Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The the Games Begin

Tomorrow I begin radiation treatment. Every day for six weeks. UGH. Oh yeah, also low-dose chemo. Not the type of cocktail I had in mind. 

Doctor says this will be my full-time job. Radiation will only be about 20-30 minutes. This is a writer's dream, actually. The rest of my day will be reading, tea, rest, repeat.

During the past few months, I've been busy sharpening up manuscripts and cover letters to send out into the world. Terrifying. If you are new to the submission process, let me tell you it takes a lot of research! Click here for helpful tips by children's author Tara Lazar.

For now, I will give my mind a break and slip into some good books. I'm currently reading Ready Player One and hope to see the movie this weekend with the kids if I'm up for it.

Recommended Picture Books:

For my oligo facebook group, I know some of you are struggling with raising children - on top of dealing with health issues. Here are a few picture books filled with humor to brighten everyone's day.

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." - Mark Twain

Goodnight iPad, by Ann Droyd

Mustache Baby, by Bridget Heos
Mustache Baby Meets His Match
The Great Puppy Invasion, by Alastair  Heim

Nothing Rhymes with Orange, by Adam Rex

Monday, March 5, 2018


We must ACT. NOW.

Here is the petition to Congress. Let's help these kids make big change!

If you are in the Seattle area, there will be a march at Cal Anderson Park. 10am March 24.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Another school shooting.


Shame on politicians who did NOTHING AFTER SANDY HOOK.

I lived in Coral Springs for 17 years and went to Douglas. Class of 1995.

I am grieving with my former community.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

miscellanium (a poem for and by the brain)



a mind confound!
a few letters
a sound
a lost word

so fragile…
this world
this mind
this sentence
this word
this letter
not found

and yet…
still strong?
a word created
change is possible?
is it?

to change...
replace "g" with a "c"
add the word "take"
the letter "a"
and reverse "is it?"

make a poem
stitching sounds!
stitching letters!
stitching words!

give it the name:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Picture Book and…Fibonacci?

I may have just broken a code.

A math sequence. The fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55…)

In a picture book of all places!

Disclaimer: my neurologist did say my left parietal lobe could have trouble with math after surgery.  

To that I say…psshh. Lame.

Disclaimer #2: I was never very good at math.

The book is Jack, by Tomie DePaola. It's a beautifully illustrated book, seemingly not at all about math. Interesting! Let's take a look...

Jack lives with his grandfather out in the country. One day, he decides to try out city life. His grandfather is very supportive and offers Jack advice to seek help from the king. Along the way, Jack makes an assortment of friends.

So Jack (our #1 hero) sets out for the city, leaving his grandfather (1).

On the way, he meets a chick (nice pun, DePaola).

Jack + chick = 2

Then Jack meets a duck:

Jack + chick + duck = 3

Next Jack meets a goose and a dog:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog = 5

Then a frog, a pig, and a cow:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog +frog + pig + cow = 8

Next, Jack meets a cat, a sheep, a horse, and an owl:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog +frog + pig + cow + cat + sheep + horse + owl = 12. I know, I know. The next Fibonacci number should be 13. But what the text leaves out, the illustration makes clear: + crow. The crow joins the group for the rest of the story and we now have 13.

The other characters are quiet observers in the scenery. They include two doves on the dedication, a worm, ants, mice, spider, nuns, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, a guard, king, queen, etc.

I wonder if they make 21? 34?

Don't forget that crow!

I'll leave that for you to decide. My brain needs some rest. This is where too much time on my hands has led me. But it was worth it. Whether or not my math holds true, this story illustrates how to be inclusive...and the beautiful outcome that builds from there.

Have fun delving into this fun, beautiful book!

Monday, June 26, 2017

brain surgery!

I am alive and well after brain surgery!

I was so scared that a) I would wake up DURING surgery and freak out, b) I would not wake up AFTER surgery and freak out, c) the surgeon would poke different areas of my brain and be completely freaked out, and d) all of the above.

However, my neurosurgeon is amazing. He was able to remove most of the tumor, plus the ballooning cyst. They sent it to lab and there were a few "hot spots" on the pathology report showing slightly higher grade (not quite a 3, but more like a 2.5). I went to see my neuro-oncologist to discuss radiation and he said I can delay it for a year or two since the surgery went so well in removing those hot spots. YAY! Now I can enjoy my summer. I still need to do chemo, but it's in pill form (Temodar). Very convenient with not as many side effects as IV form.

So here is my updated To-Do list:

And now for something completely random...

My surgeon lived for a time in Tyler, Tx, not too far from my hometown of Shreveport, La. Small world. I have no idea what he managed to do there other than go to a couple honkytonks and a Dairy Queen. Both of those sound pretty good right about now. Hey, maybe he ran into Matthew McConaughey. You never know.

My oncologist's first name is Jerome. It's one of my favorite names, because it's a ghost town in Arizona where we went one summer vacation. Look it up! It's awesome. My oncologist is pretty awesome, too.

My tourist t-shirt looked something like this:

  • London
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Jerome
I have to write it here because my husband begged me not to bring it up at the doctor's office. I am very good at embarrassing him with trivialities. It's just too darn fun. I will most likely bring it up anyway. Once you are diagnosed with brain cancer, you just don't give a care about what people think of you as much as you once did. YOU GOTTA DO YOU. I may even try to find that t-shirt. 😂

I'll sign off for now, but remember, if you or your loved one is struggling with a health issue (or any serious issue), please know there is help and support out there. Try to find the right medication, reach out to others, start a gratitude journal, listen to music, etc. Do what you've been wanting to do for a long time. Seek joy.

It's been a roller coaster ride for me (I happen to not like those) and I am not always chipper and optimistic. But hopefully, some good will come out of hardship. In fact, it already has. I've met some wonderful people (like Dr. Tyler, Tx and Jerome) and have had more quality time with my family. Try to focus on the positive, and when you can't, just breathe. Hold on. You're not alone. 💖