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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.

Cancer Didn’t Win – Michael Coaches Again!

Cancer Didn’t Win

As the Jewish New Year begins, so does another chapter in our families lives. Michael does something he didn’t think he would be able to only  7 months after being diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer – COACH BASKETBALL AGAIN!

Of course, I knew he would. He lives for basketball. He breathes for basketball. He IS basketball. I knew because I believed.

And as the sun rose today and I touched my new necklace I created which reads, BELIEVE, I never stopped believing Michael wouldn’t beat cancer and be back on the court doing what he does best and loves the most, COACH BASKETBALL!

To top off this significant day in our lives and in our journey along the road of cancer, Michaels come back was nothing short of perfection! He coached a double header with both his Little Tigers Team and his Varsity Tiger Team. Yes, Michael coaches his youngest son (the cute blond in the middle) but he coaches as many of the 2nd Graders at his school that will play in hope that someday, Michael will still be coaching THEM as they all play VARSITY basketball for Michael. The LIttle Tigers are a 10 year in the making team!

Another goal for Michael has always been to coach year round until our youngest graduates High School and was coached by his dad the entire way! Only 10 more years left until Graduation day – we will take all 10 years, gladly!

Michael in black coaching Little Tigers

Varsity TIgers

It seems only fitting that on the Eve of Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, where one wears white and eats apples and honey in hopes of a sweet New Year to come, Michael walked back into the place that makes him, him and onto the court he loves maybe more than life itself, the basketball court! G-D has a funny way of showing us to BELIEVE but I’d say today was just another day of reminding us how mysterious and magical life truly is!

My Necklace

My Ology Of The Day

Believe and you shall receive

VICTORY & I Wore WHITE!

Brain MRI CLEAR

Our first post BioChemo scan was CLEAR, Negative, NO CANCER and I wore WHITE to celebrate! And OUR was not a typo.

As a family we have undergone the dramatic undertaking of discovery, diagnosis, treatment, countless emotions and now, together, we are undergoing the post treatment scans and what they reveal. Together, we as a family, await the day of the next scan, the day of prognosis whether good or bad but today, it was good and today, we as a family, can continue to BELIEVE and celebrate another VICTORY.

Today is another present and tomorrow will be another gift. Today is all I can expect. Tomorrow is what I pray for. Today I have been blessed with. Tomorrow I will be lucky to experience.

Cancer continues to surprise us and teach us. For that, we find peace.

In celebration I have decided to design a necklace to wear with my necklace I never take off. The necklace I currently wear reads our children’s names in a beautiful gold disc and sits in the curve of my neck. My new necklace that I will wear with my current necklace will read BELIEVE because without believing we have nothing, not even victories. When it’s done in the next few weeks, I will take a picture and post.

My Ology Of The Day

Today is a blessing. Tomorrow You Will Be Lucky To Experience.

6 Weeks Post Treatment –

Our New Family Past Time

Weighing in at 197, nearly back at full fighting weight, 42 days post treatment, our new family evening past time – Football – Girls Vs Boys. Who knew nearly 8 months ago that simply eating dinner together each night then retreating to our backyard to play a game of Football between Madilynne and Myself on one team and Asher & Gavin on the other with Michael as the All Time QB, would bring such joy to our family! But it does and it continues to!

Now that school has begun, the days are longer, the task list never ending but knowing we all get to come home to MIchael at night and enjoy a fun game of Two Hand Touch is another blessing we are not taking for granted!

I get to add to my list of what Cancer gave us, not what it took from us, the joy of simple things including our new past time, Football in our backyard. I get to add to my list of what Cancer won’t take from us, ever, new memories we have made post treatment and I get to add to my list of what Cancer has reminded me, family comes first and nothing else matters! So while my knee is aching in pain nearly 4 months post surgery and Madilynne has to cover the entire “field” for me as I still can’t run, I have new vivid memories of Asher smiling as he runs 102 pounds of all muscle down our back yard field to grab and pull in a long pass from his QB Dad and seeing his little but mighty brother run to him and get picked up for making a block (holding me) to allow his brother to make the winning touchdown, when just as quickly I get to watch Michael handoff to his fast and stronger than both her brothers, Madilynne, sprint past for a retaliation touchdown, making yet another Foonberg Football Game, end in a tie as the beautiful Colorado sun sets and it’s time to retreat for baths, I get to thank Cancer for putting my career on hold and giving me countless hours of blissful enjoyment of spending time with, my family! At the beginning, after each near catch, after each new first down and after each touchdown, I get to see Michael smile and knowing that was almost taken from us, is priceless!

Cancer has shaken us as a family, as individuals and as a couple, but Cancer hasn’t, Cancer won’t and Cancer can’t, break us, now or ever!

My Ology For The Day

A physical scar is only skin deep

Milestones Are Important

14 Days After BioChemo

When recovering from treatment for Cancer, I have now found that it isn’t just physical recovery that has to take place, but emotional recovery too.

For our family, both are now taking place. Emotionally, we are seeing our children don’t want to talk about the C word any longer, don’t want to here about what treatment dad did and certainly don’t want to speak about this summers difficult times. Rather, they want to talk about the Fall, how Asher is going to attend a new school (Denver Academy), how excited they are that dad isn’t going back to work for a while and how we are planning Madilynne’s Bat Mitzvah.

I find that I can not talk about what has happened the last 6 months with our family  and what Michael has endured- two major head surgeries and a horrific treatment, BioChemo, without tearing up and becoming an emotional wreck.

In short, it is too RAW for any of us to talk about. In short, it was too raw for me to write about lately as well. But as Michael is now 14 days out of treatment, 5 pounds heavier and most importantly, doing something he has not done in nearly 6 months, SMILE, I am finding writing and sharing to you how a family can begin to heal, is healing for me once again too.

14 Days after completing BioChemo and 11 weeks after I had Double Microfracture Knee Surgery, we did what we do best, support one another! This morning we rooted each other on and took on a task we didn’t think we’d finish – biked our beloved Cherry Creek Reservoir 14.7 Mile Ride.  Although pre-cancer, Michael could finish this ride in 42 minutes and today took nearly 1 hour and a half, and as I still sit here icing and elevating, we are so excited to know we will indeed heal! Milestones are important!

Michael At Home After Biking 14.7 Miles

Milestones are important…..and this afternoon we watched as our middle child, Asher, earned a SKIRT for his Kayak! This is a very difficult task and one more unusual for a 9 year old as you must flip under water and safely exit the Kayak with this skirt attached. Asher is now a Level 4 Kayaker and Michael was on the sidelines able to cheer him on! Although Michael was tired, blood pressure too low to stand up, he was there and another milestone was reached! This entire summer Michael has never seen Asher Kayak because of his treatments and hospitalizations. A month ago, Asher and I looked at the calendar and realized today could be the day his dad watched – and it was and they did!

Asher & Michael 

Asher & his proud Instructor MAC

Congratulations Asher!

As we continue to move past the 14 Day mark and into the month territory, we are excited to see Michael gain more weight, more strength and watch our children recover emotionally! But we are most grateful for the treatment and our doctors who gave us just that, the ability to be together!

My Ology of The Day

Milestones are important

There Is Always Someone Worse Off Than You

Our Hearts and Prayers Are With Those Involved With The Aurora Theatre Tragedy

4:30pm July 20, 2012 and Michael has officially been given his last piece of this Cancer journey’s treatment, Interferon Shot. Last night at 8pm Michael received his last round of Chemo and today he finished his last Interlukin IV Chemo at Noon.

We are finished with the monsterous Cancer Treatment BIOCHEMO

Although I need to bring Michael back to the hospital tomorrow for an immune boosting shot and although Michael is extremely fatigued and plagued with many side effects, of which will take several months to subside, he now can focus on the good – not ever coming back for treatment!

Our children are elated for me to bring daddy home and together we are all going to put a bookmark around this date and a big red ribbon around his upcoming gift – a sports car he’s always dreamed of – to remind him how short life is, how lucky we are and how much we have to be grateful for while he’s driving his new car he can smile thinking of what hard work, determination and many people got him to where he is now!

I look forward to writing more and more as we begin the next chapter in our journey with Cancer – follow up appointments, gaining his strength back and together with our courageous children putting this chapter behind us, The Summer of Survival, and beginning the next chapter I fondly now call We Are Back!

 My Ology Of The Day

There is always someone worse off  than you