Saturday, September 13, 2014


I recently received a letter from a reader that asked how things are with me so i thought i would make a post to let everyone know that i am just fine. my last post was well over a year ago. at relay for life. 

Having a 3 year old certainly keeps me busy! Much busier than i have been in a very long time!

The main thing that has gone on in the last year was my husband and i recommitted our marriage vows. we did this in May. here are some photos from that....
L-R:  Robbie, Michelle Matthew, Whitney, Myself, Steve
Robbie is Michelle's Boyfriend of 2+ years now, Whitney is her Best friend since forever 

Matthew Steve and I
Matt Walked Mommy down the isle
Robbie Played his cello for our music

Michelle made all of the cakes all 100% dairy and soy free
 (yes those are chocolate heart sculptures on the tops)

Matt had some fun with friends

We really just had a lot of fun

I'M sorry i don't get to post anywhere near like i used to. I guess I am spending time doing what i said i was going to do once i beat this damned disease. I'm living! But i will try to get on here more often and keep you all up to date :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 Relay For Life

 This was my third relay for life. 
Relay always brings mixed feelings for me. 
Gratitude that this part of my life is over, 
but also sadness because of those that fought with me are no longer here. 
It does renew my commitment to living everyday, 
and never looking back. 
Many things have changed in the three years since my cancer, 
some good some bad. 
but for the most part I'm still living everyday as if it is my last. 
A precious gift that many people just do not understand.

relay on the track
photo credit Michelle Lawrence

the survivor tents
photo credit Michelle Lawrence
My friend Michelle had her camera and snapped several photos for me.

All of us
photo credit Michelle Lawrence
This year during the survivor walk they did a balloon release.
 I felt that sending a message to my friend Barb would be fitting. 

Barbs balloon

In case you've never gone to a relay for life event, 
the survivor walk is a tradition that is held every year, 
the survivors and the caregivers start on one side of the track, 
the survivors walk with just other survivors in one direction 
the caregivers walk in the opposite direction 
you meet at the opposing side of the track 
then you walk with your caregivers back to the starting point. 

the balloon release
caregiver view

It can be a very solemn time as when you are walking to your caregivers,  
you realize who you may have walked with last year,
 may have lost the fight in the last year. 
it really makes you appreciate the fact that you are still here, 
you are still fighting, 
you are still LIVING. 

the balloon release
Photo Credit Mary Torpy

Then you meet those that you hold so dear, 
those that made you take your treatments, 
those that held your hand when you hurt, 
the ones who would sit through HOURS of treatments 
and never complain about how they may have a kink in their back 
or how LONG the treatments are 
or even how they could have gone shopping during that time that you sat there. 
Those that lied to you 
and told you it was going to be OK 
even though they were so scared they didn't know if it was themselves. 
and you know just how very important they are to you. 
Suddenly it all feels worth it, 
and you know why they still come to these events. 
because that time that was so very inconvenient for them,
 means you get to walk that lap 
The whole experience is very moving for me.

Mary (M-I-L) always buys a luminary for me, 
this is the first time i've been at relay late enough to see it out on the field
its quite emotional to see bags and bags of these 
and read the names as you walk the track, 
you see so many that have "in memory of" on the top. 
some bags are very decorated some are plain. 
I happened to see my lawyer's luminary (he passed some time ago) 
and it had been decorated with a striped tie.

My luminary
then at night they light candles in them, 
I've been told that seeing all of them lit is VERY moving. 
looking down on the track and seeing all of the bags lit 
for those that have dealt with this horrible disease is incredible.
hopefully i can stay late enough to see it lit next year. 
As for this year she took a photo of it for me.

My luminary at night
Photo credit Mary Torpy

Steve and I

Mary and I

Michelle and Matthew

Matt walked a mile 
Matt was very fascinated with the track 
hopping on every triangle and number. 
he would go from the first number to the next as the count goes. 
the little trooper walked until we got tired of encouraging him along, 
then daddy went and got the stroller for him.
then he rode a half a mile

My Parent In Laws were on a relay for life team. 
My mother in law walked 24 laps (6 miles) 
My father-in-law told the team to go to bed and did 
ALL OF THE WALKING during the night, 
he did a grand total of 64 LAPS or 16 miles! 
These are the strings of beads they used to keep track 
of how far they have walked. 

My parent in law's beads
 Next year i think i will be ready to walk on their team. 
I personally only did 6 laps, which is 1.5 miles, 
BUT i also managed to run 1/2 of a lap
 i've not done that since high school, 
every year i see improvement in how much i can do.

Steves Dad, Bob, Had these cool light up glasses
I had to try them on before i left
 This is a wretched picture of me, 
but I thought Bob's glasses were so neat!

my tokens
 Every year the cancer society gives us remembrances.  
this is my new keychain and my survivor pin. 
the keychain is really heavy and just what i needed right now. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

three years...

Today marks two anniversaries for me. The first was the day I found my lump that marked the start of my life with cancer. the second anniversary marks  the day that they told me it was gone. 

Its been three years. 

I've had friends come into my life, 
I've had friends walk out of it. 

Ive seen a new life, 
I've seen lives end. 

I've lost family members,
I've gained family members.

I've grown, 
I've learned. 

what exactly do i know now that i didnt know then? 


I know i sound like a cheezy "country" phrase

but its the truth I was "getting by" before. Now i experience what my life is right now today!

is life what i expected after cancer? no ... but its so much better.

my advice to the world if i could get the world to listen?

remove toxic people from your life
and enjoy what's left over once they are gone
& don't look back

Friday, February 1, 2013

4 months!

I have been doing dairy free / soy free now for 4 months!  yesterday i made REAL mac and cheese with real milk and real cheese for the first time since the lifestyle change.  I (of course) had something else for Matt and I

I don't know how many other people refuse to step on a scale during the holidays. I am one of those people.  so the  last post that had my weight was the last time i measured it.

I am pleased to announce that in the 100 days since i last stepped on a scale i have lost 14 pounds.

Ive really adapted well to this new diet. I do however miss pizza with cheese, eating in a restaurant, and Subs. yea no subs. but when i think of al the great things i can have and how much better i feel I am so very very glad i did this for myself! 

4 months dairy free
215 lbs

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dairy/Soy free for 30 days

Well other than some HUGE screw ups and some intentional binges. i have been dairy and soy free for 30 days today.  I feel better. I dont have acid reflux anymore i ENJOY my coffee. i actually like milk (well the almond stuff) were i never did before.

i do miss PIZZA. it was one of my favorite foods. and cheese. im still working on substitutions for those foods. hopefully soon i can get to a real city that will carry the subs i need so i can buy a bunch and freeze it.

i tend to miss things fried in butter, but i did popcorn the other night and sprinkled canola on it before salting it and i am really impressed by that.

my weight stabilized  so i doubt any will come off without good old fashioned exercise (darn!) but all in all i am glad that i've decided to do this and i think other than inconveniences like eating at a friends house or out at a restaurant  me and mine have adjusted well to it.

i did have store bought bread and i got a little gassy with it but thankfully no pain. whereas the single slice of pizza kept me up all night.

229 lbs
30 days dairy/soy free

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


My cousin Tesha and i were out with her kids the other day,  and i passed a road side stand i have been meaning to  stop at to get some pumpkins since ours didnt grow....

The prices couldn't be beat although the wind was a bit on the blowy side....

when we got home we all sat down and carved a couple these girls are just as good as gold and they treat Matty like a little brother. and he LOVES to see them come over. they live in the next town over its a bout a 20 min drive so we cant be together every day but our families get together maybe once a week. sometimes we go there some times they come here. its really nice

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

door to door

 trick or treat was the other night and we opted to take Matt trick or treating door to door. so we set up a pick it yourself basket at our house.

our goodie bucket

and got our little man ready to go.  he didn't much like his hat that mommy crocheted  but by the end of the night he was glad to have it on. he was also glad to take it off.
all ready to go

 we came home to a bucket on our steps that hadn't been touched (we live far out of town) and a small bag for Matt. then started the tenuous process of looking up all the ingredients to sort out what he can have and what he cant.

i have found a great website that helped out tremendously. you can search the product you want and it lists all of the ingredients.  you can tel it what you want to avoid and it will take those options out. you can make lists, and print them.

you will be hearing more about this site later as i have found this to be an EXCEPTIONAL tool!
what we kept
this is what we had left when we were done sorting everything out. at times there were uncertainties like the twizzlers, some have soy some don't so we sided with caution and took them out instead of trying it out. so far his apple and the Swedish fish were his favorites. and thanks to our pet fish mufassa he can say FISH! so a point to the candy with the word fish and he gets what he likes!

what we cant keep
all of this candy gets donated to "the great pumpkin"  Matt will trade his candy for a special toy that the great pumpkin leaves for him on Halloween night.

Monday, October 29, 2012

check up a the eye doctor

Matt's Coloboma
 Matt as a congenital birth defect and we get it looked at by a specialist every 6 months. this is a really good picture of his coloboma. 

Getting ready to go "see i brush my teeth!"
His eye appointments we make a "day" out of them and we get dressed up nice since we don't have to get undressed like for our milk/soy allergy specialist. 

the check up went as expected Matt SEEMS to be looking through both eyes, although we cant test clarity of vision until hes about 3 years old. the specialist worries about detached retina and bleeding at the scar site. i say scar but its not like an injury scar. the spot at the bottom of his pupil shows on the inside all the way to the back and it looks like an incision scar.

I just don't know....
After the appointment we went to the Mall. I found some connectors to do a project so we can stream movies from the Wii into the other room on netflix. Daddy said it wouldn't work.  he doesn't know me very well does he? and Matt watched the carousel.  as you can see,  hes till a bit put off by the carousel. he walked all the way around it on the outside of the gate and all the way around the inside of the gate before deciding that he wanted to get on.  after getting on he did his "lets get this thing moving" routine. ONE revolution before he went into total meltdown. BUT he tried. after he got off he watched another family ride it. and he so wanted to get on it. he stood and waved every time the family came around. maybe in 6 months....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 17 Dairy and Soy free

I screwed up... I ate a handful of these... up with indigestion & heartburn until 2 am.  Honestly i may have eaten 7 i know i didn't eat more than 10. cuz i ate them while reading the ingredients for the third time. ONCE in the store, once when i got home and again while i was eating them....and yet i missed the "vegetable oil" code word for "soy oil" does this mean i cant have tortilla chips? NO... i just have to pay more attention and find the right bag!

This would have been the CORRECT choice. but honestly i don't know if that is carried at the store where i was shopping at. they are made with sunflower oil.

so im a bit on the not myself today, its not really bad, it could have been worse a chocolate bar, or a cup of cream would probably make me want to hurl.

229.6 lbs....

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This stuff is AMAZING!

Its thick its creamy it acts like COWS CREAM, But its 100% dairy free. Did you know i'm a junkie for Mounds bars? I'm the only one in my family that likes them. I use to make them at Easter time. coconut eggs dipped in dark chocolate. well chocolate is off the market, so i was kinda bummed.

BUT my coffee is that's right CHOCOLATE flavored! so you put coconut milk in chocolate flavored coffee??? yea buddie i got me some Mounds flavored coffee!

Day 15 -- 230.0 lbs...