“Blood makes you related…… Loyalty makes you family”


Death can either bring a family together or tear them apart. Unfortunately I experienced the latter. My son’s death brought out the worst in some of my family members. Unspeakable actions were committed against me and I am committed to moving forward from this. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and the trauma I’ve experienced opened my eyes to life in general.

Bad experiences will happen to everyone but what do you do about it? You can let it destroy you or learn from it and let it make you stronger. You can’t control other peoples actions but you can control your response to their actions. I am taking all the positive from this traumatic experience because I believe peoples true colors came shining through. I am walking away from it all.

Yes I saw the bad that came out in people but I also saw the good that came out in others. I am blessed to have people in my corner who showed me so much love and compassion and that trumps the negativity. I know everyone grieves differently but that doesn’t excuse bad behavior.

So what did I learn from this? I am stronger than I thought I was, the toxicity in my life revealed itself and I now know that my circle is even smaller than I thought it was. Family isn’t always blood.

“When you believe, signs turn up everywhere”

message from above

Do you believe in messages from beyond? Are they really truly messages or the power of suggestion? My son passed on May 2nd, just 5 days ago. I’ve never felt such a heavy pain in my heart as I do now. I’ve always heard stories about people getting special messages from loved ones after they passed and now I wondered if I would too. I’ve been going into my sons bedroom each night talking to him and telling him how much I love & miss him but never felt anything.

Yesterday evening I asked my husband how I would know if my son was at peace and he said he didn’t know. Within a few minutes my best friend texted me a picture of a rainbow and she told me she asked for a sign to know my son was ok & at peace. When she looked outside she saw a rainbow & took a picture of it and immediately sent it to me. I was floored! No one knew about that conversation except me and my husband. I then went into my sons bedroom crying & I told him I got the message and thanked him. I continued to tell him how much I missed him and asked him to continue to send me messages (daily) if possible so I could know he was around me.

Early this morning, as I drove, a red cardinal flew past my windshield and landed beside my car. Once again, I was floored! Later that afternoon, when I got home, my dog began barking and whining at me. He was looking right at me, the hair on his back was raised a little and he wouldn’t settle down. He was fed and used the bathroom so I didn’t know what he was so upset about? I definitely feel in my heart that my son is with me. These few encounters have helped me begin the healing process.

Maybe it’s a coincidence or the power of suggestion but whatever it is I have no explanation for it. I’d like to believe I have an angel looking after me now.

“We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love”

now in peace

My sweet boy lost his battle to Cancer yesterday. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family. The only thing that gives me comfort at this point is that he is no longer suffering or in pain. The truth is towards the end he told me he was tired of being sick. He was tired of it all. They made him comfortable and he was able to nod yes or no. I asked him if he was in any pain and he nodded no. At one point, when he was still able to mumble, I asked him if he was ok. He mumbled “I’m tired”. Yes, I know he was tired. That’s what he was expressing a lot in the last month. He was tired of it all.

I don’t need to express how deeply grief stricken I am. All I did the last week before he pass was 2nd guess myself. Should I have taken him to a different Cancer center? Should I have forced him to eat more? Should I have pestered him daily to tell me if anything in his body felt different? The truth is I did all these things and his answer was always “I’m fine.” The only thing that he was concerned with was streaming daily for his gaming community whom he loved so much. I’m happy that this past year he got to do exactly what he wanted to do. He did get to travel, he went to gaming events, he spent a lot of time with friends, he streamed almost daily and he did everything his way! That gives me comfort.

I talked a lot to him before he lost consciousness. We told each other that we loved each other. I promised him that I wouldn’t leave his side and that he would NOT be alone at any point and he was NEVER alone. I often lay next to him in his bed and held his hand tight and I felt him squeeze back. Yesterday was different. I noticed his breathing was harder & his grip wasn’t as firm. I snuggled up next to him and held his hand & told him we were all there. I promised him that we were all okay and we would all take care of each other. I told him it was okay to let go and join his step-grandparents who loved him so much. My daughter told him she loved him & told him the same thing. He took 2 deep breaths and then he was gone.

We all sobbed. The nurse came in and confirmed he was gone. I will never forget that moment. The nurses, nurses assistants and even the maintenance people were all crying. Everyone had gotten to know my son and our entire family so well for the past (almost 3 weeks). The priest came in to say a blessing over him and give us words of support. The Doctor came in and gave us words of support and encouragement as well. The wonderful medical staff made this experience that much more bearable. We couldn’t stop hugging and thanking them all.

But I think, maybe, there is some validity in accepting that a part of you went with the person who died, and a part of them stayed with you.

Now it’s time to heal…..

“I don’t know how my body stays together when my soul is completely broken”

broken soul

I have never experienced so much pain & grief as I have in the past 72hrs.

When my son was admitted into the hospital 2 weeks ago I thought this would be another typical lung drain like every other admission but it wasn’t. We were waiting every day for him to get discharged but every day they kept finding more & more wrong with him. Every day it was another scan, another procedure then another scan & another procedure. Each day his condition grew progressively worse. His request for pain meds grew more frequent until the Doctor told me that the Cancer was too far advanced for any kind of treatment to be effective at this point. Now the scary part was telling him. The Doctor went into the room to advise him of the next pain treatment protocol. He asked the doctor that dreaded question; “Am I gonna die?” The Doctor told him his prognosis wasn’t good and that he probably wouldn’t survive but would be kept comfortable & pain free. He was terrified and I was heartbroken! The Doctor was extremely compassionate and had a long talk with my son about life in general.

David is now on heavy pain medication resting comfortably and we are just waiting for him to enter the next phase. This is torture. I will forever be broken.

My eyelids are heavy, but my thoughts are heavier.

my eyes are heavy

I haven’t slept in over 24 hrs. The end is near and it came at lightning speed. The heartbreaking part is that my son is aware of it. He’s in the final stage of this dreaded, awful disease. Without getting into gory details, this Cancer is doing a number on him. My oldest daughter & I have been bearing witness to it all. He’s withering away right before our eyes. He’s clearly suffering. He pleaded with me & told me he’s tired of it all; almost as if I could do something about it. I can only hope and pray that God will spare him any additional suffering and take him peacefully. No one should have to go out like this.

“A little sparkle of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone’s day.”

Random Acts

Has anyone ever done something nice for you for absolutely no reason? How did it feel? Did it put a smile on your face and make your heart feel a little warmer?

I’m a big advocate for Random Acts of Kindness. I think doing something nice for someone “just because” is a good enough reason. It makes me feel really good inside to see the look of surprise on the other persons face and to know that I possibly made that persons day that much better. I’m not talking about running out and spending your life savings but just doing something nice. It could be as simple as paying someone a compliment, having a friendly chat with the cashier, holding the elevator door for someone who would’ve definitely missed it or yeah maybe buying someone a meal who doesn’t have the money for it. Any random act of kindness from the simplest to the extreme can make a huge impact on someone’s day. It can even change someone’s outlook on life in general.

My youngest daughter experienced a random act of kindness. Yesterday was her birthday. She’s a low key person & doesn’t normally make a big deal out of her birthday. Usually a birthday cake & dinner with the family is all she ever asks for. She came home from school and made mention that none of her friends wished her a Happy Birthday. We could tell she was a little sad about it but she went about her day. She got dressed & went to dance class as usual. Later that evening, she came home with a tray of cookies. She told us that one of the girls from her dance class baked cookies for her birthday. She had the biggest smile on her face and was really happy about it.  That sweet gesture overshadowed what happened earlier in school. That young lady made my daughters day that much brighter.

So just remember before you step out your front door, any random act of kindness can make all the difference in someone’s day.

“That breath that you just took… that’s a gift.”

breathe 2Everyone has something to be grateful for. No matter how bad you think things are going in your life right at this moment there’s got to be something you have to be grateful for. You know the old saying “There’s someone out there that’s got it worse” ….ummm yeah! Whenever I get down on a situation in my life I always take a moment to re-evaluate and feel gratitude in my heart for the good things I do have in my life.  I thank God for them cause you know what? I know things could be a whole lot worse and I don’t want to find out how.

When you are born you don’t come with a satisfaction guarantee on life. There are no absolutes and you have to take what you are given and make the best of it. Is life fair? No! Can life suck sometimes? Hell yeah! But that’s life and you have to roll with it. I do believe that’s what builds our character and prepares us for the road ahead. Each day is a journey and every single day that goes well (with no pitfalls) I am absolutely grateful for.

The moral of my story today is: if you’re having a good day savor every last moment of it. Cherish every good day because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

“Everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud”

Unread Chapter

Today makes exactly 1 week that my son has been hospitalized (again) and I have told less than a handful of people. I just don’t have the energy anymore to update people on every single thing that goes wrong cause it gets exhausting. To be honest, I don’t want to talk about Cancer 24hrs a day. I don’t mind updating any one who asks but I won’t volunteer the information because I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer” so I just keep it to myself & go about my daily life like nothing’s wrong.

I remember when my youngest was first diagnosed with Autism. That was an incredibly difficult journey for my family. Before he was diagnosed we didn’t know what was wrong with him. We didn’t know if he was deaf or just had a learning disability. The daily high pitch screaming, violent meltdowns, sleepless nights drove me into the deepest depression of my life and at that point I had to seek profession help for myself.  After my son was properly diagnosed & began receiving therapy, I started coming to terms with our new life. I delved into my inner creative self and began writing randomly in a notebook. I would observe my son, wonder what he was thinking and just write endlessly. Years later, I decided to write a book written in his viewpoint. My book was published 6 years ago and that’s a part of me I don’t talk about. I did it for myself. It was therapeutic & I wasn’t looking for glory amongst my friends.

Everyone has a hidden self they don’t disclose just because. I throw myself into writing cause that’s where I bury my pain and Yoga lets it slowly come out. My pain is something I try to work through. Keeping extremely busy is therapeutic. I try to remain optimistic but I’m aware of my truths. Everyone has a chapter they don’t read out loud are you aware of yours?

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, & dealing with fears you didn’t know existed”.

strengths & fears

It seems that we’re coming full circle with my sons Cancer diagnosis. I remember this time a year ago he was at his worst physically. He lost an unbelievable amount of weight, couldn’t eat, in pain all the time and could barely walk. About a month after treatment he seemed to make a full recovery. The pain was gone, he was walking…even hiking & biking at one point and gained so much weight he was talking about diets, lol.    I vividly remember our appointment after his first Pet-Scan, nervously awaiting the news about his treatment progress. The Oncologist came in and the first thing she did was hug him and said the scan showed there was no trace of Cancer in his body. I cried from happiness. She said we would continue treatment “as is” because it was working.

It seems now the Cancer has slowly crept back into his body… maybe it was never gone and just hiding. The Oncologist did say at the first appointment that the type of Cancer he has is very sneaky & aggressive. That’s why he had to continue treatment even though the scan showed no trace of it. She said his type of Cancer “hides” and waits to come out. Well she was right. My sons health has slowly declined over the last few months.

He’s back to the same physical shape he was in when he first got diagnosed, even worse. He’s losing weight at a rapid pace and could barely walk. It seems this sneaky Cancer has resurfaced and attached itself to his Lungs and Spleen. This time the chemotherapy is not working and they recently started him on Immunotherapy. He’s become depressed and is starting to push all family members away. This is the most fear I’ve ever felt as a mother. I can’t make this better! This is the one thing I can’t fix! It’s getting harder & harder to put on my “game face” but I still do.

He now has a mini portable Oxygen tank cause he’s having trouble breathing. How do you lift someone’s spirits when everything seems to be falling apart all at once? I continue to keep calm in my heart because if I fall apart now I’m not helping anyone. I have been praying daily for God to give me strength so I can help see him through this terrifying journey.

As a mom, my kids have always come to me for solutions. I always “fixed” everything or made it better. My heart is shattered because this is the one time that I feel like I’ve failed him.

“Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on”


How do you deal with grief? Everyone deals with grief differently. It all depends on the individual, the situation, the culture, so on and so forth. There is no one right way. I say whatever helps get you through it is the right way. But everyone has to find their own way there.

I remember when my son was first diagnosed with Stage 4 Stomach Cancer. I was devastated, I cried (daily) for weeks.  Months later, after I accepted the reality of his diagnosis, I became emotionally numb.  I no longer had a reaction to anything, good or bad, the doctors told me. Of course, in front of my son & my other kids I would put on my game face and crack jokes with them but inside my heart was crushed to pieces & still is.

Now here we are (a year later) after several hospital admissions, half a dozen Pet-Scans, good news, bad news & everything in between;  I am stronger emotionally than I was a year ago. I’ve learned what helps keep me sane is staying busy. I occupy my time a lot by doing different small activities. But what really helps me emotionally is my daily Yoga practice. That keeps my mind occupied and keeps me motivated and that seems to be the general consensus in my household. My son keeps himself occupied daily by chatting with his 2.5 million viewers on his gaming site. My oldest daughter keeps busy by working overtime & most recently picked up a 2nd job and my youngest daughter is quite busy with her multiple dance classes 6 days a week. My husband always has a new project fixing something around the house. That’s what works for us.

On occasion, we’ve discussed my sons diagnosis as a family and I keep the conversation truthful but positive. I remind them that we have to remain strong for him & for each other.  I believe he feeds off of our energy & if we show positivity that’s what will help him deal with his illness.  I know it doesn’t change his diagnosis but it doesn’t help him if we all sit around the house crying. So I choose to be a strong role model and continue to be pro-active. Every day that I wake up I do my best to keep a smile on my face despite what we have going on in our life.

So the moral of this story is, don’t be so quick to judge anyone regardless whether they have a smile or a frown on their face. You never know what kind of a private battle they are fighting.