Thursday, June 30, 2011


honestly, that's all I feel like writing.  Things have been a bit chaotic since BLAST.   While Lisa has been doing quite well given her "disease" it seems like life is getting bumpy again.

I've struggled again and again to figure out what I want to write and just find that I am, once again, devoid of emotion and brain functionality.  So here is a quick list of what has popped up in the past three weeks:

3 weeks ago, right after BLAST I found out that the tiredness that had been plaguing my mother was due to small cell lung cancer that has spread to her liver.  Prognosis is 3 mos with out treatment, at least 6 mos with treatment. Her chemo started this week.

2 weeks ago, we found out that Lisa did not get a spot in "virus" study (which is probably for the best because she would have had to been isolated for a good part of the study and that is no fun during summer!)

Last week, while Lisa was getting her scans, Maranda finally got to see her orthopaedic doctor to discuss her sore foot and back.  The doctor recommend she have a bone scan done (something that had I been more on my game I would have insisted she get it done the next day side-by-side with Lisa, but alas, I scheduled it for this week).  Doc also recommended that Maranda start physical therapy for her back.

Today was a triple whammy of excitement.  Lisa started on her new chemo regimen which includes two agents she takes orally and one that is given thru IV.  She is one of the first kids to be on this study at U of M so there was a lot of double-checking and coordination of time, drugs, etc.  As I went to pick up the oral drugs there was a snafu at the pharmacy that set us back an hour.  I put that hour to good use as I ran Maranda over to the bone scan to get her started. 

The scans ended with surprising news to me, while Maranda has been insisting for weeks now that her foot hurt so bad she thought it was broken, I totally expected nothing to come of the scans.  Would my life ever be so predictable?  Maranda has a stress fracture in her foot.  So for sure there will be at least one more doc visit for her with the ortho to figure out how to treat it.

And the final moment of excitement, Mike who found out a while ago that he has an under active thyroid had a  follow-up appt with an endocrinologist today to determine the extent of the problem. Turns out he has Hashimoto's Disease....yeah, no, that's not a joke.  I googled it.  It really is a true disease;  it affects your thyroid and basically your immune system attacks your thyroid gland.  Seems pretty minor given diseases and looks like it can be kept under control with meds. doesn't seem so bad when it's typed out in list form.  Guess it's just life challenging us...again!

On a good note....Chrissy turned 12 last week on June 20 and she enjoyed celebrating with the girlscouts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BLAST...still waiting for final results

Event went very smoothly. We had less people this year....closer to 200 kids instead of the 300 that we had last year. Rick, our neighbor, came on board this year as our "accountant" and is still counting the money from the event. I'm guessing/hoping that after we cover our expenses we should have between $5000 - $6000 to donate. We are still taking online donations via website and have the BLAST paraphernalia available for sale there as well. Hopefully that will boost the number a little bit.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and different people like different things...Mark Rosenthal and Animal Magic was great and had some of the girls getting ready to make a run for it when he pulled out the tarantula. Matt--the Godfather-- was a hit with "Aqua Blast" and  I did indeed get "Blasted" for $100 raised by the crowd (jury is still out who put up money first my brother or my mother-in-law!).   The Mott's staff who made an appearance proved that our nurses and doctors are now part of our family as each one came by to say hi and offer a helping hand. Nurse Martha arranged for her niece to bring some sheep, chickens and a rabbit so we could have a small petting farm. Terri and Leslie arrived with princesses to help Lisa have a "BLAST". Dr. Yanik and his wife, nurse Mari Beth, showed up with some teenagers and were put to work.  Nurse Rhonda had fun setting the first record for one of the Minute-to-Winute games.  Hulsing, Lisa's school, also provided tons of support. One of her teachers from last year, Mrs. Riedl, was instrumental in helping me decide to do BLAST again this year and took on the role of volunteer coordinator. Many of the Hulsing teachers were there volunteering and helping out. Becky, a Hulsing Mom, solicited baked goods from other Hulsing parents and had bake sale at the event raising nearly $450 Saturday. Two familes really overwhelmed me with their unsolicited kindness and support,  The Millen family showed up on my door step, literally, and showed me window art they had created in the shape of gold ribbons.  They then customized some for BLAST and donated them for us to sell.  Mark Freeland sent an email offering to build customized glider kits that we could sell to raise funds.  People are amazing!

Speaking of amazing...Chef John is one of the most generous, amazing people I've ever met.  For a second year, he has stepped up and with Chef's Against Cancer provided AND cooked all the food for BLAST.  Not only does he provide the food, he brings along volunteers including his wife and one of his cousin's, Jane, who do a fantastic job of helping setup and serve the food.   Rave reviews were given to the raffle room once again...coordinated and run by my sister-in-law, Mary, it was amazing.   Lisa and Bonnie, my right-hand and left-hand girls, were by my side from day one and were stealth-like in getting the work done, seems like I would barely get my words out and they would have things done without even blinking an eye.  They both did a great job in helping out and were jack of all trades from getting raffles, setting up funfair, organizing the crafts and attempting to keep me sane and focused! My good friend and late-night soul mate, Candy, worked with me until 3:30 am Saturday morning to finish setting up and organizing for the event. Sue and Sarah were behind the scenes workers making phone calls and raffle pickups. Mike was pivotal in helping with all the setup and getting support from the airport and EAA.  The kids and their friends were tolerant of the stress brought on by planning this event and helped create games, signs and managed the sucker sales which help fund the event.  Sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, volunteers from the community were all an integral part in making BLAST a success and I can't thank you enough!!!!!!

I was happy to see that we had a few of our "cancer warriors" attend and as I watched those children have fun at the event, the reason I do BLAST crystallized. I do it, because there is strength in numbers. I do it because knowledge is power and the more people we can educate on what it is like to live with cancer, the more people we have working to help find a cure. I do it to help build support and awareness so cancer warriors and their families don't feel like they have to walk alone. Many people are willing to lend a hand, give a shoulder to cry on and share stories of their own experiences in order to provide support and offer hope.   I was reminded, once again, how blessed we are. Many, many people stepped up to help with this event and did their share with a smile on their face and love in their heart. I may have organized this, but couldn't have done it without all their help. I am grateful to everyone and know that BLAST definitely had an impact on me.

Please keep hoping, praying and living!!!

PS and buying and donating!!! The BLAST store is open and selling items and taking donations!

Friday, June 10, 2011

One more day until BLAST

We are busy, busy, but very excited!  Tomorrow is going to be a great day!!!!

Mark Rosenthal is bringing his animal magic to entertain everyone.  There will be lots of games for the kids to play.  We will have karaoke, princesses and lots of raffles including a signed Kid Rock t-shirt, premium Tiger Games package and Motor City Casino Hotel package. Be sure to check out the BLAST website for all the details.  For those of you not able to attend this year, we do have an online donation button and online store on our website if you would like to participate that way!

For any FaceBook readers, please join us in promoting the event by changing your FaceBook profile picture to our flier for the next 24 hours.  How cool would it be to see the flier on everyone's profile scrolling down the page.  Here are the directions: Click on the picture of flier; it will open to full size.  Scroll down and click "tag this photo" in left hand corner. Click on the photo to start tagging and add your name. 
Once you are done with that, go back to your wall photos, find the picture now located in your photos.  Click on the picture, it will open to full size;  and crop it so that the entire picture is selected. Click "done cropping". Your facebook profile should update to the flier!


Hope to see you at BLAST tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

BLAST....we made it on the tv news listing!

Yesterday was Lisa's "graduation" from kindergarten.  As soon as she got off the stage, she demanded the ice cream I had promised she could have after graduation.  Mike and I opted to go out for breakfast.

Princess Lisa was not to be derailed.  She joined Lisa G and I as we went into downtown Plymouth to pick up a few last items for BLAST.  She made sure to point out Dairy Go Round on the way.  I said "Later".  After each stop Princess Lisa asked for ice cream.  After each stop, I said later (somewhere in my mind I thought maybe she would forget...yeah...who was I kidding?!)  As we drove out of downtown Plymouth, she was again pointed out her favorite place...Dairy Go Round.  Again, I said "Later, after your blood draw"   In my mind, I was really hoping she would forget.  It was hot, I had tons of things to do, and I was not feeling well.   Once blood draw was done, Princess Lisa yelled the battle cry "ICE CREAM".  Ok.  I know when I'm defeated.  I gave Lisa G a look, tried to figure out if there was an ice cream place on the way home and finally, recalling the kindergarten teacher's "oatmeal kisses" poem and it's message that kids grow up before you know it I decided we would just go back to the Dairy  Go Round. 

As I placed my order for ice cream, Lisa G gave me a nudge and handed me the fundraising flier.  I believe I gave her the deer in headlights look as I pushed the papers back at her and frantically shook my head...I could not do it, I could not ask for one more brain was dead.   As Lisa G, looked at me stunned, I walked away to the table with my ice cream.

As I went to take my first bite, I realized I had forgotten to pay! (told you, brain dead!). I went up to pay for the ice cream and heard Lisa G. asking for a donation for go girl! I also overheard a gentleman in line talking to a young lady about taking his picture in front of the Dairy Go Round sign for WWJ.

As the Lisas and I enjoyed our ice cream we watched the gentleman pose in front of the sign and get his picture taken. He sat down at the table next to us and Lisa G. said “Hey, I think he's on TV”. We took a closer look and recognized that it was Randy Bhirdo, traffic reporter for First Forecast Mornings on CBSDetroit. Well, apparently I wasn't brain dead, only in a short brain coma. I asked him what the picture was for and he said that he and his co-anchors were doing a little piece on their favorite ice cream. Randy, having lived in Plymouth for a long-time, favorite ice cream place is Dairy Go Round....just like Princess Lisa. You can see where this is going...I know...shameless....but I did it. I pointed out Lisa and told Randy we were doing a fundraiser this weekend to raise money for kids with cancer. Would he be willing to promote it on the air. He said absolutely. I provide him a flier and the information.

This morning, BLAST appeared on Randy's List of Things around Town along with the other things like the Tiger's game and Downtown Farmington Founders Festival.  It was pretty exciting to see BLAST up on the tv screen with these other big events!!  It's supposed to be on tomorrow and Friday as well for those of you who watch the early morning news.  He did give it a little plug and invited people out.  It was very odd how timing is everything and how all the stars aligned and we ended up being in the right ice cream place at the right time.  Now, if we could just get Lori Pinson, the meteorologist from the show, to order good weather! Not too hot and no rain for the weekend!

Ok...enough blathering...I've got work to do...lots of it, and with only half a brain!  Only 3 more days!  Hope to see you at BLAST this weekend!

Friday, June 3, 2011

7 more days until BLAST

Are YOU coming??????  There is something to do for everyone! 

We have Mark Rosenthal & Animal Magic coming to do a performance. We have singing sisters performing! We have a firetruck, ambulance and princesses coming!  We have a bouncy house, we have all kinds of games and foods.   There will be Pampered Chef products, Rice Writing Jewelery, Face Flair, Cookie Lee Jewelry, Fudge for sale.  Wonderful raffle items donated by very generous businesses in Plymouth and Canton.  There's even rumour of a "flash mob" coming....if you don't know what that is, you should come find out.  

Lots of people are's going to be a great day! Are you coming???

Get the details at!