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Posts Tagged ‘wish’

We know all the sayings:

  • Every day is a chance to start fresh.
  • Every day is a new beginning.
  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
  • Make every day count.

We hear them, but how often do they resonate? We take days for granted, as if they are a guarantee. We either waste days by rushing through them at the speed of light but not necessarily absorbing or accomplishing any one thing (yup, me) or by simply doing nothing. “After all, tomorrow is another day,” my cousin and I love to quote Scarlett O’Hara.

But today I realized tomorrow may never come. Today I learned of three cancer deaths. None personally close to me, but they all hit home. Particularly looking at pictures of two of the three, both in their late thirties, smiling petite brunettes who had – you guessed it – breast cancer. That could so easily be me. And the third, an older gentleman, but unexpected, sudden cancer-related. It can happen any time, to any one. I am lucky that I am still here.

But for how long? It seems more and more common for people to have a recurrence or develop a new cancer. My fellow breast cancer survivor Janie was lamenting the other day how so many people feel the need to constantly share these stories lately: “I wish some people could understand that telling a cancer survivor that they know someone that had breast cancer too and was a survivor for 5 years then they had a recurrence, lung cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer etc…… and they didn’t survive it…Is sooo incredibly sad!!!! It Breaks my Heart!!!! Also on another note sooooo incredibly stressful as that is our Biggest fear…… We are all Survivors!!!! Whether we just started our fight, are in the middle of our fight, have finished our fight or those who are now Angels watching over us.. We understand what its like to fear what might happen next but we also know what its like to appreciate every minute as life is so very precious!”

She’s right. It’s my biggest fear. (Well, my biggest ‘me’ fear – I worry about my son every time he goes out the door!) I wouldn’t have cut both my breasts off, gone through 24 weeks of chemo, six weeks of radiation and now five years of Tamoxifin and soon reconstructive surgery if I thought I had a choice. I will fight as long as I have to, as hard as I have to, to have more days here with my loved ones.

I am not trying to depress anyone, or bring them down from their optimistic perch – I am usually right there with you. I will never stop planning for the future, never stop looking forward to tomorrow and probably never stop quoting Scarlett. But what I will do is take just a few moments more each day to cherish life. To be thankful for each moment I do have. To make sure that the people around me know I appreciate and love them. I want to make every day, every moment, every breath, count.

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It is officially the new year. 2013. I couldn’t be happier to say goodbye to 2012, easily the worst year of my life. But in really looking at it, I don’t think it was necessarily 2012 – I think it may have  been 38. You see, 2012 really seemed more like a continuation of 2011. It just flowed over, so that 2012 was like 2011 Part 2. At work we were in the midst of intense preparation for our planned shutdown all winter, and then personally I was looking forward to an early January first date – so all those things continued from 2011 into 2012, making it kind of one big year.

Then I turned 38 in February – and I thought things would be different. Oh, and different they were! I was starting to see someone whose life is as crazy as mine (recipe for disaster), we spent Valentine’s night in the hospital, and then, of course, in March I found the lump. Pretty much all downhill from there. So that means (to me) 38 was to blame, not 2012.

Don’t get me wrong, 2013 feels incredible – there is a hope in the air that wasn’t there before. An excitement that you can feel. Things will be better! So many people had a bad year – I’ve never seen so many people clamoring for a fresh start – that this is good for everyone! And in one month I will turn 39. I will be done with radiation. I’ll have my left breast re-expanded so I can be even again, and THAT will be my real fresh start!

And 39 is my number, always has been. My birthday is on the 9th, I’ve always liked things in threes, always prefered odd numbers to even, and 1939 was a fabulous year: they made Gone With the Wind AND The Wizard of Oz, two of my favorite movies. I’ve always looked forward to being 39 (strange, I know), and now even more so.

2013/39 is going to be the year of ME. Sounds rather selfish, I know, but I need it. How can I be any good for anyone else if I’m not happy with me? So I’m going to get healthy – in mind, body and spirit. No extreme diets, joining a new gym or setting unrealistic resolutions. Simply getting back to eating better, running and finding a way to get a good night’s sleep. Growing my hair, eyelashes and eye brows. Losing the chemo weight. Of course I have other goals in mind, relating to work, volunteering, travel, relationships – but they really aren’t achievable unless I’m healthy and happy, so that has to come first.

So that is my wish for all of you, my dear friends and family: good health and happiness. Every day is a new opportunity for a fresh start, whether it’s January 1, your birthday, the first of the month or just a Monday – you can seize any day to start over and become the person you want to be. Happy 2013 – make it the year of you!

Silly, spiky hair after my first run of the new year - but at least it's hair!

Silly, spiky hair after my first run of the new year – but at least it’s hair!

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My first radiation was fairly uneventful, which I consider a very good thing. I’m praying the next 24 will be just as anti-climactic. But what I observed while at Dana-Farber made me happy. I saw a woman who (apologies for judging a book by its cover) appeared to not be very well off be given a small tube of lotion that I paid $25 for without blinking. You could tell by watching and a bit of eavesdropping that she was incredibly thankful. I don’t know, maybe her insurance paid for it, maybe someone else, who knows – but what I do know is that Dana-Farber makes sure you have what you need, whether you can afford it or not.

So what do I want for Christmas? Well, to be honest, my first wish is for it to be last February, turning 38, with long brown hair, 25 pounds lighter, feeling like I’m on top of the world and ignorant of most things cancer. But since I don’t have a magic wand or fairy Godmother, that would be a waste of a wish. And I hate wasting something as special as a wish. This is what I want for Christmas:

I honestly don’t want anything more than this for Christmas. So if you insist on getting me something, please have it be a card saying you made a donation to support something like this – or wherever you want to help those who really need it. And if there isn’t something specific you want to contribute to, fundraising continues for the 2012 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk until December 31, so even if you already sponsored me, you’re welcome to do so again (I promise this will be the last time I solicit support for the 2012 walk… 😉 ) or visit my brand new Jimmy Fund donation page here. Seriously, supporting the place that has made this horrid year a little bit easier is my only Christmas wish. I can’t help thinking the same thing I thought last year when I was making donations for presents in honor of Mirany (and you can donate in her honor here) – what could we possibly need more than our health?

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Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will remember many mentions of Mirany, my dear friends Sarah and Scott’s sweet little girl who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last winter when she wasn’t even a year old. I will never forget the moment I found out – where I was, what time it was, how I felt – everything froze in horror, fear, disbelief and sadness. Then, after months of treatment, Mirany had surgery and was released from the hospital on the same day I was diagnosed in March. Since then, it has been eight long months of ups and downs for both of us.
Today we received the most wonderful news. Since so many of you ask me how she is doing, here’s the note Sarah, Scott, Mirany, and TommyBoy (their dog) sent:
“Dear Friends and Family,
Today Mirany’s oncologist shared incredible news with us: For the first time in her life, she is cancer free. Both her MIBG scan and urine analysis were 100% negative for neuroblastoma, and her MRI reveals only scar tissue. In addition, the nodule in her lung that caused much anxiety and distress is gone.
It is, in some ways, as difficult to believe this wonderful news as it was to accept the initial diagnosis. It seems impossible that this ordeal could be over. As painful as this journey was, we were always aware of the blessings we received upon the way, and our hearts ached (and will ache) for all those still fighting. The past 335 days have been a lesson in humanity and compassion; we can only hope to “pay it forward” and be as good to others as you all have been to us. Let’s keep looking out for each other.
With love,
Sarah, Scott, Mirany, and TommyBoy”
I have learned so much from all of them this year. About love, strength, perseverance, sacrifice, friendship, faith – so much. Even about cancer, doctors, hospitals and coping. And innocence: Mirany is simply precious and innocent. I am so thankful she will not remember this battle she’s just fought, and will now be able to simply be the normal little girl she deserves to be.
Dreams do come true – thanks to fabulous doctors like those at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s, researchers, The Jimmy Fund and most of all, the prayers, love and positive vibes from all around us… I can’t help but think of how holiday season is approaching and we’re all going to go out and spend oodles of money on things no one really needs and, in some cases, don’t even want. Consider the charities this Christmas: buy your holiday cards, make a donation or even name a gene, all through Dana-Farber‘s web site. How much easier could shopping get – and you could help make many dreams come true…

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Do you remember my August 28th entry, Friends are the Good Stuff? Well, that awesome letter Tina wrote has won us tickets to the 46th Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville on November 1! (Luckily, I can travel with the port, now have the compression sleeve for traveling, and it fits in between chemo sessions. And we are going to just pray that the side effects don’t worsen too much, too fast, in the next few weeks….) As Tina put it, she’s taking her job of distracting me from all this cancer stuff to the next level! Here’s how she did it…

While Tina was visiting family in Oregon, she saw this contest:

NARM and RIAA — the creators of Give The Gift Of Music — have teamed up with CMA on a mission to find out how this year’s CMA Award nominees have inspired music lovers across the country. Each of these talented performers have been given a wonderful gift — the ability to put feelings and emotions into words to inspire others. They share these gifts willingly and now it is your turn to let these artists know how they have touched your lives.

Honestly, do you think there could be a more perfect contest for the letter Tina wrote? The entry was due at 11:59 p.m. the day she arrived home from Oregon. As soon as the girls were settled, she went to work and spent all night working on the submission, which she finally finished moments before the deadline. She didn’t say anything to me as she didn’t want to get my hopes up – who ever wins these things anyway?

Well, this time we know! Yesterday afternoon, Tina received the call: the judges unanimously selected her entry!!! Tina and I will be going to the CMA Awards on Nov. 1 – Yee haw!!!! I was in shock when I heard – think I still am. But I am incredibly thankful. I am always telling Tina she gave me the most incredible gift in the world by having my three beautiful Goddaughters, but she never thinks it’s enough. I do, but I agree this is a pretty awesome gift, too!!!

So what exactly did she spend all those hours on? An abbreviated version of our story, the part that ties to country music, and specifically Kenny and Tim:

Without hesitation, I would like to share a story about The Brothers Of The Sun Tour with artists Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.  As Kenny Chesney is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Music Video of the year and both Kenny and Tim are nominated for Musical Event of the Year, I feel that this is a good place to share the story about my best friend, Amy, and me. 
We are huge country music fans and have attended many concerts, however, none more so than that of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.  We have made it to every Kenny Chesney concert at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA, (the full five in a row) and to all of Tim McGraw’s concerts held at what is now called the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. This year, when it was announced that the artists would be touring together, we knew that this would be an event to remember and no matter what, we would be in that audience!  We had the tickets bought and were looking forward to August. 
Not long after the tickets were purchased, Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been fighting it ever since.  Luckily, through a self-check she caught it fairly early and it is not the type of cancer where she would be facing death.  However, hearing the word ‘cancer’ feels like death and in my life it has meant death. I have lost an uncle as well as a close family friend to cancer.   Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed by her diagnosis.  Amy actually seemed to take the news better than I did and she even sent me a card two weeks after her diagnosis that sits on my desk and reads “Faith means not needing to see where you’re going to know you’ll get there safely.  You’re doing a great job at a very hard time in our lives. Even though you can’t see what lies ahead, please believe that we are safe and trust that everything WILL work out.” It struck me funny that here I am trying to be the strong one for her and here she is seeing my worry and found it important to encourage me and my strength. Simply put, she is an incredible and amazing woman.
We have been best friends, actually more like sisters, for twenty years.  We have raised each other up during our lows and have celebrated together all of our highs.  Although, Amy has a wonderful and supportive family, there have been many moments through her cancer journey that I have felt at a complete loss… What can I do to help? How can I be most supportive right now? Amy never complains, always puts a positive spin on everything and has used her cancer experience to share her journey with others candidly and honestly through her blog athttp://www.amysamerica.com/.  I had difficulty defining my own role in her journey at first, but concluded that it has seemed to be one of entertainment, distraction and just by being there for her.  I was able to be at the hospital during her double mastectomy and have been able to attend all but one of her chemo treatments thus far.
Although, the biggest distraction between March and August was the concert we were waiting for so eagerly. Amy had informed me that no matter how badly she was feeling, even if I had to carry her, she was going to make it to our concert of the year!  I bought her Kenny Chesney’s new album as soon as it came out and was able to give it to her during her wig fitting party. Music has always been a really big deal for us as it has helped us get through so many difficult times and this year is no different.  I think Kenny Chesney’s “Reality” has been our song of the year as we keep acknowledging the reality but constantly want to escape from it. So, I really latched on to the music and concert distraction.  In fact, I wrote two letters to her using the song titles of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw to keep the distraction going:
Letter #1
MY OLD FRIEND,
                HEY NOW, as I sit here looking at a BLANK SHEET OF PAPER, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to talk about ME AND YOU. This concert is seriously happening NOT A MOMENT TO SOON!  Unfortunately, MY LITTLE GIRLs are not nearly as excited about this concert, since they’re not going, but I just can’t wait for you to COME OVER!!!
               
The past few months I feel like I’ve been LIVING IN FAST FORWARD and have been feeling kinda ANGRY ALL THE TIME.  Last week, I was actually thinking, well, THERE GOES MY LIFE.  The silver-lining (as usual) is heading SOMEWHERE WITH YOU.  I love SUMMERTIME and our concerts.  Life seems to, once again, be THE ROAD AND THE RADIO and it appears that every FLIP FLOP SUMMER, YOU SAVE ME.
I know the past five months GOT A LITTLE CRAZY (to say the least) and has seriously been a WILD RIDE. I feel confidant telling you that I truly feel like I know HOW FOREVER FEELS, but yet, TIME FLIES. Your breast cancer diagnosis really did SCARE ME and I hope to NEVER FEEL THAT WAY AGAIN.  I am glad that you GIVE IT TO ME STRAIT as I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY, but everyone knows that you’re ONLY HUMAN and that you are clearly doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to tell that horrid cancer that you WILL NOT FALL DOWN.  I have my SUSPICIONS, although, I can’t imagine how difficult the moments are when you’re alone and you allow yourself to be honest with you.  I know there’s so much you don’t allow others to see.  To be honest, there have been moments where I know I DON’T BLINK as I have felt helpless in helping you… but…then you speak, and I am completely reassured that you are ALWAYS GONNA BE YOU, cancer or no cancer, YOU JUST GET BETTER ALL THE TIME!  I can’t wait for the end of this whole run of doctors and treatments to be over for you… and to celebrate your attitude, your being THE ONE to beat cancer (which is NO SMALL MIRACLE) and to shout out at the top of our lungs TOUCHDOWN JESUS!!!!
               
I’m thankful you have so much support and that you know that you’re not IN THIS BOAT ALONE. ALL I NEED TO KNOW is you believe me when I say that I WILL STAND by you no matter what and would do anything TO GET TO YOU if you needed me, after all, THAT’S WHY I’M HERE!  I know all of this will be much BETTER AS A MEMORY and that there’s more to come DOWN THE ROAD and I know that you will deal with that with the same BE AS YOU ARE outlook but JUST NOT TODAY…
               
…TODAY, we once again get to SET THIS CIRCUS DOWN, be STILL, feel a little FREEDOM from all the I’M WORKIN’, SHIFTWORK.  LET THE LAST DOLLAR FLY AWAY and break free from REALITY… I NEED YOU to LET IT GO…ALL of it, and truly break free from the past few months. So, instead of sitting WHERE THE GREEN GRASS GROWS, we WILL STAND, SOMEWHERE IN THE SUN, in front of an OLD BLUE CHAIR with an awesome view of your ISLAND BOY (who I’m sure you begged to PLEASE COME TO BOSTON), Kenny, as he sings about GUITARS AND TIKI BARS with my INDIAN OUTLAW and REAL GOOD MAN, Tim, FOR A LITTLE WHILE. Ohhh, he definitely brings out THE COWBOY IN ME or SOMETHING LIKE THAT but that’s just BETWEEN THE RIVER AND ME! 😉
               
You are one of the world’s most BEAUTIUL PEOPLE and are certainly the SPIRIT OF THE STORM.  Your FRENCH KISSIN’ LIFE and LIVE A LITTLE, always SMILING, attitude is contagious.   You’re optimism makes me believe that no matter what life throws at us we can ask, DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?      
THIS IS OUR MOMENT with the Brothers Of The Sun!  So, tonight I want you to know that WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN, WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE and the MAGIC of the concert begins we will LIVE THOSE SONGS in BOSTON while pretending we’re going COASTAL, we’ll FEEL LIKE A ROCK STAR while singing, I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT, in our most SOUTHERN VOICES and I’m absolutely certain that we’ll SING ‘EM GOOD MY FRIEND.  IT DOESN’T GET ANY COUNTRIER THAN THIS and I am looking forward JUST TO SEE YOU SMILE. This is definitely THE GOOD STUFF and I can honestly say for a moment like this, with MY BEST FRIEND, I NEVER WANTED NOTHIN’ MORE!!!!!!!!
So, are we gonna have a good time?  Well, TRUCK YEAH!!!!
I love you BFF, Tina
Letter #2:
Dear fellow member of No Shoes Nation,
WELCOME TO THE CLUB which, as you know, is a very special honor as part of our WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL!  IF YOU’RE READING THIS than you are well aware that we went OUT LAST NIGHT!
               
I’m happy to report that I’M ALIVE and well and LIFE IS GOOD today, but I am already looking forward to SLEEP TONIGHT. After finding A PLACE IN THE SUN, I was happy to let the music just TAKE ME AWAY.  It was nice to feel like we were ON THE COAST OF SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL and if you’re anything LIKE ME, a part of you still feels like you AIN’T BACK YET.
               
I couldn’t have imagined In MY WILDEST DREAMS seeing Tim and Kenny perform together!  I was as giddy and excited as if I were SEVENTEEN again but it was so much better than any of the DREAMS!!  I was ecstatic to see Faith come on stage to sing with Tim, AIN’T THAT LOVE!?  There was so much fantastic music all in one place that even I felt like a BIG STAR.
               
As with most concerts, I still enjoyed the people watching. Most looked they started on their KEG IN THE CLOSET or their HEMINGWAY’S WHISKEY before they arrived.  Hopefully, they put their KEY’S IN THE CONCH SHELL on the way in and had NOWHERE TO GO, NOWHERE TO BE after the concert.  I’m glad we’re GOOD GIRLS and don’t need to worry about things like that even though I’VE GOT FRIENDS THAT DO.  Although, I think if you ended up in a bad situation (like several of the individuals seated around us) you would quickly FIND OUT WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE.
               
When I THINK ABOUT LEAVING, I get a little choked up and feel like TEARS IN THE RAIN but AIN’T THAT THE WAY IT ALWAYS ENDS!? IT’S NEVER EASY TO SAY GOODBYE. I’m sure this concert will be the focus of my thoughts for at least the next SEVEN DAYS, maybe even 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS, but I suspect that I’ll likely remember it for at least MY NEXT THIRTY YEARS. 
               
When I CLOSE MY EYES, I GO BACK and I can still see Kenny, that LUCKY OLD SUN, singing SHE’S FROM BOSTON and Tim singing, FELT GOOD ON MY LIPS, but no matter what part of the concert comes to mind, I smile at the thought, but THAT’S JUST ME.
               
I know ONE OF THESE DAYS, when we’re no longer this YOUNG and we’re DOWN ON THE FARM, we’ll eagerly take a walk down MEMORY LANE and I’ll be able to say, “I REMEMBER, BACK WHEN we went to see The Brothers Of The Sun Tour just like I remember PARIS/TENNESSEE and EVERYWHERE we’ve been together.”  Luckily, memory is something YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU, although, we’ll probably remember A LOT OF THINGS DIFFERENT.  However, when I start rambling about BACK WHERE I COME FROM I can’t promise that those memories won’t sound more like REFRIED DREAMS. 😉
               
I’m glad we got A CHANCE to catch up even if we did spend BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAYLIGHT sitting in the parking lot.  COMIN’HOME, the concert was all I could think about, so I was really glad that the radio station played Tim and Kenny music long enough to have them SING ME HOME.
               
Well, time is TICKIN’ AWAY and I am HOME so I should probably get busy and not WATCH THE WIND BLOW BY any longer.  I have to figure out WHAT I NEED TO DO next and get OUTTA HERE, but as usual, I wanted you to know that IT’S BEEN A BUSINESS DOING PLEASURE WITH YOU! Perhaps we should get ONE STEP UP on next years’ concert or MAYBE WE JUST SLEEP ON IT for now!?!
I hope you have a great week and thanks for letting me be your SHOTGUN RIDER, I always appreciate THE RIDE!
Xoxo, Tina
Since the concert I have continued keeping Amy smiling and distracted, but I would love to give her something even bigger and quite frankly, something for her to be excited about. I wish I could do so much more for her as a thank you for all the ways she continues, even thru cancer, to think about me and making sure that my girls and I are okay. I’m not one to enter contests, but when I saw the CMA Facebook post about this, I knew this was one contest I needed to enter, if for no other reason than the possibility of giving something back to Amy, giving her something else to look forward to and to give her a much greater “Thank you!” for being the amazing person that she is not just to me, but to everyone that has crossed her path.
Amy and I have talked repeatedly about one day making it to the actual CMA’s in person and not just watch them on television, but that has always seemed out of reach. This contest is an excellent opportunity to make our dream a possible REALITY and submit an entry to attend an event that Amy and I have only spoken of and dreamt about… after all, something like this, JUST DON’T HAPPEN TWICE!
I greatly appreciate your time and consideration to my submission.
Thank you, 
Tina Robinson

Unbelievable, huh? This has all led to my epiphany that Tina needs to start writing for a living – one of the many things we need to talk about. But not now, now we need to book our flights, hotel and figure out what the heck we’re going to wear! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tina: THIS IS OUR MOMENT! BE AS YOU ARE, LET IT GO, forget REALITY and let’s go see my ISLAND BOY and your INDIAN OUTLAW! It will be MAGIC and we will FEEL LIKE A ROCK STAR! Thank you for always keeping me SMILING – with all your love and support, I know I’m NOT IN THIS BOAT ALONE and I WILL NOT FALL DOWN! Thank you for making one of MY WILDEST DREAMS come true! Love you!!!!

‘Like’ The Country Music Association on Facebook here and Give the Gift of Music here – maybe you can win a similar contest!

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Saturday night, Tina and I went to the Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw concert at Gillette. I’d been looking forward to this since buying the tickets in, I think, February. I remember thanking God when I got my chemo schedule because the concert was almost two weeks after my fourth chemo round and I figured I’d be able to drag myself there even if I still wasn’t feeling well. And luckily I was already back to feeling just fine!

When we got to the stadium, Tina surprised me with a letter. Not just ANY letter, but one that she wrote using Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw song titles. And I’m not just sharing it because it is so cool (although it is), but because I think it gives a glimpse into how this damn cancer thing has impacted some of my dearest friends…

My Old Friend,

Hey Now, as I sit here looking at a Blank Sheet Of Paper, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to talk about Me And You. This concert is seriously happening Not A Moment Too Soon!  Unfortunately, My Little Girls are not nearly as excited about this concert, since they’re not going, but I just can’t wait for you to Come Over!!!

The past few months I feel like I’ve been Living In Fast Forward and have been feeling kinda Angry All The Time.  Last week, I was actually thinking, well, There Goes My Life.  The silver-lining (as usual) is heading Somewhere With You.  I love Summertime and our concerts.  Life seems to, once again, be The Road And The Radio and it appears that every Flip Flop Summer, You Save Me.

I know the past five months Got A Little Crazy (to say the least) and has seriously been a Wild Ride. I feel confidant telling you that I truly feel like I know How Forever Feels, but yet, Time Flies. Your breast cancer diagnosis really did Scare Me and I hope to Never Feel That Way Again.  I am glad that you Give It To Me Strait as I Wouldn’t Want It Any Other Way, but everyone knows that you’re Only Human and that you are clearly doing Whatever It Takes to tell that horrid cancer that you Will Not Fall Down.  I have my Suspicions, although, I can’t imagine how difficult the moments are when you’re alone and you allow yourself to be honest with you.  I know there’s so much you don’t allow others to see.  To be honest, there have been moments where I know I Don’t Blink as I have felt helpless in helping you… but… then you speak, and I am completely reassured that you are Always Gonna Be You, cancer or no cancer, You Just Get Better All The Time!  I can’t wait for the end of this whole run of doctors and treatments to be over for you… and to celebrate your attitude, your being The One to beat cancer (which is No Small Miracle) and to shout out at the top of our lungs Touchdown Jesus!!!!

I’m thankful you have so much support and that you know that you’re not In This Boat AloneAll I Need To Know is you believe me when I say that I Will Stand by you no matter what and would do anything To Get To You if you needed me, after all, That’s Why I’m Here!  I know all of this will be much Better As A Memory and that there’s more to come Down The Road and I know that you will deal with that with the same Be As You Are outlook but Just Not Today

…Today, we once again get to Set This Circus Down, be Still, feel a little Freedom from all the I’m Workin, ShiftworkLet the Last Dollar Fly Away and break free from RealityI Need You to Let It Go… ALL of it, and truly break free from the past few months. So, instead of sitting Where The Green Grass Grows, we Will Stand, Somewhere In The Sun, in front of an Old Blue Chair with an awesome view of your Island Boy (who I’m sure you begged to Please Come To Boston), Kenny, as he sings about Guitars and Tiki Bars with my Indian Outlaw and Real Good Man, Tim, For A Little While. Ohhh, he definitely brings out The Cowboy In Me or Something Like That but that’s just Between The River And Me! 😉

You are one of the world’s most Beautiful People and are certainly the Spirit Of The Storm.  Your French Kissin’ Life and Live A Little, always Smiling, attitude is contagious.   You’re optimism makes me believe that no matter what life throws at us we can ask, Do You Want Fries With That?

This Is Our Moment with the Brothers Of The Sun!  So, tonight I want you to know that When The Sun Goes Down, When The Stars Go Blue and the Magic of the concert begins we will Live Those Songs in Boston while pretending we’re going Coastal, we’ll Feel Like A Rock Star while singing, I Like It, I Love It, in our most Southern Voices and I’m absolutely certain that we’ll Sing ‘Em Good My FriendIt Doesn’t Get Any Countrier Than This and I am looking forward Just To See You Smile.  This is definitely The Good Stuff and I can honestly say for a moment like this, with My Best Friend, I Never Wanted Nothin’ More!!!!!!!!

So, are we gonna have a good time?  Well, Truck Yeah!!!!

I love you BFF,

Tina

I was laughing so hard at the end of that – a perfect way to start the night, and a letter to treasure forever! And while we DID have a blast, I’m afraid I wasn’t able to completely forget the c-word: I cried through Live Like You Were Dying – it obviously really hit home – and one of my other friends, Laura, who was sitting in another section even texted me during that song, which made me cry even more! I saw Heather and some of her family (which was like my family through middle and high school) for the first time since all this and it was hard to hold back the tears, then, too. Especially when Heather caught one of my lashes that had just fallen out and held it so I could make a wish … (And Heather, Laura and I ran into another friend from high school – Kristin – it was like a reunion!) Even on facebook another friend, Heather P-C, sweetly reminded me to stay hydrated!

I think it goes without saying that I am the luckiest girl in the world, with the best friends (near and far) anyone could wish for…

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The other night my friend Herb told me about his recent trip to Florida and how surprised he was at how much his ailing father had changed. His mother hasn’t been straight with him on the phone and has been continuing to basically live their lives the same without accommodating for the changes in her husband. As I listened, it occurred to me that it has nothing to do with his mother being mean, neglectful or not loving his father. It’s BECAUSE she loves him so much that she just doesn’t want to face it. She doesn’t want to see how he’s changing and how frail he is, how much help he needs. She wants him to be the same man she fell in love with, the same man she married. Maybe she really can’t see the changes. It is her blind spot  – don’t they say love is blind?

Then I realized: that’s how a few people are with me. It’s not that they don’t love or care about me that they completely ignore the fact that anything is different about me, maybe it’s that they do love me that it hurts them to see me this way and just refuse to face and deal with it. I am still hurt by how they now treat me, but this new perspective helps me understand them a little bit more, and at least makes me feel like maybe I do matter to them.

And then I had another revelation: that’s actually what I am doing to myself. I still get shocked when I look in the mirror. I still cringe when I see pictures of myself bald. I just went for a run (if you can even call what I’m doing running) and got frustrated with myself that I couldn’t even do the whole 3 miles of one minute run and one minute walk – sometimes I had to walk for two or three minutes before doing another minute of running. I don’t want to face that I don’t have hair any more. I don’t want to see that the steroids and eating to ease the nausea are making me pack back on the pounds. I don’t want to be tired after a few minutes running. I want to be the me I was in February…

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