In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SUCCESS!! and a Million Thank Yous

When my world was falling apart, and we were just beginning treatment, and I could hardly make it through a day without sobbing, Stacia sent me an email.  "What can I do to help?" and then later, "What if I created a website for Andrew and had people send him hats from all 50 states?"  Stacia hardly knew me, so I was overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness, and her willingness to do that for Andrew and for me.  I accepted her offer.  To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I didn't know her very well, and thought maybe Andrew would get two or three hats, and we would be thankful.  But for almost a year, Stacia has been persistent in tracking down friends,  family, and blog readers to send Andrew hats.  It has been a lot of work!

Yesterday, he received the last of the 50 states!!  In addition we also received hats from outside the U.S. including many of the Canadian provinces, Mexico, England, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Germany (I hope I didn't forget any).  I am in awe of her dedication.  Her blog is amazing too.  If you haven't checked her out, you can read more at My Fluffy Bunnies.  Thank you so much Stacia.  You have blessed my family more than you know.

Here are the final two hats:


and Delaware!!

ALSO! I want to thank ALL of you who sent us hats, cards, cars, games, well-wishes, toys, coloring books, silly bands, tattoos, pictures of your children, kind words,  gift cards to McDonald's and more!  What an amazing blessingYOU have  been.  Even on the worst days, it was always a pick-me-up to go to the post office, and find a package or two (or three, or four, or ten!).  I am still shocked by the support and care you have shown me.

While I am at it, I want to say a few more "Thank You's."

Thank you to CJ for suggesting and making the "Prayers for Andrew" button!
Thank you to my sweet nurse Tiffany (who rescued me from hell):  A Tall Drink of Life.

I also want to thank Sharon.  She has been a reader and a supporter for quite some time, and when I investigated her website, I found that she makes beautiful quilts.  Her comments always make me cry.  I told her that I wanted to buy a quilt, and she offered to make me one, "as a blessing."  A couple of weeks ago, it arrived in the mail.  I took it out, and held it to my face, and you know what? it even smells beautiful. I am once again in awe of the time she took to make this for me.  She even spent time trying to figure out what colors might match my home.  I encourage all of you to check out her website: Sharon's Cottage Quilts.   Here is a picture:

Thank you sweet Sharon!

I also want to thank two bloggers who gave me awards, which I have yet to recognize.  I am not following the rules, but I wanted to thank them and mention them!  Anne from "500 Places with Kids" gave me the award below.  Her husband is a cancer survivor and she writes about the places she visits with her children, and gives travel tips along the way.  Thank you Anne!

My friend Missy also gave me an award, and I want to thank her.  She is a beautiful person inside and out and has been an amazing support throughout all of this.  Check out her blog at My Life and Everything in Between.  Thank you Missy!

I also want to mention a few bloggers who have been there for me, through all of it, regularly commenting through my anger and through my tears, through sweet moments and ugly moments.  Thank you.  I appreciate your support and kind words more than you know.

Thank you to all of you who have placed Andrew's button on your blog.  Thank you to the many other bloggers who have followed my story and shown your support.  Thank you to my anonymous readers.  Thank you to those who pop in once in a while to say hello.  Thank you to my friends and family who read and cry and smile with me.  Thank you to ALL of you who have read our story thus far.  I am so appreciative.  You have all made this last year much more bearable.

(I hope no one feels slighted! You have all been beautiful).


  1. Soooooo, you still need a Dutch hat???!!!


  2. Yay for hats!!! :) What an incredible project! And that quilt... absolutely gorgeous.

  3. I was glad to be able to do just one small thing for you and the boys.

    LOVE the eyebrows that little man is sporting!!! Yay for eyebrows!!!

  4. Thanks for letting us in. To read about you and get to know you and pray for you and cry with you and love on your sweet boys.

  5. Oh, Julie, you've got me in tears! The hat project has been my pleasure. I don't consider it work at all to help a friend when she needs it (even one I've never "met" in real life).

    I am so happy to see that we did it. We did it! But most of all, I hope you know how many of us are rooting for Andrew and your family and will continue to do so as we watch him (and his eyebrows!) grow into an even stronger, sweeter, beautiful boy.

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

  6. Choke. I am so humbled by your mention. I don't think I was there ENOUGH. But, you were on my mind. a. lot. I'm so happy that things are looking up, and that he has enough hats for a lifetime.

  7. How exciting that Andrew has received a hat for every state and more hats than you ever expected! And what a beautiful quilt!

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt honesty. You've taught me a lot about loving and doubting and believing and pressing on...

  8. So cool he made it to 50 hats! Yeah!! Also I agree with what someone else said - thanks for letting us "in", and pray for you all. So glad things are going better :)

  9. Dearest Julie, I am honored. Thank you for your kindest of words. Hugs~Sharon

  10. Julie -

    Thank you for showing all of us that it's okay to be angry, frustrated and scared. Your ability to be open about your struggles allowed me to do the very same, in my situation. Deal with the ugly stuff head-on - Write through it.

    I am SO glad that I was able to be a support to you, just as you have been an AMAZING support to me over this past year.

    I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. I love you and look forward to hopefully spending some time with you, the next time you find yourself in California.

    Great BIG Hug,

  11. :))))) This gave me a big smile!!!

  12. Aw, you've got me crying over here...but it's not the first time. I have been so grateful to share your life (the good, bad and the ugly.) Thank you for sharing YOU and your beautiful family with us. You always have my love and support!

  13. Ack! I'm crying over here . . . my heart and prayers continue to be with all of your family. And my thanks to you for giving me a smile . . . nothing better than getting back to routine!!

  14. I am still in awe of the kidness of strangers. And how much those strangers have became a permanent fixture in my life. :)


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