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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.

Thankfully Mindful

Thankful This Thanksgiving

Of course we are. I am. But why should we only be thankful one day of the year? I THANK not!

Although this turkey day opened fresh wounds of reminders of just how “lucky” we are. Thankful isn’t especially the word I would use to describe my Thanksgiving or that day of thanks for two other families in particular.

This day observed in November each year, brought a new meaning of yet another holiday without a father sitting in the captains seat. And a son unable to use both hands to help carve the turkey. And for me a reminder of nearly 20 years ago when on this day my husband had a major heart attack and it was the first time I saw first hand how mindfulness is much more valuable than thankfulness. Yesterday, just shy of 20 years of health issues, my husband sat pale faced as yet another commercial spun on the tv of just how toxic his treatment is for this stage of Melanoma Cancer

Thankful he was at our table this year, of course or how my father n law states “don’t be stupid” but grateful for the last year for the three families we are close with whom have experienced a year like never dreamt, hell yes

Mindful of each milestone this year, Madilynne turned 16, Gavin started Middle School and Asher lived by himself in New York to attend NY Culinary Institutes summer program, absolutely

Deleted my facebook page nearly one year ago, damn straight!

Officially told our company I was resigning, tapping out, focusing on my family and my health beginning January 1,2017, yes I did!

Participating in Black Friday and causing my leg to swell from walking and standing for hours, no way!

This Thanksgiving as we celebrated Madilynnes 16th bday and continued our Palm Desert turkey tradition, we also reflected and became more mindful of what’s important in life, and it’s not spending a ton of money and hours of cooking in a kitchen if that’s not your thing! Playing cards, sitting in a tube in the pool, reading a book, playing tennis; whatever is your pleasure be yourself  and be mindful not today but everyday!

Is that a stitch?


Michaels neck is sore. One spot very sore. Leave it to Asher and his IPhone light to find and say “dad that’s definitely a stitch still in your neck”

Get it out!

Michael was in a panic so I did what every loving wife would do….got my tweezers from my make up bag, a little Vodka and yanked it out!

Michael Happy

Jennifer Handler - November 24, 2016 - 10:21 am

We love you Michael and family wishing for you and your speedy recovery! XO, Jennifer Robert Alexis Charles Andrew

Pain Persists

14 days post surgery Melanoma Monster 2016

Stitches came out. Medical tape in their place. Both neck and abdomen are healing on the outside. On the outside his scars are already beginning to disappear.

The inside is where the confusion lies. Michael is still super sore. Tires easy.  Lethargic. No one can understand what he feels inside his mind, no one. Tough space for a mind to be circling

The emotions and physical toll are where we see the beast of Melanoma wreaking havoc on not only Michael, but our family of 5.

2012 I had all working limbs  more energy myself and wasn’t dealing with chronic pain  This is much harder for all of us, this time around  Especially for our children who need at least one parent to lean on  and at times they have neither

I can’t do this without my family  My parents came to Palm Desert with us and are catering to our family’s every need  Making sure I have time to rest, Michael is getting what he needs and most importantly to me, making sure our babies are all receiving love and affection  Even if it’s playing a card game or taking rides on the golf cart, so I don’t have to- and I can take care of Michael

We’ve continued to find blessings in each day.  As simple as using my IPhone underwater and laughing about the funny pictures to watching the sunset in the backyard. We’ve smiled a lot which is imperative, for everyone, not just in these times but all times.

Lymph Node be GONE

A happy moment during this new melanoma monster chapter-


This means the dissected lymph nodes were not positive for Melanoma cells. Tumor was subcutaneous and we received clean margins! Best report we could have asked for!

Treatment Chapter

We now buckle down and get ready for the treatment. I’m too exhausted to write more. I will soon.

Melanoma Monster Returns

Blog backend fixed and I am up and running – thank you Evan D @ IDD Webs, Jeff Ginsberg and Erin Z for working tirelessly to fix our backend Dashboard dilemmas!


Melanoma Monster Returns

Friday, October 28, 2016 I received the following in an email from Michael’s Oncologist in Denver, Dr. Robinson.

Sorry to report that the biopsy is positive for melanoma. First we need to scan (PET/CT and MRI brain)

Those reading this today for the first time, I will catch you up in a short, sweet synopsis. Those of you following our journey, the latest information and status on Michael, his journey and our family below.

We moved fast. All scans/MRI clear of obvious tumors.  Surgery to removed the grape sized tumor at the base of Michael’s neck was removed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  That day will go down in history as the day we were all TRUMPED – luckily for my family, Dr. Essner in Los Angeles (Michael’s Oncological Surgeon at Cedars) removed entire tumor, another tumor in question on his abdomen and clear margins with lymph nodes.  Recovery went well, better than expected. We flew back to Denver in time for Baby Gavin’s 12th BDAY BASH November 12th! Treatment to begin.

Today, we are awaiting the lymph node results.  Preparing to remove the stitches on Friday morning and getting ready for treatment to begin.  When we have more information to pass along, we will be sharing our journey, here, where every OLOGY is uncovered for the Foonberg 5!

My BATMAN has 9 LIVES – 5 down, 4 to go HE WILL SURVIVE!