Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Happy Holidays to all of you who visit GDHC & have become part of my heart over the past year. You give me such strength, encouragement, & always welcome me with open-arms. 

May your day be filled with love, laughs, & memories.

As for me:

love & lyrics,
- LISA -

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Family Matters

     I've been trying to write this post for weeks but no matter how long my fingers sat on the keyboard, ultimately, I lost my nerve & intentionally navigated my attention to something else. So, I thought taking some time & a few steps back was a good place to catch a breath of fresh air & then do my damnedest to update you on the craziness that will conclude 2013. 
     If you read my last post, Pieces of Me (Part II), you know it's been a pretty crazy, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me, what-possibly-could-be-next, almost 10ish years for my family. We've literally lost the other-half of us but have somehow remained tightly bound together - don't get me wrong, we're all completely insane, but I think it's safe to say we're an exceptionally strong, united, & close family. So when I got sick it wasn't just me who had to deal with the day-to-day cancer chaos, it was also my husband, my parents, my sister, & even my nephew & niece (who were 7 & 4 at the time &, sadly, know waaay-too-much about cancer) whose lives were also turned upside-down. I had the best of the best of support systems & I wanted to do everything I could to protect any of them from potentially experiencing anything that I was living through so I had genetic-testing for "hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer", also known as "Lynch's Syndrome" shortly after my diagnosis. LS testing is usually done when someone is diagnosed at a young age (26-check!), has not experienced consistent or problematic polyps (never-check!), & the initial cancer is more likely to develop on the right side (my 7 cm tumor was on the right wall - check! 3 for 3!) HOWEVER my results surprisingly came back negative. At the time it was a huge sigh of relief & I remember being so excited knowing that, most likely, no one in my family would have to worry about colorectal cancer, however...I hate having to type this - I was wrong.
     After my last CT scan came back with a few "hmmm's" on my liver, I decided to call my surgeon Dr. B & ask for his interpretation of the results, & realized it was time for my mom's "just-to-be-safe"colonoscopy. She's had no symptoms of any kind to make any of us,nor herself worry so her upcoming scope wasn't something I was really harping on...& boom: of course that's when something happens. During her scope, Dr. B found something "he didn't like" in her sigmoid colon; he took a biospy & we, once-again, found ourselves playing the waiting game for those 3 days to go by for the results. The results had positive malignancy for Colon Cancer.
     I was so angry - not at her or course, or Dr. B, but at life as a whole. Like really? My mom is an amazing human being who's endured things in her lifetime that no one should even have to fathom. No child should have to lose a parent, who was also their best friend, when they are little - my mom did.  No child should have to watch their mother's memory, personality, soul, & eventually body slowly seep away day-by-day from Alzheimer's Disease - my mom did. No parent should ever, ever, ever have to bury a child - my mom has had to bury 2. No parent should have to hear that their child has cancer - my mom did. No person should have to hear they have cancer - my mom did. 
     I suppose the "upside" to all that is my mom is truly the strongest, bravest, most beautiful soul I know. She always tell me what a fighter I am & like so many other things, I obviously inherited a lot of it from her. I remember that through-out my entire battle, she kept telling me "if she could take my cancer from me & put it in her, she would do it in a second", now I'm finding myself bargaining with "God" to do the opposite - I would gladly take these liver lesions & another recurrence for my mom to be cancer-free.
     The "good news", if you will, is that we caught this very early on; her CEA (or tumor marker in her blood) is only around 1.5ish & Dr. B thinks a colon resection should be all that's needed. So that's the game-plan as of now & is set for around the end of the month, ironically on the same day as my follow-up abdomen, pelvic, & head (mostly for the liver "hmmm's") PET scan. So if you pray or would be up for sending love & positivity our way that would be very-much appreciated; perhaps a shortly-delayed Christmas miracle?! :)
     Regardless of either of our outcomes, I promise to keep you on the up-&-up.
Thank you for everything & remember colonoscopies really  do save lives - my mom & I are both proof of that. 

Happy Holidays.

love & lyrics,


Thursday, December 12, 2013


While still focusing on cancer & the countless ways it impacts my daily life, I want to start adding other material to "gdhc", like occasional videos, more pictures, memories,  product "rants & raves", DIY's, & much more! I'm really excited to dive-in & share even more aspects of my life with all of you who have welcomed me & my story in your life. I'm so humbled by your support & encouragement. 

  love & lyrics,