Monday, December 27, 2010


It's monday December 27th......I can't believe it!!!! Where has the time gone?  We had a great Christmas.  It was very hard on me for some reason.  I don't dwell on the negatives of Marshall's condition but this Christmas I guess it was in the back of my head ..... "the...what if it's the last...."  so mad!!!!!! but on Christmas morning I got up and I shook it off and enjoyed the time with all of us.  We had Brian's family over for was a great time.  Lot's of laughs....missed my Brother in law crash down on the floor in one of our kitchen chairs......LOL poor guy!!!!!  I tried to forget about Marshall's cancer and not talk about it.   I would answer questions bc of course your family is going to ask "how is he" I answered, but was glad it wasn't the main topic and didn't get morbid......

I think we are all entitled to being able to not focus on this disease all the time.  We do have a life outside of this disease.  I think we all agree that it doesn't make us who we are or rule our lives (well, it kinda does, but not to the extent that we let it control us)  I think it's so important to move what you got cancer, so what it very well can kill you, so what it will determine things in the can't change or go backwards....move on!!!!!!! You waste so much time thinking of the negatives that you are going to waste the precious time God has given you on this earth.  We don't even know how this whole thing is going to turn out.  It could be months, it could be years, it could be never........WE DON'T KNOW  so why waste all this precious time, keeping it in the forefront of your mind and bring others down with you.

I personally don't want to be around people that want to focus on the negative of Marshall's cancer.  I want to laugh and smile still.  I want to enjoy what time I have here.

Some people thrive on depressing topics and focus on the bad stuff....but all of here in this household......sorry we don't do that.  Get out of our way if you want to be like that.  Thank goodness we aren't like, that would so suck.....seriously......think about it....LOL

Do people not realize that we have thought about the worst.....hell, I am his mother....I don't need to be reminded of the possibilities......why would you do that......are you trying to torture me?  Seriously!!!!!!!!  Is there no compassion?  Why not be there for us.....why not be strong of us when and if we get weak.  Who takes care of us when we are down?  Why do we always have to be strong for everyone else? 

We have scans for Marshall tomorrow.......we have appointments starting at 10:30 and the last one is at 4:15 i allllll day at the hospital......and such.  We are Re-staging Marshall.  We are going to look at how the Chemo has worked........I haven't even thought of the possibilities of it not working......I really haven't.  I believe they have and looking for a miracle.  I am hoping they can't even find his tumors......but if they are still problem......!!!!  Still shooting for the miracle....LOL  Never give up!!!!!  So we are holding our breath and won't release it til tomorrow night when we meet with Marshall's Surgeon and find out what she sees and how she is going to do Marshall's pelvic bone surgery.  Darn curious about that.....all the Ischium bone or part of it.....why no replacement....etc

People tell me all the time "I can't imagine what you are going thru"  and I know that and I pray none of you ever have to either.  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  It is cruel disease, but I don't need you to know what I/We are going thru.  What I/We need is your prayers and support.  We still are the same people with the same amount of kids, with all our crazy issues......and loud kids.  We haven't changed a bit.  We are normal folks that love to still have a blast.....and I still want to go doesn't matter and I know everyone knows that.......I guess what I am trying to say is that I/We don't want to be treated any different.  We don't walk on egg shells or break easy.....We are strong timbers that can carry alot of weight.  We will get thru this as a family and survive this wrath.  There will be storms and I think some large ones are headed our way but I can't focus on what I do not know yet.  Why worry about it?  Right now we are good, I am good (or so I think....LOL) and I have things to do........

I had a woman come up to me after Mass yesterday.  She said I didn't know her, but she had always admired our family and how well behaved the kids were and all.  Then she heard about Marshall and said she has been praying for us and just wanted to let me know that people I don't even know are praying for all of us.  Things like that mean to world to me....I just wanted to give her a huge hug!!!!!!! It was exactly what I needed.  That is what is awesome about our faith.  No matter where you are...who you are.......Marshall's name is said across this world and is having Masses, Rosaries, and prayers said is an awesome thing.....when you realize you are not the one that calls the are helpless and must rely on something greater than is Our Lord and the Blessed Mother is here with us at all times.  I feel her embrace and love the fact that she is my mother too.  I relied on her so much when I moved here being 8 months pregnant with #2.  Leaving my family was the hardest thing I have ever done....I cried many times in the beginning but knew I wasn't alone and it was thanks to the Blessed Mother that I got thru it.  I didn't have my mother there physically but I did have my spiritual mother....and her embrace is stronger than anything I have ever felt.  I am glad I know her and sometimes forget she is there, but she is there no matter what!  You just have to ask.

We don't ask anymore......we need to remember all the angels and saints are up there just waiting to be asked for prayers.....we have so much but we sometimes forget that.

Merry Christmas all of you.......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Well, we are home from the hospital and thank goodness.  That was the longest hospital stay ever!!!! it just seemed to drag on and on.....and boring....ugh!  Marshall had some rough spots as usual with this round of Chemo.  It makes his blood pressure drop and we have to give it extra slow for him.....he did have a couple of blackout moments, and got sick a couple of bc of the meds he was taking and then when he had his last dizzzy spell he did get sick just a little....nothing was really in there.....

Yesterday was Elizabeth's Birthday!!!! Marshall and I raced home and got home at 5:10 to be exact....LOL.....and we got invited to a Christmas dinner that Cortland Finnegan put on for his foundation.  We we got all ready and jammed out of there......but when we got's hard seat 9 souls together with a function like that.  It is a wonderful thing he is doing for LLS and we left and went to the Plan B.....Plan A was homemade tacos.....but we were gonna come home too late and Plan B was put into action....go to Nachos for some Tacos....but then Plan C arrived.....LOL!  It was a good night.  Late but good....It was trivia Marshall called us the Big 9....we ended up getting 2nd place....LOL!!!!  Did presents and cake then i went to bed.

i think i got about 2 hours of sleep Monday night.  His last round of Chemo started at 1 and man, those machines don't like the Chemo....we call it the Champagne Chemo......lots of bubbles......Marshall wanted to sleep in my bed (couch) and i slept in, it worked out better with the buttons for me to push to notify the nurses that "it's beeping"  those beeps became part of my dreams....and i would be having a dream of beeping and then's beeping so turned around and found my little button....the nurses stopped asking what was wrong but then one got on there...and spoke really loud and said more than 8 words...and i really didn't need that right now....i know she was being nice and all and polite, but look at the's almost morning at this point...well close to it....ugh!!!!!

Marshall slept til about 1 in the afternoon and he had no clue....bless his heart.  he got a transfusion which is good.  he didn't necessarily need it but was gonna need it by this weekend and they thought since his counts have already dropped and haven't even left the hospital  and this weekend they are going to lets do it.....

it's Christmas on Saturday!!!!!! Maybe now, i can slow down and think about it.  Maybe so much to do to unclutter this mind of mine.  House duties and children.......lots and lots of clothes....always have more clothes to wash on Chemo weekends....with Marshall you have to wash everything he brought.......wants all smells of hospital out!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas and enjoy one another!  Lets remember that the little stuff is not worth arguing over, and the big stuff will work out in time.  Have faith in the Lord and He will get you through this.  Just know.........He doesn't have a watch.....time means nothing to Him!!!!!!!!!  So, hang in there and stay faithful.......He loves you very much and will only give you what you can handle.  If Our Lord chooses to give you a heavy cross........bare it with a smile.  Yes you can cry at times....that's life....we are not perfect....but remember you are not the only one, you are not alone, and our only goal is Heaven.....that's it...plain and simple.  Some of us may get there sooner, and some of us may have an easier journey, but there have been those that have had it a lot worse.  So take your cross and carry it!  Don't complain or try to beat someone out with your fun....and really don't want to hear it.  I don't have time for that nor do i care.  I am not in a battle to see whose is can have it.......I will share with you, but if you start to try to beat me out....I will stop it right there and just give it to you with a smile (you don't want to know what i am thinking....LOL)

Christ had the ultimate sacrafice..........and on Saturday will be the beginning of the journey~

God Bless, Mary Keep and St Joseph Guide You

Monday, December 20, 2010

it's time

You know, I was wondering how long it would take me to fall apart!!!! Well, I think I am close to my breaking point....and guess what!!!!!????  It's the last Chemo.....for about 5, see....perfect timing....God just knows how to do it, huh!  Why don't more people trust in Him?  Why do they think they know more than Him.....

Of course, I am not literally falling apart....but i am stretched mentally, emotionally and physically right now.  I guess lack of sleep doesn't help those matters much at all.  I just want to crawl in a whole and not come out for about 3 weeks.  i really don't want to do anything but sit/lay in my bed......for a long time......that's how and what i really want to do. 

the poor kids are stressed...i'm stressed....daddy is stressed......and marshall is really bored right now.....LOL at the Chemo Inn.  poor where to go....but he will just say "aaahhhh"  i will ask what's wrong....he will tell me 'i'm bored'  then he kinda moves on.....LOL

I feel so out of control it's not even funny! it's really not.  i like to be somewhat organized and in control.  i am not a control freak...but when i have Chemo weekends and it's my turn to come home and spend the night.....lets just say........everyone wants to rRUNNNNNNNNNN really far away....from me.  all i want to do is get out of my hospital infected clothes, and hang with the kids....kinda decompress from the hospital....can i?  what do you think....nope...i spend my time getting the organized with kids.....the kitchen.....ugh!

today, i am home for a bit bc i have to take patrick to the doctor.  his knee is really, really swollen......and i have to get it looked at.  i really don't want to go......but i have to.  this thing with him comes and, he gets better and then i don't have to deal with it, but this is the worst it has been so going to go have to remember you have 6 other kids that need doctor appointments......crap!!!!  you mean i gotta do that toooooooo!!!!!! aren't i already at clinic or hospital enough?  of course i am gonna do it....but i wonder if they will want to do an X Ray?  ugh!  that is where it all started with Marshall.........i know Patrick will be fine....but mentally i go back to that exact day.........and i can remember it all....the beginning of this....even though i didn't know it was the beginning..for some reason, that day will live on in my head and anytime i think of an X Ray (my doc. wanted to give me one for my wrist and elbow different arm has the sore wrist and the other has the sore elbow...LOL....she asked if i wanted an X Ray and she said she didn't blame me if i didn't bc of all that was going on.  i said NOPE)  and he is going to Marshall's doctor today......LOL!  he is a great doctor and so glad that we have him.  Marshall has loved him.

i have a daughter that has a birthday tomorrow.....and then i said....just wanna wake up in three weeks and i will be good to go.  Elizabeth really doesn't know what she wants for he Bday, so...gonna have to wing it she said she would think about it today.....hmmmm.....think i am gonna or brian go today and get stuff.  we will hopefully get out of hospital tomorrow afternoon......come home and either start on dinner for her (she wants homemade tacos like colin did) or we will buy some....poor thing.  she understands.....that's what's good about having good kids, they are wonderful about situations and all.  they understand and let me tell you they are forgiving........children really remind you of how much we struggle with attaining Heaven.  you look at them.....and see how far you are from least God gave us little graces all around us to daily and constantly remind and help us.  of course they are not always angels.......but i am not talking about those parts.

kids are kinda having a hard time with all of this. i am seeing attitudes come out......more whining (which in my book when i am at the hospital and some other parent/friend is taking care of embarrassing)  i did not raise my kids to behave like that.  granted it's not all the time, but still it's a shock to your system when faced with this and i struggle with letting it go or what.  what can i do?  i am not there when it happens?  so, little late, and then i really don't hear about it either til one of the kids tell me.......GREAT!  just what i need. 

i know that Sean is having a hard time.  he wants to crawl back into my womb....LOL  as a baby he would roll into a ball around my stomach.  brian would laugh and joke that he wanted back in......well, he is now almost 7 (next month) and he is doing it again.  so i am trying as is brian to hug and love on them more.  you see all the little ways the things are coming out in each of the kids.  you know they said it would affect the whole family and i knew we were not exempt, but i did wonder how and when it would come.  we are all doing the best we can.  we really are, but you can tell it's really coming to the surface to what it is doing to us.  i have to admit we are blessed with everything and it could be worse,  so i will take this....compared to how it could have come out etc.....thanks to all the prayers and Masses said throughout the world for Marshall and us......that is what is keeping this family together....yes, we have some strings coming loose, but they are just loose and we will tighten those no problem.  brian and i have a grip on all of the threads and working our way back to weaving it back in.  you have to have the parents together emotionally and mentally or you can't win this.  you can't keep a hold of it all.  i see that sense this has happened brian and i are really latching onto one another.......thank goodness!!!!!!!!!  we have become even stronger.....didn't think we could, but anyway.......our hands are strong and we are holding htis blanket...we each have two corners.....we see the threads, and we grab them and do our best to weave it back in.  we will conquer this.  we will become a whole family soon.  we will just need to hold on a little longer.  we are almost there, and i know it's gonna get harder before it gets better, but we have eachother and Our Lord and that is what is gonna get us through this.  Just please continue to pray for the family as a whole!  i think that is so important.  Some forget that Marshall has parents and 6 other siblings......they are in need of prayers too.  but i think......really i think everyone is praying for the, take that back....brain fart.....on my part.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I have a Bestest Friend

I have been married for 18 years (man, can't believe it's been that long.....Dang) and just have realized to the extent of my husband's and my relationship....He is my Bestest Friend!!! I don't know what I would do without him....there are many times I want to murder  him....LOL but in the end....NAW!  I think I will keep him....LOL.  Seriously now, going thru all this with Marshall puts a huge toll on you personally.  The things that need to be done, the emotions you go thru, the lack of hmmmm lets.....seee.........well, everything.......really gets to you sometimes...and you need someone who is there for you to listen (but you really don't realize that).  Well, Brian and I have had many a conversations in bed....we could be watching TV and then all of a sudden, one of us will bring something up, or ask a question, or something.....well, there goes the night.....LOL!  We can talk for hours.

Gosh, if I didn't have that/this right now I don't think I could go thru this with all that is going on.  Of course, I appreciated and loved Brian with all I have before, but I guess you don't think about (well I didn't really) the friendship of it all.  I could not live my life if I knew I couldn't talk to Brian forever.  I can't/couldn't imagine not hanging out with him everyday.  He has become so much apart of me, that it's like I would die bc something was taken out of me.  Anyway, I know this is stupid and all.....but for some reason it just dawned on me lately....I just love that guy so much and appreciate him...and how we can go to lunch and just "BE"  just the fact that you are with eachother is a's funny with something so minute....can be such a positive basis of your marriage!

Well, Marshall is having his 6th Chemo round......he is so excited bc this is the last of the first phase of his treatment.  He will get a 3 week break.....before surgery.  Brian stayed over bc I had to shadow at work yesterday, and I didn't have time to pack.....hate being a girl....LOL

I was jammin to music last night.....and called a friend that I haven't spoken to what...maybe 30 years.....can you believe it....We will chat on facebook and I looked for her last night on there......and I was soooo, I messaged her and she told me to!  talk about many years ago, then she leaves school and you never see/talk to her again......then now, years later, married, kids.....I am out of state and poof......I call her.....and it was as though no time has gone by.......we talked about "do you remember....him....her......."  memory, and how small of a world this is.  Her friendships with some that I went to school with.  It was so nice to talk.  I know that she has always offered for me to call anytime and I have said the same to her on facebook.....but I was always so scared to's like....what do I say?  Will I say something wrong.....LOL  you know....since it has been so!!! but it was again like a said...awesome.  I am so greatful for that and amazed at the lives that God puts in your life.  and you have no idea the timing or the reasons for certain things and all, but they are there. 

She told me that she wants to come visit me.....she said..."I know that sounds wierd"  LOL, but I was thinking hell.....NO.  I love it!!!!  I wanted to see her when I went out to visit my family...but there are so many of them.... :0) and so little time, that it was just way to hard.  I hated that.  I almost need a friend trip out to Phx and not tell my family...but just go and see friends....line them up like I do when I visit my family.  Every night and day doing something, getting together at so and so's house......So I hope it works out!!!!  Praying....although I am a boring host...that is one thing I never learned.....oh, well.....there are far worse things to complain's not like I got Cancer or know!?  I will take the lack of hosting knowledge....and be quiet.

Huge damn cricket/spider downstairs in basement....two youngest won't go down there...and I have to go find it.....ugh!!!!!!! Hate those things....I am a tough girl.......I have been hunting with my dad, seen a deer gutted and all.....I can kill bugs and spiders....etc.....but now that I have 6 boys/men in the's not my job anymore, but for some reason it doesn't work out that way......I have to go and kill most, I will probably be jumping and screaming....when that thing jumps around...hopefully it won't follow me like one did with Aidan (4 year old) and terrify the living heck out of him.  they are like mutant dinasour age things......I mean really.....ugh!!!!!!!!!!  Just heard a scream...better go and do my motherly (well, not to me it's not.....) duties.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Staring at a Chemo Patient

to look at your child that has shadows around his eyes and his skin is pail....ugh!  to look at him and pretend all is normal and that there is nothingn different or wrong with him.  To remember that you have to look at him and see what you see but act as though he looks normal. 

i have learned that i have to do see this more now than not.  but it does make your mind wander and think?  Your heart sink that your son is not looking very good?  Is he happy...yes! Is he hopeful...yes..... but he looks like crap...but how is your face?  it is a poster of happiness...... it is a look as if nothing is is a posture as though things are normal....this has become my life!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Marshall went to Clinic yesterday!  Blood levels were great.  platelets are okay, but white blood count, neutriphils (sp?) look good......etc....we are going to do a CBC on the last day of his stays in the hospital to see if he needs a transfusion.  the Dr said it would work out better to have one while in hospital than coming into Clinic for it.  it takes so long....ugh!  so, I am assuming that maybe the next transfusion will be platelets.  the Dr said that is the one that struggles the most after a while on Chemo.  the bone marrow just can't reproduce as fast.  Marshall's little hospital buddy hasn't been able to go in and get Chemo bc her platelets have been too low.  she is hoping to go in today and have her 11th round.  she has exactly what Marshall has just different areas.
the Dr also said that Marshall is doing above average on weight, and everything.  Normally by now we would have had NG tubes in and out  He does have this weird thing with his hands and feet.  a tingling, numbness, discoloration on hands and blisters on hands.  it's a side effect from one of the Chemo's.  Very rare, but the Dr said that he has had 3 patients come up with this this year......he has no clue.  for some odd reason B6 helps....or at least we think....LOL don't know if time and that...prob both.
Marshall had an ECHO (don't know how to shorten it with a K or a C, do you add an H in there...LOL) yesterday after Clinic.  This round of Chemo (odd round) is particularly hard on his heart......Like that's all I needed to add to the mix....forget radiation........they are gonna try and block out the heart for that, but I have to worry about this damn Chemo hurting it.....ugh.  Anyway, we have to check his heart out I think about every third time he gets this Chemo.  No idea what happens if it is affecting his heart.  But we haven't gotten a call so I am assuming all is good.  and we are just waiting for a call for a bed! 
This week (Sunday) we found out about a 9 year old girl, Brandi that died of Cancer.  She was diagnosed in 2007 and she was in remission I think since last year.  Could be wrong, but then last week she got sick, they took her in........she was scheduled for 'body scan' in the beginning of December to see if anything new came up or if still Cancer free, but at first the Docs thought she was fine and didn't need to do a scan, then I guess they felt they needed to do the scans bc she just wasn't getting better.  they found out that the Cancer had come back with a vengeance.  A large tumor on her abdomen and ones all around her kidneys and liver.  they made her go home with hospice and told the mother to 'say your good byes'  She lasted til Sunday. 
It has hit Marshall hard.  You can see from the CaringBridge Journal and all.  I loved that he worked out the "shout out" to her and a moment of silence at the Preds game.  I think it's important to remember and acknowledge these children.  We don't want them "outta site, outta mind"  and the other side of it is that you don't want to cover yourself in death and depression.  There is that fine line that you have to set.  Of course it is going to be hard at times.  Brian's first comment when I told him on Monday was "I am so tired of seeing people die...."  it takes him back to Elaine being in the hospital and meeting people and befriending them.....and then they leave all happy and healthy and then *POOF* gone.  they come in and a week later *GONE*  the sad fact is that Cancer is that fast!  You can't imagine it could be, but it really is.......
As we enter into "Advent" we are "preparing".  Man....I think for a Cancer patient everyday is "Advent"  what a way to live.  You always hear "live like it's your last day"  "be prepared in case it's your last day" etc....but again it's easy to talk the talk, but are you walking the walk.  Majority of us don't have to.......walk the walk.  We should, but we don't.  It's like, why worry.....your young you got forever....remember.... you are're never gonna die.  I used to think that because I was my Grammy's granddaughter that I was never going to get wrinkly, old, bony, arthritic hands.......I was special.  I was part of an awesome family and we were "in" with God (mind you.....I was veryyyyyy 2nd grade.....)  But I remember looking at my hands one morning as my dad was taking me to school.....that was rare...maybe I missed the bus...LOL anyway, dad was at the light of 24th and glendale (tricky intersection to explain) we were turning left and I looked at my hands, and just realized....I am never gonna get old.  My hands will always be pretty, and smooth and young.
Sad reality when you get just a tad older........Crap!  This is no fun......oh well.  But my point is......if I even had one....which I highly take 4 weeks out of one year to "Prepare" .  At this time, we are "Preparing" for Our Lord's Birth....and Christmas....I know it's the same thing, but to some people it's's presents....etc...but these children...."Prepare" are "Ready" every single day.  Could you imagine living like that?  We should.  What makes us more special than those with Cancer?  Absolutely nothing!!!!  What makes us think we won't be hit by a car today and my Cancer ridden child will out live me?  Absolutely nothing!!!!!!  What makes us think that we will be able to attend Christmas with our family?  Absolutely nothing!!!!  What makes you think that you are going to attend your grandparents or your parents funeral?  Absolutely nothing!!!!!!!
We are just as fragile as these children.  We can go at any time!  Are we ready?  The unfortunate mistake we as a society make is that....with is a physical sign......just a tad more obvious.  They have a number of their possible years......a statistic..... which I don't and won't rely's scary as hell though....but they are just a little more likely to go sooner.....but THEY WERE PREPARED!  they have it better than the spiritual sense you know.  They are whipped into shape.......they think of their future....the "what if's"  like Marshall said in his journal. 
What do we do?  We spend 4 weeks of "Preparing"  and realistically, do we spend the 4 full weeks totally and truly "Preparing" for Our Lord?  I know I don't.  At least I am honest about it.  I don't do all I should and I know it, but I go on with my life.....bc I am going to live for a looooooong time.
We do not know the day, hour, minute or even the way we are going to die.  I am going to truly think and do my best to "Prepare"  this Advent season....and keep it going beyond the 4 weeks.  I have been thinking of this for a while now and have been meaning to go to Confession, Blessed Sacrament, attend more Masses...have I....see....things get in the way, you always have something come up or make excuses......I hope that our intentions....will count for something (even just a tinny winny)  when I die. 
What is really important in this life?  Fame, Fortune, Popularity, Huge House, Money, Great School for your kids, Cars?  Is that going to get you to Heaven?  Is any of this hampering your entrance?  Is it stopping you from truly and fully giving your life to Our Lord?  Do you choose an earthly thing over your soul?  Do you feel more important with society than with Our Lord? Are you really somebody?  Seriously, think about it?  Are you......just bc you go here, or there or have this, or now that person.......Are you going to Heaven for that?  What does Our Lord say about all this?  Do you even care?  Look at society.....and just watch.....what is going on?  What is important to us?  Who are our Heroes?  Who do we want to be, be like?  I am not saying dump everything and just become a weirdo....but I am asking myself.....or anyone else reading this.  These are thoughts and when you look at have to take a step back and really ask yourself.  Are you "Prepared"  now and always!
This actually started out as an email to my family to let them know about yesterday and as you see I got overcome with something......LOL