Thursday, January 15, 2015

As Cool As The Other Side Of The Pillow.....


"When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer.  You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live. So live. Live. FIGHT LIKE HELL."
~Stuart Scott



I'm sure those of you who know me well, are not surprised by this blog title, and this quote.  First of all, I wanna say NOBODY loses to cancer.  I've said it in previous blogs.  If you walk into a doctor's office, hear those words, pick yourself up, and decide to fight, you automatically win.  Period.  When I first learned Stu (yes, I can call him that) had cancer, it rocked my world.  If you're a sports fan, you know what this man means to broadcasting, to the sports world.  He, single-handedly changed how people received sports news....I admired him for it, and I grew to love him for it.  Watching him battle cancer with such tenacity and strength inspired me.  He was my superman.  I mean, who goes to chemo, then heads to the gym for a MMA training session?! 
I leave chemo barely walking, not Stu, he left chemo, and went to work.  We watched him every night, with no signs that he just had hours of poison pumped into his body.  He would say over and over again that he was fighting for his family, most importantly, his two daughters, whom he called, "my heartbeat".  His fight gave me hope, it gave me strength, it reminded me that I was bigger than cancer.  I had no doubt in my mind he would beat it.  His reasons to live, his refusal to not let it change his routine, and who he was?! Cancer was like a piece of lint he flicked off his shoulder. Even when I saw him on the ESPY's, saw how small he was, how tired he looked, I never thought for a minute that the end was near.  So you can imagine what I felt, when I heard the CNN ping on my phone that Sunday morning.  It took me a minute to register what I was reading.  I still remember the exact words, "ESPN 'SportsCenter' anchor Stuart Scott dies after battle with cancer, he was 49".  I think I stared blankly at my phone for 10 minutes, no emotion, no thoughts, just stared.  Then I kept reading, it wasn't until I finished the article, that I realized there were tears streaming down my face.  He died? What the hell do you mean, he died? There's no way! I couldn't wrap my head around it.  I have no idea how long I sat there, crying....I mean crying like he was my best friend.  I still can't wrap my head around it.  I actually get annoyed now when a SC anchor says some sort of tag line, or pop culture reference. I literally want to jump through the TV screen, and kick them in the throat (I should probably bring that up with a therapist, huh?).  I swear I spent the entire day confirming the news, on every news channel, on every sports channel, social media....all my brain needed was the tiniest bit of acceptance to believe it was true.  I probably cried all day.  I cried for his family, for his daughters, for his friends, for his fans, for the sports world.  Then, I realized I was also crying for me.  If Stu died? What does that mean for me? I know, I know, what does his death have to do with me?....but when you are a cancer patient, and your "cancer hero", your "cancer warrior" dies, it has everything to do with you.  Stu was my superman....and there was no such thing as kryptonite.  For the first time in a long time, I was scared....terrified actually.  It was like a huge reality check slapping me right in the face.  This shit is serious! There is actually a chance I may not survive this!  Wait a minute....I could die from cancer, that's actually something that could happen!  I have a LIFE THREATENING disease....like for real! There is something going on in my body that could end my life.  MY LIFE.  I mean, there's another statement I cant wrap my head around.  I've said it a million times, "I REFUSE to let this beat me, I refuse".  I think, for whatever reason, when Stu died, a little of my confidence went with him.  It doesn't matter what I want.  If it's my time to go....I go.  Don't get me wrong, I trust God, and his plan for my life 100%. I have no problem with it.  Here's the thing....I don't want to go because of THIS shit.  I don't want to miss out on the rest of my life, miss seeing my newest Godchild (shout out to the Gash's & my lil man Zay!!) grow up, miss seeing my first two Godchildren (shout out to Jamieson & Lincoln holding down the Kinder household!) grow up, seeing all my friends kids grow up, holding my first niece or nephew, holding my first child, not being able to accomplish the millions of things I still want to accomplish......because of cancer.  Hell no. No thank you.   

Everyone is always telling me how strong I am, how much I inspire, that they know I'll beat it.  I sometimes feel like I owe it to all those people, like I owe it to myself to beat this.  I cant lose.  I said I wouldn't.  If I do, will I be letting all those people down? It's pressure I didn't know existed.  I look over the thousands of pictures on my computer.  All the people, and moments that have made up my life.  I
don't want to leave them.  I don't want to miss what's next, I've already missed enough.  I lean on "my team" a lot. I mean.....a whole lot! They get me through.  They're ride or die (shout out to Brooke!)  Most of them know I'm having a crappy day before I even say anything (I'm looking at you Tara, Kel, Tara, and Brooklyn!).  I have this notebook, I've had it for years. Whenever I hear, or see a quote I like, I put it in there.  A lot of the quotes come from my friends and family, I'm not kidding when I always say, "it's the people on my team that keep me going".....here's one of my favorites: 
          
         "Just remember who you are. Very specific battles for very specific people. The war well be won in these very moments Ladypants. It's when we have nothing that our true nature shines. You're one of the bravest people I know. FXCK CANCER!!! There's living to do at the end of this saga. There is much to accomplish. You're not like the others. Winners see born different. And they win. The fight continues. Glory awaits
One hour, one day, one week at a time. Until the battle is won. I and many others refuse to leave your side. We fight together. You lead Us"
~Rashaad Hinton (4/9/14)

"There's living to do at the end of this saga..."......every time I read it, a different part sticks with me.  Now, in the mind space that I am in, that is the part that is sticking with me, "there's living to do at the end of this saga...".  I can't stay locked in my room forever, waiting for the next surgery, doctors appointment, scan, immune treatment, blah blah blah.  This is my circumstance, and I can either be mad at the world, or I can kick cancer's ass for the 4th time, and LIVE.  9th time, if it comes to that.  This is my journey, this is
the path God chose for me, (I'm sure I've detoured along the way lol) and I have to accept it.  The good and the bad.  The scars, the pain, the doctors, the tears, the looks on the faces of my family and friends, hospitals, are all part of this journey.  I've made it this far, who's to say I can't finish this thing?  Here's a positive thing, I watched all 746 SportsCenters yesterday....and only wanted to punch someone in the throat once or twice! If that's not a step in the right direction, I don't know what is! Ok, maybe three times, but the third time was strictly based on Avery Johnson, and his haircut.  There, I said it.  I don't like his haircut.  At all.  Moving along, a lot of people have been asking me for an update, so here it is:  
#FCANCER
     I've been in the hospital three times in the past two months.  Nothing really serious, the first two were precautions because my WBC had dropped quite a bit.  The third time was the night before Thanksgiving, temp was pretty high, and not responding to meds. Hurting when I took a breath....blah blah.  Long story short, I was diagnosed w/ three different things before they could decide on one thing (I'm still not convinced).  Listening to the attending physician was like asking one of my third graders to explain the Greek influence on modern day democracy, without giving them any prior knowledge. I just stared at him...which probably turned into my, "if you don't shut up, I'll kick you in the throat" face, needless to say, he left pretty quickly.  He said the CT scan showed more spots on my lung, something about hemorrhaging, blah blah
True Statement.....
blah.  My oncologist hasn't confirmed any of this yet 
though.  I've been off chemo since the beginning of October, and it's been fabulous.  It's possible, depending on the scans, that I will have to start my 5th cycle of chemo in February. If that's the case, that's what we'll do.  It's as simple as that.  We're ready for whatever.  BRING IT.��
THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS, THANK YOU FOR READING.  THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING WITH ME, AND EVEN FOR ME, WHEN I COULDN'T FIGHT FOR MYSELF. I LOVE YOU ALL WITH ALL MY HEART.����

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~John 14:27��

xoxo
Ebs

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE :O)


Ok, now that the heavy stuff is over:

IT'S RELAY TIME AGAIN!!!!! BOTH TEAMS HAVE STARTED FUNDRAISING, I THINK #TEAMEBONYATL HAS RAISED OVER $1,000!!! MY BIRTHDAY IS IN FEB.....ALL I WANT IS A DONATION!! GO TO OUR TEAM PAGE, JOIN OUR TEAM. SAVE SOME LIVES. DO IT BECAUSE I SAID SO!! CLICK ON THAT LINK. I WILL START CALLING PEOPLE OUT BY NAME :O)
http://main.acsevents.org/goto/cancersuxx


I also want to bring your attention to an AMAZING human being, Jason Pinchoff, who is single-handedly spreading awareness from a point of view the cancer world hasn't seen....and it's awesome, I absolutely love it, so will you. Go to the website, apinchlife.com....read the story. He's amazing, to say the least. 
Shout out to NYC!!





I posted an engagement video, of one of my great friends on my FB page.  I shared it twice, and I'll be sharing it again. I'm not trying to spread the message of equality, or tolerance (yes I am), I'm simply sharing a story of two people in love.  Go watch it.  Share it.  
CONGRATS BROOKE & GABBY!!!!!!!


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES!!! THE FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONS OF THE NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ERA!!!!
3RD STRING QB.....WHAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?
GO BUCKS!!!!!!! OH....IO!!!!!





Ok, I think I'm done....for now. Now, I'm going to flip my pillow over to the cool side, and go to sleep (what I'm really going to do, is flip my pillow over, finish my glass of pinot noir (it's red wine...I'm getting all my antioxidants!), and watch Empire lol)

BOO-YAH













Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cort's Blog!!

"God made us cousins, because he knew our moms couldn't handle us as sisters."
~Anonymous

chest tube & liver cath
Soooooo, hey yall! It's been a super long time since I've blogged, huh? So much has happened over the past 8 months I have NO idea where to start....um, I was in the hospital for 40 days and 40 nights (no seriously....40 days and 40 nights).  They found out that I had a pocket of fluid building up around my lungs (which would explain why it hurt every time I took a breath).  I had a lil surgery and had a chest tube inserted to drain the fluid....theeeeeeen, they found ANOTHER pocket of fluid around my liver. Apparently, bile was leaking into my body and reeking all kinds of havoc. Another surgery was scheduled, this time to insert a biliary bag to drain that fluid....I had all kinds of fluid draining into numerous bags attached to my body.  I'm not going to lie, it was horrible! A whole lot went on during my extended stay in the hospital, and I'm sure you guys want to hear all about it, but now is not the time. I still have some AMAZING guest blogs to share, and I wanna get those out before I get back to me!
That being said, you guys know how important my family is to me, and how extremely close we all are. My cousins and I are more like brothers and sisters.  They are always there when I need anything, and they have sacrificed sooooooo much to physically be here.....it just blows my mind how amazing they are. I'm truly blessed, and I thank God for them everyday.  
Cortney, Shyra, and I have spent a lot of time together the past 2 yrs.  The family has started calling us "the three amigos", prob bc we are always up to something (and it's usually fabulous!).  We've already heard from Shy (I still cry when I read it!), and now it's time to hear from the other part of me (they complete me....get it?!), MISS CORTNEY F. CLEVELAND!!! I won't even begin to explain our relationship, bc I can't even find the words. But I'm almost positive she'll be able to, being a writer and
 all ;o) Here we go.....

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
~Psalm 55:22


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Ebony, The Blueprint



My writing on Ebony is long overdue. It’s fitting because I was long overdue in accepting she had cancer. Cancer. Who decided that my zodiac sign should be the moniker for some shit like this? I don’t even want to write about it. What does Ebony having cancer mean to me? I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around it. I don’t want to.


back in the day.....
The only way for me to do this is to take the scenic route. Let’s start with what Ebony means to me. (Other than the universe and all the stars in it.) Ebony is the blueprint. I thought I was painting pictures until I looked around and realized I was tracing my cousin. Before I could form sentences I started spending every summer with my Aunt Joan, and Ebony became my big sister. She was the coolest. Still is. Smart and LOUD, deranged and completely secure in herself; for better or for worse, Ebony always does what she wants to do. Like since birth.

That’s the biggest thing Ebony has taught me. Trust my gut.It doesn’t matter what other girls are doing, or what other people think is hot. I’m hot, and that’s all the support for my hypothesis I need.

I’ve taken on a lot of her traits. But, every time I see her I’m inspired to be like her a little bit more. Ebony just lives out loud. The person she is in her head is the person she is in the world. My zodiac sign impedes my progress in that area. She makes me want to be better. She makes me want to shout my voice to the world. Because we’re so cool and people need to experience it.

I don’t know if I would be a writer if it weren’t for Ebony. I still remember her room lined with Babysitter’s Club books. She’s the only kid I remember who enjoyed reading, so that made me think it was okay to do the same. Devouring all those books made me think I could spin tales of my own.

When I was told she had cancer it didn’t register. Literally until about two months ago I just viewed Ebony as sick with something like a cough, or a pain that was just passing through. And it did. But, it kept coming back. Which wasn’t helping my denial at all.

Ebony, being Ebony sends for me to come visit her for a screening and her latest round of chemo. She’s shaved off all her hair. But, of course she’s got some graffiti designs taking over half her scalp like she’s bringing the early 90’s back. Because Ebony was swag before swag was swag. She greets me at the airport in full force – screaming at random passerbys, telling airport employees she’s Irish, contorting her face into some weird Salvador Dali painting – the usual.

Support for my blissful ignorance! Everything’s normal, just less hair. She’s slower though. Ebony’s always been a mover. Especially since she got a driver’s license, it’s our custom to stay in the wind. Mind you she’s still getting a lot accomplished, hitting the club in stilettos and pulling herself a new man (a vanilla swirl at that, werk!). What cancer patient is making moves like that? But, still something was different.

And then we go to chemo. I was in such a haze by then, I didn’teven realize this was the big appointment the trip had been building up to. She gets an update about a cell count or something. It’s gobbledygook to my ears because it’s not gone. It’s not over.

We wait the eight hours for white coats to fill her up with chemicals. The woman one seat over randomly breaks down as soon as we sit down. Realness was upon us. Chemo changes Ebony. Now she’s tired and dazed like she just got out of the ring. If this is the medication, what the hell is the disease doing!?!

chemo shenanigans 
Denial finally dries up. Ebony has cancer. The thing is, Idon’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information. My cousin has a life-threatening disease that she keeps beating the brakes off of. Even now that I’ve faced the truth of the matter, I’m still coping with it in a similar way as before. It’s still a passing phase, here today and gone in a tomorrow very soon. Cancer isn’t something I can tie to Ebony. Bass-rattling road rage, high kicks on trampolines, laughter-filled sleepovers, memories old and new – those are the things that I tie to her. There are just too many good things to make space for cancer. So, I won’t.
ME AND MY CC






I WANNA SCREAM A HUGE THANK YOU TO; BROOKLYN, DANNY, KEL, AND TARA.  THESE FANTASTIC PEOPLE SURPRISED ME AT CHEMO ON MY BIRTHDAY.  CANsER HAS CONSUMED MY LIFE TO THE POINT THAT, THAT LITTLE BIRTHDAY SURPRISE GAVE ME SOME NORMALCY BACK.  YOU GUYS MEAN THE WORLD TO ME, THANK YOU!
PARTY IN THE CHEMO SUITE!


JUST A QUICK REMINDER THAT COLON CANCER AWARENESS MONTH IS IN MARCH!! IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION, AND WANT TO HELP THIS AMAZING ORGANIZATION, PLEEEAAASEE GO TO www.ccalliance.org.  GO AHEAD....CLICK ON IT, LEARN SOMETHING NEW.....KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
DONT FORGET, MARCH 4 IS DRESS IN BLUE DAY.....I WENT TO THE SITE EARLIER AND BOUGHT MY SHIRT, YOUR TURN!!!!!

GET SCREENED YOU GUYS! ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES, AND SHOUT RANDOM COLON CANsER FACTS AND STATISTICS TO PERFECT STRANGERS! THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!



LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE,
EBS




















Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jamilia's Blog!

During chemo, you're more tired than you've ever been.  It's like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you're out.  You don't know how you'll answer the door when your groceries are delivered.  But you also find that you're stronger than you've ever been.  You're clear.  Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception.  Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience.  Now it's instantaneous. 
 ~Melissa Bank


So, most of you know today is the big day!! I mean, I guess I wouldn't say, "big day".....it's not like I'm having major surgery....but I guess it's still the, "big day", Radiofrequency ablation sounds like a big deal....doesn't it?!?!?!? Say it outloud...seriously! Say It!!! (....................................................waiting for you to really say it outloud....................................) OK, it sounds like some craziness is about to go down, right?!?!? That's what everyone thinks at least, until you read up on it. This little PSA before we get to Jamilia, is strictly for all you people (you know who you are!!) who are freaking about the procedure....it's not that big of a deal! And, to prove it, Im including a link that will tell you allllllllllll about it.  You know you're interested :o) Now......I give you......Jamilia's blog <3







So, back in the 80's when I was young, my dad met this guy named Skip. He brought him over to our house around dinner time, and my mom gave him a plate. From then on, I think Skip came over at least three times a week around dinner time. Now, my mom was an awesome cook, so I'm not sure I'm convinced if Skip really enjoyed my dad's company, or if he really enjoyed those plates! Lol! Anyhow, Skip soon became Uncle Skip, and Uncle Skip had a beautiful, young family. There was his wife, Joan, who I thought was beautiful. As a child, I thought she was stern, but children always think adults who don't play are stern! Also, he had the most adorable two kids, Ebony and Skippy. They came in and they were quiet and they had these huge puppy dog eyes, and being that I was the youngest and cutest (if I must say so myself) I'm not sure how I felt. I thought, hmm, maybe it will be like having a little brother and sister. I can boss them around, and they'll be more than happy to do what I say. Wrong!!!! Skippy was the youngest, so it was pretty easy to sway him and get him to do things, but that Ebony, Never!! She was very matter-of-fact and she didn't take trash from anyone! I thought she was such a brat! After all, this was my chance to finally boss someone around, but nooooo, not Ebony!

So, as time passed, life changed, people grew up, grew apart, got busy, you know how things change. My mom passed away, I had my own family, and never really saw Uncle Skip, Aunt Joan, Ebony, or Skippy. There was no problem, it's just how things go. Fast forward to last summer.

I was about 7 months pregnant and I went to the store to buy some shoes to fit my swollen feet. I saw a guy that I thought I recognized. I noticed that he thought I looked familiar as well. I'm shy, but I reluctantly went over and asked if his name was Bones. He said yes and I told him who I was. Long story short, him, his wife and I ended up talking for about three hours. During that conversation, Uncle Skip came up. He told me that Ebony had, had Cancer, but that she was in remission.
I was shocked, devastated, hurt, worried, relieved that she was in remission, but most of all, I was sorry. She was my bratty little cousin, who I'd grown up with and loved. How could I have just lost contact to the point that I had no idea that she had gone through something so awful?

I went home, without shoes, trying not to cry. I got on Facebook, and searched out Skip. I found him first. Then Joan, and then Ebony! She doesn't know this, but seeing her on Facebook made my day! That meant to me that she was really ok! I've never really been around anyone with Cancer except my grandfather and he died two weeks after his diagnosis. I'd only seen movies and tv segments and specials about Cancer patients, so I was so happy to know that she was going to be okay!

I got to read all of her updates of how she was rebuilding her life, about her new job. I got to hear about the past and about what she'd been doing with her life. I was happy that she was a special Ed teacher, it meant that maybe she had grown up to be nice! Lol! Mainly, it made me feel that I could do something. I pray for her now and her family every night. I think about them constantly. I read her blogs     and I really love the fact that she approached CanSer, as she spells it, the same way she approached me as a kid. She wasn't going to let it bully her, control her, dictate to her what she was going to do. She was strong willed and matter-of-fact with it. She didn't pretend to be anything else. She stared it down, and she handled it!

I was afraid to reach out for a long time. I'd comment on posts and blogs, but that was all. I wasn't sure if I'd be welcomed back into her life. I'd write her long messages on FB and hit cancel and not send. I was the scared she'd say no. However, two weeks ago, I finally asked if I could come and see her and she totally said Yes! All I could think about was how dumb if was for me to not ask months ago! Im going to go see my little bratty girl very soon and join team FcanSer! I want to see as she says, CanSer get CanSer and die of CanSer! I want it to know and understand that Ebs is not the one to mess with!

Well, this is my two little cents, Ebony, I love you and the Fortune family will see you soon! My only question, "What kind of cake do you like?" 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE.~
Mark 5:36


~Trust Him~

RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION!
http://www.cancercenter.com/radiofrequency-ablation.htm?source=GOOGLESW&channel=paid%20search&c=paid%20search:Google:Google%20-%20Southwestern%20Core%20Terms%20(New):Broad:radio+frequency+ablation+lung:Broad&OVMTC=Broad&site=&creative=12216345681&OVKEY=radio%20frequency%20ablation%20lung&url_id=147538975&adpos=1t1&gclid=CJH4tYyYrK8CFS1a7Aod_0_XnA


CLICK ON IT....SERIOUSLY :O)


Click on the link to donate to this RELAY FOR LIFE, and help me reach my fundraising goal!!!!!!...u know u wanna!!!!!!!
https://secure3.convio.net/tacs/site/Donation2?1009608.donation=form1&idb=1286757320&df_id=1009608&FR_ID=39714&PROXY_ID=19439918&PROXY_TYPE=20


LOVE U :o)

~LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE~






Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Autumn's Blog!

"I'm trying to tell you something about my life. Maybe give me insight between black and white. The best thing you've ever done for me, is to help me take my life less seriously......it's only life after all"
~The Indigo Girls (Closer to Fine)


So guys, today was scan day, and ya know what?!?! I wasn't freaking out (that much lol), at all!! I walked in there cooler than a polar bears toenails ($2 to the first person who can tell me who said that last line). This scan was the big one. The one that's gonna tell us what the newbie (Avastin, 5th drug added to my cocktail) has been doing the past 4 rounds (IT FREAKIN BETTER HAVE BEEN GOING ON A CANsER KILLING RAMPAGE DAMMIT!!!!!).  The good news already is, my tumor markers are down (YAAAY!), and my blood counts all look fantastic, so.....we are on our way to being canSer free people!!! We get the results during my next treatment on the 20th, so keep those prayers, thoughts, and positive energy coming, we have some warriors on our side, that's for sure!!! I , of course, will keep you posted in some over dramatic way :o)


~LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE~


~I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.~
Psalms 91:2



Okie dokie....Most of you know I lived in Savannah (shout out!) for a good 7 or 8 years. It wasn't just a stop over place to me. It was home. The people I met there weren't just "placeholders" for my friends in ATL. They became family.....and they still very much are :o) 
 One of these friends, in particular, didn't simply make an impression on me.....she basically branded me with a blazing hot iron, that screamed, "You're mine now!" With Autumn, you don't have a choice. She doesn't let you decide whether or not you're gonna be a staple in her life....she sorta demands it lol. It's definitely one of the reasons I love her so much...she'll prob tell our story better though, so here it is.....

Autumn's Blog:


I have no concept of time. Sometimes I am unable to decipher if an event happened a month a go or two years back. I remember only strange memories and not particularly in the order that they occurred. Every year on December 31st I declare my resolution to not lose ten pounds, but instead to live within the moment. My moments. So when I received a text message from you urging me to write to you, and about you (and our relationship) I panicked because I'm not good at this stuff due to my inability to be present. Not because my love is not intense for you, because it it. Not because I am too busy, because time as you have shown us is sometimes all that we have, whether it be one year or 80 years. We make due with what we have and live, love, and laugh as much as possible within those moments. Our moments.  

The day we met. I remember seeing you and that is the extent of it. The next thing I recall is that we were inseparable. Two peas in a pod. I truthfully can not even tell you how it happened. If one of us wasn't present we were never met with a simple hello, but instead with the question of where was the other one. People took notice if one was absent. The best I can describe it with the hopes of it not sounding too weird is as finding another love of my life. Our relationship was like a lightening bolt. It was fiery and fast, with enough energy to light up a room and keep it ablaze for hours. I always know that I have found another piece to my puzzle through phone interactions. When with the silence of time spent apart, the phone can ring and it can be answered not with a "how have you been" but instead a "So, I just ....." as if the last conversation never even ended. I love those conversations. I love that with certain friendships and relationships time in a sense can seem to stand still. It is going on two years since I last saw you and there are times that six months pass between phone conversations and yet the closeness never widens. 

So, when I received that phone call three years a go telling me of the cancer I was crushed. We hadn't talked in a while and I was hit directly in the face with the thought that cancer could take my friend. You were in the hospital if I remember correctly, and you assured me that it was simply a bump in the road. I believed you. I wiped my hands of the experience. You were healthy and we went about our business. Next year. Same thing. Another phone call. Treatment. A clean bill of health. Third year. Another phone call? When you called with the news that the cancer was back and had spread it just seemed like minutes upon minutes passed with only tears... no words, and then the anger came. You know when that mad girl within you starts to bubble over and you want to ball your fists, stomp your feet, and let that primal scream from way deep down in your belly come roaring out? That is what I wanted to do, but instead I yelled at you "I'm so #&*@**# mad!" What a poet I am. So here we are today. In the midst of our third treatment with all the hopeful, positive energy and fight mixed with the fear and anger that cancer blankets us with. I have watched you fight through this with a grace and beauty that only someone of spectacular strength could achieve. I have witnessed you come to find a deeper love for your faith and family. I have witnessed you let go of things that were no longer healthy for you. I have witnessed a great shield form around you that is made with pure love from your friends both near and far. I have witnessed you sit patiently for the last three years in hopes that life could soon resume cancer free. 

So back to time. Because of you I try to live more authentically. I don't want so much time blacked out by idle thoughtlessness. It can no longer be a matter of taking notice of the movement of time for the first week of January and then allowing preoccupying thoughts to take over and not live within the moment, for the moment. It has shifted into a year long journey that will undoubtedly turn into a lifelong gathering of making adventures reality both alone and partnered with loved ones into a grand story, never to be forgotten. None of us know what lies ahead, but we are fighters. We have proved that, haven't we? We have our scars and have managed to always pull ahead. This time will be no different. You are not defined by cancer. You are defined by the brilliant, sweet soul that you are. You are both my friend and my family. Forever. Kisses. 
my Auti :o)













"IT'S ONLY LIFE....AFTER ALL" :o)
Looooooove UUUUUU!


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ITS ALMOST RELAY TIME PEOPLE!!!! GET YOUR WALKING SHOES READY :o) PRESS PLAY!


Join us this year!!!!
setting up the luminaries  <3









Click on the link to donate to this AMAZING CAUSE, and help me reach my fundraising goal!!!!!!...u know u wanna!!!!!!!
https://secure3.convio.net/tacs/site/Donation2?1009608.donation=form1&idb=1286757320&df_id=1009608&FR_ID=39714&PROXY_ID=19439918&PROXY_TYPE=20







Click on the link for a list of activities going on during Colon Cancer Awareness Month....GET INVOLVED!!
http://ccalliance.org/bluestar_calendar/index.html



THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE PRAYERS, THOUGHTS, AND POSITIVE ENERGY YESTERDAY....GOOD NEWS IS COMING ;o)


love love love love love u!!!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Brooke's Blog!!!!

"You were my strength when I was weak, You were my voice when I couldn't speak, You were my eyes when I couldn't see, You saw the best there was in me, lifted me up when I couldn't reach, You gave me faith cause you believed I'm everything I am, because you loved me."
~Celine Dion (Because You Loved Me)


So, I just wanna say this real quick before we begin......I. AM. OVER. CHEMO! Omg y'all, this has been the worst chemo cycle I have ever had!!! Today is the first day that I've felt somewhat normal since treatment....AND IT''S ALREADY TIME TO GO BACK!!! UGH!! Don't get me wrong, I know it's doing a good thing, and I know that it's necessary. I'm just not really feelin it currently.  I've been talking to y'all for a while now, so I feel as if we're close enough for me to say just about anything.....to vent, if you will.  So here's my venting for today: I AM SICK AND TIRED, OF BEING SICK AND TIRED!! I really feel like I'm gonna lose it sometimes.  I miss my job, I miss regular clothes, I miss having stuff to do, I miss having conversations not involving canSer, I miss not having 330 medications to take everyday, I MISS MY LIFE. No worries though, I don't have any doubts that I wont get it back....I'm allowed to vent every once in a while danngit! I mean, I do have canSer lol!


So, what did you guys think of the last blog?!?!!?? I absolutely love hearing what everybody has to say! I didn't make this clear the last time, but anybody can write one.  If you feel like you have something to say, by all means, write it, and shoot it to me in an email! I'd love to hear from you :o) 


22 yrs of awesomeness :o)

Brooke & Danny!
OK, so Brooke's blog is obviously next...I think the next time, I'm just going to post them without reading them first.  It took me about two hours to get through Brooke's, I was literally crying like a baby.  I mean hardcore crying, you know, the kind of crying where you have all kinds of fluid running down your face, and you can't even distinguish where it's coming from! The kind of crying where you're making faces that would no doubt scare a small child, and noises that are completely unnatural....yall know what I'm talking about!!! That's how I was attempting to read what you all are about to read!!  I'll let Brooke explain our relationship, but if you can't tell by my opening quote.....this girl is no doubt my soulmate.  She means the world to me, her family means the world to me (I actually consider myself a part of her marriage, true story!), her children mean the world to me (it makes NO sense how much I love those boys!), our friendship means the world to me. She is my sister, and my best friend, and I love her with every inch of my being.


~LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE~


~Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken~
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


~TRUST HIM~


Brooke's Blog:



    Ebony and I met when we were nine years old and cheering for the same football team. I was clumsy and uncoordinated, whereas she was clearly athletic and all ready showing signs of that natural talent we have all watched develop  into something extraordinary. For some reason, she took pity on me, and pulled me aside to help me learn the cheers and practice my jumps. That, or she realized how awful I was and didn't want to be embarrassed when we actually had an audience. Either way, Ebony showed her true character in the first interaction between us so many years ago- she took the time to use her gifts to help someone she didn't know, for no other reason than she inherently knew that it was the right thing to do. That's just who she is, how she was raised, the type of family that this is. To be honest, I don't remember my life before Ebony was in it. I'm serious, I've tried! But no matter how tightly I closed my eyes, or how hard I concentrated on those years before I called Ebony my best friend, I came up with nothing. It's as if we met, and the rest was history. Our lives became instantly intertwined in an incredible friendship that has truly helped to shape the person that I've become.
       A few years ago, Ebony called me with news that rocked me to my core-she had cancer. CANCER?! Ebony? MY Ebony? No freaking way! Now, I'm going to be completely honest with you guys, because Eb asked me to, and this is her blog, her fight, her ultimate triumph. When she first told me this, I was angry, I was confused, but mostly I was just terrified. The overwhelming feeling of sheer terror that I might lose the best friend I have ever had literally took my breath away. I didn't tell Ebony any of this, because she, in true Ebony fashion, was too busy trying to keep ME from being upset to give me any indication of how she might be feeling about the situation. Throughout this entire ordeal, she has steadfastly remained optimistic and anchored by her faith, continuing to live her life on her own terms, and refusing to let this evil opponent control her or disrupt her life any more than she had to. She rarely complains, she is always smiling and laughing and trying to get those around her to do the same. She has put her complete faith in God to help heal her of this disease, and her spirituality has given her the peace to still be able to enjoy life, even when facing trials and tribulations that most of us will never understand. It has given her the strength to look this beast in the eyes twice, emerge victorious, and the tenacity to be right back there for a third go round, still with a smile on her face and a fight in her heart.
       So, while at first, I'll admit, I was scared and furious with the world, having the opportunity to be by her side for so many of the small battles that she must fight every day has helped me to see that I am NOT afraid of cancer. Not anymore. I've seen what awesome power comes from faith, love and incredible courage. I have seen this amazing woman stand up to cancer, scare that bitch right back where she came came from, enjoy a few months off, then buck up and do it all again. Now here we are smack in the middle of round three, the toughest one yet, and ebony is still coming out with both arms swinging, as beautiful as ever, and continuing to touch lives wherever she goes. The round will go to Ebony as well, of this I am certain, because Ebony's job here on this earth is not finished. Not at all. In fact, it's only just begun. She has so much more in store for her, and I for one can not wait to see what else she will accomplish in her lifetime. She is destined for greatness, mark my words.
      I truly feel that Ebony is my sister, in every way that matters, and I am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. I don't think it was coincidence that we ended up on that football field together as little girls. I believe that someone had a hand in this, that we were brought together because our bond would help to heal her in some small way during this, the fight of her life. Watching her these past few years has changed me, has shown me so many things about life. Her grace and quiet resolve have been nothing short of awe-inspiring. I am amazed by her every day. Throughout these 22 years, I have come to call her family my own, and I truly feel that they are. Seeing them band together to lift Ebony in spirit and to tend to her every need has made me more honored than ever to be a part of this family. I have always admired them, felt unconditionally loved by them and been thankful to have them in my life, but now, seeing what I have seen, experiencing it first hand, has been overwhelming for me. Being a mother, I now truly understand the love you have for your child, and her parents are a shining example of exactly what a loving parent should be. 
      Ebony, I'm so proud of you, of who you've become and where you are going. You are my best friend, my sister, my partner in crime, but you are so much more. It's difficult for me to articulate how much you really mean to me, but I think you know. I believe our bond is so strong, that you have no doubt that there is nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for you. You are the funniest person I have ever met, you crack me up on a daily basis. You bring happiness with you wherever you go, chemo included! ( Shout out to my home girls at GCS!! <3) You are so incredibly special. You are a warrior princess, a soldier beyond compare and truly the best friend that anyone could ever ask for. I love you so very much, and want to thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you. I'm here every step of the way.  RIDE OR DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                                                                                               
                                                 Love you forever,
                                                              Brooklyn

RIDE or DIE!!!!!!!!

chemo shenanigans with The Kinders!!!

                                                                                          






















GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!
ITS COLON CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!!!!!!!!!
GET EDUCATED, GET SCREENED!!!!!!





LOOOOOVE U!!!!!!
JUST WANTED TO SHOUT OUT KELLIE GUSKE REAL QUICK...OVER THE 
WEEKEND, SHE CUT OFF 8IN OF HER HAIR AND DONATED IT TO LOCKS OF LOVE IN MY NAME.....KELLIE YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND YOUR SELFLESSNESS HAS MADE SOME KIDS DAY!!!!!  THANK YOU, AND I LOVE YOU TO PIECES!!!!




2ND SCAN COMING UP ON THE 13TH!! JUST FYI :O)


LOVE U GUYS :O)


oh-if you comment (and please do, love reading them!), please put your name,,,,,,unless you're keeping it anonymous for a reason lol!