Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I've been quiet for a bit and haven't blogged.

To be honest, I've been trying to figure my life out.

For the past (almost) 8 years, my life has been nothing but a mission to fight cancer and save Braden.

We know we are never out of the woods, we know that both of our teams in KC and Philly have never seen a child with secondary MDS post relapsed neuroblastoma survive for 5 years, but as of right now... for today...

Braden is in remission from both cancers....

all thanks to the bone marrow donation his brother, Zach, gave him to try to save his life.

My life has been completely consumed by fighting cancer since December 28, 2007.

I dream about it, I spend my days and nights on the computer researching it, and my sole mission is to obliterate it.

No one should ever hear the words, "No Known Cure".


And for the first time in nearly 8 years, we are not in active treatment.


He's been actively fighting cancer for that long.

And now I find myself at a bit of a loss; trying to figure out what our new normal is and how I can trust it might stay this way for a bit.

Since Braden's initial diagnosis, I have felt like Wile E. Coyote, waiting for the anvil to drop yet again and our world to once more be destroyed. It happened so many times that eventually you actually do begin to act like that crazy coyote and you just hold up a sign that says, "Not Again" while you fall into the canyon of the next crapfest.

Braden's Hope For Childhood Cancer, our non profit, has been my sanity. Through it my friends and I have been able to help hundreds of children and bring hope to them through research and awareness.

It has kept me positive and given me a purpose and made me feel like even if we didn't beat Braden's cancer, we might be able to beat it for another family.

And there is a great deal of peace in that.

But now that things have "normalized" a bit at home, I find myself wanting a life for me again.  Before all of this crapfest, I had a life. I had a career that I loved very much. I actually didn't realize how much of my own self identity and self worth was wrapped up into my career, but it was.

And once that was gone, I had a hole and an emptiness. I didn't leave it voluntarily, it was ripped from me by cANCER.

I miss it. And I loathe cANCER for taking it from me.

Yet at the same time, I am very fulfilled in my role as mom and President of Braden's Hope. However, I yearn for my own self identity. I know, that sounds contradictory and a little crazy; I'm not explaining it very well...

I want back what cANCER stole from me. I want my life back.

Now that Braden is one year post transplant, and the vast majority of relapses occur in the first 12 months, I have my sea legs back again. I'm scared to stand on them because they always seem to get cut off when I try, but I'm going to take my mom's advice from when I was a little girl and was showing quarter horses.

"If you get bucked off, you get right back up and on that saddle and show your horse that you are in control and you are not afraid, even if you are. If he knows you are scared, he will always be in control and he will just keep bucking you off..."

Well I am afraid. I'm terrified to try to take my life back and rebuild it from scratch because the anvil always seems to fall again and it's absolutely devastating when you just climb out of the sludge only to be kicked back into it.

But I am going to get back up on the saddle again.

On July 6, I celebrated my 5 year cancerversary and I am now officially a "cANCER Survivor"!

So now, I'm taking my life back and cANCER doesn't get to be in control any longer. It has taken quite enough from me and I am over it.

Momma is back, with new hope and I am now including the word, "future" in my vocabulary. That's a pretty big deal and something I never thought I would do again in my lifetime.

So stay tuned for all of continued #TakeThatcANCER moments and new  #TakingItBack2015 moments.

Get ready lost and I'm about to rub salt in that wound every day for the rest of my life! ;)

We are taking it back and cANCER is now powerless.