Friday, October 5, 2012

Two Year Anniversary of Diagnosis...where am I now

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of Marshall's diagnosis.  I remembered the day before and leading up to it....and we had a situation happen the night before, I was so consumed with the hurt and anger, that i didn't remember until later in the day.  I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing?   Good in the sense that i don't live my life according to reliving every second in the past of all the awful emotional and physical toll we had to go thru and witness. Bad in the sense....i got carried away with as a friend had to remind me that with all i have been thru with Marshall, this is just a car, and a paint job.  It's unimportant in the scheme of what is precious.  When reading what she was telling me.....I needed to be reminded of what is important.  Thank goodness for true friends that can bring you back to what is important.  yes, there are times where you need to vent and get things out, but sometimes you can get carried away and so absorbed in what you are feeling that you can't see the big picture.  Yes, i am still infuriated and hurt with what immature, disrespectful kids did that was supposed to be a fun night of goofy games to an ambush with rotten eggs to 4 cars.  We work hard to give our kids what they need, and struggle to have a car necessary for the kids to get to work and places.  We take on a few bills that we weren't planning on but want to provide that for them.  And in a quick moment, people take that all away pride and think it's funny to destroy private property.  See, now you can see how much this consumed me if i am going on like this now, you should have seen me yesterday.....Heck, it made me cry i was so hurt and mad.....but like i said just a few sentences brought me back to reality.  I was able to carry on with the rest of my day.  Thank you, my dear!!!

I will never forget that day.  I was home and got the call.  It will always be fresh in my mind.  i remember where i was sitting, the scrap paper i had to write all that she was telling me.  how i paused when she mentioned the tumor in his lung....which wasn't one.....but i think she said that so not to have me panic.  I remember calling my sister and telling her very calmly the news, and my parents, and i made my rounds imagine how long that took....heehee.  i didn't cry....i was ok....i knew already and think i had just accepted it.  thank goodness i had no clue what was too happen.  it wasn't totally real yet.  We told marshall when he got home from school.  We called the parish and Father came by.  From the very beginning we had our faith and support we didn't have a clue was slowly building.  it became more real for me in the coming days.  meeting his oncologist, looking at the scans, hearing we need more scans, a biopsy in his lung to confirm, the things he talked about marshall's future, some side effects, outcome isn't great, it will be hard, and you have to be yesterday, was the calm before the storm for me. we moved so fast.  i am trying to remember, we met with the oncologist today, then tomorrow was the PET scan, the next was biopsy, and the next Oct 8th was first chemo.   this was a busy week for all of us.  i remember most the impact of meeting the oncologist.  i had to be strong from the very beginning.  there was no time to really understand it.  people coming over..being strong for them, kids at home....being strong for them....friends calling....being strong for them.....always being positive....but i wasn't able to really have my cry and be alone until prob the next week.  i will never forget going to blackstone for lunch while marshall was in for  was the first weekend of chemo....we went out to lunch...i remember hearing a couple complaining about something soooo stupid.  it hit me.  my life is changed forever!  i will never be the same again.  i looked at brian and said...i get it now....i totally get immediately think and look at the world thru different eyes. like you got a new pair and you are trying to make sure their the fit for you but things are blurry and you can't adjust to make your eyesight like it was.  it's a new pair...and you have them for life.  get used to it.  i wanted to say something to this couple.....and say...well, at least your child is not dying of cancer, i think you have it pretty shut up!  i at least had brian to help me explain things....gosh, don't know what i would have done if we were both spring chickens (is that the right meaning?) so, some of my shock was able to be explained to me by it works, chemo....the marshall is....i don't want to ever relive this again, but am glad i have.  it opened my eyes to a world that is forgotten or ignored.  we focus so much on unimportant things....heehee guilty!!!!!
Everything happens or is allowed for a reason.  Like little Lane Goodwin who is dying from his 3 time of having cancer.  He is 13 and should have been dead a couple of weeks ago.  he keeps going and going and is getting close and it has been hard for me to keep up on him, but i do every morning afternoon and evening.  he is an example of what these children are made of.  the fact that he is ready and has accepted death but is still giving a thumbs up.  can we do that?  wouldn't we be angry?  he is enjoying every second of his life and at the same time making an awareness of Childhood Cancer and the need for more research and funds.  others are now realizing that only 4% of the money that is given is going towards Childhood Cancer research.  the other 96% is going towards adult research.  these kids are our future.....why only 4%  without them we have nothing.  They will be taking care of us soon...but not if we don't help lower the deaths and diagnosis of children.
you will never be affected by the visual of kids with cancer unless you go to Cancer floor in a your walking to your child's look into all the rooms or see them walking around with their "peter" poles, or on tricycles or wagons just to get them out of rooms....looking at their faces, the tubes coming out of them, the crying of babies at night all want to go in there and just hold them tight and love them like your know that some of these little babies, kids, toddlers, teenagers and young adults will not be here.  i teared up every single time i walked in and walked out of marshall's floor....and do you know how many times i did that?  wheather it was to go refill my taco bell extra large drink, go have lunch, go home or just get some air.  it never changed my love and sorrow for these precious a visiting dog could make their day.  how one of the kids, marshall at one time would go from room to room with a pizza and ask if they wanted one and seeing a lonley teenager who had relapsed for the second time, his smile that he had a it made marshall smile too and they laughed and enjoyed what it did for eachother.
life is hard, but these kids shouldn't be doing the work for us.  we should be doing it for them.
this week will be all reflection for me as to where i was and where i am now.  Marshall has scans on, as i mentally remember, we will be going thru the typical hold your breath....praying it's not back....your heart beating faster for the week....your a little more anxious....but Our Lord's will be done.  It is out of my hands and in His.  It always was and always will be.  yes, i may freak out, worry but there isn't a darn thing i can do to change it.  Lane's parents can't make him not die.  They too are a beautiful example.  they are praying for a miracle, or no pain and peace for Lane.  That's how you be  a parent to a dying child with Cancer.  You don't let the monster grow in your heart or around you.  Gosh, to know that possibly i will have to go thru what they are is so hard to consider.  you pray you never do, you feel bad that yours is the one that survived.....i know when i was terrified that that tumor that was still there when we didn't get the words "remission"  i looked at all the surviving parents and kids and i was like...why mine?  why me?  i can't do this.  I don't want to be the one to sacrifice my's hard to look and watch them and many other families are facing death for their kids.  some are quick and only 3 years old and last months, some have lasted three years with fighting it multiple times.....some never see it again.
i know that we will in some form or fashion.  i know that.  with his young age and all the side effects of the chemo and radiation....i am not, yes, i have to be prepared and accepting for the possiblity.  i am not gonna say it's never gonna come back bc if you are not prepared then you get the life sucked out of you if and when it comes back.  you have to be realistic.  but in the meantime, i am gonna love his smile, his smell, hearing him off in the distance, hearing him play his xbox and feel the sound vibrating up here....and pray that i never have to go thru it again.
well, i best be going.  have a house to clean and clothes to wash.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The kids had a surprise visit from Marshall this last weekend.  It was a last minute decision and he asked if we could not tell the kids so he could surprise them.  There was a couple of double takes when he walked in the various rooms where the kids were all spread out.  it was great to see the smiles and joy from both the kids and Marshall.  It was nice as, Mama, to just hear him clear his throat off in the distance.  I heard and smelled My Marshall.  I had my first experience of how giddy my mother would get when we came home.  I always wondered why she was THAT i know. you get all giddy, jump up and down and you heart along with your face is smiling from ear to ear.  We were hoping to have all the kids for Mass on Sunday but Catherine had to work but she got home in time for brunch.  It was a great weekend.  He might be home this weekend for a wedding but will be returning quickly back the next week for his fall break.  he has scans in a couple of weeks.....ugh!!! here we go again...holding your breath (not yet...when it gets closer)

He looks great, he has even gotten a littler bigger (muscular). that made him happy and smile.  he has been busy with pledging and it keeps him busy along with his homework and trying to get a job.  he has gotten a job...we are thrilled....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

College Bound

A week ago today we all got in our 12 passenger van and headed to Knoxville, TN to drop Marshall off at UTKnoxville. He was so excited the weeks leading up to it and i was excited for him.  People would ask me "are you falling apart", "is is hard", what are you going to do" well, last year and in the beginning of summer, i would tell them "I'm not thinking about it, i have the whole summer with my son, so why bother" then as it got closer, it became more real and Marshall would bring it up.  He would say "sorry mom, but I'm so excited" i told him i know........then people would continue to ask the same questions and my new answer was "well, as it's getting closer and i am buying, preparing, and getting him ready it makes me tear up every time i talk about it" i swear at work it was daily.......but i was so happy for him and all.  the fact that he gets to go to college is wonderful for me.  so what he is 3 hours away, he is alive and i would rather that then the other option.  i am so blessed to be his mother.  to have gone thru all we went thru.  yes, i said i am blessed.  you can't ever take away what we all went thru as a family, parent, sibling or patient.  what we learned or gained thru all of his treatments has gotten us here right now.  I appreciate him and my kids more. I cry when i hear that these young children are given 3 months to 2 years to live.  i cry when i hear of a child that has died and gone to Heaven.  I cry for the parents that have lost one of the most precious gifts they have ever received. i cry for the siblings that have an open hole in their heart that their sibling left when they died. look, i don't want to get all depressing and I'm not.  i don't cry all the time.......i tear up....LOL.  let's get this straight.......i am not a "baller" i never do...okay, i had a few break downs when we were dealing with Marshall.  I admit that. I can't let myself loose control and i try to look at the good and positive.  Like leaving my Marshall in Knoxville.  ugh!

The drive there was the longest.  It seemed longer than going to the beach, which i would have preferred.  i think it was long for everyone in the car.  thankfully we have great friends with 4 kids that now live there.  so, i asked them this summer if they would want 8 visitors for the night.  she was more than welcoming.  you know when you have friends that you don't see all the time, more time than actually seeing them but when you get together it's like no time has passed.  you pick up where you left off?  well, they are one of those people.  we don't have to impress each other, we relax, laugh ( a lot) and share some drinks, forget the kids are outside playing at 11 pm (well, i did)  even the kids do the same.  they just all pick up where they left off.

anyway, we get there and drop off Catherine, Elizabeth, Sean and Aidan at their house and we take Patrick and Colin to help us move Marshall in.  So, my heart starts to beat a little faster and harder as i look ahead at the interstate and try to figure out what is UTK gonna look like, where is it, is it busy? I'm so glad i wasn't driving and poor Brian probably wished he wasn't either with me and Marshall being back seat drivers (go this way) well, i wanted to go that way but ok.....well,'s where i didn't want to go....well, turn off and go back.........this is a one can't turn left says no U-Turn.....can we park in the fraternity parking says permit the meeting they said you won't get towed......why don't we park on the side of the road....we can't fit in's too far of a walk.........why did the cop let him go straight but he made us turn..........oh, look....there's a Father Ryan sticker.....where's the's over there...i think it's over the it's right behind those buildings......why are the inner roads all closed down.........i can't believe he thinks he's going to cut in when all these people have been sitting in a line to turn....nope they are not letting him in......just park here......there is no yellow paint or anything.....many of these conversations or statements had tension in them...let me tell you.  Brian was short temperwise on the drive over.  so....

we park, then we get the things out of the car.....i had to take my purse...really...huge thing...Brian wanted to make two runs and i was saying one...Marshall was telling us to calm down it's  i said leave the two detergents and coat and we can give those to him this makes Brian carry a rubbermaid that is long but not too tall (under the bed) and it has stuff in it but it's light......i try to help to get a bad out of it and he makes me put it in....i swear just to prove a point....he's mad.....he has to carry that which is ok but slightly awkward and the top which looks like it's going to snap in half....i tell him to give me the top bc all i am carrying is two bags which are ok but as you walk it gets heavier and heavier.  Marshall takes the 7x12 roll of carpet which he kept saying was "lite"  Colin had some things and Patrick had Marshall's roller suitcase.  Marshall kept grunting and huffing and was getting heavier and i take the roller suitcase and Patrick helps Marshall with the carpet.  they are at each end....brilliant idea Bridget...i take the suitcase and look ahead and there are like 20 steps......really,, i just drag, pull it up each eloquently (NOT) we are sweating, dripping, and getting tired....i look ahead and i see more steps, and grass...hmmmmmm i take the grass and weave my way back to the others.....get directions and wind our way thru the people, wagons, furniture, and stuff EVERYWHERE.  we find Reese (his dorm) and he signs in and the boys go up to the 5th floor (stairs mind you) and i stay down bc they can't take everything.  Marshall as so done with the carpet.....poor guy.  i waited and people watched forever it seemed.  i had to keep my laugh to myself when i would see students, parents and siblings come in dripping, huffing and puffing and clueless....i guess that's what we looked like.

eventually, Patrick and Colin come down (they got lost?) and we take up the remaining stuff.  hmmm, smelly stairs..all the sweat and's thick the air is you can cut it.  lines and lines of people and stuff your trying not to get poked with.  you want to keep your eyes and body parts.  people dropping stuff running into walls and railings....not seeing the things in front of them.....just get me out of here.  so, i make it to the hall....hmmmm is all i can stinks too i just want fresh air.....they take me to Marshall's room...and they are trying to roll out the carpet so i am outside with the fridge, microwave and sitting there.  Marshall's fellow classmate comes from across the hall and introduces himself and asks what they are doing and i tell him.  i look at the hall and i see wooden bedframes, futons, dressers......really?  you can't even breathe in your dorm let alone all that.  finally they get it all rolled out and of course the door won't open unless you hold the carpet down.  oh well.  we are unpacking, his roommate is not there yet which is good.  there was five of us and that was a lot for the room.  i made the bed for Marshall (he asked me the week before if i would make his bed when he moved in...with his huge smile) he didn't have a lot so it was fairly easy.  i as a mother go and check out the shower and toilet (i just couldn't live like that....just couldn't) he is in a suite where 4 people share a toilet and shower.  so there are two rooms with two people in each.  it's better than the 'down the hall stalls'.  the shower is huge..the toilet...clean but eeewwwww.  i just couldn't!

Marshall forgot his flip flops (of course).  i need to get him a rug for the shower, but i don't know if one of the other mother's got one.  i need to ask. he will probably say they don't need it.  he didn't even want an umbrella....he's a man he said......he was so 'basic' in the getting of stuff it wasn't that much fun.  it was fun being with him that Tuesday.  i treasured that time i had with him, but he just didn't care as much as a girl would on colors, designs...etc.  i knew it would be that way...cheaper let me tell you, but i would have gobbled up anything my mom was offering to buy for me....heck, who knows you might need or want it.

we got him all unpacked and i was worried about the car.  hoping it wasn't towed away...but didn't want to leave Marshall.  i asked him again if he wanted to spend the night with us...and nope...ok, i hug him and tell him i will see him tomorrow.  he was just ready to get his barrings and have some fun.  i don't blame him.  we  went back to our friends house and proceeded to have a great night....took my mind off of Marshall which was good.  the next day, we said our thank yous and goodbyes...and went to Mass on campus and met up with Marshall.  Man, they would not let you stand in the back.  i was waiting for Brian and just trying to take it all in......and they were like there are chairs over there, here, and back there....go sit....I'm like, i have 9 people I'm trying to sit and just let me think for a bit...then another person did the same....and so Marshall had walked in and poked me in the back to push me to move bc they were now getting on him.  so of course we are in the front side....and a mother and child move to the center of the room just so we could sit in front and behind each other.   Mass was interesting...Marshall later on was like "i don't know what to think of the Mass" i told him i was curious what it was going to be like and it was a little better than i was expecting but yes, it's different.  After Mass, Marshall asked if we could take him out to eat bc his meal plan wasn't starting til tomorrow.  we all went to Applebee's and had a great time.  i soaking in every minute and second with Marshall.  not wanting to leave him here......he has to be with me know...?  we finish, go to Walmart to pick up a few things. and then go to his dorm....can't we walk slower?  can't time freeze for awhile?  i don't want to leave him.  we go up to his dorm and the kids all get to see what it looks like.  we see his roommate, and again the guy from across the hall comes over.  we are sitting and standing...i get my two tissues ready and close by.  i am not wanting to say goodbye....i am not.  but we need to go.  he has to workout before some freshman thing at 5.  so everyone says goodbye......i hug him and tell him i love him and tear up......but didn't shed.  again another round of goodbyes and i have to hug him again....i teared up but didn't shed!  oh, you mean i have to walk out of here?  i don't want to.  i have to leave him?  what am i gonna do?  we walk out and are taking it all in.  we get in the car and it already has changed.  it's different without him.  we drive home and i miss him.  i think of him the whole drive back...i miss him.  we get home and just eat leftovers. i miss him.  it's quiet.  yes, he wasn't home that much but you still knew he was here and coming home.  i seem to be waiting for him to come thru that door at night and tell me about his day/night and that he's home.  i am waiting for him to tell us that he's going to go downstairs for a bit and then go to bed.  i am waiting to ask him what his plans are for tomorrow.  i am waiting for him to tell me what he needs to get and if he can get a few shirts or shorts.  i am waiting for him to ask me if there is a load in the washer bc he needs to wash some clothes.  i am waiting for him to get him a glass of his sweet tea.  i am waiting to hear his laugh and stories at dinner.  i am waiting for that big smile that i love so much.  i am waiting for him to call me "mommy"  he does that now......LOL he has his own way of saying it.  i am waiting to hug him and he wraps his arms around me and bends his head down bc i am that short now to him.  i am waiting to tell him i love him so much.  i am waiting for him to tell me he loves me, i am waiting to see him in his Nike's with his black long socks pulled up to his mid calf, i am waiting to smell him when he comes down freshly showered and leaves....the smell he leaves behind him.

my mom said it so perfect that when i left the air was heavy and still.  she is so right.  even though we still have 6 kids here, it's different without him.  there is a hole in the family.  i know it's apart of life and growing up.  i know i missed my family when i left for trivium and all, but never thought about my parents side.  she always gets so excited when those of us are gone come home for a visit.  and gives us these big, hard hugs....i get it now.  you live for your kids and enjoy their company.  they make what your family is.  each has a position and together you make a family.  when one is gone the dynamics change.  it's out of balance.  but you get your groove and just adjust to the change.  i can't wait to see Marshall in October!  it will be bittersweet.  We get to see him but he also has scans....ugh!

i just can't believe that i have a child in college.  i have a mini adult in one of my children.  now, Catherine is on her way.  she is driving now, today is her first day of work.  she is growing up.  now, i am looking at these children....these pain in the necks sometimes....these precious souls and they are all going to become like me one day.  they are going to leave and either get married or a religious vocation.  they will have their own family and all.  the cycle just keeps going and going.

i am so happy for him and sad for me and all of us.  we miss him dearly.  i pray Our Lord watches over him. the Blessed Mother protects him.  All the angels and saints watch over and protect him.  It's up to him now.  he is on his own and has to make his own decisions.  you pray you raised him well enough with a strong faith.     as a parent it's natural to worry.  GREAT!

To Marshall and the rest of his life God Willing!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One Year Scans

Today, Marshall has his scans.  UGH!  why does it come so fast?  His first one is at 4:00  and 5:30pm.  I think we are just going to let him go at it alone.  We just sit in the waiting area anyway for the MRI and that takes sooo long.  I don't know how he does it?  I guess he has no choice in the matter, so what are you going to do.  I think he can actually sleep.  He will come home tonight and we will have a nice steak dinner.  Just the three of us!  the 6 kids are at camp. 

Speaking of sleep, i haven't been sleeping well for the last week.  I think when i was writing a post last week ( i haven't posted it...debating whether or not too since it is a week old.  I might do it just before this one) and i realized that scans were this week (today now).  I kept saying end of month and when i was writing i realized that is was the end of the month this, lovely....sooo tired and i am tired of being tired.  i have stayed up late at night.  brian is passed out and dead asleep and i am wide awake yet so tired (any of that make sense?)  then i have to get up early for work...which i hate...too early for me...okay, it's not, but when you are used to leaving the house at 9:40ish and all of a sudded you have to leave an hour earlier...that's so hard.  hopefully, in the fall we will go back to one likes's all so hard for us to get used to and we have been doing this since i think april....

Marshall has clinic on Thursday afternoon.  Of course, i can't go bc i am at work....brian is going to go.  He is soooo lucky!  he's right there.  all he has to do is take a shuttle to the hospital.  I hope we find out tomorrow!  I hate how my heart just feels extra heavy and sensitive.  it skips a few beats extra every now and then.  it feels like it's swimming sometimes and jumps around at certain emotions that are rolling around in my head. 

Marshall said we didn't have to go to either of the appointments.  he's a big boy now.  i know he wants to be independant...and i get that and respect that.  i told him, but we want to....i just don't want to dump you after all we've been thru.....that's hard to do, but i'm gonna do it.  i am not going to be hovering mom!  i want my child to feel like he can come to me when he needs me.  i don't want him to avoid me bc i am so overbearing.  i wrote him a graduation letter and put it on his pillow.  gosh, that was forever ago....and i just asked him last week...or maybe it was sunday...i can't remember!!!! still.....memory has taken a VaCa. that he did get it.  I told i wondered bc he hadn't said anything.  then he did the "typing fingers in the air" and winked at me.  so he was telling me he has been meaning to 'write' me back.  i think that is how i am expressing myself.......i tell him i love him all the time as he does me....i hug him....his strong has he really built up a good strong chest...and arms.  he is still devoted to working out every other day!  he looks great.  he says he can run farther now......and thinks he has a shot at rugby this year in school.....

so, the kids are gone and i'm off today....i am washing the kids mattress pads, sheets and it will be a productive day...if i can get off of this thing.  I've been on facebook, caringbridge, and now this......all scan related....this week we will gear up for the beach.  we leave on sunday and it can't come too soon.  i am praying we will be celebrating next week the clean, kids get picked up on friday, getting alllll the laundry washed (dreading that one), double header for patrick on saturday, Mass saturday night, and leave on sunday morning!!!!! Beach here we come!!!!!

I guess i better get going.....hug your children today!!! love on them!!!!  don't take them for granted!!!

I have been wanting to write again, but don't know what to say and again i feel like no one cares anymore what my thoughts are.  We are done and so they are unimportant.  We hit the year mark last week when we FINALLY heard "REMISSION"  we were in Vegas (Brian and I) omgosh.....way tooooo much fun and of course expensive.....Brian doesn't want to know how much we spent on alcohol...what he really meant was "how much I spent on alcohol" HeeHee.  Ok, i will back up....skooting back....Brian and I went out for week long trip to Vegas (Sat-Sat) yes, everyone...i have already been told that is too long in Vegas...but if you would let me will see....the first half was, sleeping in, poolside together, etc...then on Wed-Fri it was just me...Brian was there for a conference, and tagged along.....soooo, while he was at the conferences......those three days i was at the pool......and man....everything is expensive.....and with jammin to great music, people somepoint (not at 9 am...i was not one of those ordering the big 32 oz....) you have to have something.....soo....that's why.....but I think i could have done a whole lot worse.......beleive you me...i saw many who did and i don't know how you can afford that much let alone consume it be young again, but i was never that young......

So we were out it was late.....on Friday night......Brian had been a year when we heard the words "remission"  on the way home from the airport (marshall picked us up) they brought it up to eachother, and then marshall said that he was in bed...forget if he was asleep and woke up and remembered or, he pretended.....that he had a cupcake with a candle and blew it out.....i laughed sooo hard!!! i thought that was the best.  I still never know exactly how marshall wants to proceed.  he sooo wants to move on, so i don't know if he wants to go out and celebrate or what.....i think if we were all together we would have for the big "year". 

Scans are approaching here next week....crap.....NEXT WEEK....I kept saying it was at the end of the month but we are basically there......great!!!! gotta keep myself busy next week.  we ship off the bottom 6 (that sounds wierd) on Sunday for the SIBS cancer camp....for the siblings.  All six get to go this year.  last year Aidan wasn't old enough.  so today i went to walmart (hate that place) and got all the "little" shampoos, bug spray, lotion, sunscreen....etc.  i was embarrassed.....i had to have people go in front of me in that particular section bc they just needed "one thing" and i was looking for 6 of this and 6 of that, then we changed some things up, so i needed 1 of this, and 5 of that, and then another was 2 of this, and 4 of, wait change out 2 of those for 2 of these...can he handle big boy shampoo.....LOL you should have heard me talking to the toothpaste, big people toothpaste....deoderant, who wants to smell like what...does he care if he has "dial" bodywash or does he/she need scented according to the sex of the person....the sunscreen was the easiest...along with bug spray...grab six and done!  the cutest, oldest checkout man was duh....checking us out...and he said "is this for camp"  i said "yes, 6 of 'em" he said "oh, that's like me" i didn't quite understand him with his protective gloves on, while never once looking me in the eye.  and asked if all mine (okay that time he looked at me) and i said yes there is one more....then i got clarification, he said "well, i had 6"  i told him "awesome"  in a real happy voice....bc it is something to celebrate...if not why go thru all that work....and it's work......he didn't say anything after that.....other than, the traditional here's your total, thank you, here's your reciept.....i told him to have a wonderful day.  of course, before all this conversation....i was unloading had three kids with me....the 16, 14, and 10....i'm short not gonna deny it....and i can get the things at the front of the cart when i am unloading and such but then when your at the longest point and you have to stretch to right under that thing that comes out for kids.....i can't....i tell my kids, don't mind me i got this......well, they didn', really.....i say patrick (14) you got long arms, use them for goodness sakes and help...he did....phew.....

marshall and brian went to orientation for UTKnoxville.  they left on Sunday night, yep Father's day...oh, it gets better......we get in from vegas around 11 pm on sat. we literally pull into driveway, marshall informs us that we haven't had AC since Friday during a huge electrical storm...and like whyyyyyy didn't you tell me....marshall said "he didn't want to ruin the trip" and we are like..."this isn't"  it's hotter than hell (not really but hot and stuffy) and there is no one to call...we have to open windows....get fans in windows...get just sleep and that takes an hour......we are so tired bc i didn't want to go to bed friday night.  i kept brian out at a club til 2:30, i'm too old for this but when your in is sooo much fun...and i'm not gonna lie down yet. so, sunday morning we are getting ready for Mass......finally get ahold of a friends dad thru marshall and he calls. and comes out after Mass and gets it working....we were afraid since marshall had it on the whole time that he burned up the engine.....phew...not $5000 dollars...

so, kids go to camp on sunday - friday, and then on sunday we go to the beach.  We figured...this could be the last time as a family.  As marshall gets older and more financial responsiblity we don't know if he can always come....oh, that's such a sad thought!!!! now, i realize what my parents felt when i couldn't go to the mountains or Lake Powell......

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Approaches

So, it's Friday (i don't work Fridays anymore and i think i am digging it)  This is only my 3rd one, so i am still getting used to it.  Today, i have already gotten the kids ready for various end of the year things for today, a spend the night, load of laundry (shoot, i have to fold one load), swept the hardwood floors (they were a mess), paid bills, updated CaringBridge, and just sat down with my 2nd cup of java!  I am supposed to be working out.  I have to admit that we got the "Brazilian Butt" workout.  and today it's my "Bum Bum" workout.....HeeHee  I can do that later....

I went to visit my family in April and had sooo much fun.  A little too much!  The first night I ended up staying up 24hrs.  My sister and I were just chatting and catching up...and before i knew was 3:30 am, which meant 5:30 am (here) i think i got like 4 hours of sleep.  My first night is always short of sleep bc i am so excited to get up and see everyone...i am like a giddy little kid. 

I had a lunch with some old i hadn't seen since 4th grade.  it was just 5 of them, two sets of sisters, and the one (one i hadn't seen since 4th), one of the mom's of the sister's(she was like my 2nd mom growing up.  i was ALWAYS over their house spending the night and crank calling, etc...back in those days you could) and my of my friends said i needed to write on my blog.  I told her i didn't know what to say and really didn't feel anyone would care anymore.  She told me she loved it when i wrote and to here i am!

So, this weekend is Marshall's Graduation.  I can't believe that my oldest....the little dude that i have remembered as a child a lot within the last year and a half is done with his life 100% at home.  After this, we are his refuge when he has breaks from College.  Man!!!  He has had a great year of school and ask i wrote on CaringBridge...a little too much!  Let's just say the Senior Slide is soooo true!  I have to balance what he went thru last year and what he can no longer get away with.  He wants to be treated like normal and like it never happened but then sometimes you see him trying to get away with they never change.

He went to 3 proms.  They were all in a row, and the 1st one was his, and then the other two....were the other Catholic High Schools.  One of them was where many of his Grade School friends went, so he got to see a few of them.  He enjoyed that. 

Since my last blog posting, things have gotten better.  I am working thru things, and understanding.  I think once you reach out and realize your not alone and wierd your able to process things.  Marshall won a scholarship (an essay contest) from the Gilda's Club (it's a cancer support facility for patients, families....anyone)  I have always wanted to go in there, but thought it would be stale like the hospital, people always told me to go, asked if i had signed up.  i just couldn't do it.  i was afraid of not knowing....feeling wierd.  but this contest that he won.  we all had to go there and he read his essay and they had a little check presentation, but i was able to walk around there and it's so home like.  they have a kids zone and they loved it!  anyway, i was able to talk to two of the women that worked there and are ahead of the support groups and things....of course i cried, while explaining some of my issues and they totally understood.  i want something for parents.  i don't want to go and be with cancer offense, but my issues are nothing compared to them and i don't feel worthy of even complaining in their presence.  they said what we were going thru is so normal and it happens and it's a process.  But...of course i have been so busy i haven't had time to go and set up the initial meeting....LOL.  Everything in time i guess.  There is a reason for everything, and things work out when they are supposed to.

One thing that really has helped me is a death of a Junior in College.  I hate bringing it up.  But it is true.  Marshall was very close to him.  He was going to the same college that Marshall will attend next year.  Marshall found out on a Friday that he got in to UTK, and almost called him to tell him.  they would again be together at school for one year.  On Monday, Marshall found out he was dead.  It was a tragic death. It was a moped accident in Mexico during Spring Break. And it's still hard for everyone.  We stood in line to GET INTO THE CHURCH for visitation for 2 hours.  The only reason we got in was bc it starting to storm.  For the funeral, Marshall had to sit in the gym with a huge screen.  He was that loved and that much of an inspiration to so many. He would drop off Marshall, freshman year (he was a senior) from Rugby practice.  They lived in the neighborhood.  Last year, anytime he was in town from college he would visit Marshall in the hospital, bring him Five Guys (best burgers and fries man) if Marshall was home, they would meet for lunch or dinner.  He came and saw the man cave at Christmas.  That was the last time i saw him.  Who would have thought?  Marshall took it very hard as we all did, but Marshall really loved him and had a special bond.  Father Ryan had Senior Presentation for Rugby last week, and Marshall was wearing his Number.  Man....that was hard.

At that time, I was starting to reach out for help, it was scan time, i subconsciously think worried..duh!!!!! my heart was beating real hard.  But here's the deal.  I realized.  My son had Cancer, is in remission.  Yes, he can die.  But here is this precious soul.  Not worry in the world.  the biggest heart.....physically strong and healthy...and boom....gone.  What am i worrying about?  Cancer may not even take Marshall.  I car might, peaceful death at a very old age.  Why worry....yes, i can worry a nervous......but why give it the power over you?  Why let it takeover and rule your thoughts.  Who wants to constantly worry?  I don't.  that's just depressing!!!!!!  I want to remember the good times.  I want to enjoy the future.  If i focus too much on what might be, i will miss out on what is.  I have my son!  He is here, right now, upstairs sleeping.  They don't have their son!  He is in Heaven....which is a beautiful place and where we all strive to go!  What am i complaining about for goodness sakes.  So, see unfortunately he helped me.  Just like he helped so many people in life.  He is still helping!  I find myself talking to him sometimes.  I want to tell his parents, but shoot....i would mean it in the most humble of ways.  and out of love, but no i am going to keep this to myself.....maybe in the future.....way loose a child.....that takes a lot out of you.  Even his father told me that night at the presentation...."i'm not doing so good sometimes"  this came up bc i started to cry when i hugged him, and i told him i am not good with things like this.  i can't talk, but throat seizes heart is breaking for know they are feeling exactly what you fear most.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Well, that was nice and i was all excited and happy with my cup of coffee....i was gonna write.......and get inspired....and look where i ended up?  hmm...maybe i needed to get that out?

We have scans in June.  It will be his year mark!!!!!  4 more to go!!!!!!  From what the doc said.  the first two years are the scariest, 3, you can break a little more, 4...your almost there...and 5...celebrate!  Granted it can come back at any time but for Marshall it's the 5 year mark that we are going for!  He's that One in Five he says!!!!  People keep asking me if i am all sad over him graduating and leaving and all.  for one thing, yes...i will cry, but shoot.  he is not leaving yet.  i still have summer so why go there....I'M JUST GLAD HE'S ALIVE.....i am glad he is able to leave and go to college.  All these moms are falling apart already (so i hear) and everyone keeps asking me if i am having a hard time.  i just stare at them, and have no clue what to say.  i say 'i'm good' I am just not going there yet.  They are like "are you gonna cry you think" i say "probably"  it's so funny.  I think i am not taking it as hard bc of last year.  i was/am worried about death......could care less or worry about anything less.  I am not saying that it's stupid to fall apart if it's your oldest or anything.  I think i must be immune to that.  My tolerance must be's gonna take a lot for me to "fall apart" or "be sooo sad"  If you have any idea...please let me know!!!!  I will miss him dearly!  That is why i will take advantage of the summer with him and all the kids!

they are growing up so much.  dinners are getting to be so much fun...the laughter we have!!!!  the stories, interrupting, farting, burping (not that i condone these last two.......i give them the evil eye) And one of my older children, love to fart just has he passes by me....seriously!!!!! why?! man, love you too!!!!!  but it's out of love....he thinks it's so funny!  catherine will get her liscence this summer, i think?  she is gonna do driver's ed.  gosh, have no idea how families afford all this stuff and cars...granted we are not getting her one.....she will use the kid car.  but it adds up with everyone coming of age one at a time.  but we will see.  how many more do i have to go thru?  oh, that reminds me.  when i was in phx.  we went on sunday to Grammy's for a lunch.  all the 1st cousins and aunts, uncles...their kids....we figured that Grammy had 3 kids.  Out of those three kids she has 22 grandchildren.  Out of those 22 grandchildren, so far she has 55 great grandchildren.  Not even all of them are married....or are just starting their families.  but one of my 1st cousin was listening to me and i was saying something to the fact of free sitters or no diapers, or all in school and she looks at me and says "when will it end"  i looked at her and i remembered being in her shoes.  thick in the middle of it.  i couldn't see an end.  i had no clue that it ever would.  you get in this steady rythmn of pregnant, nurse, pregnant, nurse....and keep going and you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  not saying that it is all dark in there while your in the thick of it.  but yes, it is tiring but so worth it.  it is hard work, but anything worth it, is hard work.  i told her, you will be there before you know it.  i can't believe i am already am where i am at.  i haven't had a baby in 6 years :0(, all are in school.  i haven't changed diapers (for my own child) in like 3 or 2 1/2!  i have been changing diapers since i was 8....i didn't know any different.....that's a long time...but i didn't know any different and that's life in a big family.  i loved it!  not the poop diapers, mind you....but i do miss it.  everyone keeps telling me, i will have a loner....just you wait....Heehee

this baseball season, we have 4 playing.  two-baseball, one-softball, and for the 1st time every one-T-ball....T-ball is hysterical!!!! all you do is laugh. man, if your in a bad mood, go see a T-ball game if you haven't!!!!  it's hard with at times 3 games going on at once, but it works out i guess. we always get into it and say WHY did we do this?  but it gets the kids outside......and they love it.  Sean playing for 7-8 is doing great this year.  this is his second year playing and they have been putting him on 1st.  he's doing real well.  some great catches, and since Marshall reminded him last night....tag them.  he was tagging whether or not he needed to....HeeHee.  Aidan (T-ball)  they have had him at 1st a little and he does real well too.  i think with watching the older kids.....he is one of the older ones that helps....Liz (softball) is in her second year.  she is 10 and has improved too.  she is getting so tall.  she has had some great catches and has been hitting the ball too.  patrick is going to be playing for the 13 and up again this year.  they have only had one practice, they seem to start later than the rest.  this is where it gets fun!!!!!! when they are that old they know what they are doing and it gets a good way.  we have a great group of parents for the team.  i am looking forward to that. 

well, we will spend 4th of july week at the beach.  we didn't know if it was gonna work out but i really wanted it to.  who knows if this will be the last time as a family?  they will start to dwindle off here......every two years.  well, i think i must go and start getting ready for the day.  put the load in the dryer, need to mop, make sure marshall gets up here soon for his practice for tomorrow's Mass and other stuff...oh yeah, i gotta workout.... :0(  think i am gonna get this mother over with!!!!  I have no idea what i have said up here, i am not going to reread it, or second guess it.  if i do that, might as well just delete the whole thing.  I have no idea if any of this makes sense, if anyone cares.....heehee

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Too Say or Not to Say

I haven't written in so long.  There has been so much to say and then not enough.  We have moved on, Marshall is living life like never before.  He frustrates us at times but what teenager/young adult (depends how you wanna look at it) doesn't!!!! I am blessed for the frustration and will take it.  It could be so much worse.

I have opened my heart, not all but mostly when we went thru all the chemo, surgery and stuff and i had a reason.  Now, I feel as though I don't have an excuse.  I haven't written for that reason, but as the days go by I am seeing the very need of that.  And I want to find a place that parents can turn to for questions, support (mainly others telling you you are not crazy)

As a parent with a child with cancer, you put on a brave face, lean on your faith like crazy and move on and day by day you thank the Lord you made it.  You put all thoughts unnecessary away because there is no room.  You only have room for survival.  So you survive with your children, hubby, life, weather, chemo, doctors, sickness, whatever the case may be.  Anything else...gets put away for a later date.

Marshall finished in June, officially.  Yes, he had radiation but he didn't count that so neither did i.  What i will count is the after effects....but will or would i tell him....Hell no!  You can't tell him anything.  You have to be strong as the parent to the one with cancer and the others.  if you break down in front of anyone then all chaos starts.  You are the example to your kids how to react and take this on.  The way you freak out or smile is how they are gonna do it.  i had/have six other souls looking to me.  no pressure!!!!!! Marshall is strong for us and we are strong for him.  We don't talk about it really.  I wish he would a little let me into that mind of his.  I can only imagine a sliver of what he worries about on a day like today when you are awaiting your scan results.  Our hearts and nerves are a mess...he is the one that has to live it either way.

So, we have had some time to get normal and settle down.  No one warned us that's when the monster comes out to hit you when your not looking.  I have lost my memory...heehee....the kids are always informing me "mom, i already told you, you already told me, i told you last night, you told me this morning".....shall i go on?  then there is the lack of good sleep....but you have a family to deal with, work, chores, homework.....all the likes.  but you can't stop you have to move on.  then this little emotion called "crying"  that will all of a sudden come out and bite you in the butt.  Your talking about you child as a baby and how happy and smiley he was....and you have to stop talking about it.....REALLY!  I can see if i am thinking of him not making it or something...but really?  come on give me a break.  then your hubby asks you what's wrong and you have to hold your finger up (to let him know you are trying to get your voice so it doesn't creak and croak with your throat that has seized up with the emotion so much it hurts)  and so on and so on!  Where is the bravery?  Where is the strength that all these people told you you were?  You can't fall apart in front of your kids.  What would that tell them?  I am a strong person.  I am not saying that to be snooty or better than anyone, but with having to leave your family while 8 months pregnant with #2 and move to another's been 16 years and it still hurts.  I have always had to do things alone...i know i am babbling and have said this before...but i know that God prepared me for this.....I am ready and i can do it, but i think part of the realization is owning up to being human and needing help.

I can't let pride get in my way of getting help and learning to process all that happened last year.  And that is all that it is.....It's a let-down....girls, you know what i mean (boys close your eyes for the next couple of lines)  It's like nursing....when you have been out for too long or something and you are SOOO needing to hurts....and it's about to burst...well, not really but work with me.  and you cradle that ever so adorable, cuddly beebee and you know they are dying of thirst....but when you have that let-down!!!! that's what it is like.....i/we have built up all this emotion and put our feelings and emotions on the side.....well, it can't hold it any longer and it has to release.....but you fight it because you don't know what it is (bc in nursing are still out and not home yet)  you think am i going mad?  what is this? do other parents feel the same way?  no, i am weird!

Nope, it's real and we are not weird or unstable people.  We are parents that love our child and children so much that we put them first.  now it's time for us to heal.  I am going to work on that.  I feel it's so important to help parents that will go thru this.  We are not alone and so many work thru it just fine and others loose the battle and become bitter and self consumed.  Everything God gives us is a blessing good or bad.  At the end, no matter what amount of suffering that goes on here on earth......there is a reward.  Heaven is that reward.  So, we have to take it by the reins and lead the way.  Patrick, # 3, received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday.  That gift of the Holy Spirit is so strong for this Sacrament.  It actually helped me.  As I was telling the kids, the way i did for Marshall when he was little (i promise i am not crying) that with this Sacrament you become a Soldier of Christ and with that you get the courage to fight and die for him if need be.  It's that courage I needed to remind myself of.  He is there and we are not alone and He will help us fight this battle and it will not consume us.  I received that beautiful gift and I still have but I have to ask for it.  No, I am not fighting a battle for my faith but I am fighting a battle and with the Holy Spirit I will win this battle.

I don't know why i decided to write about this and there is so much more i want and need to get out.  Something is calling me and maybe it's part of my healing process.  I used this when Marshall was going thru it and i stopped.  I guess i just's not about me, it's about Marshall so why complain...but you know we are not the only ones and I think it's about time to figure this out and help other families.  I want to speak with someone who has experience with Cancer.  You have to go thru it to understand truly.  Not saying you all don't count if you haven't but at this point in time...we have all been hit.  Heck, i have my dad with Prostate Cancer, and my brother with CMLeukemia, newly diagnosed at the end of last year (2011)  so, the Knoell's have been hit hard this year....i know many others have too.  Those that have passed on, sudden ones, diagnosis, shall i go on?  nope....not get the point. 

My phone is going crazy with all the praises......of Marshall's clean scans...we are so blessed with so many that pray and support is precious friends and those I don't even know that keep me smiling and going.  it's amazing what Marshall has done and all of those that have been brought in our lives because of this.  It's what you make it, not what it makes of you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


3 months have passed already

Today is Marshall's 1st ever "3 Month Scans" I can't believe that 3 months has gone by since I was a basket case with the news of Marshall not being in Remission....We never even made it out of the starting, here we begins the rest of his precious life.I mean that in the sense that this is the "regimen" for awhile. Every 3 months we will go in for scans to get the "all clear" I am not's all good. Better than every two weeks of torture and caos. Every time I step into that hospital...there is a smell, and I can even smell it right now! But when those doors open and it's a huge wind of "the smell" it takes you right back.....the flood of memories and worries the happiness, the tears, the's like it rides on the air trying to escape inside. It grabs hold of you and doesn't let you go, til you walk back out those doors.

So, we will wait for scans and again, my eyes will watch those coming and going....I will see and understand some of the emotions and be able to see thru some of the eyes that make contact with mine. You don't know them, but you feel like you do. Because you do in a way, you share many things...not all but many. You see the pain...especially when you face a parent that has lost a child. You feel guilty for your child being there. You don't want to laugh so hard at your goofy child bc it reminds them of their child. You know that they don't want you to stop living.....they probably live thru us now, but you do wonder and your always on edge (I am) I cry at everything that hurts now if I meet someone, a parent, a child, anyone......but at the same time, I miss everyone that I got to know at the hospital. You cling on to them for dear life for so long then boom their gone just like you are. Marshall goes up to the 6th floor whenever he is at the hospital, so that is good. The nurses love seeing him and it's good to see some life versus death you know. It reminds them of why they are doing this job that is so important to all the families that call the 6th floor home. They need to be reminded that many survive and couldn't have done it without them. Their dedication and love of these kids is what makes that floor work. Without them we would be in a world of hurt! The nurses at Vandy are so exceptional and they have done a great job picking out the best of the best for the 6th floor. Now, don't get me wrong..I am a little prejudice when it comes to the 6th floor......they took care of my baby!!!!! Man, do they miss Marshall. He brought so much life into that place!!!!! It was good for both sides I think while we were there. It was a great balance and healthy for each of us.

I still can't believe he is done. I am so thrilled for him. He looks so darn good and is moving along just great. He doesn't want to talk about Cancer or really have much to do with it. I don't know. It took me by surprise, but I can't blame to poor guy. I may not understand what he personally went thru but watching....I would want to run too.

So, here we are and what do we do? I feel like I should be doing something but I don't know what. I am working and it's going okay. I love it, but still trying to balance it with the family......I am still working out the bugs with school. I think we all need time to figure out what we want to do with this. How we want to live with this and how we want to support this. It has become my cause now. It's just a matter of how and when and what!!!!!

I am so blessed! I truly am.