside the house, he selected the only spot that could desicrate my emotional well being. (Other than my blankies). At…

  • Awesomeness,  Birthday,  Celebrate,  Char,  Dan,  Doug,  Family,  Friends,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Jim,  Joy,  Leah,  Memories,  Oregon,  Peoria,  Photos,  Rachel,  Raine

    And Along Came a 40th Birthday

    It felt like an outrageous accomplishment. It felt like the summit of Mt. Everest. And it also felt normal. We made it to his 40th birthday and life with cancer has become so normal to us, I was distracted by daily non-cancer minutia and completely forgot to plan something. While I was distracted, Dan planned his trip to Oregon. He always hoped to celebrate his 40th by traveling to the beautiful southern coast of Oregon to visit Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, consistently rated among the top golf courses in the nation. He set up plane flights, a rental car, air b&b’s for Lake Oswego and Bandon, reserved a golf cart–got a…

  • Anxiety,  Caregiving,  Fibromyalgia,  Hospital Stays,  Leah

    Can a 36 Year Old Female Have a Heart Attack?

    It isn’t common but the answer is yes. Did I think I was having a heart attack? Maybe. Did I actually have one? No. This woman, at age 37, actually had a heart attack. Her symptoms were similar to mine. However, after I woke up in the middle of the night nauseous and with pressure in my chest, that feeling of discomfort remained for another 48 hours and worked its way into my neck and jaw. I tried to treat it like heartburn, and it occured to me that maybe I was developing GERD. I would have suspected a prolonged panic/anxiety attack, but in my previous experience they are accompanied by…

  • 2016,  Alexis,  Art,  Dan,  Flowers,  Grateful,  Hope,  Leah,  Logan,  Music,  Peoria,  Raine

    Roots, Interests, and Limitations

    For making a big decision about how you are going to spend the majority of your minutes in a day, especially in such a way that you might be provided compensation for your time, I have always failed pretty miserably. I think too big, I think too small, I hop around with ideas, or I avoid thinking at all and keep with the status quo for fear of change. My best advice is to go back to your root values and strongest interests, and then be really honest with yourself about your limitations. That was my starting point when I searched for employment in Peoria last November. I took 2 hours…

  • Announcement,  Anxiety,  Art,  Cancer,  Chicago,  Dan,  Doug,  Food,  Hospital Stays,  Lung Cancer,  Lung Cancer Community,  NSCLC,  PTSD,  Scanxiety

    Medical Update – Spring 2017

    The prelude to winter began with Dan’s hospitalization November 1st. I spent the day wrestling with my intuition that I needed a significant break–things were getting to be too much and I felt super fragile. I talked to the HR manager at work and decided to take a leave of absence for the month of November. I came home and told Dan, only to discover he was developing a fever. I needed to take him to the ER so my abrupt decision suddenly seemed genius. Honestly, I felt like I really couldn’t put a price on the relief I felt to not have to call in and get a shift…

  • Flowers,  Grateful,  Grieving,  Holidays,  Love,  Raine

    Valentine’s Day

    While Dan rested over the weekend, Raine and I finally checked out the Peoria Riverfront Museum with our friends John, Kate, Marlena, and Penelope. It was a beautiful day so we also spent time playing at the park by the Riverplex, where there is a super cool zip line. Watching Raine and Marlena interact is such a joy. They play well together and I have waited so long to enjoy seeing Raine play with my best friends’ children.   Saturday night I was at the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s concert Romance, with an after party in the lobby with a 10 piece swing band, dancing, and champagne until midnight (at least, for me).…

  • 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…

  • Allyson,  Birthday,  Books,  Cards,  Celebrate,  Gifts,  Joy

    Lovely Gifts: Eva’s 1st Birthday

    little monkey! 2016 gave us the opportunity to celebrate the loveliest little munchkin’s first birthday, Miss Eva Caroline! Raine and I put together a birthday package for her in September; a colorful combination of handmade art, expensive apparel, and hand-me-down toys and book. Then we got to hold her, hug her, and try to keep up with her during our trip to Colorado after Thanksgiving. Oh, the sweetness! Thinking of her makes me so happy.   dinnertime munchies in the car, we sat in the back seat with her and sang songs. she especially liked twinkle twinkle little star. pirate bootie snackies and the cutest bib ever! where did you get it…