Happy Anniversary

This is Justin. I’m hijacking Shay’s blog today to wish her a happy anniversary. We’ve been married for fourteen years. Most of that time, she’s been battling synovial sarcoma, a rare and scary type of cancer. That disease exacts a heavy toll and demands a lot of sacrifices. A lesser person might retreat from the world and it would be understandable.

Justin & Shay

Instead, Shay faces every challenge with courage and grace and there seems to be no limit to everything she accomplishes while she is fighting this battle. Many of you know her so you know what I’m talking about. Some of you may not so I put together a list of things you should know about my wife.


  • My wife is a wildly successful businesswoman
  • My wife is an excellent mother and does most of the hard work raising our son (I’m in charge of math homework and sex ed.)
  • My wife manages our home practically by herself (I’m relegated to moving heavy objects and Aidan is, well, useless)
  • My wife does a great Mitch McConnell impersonation. Next time you see her, you should ask her to do it
  • My wife has a kind, generous heart (please stop sending her pictures of stray pets that need homes!)
  • My wife once drank a Dos Equis with The Most Interesting Man in the World – and found him to be a tedious bore


  • My wife is sexy and fun
  • My wife transformed me from an insufferable tool into the reasonably decent man that you all have begrudgingly learned to love
  • My wife is better than your wife. Just kidding. (No I’m not)
  • My wife is the bridge that connects me to the rest of the world

What I really want to say to my wife, Shay, is this: For fourteen years, our marriage has been a seamless masterpiece. That is no surprise. We love all the same stuff: Indie rock, drinking in fancy restaurants, House Hunters reruns, and each other. We’ve had a great time, but there’s a lot more to come. I have it all planned out. I won’t go into all the details here, but I’ll tell you how it ends: I die of a heart attack in 2059 while the two of us are engaged in a relatively exotic and certainly ill-advised episode of gross old people sex. In the meantime, though, there’s a lot of living to do together. First I need you to beat the shit out of this FUCKING cancer. Seriously. It’s enough with that nonsense already. I know it is becoming a little more difficult and a whole lot scarier lately, but I’ll be at your side the whole time. Let’s get it done for good this coming year. I love you. Happy anniversary.

Four Down, Three to Go…

Happy Thursday Readers! It is almost Friday! Woot! Woot! Even though I am in the hospital, I am excited it is almost Friday. It means I will be one day closer to getting home. I am due for my 5th cycle of chemo tonight. I will have two more cycles to go through for a total of seven, one more than last summer. Dr. D. is going hard-core which is fine by me. I can take anything they can dish out.

I got a better nights sleep last night. No blood transfusion to keep me up. I slept from 12:30 to 4am and then from 4:30am to 8:15am. My Man came in shortly afterwards with coffee and breakfast. He is so sweet. I was able to make my conference call although I was a bit late since they were setting up my chemo. Afterwards I hit a wall and passed out. I slept through my friend, Calanit who came down to visit me! Boo! But I was tired and you got to get the sleep when you can get it.

Later my friend Jennifer P., who has been a saving grace, came to see me. She has been picking up The Boy and having him over after school since Tuesday. He even had his guitar practice there. It’s a good thing our boys have the same teacher and on the same day. She has just been so great to us.

Guess who I just saw?!? The Boy! My Man picked him up and brought him for a visit. We had to meet in the family waiting room. It was full of a few families but we had space. I miss him and being with by boys and the fur kids. I miss my bed. He seems to be ok, kinda sad but ok. He, like me, are hoping that I get to go home on Saturday. Then I will have three weeks of normalcy. i will still have to go in once a week for labs but I think I can handle that.

There is a chance, a chance that if I do well that I may be able to do my need treatment out-patient. For seven days I would go into the hospital for three hours for my chemo. Then I would wear a purse like think what would have my mesna and fluids in it that I would be hooked up to. This way I could go home!! How awesome would that be? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

So Dr. D. just came in and sat down with me for 25 minutes to talk. Told me the difference in sarcoma vs breast or lung cancer. Talked about genetic testing. How I was feeling. Anything and everything! Wow. It is almost 9pm and she was in no rush.

Have a Happy Friday Readers!

Guess where I am????

So guess where I am Readers? If you are on Facebook then you already know. I woke up yesterday knowing I wasn’t going to have good meeting with my doctor. I knew there had been some growth. I have been getting short of breath faster and I am been wheezing when I breathed at night. I always noticed it when I was laying down for bed. So when she told be there had been some growth, I wasn’t all that surprised. Crushed but not surprised. We have decided to go back to the chemo I had last summer. It is a very strong chemo, that can have some serious and crazy side effects (remember zombie dreams?). However, I handled it pretty good and the rest of me is in good shape, so we are doing it again.

What surprised me was when she asked me if I wanted to check in…now. Wait? What? Right now? I haven’t packed! My Man informed me he would pack up my stuff. It all happened really fast Readers, as in I barely had to wait to get into my room. She had already reserved a room for me and I got admitted very quickly and was in my room in no time. It is a nice room, nicer then at Emory. By the way, I am at Northside Hospital. I gave birth to The Boy here. I will post pictures of my room when I get back home.

So the tumors have grown, however some have signs of death and decay around the edges and in the center. So, it looks like the old chemo worked a bit but just wasn’t fast enough. There is one tumor that is pretty big which is causing the shortness of breath and the wheezing. Plus the one on my back which just causes me some pain when I lay on it.

In about 2 hours I will start my third round of chemo. Everyone here has been great. The nurses and techs are wonderful. They are so nice and very attentive. The 3rd floor cancer floor is small not as loud or crazy as it was at Emory. Once sucky thing is that The Boy is not allowed to come into my room.  No one under 12 is allowed on the main floor. They have a waiting area right when you get off the elevator where we can meet at. So, I haven’t seen him since yesterday morning. We have been able to Facetime which is cool. My Man is staying with him and I am been staying nights by myself. My Man is able to come and work from my hospital room. Plus I have had visitors! Today I had four people come visit and they all brought food! We have planned it out so that My Man will bring The Boy over tomorrow.

Ok Readers, chemo starts soon. I need to get ready! I hope you have a good night. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming!

Going back to Bama…

Good Day Readers! How was your weekend? Did you get a lot done, have too much fun, eat too much, watch football, yell at TV every time you saw a certain college football player on the screen? I did all some of that.

Timber Came along for the trip to Bama!

Timber Came along for the trip to Bama!

We headed over to Birmingham on Friday to spend the weekend with my parents. Over the past two years it has been the other way around, my parents driving to see me and my family. Yes, it has been about 2 years since I have been back to Bama. Birmingham is only 2 and half hours away, so it is not due to a long drive. As you are all aware, I have been kind of busy the past year and half. I am not sure why it has taken so long for us to get over there. I guess when there was a free weekend where I was feeling half way normal, we just wanted to chill out at home and rest.

Cocktail and snacks on the screened in porch.

Cocktail and snacks on the screened in porch.

We got there in time for cocktail hour! Woot! My mouth sores have settled down so I was actually able to have a cocktail. Don’t worry, there was also snacks. I was actually really hungry which is another thing I jumped onto. I haven’t been hungry all that much so when I am, I eat. So far I have lost 10 pounds and while I am happy about that, my doctors are not.

Pow! Bam!

Pow! Bam!


Nana Pete and Papa had a gift waiting for The Boy when we got there. They weren’t sure if it was too young for The Boy but it turns out that a 4 foot punching bag was just the thing The Boy needed. My Mom thought he could use it whenever he felt upset. The Boy ATTACKED that thing. He wasn’t without it (we named him Hanz) the entire time we were at their house. It is full of two gallons of water so it isn’t light and he would haul that thing in and out of the house, up and down the stars. I had to explain that he would not fit in the car when we went shopping or to dinner and would have to stay at home. he was not happy.


On Saturday we went out and did a little shopping. They had a Athleta store (never been to one, catalog only) at the shopping area we went to called The Summit. I think I could have spent an hour in the store and spend a lot of money. They had super cute jackets that just made me long for Fall. When will it get here!?! In the end I bought a scarf (not for my head) that was super cute. The only sucky part, is that I have to wait to wear it. On Wednesday this week it is supposed to get down in the 50’s in the evening. I just may put it on and sit out on the screened in porch so I can enjoy it! We also went to the bookstore and bought The Boy five books. He has already read two of them. He has turned into a reading machine! I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me. After shopping we went back home and watched Alabama play football. RTR.



We went to eat dinner at Hot and Hot Fish Club. We had been there once before and really enjoyed it. It is probably the best restaurant in Birmingham and the chef is a James Beard winner.

So tasty

So tasty


Best thing I ate all night.




So good!

So good!

My parents have three guest rooms. One that is my old room which is where My Man and I sleep. So that leaves two beds for The Boy to choose from to sleep in. Instead the chose on the floor in our room.

Snuggle buddies

Snuggle buddies

Overall it was a very nice trip. We laughed, we cried, we talked, we ate good food and drank yummy wine. Good times. I hope you all had just as nice weekend.

I will be going to the doctor tomorrow to find out how my scans went. I am very scared Readers. Very scared. If you pray, please pray for me. If you send good vibes, please send them my way. I know if things don’t go the way we want there is still the chemo I had last summer that worked to fall back on. I really hope we don’t have to go there, the impact on The Boy is something I don’t want to even think about. But if we do, we do. I won’t stop fighting.

No Growth!


I remember what it use to look like.

I remember what it use to look like.

What a morning Readers! I woke up after a not so great nights sleep and went into The Boy’s room to wake him up and get him ready for school. OMG. What a mess I found!


He sleeps in there

He sleeps in there


All cabinet doors open, clean/dirty clothes all over the room, books and toys on the floor, closet stuffed with damp towels and dirty clothes. I lost it. Just lost it. How many times this week have I told him to clean his room? How many times have I told him not to put wet towels on the floor? How many times Readers!!?? So mad. So stressed. The words I have read in my new book about talking to your children left my mind and I lost it. The authors of the book would be shaking their heads at me. He told me maybe I shouldn’t come into his room. What?! I informed him that it was not his room. It was his father and I’s room and we let him use it. And since we do that, he is in charge of keeping it clean.

After the yelling some more at him and hitting the Damit Doll, I took a deep breath and informed The Boy that he was not allowed in my room for “snuggle time” unless his room and closet were clean.

Snuggle Time is when he gets to come in with me while I lay down, get under the covers and watch home improvement or cooking shows with me at night. He loves this time. He is always asking me when we can go up to my room for snuggle time. It is good mom and son time.

So when I told him that he was like “WHAT?”  He was very upset. There were tears. He asked what he was going to do. Clean the dam room.

My Man thought it was a very good punishment and it might actually work. Cross your fingers Readers. Cross your fingers.


Doctor Visit

New Pain Killers

New Pain Killers

I was able to meet with Dr. D. yesterday when I went into get my labs drawn. They said she wanted to meet with me and check how I was doing. How cool was that? I didn’t even have to wait. Shocking! We discussed my pain management and some changes in dosage. Next we reviewed my lab report. (FYI at Emory it would have taken an at least an hour to get the report, here it took 10 minutes). Every thing looked good but they are watching my hemoglobin. Mine is a 9.2 and if it drops under 8 they will want to do a blood transfusion. Ok, Readers here is my problem. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help get that number up. I just can not not do something. She told me to eat a steak. A steak? I don’t eat steak. She asked if it was because I didn’t like the taste. No, I like it, I have just stopped eating it. She then mentioned leafy greens, kale, spinach, broccoli. Yeah, I eat a lot of that already. I drank a bottle of that (cold pressed juice) before I had went in to get my blood drawn! Plus I had a spinach salad at dinner the night before. Just how much must I eat for it to actually help?

I had stopped eating red meat because everything I read told me it wasn’t good for you especially when it comes to cancer. However, it is the best (easiest/fastest) way to get iron in your system? We discussed iron pills and those are off the table. Some research shows they had a negative impact on the chemo, so doctors have stopped suggesting them.

From WebMD

To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:

  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
  • Liver
  • Artichokes

And here’s a tip: If you eat iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron.

So Readers, what do I do? Should I start eating spinach salads every day, juice even more, have steamed broccoli and beans (which I do already) for my side at dinner every night or just eat a steak once a week (wow, that sounds like a lot)? I eat 5 items on the list on a regular basis already. I do not want to have a blood transfusion. Suggestions please.

The shots.

The shots.

She did say I could stop taking my shots. Woot! Woot! For the past six days my man has been having to give me shots in the evening. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is for him. I can’t do it myself so it fell to him. I get the injections in my stomach where there is extra “cushion” aka my muffin top. My Man was happy to hear we were done for awhile.

I left the meeting with her feeling pretty good. She thinks I am doing well. She feels that my CT scan on Friday will go well. I sure hope she is right because I am scared shitless right now. I can’t stop thinking abut that dam scan. I would be thrilled/over the moon, if there is no change. No f-ing change. They don’t have to shrink yet, just no growth. NO GROWTH! Say it with me Readers!! No Growth!



In the news…


Readers! Below is the link to the article that was written by Jackie Tyson in regards to me and Team Hotel Yorba raising money for the 24 Hours of Booty race in October. How cool is that!?! Pretty cool if you ask me!

Team Hotel Yorba Captain 10-year Survivor, Amputee Pedals to Put Cancer in its Place

There is also a chance it may be printed in a local Sandy Springs newspaper.  If so I will make sure to take some pictures and show you guys! Ha! How crazy!

My Man, The Boy and a rabbit.

My Man, The Boy and a rabbit.

Last night The Boys and I got all dressed up (nice shirts at least) and went to dinner at The King and Duke. We really needed to get out and have a fun dinner as a family. It had been a rough week for all of us and we need to spend some quality time with each other. We had to drive through terrible rainstorms and flooded streets to get down to Buckhead where the restaurant is located. It is crazy how much those people pay in property taxes (we are taking $10K-20K here people) and their streets flood at a drop of rain. The Boy was freaking out, the flooding was so bad. His class has been learning about floods and scary weather at school and at one point he was like “Turn Around!” We stayed the course and had a yummy dinner. Glad we were not in a tiny sports car.

Turns out The Boy is a big shellfish fan, he ate half of my dinner. Next time we are skipping the fancy burger and he and I will just share. The Boy did not have any iPad or iTouch with him so we all had to talk to each other. NO! Yep, it’s true. We did. And we had fun time too.

Me and The Boy

Me and The Boy

Working Hard

Working Hard

It was supposed to rain here all day today but the sun came out along with the humidity. Last week when my dad was in town he bought six bags of mulch for me. There is a yet another part of our backyard that the trees have grown over and no grass or moss will grow. the area and trees are really pretty but the dirt pile and trail with all the roots showing is not. So me and The Boy ripped into the six bags and started laying it out.

Does not cover much.

Does not cover much.

We soon discovered that six bags does not cover much ground. Looks like I will need to get at least another 25 bags to cover the area and small trail. It has been a week since Poopy passed away and Turbo seems to be doing ok. She is getting along with the other two hens and I think they still look at her as the head hen. She has been roosting more on the outside roosting bar which is nice to see.


The Boy and I checked on her last night hoping to find her roosting with Terry Pete and Zazzles for bed but she was in the nesting box. I ended up putting her up on the bar to roost. I am hoping if I do this enough times she will catch on and do it on her own. Since it is so sticky and gross out today I thought they would like some cool watermelon to snack on. They seemed to enjoy it.



Kitty Cam-Petting Panny

Kitty Cam-Petting Panny

The rest of the day was all about watching football and napping. My body is tired and sore and after a big day of racing around Friday I needed the extra sleep. I hope you all have a nice weekend. Be Safe! Be Sassy!

How do you talk to your kid?

Me & The Boy

Me & The Boy

Happy Friday Readers! Are you not so happy that it is Friday? I am. It has been a roller coaster of a week. Between chemo, how I am feeling, homework, tests, The Boy’s feelings and the crying that I am ready to chill out. Oh the crying! I am drained Readers. Drained. It has been an emotional week for the The Boy and I. Yesterday he admitted to me that sometimes he was angry/mad at me for being sick and that is why he lashes out at me. What do you say to that? Well, I had and idea what to say thanks to my conversation with my friend Judi R. on Wednesday.


She told me about a book called How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and suggested the I take a look at it. Well, I am glad I did. I downloaded a sample and what I was able to read was perfect in helping me reply to his comment. I told him that I too was mad and angry at myself. That I don’t understand why tis was happening to me and if there was anything I could have done to stop or fix it. I told him I too got scared, sad, angry, upset, felt guilty and that it was all ok. It was normal to feel that way and he had every reason to. We sat up at the chicken coop/fire pit area and just talked about how we were both feeling. There were tears and hugs and questions and listening. But the thing is, even how great it was to have this conversation with him was (and I think it helped), I should not be having this conversation with my 9-year-old son.

Whatcha Watching?


Outlander on Starz

Follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I have been aware of the Outlander series of books for a while now and to be honest, was not interested in reading them. A few months ago I started seeing ads on TV but I have never really watched anything on Starz (did I even get the channel). Well about a week ago my friend Heidi A. suggested I take a look at the first episode that they were showing for free. I had the time and thought what the heck, I would give it a try. Well, turns out that I do get Starz and I was hooked! It is a pretty good show. Now, I have heard from two people who have read the first book (which the first series is based on) that the show is better than the book. When does that ever happen?! Have any of you read the books? Are you watching the show? What do you think?

Pro’s- The setting is beautiful. The accents are beautiful. The story is very interesting, not to hooky yet. Strong female character, I like Claire. She is tough and stand up for herself. I do wonder if she is a little to strong since she is not from 2014 but from 1945 when woman still were expected to act a certain way. There are some very nice looking men, Jaime, one of the male leads is nice to watch.

Con’s- The accents are hard to understand. For some reason I think if I turn the volume up louder, it will help but it doesn’t. My friend Heidi watches some of the shows over again to try to catch things she missed the first time around. In fact she thought one of the leads accent was a bit over the top only to learn he really is from Scotland. There are some really ugly, dirty, bad teeth looking people in the show. It was a dirty, smelly time. The last episode was 1/2 in Gaelic. That was hard because I don’t speak that. What the hell is going on?

The show airs on Saturday but if you have the On Demand feature (OMG, I love it! I know kinda late to the game) you can catch up pretty quickly. That is what I did after watching the first show. Heidi and I think they are going to air two more shows and then take a break and play the rest in 2015. I hate when they split the season up like that. I am hooked, you don’t need to try to hook me! Just make more shows!

Whatcha Reading?

I am reading three books right now. A Year Without Sugar, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and The King’s Curse. As I have shared before I also listen to audio books via Audible.com. I haven’t been listening to anything for awhile and have 5 credits and a $10 coupon to use. My Man and I are big Agatha Christie fans, we watch all the shows on PBS when they come on. Years ago I read all of her Miss Marple books and have decided that I will listen/read all of her Hercule Poirot books. The first one is The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

Plans for the weekend Readers? None here and I am good with that. Well, maybe some cleaning. I would love to go through out glasses, coffee cups, mugs, wine glasses and clean it up some. The cabinet is full!! I hope whatever it is you end up doing you have fun!