Saturday, September 29, 2018


It's been a couple of years since I've written.  For those of you newly diagnosed or in treatment, my silence is a good thing.  We're very busy doing normal things, not going to clinic.  Visits to Duke are now only once a year, where labs are drawn and hearts are monitored.  There are annoying side-effects from treatment that have popped up but nothing we can't handle at the moment. 

Although we volunteered, this is the first year I have not done an Ultimate Hike as a participant.  Weekends are filled with basketball, volleyball, track, Boy Scouts, dance, and general merriment.  No time to train.  I'm very happy that my last hike on the Foothills Trail in 2017 was with Matt, Daniel, and Natalie in Eve's honor for the whole 30 miles.  It was a good note to end on. 

Matt and I have been quite busy working on a project.  There is a historic home in downtown Holly Springs, NC that we are turning into a restaurant.  Pimiento Tea Room is our current labor of love, and no matter how hard an undertaking it may be, it pales in comparison to dealing with childhood cancer.  While this will cut into my normal fundraising time, it is with great excitement that once we are open, a regular portion of our proceeds will be designated for pediatric cancer research.  And since I'm never shy about begging for money, if you know anyone who wants to join our investment team, you know where to find me!

Since I can't possibly NOT fund raise, even though I don't have the time to do something extreme that requires months of training, I found something extreme that doesn't require any training.  On October 13, 2018 at 9:40 a.m., I'll be rappelling down the side of the 21c Hotel in Durham.  It's called "Over the Edge" and all funds raised are benefiting Duke Children's Hospital.  I've never rappelled, but I'm good at falling down things.  Somewhere, there is a video of me tumbling down Monument Valley on a trip to Arizona as a child while there is no video of my parents trying to rescue me.  I signed up for the second slot after the first rope check; I figured I would let someone double check the rope check for me.  Want to donate?  You can right here

Although it's the end of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month for a lot of you, a lot of us are all-too-aware the rest of the year as well.  If people can get excited enough to give $13,285,266 to fund a cooler on Kickstarter, surely we convince them that funding research to save an average of 71 years of life is just as exciting.

Imagine how many Victory Tacos could be eaten in those decades.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Most Extreme Ultimate Ultimateness Pt. 3

The first time I did the Foothills Ultimate Hike, I pretty much decided I was never going to do it again.  Then that childbirth thing happens where you know there must have been pain but not enough to cover up all the good stuff that came out so you decide to sign up for it and have another baby.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Definitely Maybe

Thanks to Facebook memories, I got a bunch of notifications that this article I wrote for Touched by Cancer magazine had been published four years ago.  As we prepare for some upcoming visits with doctors to tackle a couple of late-effects, this seemed worth revisiting.

To say that raising kids denotes eighteen-plus years of uncertainty is an understatement.  Will they grow up to be well-adjusted?  Will they bring home friends that I approve of?  Will the school system reassign them to a new school for the third time before the fifth grade?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

That time we ate our way to Indiana.

So, at this point in the game you may very well know that food is my love language and it is with this information that I present to you the time my friend Candi and I ate our way to (and from) Indiana.  I am convinced that we may very well have taken this trip even if Candi had not signed up to do the Tecumseh Ultimate Hike in Indiana because she is not only my hiking BFF, but also my food spirit animal.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here's how I got on the line for $7500:

Natalie really wanted to do an Ultimate Hike with me.  I've done several hikes, Eve had cancer, Daniel and Matt shave their heads for St. Baldrick's.  Natalie wanted to do something (besides having cancer).  I get it; because our bunch is such a loud-mouthed family about childhood cancer, Eve is usually center-stage.  Nat just wanted to have her own way to contribute (again, without having cancer).  So, sure.  You can do an Ultimate Hike with me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Clean pee for sale

NINETEEN DAYS until I take Natalie (10) and Daniel (9) with me on their very first Ultimate Hike in the Dolly Sods Wilderness.  They are trying their hardest to raise twice the minimum so twice as many kids might be cured twice as fast.

Friday, May 22, 2015


So, I've definitely not been the post-iest for a couple of years.  We continued to go to Duke every three months for scans.  Eve has had enough radiation to fuel a back-up generator at Shearon Harris.  I laugh when people are scared of getting cancer from going through a machine at the airport; you have a better chance of getting cancer from being treated for cancer.  We've been billed for CTs, MRIs, echos, x-rays, ultrasounds, some nuclear medicine scan that is so far removed from my brain that I couldn't pick it out of a line-up...