Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's that busy time of year again! I mean to update every week that goes by, but I usually end up falling asleep at the computer. My lyme disease is back again since I came down with a sinus infection a couple months ago. Seems that my body can't fight off an infection and keep lyme at bay at the same time. Go figure! This too will pass is what I keep telling myself.

Things have been fun with our three monsters...oh I mean dogs...ruling the roost. Actually little Dani is so sweet and they all get along quite well. She is learning quickly and has picked up on so many of Tod and Riley's bad habits. They are good trainers. You should see me out walking the three of them, I have had some people stop and stare at me. Probably wondering if I'm going to trip and fall while getting my arm pulled out of socket and dragged down the road!

Hannah continues to do well. I had her teacher conference and got her report card last week. Her teacher is so impressed with how well she is doing this year. She is working more independently, is more focused and participates more this year compared to last. She still takes more time to complete assignments during class and homework, but is still keeping up with the class. We all couldn't be more pleased. Looking back, even to last year, it becomes clearer as to how badly she must have felt last year. She missed so much school. This year she has only missed one and a half days total. She was home sick one day last week. She woke up so congested, with a stomach ache and just feeling lousy. She had a bad cold, slept until lunchtime, and felt a bit better by the end of the day. By the next day she was back in school. So many kids here in our elementary and our jr/sr high schools have had the swine flu. By some miracle, neither Colby nor Hannah got it. They both got the shot, so by now they should be protected from it. Let's hope so!

Hannah has been busy with weekly swimming lessons and swim team and horseback riding. Colby just made the volleyball team at school, so now she has travel lacrosse (started this weekend), volleyball, basketball and horseback riding. Think she does enough sports? She wants to do it, so as long as it accommodates her homework and she isn't too tired, we let her. Oh, and that doesn't count her dog agility classes, religion and practice for those sports too!

Today we attended the fundraiser for the Guardian Brain Foundation, organized by our friends the Mardjanis. You all may remember Alec, Hannah's friend from Schneider's with medullo also. It was such a nice event and they raised a good amount for the foundation. I had the opportunity to meet the founder's of the Foundation, Mike and Mary Pallotta. Mary and MIke started the foundation in order to support others fighting brain tumors and their families after Mary's brother passed away from a brain tumor. An organization that started out as a very small grass roots organization has grown to do wonderful things!

Hannah had fun helping me with the raffle table and of course bowling. She asks me constantly to go bowling, she loves to bowl too! Dave, Colby and Hannah bowled with the group and I helped Amy with the event. Hannah won a basket from the raffles-what else, stuffed animals! Great job Amy!

And our biggest project that has been keeping us quite busy-our adoption plan! We have organized 5 family adoptions this year in all. In addition, others have sent money going towards those adoptions, which is a big help. Hannah's Cans for Cancer is adopting 2 families this year, each with 3 children. The gifts will be delivered to the families on December 15th, so we have been shopping in earnest. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm such a planner and like to get things done early. We are almost done getting everything just right for the families, now we will start wrapping. I know Dave is looking forward to that! THANK YOU to everyone who has participated this year in our family adoptions. You are doing a wonderful thing!

We are traveling to Pennsylvania this week to spend Thanksgiving with Dave's Aunt Rosemary. We are also undertaking a new, exciting and BIG endeavor, but we'll save that for next time. So many reasons to give thanks, we hope you all spend the holiday safely with loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to the best sister ever. Today is my sister Sue's birthday (29th I'm sure!) Love you!

Did I mention I tried to decrease Hannah's medicine again? I don't tell her when I attempt this because I don't want her to think about it, or to have a reaction that may not be absolutely true. One more try, one more fail, but I'll keep trying. Only 2 days after I decreased one of her anti-nausea meds, she started complaining of a stomach ache again and looked terrible in the morning. It was that same old look she used to have when she wouldn't eat anything in the morning. I immediately increased the med back up to it's original level, after a few choice words to myself, and just crossed my fingers that it would work right away. Last time we did this, we went back to the original dose and that didn't work. Her oncologist advised me then that sometimes just going back to the original dose doesn't work, and you have to double the medicine to get her back to a baseline. Trying to go one step forward and you end up going two steps back! That doesn't seem to be the case this time, when I increased them back, she quickly recovered. She seems to be fine again at this dose, I would just love for her not to have to be on these medicines for the rest of her life. I guess it's not the worst thing, but at some point I'm sure her insurance company won't want to cover these any longer.

I wanted to mention two other exciting things tonight.

2010 Team Unite Calendar2010 Team Unite Calendar Pages

The 2010 Team Unite Calendars are now available on Cafepress!!

Show your support for our kids, and join us in the fight to CONQUER CHILDHOOD CANCER!!!

Each page features Team Unite members. Also included within each month is a detailed description of one of the childhood cancers, including symptoms and statistics. The month of September features Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

All proceeds will go to The Henry Tucker Foundation, CureSearch, and The Jessica Catherine Randall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Please note that on our smaller calendar ("Team Unite Wall Calendar"), the informational text is a bit difficult to read from a distance. Please consider the larger size ("Team Unite Oversized Wall Calendar") if you feel this may be an issue.

We have been a member of Team Unite for a couple years now, since it was created by our friends Heide and Michelle (both moms of children who are now deceased.) They are really doing an incredible job of raising awareness and supporting families of children with cancer.

Hannah is pictured in the 2010 calendar in the month of January.


Also, we would like to announce an upcoming event hosted by our friend Amy Madjanani (Alec's mom,

Kids Bowling For a Cause
Includes Unlimited Bowling & Shoes
Your tax exempt advance ticket purchase will be benefiting Guardian Brain Foundation a 501c3 non-profit organization

Chance to win a Marvel or Madagascar Bowling Ball, Sony MP3 Player and more

Join us Sunday, November 22nd at 10:00 am $30 per person

Smithtown Lanes
200 Landing Ave
Smithtown, NY 11787-1722
(631) 265-0121

Please contact Amy Mardjani (631)335-9889 for advance ticket information

This sounds like great fun, and if you are local, please consider coming out to bowl! Hannah loves to bowl, and we plan to be there to help support Alec and his family as well as the Guardian Brain Foundation.


Monday, November 2, 2009

I hope you all had a fun Halloween. The girls had fun trick-or-treating this year. Hannah was a donut (see the sprinkles on her face?) and Colby was a bumble bee. Hannah and I made the costume together. She wanted to be a donut last year too, which was all her idea. This year it was nice to see that for the most part, Hannah was able to keep up with her friends, which required quite a bit of running! Just thinking back to last year when she was so frustrated that she was so tired and always behind everyone, it was nice to see that this year she is stronger. She did have to take a couple breaks, but it didn't seem to bother her that much.

Along the way we seem to have picked up this guy.....
I just couldn't help it, walking by her and some other dogs that were all to be euthanized. They were from an animal rescue called Last Chance Animal Rescue Fund here on Long Island, She is a 4 month old beagle mix and at this time, we are just fostering her. She would be dog #3, and has to get along with the other two crazy dogs and the rest of our family. The boys were very interested in her when we came in, and she was very timid. All is going well, she is so well behaved and house broken too-at 4 months old. We are "still deciding."

We are still working on the Adopt a Family mission for Christmas this year. Take a look!


So far we have adopted 3 families for this holiday season, that's awesome! I wanted to provide a few other details on how it works.

A few people have asked me if they can adopt a family with others from their workplace or with other families. YES! If you have co-workers that would like to go in together to adopt a family, that would be great. Also, if you and another family (or others in your family) would like to get together to adopt a cancer family, that's wonderful also.

Another question posed was whether or not someone from out of town could participate in our Christmas adoptions. YES! It is probably more cost effective if you live out of town and want to help if you simply send funds to cover the cost of the gifts. I would be happy to do the shopping for the family. Anyone who knows Hannah knows that this won't be a problem for her, the girl loves to shop! If you would prefer to purchase gifts and send them, that can also be done (although the gifts will have to be shipped here, but still workable!)

After you contact me to let me know you would like a family for adoption, I will contact the hospital to request a family in need. I ask them for names of patient, siblings and parents; ages of all children, sizes of all children and any specific wishes and interests of the family. When all information is received I will pass that along to you. Gifts can then be purchased, wrapped and tagged. The gifts are dropped off to me at my house (or if you live closer to the hospital, they will go directly there). We will take all of the gifts into the hospital on December 15th. The hospital handles the delivery of the gifts to the family. We leave it up to the family to decide if they would like the children to know the gifts are from "Santa" or from the parents, or otherwise. Some families with small children may not want them to know they are being "adopted" for Christmas.

I hope that clears up some questions, but please let me know if there is something I did not answer.