Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Thing and Another

I’m back! Sorry it’s been so long between posts. I try to write once every week, but recently I have just been so busy. Between doctor’s appointments, going to school, physical therapy and homework, I am just going, going, going. It is nice to be back to doing more normal things, but sometimes a girl needs a breather. This week I will get just that. Tomorrow I leave for my trip to sunny Orlando. We will be spending three days at Disney, one day at Universal (home of the Wizarding world of Harry Potter theme park) and one day at Sea World. I can hardly wait! It will be so nice to have a relaxing week hanging out with kids like me in the warmth of the Florida sun.

This past week has been a parade of wonderfulness. Until recently, I have been experiencing major theater withdrawals. Sunday, I got my fix. My family went to see Seussical, put on by the Northwest Savoyards, the theater group I usually work with. The show was fantastic, a perfect combination of a phenomenal cast and wonderful sets and costumes all underscored with great music to the stories of Dr. Seuss. If you have a chance, try to go see it. There are shows October 31 and November 5, 6, 7. To buy tickets visit: I know about half the cast and it was wonderful to get hugs from everybody.

Wednesday was another great day, the one year anniversary of my initial MRI and admittance to Children’s. The whole day was a marvelous celebration of life, because here I am a mere year after my diagnosis and I am done with treatment, cancer free, and moving on with life. I celebrated it like a birthday. My magnificent friend Megan made me a cake, got me balloons and wore a shirt she made that said “Smiles Killed Cancer.”

On Friday Megan and I revived our Halloween costumes from eighth grade, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Friday night, I was back at Seussical, though this time I was backstage (yes, I kept my Thing 2 costume from earlier on). I watched the entire show from my usual viewpoint and chatted with my theater friends. The whole time my insides were overflowing with the joy, happiness and the felling that I belonged. I was home. Hopefully I will be able to work on the spring show, Hello Dolly.
Today Mom, Dad, B and I are going to a costume party at a family friend’s house. I will be Thing 2 (I have a Thing 1 stuffed animal), Dad is going is as the Cat in the Hat, Brandon is going as a pencil and Mom will be The Scrabbler. That’s right, the Scrabble playing superhero.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Mischief Managed,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hard to Believe

It's hard to believe that this picture was taken about a year ago. About a year ago when my life was plagued by excruciating headaches paired with vomiting. A year ago when I had thick curly hair. A year ago when everything seemed to be going as it should. A year ago...

Life's so different now, in ways I could never have expected back then. My long brown curls have been replaced with hats and scarves and tiny new hairs. The freedom to move, run, hop, skip, jump and dance around has been cut back to a slow limp. My extensive plan for the future is now a plan for how to get through each day.

I am so different than the girl in that picture. I now live my life for me, not for my amplified version of what I thought others expected. I know who my true best friend is. I know who I want to surround myself with. I am wiser, stronger, braver. I'm a survivor.

I am the same too. I am still silly and goofy and gawky. I still love peppermint ice cream and sloppy joe's (not together.) I still love math and music and books. I am still positive, smiley, and giggly. I am still me, I just have a new perspective on life and what's important.

I wouldn't trade the past year for anything in the world. I'll be the first one to say that cancer sucks. But in its own way, cancer is a gift. It has given me in a year what can take people their whole lives to figure out. It has taught me that I can get through anything. It has shown me that positivity and hope and love are more powerful than anything.

Here I am one year later. Different and the same. Happy to be alive.
Mischief Managed,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Can't Wait 'til Next Year!!!

Today was the 2nd Annual Run of Hope benefiting Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund There were 1,700 people participating in this year's 5K run/ 3K walk and $200,000 was raised for vital research. It was an amazing experience meeting other families, hearing their stories and connecting with their journeys. I also got to see my medical team. It was fun to see them out of the hospital and cheer them on as they crossed the finish line. (Their team is called Joggin' for the Noggin)
Because of my knee and Mom's foot, we weren't able to walk, so we volunteered instead. We helped run the kid fun table before the event. It was a blast: handing out cookies, blowing off rocket balloons, applying temporary tattoos and watching kids chase bubbles. I can't wait for next year when I will be out there walking!
My team, Sammy's Blob Slayers, raised $1,300. Brandon and Dad were the walkers for our team. Next year I want to have a super big amazing awesome team of blob slayers! This year's largest team was 250 people who collectively raised $50,000.
Thank you everyone who donated to this event and the brain cancer walk I participated in in June. Every dollar helps to support life saving research.
Mischief Managed,