Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday - Lisa turns 5!

Mike here. A finer morning I can't imagine. A finer birthday I can't imagine.

Lisa's "Happy Birthday" call from G-ma and G-Pa Yesh

Lisa eating ice cream on her last day of being 4.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It has been one week since we left home. I can honestly say, I’m happy not doing anything at all. In the few instances when guilt starts to trickle in and I feel the need to do “something”, I simply open a book or play in the surf with the kids. It is pure decadence and I would be happy to have it go on forever. I love the weather, the sea, the sun, the surf. This is a good place to be. It is hard to believe that one year ago, Lisa was fighting for her life and was bald (I just looked at some pictures and amazingly, I forgot how bald she was). I guess we truly did get thru that time moment by moment because now, looking back, it seems impossible that we endured all that we did. How could she have been so ill? I just can’t believe it all happened. I look at her now and find it infeasible to believe she won’t beat the odds even though they are against her. Why does being by the ocean make life seem so simple and fun-filled? Is there a way to capture this feeling of contentment and hope? If there is, I surely hope I find the way to do it and that Lisa continues to be a survivor.

You can't really see her waves here, but the back of her head is definitely curling up. For more pictures go to

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sunday while visiting family staying down the beach from us, we chanced across the turtle hospital staff releasing 90 newly hatched sea turtles. The nest failed to hatch on its own during the full moon a few days ago so they uncovered it, took the eggs back to the hospital, "shelled" the turtles for lack of a better word, and were in the process of releasing them while we were taking our evening stroll. There were about 70 people lined along the runway (It looked like some sort of cult) they smoothed out for the turtles and while one worker stood in the surf holding a flashlight, simulating the full moon, a few others were prodding them along the runway. The photo above is one borrowed and not from the night of the release. "Go squirt! You totally rock dude!"

Link to the sea turtle hospital -

We've actually seen nests hatch naturally in the past and it's always been a brief event lasting about 15 minutes. These little guys in this group were definitely in no hurry. We were there for about 40 minutes before they all crawled in. The down side of that is that those turtles had better show a little more initiative in the water because there are plenty of predators waiting for them and the odds are against them. The up side is that the kids had a long time to take in the experience. Seeing how small they are as hatching's really made them see just how vulnerable they are.

Lisa's been having a blast. I promise pictures will be coming soon. 50 SPF all the way for this kid. Fits right in with the rest of the McMaster's in that regard. Thomas and Chrissy are already a golden brown using the same lotion.

Hurricane Bill was a no factor for us if you don't count the high surf Friday and Saturday. We might have had a rain shower here or there complements of Bill but that's about it. It's been 90 degrees just about every day with very high humidity. With the strong inland breeze and the crashing waves and awesome view it's quite tolerable. Quite.

Other highlights? The water is about 80 degrees and even Chrissy can stay in as long as she wants without getting cold. The kids enjoy boogie boarding and playing in the waves for hours each day. Digging up baby clams and sand bugs is another pastime. Sea you soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All the results are back from the last set of scans and tests, and as of a couple weeks ago we can say that Lisa's cancer is in remission. Hard to believe I can even type that out after the year and half we've had.
We've been trying our best to make up for the lost time by packing as much fun stuff in as we can. These days we're on the road South to Topsail Island, North Carolina. We're in Beckley West Virgina today. We're looking at an leisurely 8 hour Easterly drive today that should put us on the beach for the next two weeks.
We should have plenty of time to blog so update's will be a little more regular the next couple weeks. I'll be sure to include some pics of our curly headed cutie.
Yes, the curls are coming back!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yeah they are back!

Yeah the kids are back and full of smiles, songs and stories. I have to confess.. I cheated….I couldn’t last the whole week. I called the camp counselor on Tuesday and she told me the kids were having a great time. She also went on to tell me how wonderful they are and that Thomas had been given the “campers award” the first two days. One for being a good friend, the other for eating a worm!! Wow, no wonder kids don’t like camp food. Apparently it was nature day and they got to eat things like cattails and white pine bark and other non-toxic thing found in the woods. Thomas was willing to try a worm with the counselor (and he complains about my cooking!) so that night the kids voted him most likely to try different foods (the irony of this is just too much for me to even write about). Now that they are home we have verified that Tom ate a worm…he told us the secret…”You just swallow, don’t chew it.” Ah, good to know. All the kids are happy and well and ready to go back for the winter camping.

We have good news from Lisa’s docs…so far all test from last week have come back clean. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are still waiting on the bone marrow, but I’m feeling pretty positive it will be good. We are ecstatic and focusing on how to enjoy life and count our blessings daily. God sent us a reminder today not to take life for granted. As we were picking up the kids from camp, we saw one of the teenagers we know from Motts. Her family was there picking up her sister who had been at camp. Sadly, she is not well. Her cancer is back and pretty fierce. We had met her a year ago during one of Lisa’s first treatments. Emma was on the upswing and had just returned from camp. While Lisa was going thru most of her treatments last fall, Emma was in remission. When Lisa was finishing up bone marrow transplant, Emma was fighting cancer again and getting ready for bone marrow transplant. Her BMT gave her 18 days of clean scans, but after that the cancer was back and now is taking it’s toll. While Emma puts on a good front, it is a heart-breaking thing. She was released from the hospital today and given doses of morphine so she could come to pick her sister up from camp and say hi to her friends. They stayed for only a short time before going back to the hospital. It is a heart-breaking thing to see these young people faced with this ravaging illness. Please offer up a prayer for Emma and her family.

As for us, we are very blessed and pray that God’s plan includes a long, pain free life for Lisa and all of our children.

P.S. Four kids is a lot harder to manage than one! I forgot how noisy and how much commotion there is when all of them are home.