Saturday, May 05, 2007

Grandma Tess's Memorial

Today was Grandma Tess's memorial service. I am so sad that I was not able to attend because of my prior commitment to Genentech (which went well, by the way), because I would have loved to see everyone in the Surface clan and to pay my respects to Grandma Tess.

Every time I call Tessa, I believe that a bit of Grandma Tess lives on. I am so grateful that they got to meet, and that Grandma Tess was able to understand that we had tried to honor her by naming her great-granddaughter after her. Of course, I never knew Tess well, but everything I have heard tells me that I wish my daughter to have many of her attributes: spunk, energy, wit, humor, intelligence, perseverence.

Special hugs for Mom Surface. I can't imagine that it is ever easy to bury a parent, and I doubt that this was an exception to that rule. I send you my special love today.

Friday, May 04, 2007

a baby and a plea

Today I received the happy, happy news that Warrior Woman team member Kristin's baby, a beautiful daughter, was born. Little Eleanor is healthy and happy...and she's a miracle baby. Kristin was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 6 weeks pregnant, had a mastectomy when she was 8 weeks pregnant, and did chemo through her second trimester. Eleanor became a survivor of all of this before she was even born, and I am certain that she is a child meant to do amazing things in this world. Welcome, Eleanor, and congrats to Kristin, Craig, Eleanor and big sister Luci!

But I'm mad. I'm angry that a pregnant mother must endure such atrocities. I'm angry that children must watch their mothers suffer. I'm angry about the damage that has been done to my body. I'm angry that I keep receiving phone calls from frantic friends, in shock and pain over a new diagnosis, and I am unable to take their pain away. I am angry that there is no easy solution to these problems.

I need your help. I am determined to find an end to breast cancer. As Kristin said, "once is enough." I fight for my own life, but also for the lives of all women (and a few men, too). I am fighting with all I'm worth, continuing aggressive treatment, but also fighting on a public level: I am up to my eyeballs with work for the Komen Foundation (look for me at Race for the Cure June 16, leading the I AM THE CURE program!) and Genentech (my first speaking engagement is in Seattle tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the Silver Cloud on Broadway - all are welcome to attend). But my primary focus is the 3-Day, because funds raised through the 3-Day go primarily to research, and research will lead to the cure.

I am begging for your help. Please give a generous contribution so that we can END this disease for all of us. I am working with my whole being towards this cause, but I can't do it alone. Last year, I raised $6000 and my team raised $32000. This year, I have a LONG way to go to meet that number, though my team is already at $38000 and growing every day.

Will you help? Please? Please do it for me, for Tessa, for Kristin and her daughters, and for all of us. We really, desperately need a cure, and I can't do it alone. I need you!

Thank you.


Random thoughts:
- While swimming with Tessa in the pool in Hawaii, it occurred to me that she might think that it was funny that the Hawaiian word for appetizer is "pupus." I swam up to her, with a twinkle in my eyes, and said, "Hey Tessa! For dinner tonight, would you like some...." and here I started spluttering and giggling and laughing until I couldn't say a word. At last, I understand a bit of preschool potty-humor! I recognize that it's not nearly as funny as I was making it out to be, but I could not stop laughing. Laughter like that feels good. (Tessa was appalled at my idea, and language, just for the record. She was not nearly impressed. Her disgust only made me laugh more. I guess I really am juvenille! )

- My personal pet peeve is when people chew with their mouths open. Given that Tessa is four, you can imagine how often this comes up. Well, Tessa has started calling it my "pea pod" instead of pet peeve and I just think that's the cutest thing. I can't correct her for fear that she'll lose this charming way of putting it.

- Last night, Ryan had the stomach flu (UGH - it was awful, but it has passed, and we are all so glad!) and so Tessa and I went out to Japanese instead of making dinner at home (Ryan had saltines for dinner...I was going to do a garlicky fish dish...can you imagine smelling that with a sour stomach?!). The bathroom at the resturant (with a 4 year old I swear we hit the restroom every 15 minutes - I know every bathroom at every resturant and grocery store and shop) had a fancy Japanese style toilet, which could, at the push of a button, spray one's nether-regions or dry them with warm air, etc. This was too good to miss, so when Tessa was finished, we set the water to "low" and "warm" and hit start. OOPS. Here is a note to the uninitiated: those seats are designed with a bigger bottom in that covers the entire seat. Given that Tessa's little bum only covered half the seat, the water sprayed up her back, and LITERALLY sprayed a shower over both of us. Fortunately, Tessa has a great sense of humor, and we both got a very good laugh out of it. (West Seattle people, you can check out the fancy commode at Mashiko's.)

Two cases of the giggles in a that's a good week!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hawaiian Fantasies Come True

My fantasy: running into the waves with Ryan and Tessa, smiles on our faces.
Ryan's fantasy: riding up AND down the volcano, Haleakala (he made it to 6500 feet - that's higher than Camp Muir on Rainier!).
Fantasies fulfilled. BLISS!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Home from Hawaii


The trip was fabulous. The time with family was wonderful, the weather was spectacular, the scenery was delightful and the ocean was fabulous. We all have tan lines from our swimsuits and smiles on our faces!

More to follow, this note just to let you know we're back. Now we're in the mad rush of trying to get caught up with things and get resettled into regular life, but when it slows down I'll update more.