Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Start, New Me, More to come

Ok, Its been some time since I've posted.  It has been such a devastating time in our lives over the last 3 years, since we lost Chuck.  A wonderful Father, Friend, Husband. 

I missed writing so much but could not seem to bring myself to do it.  I went through a LONG stent of writers block for sure.  Not that I don't have a MILLION things to say.  I have grown and am ready to jump in water again.  

I have some great things that will be coming up to share with you but just wanted to say hello to all of my friends and followers that have stuck with me during this difficult time in our lives.   I may be a little rusty but am SO excited to get back to sharing what we've learned, new products, giveaways and more with you.  Lucas has grown up so much and been through so many different struggles that I can't wait to share with all of you.

This was the three of us at Christmas.  Notice the smiles are back. 

Stay tuned for some great things to come.......

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saddest days of my life!

 It comes with great sadness to come on here to tell you that the love of my life who has fought the hardest battle I've ever seen someone fight but has lost the battle.

6/7/63 -  8/2/12
My husband passed away on Wednesday from Melanoma Cancer that found its way into every part of his body!

I have spent the last nine months in a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.  So many of you have sent us well wishes and it has been impossible to take time away from my family to keep you updated.

Please continue to keep my children in your prayers and I hope to be back soon telling you about the amazing progress that Lucas has made. 

I've included his funeral information for those friends that we've met that would like to pay their respects.

Again, I can't tell you how much Chuck appreciated all of the prayers and well wishes for him.

May the Lord cradle you in his arms as I have for the last 15 years.  Rest in peace my love, rest in peace.  Thank you for our beautiful children and amazing life together!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Yes, you heard me right!

Most people in the situation we are in right now would not be saying that they are blessed, that's for sure!!

Well, I told you on our last post that we were trying to find out what was wrong with me and we were blessed to find out that it was NOT cancer, I have Lupus!!!  The lumps that they found in my breasts were swollen lymph nodes.  All of the lymph nodes in my body are swollen because apparently its in a flare up.

I can't tell you how relieved we were when  we found out that it was ONLY Lupus and not Cancer.  Lupus is not the best thing in the world to have either but its sure as hell better than being told that you have cancer when you are watching your husband slowly die from it!!!  We could not imagine leaving our kids to care for themselves without anyone being here for them.

DONT TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS!!!!   I am so mad at myself right now!!!  I was trying to clean a vent over the weekend and stood on the arms of the couch and loveseat.  Screwdriver in one hand and Scissors in the other and fell!  FLAT on my face!!  I'm a big girl and did a nose dive, superman fly jump (as Charlie called it) right to the floor!!  I was doing everything I tell my kids not to do and hurt myself pretty bad!  I thought I broke my wrist but didn't thank GOD!   As the days progressed so did the pain in my lower back!!  Well, today I was stuck in the bed for over an hour!  My lower back is completely locked up!!  The pain is horrific.

For Pete's sake I am SLOWLY trying to get ready for a trip that was given to us from For Pete's Sake Foundation.  I told you in our last post that they give families stricken with cancer a respite from treatments and they are sending us to Great Wolfe Lodge in the Poconos.  We have been through SO much over the last few months.  I am SO looking forward to just relaxing and seeing the kids have a good time for once!!  They have endured more than any 4 and 12 year should ever have to!

Some of Chucks friends from growing are a having a benefit for him on June 3rd.   I'm going to post all of the details for any of our friends that we met here in case anyone would like to come and meet the family.  I feel like you are all family to me.  You have all been so wonderful with sending in donations and prayers and We will NEVER be able to thank you enough.  We feel your love, prayers, and strength!

Here is the Facebook post to the benefit that his friends are hosting  CHEERS FOR CHUCKIE

I made a printable flyer for them too which you can copy from our web page by clicking on my "Chuckie" picture!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our journey through the last few months from HELL with Metastatic Melanoma (SKIN) Cancer!

My God, if you told me 10 years ago that SKIN Cancer could be so mean and powerful I would have laughed!!  I cringe at the thought of spending days in the tanning salon and putting iodine and oil on my body to get a tan!

Obviously, things have been pretty crazy since the last time I was able to post was in January.   My hero of a husband has fought his behind off to keep this cancer at bay and every time he takes a step forward, it kicks him fifty steps behind.

I feel completely blessed that he is still here with us since they told us in October he wouldn't make it through the night when he first went in.  Since then he's had eight bronchoscopies to remove tumors from his lung so that it wouldn't collapse or suffocate him.

About a month ago we went in for treatment only to find that the cancer had formed two tumors in his head.  One in his brain and an inoperable one in his eye.  He had brain surgery two days after they found them to remove the one from his brain and massive radiation treatment on his head in hopes to keep the cancer in his eye from spreading. 

Chuck was nominated, by the hospital, to a foundation called, For Pete's Sake.  They send families on respites to get a break from Cancer.    They chose him and the trip was canceled because of how sick he got last month.  Another blow from this horrid Cancer! 

To make matters worse, during this time, I had gone in for a routine mammogram and was called back because they found two suspicious lumps, one on each side!!!  We were devastated to say the least!!  We were certain that God would not give two parents, with no one to care for their kids, cancer!!!  The second round of tests showed no cancer in the breast but some inconsistencies elsewhere so I've been going to specialists to figure out what the problem is during all of this mess with my husband.  I can seriously say that I am on the thinnest shred of thread, that I have ever been on emotionally, in my life. I usually don't ask for prayers for myself but in this situation will take any that are offered!
We have been in and out of the University of Penn on almost a daily basis for treatments, procedures, tests, or visits.  I have to say that I don't think we could have found a better group of doctors to care for Chuck.  I instantly start tearing up when I see how excited they seem to see him and how wonderful they treat him!  They really make him feel like he's the most important person in the world to them.  The amazing thing is, they make ALL of their patients feel that way.  It's just an amazing hospital and anyone fortunate enough to be treated there is a very lucky person.
Making sure Chuck and I get to our appointments and, taking care of and getting our children where they have to go, working, and  trying to keep our lives as normal as possible for our kids has been the most difficult thing to keep together all while trying to keep things as normal as possible for them!  

MY HERO and our Children!!
My husband, Chuck, makes me so damn proud!!!!

I've never seen more determination and fight in any person in my life!  

He is and always will be, MY HERO!!

I have cried so much over the last few months and felt so many different emotions I'm surprised I can still function!  I honestly don't know if  I would have that kind of strength in me to fight as hard as he is and that scares that crap out of me!!  I've watched him bring other people up when they show that they are sad that this cancer has taken over his entire body and just sit in awe at how his faith is SO strong that he can do that!

As it stands today, and I say today because it could change tomorrow, Chuck has Melanoma cancer that has pretty much metastasized through his entire body.  The doctors have been very up front and honest with us from the beginning about his prognosis but we have all stayed steadfast in the our belief that miracles can happen.

When you have two little children you can't do anything else but believe that a miracle can happen to continue getting up out of bed each day.  When I look at them my heart fills with sadness, my eyes fill with tears, and my emotions fill with anger at the thought of how my children are going to get through this if they lose their Daddy if this cancer gets the best of Chuck. 

The trip from, For Pete's Sake was given back to him because he recovered so well from the brain surgery.  It will  be at a closer place in case Chuck has to go back into the hospital right away.  This is supposed to take place in May but you can't plan anything with this cancer!

I put a donation button on the side bar of the site and in this post in case anyone wanted to help with the cost of his treatments, tolls, gas, co-pays, etc.   My church has been so wonderful with helping us for the last few months.  My boss could not be more understanding and our friends have been an amazing strength for us.  

It amazes me how good people really are in the world when things like this happen.  I am in shock to see the out pour of people who have extended their desire to help in any way that they could in this horrific time in our lives to try and ease the burden a bit for us.  Thank you, words will not ever read what our heart feels from your support and love for our family.  Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Change for Chuck

Change for Chuck

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sarcoma Cancer, Large Cell Unidentifiable Lung Cancer, or Melanoma Lung Cancer

I haven't been on in a while and this is actually the first chance I've had in a LONG time to even think about getting on the computer to give anyone an update on how things have progressed with my husband, Chuck.

So much has happened since the last post and we've been put through so many different hoops and rings with what my husband has and what they think can be done.  He's had so many surgeries, hospital stays, moves, and scares since we last talked.

He was at Virtua Hospital in Marlton for a while and was  finally moved over to the University of Pennsylvania.  He had some amazing Pulmonary Doctors from Garden State Pulmonary in Marlton who really went out of their way to help fight the insurance companies to get the care that Chuck needed.  He was fortunate to have Dr. Steinberg, Dr. Salm and Dr. Eric Sztejman who had the, "You Know What's",  to go against all of those who originally said that nothing could be done for him and removed the tumor that was supposed to be inoperable !!!  They will never be forgotten and will never know how grateful I am to them for giving my children's Daddy a chance!! 

They originally believed that Chuck had a Sarcoma lung cancer which started in his lung which is EXTREMELY rare and then moved to his lymph nodes and back.  They had specialists from all over trying to get together a treatment plan and decided to biopsy the cancer that they found in his back.  They then believed it could have been Large Cell Unidentifiable lung cancer. 

While they were determining what it was, he had his first round of Chemo that could be used for either cancer, which was two very rarely used chemo's together called Ifosfamide and Paclitaxel.

The biopsy from his back came back soon after which was positive for a melanoma cancer which changed everything.  Although the two chemos work for both cancers they want him to see their group of Melanoma specialists to start a new game plan.

They believe that he had a skin cancer at one point that came out and went into his blood which finally made a home in his lungs, lymph nodes, and back.

They let us know that although its a better cancer to have in regards to treatment options the prognosis is not much different than having the sarcoma cancer.

Taken at Univ of Penn before Chemo
Officially, as of now, my husband has stage 4 Melanoma Cancer that has metastasized into his lungs, lymph nodes, and back.   

The most frustrating part of all of this is the waiting that we've had to do for anything to happen at all!!  No one could seem to figure out what was going on with him and give a definitive answer about the type of cancer he has.  They are still doing biopsy's on the cancer which is why I say "As of NOW"!!!     I didn't want to come on and say too much because every time we were told something it would change.  They removed the tumor in his lung back in November and by 30 days later he was rushed back to the hospital for bleeding and they found that the tumor in his lung had doubled in size, blocking off his airway and the blood was from the necrotic (dead) tissue in his lung was ripping off and coming out of his throat!  I can't even imagine how horrible this all is to him!

I also believe that something in this world should be done for families that need to see their loved ones that are in a city hospital.  Just to visit Chuck across the bridge was $5.00 in tolls, and parking ranged from $9.00-$25.00 per visit!  If I went to see him right after work with the kids, I would get the kids something to eat while we were there too which was a struggle that I don't think any family in this situation should ever have to consider when making a decision about going to be with their family when they are sick!!!!

As soon as he went to the University of Penn they were able to insert a stent which would move the tumor the other way so that it didn't block off his airway until they can start a treatment to try and shrink it.

We almost felt grateful that he has a rare cancer because more doctors and specialists wanted to be involved to catch a glimpse of it first hand.  We feel fortunate to have the specialists at the University of Penn involved.  They are great doctors who REALLY seem to care about Chuck. 

Chuck told the doctors that he was really upset and that this could be the last Christmas he had with the kids and wanted it to be special so they decided to give both kids, and me, the "BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER"!!!  DADDY was home for Christmas!!!   We really saw the true meaning of Christmas this year!  It wasn't about presents it was about family and cherishing every second we had together!

Daddy with Charlie & Lucas a month before we found out he was sick
I've been through some pretty hard times in my life but NONE compare to what I feel when I look into my kids eyes and image them without their daddy!

Everyday when I look at Lucas, talking more and more, having conversations with me and crying to go see his daddy when he's in the hospital, assures me that miracles DO happen!!  Lucas had the same prayers from all of you and I believe that is what helped him get to where he is today.

 I  humbly ask for you to continue those prayers so that we can see a miracle happen with my husband as well.  Thank each and every one of you who sent messages and well wishes for a Happy Holiday with Chuck and know that we've been hoping for the same thing for all of you. 

We are all overwhelmed at the responses from all around the world.  Every faith and religion has been praying and wishing Chuck and our family the best and can't tell you just how much it means to us.


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