Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Uninvited Guest

Summer is over and school has begun...at least for one child...the one that went thru hell last school year.  Marshall started school last Friday and was/is so excited.  He is a new man! He finished his Radiation treatments on Monday before school started.  So, he went in as a Senior in High School with nothing hanging over him.  He was done, his hair is growing back, he is working out, he is working, he is driving and hanging with friends....he is "normal" now.  I looked at him the other night and man...he looks good.  I told him that he looked the same last year at this time....looking at him right now you could not tell how sick he became and wounded he felt.

It's a new beginning for all of us.  We get to "start over"  if only we could take back time and start over, but i wouldn't change it for the world.  I am a better person bc of Marshall.  I am a better mother (kinda) bc of Cancer.  I am a more understanding wife bc of Marshall and Cancer.  I am a better Catholic bc of Cancer brining me down to the lowest of possible thoughts of loosing a child.  It makes you grasp onto life more, it makes you sensitive to what's important and what's stupid and not worth your time.  It makes you realize all the money in the world will never be or suffice for a child in your arms or a child you can see and say "I love you, have a good day"  It makes you realize all the things you fight for....not worth fighting that hard for and not gonna get you where you think you need to be.

Cancer is a family member and is at dinner every night.  he did come to dinner and he is here to stay whether we like it or not.  It was an uninvited guest, but one you can't say no to.  You have to accept it, and make a place setting for him bc he is here to stay.  He is involved in everything you talk about at dinner.  He helps you make decisions on your next course of thinking, treatments, dealings with the other kids.  It's a spoiled brat that wants and gets all the attention.  You raise your kids to not be brats, and be respectful, then Cancer comes and he forces himself on you and you have to look at the other children and explain that you can't help it and that this needs immediate attention and you have to leave them to tend to the spoiled brat, Cancer.  They don't always get their way, sometimes and most of the time we can silence them into odedience, but sometimes and you don't know when or where or who, but it will become defient and just let loose at the dinner table. You serve him meals and he doesn't like anything.  he is very specific and only wants what he wants.  He wants you to change everything you do.  he doesn't like smells and makes you get creative just for him.  And you do all this just for him, as the other children are looking at you in bewilderment wondering why they don't get to do this or eat that or stay up and never sleep......they look at you and bc we raised them right....they go back to their meal. 

Cancer takes over the conversations.  Sometimes you can put a masking tape around his mouth and forget he's there which gives us the chance to make fun of him and laugh at him and tell jokes and make fun of things he does.  yes, that's bad...we are not to do that......but that is a fault of mine.  If you barge in my house and make yourself known and you know i don't want you there....if i can get you quiet then i will take advantage and give myself some humor.

Right now, he has nothing to say.  we shut him up real good right now.  we don't talk about him much if we do it's quick and no biggie.  it was as if he never showed up.  he has accepted his fate as of now and will remain quiet.  he knows that there is nothing he can do at the moment, but he just sits and watches.......he is waiting.....waiting for a chance for that tape to come off and he can release his fury on the family.  I hope that we never give him an opportunity to loosen that tape.  i pray we got it on good.  he can stay as long as he behaves and does what he is told.  he is a child and a very badly mannered one.  He was never taught good manners and we are showing him a thing or two.  He doesn't like it and fought a good fight, but he has given in and waved the white flag.  I will never let my guard down as a mother.  You know how children are....they test you every once in awhile to see if your paying attention and you always have to pay attention.  never give up.  even if your nursing your youngest and the one above is testing you, seeing if you will quit nursing the child that has been crying and starving....yep, you get up and take care of business.....you get so good at it you can do it all while still nursing and the above looses double bc your that damn good now!

See cancer didn't realize what family's door he knocked on.  It was a very capable one.  Yes, we can still cry and worry and be scared...we are not "The Incredibles" we are "The Billingsley's" but we always get up.  We always finish what we must and we expect a lot of our children and they know that.  yes, they are pain in the butts, but butts i love to death!  I love pinching their butts.......so cute.....wish i still had those butts....hee-hee

Cancer is an univited guest that we have allowed to share his life with us, since there was nothing we could do to kick him out to the curb.  I am thankful that he is quiet right now.  he has reaked havoc in other homes and destroyed them.  I more than willing to have him sit quietly.  I will take that over the jumping on the table and destroying everything we hold dear.  I will not have him disrupt my family if i can help it.  I hope he never does that, but if he does we as a family will still be sitting at the dinner table and we together will grab hold and never let go.  We will all have ropes that intertwine together we are all connected that rope if Our Lord.  He will hold things together...it may be dumpy but we will do it together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where are we now?

Here we are six weeks later.....where are we?  I have to say....in a darn good place!!!!!!!  I haven't written bc i was/am trying to digest it all, get back in the groove of life, kids, and work.....without the appointments and hospital stays and all.  Man, it's quiet....i feel like i should be doing something....it's a good thing, but you do something scheduled every two weeks for 7 or so months and it becomes apart of your mental schedule you know.

June 13th, was a rough day for me.  Heck, that week before was awful.....I really didn't handle the news well at all, and wish i was stronger than that.  I don't know if it was me holding so much in that whole time before that I finally kinda broke......but the fear is justified, but i hated the weakness. 

Anyway, that surgery that was supposed to be a piece of cake for an hour or hour and a half turned out to be 4 hours, a 4  incision, and three pairs of surgical hands up and down his right lung and no tumor.  WOW!!!!!  It's funny how the doctors and some others reacted to the news of no tumor.  They wanted to immediately write it off to the scar tissue they found "in the vicinity" which was "square" not round.  I was like "nope...I'm going for miracle"  They would chuckle....or not know what to say.  Now, not all of them, so don't get me wrong, but with the doctors it's like they want miracles to happen, but then when one does, they have to come up with something to explain it.

Here's my take on it.....

I personally believe that it was a Cancerous tumor!  I believe God placed His hand on Marshall and gave him the Miracle of Life!!!!! Not kidding!  I believe thru the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati he was given a miracle.  Plain and simple as that for me.  I believe that God took this tumor away that had been growing since the first scans in September from 4mm, 6mm, to 8mm.  Why would God take away a benign tumor?  Why waste the time...okay, He could, but would He?  I don't think so...granted i don't mean to know what Our Lord did, but I don't think He would put Marshall thru all that for nothing.  My mom made a comment after we heard the news of them not finding it and them having to go "physically" in him, that it would have been nice for the tumor to be gone before the surgery.  I joked that God didn't get the memo.....so, the point is.....there was a reason for Marshall to go thru all that pain and torture again and add to the scars he already has...man, he is becoming  a connect the dots, slices, and shark bites....LOL

Gosh, my thoughts are not coming in smoothly as i like them to when i write.....since i haven't written since the day of his surgery i haven't had to really sit down and think about it.  and it still is emotional for me.......i think it always will be.

What can we take from Marshall's surgery?  I think Faith!!!!  We had/have to have faith to get thru this and continue to go thru it for the rest of our lives.  God humbles us by putting us in our places.....who's in charge.......we control nothing.  Miracle or not, Marshall was in God's hands and that scared the hell out of me i have to say.  Now, he was always in His hands and still is, but i had to put my life completely in His hands too.  My life was at steak, how was i gonna react, where would i put my faith, things like that.  It really makes you think.....and realize where you are in your faith and are you like i say "talking the talking or walking the walk?"  You can walk the walk and still be a basket case.....nobody said you have to do it with pom-poms cheering....okay, some are gifted with that...but me....i sure as heck wasn't. 

it was easier to hear that Marshall had Cancer than it was to hear that your son has a tumor that been growing since the beginning and resisted chemo....and not knowing what it was.....

Marshall is back is all i gotta say!! His true smile, he always had it, but this is the real deal.  His hair is growing and he has peach fuzz....love it.  he is working out, working a little and so darn excited for school it isn't funny.

August 31st is when this journey began....the beginning....i can't believe it will have been a year.  I remember the day when it all began like it was yesterday.  i remember the call i got that afternoon telling me the X ray was abnormal and no idea, i remember meeting the next doctor, and his face for the results of the MRI, remember realizing we were being sent to an orthopedic surgical oncologist....i remember the call that changed our lives for ever.  i remember knowing before the news and proof that our son had cancer.  i remember Marshall diagnosing himself before too.

so, now......what am i going to take from all this?  i am still processing it all.  i think it is still settling in......Marshall is not done yet.....he is in the middle of his radiation treatments...so, i am still dealing with it a tad.....

i will take from this that faith is a powerful thing.  if you don't have it, you won't get very far.  we are such a small part of this big world and Our Lord's vision for the future.  We have no control over what happens.  Our children are gifts given to us parents to tend to, raise, and teach our faith and get them to Heaven.  Death is something that shouldn't be feared, it is a step closer to our main purpose in life "to get to Heaven", our life is so temporary and short compared to Heaven.  Children die everyday from Cancer, that children suffer everyday bc of Cancer.  It's a whole new world that we live in now, with cancer being apart of it.  i see a side i never knew before or cared to....to depressing.  i have no choice now.  i am surrounded by wonderful friends that have been affected by it and are still going thru it.  you can't let it consume you....you will perish.....you have to put these precious souls in a special corner in your soul and pray for them daily.
i have especially taken away from all the the power of prayer!!!! i always have prayed and all, but to actually feel it.....never before!!!!! but never before did i need it so much.  Brian and i literally would feel that power of prayer for us and the family.  there is no way we could be where we are today without that!!!!!!  we would have all broken a looooong time ago. 

to me, all our prayer warriors are my heroes...i know Brian and Marshall feel the same way.  we couldn't have done it without the Masses, Rosaries, prayers, offerings.......all of it.  I will never  forget my Grandma sending me a printout of all the convents, seminaries and such that were praying for Marshall.........hearing people tell me that Masses were said in other countries....friends/family lighting candles around the world for him.......i have to say....if your gonna get real sick.....nowadays is a good time bc of the technology.....you can let so many people know and pray for you.....that's huge!!!!!

i am proud of my son and how he never wavered from the goal.  he always kept his faith and was prepared.  he was/is a grand example of carrying a cross.  i am so proud to be his mother and i am so unworthy to be his mother at the same time. 

yep, i am still processing it all......

as a family, hmmmmm don't know...just got in the groove and got out of it just the same.....we had a great trip to the beach.  we didn't worry about a thing...well, Marshall pulled a muscle (round his biopsy on his right side of his lung) so worried for a couple of days...but it turned out that he just had to sit it out for a day and a half and then was able to enjoy himself and get his "tan" on.  it was the best family trip we have ever had........it was perfect......wish it could have lasted longer but at least we got one in!!!!!

our dinners are back to normal now.  Marshall is not getting up and throwing up, or not eating or not feeling good or not sleeping.....our faces are not drawn with worry or exhaustion.  we laugh alot!!!!!!  we did all year too, but  now the burden is lifted and the true joy is heard in our laughter around the table.  we don't talk of cancer at the table anymore.  we are "us" again.

i love my family so much and they are all precious little/big souls running around here.......they all have a path they must go thru and we don't know what that is yet.  they are all in Our Lord's loving hands and i have to put myself there too.  He loves us and doesn't want us to suffer....but sometimes it is allowed for reasons unknown to us.  it's not up to us anyway.  Only Our Lord knows....and that's His business and not ours.  He sees the bigger picture we see a "dot" on the picture...not even that.  i know souls came back to their faith bc of Marshall, souls became stronger in their faith bc of Marshall, and souls got to Heaven bc of Marshall. All his suffering was not wasted......granted, i would have not chosen him to suffer like this, but God knows what He is doing and Marshall is one heck of a young man!  He is changed forever.  He will never be the same.  He knows what precious and that is life!  He knows what suffering is and embraced it.  He knows he couldn't do this alone and walked with Our Lord.  He knows nothing is guaranteed and accepted it.

He knows he will never be done.  He knows that every 3 months he will have to get scans.....and see if it has come back.....we will hold our breath every three months and pray for acceptance of God's will no matter what..either way.  Many have to do that now.  Our good friend Ashley.....her Ewing's Sarcoma came back in three months....so, they are living that reality right now.  they are in the thick of it, but they are strong and hold to their faith!  God has a plan for everyone.  I remember when Marshall was going thru it.....us not knowing what the tumor was.  i was looking at those that were fine.....and for the first time i started asking "why"  i started to look at those past and present........and wonder......i made myself shutdown the "why"  it's not for me to ask.  it's for me to accept no matter what the outcome.  now, i am the one that is fine.....and they are not.....how could i have been so weak......we don't know the future......we can't settle on giving up.  you can't give up.  you have to fight and fight with your faith! 

every breath is a gift.  every thought is a gift.  every day is a gift.  everyday we are given the chance to offer up our day, our Masses, our Rosaries for someone who is in the battle of their life.  We are so blessed we forget how so many are suffering...and it's all relative.....we bicker about the traffic....shoot, at least we are there to bicker.....too hot outside....at least we can go outside.  so many things we waste our breath on......and we miss so much opportunity on ourselves that we forget about those that really need our prayers our support and our love.  i am guilty as charged.....i find myself doing that and i have to remind myself....it doesn't take long to remember my son!  we forget the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus went thru......how could we forget that...and He did that for us!  if He did that for us......what wouldn't He do for us now?

Monday, June 13, 2011

He's got this!!!!!

Here I am...up for the day and wondering what it will have in store for us.  Marshall goes in today at 12:30.  we have to be there at 10:30.  We will wait, get called back, wait some more, answer questions for the millionth time, meet the doctors that will have our son in their hands, leave and wait in the huge room with other families having a child in surgery.  then they will update us and tell us to wait in a room for the surgeon to come and talk to us. 

Right there!!!! that is when my heart is going to stop. i keep envisioning what he will say, what the news will be and how i will walk out of that room.....which one is it?  i do not know.  what is Our Lord asking of Marshall, me, and Brian.  i do not know.  how will my life, our lives be different?  i do not know.  we can do this.  Marshall has this.  Please God let this be true!!!!!

I was very emotional yesterday (sunday)  i had finally chilled and got it all digested by friday.  but it was the feast of Pentecost at Mass......i was like....great, of course it is.  don't get me wrong.......i just knew the tears would be a flowing.......i did good......held off til communion...on and off earlier but got them to remain in my eyes......we got asked to bring up the gifts.  i thought it was ironic that the last time marshall went into surgery we got asked.  it was a sunday and he was going in on a monday.......of course i remind the kids to genuflect after handing the gifts to Father and sean didn't get the memo.....he turned left to head back to the pew, and colin and genuflected and sean trips over his leg....of course i kinda grab him and i am kinda laughing, trying not to........bc we are in Mass.......gotta love a big family and it's ups and downs...literally.

i woke up yesterday emotional again i think bc the surgery was tomorrow so i had to think about it.  have to pack and plan.......my work gave me a card via brian yesterday afternoon and said that they loved and supported me and have a surprise visitor for me...can i guess who?  well, brian said brook contacted him......so, i thought her brother from "little big town"  i ran out of the room and told the kids...clean up, clean up we have a visitor coming...they asked who and i said i don't know but maybe....blah, blah blah......had to fake it in the areas they would possibly be coming....ran down and told marshall and his girlfriend......

i went up to bed and rested looking at every car wondering when he would come.  i ended up falling asleep and someone said their here!!!!! i jump up and see our friend's car.......kinda registered kinda not.....they were bringing us dinner so i went to the bathroom, powdered my nose...and came out of the room and saw our friend.  he told me to go downstairs and had a surprise.......it was down there....i go down, still extremely sleepy and fuzzy.....and brian shows me the basketball all signed.....i was like ok......still don't know about the ball forgot.  so catherine tells me by the way you know your pink dress?  so eighties prom like......hot pink and poofy!!!! yeah baby!!!! i said yes.  she said will it got ripped the kids were playing and ripped it......i said ok lets see how bad...something like that......thank goodness i was still half asleep and people were around i would have killed a few peoples........so i go in and there in the closet my mom jumps up and down....SURPRISE.....i was silent....like not breathing.......i hugged her so hard and cried and cried......wow!!!!! that was incredible....and still in shock....

we had a great dinner as a family.  marshall wanted steak and crab legs...and that's what he got from our friends......i had a great steak and sweet potatoe, salad......yummmmmmmmmm  we all feasted!!!!!

so here we are today and i must run...it's late and i have to pack, get ready and go to work for 1 client then heading to the hospital...........

my heart hurts, and it's been beating nonstop.....alllllll night.  kept dreaming of i have no clue.........tossed and turned....today is the day!!!!!! bring it on.......and let's see how it ends up.

Our Lord be with my son, and this family!  Blessed Mother hold my son while the surgeons are working on him. Angels and Saints guide and protect my son and all those that will be assisting in marshall's surgery! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I went to work yesterday hoping to get a call and tell me the words "remission"  it's what every parent wants to hear and expects it.....My 10 am client had to move to 12 pm.  i was mad, bc i had just walked into work and had 2 hours to do nothing, about 10 minutes later marshall's oncologist called.  He apologised for not calling last night, i never expected it......and went on to tell me that they didn't have all the official results/reports from the PET and the MRI, but looked okay, and that the bone was good, but........silence......and he went on about a nodule/tumor that has been there since the beginning and they have been watching it....well, it did grow.  so, we don't know what it is.  and only way to tell is surgery.  my heart sunk........a couple of friends have been using the term "deflated"  yep.....i was like an accordian releasing all the air.....but i handled myself really well on the phone with him.  said we were gonna come up with a game plan, and have some options, but we will get together tomorrow (today...now) and all sit and talk, go over the scans and figure out what we are gonna do.

when i called brian to tell him, it hit me then as i broke down and when i was telling him, i was realizing the possiblity that sure it can be just an infection and no biggie or something much greater with stakes i don't even want to think about......so, i let brian know, then i called mom.....darn it...think the whole building heard me balling.....i couldn't contain it......i guess when you talk to your mom that's what happens.  she holds you and takes care of you and need her....this was over the phone of course.....felt bad for my mom....she couldn't do a thing...then she told me to call dad that he would like to hear it from me....so i called and i told him.....

i tried to stay at work, it was creeping up to 12 pm and my clients were adding up........i was gonna try, but i kept crying.....and bless my co-workers they would come in and give me a hug, and of course i would cry allllll over again....my eyes hurt, my cheeks hurt, my heart hurt......

i left work and brian and i met somewhere to see eachother and wait for marshall to get home to tell him.  he took it so well......i wish i could be strong like him.  i really do.  there is nothing we can do, praise God it's operable.....so there is hope......it's just another waiting game to see what it is.  and it's probably nothing, but as a parent you remember what the doctors told you in the beginning about how aggressive this cancer is and it coming back....well, shoot whatever this is never left...so your mind starts wondering and it's so stinking human....darn it!!! now, i don't break down in front of him.  i fell apart all day long behind the scenes.

yesterday, was the first time that the word "why" came in my head, but i told it to go away.....but it's creeping in my head....i can't....i can't....i can't......i have come this far, we have been taken care of and will continue to....but let me tell you.  this is the most scared i have been thru all of this.  i am absolutely terrified........my heart won't stop beating fast, my mind won't turn off the possiblities...i want answers, i want to sleep again.....i want to scream...i want to grab marshall and run...run...run....as far away as i can and get away from all this.  i want to take him to a safe place and just hold him.......he's my child, my husband's son, he's his siblings brother......etc......he is loved by so many and prayed for by millions.....

Our Lord will be with marshall, brian, the kids and me as we yet again walk thru another door with unknown certainties for just a little bit.  i will be patient.....yeah right!  i just thought we were done.....simple as that.....well, this flat tire is gonna go meet with the doctors......until later!  pray for us

Monday, May 30, 2011

This is it....for now #4

i am up....don't know how....i guess all us mom's just are able to do things we really don't want to do.  Marshall is falling back asleep.  it is 9:35 am on Monday morning and marshall's chemo is done, and he is so close to being unhooked from "peter" forever....hopefully!  marshall got his last chemo last night around 12ish in the morning and then at 3:30 am the nurses came in and were counting down the last milliliters.....it was hilarious....they wanted to do a normal countdown 9...8..7.....but it had to like this 7.................................6 (nope).....................6.....................................................................................5......(not yet)............

it was so funny....and the last drop finished at 3:36 am!!!!  man...what a word.  DONE!

i am not as emotional now.  i have gotten better since yesterday.  i think i have come to terms with what this all means and is.  for me it's always hard in the beginning but then i give it time to sink in and i am ready to go.  i can do this!!!! i so can do this!!!!

I won't let the unknown waste my life away.  i will continue to pray and have faith that Our Lord is with Marshall.  i know He is, but it is still scary. 

we have reached the end and a new beginning.  as marshall gets up, showers, gets dressed, unhooks, and walks out of here....these steps are steps that have never been taken by this family.  we started this as a family and we will walk this as a family. 

I want to thank the Blessed Mother for being with me during these trying times on me.  as a mother of a large ( i guess....kinda small to me) family, settling into working for the first time in years and taking care of marshall, you were there.  i felt you daily, hourly, every minute and second.  you never changed the image i have of you in my head as i had of you when i first moved here and cried my heart out for my mom that i missed terribly and still do. 

thinking about that....hmmmmm.  i have always done things alone in my family. it's funny, you can be the oldest of 11 kids but still do everything by yourself.  i walked across the desert by myself in kindergarten to wait at the bus stop.  i was the first to graduate, i went to trivium a school in Massachusetts for my junior and senior year in high school.....by myself...i crossed the country three times a year doing that all by myself with those big planes, and bigger airports......i went to college (now that's no biggie)  but i was alone living in nashville, not knowing a soul or the family i roomed with while there....man, did that change....LOL

i was the first to move away permanently......let me tell you....being 8 months pregnant with your second child and leaving your family to move to where your husband is from way, way, way far away......ugh......i will never forget that pain that i felt.  i still have some of that pain bc i miss so much at home.  all the nieces and nephews, parties, sacraments......weddings.......all that....anyway, that is not the point here, i am getting off topic, but i did it first and alone in a sense of not having my family with me.  i did have my husband and my marshall in the backseat, but brian was happy.....i wasn't....lol!  so i consider it "alone" for the point.  i always wondered why i did everything alone, and all.  my other siblings always had one or two other siblings with them at trivium for their high school years...so they had someone to fly with, stay with and a family member to talk to.  i remember my first year at trivium.  i racked up mom and dad's phone bill to over $300.00 i think...or more.  in those days long distance wasn't free.......we didn't have cell phones....then either...gosh, i am talking about the "good ole days" 

i wonder if my journeys that i took "alone"  with no one to be there with me, were in a sense a guide and setting for this right now.  the unknowns of this cancer with marshall and never experiencing it before...i didn't know, like i didn't know what was to come when i did all i did growing up alone.  i was the "setter" for the whole family....not that anyone is going to follow in my footsteps...well, let's hope not!!!!!! this is one pack i don't want to be the leader of....that's for sure!!!! i would rather it happen to me than anyone else.....let's keep it this way. 

granted i am a whiner and am so not perfect.  brian has been so strong thru this.  he too was being prepared for this journey also.  i really believe that.  he was like me as he had to do somethings....by himself....also, brian is fearless...he has been such an inspiration to me.  he held my hand when i needed it, he held me tight when i needed it, he soothed me when i needed it......he also massaged my feet when i begged..... :0)

no matter what i do, or what happens from now on....i will remember to always think of others.  i will not talk only about myself, and my sorrows, i will take time to see that others need an ear.  i know i have been one of those many times thru this.  where it's all i talk about......you gotta get it out somehow and a friend or family's ear is so nice to have.  although i hated using them.......i hated complaining, but there came times where i just had to.  i held it in so long.  or you try not to let it bug you but it just doesn't work.

marshall did it.  i can't believe it!!!! yes, i can, but i can't believe it's over.......of course, everytime i say it's over...i hear a voice in my head say "it never will be, but i know what you mean"  great...now i am hearing voices and they are talking back to me.....LOL

cheers to marshall for being such an inspiration to so many.  cheers to all those that have continued to keep him and us in their prayers, Masses, petitions.  cheers to those nurses that took such good care of marshall, cheers to the doctors that did all they could and listened when we cried, yelled and misunderstood or had no understanding.  cheers to my husband for doing this together and being my rock. cheers to catherine for being mom so many days and nights while we were in the hospital.  cheers to all my kids for helping out and doing what you were told (MOST OF THE TIME).  cheers to all those that put up with my parent's chemo brain of a child's chemo brain for all the misreading, misunderstanding, totally dropping the ball, just flat out forgetting...  cheers to the many people/friends/family for meals, babysitting, driving, picking up, gift cards, etc.....we could not have done it without you all. 

words could and can never express the gratitude we feel.  it is so humbling.  there is so much to be thankful for.  the list goes on and on!!!!! i am going to remember (not always) to be thankful, look at the bright side....things could be so much worse, don't dwell on the 'why'  just embrace and move on, laugh, love, and remember Our Lord is tending to His flock....He always will.  so no matter what, we are in God's hands.  we all have a story to tell.  it's up to us how we are gonna tell it.  how we are gonna live it.  i get chances everyday and minute on how i am gonna tell my story.  am i gonna do it with a smile and hope or bring them down and feel sorry for me.  marshall is an inspiration as to how to embrace this huge cross that was given to him.  always with a smile, while laughing and making a joke of it, but serious when need be.  he never lost his faith, always had hope and shared his love!

very soon we will walk out of this room, this floor, and those elevators......

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is It.....for now #3

Well, it's sunday and brian spent the night last night.  it was brian's last night...hopefully forever!!!!!  we sat at blackstone's for lunch today and brian said...."i just spent my last night last night"  it's like...."yeah, oh my gosh......these steps that we are taking are ones that we have never taken before.  we have had a cancer run since october and knew all, had our places to hang out to let marshall's visitors hang and chat with him freely...we know all and they know us.  it's a family in and out of the hospital....

today, i woke up....let's back up.  i went home last night and got home around 6ish and the kids were gone. our great friends took the 6 kids to dinner, movie and then maggie moo's....they had a blast....anyway, i went home with NO ONE THERE.......Heaven!!!!!  i did laundry...bc brian let me know that he was out of "underwear"  so, went home and did "our" laundry.....and i was reheating dinner.....and had the microwave going on, and the dishwasher and i thought i heard the garage door open.  i was like....."hello?" and i heard "hello"  it was my hubby!!!!! man...this is awesome.....he came home since marshall had a ton of visitors and he left and decided to just go home...it was a treat.  we watched a movie together and chilled until marshall needed a dinner.......so, kids got home late...that's okay......granted my pandora didn't work on our DVD and my NOOK....well there went my chill night with music.....so, no biggie....but brian let me....boohoo.....i cried...it was so nice to just sit with him and watch a movie....so, get up this morning and then i take the 6 kids to Mass....of course Sean and Aidan were on each side of me...and i had to make sure they were looking forward, not picking on eachother, then one would go to the other side of me and i would pull them back without looking...yes, i am that good.....so it goes with Mass.  we saw family friends and then i had to deal with the "pointing:"  pushing down the fingers bc someone might think they are pointing at them and they are not...you know the drill.....it's life and it's funny...wouldn't have it any other way.  so, chatted after Mass then took the kids to the hospital to see marshall.  it's been forever since they had been here.  they had a 2 person rule during the flu season and you know what that means....ummmm, not gonna do it....not gonna fight who gets to go and not...so we made it simple....no one went...but those of you with large families so get me in this.....some might say i am cruel, but life in a large family works different and there are different rules that apply and we are all good and no one complains bc we all understand....love this

i am happy....don't know why......yes i still want to cry a little but i am slowly coming to terms with the ending of this...as long as i don't have to say good bye to any of the nurses i am good.

so, they came brian got doughnuts and orange juice for the kids....brian's parents were here when we came it was great and we just chilled, the kids got to see marshall and granny and papa.......then brian and i took them home and i packed up for my last night and we went to get a bite to eat, get marshall something and then head to the hospital.  so...it's been a good day.  met a dad, actually two as i was walking out to give marshall a break from a parent while visitors were here....in a wierd way...i hate to leave.  i will miss everyone here......we have met some great people......parents, nurses....etc.

it was a great day..... we just went around 6b and asked some kids if they wanted some pizza that marshall had leftover.......we are laughing and see the end....and marshall is a different very happy man right now......one of the boy's didn't want any pizza, so we made rounds and came back to our room and he and his mother (he is 5) came in and he wanted his picture with marshall.  we chatted for a bit.  he is adorable....your heart.....you have a mom that finds you and you understand her and feel it and you totally get it.  granted she has one thing i don't... a seven week old.....and lives 2 hours away.  we have it so easy. 

i am not gonna get much sleep tonight.  marshall gets his last round of chemo at 12:30...why i had to go get the party poppers....for him.....so no sleep...i am drinking my diet coke, had to get a refill......gonna need the caffine....that so doesn't look right...the spelling....hummm oh well.  helicopters everywhere...hear them constantly since it's memorial day weekend...man the hospitals are busy with life flight...so sad...i always wonder what happened.....who is it?  where were they?  all those.....questions.

well, i am gonna write tomorrow...i will tell you about the night or early morning and marshall's last chemo.  i am honored to be apart of this for and with my son!!!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This is it............ for now #2

Well, i have decided that i am going to "journal" these last days at the chemo inn.  I spent the night last night. it was marshall's second night.  They just started his "3rd" dose of chemo.  after this he will be over the hump with only 2 more left......

We have a nurse for today that gave him his first chemo on the first day.  and we haven't had her since, but it's ironic that we get her on this last round of chemo. 

i don't sleep here in the hospital at all.  i didn't get to bed til about 2 am, then add the nurses coming and going, flushing the toilets.....every hour or so.  so i put on my headphones and listened to pandora a "george winston" station...my headphones sucked and i could still hear so i changed to brians......i looked like a hoot with the old style of big black round headphones but the cancel out some of the noise and i didn't have to blar the music.  then i even looked hotter by the fact that i had to use my pink night sweatershirt with a zipper don't know what you call them...i am too tired to think, but had to put the over my eyes bc of the hall lights beaming in the long window by the door....so, i must have looked like a sight to the nurses coming and going. oh well this is no place to make a fashion statement.  if anything it seems to look the opposite here......things go that you would never guess.  of course the nurses are all cute as heck!!!!

i am still very teary eyed.  i am dreading the goodbyes.  another nurse came in around midnight last night to say hey and such and i didn't want to say goodbye.  we chatted and she is so pretty i have to say.....heck they all are.....it must be a requirement to work here......lol

she talked about this maybe being the only night she will be here...and i started to tear up but it was dark, ugh.  again i go back to all they, the nurses, have done.  i wonder if it's the fact that i am a little scared to leave this hospital for the last time.  all this time i knew where we were, what was going on, marshall's counts.  we came here every two weeks......sometimes more.  but i knew where i was.  where marshall was.  when we walk out of those doors, i will have no clue where we are.  i won't see the assuring faces all the time answering my questions.  i have depended since october on marshall's counts.  those told me where he was, how he was doing.....now "                                                     " nothing.  but on the bright side....his counts will be fine, they won't be an issue.....but as a parent.....i will wonder if the cancer has creeped back.  ok, i am being dramatic i guess bc we will scan every three months....but inbetween that time......will i wonder, will i look at marshall and try to see if something has changed, everytime he hurts will i wonder if the cancer is back? 

it's a tad like our faith....we don't know, we believe.......period!  end of story.  i do believe!  but there is always a voice of concern.  so, he made it thru this......okay, piece of cake....now here comes the rest of his life.....what about that.  i can see and handle 8 months. i know it i can see it, etc....but now.......til the day he dies.......how will i handle it? 

it will be i assume day to day.  i read marshall's caring bridge yesterday after a saw a client.....i cleaned my room, read it....then cried!!!! marshall tends to make me cry with some of his posts.....thankfully no one saw and i got it together before my next one.  to feel what he feels.....no clue?  to think what he thinks....slight idea, but never in the grand scheme of things.  he doesn't sleep at night...no wonder.  who could blame any kid with cancer.....their life is on the line and what do you think when it's all quiet and your brother is snoring and keeping you up.....poor patrick...love ya buddy.

i took two halarious pictures of marshall last night...i posted them on facebook.....

since i am "journaling"  i guess i have to bring up some funny things to maybe laugh......well, yesterday at work...i went to the bathroom, washed hands and then went into break room to dry them....the air thing takes forever....and i see toilet paper on the floor......"crap"  pick it up and throw it away..i have never done that before......so i put my hand back and forth behind me.....and all of a sudden another one falls.....SERIOUSLY i guess so....."crap" again.....i have never done that.  i guess that's what you get for laying down toilet paper on the toilet before you sit down.......so, i walked out with who the heck knows what it looked like from behind, prob had my sweater tucked in my pants with the toilet tucked out........i was all paranoid....i carefully walked out to the main area of the store and looked in the long mirror before my next client was gonna come.  could you imagine walking behind me as i am about to do a service on you and i have toilet paper sticking out....NICE

okay, that was humiliation #1....on for next one......brian and i are walking to sportsman grill for dinner last night......we walk from hospital.  so, we have cicadas here in town.  the 13 year ones....don't get me started.  i have been jumpy for 3 weeks now.....they dive bomb you, sit there and stare at you, they trick you, they psyche you out....so, we are coming to it and outside they have these 2 or 3 huge trees.....well, they are all dead, squished, in multiple pieces on sidewalk...i am dodging those....can't imagine the faces as i pass.  and they are everywhere.....flying all in and out of the trees......on the ground, leaving ground and going up into trees....sitting on the ground...by the hundreds....AND I HAVE TO GO THRU THIS TO GET TO THE RESTAURANT......again.....SERIOUSLY...guess so.  there are some guys sitting on the patio...hell no!  and i am swatting, yelping, screeching, jumping, and talking loudly to myself......nice!!!!!! that was awful!!!! that's all i gotta say....

so, NEXT.......we get back to the room and yes at dinner i didn't bring one cicada in there...i kept checking believe me.....guys are staring at me wondering what the heck is wrong with me.  yes, all women right now.....it's our shining moment during the rein of the 13 year cicadas........great!  so, back to topic.  i want to take off my gladiator's (those are my shoes....steve madden and soooo comfortable for those of you that are interested)  and i go to get my flip flops so i can go to the bathroom....get water.....etc....bc i am sooooo not touching that hospital floor.....NOPE forgot them.  they are sitting i guess on my dirty clothes hamper waiting to be packed.......they are still waiting....now, my gladiators are a zip in the back and i don't like to do that afraid to where out the zipper....so they lace up in front so i not so nicely slip my feet in there and tie them...okay, this ain't gonna work......so, what's my only option....?  hmmmmm the option is hospital grade yellow socks with white stickies on both sides so you don't slip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY....yep!  so embarrassing....of course..so i prayed i didn't have to pee last night.  i made it til 6:15 am....pretty good...but i did have to put them on again bc marshall wouldn't wake up to peter (the pole) beeping...i kept yelling "marshall" "marshall"  all i got was "uuuuu"  i was like "your beeping...call the nurse"  nothing but another one of those responses other than him hitting the side of his bed as if that is gonna quiet the beeping...so put my socks on to take three steps.....took me longer to put them on than it did to do my duty of calling the nurse.  so, i have had the nurses be my slaves today.  had to ask for coffee (just got my second one) and then last night a water refill.....i am not a sit on your tush and have others serve you....oh, and last night i could'nt pull out the bed.  so i had to call our nurse. she laughed when she came in bc she got paged and they told her "yeah, she needs help with the bed"  it was embarrassing...but to my credit she had a hard time with it.  it was stuck......

today is sunny and bright.....dang.....it was at 6:15 am.  i thought i slept in til 12.....nope...never gonna happen.  we will see what today brings.  i will stay home tonight but be here for his last night...and we will leave monday afternoon.  it seems to be an ongoing party.......all the nurses come in and ask "did i miss the party"  thankfully we tell them no....they give a sigh of relief.  they sure love marshall and are gonna miss him, but he promises to visit.......

so, that is journal #2 i guess.  we will see what the rest of this ends up looking like.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This is It...for now

I can't believe as brian put it.....after 7 months and 22 days Marshall is at the end.  Marshall went in yesterday and got a room good and early (compared to when we have in the past)  by the time i got there that night he had already finished his first of five.  With his 5 dayer the Chemos he gets every 20 hours and there are five of them.  At this point he should be done Monday afternoon some time.

Yesterday as Brian was taking Marshall to Clinic and be with him for the day, i went to Sean's (my 1st grader) class performance.  It was great!!!! I sat alone, not knowing many and i sat with Sean.  I cried...i did a great job holding it in!!!! but i had to command my eyes to stay big and tears not flow.  I was holding his hand, our fingers were intertwined and he was resting his head on me.  This is my 6th child.....and i haven't seen much of him.  I do, but my mind and with all going on....have been not truely there.  i miss him.  I miss all my kids.........

I was an emotional day for me and today seems to be in that same catatory.  Maybe it's the let down.  The end (basically) the end for Marshall bc he doesn't count the 2 weeks of radiation.....hee-hee

Maybe i am finally letting down my barriers and walls.  i have no clue but i just want to have the biggest cry.  a cry of pain, sorrow and joy.  a cry of relief that i don't have to watch my child suffer from this chemo any longer....God willing!

I know it's not over for us and it will never be.  but this first step is over!!!!  I guess Marshall's doctor came in and spent a lot of time with him and brian.  explaining the future and seriousness of it and the emotions and feelings that go with it.  the every three months of scans for the first 2 years maybe more, then the once a year.  he told marshall you will see me til the day you die!!!!!  i am with you for the rest of your life.  he told him about all the secondary cancers he can get bc of this, and the heart diseases he can get.....bc of this.  yes, nice and cheery!!! but reality unfortunately.  All the poor dude wants is to get a tan and hair!!!!!! 

i am gonna miss the nurses like crazy.  you share so much with them.  you give them your son to take care of while there.  you trust them with your son's life and that is a huge responsiblity.  of course your eagle eyes watch every move.....so you can never relax.   they take care of you and marshall and will do anything for you.  go to the doctors for you, question them, ask them and give you the answers.  they are heros to us in the Chemo Inn

Oh, speaking of the Chemo Inn.  Last night i went up to marshall's room.  he has about 5 friends up there, they decorated the room and he has this HUGE pointed party hat on......and he was talking, laughing, playing guitar...and in a walked comes this precious little 15 month old girl!!!! beautiful.  i just wanted to pick her up and kiss her and hug her....she has A.L.L  it's leukemia....a form of.....anyway, she would come and go, Marshall would start to play guitar and then she would turn around and leave, then stroll back in.....she has a hickman just like marshall.  so i asked what it looked like.  didn't know if they had mini hickmans......nope!  the thing just wrapped around her mid section......LOL!!!!!  the thing was probably as long as her....beautiful eyes, they were blue...no hair but it went with her age....chubby fingers in her mouth.....i think the mother said about another year left for them hopefully.

i can't believe it's coming to an end.  in the beginning it looked so far away and the unknowns of what we all were about to go thru as a family, individual and participation. I am almost done with having to flush marshall every night!!!!!!! i know he will be glad for that.

i cried earlier and my heart hurt, physically hurt.  i never cried much thru this.  little bits here and there and a couple of let downs.....brian and i last night during dinner together....cried.  i told him that i had a bad emotional day and just wanted to cry all the time.....here i am waxing a brow and i had to demand i not cry.  i think i am on the brink of collapsing....hee-hee i don't know if i can hold on much longer.....AND I HAVE TO WORK TODAY....nice!!!!  i haven't allowed myself to be weak a lot of the times during this.  i had and have to be strong.  you have so much to do, and little ones that you can't scare and you have to put on a good face for them.  a strong face for them.  strong arms when they cry, which i think we have had little moments with few let downs.  most of the kids probably don't grasp the true nature of what marshall has and is/has gone thru and will have to for the rest of his life, which is good.  i don't 'want them to.  i want them to live in LaLa land for this.  no need for them to think about it and marshall.

i have no words my joy for marshall finishing up.  his smile.....the whiteness......oh, speaking of marshall.  the other night i was heading out to a baseball game and marshall had taken my credit card to fill his car up with gas.  so i was down in the basement at the bottom of the stairs and marshall was at the top.  i was like "hey, can i have my card before i forget."  sure....he said....so he puts the card between his first two fingers and he is going to fling it down to me........he gets ready, some wrist action for the swing and let go...and he sails it off....well let me tell you.....IT SAILED OFF!!!! and the corner of the card nailed me in the head....i was shocked...marshall was shocked......it hurt like hell....so i stormed off so not to cry in front of him...and as i was getting into the car i lifted my hand from my head......I'M BLEEDING!!! man..... i got a little "pop" open in my head.....and that was 2 days ago and it is still sore.......i forgot about it yesterday morning and i scratched my head....bad decision!

i better be going...i might write more later as this last round goes on.  i must get some things done before work today.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things have got to CHANGE

Well, Marshall is home sleeping as usual.  He doesn't sleep at night and falls asleep round 3 or 4 am.  He says it's seems to be very common with Chemo patients. 

He doesn't look good.  You can tell his counts are dropping.  We are having Home Health come today to get his counts so he can see if he is able to go to the Preds game tonight.  I sure hope he can go, but physically he doesn't look like it.  I wouldn't be surprised if he needed a transfusion.  I hope they come soon....it takes a couple of hours or more to get results, but the Clinic knows that these are a desparate need right now...They love Marshall.  How could you not.....LOL

The school year is about to end, as Marshall's Cancer Treatment is coming to a close.  I think we are all ready for this to be over in the physical sense.  It will never be over. 

The kids are playing their baseball games, I am working, Marshall is plugging along and all seems well. 

I was supposed to go to a Information Coffe for Eve of Janus which Marshall in July will be the Jr. Honorary.  It's a "coming out" formal for parents and their daughters.  The money goes towards Vanderbilt Children's Cancer Research.  I am pretty sure this is all right.....opps if not! 

Marshall wants to help make more awareness to people of the need for Childhood cancer research.  Did you know that 46 kids a day are diagnosed with Cancer?  2300 children and teenagers will die each year.  75% of childhood cancer is curable, but some are real sticklers and don't like to go away or not for long.  At time of diagnosis, 20% of adults have showed the cancer has spread, but 80% of children by the same time have already had the cancer spread.  It is the leading death in our children today.  An average of 2 high schoolers a year have cancer.  This is more personal....only 250 kids a year are diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, and 1/3 have had it spread.  Ewing's Sarcoma accounts for 3% of Childhood cancer, but it's the most come and malignant bone cancer.

With research we can help save these children's lives and give them a better chance at living a full life and have children of their own.  The regiman that Marshall is on, was about 6 or more years ago a trial.  Typically, a Chemo regiman is given every 3 weeks.  That allows the body's marrow to rebuild itself back up and be ready for the next one.  But with Ewing's Sarcoma it is such an aggressive Cancer that there was a trail to have Chemo given every 2 weeks and switch off with two different grouping of Chemo.  I friend that I have met bc of Marshall....her son had a form of Ewing's Sarcoma and was in this trial.  Bc of children like him, they were able to determine what worked better for these particular kids with this particular pain in the butt cancer.  Survival rate has increased....

How can we ignore these facts based on our children?  These children are our future and they are our little babies....no matter how big.....i don't a mother to stare into her son's see through skin.  I don't want a mother to hate to flush her child everyday and have him hate the taste of the saline and heparin.

To see what the Chemo drugs does to these children.  You can be all smiley and happy one day and feel like death the next.  These kids are young but they will have an old body by the time they are done with the regiman. Then in order to heal our children as i have said before we have to kill them.  we have to risk them to other cancers, and diseases for their future.  so, we may save their present future but what about their future future...? 

The Chemo drug "Doxy"  that's what i call it, don't dare ask for the full name.....LOL is hard on your heart, so Marshall about three times had to get an EKG to make sure his heart was still strong enough to take it.  and now, as all Ewing's Sarcoma and any other cancers that use Doxy...you max out. Marshall is done with it for life.  BUT its the hardest and best Chemo to wipe this out.  So, you see as we work towards the future and putting him in remission, the risk of it coming back is what kills them.  You become limited on what we can fight this with.

Now, don't get me wrong.......I am not talking about Marshall dying on me or anything like that, but the risk, and the pressure on the body becomes so limited.  It is a truth that must be looked at and dealt with.

I have spoken with other parents and their child may be in remission, but they hold their breath for 2 years.  They turn blue when it comes to "scans" every three months to see if it's back.  It's alot to deal with and i don't want these children to have to suffer like they do.

Yes, it's better now, and back in 1975 Marshall would have died from this.  NOW he has the opportunity to survive this!!!!!! the survival rate is higher.....it still sucks for him but it's better than it was.

I don't want Cancer to be the leading death in our children.  I want it to be the last cause.  I don't want any cause, but Cancer is so hard.  To watch a young child.......They are just beginning their lives and some have barely done that.  To see infants be wheeled up in cribs and put in a room always brings tears to my eyes...i want to hold that child and love them and hug them.......i know it sounds silly, but the love i have for these children.  Some kids don't have parents in their room.  they have to work or have to balance the one parent family.  Some live far away.  Some come from hours away and it's not easy for us to just "go home" and get something.  We have it so easy.  Some kids are in there for 2 weeks at time or even a month.  Could you imagine spending a month in the hospital and not really be able to go out?  Marshall gets depressed with the 5 dayer....imagine the month?!!!! 

We have got to come up with something better.  I am tired of hearing the words "leukemia, sarcoma, ewing's sarcoma....etc....many ones i can't even pronounce)

I want it to be what it was before....rarely heard the word.

Also, we need to take care of these kids after!  Insurance.....nope not gonna want them.  What are they to do when they can't stay under their parents shield of insurance?  what?  pay for it on their own...along with the scans for a lifetime, and such. We have got to change this. 

Maybe that is my role in life.....who knows......i am starring at a gorgeous salad that my co-worker brought in....so, my mind is now slipping and i am going to go for now......i be hungry!!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ready, Set...............GO

Well, let's see.....Marshall went into the Chemo Inn on Monday, I started full time on Monday, kids had baseball practices, my body gave up Thursday night, I couldn't work Friday, and Marshall got home Friday afternoon after going to get his Tux fixed and lunch with a friend in his PJs wearing his Sperry's.....what a picture.

Today, I have already drop off one kid for baseball practice, was dropping another off to find out game canceled (fields too wet), i am getting ready, and will drop off another, then go back to watch the game.  Need to shop with Catherine for a dress for a Freshman social her school is having, Marshall wants to look for a hat for Prom tonight, Colin has another game this afternoon that i have to find a ride home for him bc we will be gone dealing with Marshall, Sean i had to get him a ride to and back on his game tonight bc we will still and at same time dealing with Marshall and pictures and so forth...hate missing Sean's game....AGAIN

Man!!!!!!!  but it's all good.  it works out sometimes my kindergarten brain asks dumb questions, but i am used to feeling like a dork.

Also, last week two of the kids came down with the stomach bug.  so, we dealing with that too......along with work, and everything else.  it was a good one.....surprisingly.....quick in and out and only two got it!!!!! That's damn good if i say so myself.  now, my tummy had been off since Monday but not enough to stop you and make you think your sick, but my tummy has been off for awhile now so who knows.  i went to work on thursday and was so tired.  I never sleep in the hospital, didn't sleep here bc of storms that one night and kept watching the tv to make sure i didn't have to take kids to basement.......i drove to hospital and was so tired.....then went to eat with brian and i didn't feel good at all.  couldn't even finish my drink....and that is saying something...LOL!  Brian was like.....you can't finish......?  man, you don't feel good!  if i had the energy i would have laughed....i just kinda phumfed....

i tried to take a little nap before getting home bc i couldn't drive.  i couldn't even really drive that morning from the hospital to home, to work......i was like a drunk....LOL!   not really, but just tired enough that you can tell you have to double check before you do something.  and my brain wasn't noticing that when pulling out of parking lot at the light there was a green arrow to turn left (which i needed) so, when it turned yellow i stopped and saw the green light for go.......and i am sitting there.....bc my arrow is gone you know....but there are no cars coming.....poor car behind me has to honk.....LOL!!!!! i was like there is no arrow....dummy....i can go bc no cars......anyway, that night while trying to take a power nap before going home the nurses came in all loud........and don't get me started on the nurse that morning when for teh first time EVER i slept til 7:43 BUT COULD HAVE SLEPT LONGER IF SHE WOULD HAVE CLOSED THE BATHROOM DOOR TO FLUSH THE TOILET AFTER GETTING MARSHALL'S URINE SAMPLE.....don't get me started on that......oh no........not going there........so, where was i?  oh, yes......outside voices.......yes outside voices.....so, i give up.....leave....brian is eating chicken tenders and fries and the smell makes me want to throw up....i have to leave and marshall says...now you know what i go thru.....so, brian told me to hold up, but i couldn't stop or i would literally collapse.....he caught up with me in elevator....i was gonna drive myself, but i looked at him and said "take me home"  he did.....i felt awful.........went right to bed, my tummy was hurting real bad......had awful sleep for the 5th day in a row...but oh well.....no one is perfect.  friday morning i was debating on whether to go to work.  it still hurt i felt off and still soooooooooooooooo tired......i got ready for work and was sweating like a dog....do dogs sweat?  and knew no way could i do anything but be in bed.....so i had to text and tell them....no money for mama....LOL  i got a great nap in around 10:30 and didn't get up til 1 pm.  it was a sound sleep that no waking inbetween....i never have those.......so, today is saturday and i feel better now.  not 100% but better.  there is a hint of tummy.....there are side issues on that one...so, not complaining......

the constant is so tiring.....it took me 12 rounds to collapse....i guess that's good......didn't make it to the finish line but could be worse.  i told brian...i just wanted to collapse and give up in the hospital and let everyone pick me up and take me to a bed.....hee-hee......that's how little energy i had, but i made it and it's nothing compared to Marshall so i hate even stating my "hardships" when Marshall's is so greater...but he does need a mom to take care of him and those take their tole...at times.  we are almost done!!!! Bless marshall's heart.

Marshall is so excited for tonights Prom!!!! i can't believe it.  my oldest is going to Prom.....it's so exciting!  even as the son and not the daughter....LOL so we are going to where they are gonna meet and take pictures......i have become one of those parents that i make fun of.........

well, i need to run...have to put on my face in time to drop off colin...well, half put it on for drop off and then come back for the finishing up in time for the game......yes, i mostly always have my face on.....LOL!!!! it's my mom's fault......although she seems to always have that perfection at all times of day where as me......i have to keep reapplying....LOL  and i have two faces.....one that is bare minimum and acceptable and then full fledge face.....LOL!!  to be a girl that is this way.....i need help.....

the sun is out and it's gonna be a gorgeous hot day.  i am gonna enjoy it as much as i can......off i go!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

keep on......keeping on

Marshall is in here for his 12th round of chemo.  it's the long 5 dayer.....the dreaded depressing one for him.  I hope that he can make this one as good as the last long one turned out.  i spent the night last night and had my typical sleepless night.  i don't know why.  i always wake up around 2ish and am up for a couple of hours.  didn't help that something was going on outside the door.  don't remember the noise just something that was loud and woke me up multiple times in the beginning.  now it sounds as if they are polishing/cleaning the floors.....lol

my mind won't shut off.  brian always tell me to rest, sleep since nothing else to do in here.  well, i can't do it.  i stay awake like now, i could be sleeping but can't.  not that i could if i wanted to with the machine outside my door.....that seems to hang around here......

i stare at marshall sleeping here in the hospital.  sometimes he talks/whispers in his sleep.  i wonder what he is saying...i strain to here.....but can't.  he says funny things sometimes.....patrick can attest to that one.

he looks real good.....it helped with the shorter odd round of chemo round that he has now.  he actually got some color in him.  he wasn't so see through and grey in color....it's the chemo skin.....hollow and shades of grey and blue veins and thin skin.

sometimes he is death.  the look is what i am talking about.  no, he is not dying.....yes we are killing him to live, but he looks like death.  his body might be weak but his spirit is very strong.

why can't i sleep?  is it bc i am wondering what the future holds for all of us.  is it bc i want to watch my son sleep.  is it bc i love him so much that i just want to be awake while he is close to me.  i love him so much.  i know i repeat myself in these blogs, but i guess it's what is going thru my mind.  i stare at him and wonder.  how he became such a strong spirit.  i am so proud as he has taken this on.  although, i have no doubt that he would.  it is and always was in his nature.  he was born strong and confident and loving life.  he was born with a beautiful smile that could only make others love him more.  he was born with a spirit of kindness and selflessness towards his siblings and others.  yes, to mom and dad too. 

he is the perfect 'oldest' son.  couldn't have asked for a better one.  i would think that his siblings would say they couldn't have had a better older brother to watch over them and lead them thru life as an example.

marshall whether he likes it or not is an example and he is doing such a great job.  i am so proud of him and it's an honor to call him my son.  i don't deserve such a wonderful son who has to deal with what he has to deal with, but no sense in complaining.  it can't and never will change a thing.  it is a pointless waste of time and i can't stand it when people want to have me join in the pity party band wagon.  i am not going on there, hell no. leave me alone and stop trying to depress me.  i have so much to do and think about already.  i don't need someone bringing me down and making me feel as if i am not doing my job. 

i hope i am not a pity party.  it's hard to know when to bring up my son's cancer or not.  you don't want to rule the conversation or make people sad.  some people don't know whether to bring it up or talk about others with cancer around me.  it doesn't make me sad.  i am not 'sad' in the sense i can't cope when it's brought up.  it's life and if i can't handle it then i might as well give up now.  i like knowing about others.  i can pray for them and their families.  it is so hard for the parents to watch that it's nice to know there are others around you unfortunately going thru the same thing. 

i started full time work yesterday.  i am nervous with all that is going on with marshall and then add of course the 6 others that have lives too...then you need to add in sickness.....lol!!! i can do it.  it will work out the way it's supposed to.  all i can do is do what i am doing and if it's not working then change it.  God will help me see what i am supposed to do and not allow too much to be put on me.  He will give me the understanding to know when it's too much.  so, with me working 4 days a week is alot!! but i have a great job that allows me to be flexible.  it's so close to home that yesterday i went home twice to check on the kids.  one of the times was making them lunch.  yes, had two sick ones home.  one was better but couldn't go to school bc of the fever the day before and one was over the worst part just sitting in bed.....yes, i deal with some guilt.  i haven't worked since before marshall was born and then i had to quit when i was 3 months pregnant bc the morning sickness was so bad.  i was out more than i was in. 

again, God has worked this all out.  i was wondering what to do with aidan.  i was going to have to put him in a daycare......close to my work.  but now marshall is home all the time....lol.....it's weird how God makes things just work out.  he didn't give marshall cancer so i could have a sitter, timing just worked out so.  i was in school last january and graduated august 25th, a wednesday, and on monday august 31st i took marshall to the doctor and it was a roller coaster from then til diagnosis on october 4th.  so, see it all worked out.  i took marshall out of fr ryan which killed me and put him in to the public high school with catherine.  i knew there was a reason......i knew it.  i remember telling Brian...there's a reason God is allowing this to happen.  and if it wasn't for the new school we wouldn['t have been forced to do a physical for the new school.....that was august 31st....so....it all worked out.  catherine is alone at her public highschool but i can't help that and God must think it's okay bc she is still there and nothing has opened up to get her to fr ryan.  marshall got a donor to pay for his senior year at fr ryan.  i am very happy for him.  at least he won't be the new kid for his senior year....bc he barely went to his high school.  we had at least 2 doc appointments a week for that month.  so he never really got to know many people. 

it does make me sad that catherine won't be able to go and be around those that share the same faith, have Mass and be taught religion as a daily class.  i have to again remind myself that i guess God sees it's okay.  and the other kids....same thing with the other guys..  i wish we could afford to send them to a catholic school.  it hurts me everyday, especially on sundays when we have to drop them off to religious ed.  it makes me sad they can't go.  every now and then i go into my "why" for my kids to Our Lord.  my mom multiple times has said she wished she had the money to pay for the kids.  she would do it in a heartbeat and had always hoped to help her kids pay for a catholic education.  bless her heart for that and i know she would do that if she could. 

i thank God for my mother and father being so supportive to me and brian.  they have always told us what wonderful parents we are and how we are doing a great job and keep up the good work.  it is so nice to hear that.  you never really hear it.  well, i don't....lol  and it's nice to get that "keep it up doing great" pat on the back.  you know?  we need support verbally and emotionally to keep on keeping on....

that is one thing that my parents have given to me and brian as a couple and as parents.  they have always been supportive of brian as a father and make sure they tell him how wonderful of a job he is doing.  it puts a smile on my face.  i am proud my husband too.  i couldn't do this without him....not one bit.  we forget to appreciate those around us and that we need to tell them that.  your spouse can become your roommate.  your children can become passers byers......(my talking...and yes i would say that......) your family you just take for granted.  i have to remind myself to not do that.  it is hard, but i try everyday.  i fail oh yes i do, but i have to pick myself up.  right now, especially with all that brian and i have to go thru...it's so important to keep us "us"  i can see how easy it is to drift apart.  we work hard and yes i am a pain in the butt....a lot...but thankfully he puts up with me...and i with him.....no it's not perfect but it's life and you just have to keep on keeping on.....

i am climbing a hill right now on this dirt path that is before me.  it's a wide dirt path with rocks embedded in it.  the kind like i drove over in our suburban on the way to the cabin.  they bounce your car around and you have to maneuver around the big ones and know the ones you can go over and how to just slip down the middle just so with your tire.....yes, i was that good i had to.....with the day in and outs of driving that 30 min dirt road.  there were many pot holes and 3 creeks to cross..  i guess i have pictured my present path that dirt road.  there are some scary turns that on one side it's straight down. and you pray that as you go around this turn that someone from the other side is praying the same prayer and hugging their side.....lol 

although i don't know where this path will end.  why dirt?  i guess bc life is dirty.  you can always get up and clean yourself off but you will get dirty again.....hee-hee.  purgatory is our bath to cleanse ourselves of the dirt that got in the cracks that we didn't see.  the cabin would be the purgatory.  had to take a shower after your drive sometimes bc of all the dirt that came in the car.  you felt dirty.  couldn't see it, but you felt it.  and then Heaven would be going outside and listening to the wind blow the trees, the creek below and beside me flowing it's mesmerizing water.  i would fall asleep to it all the time. i would go outside and into the forest and listen and look.  the beauty around you.  the sounds perfect and you knew.....Our Lord did this.  no words for the calm and the beauty and the smells....

i will continue this journey on my dirt road towards Heaven.  i pray i get there.  i pray i help get the kids there.  i pray i have my spouse get there.  and i pray they all do the same for me. 

i don't want to give up and just sit in the middle of the road and collect scum and dirt.  i don't want to be so dirty that no one can see me anymore and i just become a part of the road.  i want to be seen and i want to see others along the path.  i want to wave with a smile a hello, you are not alone.  letting others know they are not alone as they do the same for me.  reminding me that others are on this path with us. and we will get there.  sometimes the water in the creek crossing will be too high and we have to find another route, but there is always another route.  one that will get you to your destination...Heaven. 

i hope i can be this person.  i hope i can do all i want to do.  with Our Lord i can do this.  i will cry some and pout some and stomp my foot, but i will do it.  marshall can do it and we will do it.  our family will travel this road together and help show us the way bc they see things that we don't see and we see things they don't see.  my children will help marshall get thru this.  they will help us get thru this.

i am so blessed with all my kids and my spouse.  i am not the best mother and wife, but i love them dearly and with all my heart.  i pray they know i love them and i hope that they are proud to have me as a mother  and wife as i am of them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I am proud of my son for all he is enduring and the way he picks up his cross daily.  The courage and faith he has is incredible.  What can I say.....he is an incredible person.  He is an example of how we all should take on our crosses.  He shows us how to embrace it.  We all have choices on how we deal with our crosses in life.  We can embrace it or drag it and complain the whole way (that is an ugly and long road to pick).

We as a family have embraced this cross that has been put on us.  Our heads are held up high with smiles on our faces.  We see the light not the darkness.  We look to Our Lord for the joy.  We don't look for the pity or anger.  You have to be selfless in this journey no matter what our roles are.

I have pictured Marshall walking with Our Lord as He carried His cross walking towards His death.  Marshall's cancer is his cross and they walk side by side together on this journey.  Our Lord watching ahead as He walks but never takes His eyes off of Marshall.  He is ahead of him just a little bit to keep Marshall focused on the road ahead.  the love coming from Our Lord is so consuming that it spreads way beyond Marshall and surrounds those of us around him. Our Lord is not sad, but you can see the love and joy.  Love for Marshall that can't be described.  Marshall is not alone physically or spiritually.  Our Lord has been with us carrying His cross with each of us during this.

I feel like we have been in Lent since October.  Always keeping your eye on Our Lord.  I have been thinking of how the Blessed Mother felt watching her son as He fulfilled his journey as our Savior.  The pain she felt.  The sorrow in her eyes as she saw Him carry that heavy cross that seemed too big to carry.  Seeing His body torn and ripped......yet He still stood. The pain in her heart. You know she was strong though....of course she cried....but her soul was strong and united with her son. 

As a mother it is very hard to watch your son go thru something like this.  I have turned to the Blessed Mother many times as I know my sorrow is NOTHING like hers.....but she understands the pain of watching and not being able to do anything.  That this journey is something they alone have to do.  You can't "take it away"  you can't "make it go away"  you can't "change anything"  I pray and pray and pray.  I am there for Marshall in prayer always.  

During this Holy Week, please remember what Our Lord did for us.  Remember Him sacrificing Himself for us.  Turn to the crucifix and see.  He hung on the cross for YOU!  He died for YOU!  What do we do for Him?  How do we lead our lives?  Do we walk the walk or just talk the talk?

Marshall has picked up his cross.  Will you pick up yours? Walk with him.  Walk with us.  Walk with Our Lord.

Well, this was long and I am sorry!!!!  Just alot on my mind!

Have a Blessed Easter!!!!!!!!!

Bridget (mom)

Happy Holy Thursday!  I haven't written lately.  Just so much going on.  I wrote the above on CaringBridge today and thought i would just copy it over here.  Today is Holy Thursday, the first Mass and there won't be Mass until Easter Sunday, the Resurection of Our Lord.  I want to keep in my mind Our Lord as I go thru these last days and think about what He did as the minutes go by.  Picture myself there as go along today thru Sunday. 

I have never been so with Our Lord in His carrying His cross.  I didn't even realize it til just lately, as I thought back and how much i picture the road to Calvary.  I am nothing great or grand or better than anyone else by far...but i have been almost forced to be placed at His side.  This will be the most meaningful Lent of my life i can imagine.  I hope that i will never forget this journey that God has placed in our path to Heaven.  As i said above, I feel like i have been in Lent since October......the suffering and the heaviness that i have felt since this all started.  I hope that i took and continue to take advantage of all the opportunities i have been given.

This journey is not unique.  I have seen many people go thru and continue to go thru crosses like this whether it be watching a child, or going thru it personally.  Some have suffered and will suffer more than me or Marshall.  I have to remind myself that Our Lord only gives us what we can handle.  I am not alone as Jesus was not alone as He was lead toward the ultimate sacrifice....His dying on the cross for our salvation.

The choice continues to be each of ours.  What are we going to do today?  How are we going to live out our faith today?  Do we truly believe in our faith in Our Lord and have the guts to stand up to the day to day challenges and say "no" and say "yes" to Our Lord.  It is hard being singled out and looked at for your strength.  It is hard to stand up to wrong and do the right thing.  It is a daily sacrifice spiritually to live your faith.  Not all follow or understand.  That is not the point.  The point is to stand steady and remember Our Lord is right beside us.  Carrying the cross as He did physically many years ago.  Our crosses are nothing compared to His, but He did it for us and the least we can do is carry our crosses with Him.  I don't want Him to be alone.  I want to be with Him and I want to stand strong with His mother as she was with Him to the end.  I will be with Marshall to the end. 

I hope to years from now reflect on this journey with not pain and suffering, which of course it was/is but there is so much more to it.  There were graces given to us as we walk with Our Lord.  I will not look upon this time with tears of sorrow but with joy because we were never alone.  I will not ask for pity for all the trials I went thru or saw thru Marshall, but thanksgiving for the son that Our Lord gave me.  Marshall has been an inspiration to me, this family and so many we know and don't know.  That alone is a reason that God has allowed this.  This can't harm Marshall.  Of course bodily it can, but spiritually is where we need to turn our souls to.  Look for the good that God is seeking and seeing.  No He doesn't want us to hurt, but He is so beyond our physical means that it is hard for us at times to understand why we suffer so.  You can't help but ask.  but who are we to question Our Lord.  Do we even think we know a shred of a shred of a shred of a shred of what He knows?  Why do we think we know best?  Do we think He really wants us to perish?  We were born with sin, but thru the Sacraments we can maybe glimpse the spiritual importance of this life.  I am not perfect and am so not even close to being anywhere as holy as the Saints, but all i can do is strive to do my best and live my faith as God wants me to. 

Everyday should be Lent.  Everyday we should walk with Our Lord.  There are days I don't want to and sometimes fail, but I get up and start again.  I will continue to fall, but I am not alone.  The Blessed Mother, Our Lord, the angels and Saints, my gaurdian angel are right there.  Waiting for us to ask for their help in prayers.  I have had to depend on asking them for many of their prayers during this.  I may not get the answers I want, but I will get the courage to continue.

I want to walk thru this day as I remember what Our Lord did.  I want to walk with Him.  I want to remember the journey of Our Lord starting today and being so thankful for all He did for me.  I may not do it well, but I will give Him all I have.

Have a Blessed Easter!  Remember!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love Life!

Well, busy with school, projects, baseball, "the Man Cave", work....and the rest of life right now...hummmm.....do i have a brain?  nope....all gone.....a co-worker today listened to a call while i was at work and i was reminding Catherine that Colin had batting practice....she said...i can't even keep up with what i have to do.....i really don't do that great of a job, but i do it.....i forget.....like yesterday....sean had batting practice...ended at 6:30, told  the coach that i would be there at 6:30 and if it ended early take him over to my son's scrimmage (that particular son was supposed to be there but wasn't....another story...let's just say...big ars wart was frozen on his middle finger and he was not feeling good) so, our wish granter came over bc she was dropping off stuff she had for the Man Cave....i had patrick bring the stuff Marshall had in is closet (thank goodness......) so, i looked at my watch and it was early...i had plenty of time....we were setting out...not putting up but just laying against the wall where it might go...can't do anything until furniture comes (tomorrow)  so i happen to look at my watch and it is 6:45......CRAP  i run upstairs......forget why?...it's my life now....don't bother asking...useless.....then of course i have two of my children...that i gave birth to.....want to go...i am like....okay, get in the car,i am leaving.......waited...they are too slow, but i wait....race....safely of course.....two seconds away to go get sean...first i was gonna send liz to go get him...then i am like i am the mom...gotta be her......so, i get out and of course.....the parents of my other son's team is like "sean is over there"  i thank them.....LOL....i did tell sean's coach (he has two sons on colin's team.....yes, i know how to play it....No not really....God always works things out.......if i could just have the patience to see things thru....)  so, of course he was fine...happy with an ICEY......of course another thing i have to feel bad about...some other mom paid for it...ugh!!!!  the coach asked how Colin was bc of the wart (he couldn't play) i said fine...now he has a cherry on his knee from the park....so,  he couldn't play ball...but could go to the park....well...that is true bc you don't have to hold a bat....swing, and catch balls and such with a glove on...if you could see this wart.....LOL poor guy...and if you give my trouble ....don't bother i already got lectured by the dermatologist...but i explained to him that i just paid off over $300 worth of bills for warts and such on various kids last year...that just got paid off two months ago......he said you can pay $10 if you want a month.....i am like...i already did buddy....i did more than that but not much....

okay, so we were to get marshall in today sometime waiting for a call for a room at the Chemo Inn....normally it's at 4 pm....lol but at 9:22 am i got a call....!!!! swung the door of marshall's door and said "get up you gotta room and it's already"  i scared the poop out of him.....he told the nurses i scared the crap out of him and they asked "well, hopefully not seriously".....okay that's the life we life....lot's of sad humor...but you know what.....it's life...i grew up with a million brothers and i am not that polite of a girl....sorry....dad's fault along with all my brothers and their friends....so, anyway....i did scare the heck out of him...he brought it up a million times when we got into the room and told every new nurse....nice i feel....great...and he makes the evil manly voice that i supposedly  walked  in with.....SERIOUSLY?  i guess so......he loves to make fun of me.....just like his dad.....they love to laugh...and i give them plenty to laugh at...but marshall....he ummmm, goes to the extreme......then he gives me his loving wink....now what am i supposed to do......you get my drift...and i sit there.....and the nurses always laugh.....and i am like....do i keep quiet or lay my case and expain that his is SOOOOO wrong..."oh, but then if i rebutle then he will do it back...i can't win......yep.........LOL

We have one night of chemo this round , it's brian's turn to spend the night.....i am finally home....furniture tomorrow......marshall has not had the best of night's i guess......darn smells....throwing up again.....at least it's just one night!!!!!  they should be able to leave tomorrow late morning.....don't really know when Chemo started......they are so slow....today we got there at 10:20 (checking in)  and i was rushing out of hospital room with youngest aidan bc i had to bring him......i all of a sudden at 1:30 got a 2:00 appt at work...and i had to drop off aidan where he was spending the night....we made it safe.....no worries, but they were just getting hydration going.....not even chemo ordered and they called at what time?  the nurse joked that next they call and say a room is ready we have to ask "are all the orders ready too?"  LOL  what a joke...so, i got back to brian after work at 6:10 and still no chemo....yes, brian left work to take my place.....aidan what a hoot....i thanked him for spending part of the day with me...he said "your welcome" like okay....LOL  my little guy is gonna be gone before i know it and my oldest is basically already gone....where does the time go.?  i don't know right now i am just trying to find the time in between the time to make sure i get the time that i am needing to get right and that doesn't even happen...so many times, and things and such.....i am a fluttering butterfly...that's what i want to think...not really i am a galoooot....don't ask me what it is but it's  clumzy and such....bouncing off borders and roads and trees...that is what i am....BUT I AM STILL HERE LAUGHING AND LOVING ALL THAT I HAVE AND ALL THAT WILL COME.....i will hear conversations....and i will be like....pthththththt....no worries.....ugh.....do i have to?...........REALLY.....okay, who can i get to help?  then just flat out .....ARE U SERIOUS?  yep they are.....i am fine with being a flake now...but i am worried when all is normal and i will have no excuse....LOL  maybe life will be a piece of cake....i can do cancer, with 7 kids, start working, homework with kids, man cave, baseball (we asked for it...can't complain), projects, money from whatever......shall i go on?

so, tomorrow marshall and brian get home sometime in early afternoon or late morning....they will pick up aidan, i will be at work in the morning til after 4 pm.  furniture being delivered at 2:30-3:30, it's gonna be a good day!!!!! i am very excited to see it all in the room......i might just move down there with the dry bar and 60 inch TV and surround sound......you know i will be down there....marshall will have to say ....mom go away i am here with my friends and we don't want to listen to music.....LOL  BTW i would never do that...i have an awesome stereo system up here...in family room that vibrates the windows....ask my dad!!!!  yes, i love to jam......

life is wonderful!  don't you think? look at our life...we are all alive, healthy (well most....unlike one that chose not to follow...wanted to be special....lol), all my children are with us (that is a huge one.....so many don't have a child still around) a roof over our heads, children that love us (don't know why), Our Lord that is here for us at all times....can feel Him this whole time....never once douted He wasn't here...............but look at us...we are happy, laughing and loving.....we are a very happy family....well, don't look at the typical teenager/sibling stuff...i had to deal with that while i was at work....yep....loved it...but i try to nip it in the butt......not always works but one of these days these two will grow out of it.....

like i said many months earlier "I am too blessed to be broken"  i have a huge smile on my face.....spring is sprouting....as I am.....new life.....Lent is among us.......we sacrafice during Lent to remind us of  what Our Lord did for us........the little we do.......complain about doing.........yep....Our Lord was whipped, mocked, laughed at, spit at.....had to carry a very huge wooden cross...imagine the spinters...going/rubbing back and forth on your shoulder........the iritation.....and the splinters.....the weight He had....we are coming close to the beginning of our faith began.....Our Lord's death.....our life......Heaven.....

think about what you have.....think about what others have.......and be so thankful.....you have nothing to complain/worry about.....I have nothing to complain about......i am blessed and I will always be...no matter what happens in the future.....NO MATTER WHAT

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I see sunshine!!!!

I have been wanting to write after my last one of something more upbeat.  My life is not all gloom and doom and it seems that that is all  i write about.

Last week, i had to leave work to take Marshall in to get some blood.......He was blacking out and such, we got counts and shoot....they weren't much different than when he was in for Chemo his last day.  His Doc went ahead and gave him a pint.......he could barely walk, and he was so busy the day before.......which is awesome and since then he has been doing so much better.

We left after "counts" to eat while we waited for the blood....takes bout an hour and a half to two to get it.  We went to our usual "after clinic" blackstone!  We ended up sitting outside bc it was such a beautiful day.  He took off his hat and was getting a tan....LOL!  I told him not to be without his hat for too long.....but he said "it will be worth it"  He had the biggest smile on his face.  Even while waiting for the car to go to lunch he was in the wheelchair (too weak to walk) he parked it in the sun.....blocking people, and i had to constantly say "sorry....he's basking in the sun....."  they all laughed and said no prob.....they would to!

I enjoy my lunches with Marshall.  I just stare at him and can't believe he's my son!  i think back to things he did as a kid.  He likes to do that more now too.  he will ask if i remember this or that.......At lunch Marshall is his usual goof.....shooting the straw wrappers at me, but missing and hitting the guy behind me.....ohh, that was a good one.....LOL!!!!!  They know us (brian and i have always gone there) but now every time Marshall and i come in, they get us "our booth" and fight over who gets to get Marshall a pillow to sit on....it's so funny.  It's automatic "get a pillow"  wonder if he will soon not need one?

this is an interesting journey to sit back and watch.  It's not always interesting, but when things are good....it is.  I watch him walk....how his life has changed......how he takes it........he is honest about things.....if i ask them.  He doesn't like his life on hold........that's the hardest thing for him.  I think we are all dreaming of the day when our lives begin again.  I sure as heck am!!!!!  The kids too. 

I still can't believe my son has Cancer.  wow!!!  It's amazing that we are almost done and i still shake my head and think "gee, he has cancer"  "his whole life has changed forever"  I think about how he will have to get scans for the rest of his life, doc appointments for the rest of his life, wonder if he can find insurance to take him on.  At least right now we have him covered, but when he is an adult, and on his own....it will be a struggle for the rest of his life along with many bills that they won't pay. Yes, he will be rid of the Big C, but he will be tidying up odds and ends for the rest of his life. 

We as a family have all embraced Cancer.  Not saying we are perfect, but think we have made it a topic that you can laugh at, joke about and at times cry about.  I am so proud of the kids and how they have been so wonderful about all this.  Time will tell with how it truly affected the kids in the months and years to come......hopefully Brian and i did a good job on holding the family together in our faith and home life.

I worry about how it is affecting the kids.  i don't have time to do anything.  everything is falling to the side......i guess i just have to look at it as "i can only do what i can do"  and pray that Our Lord will hold them in His embrace and give them the graces necessary to keep on with their journey in life.  I think we decided officially last night with the kids......for the summer....previously i wanted and did the whole family to go to Arizona and visit my family...it's been years....but i think we need "family time"  with all we have been thru...we need to do something as just a family and spend time together having fun and not worrying about anything....so, we would love to go to the beach again....hopefully i can find a house on the beach for us......praying for that one......i am serious....i am asking Our Lord to please make this happen and please allow this to be Your will.....LOL!!!!  I hope something will work out.  i keep dreaming of the beach....with the kids.....we have always had so much fun.....my dream would be 2 weeks at the beach.....a week is not enough.....wouldn't that be awesome?  oh!!!!! i wish it were that simple and money wasn't involved....people go all the time...2 and 3 times a year......it's so easy...nothing is easy for us...we have to spend more bc we need a bigger place....what people get with 3 other families we have to get for just ours....LOL!!!!! that's life.....i asked for it and i love it...wouldn't change it for the world!!!! so, in my prayers and am adding that maybe someone will have a beach house and offer it to us....LOL!!! isn't that selfish? 

oh, and Brian and i think there really needs to be a "make a wish for parents"  wonder if that would be something that could be done?  think about it.....what all the parents go thru......and how it takes a toll on your relationship.......they really do need a "wish"........the time you don' t have, the emotions you go thru......the spreading yourself so thin you think at times it's going to snap....the finances....dealing with doctors, nurses, surgeons, students......having to double check everything they do......question things when you don't think it's right......staying on a floor where kids are dying if they are not in hospice..........I believe the parents do need something.............maybe that is what we will come up with....see so many possibilities.......things that can be done that only could have been done by going thru this.  Marshall wants to raise awareness to childhood cancer and get more support for it and funding!!!!!  i agree we focus too little on this issue and it's huge....it's the leading killer of kids. 

This is like a 8 month long retreat.  Constantly at your knees in prayer, thought and meditating.  Life will never be the same for any of us.  I hope that the kids will take the high road and use this for positive things.  Take the good and lessons and help those that will face this in the future.  I don't hate the Cancer it is a fact of life.  Sure i don't want it to join the family, but well.....it's here.

We are so blessed.....we have so much....life could be so much worse.  i wonder what my life in front of me holds?  for all my children.  What marvelous things will they all do?  How will Marshall life out the rest of his life?  What grand things will we take from the experience and help others?  No parent should ever go thru this, but they do...and children daily are being diagnosed with cancer......now let's think about this.....CHILDREN ARE BEING DIAGNOSED!!!! 

Not an adult, not an elderly person......a CHILD!  their outlook is so different than someone who has led a glorious life.  this child has their whole future in front of them.  bc of cancer, they may not live as long bc of the side effects of the Chemo and Radiation......in order to save them you have to kill them.  What do we do for these children and their parents that like us, will have a life long ...not battle, but i guess a war...with all the things they will have to do for the rest of their lives.  I feel like i can't even complain bc of the itty bittys that are being diagnosed........i know i have said this before and maybe this is a whole repeat.

Marshall is a leader.  He has a special job to do here on Earth.  God has many things planned for him.  I see him shining....big smile of his......laughing......and loving.  He will put a face for teenagers and cancer.  he will give them hope.  the other day at clinic...i saw the road taken of hating it, complaining, thinking your the only one, not bothering to ask about others around them.  this was an adult.....and you can see it affecting the child.  it's so ugly and bitter....i am so glad that we don't behave like that. it's not all about them....it's about the children...all the children going thru this and all the parents having that in common.  you are a family whether you like it or not.......your child is alive......SHUT UP!!! so sad....i just wanted to hug the kid and tell him.....it's okay....you don't have to act all tough and disrespectful at times.  no wonder they all love Marshall so much.....he is respectful, he doesn't give them a hard time for doing their job......seriously....you have cancer......shut up and do what you need to do or go home and die!!!! that's what i wanted to say.  I ended up saying "well, if you want chemo and get this over with...you gotta pee"  i wanted to say "stop being a smartass about not peeing and go home if you really don't care"  but i think he does, but with the lack of support from parents this is how he is dealing with.  he is hurting.....and he doesn't seem to be getting any emotional support.  he is has to be tough......and bitter...like his parent.....so sad.....

these children are our future...what you do today affects them tomorrow.  i let Marshall see a movie last week and i was debating back and forth whether he could see it...i looked it up online......and i went ahead and said "yes"  i asked him if it was a good movie and if i shoulda let him see it?  he told me "nope, prob not..."  he didn't lie......i was so proud of him and i was sad he saw it.  it is so hard to keep these kids moral and not have the worldy society "be normal" to them.  i am not trying to shelter them...but i don't have to make the watch stuff just bc of that......talk is out there enough......why do we have to shove sex down their little souls....that will become natural to them...no biggie.......i am not preaching...it's how i was raised and how i raise my kids....and the whining i get ALL the time bc there are no movies my kids can see...it's a shame!!!! makes me mad.....unfortunately the movie industry could care less about our children...they care about money.....so it's up to us to be the meanies.....in this battle.....how did i get on this....LOL!!! 

gotta go put the sheets in the dryer and get another load going......

oh, our Man Cave is coming along.  Brian and i basically finished the painting....YEA!!!!  took forever..but it's looks great!!!!!  glad we took our time and did it right.......bar is in...it will be stained on thursday along with the lights...we will finally have lights down there...it's been what...couple months now.....LOL!!!! carpet next week and then we are trying to get a date for the furniture/unveil day.....it's gonna look awesome and i am ready to have that room back......

now, we just need to get the rest of our lives and house work together and we would be good to go!!!! so, much needs to be done......

God Bless
St Peregrine and Blessed Giorgio Frassati, Pray for us