Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do more

We can all improve ourselves if we take every moment as an opportunity grow. Do more and you'll get more out of this life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I love our Thanksgiving's on the farm. My immediate and extended family go down to Virginia and let loose on 90 acres of rolling hills, woods and cow pastures. Every year, I become more and more aware that there is a gene responsible for bad's a dominant trait in my family, one that I'm infinitely grateful for!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

salty faces

Maybe I've already written about it, but it's on my mind, so into the blog it goes..again. When Ted and I lived in Tennessee, we spent a considerable amount of time backpacking. We had two old army rucksacks and kept them packed at all times so that we could throw a couple of MRE's on top and head out for the weekend. Most of our trips were spent hiking the chasms of Big South Fork and Savage Gulf, with an occasional trip to the Smokies, or Mammoth Caves.
We'd leave on Friday afternoon's, drive a couple hours with our sandals on, park our car, lace up our boots, put on our rucks and go. Those trails brought us flowers in the spring, lush green leaves in the summer, deciduous colors in the fall and the ability to see the forest through the trees in the winter.
I always felt closest to where we should be, evolutionarily speaking, when it'd be just two humans and a fire and nothing else. The tracks of salt left on our faces highlighted by the flames on a chilly night, were tactile reminders of the physical exertion it took to get right in the middle of nowhere.
These experiences, along with the cumulative life adventures that we have shared continue to fuel my passion for being alive right now. So glad we decided against watching reruns of 80's sitcoms instead!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tears on my black shirt

Every once in a while, I have to decompress. For the past year and a half, I have lived in a world that has smiling children on the one hand, and indescribable pain on the other. This morning, I was reflecting on some of the saddest moments that have touched me along the way. A mother typing to me with one hand because she was holding her dying child’s hand with the other, describing in real time how horrific it was to feel so helpless; a conversation with a man who is desperate to bring his wife a repreive from the physical agony she's been in for over a year..all the while, hearing her moaning in the background...
These are just a couple of examples of what it's like to live with an open heart in a world filled with despair.
I try my hardest to let these feelings drive me. The one thing I will avoid at any cost is to find a way to become immune to them. I never want to be someone who can be part of either of those conversations and to be just fine with it all. Sometimes this attitude leaves me with tear stains on my black shirts...guess I should pick another color when I feel the need to let these memories take their rightful place.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Hi everyone, thanks for all the support, just wanted all of you to know how much it means to me. Hope you have found at least one reason to smile today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Moving on

One of the silver linings of this disease is that wounds heal fast. There's no time to worry about things you can't change. It's as futile as trying to change a person. It's easy to regain your balance when you start from solid ground. My heart goes out to people who have a flimsy base and who falter in patterns during the short time we have to enjoy this world. All I have to do is look at my children and I'm grounded, when they hug me, I melt right into the fabric of the moment.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The good the bad and the disgusting

I have seen the absolute best in people this week, and I have seen the bottom of the barrel. At the top, there were scientists and patients so pure in their tireless pursuit to find answers and push the field of cancer research ever closer to finding better therapies. You could see the urgency in their eyes, they want to help, they ARE helping. But as is usually the case, the good was balanced by the bad and then the disgusting. I never thought someone would sink so low as to use our cancer for self gain, but it happened. We were infiltrated by someone who pretended to have angiosarcoma in order to gain money and who knows what kind of pathological thrill. I also lost the friendship of and respect for someone I valued immensely, someone who let a professional problem spiral so far out of control that all that’s left is a big disgusting mess. I have such vitriolic anger for both of the latter situations that it almost negates all the wonderful things that I had the opportunity to experience this week. Almost…..

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why do I harass you so?

Do I ask for a lot? Yes. Why do I ask for so much and ALL the time? Here's my top 10 reasons:
1) I can't be on the receiving end of one more phone call that ends in "hospice is the only choice I have left" and then do nothing.
2) If I don't harass you, someone else will, and you'll crack at some point (since we humans are kind by nature) and give money to an organization that will likely have a CEO making over a million dollars a year. (look up any of the big ones and you'll see what I mean)
3) I don't watch TV and have too much free time on my hands
4) It's really working, the money that we raised in ONE year has already turned into a clinical trial for angiosarcoma patients..the first one ever!
5) What if this saves someone's life?
6) One day there will be a cure, it has to start somewhere and sometime..why not now?
7) Angiosarcoma has ripped families apart right in front of me. It is beyond devastating to feel helpless when peoples lives are at stake.
8) I don't have much of a social life
9) As a scientist, I understand how and why research is so expensive, I understand how and why there's not already a cure, I understand that unless we do it ourselves, it'll NEVER get done. This is the only way.
10) FUAS

We raise money directly through
We are also working with Sloan-Kettering's cycle for survival. If you want to contribute to the angiosarcoma research project currently ongoing there, feel free to contact me at for details

Thank you for taking the time to read this!