Jack Has A Bully

Jack Has A Bully

I have a friend. Her name is Crystal.

Crystal has a son. His name is Jack. He’s five.

Jack has a bully. A very mean one.

Only this bully isn’t at school or in the neighborhood.

We’re telling Jack that it’s ok to fight back against a bully. He can hit, punch, kick, bite… whatever.

Jack’s bully is leukemia.

Jack was diagnosed yesterday, and it was confirmed today, with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Luckily this is a very highly treatable type of leukemia and has a very good success rate.

You can follow along with Jack’s treatment on their CaringBridge page. If you’d like to send him an email or e-card, you can do that at the.jackonaut@gmail.com.

They likely have a long, tough road in front of them so any prayers, positive thoughts and whatever will be appreciated.

Here’s where I tell you a story.

On Thursday on Facebook, I posted a story about a woman in Macon who met her marrow donor. They had both contacted each other after their information was released (12 months post-transplant). Their story is actually pretty amazing. Here’s what I posted:

So then I go to tweet about how frustrated I get when I get a Be The Match email. I always think it’s going to be “THE EMAIL” saying that it’s time for me to go and donate for someone.

I long to get that call. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it once a month at least. I got super jealous when my friend Jana said that she’d had the honor of being a donor about a decade ago. I want to do this. I want to help somebody in this way.

And then the next morning (Friday), I wake up and open my email. This is what I tweeted after:

Yes, I got a Be The Match email saying I should update my information and congratulations for being on the registry for 5 years. First of all, I can’t believe it’s been five years since I helped with a Bone Marrow registration at Fort Valley State in honor of a young man waiting for a transplant.

On Friday afternoon I was chatting with my friend Crystal. She was concerned about her son and had an appointment to take him to the doctor that afternoon. His symptoms sounded strange to me and gave me flutters in my stomach. We talked about mono and growing pains and stuff, but my tummy wasn’t settled. Later that night, the word Leukemia was used.

My heart broke.

Today that was confirmed. ALL. One of the “good” kinds to get.

But a childhood has been tarnished. Jack’s little life will be forever changed.

It’s time to rally around them. It’s time to take a minute and get on the donor registry. It’s free this month, thanks to American Express. All you have to do is go here and give some information and they’ll send you a swab kit. It can’t get easier.

Do it for Jack. Do it to kick his bully in the ass.

Do it for the thousands of people waiting for a match.

Do it because giving a little of yourself will save another person’s life.


My Tipping Point

My Tipping Point

My body has decided that at the ripe old age of 35.9 (so close to 36) it’s going to desert me. It’s going to just up and quit and start acting like it hates me. Right now I weigh more than I ever have. It’s not fun. And it’s not pretty. And I’m not happy in my own skin.

I know it’s not completely to blame for the extra 25lbs I’ve got on me or the fact that my only real exercise is walking Henry to school, but it IS to blame for the insane swelling and joint pain. And for the random rashes on my lower legs. Oh, and the fact that my hormones are way out of whack. Yeah, Body, I’m talking to you.

Body, I’m putting you in your place.

Monday I see my doctor to try to figure out why I’m swelling like a puffer fish. Something is going on in my body and I’m determined to get to the bottom of it. My feet and hands and elbows and knees shouldn’t be as swollen as they are. And no, they’re not just fat. I can feel the difference.

I’m tackling the fat, too. All those extra rolls around the middle — UGH.

Starting today, my sweet friend Bonnie at Simple Nutrition and Health is putting me back on track to take my Body back. I’ll be very open and honest, though. My real plan won’t start hard core until Monday. (Tomorrow is Henry’s birthday party and all weekend we have Halloween stuff, so I’m out for one last – in moderation – hoorah!)

Anyway, Bonnie’s whipped me up a meal plan based on my body, what it’s doing, what it’s NOT doing, how I feel and what my end goals are. I have a simple, but powerful, workout plan that I can do at home without spending a fortune on a gym.

Her approach is great. From her website:

We want to make eating right as simple as can be, so you can enjoy your life without it revolving around your diet.

Simple Nutrition and Health’s entire purpose is to give you the knowledge and tools to be the healthiest, happiest you can be. Whether it’s taking control of your health or providing the best nutrition possible for your family, we want to help you!

I saw the words “simple” and “happiest” and that’s what sold me.

She can do this all via Skype, email and chat and is a dream to work with. I’ll be updating y’all on my progress. Monday will be my kickoff day, complete with a picture and all that!

Stay tuned!

ps: Go follow Bonnie at Simple Nutrition and Health on Facebook! She gives out great recipes. Also, contact her if you’re interested in her services. Her rates are great and the support is even better!

Disclaimer: All opinions here are mine, however, Bonnie is providing me with her services in exchange for my posting my results and generally pimping her business out! 

They Love Him Before He’s Even Born

They Love Him Before He’s Even Born

I don’t know exactly when or how I met Jason and Denise (aka @iHubby and @snazzy_mcgee) but it was honestly love at first tweet. It’s probably been at least a year and a half now. Internet time is so strange!

You may remember Jason from the great National Championship BlogBet as he’s an Oregon fanatic and well, Auburn won! 

I think the most amazing thing about Jason and Denise has got to be their spirit. Even though I’ve never met them or even talked to them on the phone, I know that they are special people. They’ve had some setbacks (cancer and lingering effects of it) but are on a mission to become the most amazing parents ever. I mean, if I were in the market for new parents, which I’m not because mine are kinda cool, I’d totally be heading out to Oregon so they could take me to school, make me clean my room and pay for my college! Because that would be awesome to make Jason pay for me to go to Auburn again, right?

I asked Denise to share their story with all of you. Jason has told their story from his side but I know there’s another side to the story. The side from the wife who stood by his bedside, who mourned the loss of an innocent adulthood and who mourns the loss of the ability to have their own biological children. But also from her side is hope. Lots and lots of it. She IS truly snazzy. 

What am I waiting for? Here she is: Snazzy, I mean, Denise! 


It’s a pretty risky deal to start off a guest post with telling you about my dream, because who actually reads long-winded diatribes that aren’t real? Especially the dreams of someone you don’t even know? I hate reading about people’s dreams, and in the interest of your time I will keep this short and sweet: I dreamed that my husband and I had three children delivered to us by a stork, and even though I didn’t physically have the kids I knew that they were ours.

This was before my husband, Jason, had cancer. It was before they removed his testicle and before he went through chemo, though he went on to do all of that.

When I had the dream, our lives were fairly inane and remained that way until two weeks shy of our first wedding anniversary. That’s when he thought he had a stomach bug that turned out to be a lump in his left teste. We went to the ER on Sunday night. They removed the tumor and teste to which it was attached on Tuesday morning. On Friday morning we got the dianosis: cancer.

He went through two rounds of chemotherapy and we were instructed to wait six months before trying to have children. We weren’t really ready to have kids then, but at his year-after-chemo doctor’s visit, we requested a sperm analysis be done. Four days later we found out he had no sperm.

That stung more than the cancer diagnosis. Despite never having imagined myself pregnant, I felt crushed. I always figured it would be something I would do eventually and I was starting to warm up to the idea of morning sickness and loss of bladder control.

Having the choice of pregnancy be ripped away from me was more painful than I ever thought it would be. I mourned for myself a little bit; I mourned for the loss of options. One night I had a full-blown pity party, ugly, snot filled cry present and accounted for. Not my finest hour, no, but it was absolutely necessary.

It’s hard to explain why I was sad about something I never thought I wanted; I suppose because the alternative was so foreign that I was scared. I was scared of all of the waiting and the money and the telling my child that she’s adopted and having her hate me; I was scared of being different and unable to relate to my friends who did not adopt. I was angry that so much had happened to us in the past two years; I was pissed because it wasn’t fair. Juvenile, right?

I’m better now. We both are. It’s been six months since the sperm-free confirmation and our irrational fears and hesitancy have been dealth with. I still get little twinges of jealousy and I still sometimes have near-hyperventilation experiences when I think about how long this will take and how expensive it will be, but we will find a way.

We are ready to be parents, and as that is our ultimate goal, becoming parents through adoption meets those needs to a tee. We will provide a safe home, a home that fosters creativity and uniqueness.

There will never be a day that our child does not know how much we love him and that how special he is for being chosen twice: once by his birth mother who chose to carry him and let him go, and once by us, his parents, who loved him before he was even born.


She didn’t mention it, so I will. There has been a Chipin site set up for them to help offset some of the fees that it will take to make their adoption happen. It’s a long process and every little bit will help them make it happen sooner than later. It’s quick and easy to donate a couple of dollars… They won’t agree to naming rights though, I already asked! 

Denise and Jason, thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart to a sweet soul who will possibly never understand how much he/she was loved well before they were even born! 

I’m Thankful

This has been a most unusual week. A week like no other I’ve ever had. A lot of sadness, a lot of triumphs, a lot of talk of insecurities and anxieties. Not necessarily for me or Jason, but for those around us. It’s made me really ponder things I’m thankful for RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. Here are 10 of them.

  1. I’m thankful for AIR CONDITIONING! Need I say more? Oh, yes, I should. WORKING air conditioning!
  2. I’m thankful for my oldest and dearest friend who will just call and say she’s in ATL and is coming by!
  3. I’m thankful for divine timing. Two minutes difference in chain of events could have made this week a whole lot different… for a lot of people. In good ways and in bad ways.
  4. I’m thankful for a son who is thoughtful and caring. Even though he has his moments of pain-in-the-butt-ness, he’s such a gentle soul and really does care a lot about life and people.
  5. I’m thankful for busy people who are taking time out of their lives to make others know how much they are loved, appreciated and needed. They are reaching out and being open and honest. It’s amazing to see how kindness and compassion can change the feel of a situation.
  6. I’m thankful for the chance to take a very short vacation to the beach this weekend. It’s for a wedding, but there’s BEACH involved. Which also means HEAT, but I’ll take it. Since we’re not going to be able to take a long St. Simons vacation this year, this will have to do.
  7. I’m thankful for perspective. Being able to see the good in a situation or being able to make heads or tails of a situation is valuable. I’m so glad to be (fairly) logical and rational, otherwise this week would’ve been a lot more difficult.
  8. I’m thankful for hospitals that do amazing things. In the last two weeks, I’ve heard of 8 year olds having aneurysms, young women whose lives are forever changed physically and emotionally, brain injuries that have essentially been corrected, babies who have beat the odds and survived trauma during birth. It’s just overwhelming to me what can be done in hospitals now.
  9. I’m thankful for social media for making a small world even smaller (yes, I’m looking at you, Dana and Chelle).
  10. I’m thankful for my husband. This last week has shown me, REMINDED me, what a good person he really is. He’s caring, thoughtful, loving, appreciative, sensitive and gentle. Sometimes (for all of us) it gets hidden under all the hustle and bustle of life, but it’s always there. Sometimes we just look for it or it takes a traumatic event to bring it ALL to the forefront.

What are some things that you’re thankful for over this past week? It can be as simple as an extra cup of coffee or an hour alone. Or maybe that a small miracle has happened in your life.

Whatever it may be, take a minute and be grateful. Be thankful. Tell someone you appreciate what they do for you.

There’s No Substitute for Some Things

There’s No Substitute for Some Things


I remember sitting in the PICU, receiving the “bad news” about Charlie and watching the nurse fumble around to find me the “good tissues,” which if you’ve ever gotten the “good tissues” in a hospital you KNOW they’re only one step above government-issued Russian tissue. (aka cardboard)

For someone about to blow their nose 1.5 zillion times in an hour, this didn’t bode well. One of our first calls to friends, they asked what they could do. My answer. “Bring REAL FREAKING KLEENEX®.”

They did. Obviously they are keepers.

Even with real Kleenex®, and I mean REAL, name-brand with the little round ®  thingy or whatever Kleenex®, your nose is still going to get angry with you. About 48 hours into the waterworks, the nose was rightly chaffed, red, dry and hurty. So hurty that you resort to rubbing chap-stick all over your nose just to get a little relief. (Shut up. You know you’ve done that, too.)

I do believe this was all before lotioned Kleenex® came about, so we were doing the best we could. It was eleventy billion times better than hospital-issued tissues, though.

After Charlie died, we provided bags of necessities to families in the PICU in his memory. They all included REAL Kleenex® packets and we also donated large boxes of Kleenex® to the nurse’s station to give to parents who were receiving bad news or mourning the loss of their child.

Fast forward to present day.

I will report that my ENT’s office uses Kleenex® in their rooms. Good sign as soon as you walk in. If they’re gonna be all up in my nose with probes and stuff, they better have something good for me to wipe my nose and tears when they’re done. That’s one of the only reasons I agreed to let them do the surgery on me… they know good tissues and PROVIDE THEM.

Nose surgery equals lots of nose wiping, or dabbing as it really has been. Lots of Kleenex® has been used. By lots, I mean two full giant boxes in 4 days. The husband was kind enough to buy the lotioned kind for me and aahhh, can I just say how heavenly that’s been?

(side note: Kleenex® boxes also make great bedside trash cans.)

I didn’t realize how heavenly the lotioned Kleenex® was until yesterday when I ran out and resorted to a fresh roll of toilet paper because I didn’t feel like taking my pitiful butt across the road to Target to get some more.

Now, I buy good toilet paper. I don’t buy the awesome pink stuff that feels like it’s made of kitty cat fur (my Grannie does, or she used to), but I do buy nice, soft, absorbent, triple ply stuff. But this toilet paper has left my nose dry, scratchy on the outside and begging for a nice layer of chap-stick to ease the burn.

Good toilet paper’s got NOTHING on Kleenex®. NOTHING.

So today I will go out and buy another box or three of real, lotioned Kleenex® because I don’t see an end to the nose-wiping in my near future. And there’s no reason to skimp on something that is going to cause you pain, heartache and chaffing.

**Kleenex® did not give me any product or money or anything to make me write this post. I buy Kleenex® and all opinions contained in this post are mine and mine only. If they want to sponsor me to get Kleenex® into hospitals for ALL patients, not just those who get bad news, I’m down with that. Otherwise, this is just me, still slightly hyped up on pain med, blabbing on about wiping my nose on their fabulous product.


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