Saturday, September 25, 2010

The End of The End of The End

Finishing chemo was the end.
A clean MRI was the end of the end.
Yesterday, I got my port-a-cath removed and that was the end, of the end, of the end. The procedure lasted about half an hour and had no complications except for delays in start time. Our check-in time was 12:30, my operation didn't start until 3:00 pm. I am a little sore but am so happy to finally reach the real end of all of this; almost 11 months to the day that I was diagnosed.

I am very grateful to be cured, but many children are not so lucky. There is still so much research to be done when it comes to pediatric brain cancer. On Sunday October 3rd my family is participating in the 2010 Run of Hope benefiting pediatric brain cancer research at Seattle Children's Hospital. They gave me my life back and I want to be able to give something back by supporting the latest research. I know many of you have already donated to The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk that we participated in back in June. I am very grateful for your support. Please do not feel obligated to donate again. If you are interested in donating to the 2010 Run of Hope please click on the link below to pay by credit card only.

If you would like to make a donation by check, please send it to the following address and specify that it goes to my team "Sammy's Blob Slayers".

Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund
PO Box 9784
Seattle, WA 98109

Thank you all once again for your continued support.

Mischief Managed,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I have eybrows!!!

You read that right, I officially have eyebrows. It's yet another step down the road to normalville.

Today has been a particularly good day. I switched from regular Biology to Honors Biology. There was a tech meeting for my school's upcoming play and I am running the sound board. Both Michael Franti and Maroon 5's new albums were released today and to top it off, today is the season premiere of GLEE!

Sunday we went to the Train concert at Marymoor park. It was a gorgeous night and an amazing concert. Train is my favorite band and it was definitely the best concert that I have ever been to.

Mischief Managed,

P.S. Here is a picture I took for my photography class last week. What do you think?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Exhausted but Content

Who knew school could be so physically exhausting. Even though I came home completely worn out everyday this week I am so proud that I made it through . Being back at school has been a dream. Walking into the theater room felt like I had made it home. Seeing familiar faces. Talking about things completely unrelated to anything medical. Finally I am doing what kids my age are supposed to be doing.

Hopefully this week will be a little bit easier. With the promise of increasing homework I am hoping that I'll be less tired when I get home. Hopefully each day my leg will swell and hurt less. But in the words of the Beatles "It's getting better all the ti-iii-iii-iii-me!"

This week I have also seen how wonderful the Seattle community is. During my June chemo cycle I had a roommate who was just being diagnosed. His name is John (AKA Little John), he is a three year-old from Montana. His family has been staying at the Ronald McDonald house and this week their truck was stolen from the outside of the building. The media coverage of the event has born an enormous amount of support from the community.

Visit John's caringbridge:

If you are wondering about the background change on my blog, I am going gold all September long for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Mischief Managed,


Countdown to GLEE: 10 days

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lots to talk about this Labor Day

Wow, I have a lot to tell you about today. I'll start off by saying, i hope you enjoying your labor Day, even if it's overcast. Honestly, what else can we Northwesterners expect? Summer here begins and ends with overcast skies when everyone's trying to have a BBQ (Fourth of July to Labor Day.)

My weekend was very exciting. It started off with some really great news that I will share with you later. We stayed down in Seattle this weekend. Saturday we went on the very popular Ride the Ducks tour of Seattle on both land and water. It was very funny and I would definitely recommend it. You would have to try really hard to not have fun on this tour.

Sunday we went to the Mariners game vs. the Cleveland Indians. Back in June when we participated in the Brain Cancer Walk, I chose the tickets out of the many prizes that had been donated for the patients/survivors to choose from. These weren't just ordinary tickets. They were two Diamond Club tickets to the game of our choice. When looking at the prize options I decided I wanted baseball tickets because I love going to games and hadn't been to one in a very long time. My best friend Megan was helping me choose a prize and when her eyes landed on the envelope that read "Diamond Club," she looked at me and said "Do you know what that means?"

To be honest I really did not know, I figured it was something special but I never imagined anything close to what it turned out to be. Our seats were right behind home plate on the left field side. We could order food from our seats and it was brought to us in no time at all, or we could stay in the clubhouse. Everything was handled for us. As the man who showed us how the Diamond Club worked said "it is baseball heaven." Then to top it off the Mariners won and if you know Seattle sports, you know that's a big deal.

Now to the really great news. A few months ago I decided to change my Make A Wish. I decided that I wanted my wish to be more personal and unique. Something I would never be able to accomplish on my own. A true wish not an "I want to". So I changed my wish to this: I wish to go to New York and be backstage during a performance of Lion King on Broadway. Unlike my original wish, my new wish was in the hands of other people. I was starting to get a little anxious that we hadn't heard anything. The great news I got Friday night when I returned home from the first high school football game of the season was that my wish had been approved. We don't have anymore details yet, but they will be coming soon.

That's not all, there's more. Around the time that I changed my wish, I was invited to go on a trip with three other teenage patients from Seattle Children's to Orlando. The trip is run through a group called The Sunshine Kids. The group organizes trips and events for kids with cancer. The trip I am going on will bring teenage cancer patients from all over the country together for a week of fun in the sun. We'll be visiting the amusement parks in Orlando ; Disney, Universal, Sea World, etc. So, my original wish will be granted as well. But, to me the real treat will be getting to be around people who have had similar experiences. Since the beginning of my treatment I have wanted that. The trip will be October 31 to November 6.

I guess I rubbed a magic lamp because somehow I got three wishes.

Mischief Managed,

School starts in 2 days!

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to...

I just wanted to let you all know how this blog is different than the Caringbridge journal.

I plan to write once or twice a week just like I did with Caringbridge but, you can no longer get an e-mail whenever I add a new post; you just have to check in periodically.

One of my favorite parts of Caringbridge was reading your messages. To leave a note on the blog just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of a post.

Hope that helps. Have a fantastic Labor day weekend!!!!!

Mischief managed,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Beginning

Welcome to my new blog. As you know, over the past year I have fought cancer and flesh-eating disease. Now the fight is over and I came out on top. As my brother so appropriately said: "It's like someone hit pause for nine months and they finally hit play."

I plan to write at least once or twice a week and am so excited to share my journey back to a regular life with all of you.

Mischief Managed,

Days 'til school: 6