Sunday, May 29, 2016


My mohawk picture on the last post reminded me of Georgia's mohawk picture:

She was so excited to show the clinic staff her new 'do and color the next day, her Day 29 procedures, which would tell us if she was in remission. She was and she still is, over four years later! And seeing as today is the 29th, we now have 11 months until Official Cancer-Freedom!

Read the full post of our fourth moment to remember, and make sure to read the comments, too. That was during the time we were "collecting" comments from every state, which grew to every continent, and then to space! It's still so cool to see where everyone was writing in from - we really appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hear Ye, Hair Ye

Yes, you read that right. Two months from TODAY, I am shaving my head for the Lucky 7th time with the 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave in Fabulous Las Vegas. I'll join the Knights of the Bald Table for seven years of service to the St. Baldrick's Foundation and get to celebrate my birthday with the most incredible women on the planet. But I'll also be honoring Georgia and every kid diagnosed with cancer by raising funds for research, which is the point of all of this crazy headshaving. I keep doing it because kids still need cures and safer treatments. I keep doing it because hair grows back. Kids don't. So please put a price on my head and help me conquer childhood cancer. We can do this, y'all! xoxo
 Click HERE to donate!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May Daze

The end of the school year is upon us in full force, and the special events keep coming. After weeks of study and preparation, Georgia took her first Advanced Placement exam (World History) on Thursday. Her teacher has gone above and beyond in helping the girls get ready, but they have taken a lot of initiative themselves in organizing extra study groups and sharing materials. The proof was definitely in the pudding when I asked Georgia how it went, and she said, "I felt like I had taken that test before." Yes!

Thursday night, we were back at school for the Trustee Award ceremony. The high school girls are recognized for Academic Excellence if they have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA for the year, and those that are in the top 10% of the class are also recognized with the Trustee Award. So guess what happened ...

Making the good governor, and us, proud every day.

Now she's 2 for 2 and wants to go 4 for 4 - a lofty goal, for sure, but with her dedication and love of learning, I think it's definitely within reach!

Saturday, Ann Richards was a stop on the WEST Austin Studio Tour, a city-wide art event. We had student and professional art for sale, the proceeds from which will benefit the Art Department. The whole gang turned out to help with set up and, Georgia's specialty, face painting.

Or arm painting. Actually, Emily looks like she's about to donate blood ...

... which we gladly would have accepted at our annual blood drive today! Despite the off-and-on rain, we had a great turnout and collected 20 units of blood PLUS over $200 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation! We had lemonade and other treats available for donation, and neighborhood children joined us once again to offer support for the cause. Georgia was back at the face painting table, and everyone, big and small, loved our extra special surprise - an ice cream truck! Our community has been so generous for such a long time (this includes all of YOU!), and we are always grateful when people return each year to help save lives with blood donations and childhood cancer research funding. Thank you, one and all!

Our third moment to revisit in the countdown to Official Cancer-Freedom is from Georgia's bone marrow biopsy the week after she began treatment. Looking back at these first few weeks, I'm still amazed at how much information we had to process so quickly. Writing on this blog helped to break it down and allowed us to understand it better by sharing it. Thank you for reading every word!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Smother's Day

Yes, that says "Smother's!" We love "The Goldbergs" show, and the children in that show call their well-meaning and totally not embarrassing mother who loves them so very much "Smother." So it's a joke around our house because maybe someone who lives here resembles that character sometimes? I don't know. I don't see it.

After the ups and downs of the last week, the balance in the Georgia Force was restored, and she had a good weekend. The Listen to Your Mother show went off without a hitch, and I was really happy with my reading - got some hearty laughs and just the right amount of tears. Message received, I think. We had a nice lunch today with all of the grandparents and GG - who just turned 98 last week, and I got some wonderful handmade cards from my favorite people. We finished off the day at the movies with Captain America and friends. Perfect!

The St. Baldrick's Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society both shared this picture on Facebook this week. St. Baldrick's included a short poem Georgia wrote, and if you're on Instagram, you can hear her recite it here. LLS shared it on their advocacy page, with this quote from an email Momma Bear wrote to her senators and representative in Washington about a funding bill:

My LTYM piece, that picture, and the rain today all reminded me of Mother's Day six years ago, when Georgia was getting regular Erwinia shots after her allergic reaction to the PEG shots. This was my journal entry that day, and it still holds true:

Today, we spent a few hours at the hospital, where Georgia was getting the last two of 12 shots she's had over the last 12 days (two, every other day). The shots take only a few minutes, but we have to stay for observation for two hours in case she has another allergic reaction. While we waited, we snuggled up in the hospital bed together, watching the rain outside. I held her close and kissed her fuzzy head, and we decided that this was the best Mother's Day gift ever. And it was. 

Happy Day to the Mothers AND the Smothers - 
We love you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fired Up

This morning, Georgia sent me this text: Got set on fire today - Happy Wednesday!

Goofball. There was a quick video that went with it, mostly giggling. She loves chemistry on a regular day, so I can only imagine the level of excitement today!

Then a couple of hours later, I got a call from the nurse, telling me that Georgia was bitten by fire ants out in the courtyard. She said she didn't appear to be allergic, but she was very uncomfortable and might need to go home. By the time I got there 20 minutes later, she was covered with hives from head to toe, and I had a flashback to the horrible allergic reaction she had to the PEG shot during treatment. I dosed her up with Benadryl, and we went to the closest urgent care facility. A steroid shot and thirty minutes later, she was feeling much better, and the swelling and itching had started to subside. She said, "Good. Because I need to get back to school." Unstoppable.

This Saturday, I'll be reading in the Austin Listen to Your Mother show. Rehearsals have gone well, and I am so impressed and inspired by the other writers. Some really, really talented folks. If you're local and would like to be similarly inspired, the link for tickets is on the graphic below. I wonder who #2 could be? : )


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Swimmers, Take Your Mark

After hitting Friday's big milestone, Georgia joined some of her gaggle at the beach for a Sweet Sixteen celebration. She came back tired, happy, and a wee bit sunburned, but it was a great weekend to just be a normal teenager - something we are so grateful for. She got back to town just in time for this year's swim banquet, and once again, she made us very proud. Academic All-District and the award for Most Improved. Coach talked about how impressive it is to pick up a sport that your competitors have been involved with for many, many years, and then make so much progress in a relatively short amount of time. He said she works hard and that she's really coming into her own - she's learned how to race! Afterwards, Georgia said she can't wait to get back to training and that she wants to push herself with workouts this summer. We all know what amazing things she can do when she puts her mind to it, so look out! She's going to just keep swimming and see where it takes her.

We agreed that one of those awards really belongs to Daddy -
can you guess which one?

One-third of the mighty Ann Richards swim team!

And now to begin the countdown to Georgia's Official Cancer-Freedom! For our first two of 28 moments to remember, we have to start at the beginning. Our first two posts on the blog (in BOLD below), when we were still trying to understand what was happening and how we were going to navigate our way through it. Even though it was hard to know what to say, I'm so glad we have those moments to look back on and to compare to where we are now. Always, always giving thanks.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day One
Two days ago, Georgia's 10th birthday, she was admitted to Dell Children's Hospital for testing. Yesterday, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a very common, very curable cancer of the blood.

Today, she began her first round of chemotherapy, and she and her team - the Peachy Keens - are confident she will win this fight. ALL never had a chance!