Our Tribe

Throughout this whole journey so far, we’ve been surrounded by angels in different forms, our tribe. Each person has touched our family in a different way, helping, supporting, encouraging, meeting different needs. I don’t know how people with no support manage to make it through, I know for certain we wouldn’t be handling things as well as we have been if we didn’t have our tribe.

In the days leading up to surgery, things were a little stressful. I think it was more fear of the unknown than it was actual fear of surgery and how he would do with all of that. Surgery was scheduled for a Monday morning, and the Friday before, our car radiator blew and needed to be replaced. My husband and I know a lot about a lot of things, cars are not one of the things either of knows much about, fortunately for us, my best friends husband is a mechanic and he said buy the part and bring the car over and I’ll fix it. He worked his day job all day, came home and spent the next 3 hours fixing my car at no charge. To say it was huge relief and a huge blessing to us, is an understatement.

The next morning we woke up to a message from another one of our good friends saying, hey if you don’t have plans, we’d like to provide childcare and send you to a hotel for the night and pay for a nice dinner out for you guys. Cue all the tears. This family was going through a huge battle of their own at the time and we were doing what we could to be there and support them in their fight and they were doing the same for us. We quickly arranged for another of our good friends to come stay with our animals for the day and night and packed our overnight bags and headed up the hill to Prescott. Once we dropped off the kids and made our way to our hotel, we were so excited to just have some down time and not have to worry about anything. We had a lovely hotel room and the view was great.

After relaxing for a while, we decided to head out and explore a little bit before we had to be at the restaurant for our reservation. We walked through a few of the antique shops in downtown Prescott and enjoyed not having to rush through or try to keep little 4 year old hands off of everything, we just got to be. We then made our way over to this little Italian restaurant called Papa’s, it was awesome. Great food, great service, the atmosphere was amazing.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and watched a movie and fell asleep, exciting I know 😉 the next morning we got up and showered and went and picked up the kids. We made our way home and Sean had to start his prep for surgery, unfortunately that meant fasting and lots of bathroom time. We really just tried to relax as much as possible and did the last minute check of his bags for the hospital until it was time to go to bed. The next morning was when it all really would start the next long phase of dealing with the reality of cancer.

Glitter and Fluff and Girly Stuff

I remember fondly the days when I didn’t spend all of my waking moments worrying about cancer and chemo and medical bills and everything that has come into our lives in the last 3 months. I remember when I got to just talk about makeup and ‘fluff’, the girly stuff I so love. Nowadays, I feel guilty taking any time for myself if I’m being honest. I know, it’s just as important for me, the caregiver, the one supporting the warrior, to take time to recharge and reset, but it doesn’t come without a certain measure of guilt…I’m just sayin.

One thing I truly love is makeup. You may not get it, but some of you might…I’ll try to explain.

Makeup is pretty, it’s feminine, it’s glamorous, is flirty, sassy, sexy, fresh…or I should say, those are all things that I feel when I am able to take time to play with makeup. In my every day life, it’s anything but pretty, feminine, glamorous, flirty, sassy, sexy, or fresh. It’s tiresome, sweaty, dirty, stinky, nasty. I’m forever cleaning up messes made by my 4 year old tornado, or wiping a poopy butt, or cleaning something sticky off every surface of all the things in my house, I always have a stain on my shirt, doesn’t matter old or new, if I’m wearing it, it’s got a stain…because kids.

Makeup is an escape. I don’t think about all of the scary things happening around me, I sit at my vanity and tune everything else out except for the way my makeup smells, the texture of it, the way a makeup brush or sponge feels against my face, the beautiful colors in an eye shadow palette.

It doesn’t have to be expensive makeup, or luxury brands…I’m just as happy to get a drugstore, or affordable product to play with and test out. It’s transforming the way I see myself, knowing that I am still the same person with or without all the makeup and glitter, but feeling like a better version of myself, when I have my ‘face on’.

Makeup is something that is just for me. Only me. No one else gets to play with my makeup, it’s not something I have to share, like virtually everything else in my life…as a mom, that’s what we do right? It’s nice to have this one thing just for me, to help me get away for a little while and escape the reality that is my life currently.

Life Update…Brain Dump…Picture Dump

Life just keeps happening, no matter how we try to slow it down.  It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, and we’ve just been trying to live and deal with everything this cancer diagnosis has been throwing at us the best way we can.  This post might be a little all over the place, but I’m just trying to brain dump and get it out of my head, if that makes sense.

After surgery, we met with his oncologist, she went over the reports from the surgeon and the pathology, told us his stage was 3c, went over all the specifics of chemo, what protocol he’d be on, side effects to expect, it was a lot to take in…like every appointment before it.

We decided tacos and tequila were in order for dinner that night…you gotta do what you gotta do to cope sometimes and for me, that was it.  Trying to just breathe and be present in each moment is hard when the moments are a reminder that cancer has invaded your family and threatened to tear your world apart.

A few weeks after surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes, we got the call that we needed to schedule a repeat CT, just to see what a baseline would be with no cancer present before chemo, and a port placement so they can administer chemo and do blood draws through the port instead of having to poke him with an IV every time they’d need to get blood or getting chemo, this will save his veins and it gets the chemo to his heart faster, which in turn pumps it through his system faster.  We got the call that we’d need to do these two things around 4 in the afternoon and by 9 the next morning we were in the hospital to get it done.


It was fairly quick and painless, that’s what Sean tells me anyway, we were home by lunch and that was that.  He said he had a little tenderness, like someone had punched him in the chest…of course, he did this without sedation as is becoming standard for him…he did his colonoscopy with no sedation too.  Anyhoo, port is in, CT is done, the only thing left to do is start chemo.

Aside from that, we’ve been trying to finally get around to those things that we all seem to put off for another day…

We’ve been married for 14 years, this is the very first time in our marriage that we have a bedroom with actual grown up furniture and decor on the walls and matching night stands, like it all looks like it’s meant to be together.  I love going into our room and seeing my beautiful bed and everything all tidy.  It makes me smile to know that we’ve put thought and effort into creating a space for us.

Another project we recently finished was our entry way and gallery wall.  That light fixture in the entry way…it used to be a huge glass ball reminiscent of when this house was first built 30 years ago.  We finally picked a new light fixture and replaced the old one, got our beautiful hutch setup, and redid our gallery wall to include a canvas from our recent session with my good friend, Sarah.  It makes my heart happy to look over and see my entry and gallery wall.


If there’s one thing you take from this post, let it be this, don’t wait until you or your loved one has gotten a life altering diagnosis to do things for you, things that you’ve been talking about doing for a long time.  Do them now!  Enjoy your life, every day, every moment is a gift.