What a difference a week can make!

      I thought it was a one time thing, so I made a joke that (like almost all of my jokes) wasn’t funny.  Some kid at Delaney’s school made a comment asking why was she in the girl’s bathroom, wasn’t she a boy?  I told her if that happens again, she should just kick that girl in the nuts (and for the 1000th time, I lost any chance I had at winning the “Father of the Year” award).  Unfortunately, it did happen again… and again.  It wasn’t just kids in her grade, as some of the older kids started chiming in.  

     Delaney isn’t one to complain so we didn’t know that she no longer wanted to use the bathroom at her own school.   She would basically try to “hold it” while she was at school.  After she was unsuccessful, she went from not wanting to go to the bathroom at school, to not wanting to go to school period.  This is a kid that loves school so much that when she can’t go due to low cell counts, she is almost in tears.  Now, even though she was feeling fine, she was in tears about the thought of having to go school. As parents, this broke our hearts.

      Well Mama Bear went down to the school and put an end to that.  We are fortunate that Delaney goes to school that is very supportive of her needs (and us).  They came up with a solution that works for everyone.  She now is allowed to go up to the front office and use their bathroom whenever she needs to. That was over a week ago, and this past week Delaney was back to loving being able to be at school.

       We ended that week by going to a place that doesn’t care about if you have hair or not, in fact they are trying to put an end to hair loss due to blood related cancers.  It was the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training kick off party and Delaney was chosen to be an honored hero for the team.  As it frequently happens on this cancer ride, I also got another big dose of perspective.  While I was feeling down about Delaney’s week, I saw that my friend Desiree was also at the kick off party.  She was there to support the leukemia and lymphoma society and besides her warm smile, she was also wearing a pin with the picture of her beautiful baby Melina who lost the battle to leukemia.  Desiree is not going to stop supporting until no more parents need to worry about losing their children to cancer.  Maybe our week wasn’t so bad afterall. 

        Anyway, it was great to be at another Team in Training event.  I was involved with Team in Training long before Delaney was even born (heck, my personal email starts with tomintraining for a reason).  In fact, I met one of my best friends to this day through TnT.  So it was fantastic to be there and to hear how much they have done and the progress they have made in the fight to end blood cancers.  I’m excited to be supporting my wife and a group of over 10 women who are forming Team in Training’s Cancer Can Kiss my Stache Team.  Together these women have a goal of raising over $16,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and in April will be running a half marathon together.   I’m also excited that THEY are out running on this 28 degree day with snow still on the ground, while I am sitting in my warm cozy house offering my “support.”  Today’s support, unbeknownst to my wife, comes in the form of an ice bucket (Sorry but I’ve been waiting over 30 years to use that zinger from the Wonder Twins).  Actually, today I am showing my support by simply asking for your support.  This is only for those that can afford to offer it.  Please don’t feel bad if you can’t give at this time.  If you are in the situation where you can help with a donation to the leukemia and lymphoma society, remember that no donation is too small as every single dollar helps.  I think they will be giving Stacey a team page, but patience isn’t my strength and I really wanted to send this out while she is on her first group run.  So If you want to donate towards Stacey’s fundraising goal, here is her link (and THANK YOU!!!): http://pages.teamintraining.org/rm/pltrvrhm14/sstaffoj1t

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Enough!

Enough! That’s how my good friend from college had to feel when yet another family member of a loved one was diagnosed with cancer. Actually, knowing Kris, her exact words were probably,“Dammit!” What can I say, she has a potty mouth and she isn’t afraid to express what is on her heart. However, she didn’t stop at putting a bar of soap in her mouth, instead she got busy and decided she was going to do something about it.
Not too long after that I got a phone call. “I want to start a team to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer and I need a team name, what do you think of ‘Delaney kicks cancer’s butt’?” (except I already told you she has a potty mouth… so it obviously wasn’t “butt”). “Hmmm…” I thought to myself, “I’d like to be able to tell Delaney what you are doing in her honor… maybe we could work on a more kid friendly name.” And that was the night we came up Delaney’s very own, “Cancer can kiss my stache!”
Now that Kris had a cool team name, she started recruiting friends to join Team in Training with her to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Fast forward to today, Kris and her friends have raised almost $5,000!!!! In fact, at the time of this writing, they are just $150 shy of that aggressive goal Besides raising money, they started running… a LOT. While most of you are reading this on Sunday morning, they are running 13.1 miles! What better way to cheer them on from afar by clicking on their team link and donating a few bucks to help put them over $5,000 before they even finish this morning’s final run (here is the link for those of you that might be able to help: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/nikesf13/delaney#Welcome-to-our-Teams-Homepage). Regardless of whether or not they hit their “stretch goal” or not, they have already raised over $4800… and it all started with someone getting fed up with cancer and deciding to do something about it. To Kris and your teammates that are running right now, on behalf of Delaney and all of these little warriors fighting cancer, we thank you.
Speaking of enough, Delaney has had enough of the interim maintenance phase. She had her last chemo treatment in this phase on Friday. She of course, handled it like the little stud that she is and did great. It had her feeling a little under the weather Friday night, but by Saturday she was feeling well enough to play in not one, but two soccer games. On November 1st she will start the maintenance phase which she will be on until May 2015. As one of the doctor’s told us early in the process, the “maintenance phase” is almost a misnomer because it sounds like things are going to get easier. Although she won’t have to go to the doctor’s office as often, she will still have lumbar punctures, oral chemo, chemo in her port, and steroids to deal with. Just thinking of her still having to deal with all of this the next two times we do resolutions makes me want to say enough!
She has almost had enough, of soccer. Okay, not really, she still loves it but is getting very excited to start basketball. This past week she got her jersey (which she loves the fact that it is a tank top and allows her to show off her guns) and a new basketball. Before you know it, she’ll be ready to try out for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Delaney has also had enough of being bald. It was actually very sweet, her twelve year old sister came home from the mall with a hair stimulating product that she had bought for Delaney. You’ve never seen a kid so excited to take a shower! I don’t know if it really works, but Delaney’s hair is definitely coming back. What is more exciting is that she is slowly getting more comfortable with it. Saturday she got all crazy and put gel in her hair. She doesn’t have much, but the little bit of stubble she has was up in spikes. The only thing that was more spunky than her hair was her fighter’s attitude, as she has definitely had enough and more than ever wants to tell cancer that it can kiss her stache!

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