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    Welcome to AnnMarieOlogy, where we discuss everything from wardrobe to whining, to wining & dining. I'm AnnMarie. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Tackling Two

Two Diet Cokes, Two dear friends of Two decades and Too much to catch up on, was my mid-day enjoyment today.

Jennifer has been one of my closest friends for nearly 20 years! We both love our Diet Coke more than most and we both love our individual abilities to flop all over from one idea to another often without noticing we changed subjects.

Two classes I shared with Jenn. I am taking two more Fashion Courses next quarter. Two days two classes too excited!

Advanced Fashion Observational Drawing and Theory by Digital Color will now be a big part of my upcoming Tuesday and Thursdays.

Watching Jenn beam with excitement and glow at her new possibilities she is about to launch, two friends together two lives always entertaining and loving one another’s individualness!

Ology of the Day

take time to smell the togetherness of friends 

Fashionably Free Spirited

I was recently told I am a free spirit.  I have not heard those words to describe me for many, many years.  It felt great to hear my ora has come back and the enthusiastic, outgoing, mind wondering, free spirited me has been released again and people have taken notice.

Growing up my friends and parents said I never shut up and never sat still.  In 5th grade on a field trip to Mesa Verde (and my dad was one parent chaperone) I was given the award for Asking the Most Questions that week – Growing up my parents said I fret from one idea, one place, one concept to another to another.  I was rebellious and artistic.  Creative and stylish.  My parents were the staple in my life and gave me the foundation I now give our children; never change, be yourself and never settle for anything for anyone. You are perfectly perfect just the way you are.

I am back in a Fashion Design program at the Colorado Art Institute and the comfortable feeling I have during class and with my peers is affirming.  My people.  My passion.

I sold a dozen of my hand designed inspirational cards to a local print shop.

I am working on teaching Fashion History next Fall.  I am me.  I am happy.

Ology of the day

Never change for anyone. Never make someone change for you.

Finding My Way

November 30, 2016 was undoubtably the most traumatic day of my life.

Recap- October 28, 2016 Michael’s Oncologist sent me an email which read in part ‘I am sorry to report that Michael’s Biopsy is positive for Melanoma’ – and so began the next chapter of our lives.  November 8, 2016 not only was Trump elected President and surprised most – Michael’s surgery was that evening – another evening I won’t ever forget.  November unfolded as typical for a family facing medical decisions and preparing our daughter for her study abroad program in Israel.  November 29, 2016 we put our daughter on the airplane and off to Israel she went! November 30, 2016 Michael came home around noon and sat down on our couch and proceeded to tell me he wanted a Divorce.

To say I was stunned, would be an understatement.  To say I needed help functioning would be accurate.  Surrounded by my family and dear friends, I worked tirelessly to take care of our boys and begin unraveling what was happening in our lives.

Today- I am finding my way.  Working constantly juggling my emotions and those of our children.  Making changes in life that are now necessary and ones that are by choice.  All of them leading to a realization; I am writing again, designing again, happy again and as a close friend tells me, lighter in my step than ever before.

My parents continue to check in on me and our children daily.  Reminding me that this is just our current situation and not our final destination.  Fresh tattoos on my lower arms read; we got this and love without cause, both a constant visual reminder of the strength I have within and the courage I have to give to our children.

Some days are without drama while others are a constant drama filled day of emotional madness from our children or me or Michael – yet we keep putting one foot in front of the other and I’m finding my way.

Ology of the day

strength may not be visual or tangible but it is unforgettable 

Fly baby girl fly…

Madge heads to Israel to study abroad

The 10th grade from Denver JDS has landed in Tel Aviv! What an unreal life changing experience for all of them!

As a parent you question many ways of parenting. It’s just what you do. As Madi grew older she wasn’t as excited to attend sleep overs or sleep away camp.  What to do?

As one of these parents who was concerned, do NOT be! As one wise parent told me years ago- don’t take away his pacifier he’s not going to attend college with it!

So I want to pass along, don’t worry about which channel your child has decided to follow growing up, they all grow up. They all soar!

Dont push your memory of growing up on your child. They aren’t you.

Give your child the space and place for a nurturing and loving environment and at some point, they all find their path!

Treatment is the Key

KEYTRUDA that is….

Reality is setting in.  Michael begins the next journey on the Melanoma Monster this week, treatment.  We have pushed treatment start date until Friday.  Friday, December 2, 2016.  For the majority of the day  “our” first treatment begins.  “Our” treatment because as we’ve experienced in the past, this isn’t solely Michaels journey, but the Foonberg 5, friends, family and many cheering him on throughout the worlds journey.  All of you will be with him in spirit!   I will be with Michael, Friday and every treatment, from beginning to end.  I made him a promise, to not worry and I won’t leave him alone.  I will worry for him and I will be by his side.  All he needs to do is rest and let his body fight the fight.

Many people have asked what chemo he is doing.  Michael can not receive chemo because he already did chemotherapy treatment in 2012 and the cancer came back.  Additionally, he has used an inhibitor medication as well to treat his cancer and he has an abnormal gene.  Thus, Advanced Melanoma is treated with an immunotherapy.  Keytruda was just FDA approved August 9, 2016.  From August 2014 until August 2016, clinical trials took place.

We are very grateful that Michael will be able to take part in immunotherapy, but we realize that very little stats exist on the effectiveness of Advanced Melanoma treatment.  Something is better than nothing.

Michael will be receiving Keytruda until the treatment no longer works or toxicity is too much for his body to handle.  Whichever comes first.  I won’t list the side effects, small in size to extreme in nature.  Cancer is cancer and treatment is treatment, no matter how one spins it. So why list what might happen!

One might also wonder if the tumor was removed, why does he need treatment at all.  Advanced Melanoma that has returned, needs treated.  The Melanoma Monster is a monster for many reasons and one is that it remains invisible through Scans, Ultrasounds, MRI and blood tests for nearly too long.

We also have been given the next form of treatment information. Plans sometimes are changed but having a plan to change is better than not having a plan at all!

Thank you all, far and near, for asking what we need.  We don’t know what we need other than prayer.  I love getting my daily texts from my girlfriends just to say hi and ask me what I need that day.  Some days we need nothing at all and other days or nights we need a lot more.  So just keep reaching out – text is best- and we won’t hesitate to tell you what we need that day, if anything at all.

As we settle in to fight the fight, battle the beast and destroy the disease, we remember that Michael’s treatment in 2012, Biochemo, was only FDA approved 48 hours prior to his treatment beginning! So we will take this treatment now available to him albeit new and smile to survival!

Let the games begin!

Ology of the Day

It’s not how far you go but how far you’ve come

Ann Marie