And an alarm clock made all the difference…

Our school district made a huge change in schedule on us this year. Last year Joey’s school day was from 9-3:30. The afternoons were so short and packed with homework, dinner, and early bedtimes for my sweet kindergartner. This year, school is from 7:45-2! I love our long afternoons. We have time for homework AND playtime! The mornings, however, are tricky to get everyone up and out the door for the school bus at 7:12! Joey bounces out of bed wide awake each morning when his Anakin Lego mini figure alarm clock sounds at 6.

My Abby-girl, however, does not bounce as easily out of bed in the morning. In fact, dragging her out of bed each morning has become more and more difficult. Yesterday, poor Danny fought with her and didn’t have her dressed until 7. So I decided to give her my old cheap-ie alarm clock to use in an attempt to help her be responsible for getting herself out of bed in the mornings. She wasn’t very excited about the “gift” at first, but after we pretended to be asleep and hit the snooze button when it went off, she decided it was big stuff! She proudly showed off her new alarm clock to Grammie and Daddy before bed.

So, did it work??? Like a charm! She bounced right out of bed and brought me her alarm to turn off (she can only manage the snooze button) and was dressed with teeth brushed by 6:15!!! Here’s hoping the charm of the alarm clock lasts more than one morning! I think Santa may be bringing her a Littlest Pet Shop alarm clock for Christmas! Instead of an alarm ringing, it meows and barks. Perfect for my sweet girl!

Post Surgery Update

Dear friends,


Thank you SO much for the encouragement and prayers. My surgery today went pretty well. There was a rough patch when there was an area they were working in which wasn’t numb. It was quickly corrected, but brought out my barely held in tears. Thankfully, it was the greatest team working on me and they kept me talking and distracted.


My team of doctors (oncology dermatologist, oncologist surgeon, and the best melanoma oncologist in AZ) talked about my case and they agree that my next step is localized radiation. So I will be meeting with a new member of my team in the next week or two, a radiation oncologist with hopes of beginning radiation on my back as soon as my incisions heal.


For the next few days, I will practice taking it easy and following some lifting restrictions. I’m not the best at this, so wish me luck!

My history with Melanoma


September 15  Dermatologist removes “unconcerning mole” from my back

September 17  Diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma

October 2  Wide excision of mole area and sentinel lymph node removal in left and right groin

October 21  Removal of all lymph nodes from left groin

December 16  Port install and first high dose interferon treatment


January 12  Finish high dose interferon treatment

January 19  Begin lower dose self injections

June 18  Port removal (horrible experience!)

June 30, 2010 Danny begins new job

August 9, 2010 Joey begins kindergarten

December 24, 2010 Last dose of Interferon

December 30, 2010 CT/MRI

January 7, 2011 Appointment with Dr. Cranmar, told a tumor was found on CT

January 21, 2011 Surgery to remove tumor

February 3 Clean CT scans

March 14, 2011 Begin DERMA trial

June 3, 2011 Clear CT scan

June 16, 2011 See Warneke about concerns of lumps on surgery scar

July 6 Surgery to remove tumors

August 8 Joey begins first grade, Abby begins kindergarten

August 26, 2009 Clear Scan

September 12, 2011 Derm appointment finds recurrence of lumps under scar

September 26, 2011 Surgery to remove tumors

Recurrence three pre-surgery update

I am going in tomorrow for removal of tumors on my back. It is pretty clear that this is another Melanoma recurrence. We will need to come up with a new treatment plan in the next few weeks. For now I appreciate prayers for a simple but complete removal tomorrow.
God is as good as he was when I was given my cancer free designation 4 weeks ago. We continue to ask Him to guide us in each new step.
I read this week that this is the “year of melanoma” and that advances in melanoma are being made “at light speed.” If you’d like to show your support, we’d love for you to come walk with team ¡Mela-no-mas! or contribute to our team. Information is found in the link below.
I also would LOVE to know you are praying for me if you are willing to comment. Thanks for loving my family and walking with us through this so often discouraging journey.