Hoops for the Hart’s, This Weekend @ NPU

Guest Blogger Mom here again.

Sports, sports, sports…they drove much of the activity in our home. Six children times two sports, sometimes three each, for twenty-five years is more of an investment of time than I am hardly willing to admit without therapy of some sort. I’m deeply aware that our priorities may have been somewhat skewed at times but I am also keenly mindful that both in the arena of life or perched on the periphery sidelines all of those years were some deeply forged life lessons, magnificent moments and wonderfully forged relationships. There is something about competing on a team that drives home some of the most basic life lessons, the engagement with others is raw and honest, vulnerability and humility are both woven into the human fabric often forced in uncomfortable ways. Together you learn things about each other, intimate things, hilarious things. It is in this arena that you grow and grasp and try and make sense out of the fairness of sport and ultimately life. You learn how to pick others up, how to motivate. It introduces you to the very first lessons in dealing with loss, dysfunction, emotion and pride. You celebrate in ways that are rich, memorable, joyful. You learn the very nature of being human while walking through it arm and arm with teammates, you essentially learn how to live in community.

I write all of this because I have seen these same lessons embedded in former teammates transcend time and reach out to Bethany and Kevin to support them in this horrendous life turn of events. They have this unique bond to be able to enter in and say we are with you, battle on my friend. I’ve seen teammates of their siblings reach out and say we are genuinely with you on this ever-important court of life. You will never understand the impact these gestures have have on others when you take time to step into the world of another, even when it is raw and uncomfortable and hard. Cancer changes you, it rocks your world, it has a mind of its own and the rules are not fair, much of it is played out of bounds. It is like the bad call that leads to a free throw for the other team to win the state championship, it is being benched, it is getting cut from the team of life, cut from the normalcy, cut from being allowed to participate on the traveling team of parenthood. It is hard my friends, this is hard, so hard to watch, it is hiding my face, turning my head, not wanting to watch kind of pain. 

 And then into this pain step moments like this. This weekend Lauren, Bethany’s former teammate and now Coach at North Park University put together an event to honor Kevin, Bethany and Hallie Hope hosted by their basketball team and football team. This is a great hand in, bring it in, slap on the butt and send off to finish the battle. We are all humbled by their thoughtfulness and the magnitude of this gesture. Please know that what you have done speaks volumes into their lives and we are so excited to be back in the stands and hope to see many of you there to put your hands in as well, to say we are with you, hands in everyone, hands in!

I know my God has this all in His hands, I also am confident that,  “This happened that the works of God may be displayed though them,” John 9:3 but these tangible acts of support matter, thank you North Park for being His hands during this time!

Round 3: 15 Thoughts 

15 thoughts, you ask?! Updating after chemo is always a weird post – I find myself sparing you the details as it’s just a crappy week, plain & simple. But then it turns into the same ole’ boring update so instead…we are going to have some fun! 

This is going to be Lightning Round style, the first 15 things on my mind, right now. No editing, #nofilter, true life.  Ready?! Go!

1. Homeland is an incredible show. I’m on Season 3. Claire Danes is such a great actress. Is this really the life of a CIA Agent? If so, God bless them. And thank God I have the job I have. I would tell so many secrets! 

2. I had my first two real “cancery” side effects this round – crazy nausea and a terrible taste in my mouth. The taste one was pretty defeating for me. 

3. Grape jolly ranchers for the win. I believe this bag came from the Winters. Thanks for saving me! 

4. My dog ate all my Werthers last week. Yes I’m 80 years old and love Werthers. Paisley strikes again. It’s as if he knew and struck me at my core #foreverscheming 

5. King size beds are a must in life. Best thing we ever bought. Caveat being you need a down comforter!

6. I cannot wait for spring. I’m ready to throw out all the winter candles and bring in the spring candles. And also clean anything cancer related out of my house. 42 days. #cancerbonfire

7. I don’t really remember Friday or Saturday. I remember feeling crappy but I was out cold both days, didn’t move from bed except for fluids. It’s weird how your body helps you to cope. 

8. That shot is a b*tch. Sorry Mom. Bring it on if it keeps me out of the hospital & on schedule but imagine all your bones hurting on top of chemo. Those are the dark moments of cancer I hope you never have to feel or witness! 

9. I wonder what my white count will be come labs this week. Starting at a 5 and then getting that shot, they have to be legit! Keep beating your score Beef, that’s a game we all win at. 

10. What show will I watch next? I hate coming to the end of a binge show. Don’t leave me Carrie! 

11. This week marks the FIRST week since December 5th that I have *nothing* planned medically (except for labs). Nothing. No where to be. No one to see. Nothing, y’all! *knocks on wood given my track record 😂

12. Kevin has spent most of this chemo weekend pinteresting, I mean man-tresting, projects that are going to make our backyard and thus our summer amazing. His plans fire me up so much! We’ve had some genuine laughs the past couple of days. I’ll spare you over what (cancer brings you together in ways NOTHING else can 😂) but I’m grateful & I am still chuckling as I write this. 

13. “Normal” is a word that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I find myself craving “normalcy.” But then I get really angry when I think of normal. Social media has been very hard lately. Why couldn’t we have been “normal?” Why couldn’t my pregnancy have been “normal?” How in the heck are we going to make it through March? How do you survive March 31st? Ugh. Cancer sucks!!! #halliestrong is really, really hard sometimes. 

14. Ok maybe I should’ve done top 10 things. 🙂 That took a dark turn. I promised I wouldn’t edit. There’s a reason I don’t get left alone a lot these days! 

15. Toews is snoring quite loudly and is totally hogging the bed. Paisley is sprawled on the floor at the foot of the bed. They never leave my side during chemo weeks, they say dogs just know. For as much as these clowns drive me insane, I appreciate their protective nature. But a little less snoring & destruction is always welcome puppies! 

And there you have it. 15 random thoughts. Fun place in that ole head of mine, isn’t it?! Thank you for your continued prayers. We appreciate them & we don’t take all the support lightly. It helps us to survive, truly! 

Love y’all.


Round 3 Update

Quick check in, I’m hanging in there. This has been the roughest go round to date though. 

I’ve had a lot of nausea this week which has been rough. It’s been a lot of food roulette – will it make me sick or will it make me feel better? Ya never know. I have found weird success with sausage mcmuffins right after chemo though this week. You roll with whatever gets you through. 

The exhaustion has been a lot worse this round. I’m sure it has something to do with being in the hospital last weekend where you get no sleep. Good news is I’m done with the steroid for the week, so into hibernation I go. The more I can sleep through this misery the better. 

I also got the nuelasta (I may have spelled that entirely wrong) shot today in my stomach. That shots entire purpose is to raise my white counts. Bummer is the side effect makes your bones hurt. It’s rough. Oddly Claritin can help with it so I just took that. And liquids, liquids, liquids. It’s getting pretty hard to drink water straight up!! I have one more round of fluids scheduled for tomorrow morning which helps the cause.

So, not quite the upbeat update as usual but that’s chemo weeks for you. Good news is I am in bed and all tucked in. Here’s to these next few days passing quickly. Cancer sucks! 

Thank You!! 

In all the chaos of the past week, I never got a chance to say a huge thank you to so many special people that were part of an incredibly thoughtful gift to take me through the last half of treatment. 

Check out this blanket where each square is filled with encouraging messages from so many important people in my life: 

And those colors! I imagine if someday we are blessed with a child, those will totally be our nursery colors. The perfect combo! 

I received this gift in a hilariously decorated box from none other than Hilary. Of course she organized something as thoughtful as this. She sent squares across the country on account of bringing me incredible encouragement. Hilary, you are the best of the best. There aren’t enough words to express what you’ve done for my heart through all of this! 

For all of you who wrote messages, THANK YOU! I spread the blanket out on the coffee table and read every square. Many made me laugh. Some brought a tear to my eye. Only a blanket for me would include Coack K & Nick Saban quotes, Elf quotes, Irish blessings, verses & more. It is all perfectly me! You guys are all so thoughtful. 

It’s humbling to have such an incredible backing of support. It’s not lost on me and I’m thankful for it every minute of the day. You guys are making this that much easier for me. I love you all!! 


Round 3 is Underway

I’ve got some magic cells y’all. Dr. Potkul said at my appointment this morning he thought for sure he’d be seeing me in the hospital yesterday. Nope. Not this girl. Instead I’m in da chemo chair for round 3. 

How magic are my cells you ask? My count was over 5 today. 5! Give me a challenge cancer! Nevermind, I take that back, got a little too cocky. You’ve challenged me enough.

I am getting pretty nervous over here though. On Friday when I was being admitted, they asked if I had an advanced directive to which I replied, “it’s only a fever!” (I’m told it’s a standard question.) Anyways, the chemo machine is plugged in so when I have to go to the bathroom, I have to be unplugged. It is quite concerning how quick my Mom jumps up to pull the plug & how big the smile is on her face while doing it. I won’t be writing her into the paperwork! Kevin meanwhile is sitting in the corner, not sure if he’s ok with this kind of joking 😂.  

I’ve got the dream team of chemo nurses today. All my faves – Carmen, Dawn & Justine. That’s more good luck. Here’s to third time being a charm in terms of no complications. I will be getting a shot 24 hours after my last day this week to help with my counts, so fingers crossed I won’t have to battle neutropenia anymore.

I did learn today that I’m slated for 5 rounds, not 4. Shoooot. So we are downhill after this week. Mid March, we’ve got our eyes on you.

We are also slated to head home finally today. Kevin worked his butt off yesterday, as did the carpet & furniture cleaners. Paisley got groomed again. Moe & Sheila have been so awesome for keeping the dogs for us. We got a video of Hadley saying she would keep Toews, I always knew she was a smart kid!! 

Can’t. Wait. For. Our. Bed!! Here’s to a smooth week. A smooth couple of weeks really. 


Free, kind of! 

I broke free of Loyola this morning thanks to a WBC count read of 3.3! Boom. Separate of the antibiotics, I got one shot each day of n-something (I should know this), whose entire job is to get that bone marrow workin’ to bring up that count & it worked! 0.9 –> 1.0 –> 3.3. #freedom 

I was obviously on the oncology floor again so we got to see all of our favorite nurses who took such incredible care of us after surgery. The only downside of getting released today is we had Rhonda as our nurse today! Alnita was also there and I thought for a second about coming down with something like, “I’m lightheaded,” or stomach pain just to stay because they are worth it, but I resisted the urge. We also saw Julie last night during one of our strolls around the floor, which was awesome. We added a few to our list of love this stay – Kileen & Mary. We just adore our Loyola nurses.  We also found a foosball table on the floor. Beef 2, Mom 0. That’s all you need to know. Yes, we refrained from any loud cheers or competitive shouts given the environment. Sort of. 

But enough about me, as it isn’t about me. We are free “kind of” because it’s all about Paisley as he continues to put on a spectacle of mischief, which constantly reminds us that cancer means nothing to a dog! I’m secure enough to admit how mad he makes me in the moment (yes I did say to Kevin this dog needs to go until I’m cancer free yesterday, and I’m not sure I disagree even with being level headed now 😂), but that dog ain’t changin’ so I guess I need to change my attitude and laugh at how humble he keeps us! 

We walked in from the hospital today and it was clear that in the battle of Paisley vs. Skunk, Paisley lost miserably and thus our house has lost miserably. Our beautiful brand new house, skunked. While we are in the hospital. You truly can’t make this up!! It’s funny writing this in all honesty (the people I’m about to list aren’t laughing though!!!) They say it takes a village – here’s how our village is spending this day: my Dad & Kevin had bowls of vinegar in all our rooms at the house & my Dad is finding an open dry cleaner for our bedding, my Mom is soaking our clothes in vinegar and washing it all, my brother Dave walked the dog during bath time for the other, carpet cleaner comes tomorrow & Moe and Sheila, very bravely, took Paisley & Toews for a little vacation at Hotel Jay. I’ve always said I wanted to write a book and my goodness if life keeps going on this track, I will have a best seller in no time. I appreciate so much our family and friends stepping in so quickly to help us out. They have 100% drawn the short stick, skunk smell is no joke but they have lifted this burden from us and we are two very lucky humans. 

Thanks to my parents we are shacked up in a hotel and thanks to our village, we are already in bed and Kevin is already asleep. I’m not far behind him as my body is exhausted. Rest is our best friend today as sleep is quite elusive in a hospital. 

Rhonda wheeled us out today and she was giving me great perspective about neutropenia and why I shouldn’t take it as a setback. She also said the fact that my counts rebounded as fast as they did is incredible. I’ve learned so much about the body and it’s quite fascinating how complex & hard working they are. For as much trouble as mine has given me the past 3 months, I’m proud that it has fought so hard to this point and how it will continue to fight. I’m also thankful for all of your prayers, I know this is not just my body rebounding on its own! It’s the power of your prayer very much so thank you!! 

The doctor on call (who is so amazing too, btw) said with where my counts are, she’d do chemo this week but ultimately it’s up to my Doctor. Kevin and I were just talking about it – we are praying like crazy that chemo will be a go this week but we are going to go into it expecting a delay for rest so that we aren’t let down. After all, it’s a week and my body has been to hell and back lately so we will trust the call that’s made. I’ve asked a lot of Team Beef this weekend but if you can sneak in a few extra thoughts & prayers for chemo to be a go, I’d love it. And if not, pray my attitude is as good Tuesday as it is while I type this. #accountability 

Not sure we will make it through football so to Hilary, please make sure your Falcons beat da Packers. And to Kaela, always love seeing #12 get a W. Go Pats! 

One more huge thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. At least y’all get free entertainment mixed in with our battle!! We are forever thankful for you Team Beef! 

Beef & Kevin 

A Bummer of a Setback 

Sadly I’m writing today from the ever beautiful 6th floor of my weekend all inclusive staycation at Loyola Hospital. On such a beautiful fake spring day in January, it is such a bummer. 

This week I was feeling a lot more sluggish than the usual chemo/radiation hangover. I’ve had a headache for a few days. Yesterday morning my legs started to feel weird & as the day progressed my body was more and more achey. I laid down around 4 in a winter hat, sweatshirt & sweatpants, under a down comforter and quilt and still couldn’t stop shivering. I took my temperature and it read anywhere from 100-101.4. Eeeeek.

Dr. Potkul & Kathleen had me come to the lab first to draw for updated numbers. My white blood count on Tuesday was 1.2 which is lowww. Bless their hearts as my body decides to do this on a Friday evening! Unfortunately my count came back even lower, .9, which makes me ‘neutrapenic’ and automatically lands me in the hospital, likely through the weekend. 

They’ve tested me for any and every type of infection – including blood cultures from both arms & my port. I’m still waiting on results but Dr. Potkul said they will likely all come back negative & this is really a result of the treatments. He was explaining again how rough of regiment the combo of chemo & radiation I’m going through is and that this happening didn’t totally surprise him.

They’ve been pumping me with antibiotics since last night. I had an reaction to one – I could not stop itching and I was so red where I was itching. They put Benadryl into my port and whoa baby, I felt like I was floating. Deep space nine floating! It worked really quickly thankfully. They also started me on a medicine to help bring my count up. 

Hoping to see the doc soon and learn more about what it takes to get home. From what I gather, it’s going to take time. White blood cells are what fight infections so I know I can’t leave until they are higher. 

How’s my morale? I’m doing my best to stay positive but it’s hard today. Physically, it sucks feeling so crappy. Mentally? Pretty freaking frustrated. I really am glad we did radiation and chemo together, truly, but the setbacks have been hard. There are worse things in life than having to spend a few nights in the hospital and I’m glad I’m here so I can start to feel better but this also likely means that chemo will be delayed again and that’s a soul crusher. Emotionally I could use a couple breaks in my favor!  

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. I could sure use them today. Thank you!! 



Cue the jams (“All I do is Win”), throw some confetti, pop the champeezy. I rang the bell baby!! 

If I compared the feeling of completeing radiation to that of running a marathon, would you guys give it to me? 28 days, it’s kind of like 26.2 miles right?! It definitely felt like a marathon. Long. Some days were easy. Some days weren’t. It was a mental battle. It wore on my physically. But then you get a medal (or ring a bell) and you forget if even for a moment how hard it was and instead all you feel is pride. I’m very proud today!! 

I have lots of other feels too.

I feel a huge sense of relief. No more daily hospital visits! Radiation oncology is in a basement for obvious reasons, so I’m relieved to be done with that as my start to the day. Relieved that my body can finally start to heal. 

I do feel a bittersweet sentiment in saying good bye to my techs! They were all so incredible and each took such great care of me. Cervical cancer isn’t exactly the easiest thing to treat (cue the many jokes I’ve made over the past 2 months on this topic) and yet I always felt so comfortable with all of them. They become so invested in your battle and I was proud to ring the bell in their company today! 

As I was laying there today, I found myself feeling so much gratitude. I am so thankful I was paired with Dr. Small and his team. He is so invested in sccc and in my battle. He answered every question we had and always made me laugh. He will be the recipient of one huge hug from me when God willing those scans come back cancer free!! I’m so thankful for the nurses – Angela & Barb specifically. It always felt like they were going overboard for me, so assuming that’s how they make every patient feel, it speaks to how incredible Loyola is. 

I feel so supported by all of you, thanks for all the texts today! I feel like this is as big of a win for #teambeef today as it is for my body.  

And ultimately, I was so happy that I got to ring the bell with three of my biggest supporters:I joked with my tech & nurse that I felt like I was back in elementary school — celebrating the day by bringing my parents!! They laughed.  I know my parents could’ve never in a million years imagined a turn like this in their child’s life. I am not sure I’d have the strength to watch my child go through all of this so it’s not lost on me how hard this has been for them. This celebration is a far cry from a basketball banquet but we made the most of it anyways. Hope I made you proud today! And same thing for Kevin. What we celebrate & what we look forward too has sure taken a sharp turn from where we should be today and what we should ultimately be celebrating March 31st but we are learning every day to accept this new life. And to win when we can. And to smile & laugh through it all knowing that the opposite wouldn’t get you very far. 
A huge thanks to Aubrey & Mrs. Douglas for the hat I wore today!! I for whatever reason checked the mailbox this morning as we left for the hospital and how awesome that I did as I saw a package in there – this hat! I got lots of compliments on it and it was a perfect pick me up for the last day. I appreciate you guys thinking of me!! I also got the sweetest card from Grandma Clifford encouraging me, which was another huge pick me up. Thanks Grandma, it’s as if you were with us today!! Good thing I walked to the mailbox, eh?! And a big thanks also to my in laws for the beautiful orange flowers that we came home to. A perfect celebratory bouquet.

So, there we have it. One big ✔️ next to radiation. Cancel the radiation specific alarm for the morning & we are one giant step closer to the finish line! Those both deserve lots of these: ‼️‼️‼️


A Doss-Hart Weekend! 

Hi all, guest blogger Kaela here! For those of you who don’t know me Bethany and I work together at Yelp. We started back in the day together, just 2 months apart, and have been friends for the last 6+ years. My husband Isaac and I used to live right down the street from Bethany and Kevin for about a year when they lived in Phoenix so the 4 of used to hang out quite a bit as well.

This is my very first blog post ever, so go easy on me if it’s not up to par! When Bethany asked me if I wanted to guest blog while here, of course I said yes, but I’m not lying when I say I’m both excited and nervous! Laugh all you want, but do you know this thing has 25k views? That’s no joke! 

Anyway, Isaac and I got in on Friday morning and Kevin picked us up. As you know Bethany had a long Drs appt on Friday so Kevin, Isaac, and I went to lunch in Geneva, close to where Bethany grew up. We went to this cute little pub called Stockholm’s that brews their own beers and had great food. It reminded me of a place that you’d go to in Boston (where I’m from) so I of course couldn’t have been happier.

But as great as company as Kevin and Isaac are what I really couldn’t wait for was to see Bethany! Once Bethany called us to let us know she was finished at her appt, her mom and her came to meet us at our next stop, Penrose Brewing Company. Now, this is going to sound cheesy, but I’m sure those near and far will understand. It felt so good to give Bethany a big hug and just be around her! It never ceases to amaze me that through all of this, all the physical and mental pain and trying times, Bethany hasn’t let herself disappear. She is the same funny, optimistic, laughing, smiling Bethany that we all know and love and it’s just really pretty amazing to be around.

Ok, back to the rest of the weekend. After all of us hung out for a bit (btw Mary = awesome and hilarious) Bethany and I split off from the boys and went to our next stop, a place called Galena Cellars, this cute little wine bar. Great wines, cute vibe… just all around a great place. Bethany and I did a wine tasting and then each got a glass of our favorite one. Of course we love our husbands, but it’s always nice to have some girl time to catch up!

The boys met up with us after and then Kevin and Bethany told us they were ready to take us to our surprise. A surprise for us! How cool is that?! Next thing we know we pulled up to TheHerrington Inn & Spa! They surprised us with rooms there for the night for a staycation for all of us. How sweet of them was that?! This hotel is where they stayed when they got married, and have stayed a few times since for special occasions so we felt really honored that they shared their special place with us! And let me tell you this place is amazing! Our room was huge and had it’s own fireplace. We then walked over to an awesome restaurant called Foxfire for dinner and had amazing food and drinks, followed by hanging in front of the huge fireplace in the main area of the Inn. We spent most of the day and night reminiscing and laughing. Needless to say, it was so so fun!

Saturday was spent mostly relaxing at their house (which I’m kinda obsessed with, such a great house!) in sweats, watching football, and cooking and eating great food. Honestly, it’s great to have friends that you can just hang out with, no plans or anything, and have a great time. We were all exhausted from the night before so called it a night pretty early.

We woke up Sunday and grabbed breakfast at a great place called Jam N Jelly and then went to see Manchester By the Sea. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a really great movie, but whoa was it heavy. Like, really heavy. None of us realized we had picked such a depressing movie to go see, so of course we found a way to laugh about that too afterwards.

We then hit up their neighborhood bar, Shanahan’s, and grabbed a drink and some apps. Coolest part? Kevin played the slot machine and won $150! Pretty awesome, right?! We went back to their house and spent the rest of the day laying low, playing dominoes, watching football, and of course, laughing some more. Oh, aaaaand we might have had our own dance party in their living room as well. I mean, listen, if Party In the USA comes on you know you need to get up and dance. Amiright or amiright?

For as many laughs (and dance moves) as we shared we also talked cancer. But more than just F*ck Cancer (although we did say that quite a bit) we talked about everything to come when Bethany beats this awful thing. Isaac and I can’t wait to hear what walk up song Bethany chooses for her bell ring on Wednesday to signify completing radiation (hence the dance party Saturday as we tested out potential options), we long to hear about a NED (no evidence of disease) scan, we are excited about the possibility of meeting up with her and Kevin for a celebratory weekend trip somewhere together once chemo is done, and we can not f*cking wait to come back to Chicago for an epic Bethany Beat Cancer party (that we spent most of the weekend planning) and belting out We Are the Champions together.

It was tough to leave today for sure. We all agreed we are each living exactly where we should be right now, them in Chicago and us in Phoenix, for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t stop us from also wishing we all lived closer and could hang out more often. What started as a work friendship between Bethany and I years ago has turned into so much more than that. It’s pretty special when you have friendships that over time start to feel like family.

Kevin and Bethany, thank you for letting us come visit and hosting us! We are amazed by your courage and strength, and how you continue to find joy and laughter throughout this whole entire thing. We love you and we’ll see you soon! 

p.s. check out some pics from our weekend together!

External Radiation ✔️

Mission: accomplished. 

But. I didn’t ring the bell today, even though they asked. I felt liked it’d be cheating since I still have the 3 internal sessions to go. I prefer my bell ringing to be at the real end!! My radiation techs made sure to make me promise I’d grab them when I do. One week from today! I told them I hoped they didn’t take it personally when I say I’m excited to be done with them! 😂 They are all awesome. I walked out of there feeling very accomplished. 

And then I got home and puked. And then again this afternoon. Quite the celebration, eh?! Thanks body. You sure know how to keep me humble!! I was *so* looking forward to tearing off these three stickers they used to target it each day as they’re a constant reminder of this battle — I did it first thing when I got home only to find the marker x’s are quite stained on my body. Of course they are, it’s been six weeks. Ay yi yi. I will reclaim this body at some point from this stupid crap!! 

Tomorrow is day 1 of my body starting to heal from that adventure and boy am I thankful. 

I had a LOT of people help me out with this radiation regiment and I’d be wrong to not take a minute and say a huge THANKS. For six weeks I was at the hospital every Monday-Friday by 8:15am because of my family & friends. Six weeks! Never once alone. Most sessions were easy, some were not. (I still feel for you Sheila!) That’s incredible and it has made this so much easier on me. I have seen a LOT of people alone for treatments and it breaks my heart. I can’t imagine doing any of this alone. You all have made sure that I haven’t had to do ANY of this alone! I am so aware of the army of support I have and to all of you who took such good care of me in this part of the battle, a thousand thank yous. I also had people who texted me every morning before 8:15am to send their thoughts and prayers — that got me through just as much as the physical help. I don’t think you’ll ever understand how impossible this all is but the help & your care is the only reason I *can* fight this. 

I’m always hesitant to start listing names because it’s impossible to not leave someone out, but I do have to say a special thanks to my Mom & Kevin who bore the brunt of the radiation rides. It’s not lost on me how much it sucks to deal with traffic and hospitals and cold mornings, every morning. And yet there they were, Starbucks in hand, warming up the car for me, making me smoothies, trying to gauge how I was feeling that morning and figuring out how to best help me that day. I’m hardly the rockstar y’all, that is all them. I was laughing with both of them the other night as there’s a non profit that sends care packages for care takers of cancer patients since they are so often the forgotten heroes — I submitted an entry for each of them. Half because they deserve it, half because I want to see who gets picked! 😂😂😂  I promised both I made their stories equally compelling (well, they’ve made it compelling, I just wrote it)!! But in all seriousness, I am so grateful! 

I promise you that when I ring that bell next week it will be with ALL of you in mind. I’m so thankful for you!! And I’m going to ring the crap out of that bell, I promise you that!! 

Oh I did have one awesome celebration today- a thunderstorm! Lightning, thunder, pouring rain, all of it, in January!! It was a sign for me, let me have this one. 😂