Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Sorry for the delay in updates; my mom has been here visiting and she and I have been very busy eating, running errands, eating, shopping, eating ... did I mention eating? My computer time was cut a bit short since it's difficult to type when you are double-fisting gingerbread man cookies .....

Anyway, on with the update:

Various and assorted ways in which I have stepped out of my comfort zone this past week, none of which will change the world, but might hopefully expand my tiny little corner of it:

1) At the suggestion of Heidi S in the guestbook, and because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I tweaked the previous journal entry, about Kendrie playing in her first soccer game, and submitted it to our local newspaper. It would be great if they would run an article (or two or three dozen) about families walking this path through the world of pediatric cancer, and bring attention to childhood cancer and survivorship issues. It made me feel a little presumptuous to send an unsolicited article to the attention of the editor, but I’d certainly be willing to promote the cause of awareness here in middle Georgia, even if things like that make me nervous. Of course, it’s been 48 hours and I haven’t received a response, but at least I know I tried. Perhaps I should send another e-mail, or even make a follow-up call ….. Mayday! Mayday! Leaning Waaayyy outside the comfort zone!

2) Also outside my comfort zone with regards to cancer, I have agreed to consider serving as a breakout speaker for a local cancer coalition conference. Not as a “cancer mom”, but as a “cancer spouse”. I have to get more details, and notice I haven’t **technically** said I would agree to speak --- I said I would agree to CONSIDER speaking. Huge difference!!! But since any form of public speaking more pronounced than placing my order into the clown’s mouth at McDonalds gives me hives, even agreeing to think about it was pretty daring for me.

3) Pimping for Chili’s. Actually, this isn’t outside my comfort zone, because promoting worthwhile causes is easy to do:

“Chili's to donate all profits from Sept. 25 to St. Jude

You can make a meal count on September 25 by dining at your local Chili's Grill & Bar. On that day, Chili's will donate 100 percent of profits to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

This special day is part of Chili's "Create A Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer" campaign occurring throughout September, which is also National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. During the entire month, Chili's is asking its guests to donate $1 or more for the opportunity to color a pinup of Chili's signature pepper; pinups will be displayed in restaurants for the duration of the campaign.

In addition, supporters can visit Create A Pepper to purchase Create A Pepper T-shirts that can be customized with permanent marker to fit their individual style.

Also new this year are Create A Pepper Gift Cards, which offer a means of giving to those you love while giving back. Chili’s will donate $1 to St. Jude for every $25 purchased in Create A Pepper Gift Cards, which can be customized with permanent marker or crayon.

The funds raised help ensure that the life-saving research and care provided by St. Jude can continue. For more than 40 years, St. Jude has been dedicated to finding cures and saving children with cancer ad other childhood catastrophic diseases. Its research breakthroughs have helped push overall childhood cancer survival rates from less than 20 percent in 1962 to more than 70 percent today. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

So get your co-workers or your family together on September 25 for lunch or dinner at a Chili's near you. The meal you share can give kids with cancer a fighting chance.”

We’ll be eating dinner at the Chili’s in Macon that evening, and would love for any local families to join us (Denise? What do you say?) Last year’s dinner is a bittersweet memory for me. We ate with Haley and her parents and talked and visited like any normal people would. We watched our kids, sitting and playing in another booth (because all parents look forward to the day when their kids are old enough to eat OVER THERE in their own booth!) Then, Haley passed away shortly after, on the list for a liver transplant. How is that possible? We had just had dinner with them and were stunned to hear the news. Cheryl, we are thinking about your family as the anniversary of Haley’s death is coming up and send lots of comforting thoughts your way.

4) I joined a gym. Well, not really a gym, but a wellness center at a physical therapy/rehab place. Which is actually pretty funny, when you consider that the vast majority of the people exercising there are either in their 70’s, or recovering from car accidents or back or knee surgery. Neck braces, ankle braces, canes ... etc. The only magazine I saw in the waiting room was a monthly issue of AARP and I was feeling smug about how much better shape I will be in than any of those people, until I noticed the gray-haired grandma in the knee splint was bench pressing twice the amount I was. Not so cocky now, am I???

5) The final and most profound way I stepped out of my comfort zone this past week involved a karaoke machine and a bottomless pitcher of Amaretto and honestly? Should probably not be shared with the internet.

PS. Ya'll!!!! We're closing in on a cool one million in the Caringbridge guestbook; how awesome is that??? Unless you consider the amount of times my mom visits the site, and the embarrassingly large number of typos and grammatical errors I have to go back and correct. Then, not so impressive. But if you find yourself as the one-millionth hit, let me know! The only rule is: NO REFRESHING just to get it! :)

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