Friday, July 22, 2011

cancer fashion

Not to be outdone, Tay sports her favorite look for the summer, a la Mommy. (Special note, sassy animal print scarf courtesy of Aunt Robyn).

The front...

...and the back. Show us what you got, sistah.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We all know M is truckin' through radiation, and the finish line is clearly in view. I think it's a good time to share some cancer moments that will make you smile.

There is simply nothing better than flame vedibles topped off with a cancer churo at T & B (Taylor & Bennett) Cancer Diner.

These are some well-adjusted children, friends, we should all tear a page from Marci's parenting bible.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Not sure if any of you follow Susan G. Komen for the Cure Phoenix on facebook - if not, and in case you are interested, they just announced a race volunteer meeting next Tuesday, May 10 from 6-9 p.m. at Phoenix Baptist Hospital in the Arlene Copley Wellness Room (South Building).

However, I'm still following closely so that I can help organize and mobilize Team M once they officially start registration for the Oct. 9 Race for the Cure in Phoenix. Looks like registrations will be open in August - not sure when they will set up all the fundraising. But stay tuned, because we'll be planning for one big celebration!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Been thinking about you a lot lately sis, and waiting for a great blog inspiration. Felt the need to check in :), so just a litte note before your sixth - sixth!! - chemo treatment. Home stretch!

Looking forward to making plans to celebrate Mother's Day with our mom, coming to T's recital in June, getting our families together for swimming and a cookout, and starting to tune our iPods for ASU football tailgate mixes. Clearly, no pesky disease is going to slow us down one little bit. Life will be going on, perhaps not exactly as usual, but just as full and robust, long and happy. I know this in my heart. You're so close.

My family went to the YMCA this weekend to work out and swim, and I noticed a lady kind of looking at me while we were both on the elliptical machines. Later, I saw her in the pool while we were swimming with our families. She came up to me, and asked if I was a breast cancer survivor - she had seen the pink band on my wrist. I told her no, that my younger sister was in the middle of her fight. We spoke for a few minutes. She was delightful - and an 8 year surivior, with two young children. I felt such genuine happiness for her, and thought, yep, that will be you soon.

Hang in there sis. We love you so much.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I’ve always been pretty intuitive. And I know where I get it (shoutout, mom). I can read people pretty dang accurately, after being around them only a short time. It’s engrained in who I am, on almost every level.

Seldom, however, do I run into people who are just as intuitive as I am, if not more; and able to show me things and help me see things even more clearly than I thought I saw them already.

I have a friend who went through a deeply traumatic experience with her family – an experience that, of course, changed her life forever. But when you talk to her about it, that’s where the clichés end. Her honesty about what she’s been through, is still going through, and will go through forever, opened my eyes to the fact that it is okay to say how you really…no I mean REALLY…feel. In a way that gives you permission to just tell it like it is. She is completely authentic, even if her story doesn’t go the way people expect it to. And she’s not ashamed of it. It can be almost liberating to have a conversation with her. (Which clearly I've don'e recently.)

Since M was diagnosed I’ve found myself taking a closer look at my life, and how much each choice I make throughout my day really matters. That, my friends, sounds totally cliché as well. I think it’s safe to say that everyone who is close to her is looking at life through a new lens. But when I stand back and take a look, I’m like, no, really, I am subconsciously turning everything upside down and inside out. Some days now, I will find myself impatient and pretty much done with things that are taking my attention and energy, that in the grand scheme of things may not really matter; things that take me away from my children without really, really good reason. Things that stress me out and make me impatient with my husband and family. Done with them. Want no part of it any more. But it’s not until I stand back and connect the dots that I consciously connect this new need for renewed meaning and relevance in my life with M’s cancer.

So I guess I’m doing this very cliché thing in a very authentic, and organic, way. I see my friend, and how her experience has shaped her into a person who doesn’t take a single moment for granted; like she said, spend the extra $20 on the good bottle of wine, and take your husband on that trip you’ve been talking about for years. Not because we think we’re going to be hit by a bus tomorrow. But because sometimes we get this wake up call, reminding that life is meant to be lived.

She opens my eyes to things in me that I either didn’t see, or didn’t choose to see; and spending time for her is, quite simply, good for the soul. She reminds me that this authenticity is what we need to have in our lives, every day, every hour, every second. We owe it to ourselves, and to those we love.

A couple of weeks ago, before I started this two week business trip marathon, Larry, the kids and I met up with M’s family for dinner. Barros for pizza. Which sounds like a totally nice, run-of-the-mill family event, right? But really, it wasn’t. I wanted to write about it, but wasn’t quite ready yet; after spending time with my friend tonight, I knew I was ready, because what was kind of lurking under the surface became crystal clear to me.

My sister and I have always been very close. And while I think that we have always both been totally comfortable being exactly who we are in front of each other, I think that this life experience has begun to change us both. From honest to authentic. When we went to dinner that night, and my beautiful sister was sitting next to me with her bald head wrapped up tight, it was clear to me that walls had come crashing down since last time we were face to face. I felt something different with her, and I even told my mom the next day, I’m having trouble putting my finger on it; but something had changed. It was as simple as her telling me, among other things, “You know, we have to make it a point to do this more often.” Simple words, and I can’t really articulate why they felt different, but they did. I knew, immediately, that she’d never meant it the way she meant it that night.

No. REALLY. We have to do this more often. Because life is meant to be lived, with those you love, whether it’s pizza at Barros or the Louvre in Paris. Just do it.

And to my friend – thank you. I hope you realize what a gift you are.

M - we look a lot more alike without the blonde mane!

Friday, March 11, 2011

cosmos & clippers

Drove home from work with tear-stained cheeks today. As I got in the car to go home, I noticed a text from my sister, nothing but a photo.

I was kind of surprised that it made me burst into tears the way it did. It wasn't all sadness. Not really sure what it was. I called Larry, because, well...that's what I do. And he said, oh honey, you knew it was going to happen. And I said, of course I knew it was going to happen. But it actually happened. That's different.

It's just a moment. I was so full of something I can't entirely put my finger on, something that came back to me when I called M later to see how she was doing.

She sounded, well - really, really good. Free. Relieved. The image she gave me - relaxing on her back porch, in her jammies, brand new wrap on her newly-shorn head, sipping vodka and cranberry - told me that, by all accounts, she was really doing okay.

I asked about the kiddos, and she said her son (8, brilliant, and adorable) did a pretend faint when he saw her. Then it was back to their normal routine. They were ready, and maybe a little relieved, too, that finally Mom was bald just like she'd said she was going to be.

Sounds like her hair started falling out early this week. And once it started - it came out in droves. She said it was everywhere; even in JY's coffee this morning. She said that the hair that had detached from her scalp, but was still on her head, made it itchy and uncomfortable. She was thinking about it constantly and by today, it nearly sent her over the edge.

So instead of letting her slowly dying hair make a long, dramatic, and agonizing exit, she decided to take control. I can't tell you the relief I heard in her voice. And I couldn't help but think about JY, cutting her hair for her, how much he loves her, how he's taking such exquisite care of her, and how strong he is for her. I cried for that, too.

So you see why I don't think these were tears of sadness.

You see, M has always seen her hair as perhaps her best asset. And gorgeous hair it was. We Pinkston girls were blessed with thick manes of hair; and hers was meticulously cared for, perfectly colored and cut, lovingly maintained. But now, M, you have no choice but to learn that it never was your hair that made you beautiful. Silver lining.


Not sure any of you, other than M, can ever understand how much I adore my Aunt Sue (because she adores her, too!) Except maybe my Mom, 'cause she's her sister :). In a show of solidarity straight from Texas, another short haircut!

Love you Aunt Sue - and love the hair, too!