#WYCOStrong

I’ve really struggled this week to keep my emotions in tact and maintain some sort of normalcy.  On Friday, June 15th I was at work and received a breaking news alert on my Apple watch which I automatically checked like normal.  I believe it said something to the effect of two officers shot at Wyandotte County Courthouse, more information to come.  What many people don’t know about Wyandotte County is that as crazy as it sounds, we are a very tight knit community.  I don’t know another community in the Kansas City metro area that has what Wyandotte County has. It’s hard to describe.  Wyandotte County has a bad reputation and a lot of it is deserved but a lot of it is just plain bullshit.  Many of the residents started their families here, and then their families started families and so on and so on.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that everyone knows everybody, or at least knows someone from their family.  We are a community that supports our police and fire departments, our city employees, our neighbors.  It’s not about about republican or democrat, it’s about being a decent person and doing the right thing.


After seeing the breaking news alert I quickly grab my phone in search for more information.  From the little information that I had seen, I was scared.  Real scared.  I have friends and family that work at the courthouse, that work for the sheriff’s office, that work for the Kansas City Kansas Police Department, and  the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department.  All I knew at that point was something bad had happened and multiple people were shot.  After some texts to friends and wives of law enforcement around the city, I was relieved that everyone I knew was safe and accounted for.  But then I lost it.  We, and when I saw we, I mean Wyandotte County, have lost so many great people in the past couple years due to really bad criminals being on the street.  Officer Melton, Detective Lancaster, and Lou Scherzer all were murdered by stupid pieces of trash.  All murdered in our community, in our backyard.  Why does this keep happening!

As a wife of a firefighter, I can honestly say that I don’t get worried about my husband not coming home after his shift.  We get busy with our jobs, with our kids, and with our life and I just honestly don’t ever worry about it.  And then these horrible acts of violence happen and I’m sure Deputy King and Deputy Rohrer’s family expected them to come home that evening.  I’m sure that Detective Lancaster wife and kids expected him home for dinner that evening.  I’m sure that Officer Melton’s girlfriend and kids expected to see him that evening.  I know Lou Scherzer’s fiancée didn’t think that Saturday night was any different than the one before.  So am I a bad person that I don’t get scared every third day that my husband might not come home?  I am asking that question, be honest.

No matter what your spouse does for a living, just imagine waiting by the phone or by the front door waiting for a Chaplin to come.  What kind of life could you lead?  A couple years ago two brave Kansas City Missouri Firefighters went on a call that went horribly wrong and they lost their lives (the fire was deliberately set so it was murder in my opinion). Do you think that Larry Leggio and John Mesh thought they wouldn’t be going back to the station after that routine call!  I bet they did, they were seasoned firefighters.  I don’t want to get into the whole “Our lives are in God hands” discussion because that could go in a whole other direction.

The point is that I’m sad.  I’m angry.  I want the families of these deplorable criminals to know that they are horrible people and they don’t deserve to live.  I actually wish harm on them. Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why couldn’t Antoine Fielder get shot in the head? Why can’t he suffer? Hell, you can’t even put on the news anymore without hearing about horrible people killing innocent people just because.  When did it become acceptable to bully, talk down, and spew hate towards people.  I have to admit that I have gone on rants about President Trump many of times on social media but he makes it too easy.

We need a leader, a role model, a stable person to lead our country and our cities.  We need to stop all this madness and start over.  Our President sucks and I feel like this country is an embarrassment.  I’m embarrassed to be an American right now.  I want our justice system overhaul, I want gun reform, I want children to stay with their parents, I want people to be decent, I want CHANGE.  I don’t want want to ever have to tell my children that their father was killed.  I WANT CHANGE.

I am proud of my city.  I am proud to call Wyandotte County home.  I love how we all come together for the greater good.  I hope that I never have to go to Children’s Mercy Park for a funeral again.  I love how we support our heros.

Next time you think you are having a bad day, just remember, it could be worse.

I don’t want worse, I’ve had enough.

#WYCOStrong

Photo Cred: Caylen Sunderman

Bucket List: Italy

Many of you know that my sister-in-law owns and manages a company called A Slice of Tuscany, which books trips and tours all around Italy.  Sally (my sister-in-law) moved over to Florence, Italy 8 years ago this upcoming August and I still have never been!  I know, I know.  But, a couple years ago she meet her her future (an American with an Italian name) husband over there and because he is in the military he was soon transferred back to the United States.  Although they were transferred back, Sally still takes trips to Italy throughout the year to help clients experience their dream vacations.

Sally
That’s Sally

So Sally started this business while she was over there by basically just traveling around Italy eating, drinking, and talking to everyone.  After years of research she quickly made friends with some of the top chefs, wine makers, shop owners in the country. Do you want to rent a villa in the countryside, make wine at a local vineyard, learn to cook for a top rated chef, rent a Ferrari?  She can do that.  What I’m saying is, if you want to do Italy right, you call Sally at A Slice of Tuscany.

That brings me to my bucket list.  I AM going to Italy.  I don’t know when but it’s happening.  I believe the plan is to wait until her husband can take time off and we can have at least 2 weeks to travel the country.  Hopefully, next Spring 2019 we will be sitting on the Amalfi Coast with a nice glass of Italian wine and fresh seafood.  Now I want a glass of wine!amalfi-amalfi-coast-architecture-373575

There are so many places I want to see before I die but I have to get to Italy as soon as possible.  Sally happens to been over there now and every time she posts on Instagram I am amazed!  It truly looks like the most beautiful place on earth!

Check out her website and her Instagram!

Honestly, it after 10pm on a school night and I’m contemplating open a bottle of Chianti Classico.

Almost Surgery Time

One week from today I will undergo a bilateral mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection, along with reconstruction. So basically I’m having my breast tissue removed, most or all my lymph nodes on my left side removed, and tissue expanders put in to make room for implants later on down the road. Sounds pretty violent right? All of those things happening and only one night in the hospital. I suppose if all goes well I will have some amazing perky breasts with killer nipple tattoos in a year or two. It really is amazing what they can do with a tattoo gun these days. The tissue expanders will be placed the day of surgery and will be slightly filled and then expanded over the next 8 weeks to my desired size. Very uncomfortable and painful at times from what I hear. My situation is a little different from my mothers and sisters, my cancer had already spread to my lymph nodes so radiation has always been the plan. After meeting with a radiation oncologist at Menorah, he suggested that I plan on doing radiation even if my pathology comes back negative for cancer. So the pathology from my surgery is going to be super important and will determine my next move with the killing of the cancer.  I would rather not do radiation but if will help further my life then I’m all in. Funny little story.  When the radiation oncologist came into the room he started off by saying how sorry he was to hear of my diagnosis. He explained that when my breast surgeon had presented my case at the board meeting, a year earlier before I had cancer, that they didn’t think a mastectomy was in my best interest because my sister and mother were BRCA negative. All the doctors were very surprised when my name popped up in June with a triple positive breast cancer diagnosis. I told him I was still just a little bitter. Okay, maybe a lot bitter. 

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely nervous and scared. The thought of having to look at myself after the surgery is what scares me the most. It will take a lot of time and I’m sure I won’t let my husband look at me for at least a year or two, but the shock will eventually go away. Will he still love me? Will I look like an alien in a swimsuit? Can I love myself? Cancer is an emotional roller coaster for me and I don’t expect it to end anytime soon. It has changed me forever. I don’t know if I will ever be the same girl I was before but I will do anything and everything to be a good role model to my girls. I want to to be that amazing wife that husbands brag about (still working on that) and that mom that kids want to be around.  I am very thankful for my family and friends that have been there for me through the last couple months.


So the next week I will be nesting like a fool most likely and trying to gain back a little weight. My taste buds have come back almost completely so I’m enjoying foods that I haven’t had in months. I never thought I would miss salad so much but lettuce was not my friend during chemotherapy. Election night is tomorrow so maybe I’ll treat myself to some steak and potatoes and maybe even a glass of wine (God knows we will all need the wine tomorrow night). I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my family this weekend before I’m confined to my house for the next couple weeks. 

Another funny story. So my husband and I ran up to Sam’s Club the other day and were approached by one of those people pitching a new product for the holidays. You know what she handed him? A hair straightener. Now if you don’t know my husband, he shaves is head. I didn’t have a wig on either so I was confused on why she would hand us a hair straightener to try. I’m still a little sensitive about the whole hair loss. Some people. 

First Chemotherapy Treatment

One down, five more to go!!! Yesterday was a very long and boring day but I also expected that. I guess uneventful is a good thing while undergoing a chemotherapy treatment. They have me hopped up on a bunch of steroids so I’m not feeling much of anything except a little dry mouth. Chemo consists of a lab draw to make sure my blood work is okay for treatment, a quick chat with my oncologist Dr. Qamar Kahn and his NP Stephanie, then off to the infusions. Yesterday was long day because it was my first day. Lots of pre drug infusions and then the four infusions. Everything went as planned and have no side effects right away. 

So, Game of Thrones is a very sick and twisted show and I LOVE it. Went through the entire first season and couldn’t stop watching it. It was a great suggestion, although I have to cover my eyes throughout many of the scenes. Keep other suggestions coming as well as books. 

We have such a great network surrounding us and I’m trying to respond to every message and text I get so bare with me. I might not respond in the evening because I’m trying to give my full attention to the my family by limiting the cell phone. I know everyone is wanting to help right now and we are still trying to figure everything out. At this point we are not needing meals made for us. My appetite has been next to nothing and I’m on a restricted diet of some sorts and Matt can’t eat an entire pan of lasagna by himself. What is helpful are gift cards to Price Chopper, Whole Foods, or Sprouts. We are trying to figure out some sort of donation to Mini Adventures, the girls preschool, so I don’t have to use any vacation time until I need it for my surgery. The preschool is one of my major expenses right now and with all the time I have been off it might take a little stress off my plate. It’s been hard to ask for help and I will try to do better but I don’t like to burden people with my problems. 

Thank you and we appreciate your continued love and support. 

Summer Bucket List

I was introduced to The Happy Family Movement by my new favorite photographer, Nicole Renee. Even with our busy schedule I think we can do this summer. So here goes, Our Summer Bucket List:

1. Royal’s Baseball Game with the children. We have taken Maggie in the past but the little one has yet to see the Royals lose in person.

Maggie's 1st Royals Game
Maggie’s 1st Royals Game

2. Kansas City Zoo. Took Maggie last year and she had a blast.

Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City Zoo

3. Lunch on The Plaza without children. I love dining and day drinking.

4. Day on the Lake (on a boat). I'[m still a little to over protective to take the girls to the lake house but we can take them on the boat at Wyandotte County Lake.

5. T Bones Baseball game with the family. We are right down the street from the stadium and they have a great playground for the kids. No excuse not to go.

6. Outdoor Concert. I think the last outdoor concert I attended was Cross Canadian Ragweed in 2009. Hell, that was the last concert I think I went to. I used to be cool.

7. Deanna Rose Farm. It would be perfect for a toddler.

Maggie at Deanna Rose Memorial Day 2013
Maggie at Deanna Rose Memorial Day 2013

8. Family Portrait Session by Nicole Renee. we took portraits when Reese was about 3 months old but that was it. A family photo session is much-needed.

Family Portrait Fall 2012
Family Portrait Fall 2012

9. Watch a fireworks show. This task shouldn’t be too hard since my family is in the fireworks business.

10. Build a sandcastle with the kids. We are taking a family vacation to Florida in August and we are right on the beach. Maggie would love to build a giant sandcastle and then she will proceed to knock it down.

11. Catch lightning bugs. This just screams summer to me.

12. Date night. Not just dinner at Yardhouse on a Tuesday. A dress up dinner at a romantic restaurant is my favorite. Nice wine, great food, and dessert!

13. Wyandotte County Fair. Another summer favorite for kids! I won’t let Maggie on the rides but at least she can run around. I know, I’m no fun.

14. Royals Game WITHOUT children. Nothing better than a night at the stadium with a good group of friends.

15. Play in the sprinkler. The kids are already little fishes in the pool, they will love the sprinkler.