Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just Call Me Last Minute Lucy

I stand by the old saying that "I work better under pressure!"  And before you go any further, I now present you with the following earworm!  You're welcome! :)

For years (translation - my.entire.freaking.life) I used this as an excuse to procrastinate.  Because I loved sleep, often it won out over studying, writing term papers, cleaning (sleep is definitely better than cleaning) or doing whatever needed doing... because TOMORROW! :) Yes, I'll just get up early and get "it" done tomorrow...

Well over the last 2 weeks, I've pushed that whole "I work better under pressure" statement to the limit! I had 3 full days being a nearly-professional chauffeur taking Greg & my mom to doctors appointments... except without the tux because 80* and a tux, yeah, no thanks.  I launched a fundraising campaign to help raise funds for Greg as he continues to bravely fight brain cancer.  I also had a wedding to attend, clients to take care of and sleep... yes I needed some of that or nobody would like me anymore. Seriously, I pushed it to the point I thought I just might not get done what needed getting done.  And then I'd have some really disappointed people in my life and that just wasn't going to fly! 

And by what can only be classified as a miracle, I got done everything that needed my attention, I kept everybody happy and I even got sleep... and no, I'm not on crack or addicted to coffee (anymore... the coffee, not the crack.)

So I'm really excited to show you one of my two jewelry projects because it makes me feel all sorts of happy that I was able to get it finished and give it as a gift to my baby sister... who coincidentally got asked if we were twins when we took her kids for ice cream.  She rocked it at the wedding that she went to! (Fine Print, the second project I can't show you because it's for a big retailer and they are using it in their print ad this fall... so it would positively land me in bead jail. But I did post a sneak peak of the leopard print beads ;) on my Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/BellaAmoreLegacyJewelry.com)

I used a titanium coated agate druzy, surrounded in aqua mirror beads from Cousin Corporation and finished with copper chain also from Cousin.  I made a dainty pair of earrings because Brenda doesn't like to have things pulling on her ears.  So these rose gold earrings from Cousin with a few mirror beads for dangles added a sparkle and she didn't even know she was wearing them!

So maybe this set did turn out awesome and just maybe I do work better under pressure... but let me tell you, creativity doesn't just come when you snap your fingers.  Actually quite the opposite, I have my best inspiration when I'm lying in bed in the middle of the night... and then I want to get up right.this.minute and start working on those projects.  Which leads to very early mornings and posting on Facebook at 3:30 a.m. And thus why I'm a recovering coffee addict...

Happy thoughts and love to you!
My sister Brenda and with her friend,the bride.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Helping My Brother In His Fight Against Brain Cancer

If you only read one of my blog posts ever in this lifetime, please read this one.  I'm opening my heart to allow you to see what my family and I are up against as we help my brother Greg's fight against brain cancer. 

See when Greg was just 20 he was diagnosed with brain cancer, medulloblastoma for those that are wondering.  Typically this type of cancer is found in children... so it was rare to see someone his age with a brain tumor.  At that time a team of doctors did brain surgery and successfully removed the tumor.  An extended hospital stay and radiation later and Greg was healing and on the road to getting his life back.

In October of 2012 Greg's routine MRI revealed that his brain cancer had returned.  He now had 3 tumors and the cancer had spread to his spine.  Due to the locations of the tumors, these are inoperable.  Greg underwent radiation and chemotherapy at UW Hospital in Madison, WI to help shrink the tumors. 

Last week we had an MRI checkup and found a new abnormal spot on Greg's spine.  It's a very small spot, so we cannot yet tell if the cancer has spread or if it's necrosis the result of extensive radiation. We have to wait 4 weeks and do another MRI to determine.  It was not the news any of us were hoping to hear. 
The only time you'll see Green Bay Packer anything on my blog... for the love of Greg!
Mom & Greg

 Since Greg's medical treatments, his mobility has been severely affected.  He has no feeling from the knees down in either leg.  Picture walking and not knowing where or how your feet are landing.  That's how Greg's feet are every day.  He has increasing pain in his hips due to avascular necrosis from prolonged steroid use to prevent brain swelling. 

Currently, Greg is living with my Mom & Dad, in their bi-level home (translation lots of stairs).  He was forced to sell his home he worked so hard to buy, and has since sold one of his cars.  He's currently in the process of selling his beloved Camaro because "it deserves to be driven like the machine that it is."
Daisy Duke loves Greg!

If I had one wish, it would be to take Greg's cancer away.  But I cannot do that.  So I'm doing the best I can to help him maintain his mobility as his body decides not to cooperate.  Right now, my parents need to make modifications to their home to keep Greg safe & mobile.  The largest of those being to installed an electric Stairglide to allow Greg to get in & out of the house.  They also need to renovate their bathroom to accommodate his walker & wheelchair.  Additionally, because of the design of their home, they need to change their front door to one that opens outward so it doesn't bump against the track for the stairglide.  As Greg's mobility continues to deteriorate, an electric wheelchair will be the only way he'll be able to get around safely. In addition to Greg's medical bills, these modifications are quite extensive and my parents cannot do it on their own. 
Click photo to lend a helping hand!

Several of my friends from around the globe have personally emailed me asking if they can help.  Up to this point, as a family we've been balancing and managing through sacrifice & love.  Give & take... but together we've been able to take care of things. 

However, with these latest requirements, we are no longer able to do it on our own.  It takes a whole village!  If you feel in your heart you'd like to contribute, I've set up an online fundraiser to help Greg's Mobility Fund.  If you cannot donate, but want to make a difference, can you share Greg's story with a link to his fundraiser. http://bit.ly/GregsFightAgainstBrainCancer  Every donation helps! The love & prayers we've received since Greg's cancer returned have been amazing!  Love can & will make a difference!  And I appreciate you for helping me make Greg's journey more comfortable and safe for as long as we're blessed to have him on this earth. Sending love & light! xo, Dawn

Donate to Greg's Mobility Fund:  https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/mx75/greg-doucette-s-fight-against-brain-cancer

September 30, 2012 - Photo by Matt Mason Photography
July 5, 2014 - Photo by Ashlynn, 6 years old. ;)


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