Sunday, August 28, 2016

12 Years

     12 years...how it that even possible? August 28, 2004 was easily the first worst day of my life. My older brother John was an amazing person; don't get me wrong - he was FAR from perfect but I think the heart that beat in his chest for 24 years heavily outweighed any misstep he may have taken on this Earth. He loved his family, friends, & girlfriend Leslie fiercely. He was the most loyal person you could ever meet. He had such an extremely contagious laugh that even if you didn't want to laugh with him - it didn't matter, you would always ending up doing so. God, how I miss that laugh. I'm not sure what Heaven is like but I do know wherever or whatever it may be, I have no doubt my brother is there telling the other angels that "it's all good". I ask that, in my brother's honor, please check your smoke detectors - it's such a simple task that could easily save your life.

John - I hope you liked the daisies we dropped off yesterday. I will always continue to search for life's answers in song lyrics, just like you told me. I miss you every minute of every day & I love you even more. Rest easy big brother. <3


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Oye Vey!

     After putting it off for a good four years, I finally visited the dentist to figure out just what kind of damage chemo has done to mouth, more specially, to my teeth & let's just say it did it's damn thang....five thousand dollars worth to be exact. Oye vey! Thankfully my insurance did cover a dental cleaning & updated X-Rays but beyond that, anything to fix broken, discolored, literally falling apart piece-by-piece teeth is considered "cosmetic" & not covered by insurance....lame-0-rama! So it's look like I will continue to be a closed-mouth smiler for who knows how long. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely know how incredibly blessed I am to be alive, that is something I will NEVER forget & is something I reflect on numerous times every single day. I just like to keep you guys in the post-cancer loop & this is the latest in my cancer survivor story. I'll keep you updated but until then, enjoy the last few weeks of Summer! Talk to you soon

love&lyrics,
- LISA -

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Full Circle

     Hi blog! It's been a minute, right? If you frequent these parts you know that every once in a while I take a step back from the writing - for no reason in particular - but just because it's something I need to do. This was the situation for the last few months...I needed to take some time to live my life. Since we last talked I've celebrated my 32nd birthday, my 6 year diagnosis day, my 4 year REMISSION day, & a clear PET scan. Today was another a big day in my story. It's been 3 years since my last colonoscopy (or in my case, a stomaoscopy...?) & it was CLEAR! No polyps - nothing, just a good-lookin', no cancer-showin, colon & intestines. You're totally welcome for those descriptives btw. :) My initial reaction was of course, relief - fast forward 3 hours later when I'm home, experiencing your normal post-scope gut pain, watching a documentary about DJ AM on Showtime, & suddenly I started to experience a whole mix of emotions. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm 7 days Estroven clean (gotta follow those Suprep-rules, ya'll!) or maybe it's the fact that I realized my cancer journey came full circle today. Everything started with a colonoscopy in April 2010 with my incredible surgeon Dr. B; those results were obviously quite different than today. That day is a blur & a repeat slow-motion scene both at the same time. It was a day that changed my life forever & I like to think today will also be one of those days. I'm so lucky...not only to be alive but to be loved by a super-dope family, a handful of friends who stuck by my side during my darkest of days, crazy-hyper puppies, & the chance to rediscover who I am post-cancer. I'm not exactly sure just who that is yet but she's coming around, bit by bit & I love her - I love me, I love this crazy life, & I can't wait to let you know where life takes me next.

love&lyrics,
- LISA -

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

National Cancer Prevention Month!

     Happy February! Not only is this the official month of "love" & MY BIRTHDAY but it's also NATIONAL CANCER PREVENTION MONTH!!! Obviously I'm a huge advocate of Colorectal Awareness but I've also met some really amazing people who are busy advocating for other types of cancer. My friend from the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center has passed along some flyers in hopes of saving some lives. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos that forms on the lining of the lungs, heart, & abdomen. It's absolutely preventable & the MAA is committed to spreading awareness about asbestos & ways to protect yourself. Take a quick look!






See ya soon!
love&lyrics,
LISA

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2k15


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...butt let's remember to protect ALL of our assests!
Colonoscopys save lives - it saved mine!


love&lyrics,
- LISA -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dear John

 Dear John,
     I can't believe it's been 11 years...11 years since I last heard your voice, caught your contagious laughter, or have been able to hug you. I'll never forget that day because that was the day that my life changed forever. For the first 20 years of my life I was alive but not necessarily "living" because I didn't realize how fragile life truly was until Saturday August 28, 2004.
     I remember driving home the night before & thinking how perfectly full the moon was. I remember thinking how beautifully it lit up the late-night sky & how it shined down so brightly on the world beneath it; little did I know how much that world would change in the matter of hours. Losing you was, without-a-doubt, harder than I could have ever, ever imagined. I thought I had my heart broken before, but no...saying goodbye to you, big brother, was a heartbreak I never knew existed.
     I try not to haunt myself with thoughts of that morning but, inevitably, they always seem to creep back into my head. I wonder if you were you scared or if you knew what was happening. I wonder what your last words might have been - knowing you I'm sure they were words Mom wouldn't approve of. :) I know you were probably more concerned with getting Leslie out of the house than you were with yourself; you loved her so much, as she loved you. I will never forget your last Christmas when you surprised her with her beautiful bracelet & made her cry. You made her feel so special & so loved...I'm so happy you found true love while on this Earth. That Christmas is hands-down my favorite holiday memory even though it would be the last one we would all spend together. When I look back at that version of "me" in the pictures I can't help but miss being that naive 19-year-old in the navy blue dance sweatshirt. Everything about me changed when I lost you & almost 11 years later I'm still trying to pick up the pieces & find my way in this crazy life. It seems like every time I was about to pull things together, something else would wreck our world...like losing Jay only 2 years after you. We have amazing parents, don't we? There's not a lot of things I truly "know" in this life, but 1 thing I do know is that no parent should EVER have to bury their child & our's did...twice. They're incredible & I don't think I will ever understand where they find all their strength. They miss you so much. I know their lives changed in more ways than mine that morning & I often find myself just starring at them in awe. How blessed we are to call them our's.
     Thank you for loaning Duke to us for the last 11 years. Who knew that big, awkward puppy hiding in his doghouse would end up being the biggest inside fur-baby we've ever had?...you did, I guess. I think you must have known how much we would need him. For me, he was the last tangible part of you so letting him go has been really hard. I miss him so much already but I can only imagine how excited he was to see you again. I would often talk to him about you; telling him stories would make me feel closer to you somehow. Man how I miss those talks. Oh, by the way, the orange ball is his favorite so please be sure to throw that as hard & as far as you can - that back leg won't be holding him back in the clouds.
     I'll never forget what happened in the early hours of August 28, 2004. You were taken from this world much too early for my liking or my approval & I struggle with your absence everyday. You were an incredible big brother & I hate that I didn't tell you that nearly enough. I hope you know how much I love you & how much I miss you because...well, I can't find a way to put it into words. All I can say is that I do love you & I do miss you so, so very much. Thank you for blessing us with your presence for 24 beautiful years.
You are forever in my heart, my head, & my soul.
Until we meet again.
Rest Easy.

Your baby sister,
 Lisa

John David Johnson
April 29, 1980 - August 28, 2004