Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 329 - So Many Things

So many things have happened since I've last posted. I was reading the blog of another young woman who was diagnosed, and she reminded me that we only have today, and that our time is brief. I won't always have tomorrow to post - so I thought I better get on it. Thanks Michelle. =)

Let me pick up where I left off I guess...

A week after we said goodbye to our beloved Tomo, we welcomed Shin into our home. "Shinakio" (Shin-ah-kio) is the 3rd name he was given while in the shelter, so we decided not to change it anymore. In Japanese it translates to "Faithful and Bright" - and that he is. He's now 6 months old and has trace behaviors that remind us of our Tomo, but is still his own dog in so many ways. I found him listed on a Shiba Breed Rescue website, and even though it had only been a week - I felt like I needed to apply to adopt him. He had a sweet face, and was a puppy - which is rare to find in a rescue org. When he came into the house for the home visit, he ran right up and licked me on the face. I was won over. If she would have said we weren't a right fit for him after the visit, I would have cried. When he ran up the stairs and stuck his head through the railing like Tomo did when he was just 8 weeks old, Mike was won over. So -- it's puppy time all over again in our house and we're happy because of it.

We're also waiting for another litter of shibas to be born sometime this week. The sire is black and tan and the same one who sired Tomo. The dam is also a black and tan and we're hoping to get a little black and tan female from this litter. Fingers crossed.

Next, I'm pleased to announce I was selected as the Colorado Chapter Ambassador for Be Bright Pink! Bright Pink is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and support of women under 40 who are high risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer. High-risk meaning testing positive for the genetic markers and/or having a strong family history. How do I fit in to that category? Well, despite not having the genetic marker and not having strong family history - I'm now high-risk for the simple fact that I was diagnosed. They are having their ambassador summit in July in Chicago so I'll be flying out to go through training and to meet the leaders and other ambassadors. I'm truly excited about the position and must admit that I'm slightly nervous as well. I was in these types of roles in high school and college, but nothing as a professional, so this is my first. I'm really looking forward to getting started and meeting some truly wonderful people.

And finally, Mike and I just got back from two wonderful weeks in the Riveria Maya, Mexico. Specifically we were in Puerto Aventuras, about 60 miles south of Cancun. It was WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL! Did I mention it was wonderful? We really needed the break away and two weeks was truly needed. After the first week we couldn't fathom going home yet because it just didn't feel like we disconnected. By day 10, we felt like we lived there - we were finally disconnected. This was our first all-inclusive resort, and we really believe that if you can do all-inclusive, you should. Note, we researched this all inclusive very thoroughly and made sure that the food was excellent before we committed -- we didn't want only buffet service and this resort offered both buffet as well as a la carte service. They also offered premium liquors as well, which was equally important.

Everyday, we got up, put on our suits, made our way to breakfast, and then went out to the main pool or hung out by the lagoon. The activities staff at this resort was by far the best, and they really made the trip. Not only did they remember our names after the first day, they were very involved in making sure we all had a great time. Each day there was water aerobics, a demomstration of some sort - sangria, margaritas, guacamole - water volleyball, water polo, bocce ball, snorkeling tours, monkey tours .... there was always something to do, if you wanted to do it - and we did. Every night there was a special show - one night it was fire dancers, another it was capoeira and samba, a magic show, a circus show ... even a Michael Jackson show. They brought in professional performers who were all very good. The resort even had its very own "discoteca" (a club). Mike even danced with me, a lot! It was really fun.

We met some really great people while there as well. One couple from Philly, one couple from Canada, another from Boston, and yet another from Wisconsin, who had been to this resort 8 times. To us, that spoke volumes about how much they enjoyed the place and the staff.

Here are just a few pictures from the trip.
Cancun Airport, we just arrived!

Our Honeymooners Special Dinner

One of the beautiful inlets

We took bread from breakfast and fed the fish

There were so many of them!

Our other special dinner, courtesy of Eric, our waiter

Our last night there, we celebrated Mike's 29th birthday. Fausto, the main evening bartender in the lobby bar, was such a good person and was great at his job. We made friends with him early on in our trip and he remembered that our final day was Mike's birthday. So, after dinner we went to the bar like normal, to hang out with Fausto. Shortly after walking in, he rang his bell and out came a birthday cake, specially made for Mike. In addition, Fausto had arranged for the live band in the lobby to play a traditional "Happy Birthday" song for Mike and wish him happy birthday over the microphone. Mike was completely surprised, and very touched. We cut the cake and Fausto made everyone in the bar a round of chocolate cake shots. After we said "salud!" Fausto got everyone together and told me to get the camera ready and they all picked up Mike! It was great!

So we left the bar shortly after midnight and headed home that morning. When we got home we were very excited to see Shin. We've had a lazy weekend getting ready for the work week, and Easter was quiet. We're already talking about going back next year, making a "thing" of it for Mike's 30th birthday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Husbands Perspective

The following story was a great reminder on just how lucky Melissa and I were to discover her cancer at such at early stage. This family is facing the biggest challenge I could ever imagine, and doing so with a very young daughter.

Please give all the positives thoughts you can to this family.