I am Leah and I have Bipolar Disorder. To make life even more interesting, my husband, Dan, has Stage IV Cancer. He was diagnosed at 37 and has  been in ongoing treatment for 4.5 years! We also have a healthy and rambunctious 7 year old. So follow along as we try to manage our life together and strive for love, gratitude, and joy.

IMG_7797 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 weekend the last four days just enjoying private time for the three of us (a post on that to follow soon).

Dan continues to have maintenance chemotherapy sessions every 3 weeks and scans to check the status of the cancer every 6 weeks. His next scan is in 1 week. I will write an update. I'd like to say that we manage to rise above the jolt of regular scans, and not live life according to them, but it is easier said than done. For the most part, Dan focuses on work and the regular routine--doing what needs to be done and obeying all of the worried women in his life (wife, mother, sisters-in-law, nurses, doctors, LOL), as well as monthly counseling.  I have taken up jogging, pilates, and counseling sessions. We also focus on Raine and our special time with him. This is the best we can do to manage anxiety and fears. (I also do a fair amount of retail therapy.)

Dan is doing the best physically that I have seen  him since his diagnosis. (Hurray!) The aftermath of his pleural effusion, radiation treatment, and first round of chemotherapy treatment (cisplatin being the worst offender) has only left a small wake of chronic fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, and a head of fluffy hair with a bald strip on top that Dan refers to as his "reverse mohawk." His red blood cell counts are maintaining longer than before, trending higher for longer each month. This means less blood transfusions and more energy for longer work days and playing with Raine. He even cooks and mows the lawn again.

It is safe to say that we are emerging from our cancer-diagnosis bubble and realizing the world just keeps going--spinning, evolving, humming--and there is enough catch up to do. We need to tour preschools and decide where to send Raine in the fall. Our lease with our tenant on our condo ends in two months and we need to use that opportunity to sell the property. I closed my business selling LuLaRoe in February but failed to get to all the fine print and tie up loose ends. So I'm tackling that as well as slowly starting a graphic design business (details coming soon). I'm waking up to phone calls about medical bills and realizing my paperwork is a disaster all over the place and I never got financial aid apps completed....Cringe. Our fundraising money is almost gone. I've noticed that on my To Do list for the past 9 months, I've had only 1 item that never managed to get crossed off: BUDGET. I promise it will happen this month.

Neighbors and friends of friends have also been diagnosed with cancer. We donate to other web sites. Family and friends conceived babies and are due this fall and winter. We are realizing it is time to pencil in some quality travel time now that we successfully went to Sunriver. Next up: The beach, Crater Lake, Disneyland, and Europe! Summer is here with a cry of sunshine, a generous garden of vegetables and herbs, and enough festivities and celebrations to keep us busy on the weekends for three months straight. I don't mind--Dan feels good. Let's live life.



What I am planning to do next with this blog is chronicle it all a little bit more timely and concisely. I have received such positive feedback about my writing and sharing, that, combined with my use for it as coping and processing, I feel lead to bring things up a notch on this site and dedicate more of my time to blogging and possibly earn income for it to help us.

SO. Expect a complete redesign within two weeks and regular posting to begin in one week. Please, please, please, if this blog has been of value to you, SHARE it!!! And COMMENT on the blog. [If you follow links from Facebook, resist the urge to comment on the Facebook link. I will receive better sponsorship if my stats are good based on comments on the actual site. Also, it feels more personal and lovely to me. :)]

More to come, very soon...! Thank you for all of your support, lovelies.



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