Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today was Today

WOW!  HOLY SHIT!  AH-MAZING!  WHOOP WHOOP (air fist pump and roll)!

These are the exclamations of only a few of the countless messages we have received today regarding our appearance on the Today Show this morning.  Okay, maybe not the whoop whoop, but do it and tell me it doesn't make you laugh if only on the inside.

Nathan and I are once again overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by the kindness and support you have all sent us today.  Whether it was a Facebook message, blog comment, email, text or voicemail, your heartfelt "voices" (ah...the digital world) has lifted our spirits even higher.  Actually, we did have face time with actual human beings live and in person.

Nathan definitely had the most unexpected interaction.  After the show, he headed directly to Sloan-Kettering for his pre-surgical appointments.  When he walked in, Nick, the happiest man in the world and greeter at the cancer center, gave him a huge hug and congratulated him.  Apparently, the Today Show had been on the television in the downstairs lobby.  Patients and caregivers were watching and, according to Nick,  many of them were whispering to one another that they thought they had seen him (Nathan) at Sloan.  Tears streamed down their faces as they exchanged expressions of joy and hope.  As for Sadie and me, it was an extra special welcome with many warm embraces and congratulations when we arrived at her school's holiday party. What a truly magical day!  Again, we thank you.

Many of the messages we received have been stories of triumphant battles against cancer.  Unfortunately, there have been others for whom the battle continues and are looking for my "secret to success."  I must remind everyone that this is a moment of celebration but we continue to keep our eyes on the prize.  My battle also continues.  This is as "successful" as I can be at this particular moment in time.  My doctors are thrilled, however, they aren't slapping me on the back and sending me off in to the sunset.  We/they are just relieved that the news of the recent metastasis to the brain will not be the final chapter of my story.

So why this sudden plot twist?  If I could answer that, I would also have the answer as to why Nathan and I received dual diagnoses of cancer within less than two weeks of one another.  I mean WTF!  Let's not forget the past year of multiple WTFs.  I have done everything in my power to beat the shit out of this unwelcome guest in my body and that must have made a difference. I was lucky enough to have had access to the best doctors and nurses at NYU, a world-class institution.  I took hardcore anti-cancer drugs.  I had acupuncture.  I had therapy sessions with my social worker and psychiatrist.  I took anti-depressants.  I did yoga.  I received Reiki.  I worked with intuitive healers.  I ate well.  I meditated. I prayed.  I laughed as often as possible...thank you very much Modern Family.  I learned to rest.  I learned to depend on others. I looked into Nathan and Sadie's eyes everyday. And, I allowed myself to humbly accept more love and goodwill into my heart and soul than I thought possible for any human being.  Nathan did much of the same.  I will continue to do all of the above.

I realize there are folks who do or have done all of the above but not achieved the results they hoped or are hoping for and I don't know why.  Is it a cop out to say shit happens?  I can honestly tell you that's exactly what I said to myself at the beginning of this journey.  I never asked, why us?  I wondered, how us?  How was this happening to my husband?  How was it happening to me?  How could it possibly be happening to both of us at the same time?  The only answer I could come up with was...shit happens or... it's a shit show or...what a shit storm or...the shit's hit the fan or my personal favorite... fuck, fuck, this is fucking bullshit. Have I made my point?  I don't have a damn clue as to the why but cursing makes me feel better. Try it, you might like it.

We've established I don't know shit but are there any words of encouragement I can impart?  Probably but I am sure you have heard them all before and they sound trite.  Yes, there may be truth to them but how often can you hear, "Just stay positive" before simultaneously rolling your eyes and sticking your fingers down your throat.

My eyes are beginning to shut and today has now become tomorrow.  I will sign off, crash and hope that the answers come to me in my dreams.

Good night and good luck!

71 comments:

  1. When you hear statistics like 4 % survive or 10% there are those that it really happens to. It is statistics and you and Nathan are on the winning side statistically and I will continue to hold you in the light that you stay in that % of you are the ones who make the statistics possible. I have followed you from day one and I just love your optimism and both your abilities to totally support each other as you fought for your own lives. You are truly the % that lives. It has to be someone and why not the two of you is the way I look at it. xoxoxoxoxo

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  2. So glad to hear all of this good news! And I too, like to swear...makes me feel better! :o)
    Continued blessings and prayers to all of you.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Fondly, Lori

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  3. So thrilled for you all Elisa. Have a very merry Christmas!

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  4. Its heart and would warming to hear that "small percentage" that can and does beat it. There is no magical formula other than the grace of God at work.
    Merry Christmas!

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  5. Reading this just gave me chills. I am so happy for you. You're amazing. Wishing you all the best!

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  6. Hi, I am writting from Portugal, in Europe. I have been following your story since I've seen you on the news here (beggining of the year). I am very happy for you and your husband are better. My father also has cancer and my inspiration comes from you to give him straight to carry on.
    Merry Christmas

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  7. Merry Christmas and my prayer for you and your family are much happiness and health in the coming year. God Bless you and keep you in his loving embrace.

    Elaine
    Orlando

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  8. So happy for all of you! I wish for many more healthy and happy years for your whole family. As a single mother of two young children I can't even begin to imagine going through all that you have. Thanks for reminding me of what we should truly be grateful for this holiday season. Best wishes!
    Laura in New Hampshire

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  9. I started reading your blog before your 1st appearance on the Today show. I can't even remember how I found it! But I have read every post since.
    When I was getting ready yesterday morning I heard the Today show introduce your story and I stopped everything. I just sat down and watched with tears streaming down my face. I don't know you guys, but I pray and cheer for you all every day.
    Have a happy holiday season!

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  10. I first saw you on the Today Show and have followed your blog ever since. Many prayers have been sent up for you guys as I read the posts each week and whenever you cross my mind. I have shared your story with my entire family, it is truly moving.
    I so happy for you and your family and the progress that has been made this past year. You truly deserve to have a very Merry Christmas and wishing you a great start to 2012 too!

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  11. You and your Family are Amazing! Cursing makes me feel better too! What can I say! :) Thank you for being honest and a true inspiration. Merry Christmas and May God Continue to Bless you and your Family!

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  12. Thanks for continuing to share your stories. I agree with you -- there is no explaining why or how it happens to us -- there's just the will to beat it and try to see the love and beauty in life!

    Congratulations!!! And best wishes for a Merry Christmas to your whole family.

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  13. Just another digital voice wishing you the holiday happiness that you have more than earned this year.

    I've been following you since your first Today show appearance & celebrated with you yesterday!

    You gracious acceptance of assistance & good humor are a lesson for us all. Best wishes for improved health and good luck to Nathan as he faces his surgery.

    PS - Did you get to meet President Clinton?

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  14. I've been following your story since hearing about you while visiting my daughter who also lives in Bay Ridge. I find you to be a true inspiration to everyone...Not just cancer patients. My thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day, and I wish you a Merry Christmas and continued Healing and Happiness in the coming year.

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  15. Your Family is simply..... AMAZING!!! Happy Holidays and continuing to pray for a Healthy New Year! You're right, MODERN FAMILY is a happy dose of medicine.

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  16. I have been following all three of you now for quite some time....not literally following you, that would be creepy!!! ha ha ha I want you to know how happy I am for you guys. May you continue to be blessed by not having any active cancer Elisa and may your surgery go smoothly Nathan. And for little Sadie, may you always know the courage and strength your Mommy and Daddy have and know that you have been blessed with the same courage!! Love to you all!!!

    Jessica
    Ann Arbor, MI

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  17. I have been following since the beginning and have never posted...but I feel I need to now.
    We are blessed, all blessed in some way. We all have our burdens to carry, but we all want the same thing...happiness, health and love.
    Thank you for sharing you story. You are truly a remarkable person. I don't know why this happened to you and your family, it is really too much to absorb at times, i'm sure.All I can say is you have brought us all joy, happiness, tears but most of all faith. Thank you.

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  18. Elisa,

    You are so strong and I cry everytime I read a blog or look at Sadie's pics. She reminds me of my granddaughter Libby. I wish there was more I could do for the 3 of you besides wishes and prayers. Thank you for your words.
    jeanie

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  19. Elisa-
    I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to read this and to see you on TV. So excited for you and your family. Stay strong!
    Love,
    Michele

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  20. i missed the show yesterday, but just watched the video. without a doubt, you are the most amazing couple! you have been to hell and back, and have never given up or lost your sense of humor. someone somewhere is watching over you and hopefully, very soon, your life will return to some sort of "normal," whatever that may be.
    my thoughts and prayers are with you, and as we will soon enter a new year, may the lights of the holiday season bring sunshine, joy and long lasting health to both of you, sadie, and your loved ones.

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  21. Awesome news! I think of your family everyday and it is so great to hear that something is going in the right direction for you both :) Looks like a great start for the new year :))

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  22. The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him FOREVER. Psalm 28:7

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  23. You deserve every bit of the positive energy that is being sent your way. I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season with new found health, and all the happiness you can absorb. I hope that the new year continues to bring you good news :)
    ps-Swearing makes me feel so much better too!

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  24. Thought I'd pass along the link for anyone who didn't get to see it earlier. :)

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/45736303#45736303

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  25. OH, swearing is under-rated for sure. I wish I had seen your show!... so glad for your good news, will keep pulling for ya, truly amazing, your story and your courage.

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  26. I saw you on the Today Show and you both look amazing and happy. Glad you fought the shit storm and YOU won, lol! My 5 year anniversary from stage 3 breast cancer was yesterday so I can feel your joy in having good news. That's all you can do, fight the fight, live each day and keep laughing. Best to your family!

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  27. Ok...I've been silently following your story since I heard about it from my Brooklynite friends several months ago (I am a Brooklynite...transplanted across the country years ago. In fact, I knew you very briefly when you were a beautiful 8-year old girl. Think "Tinker Tom..."). I was deeply saddened when I heard your story, and although I sent you positive energy and healing thoughts, I just didn't have words to share with you. Now...with the wonderful news recently given to you, I HAD to write (as many have) to tell how absolutely THRILLED I am that your path has brought you to this very positive point in your journey. You and your family are a model of inspiration to the rest of the world...and I truly believe that your amazingly positive attitude, relentless determination, and cancer butt-kicking actions have helped bring you to this point. And you SO deserve it! (And you obviously have a talent for writing, so I think you should write a book to further purge your body of the unwanted and also continue to heal yourself while inspiring the world. I'd buy it.) I (along with my partner and boys) will continue to pray for you and your family and send you as much positive energy as we can as you continue on your incredible journey. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  28. Love and Peace as always!

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  29. I don't know you or your family but I have been following your journey since the spring. I tuned into the Today show yesterday and sat here and cried for you, and especially Sadie. I had my 2 year old daughter, Maya, in my lap and she patted my cheek and asked me if I was sad and told me it'd be okay. I told her I was happy and that things would definitely be okay. She then replied, "Oh, you happy! Merry Christmas". Merry Christmas indeed. Your good news is better than any gift I could ever ask for. Enjoy the holiday season and best of luck to you, Nathan, in the New Year.

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  30. I am so happy for your Christmas miracle! I do not know your family but have been following your story since the news first came out about it. You have a lot of people rooting for you!! Keep doing all you do, including the laughing and cursing because it makes you happy!!! I pray and hope the healing continues for Nathan & Elisa... and you continue to enjoy your beautiful life with Sadie. Merry Christmas and God bless you all!!

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  31. You are right Elisa, shit does happen. But sometimes we get the blessings as well. I died in a lifeflight helicopter four times in 1997; but here I sit typing on a laptop. I was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer in 2003, and I beat it. I was once again diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010, stage 3. As of today, I am healthy. I am so happy for your recent triumph. I am so thrilled that you have this wonderful news to brighten your holidays. I cried for you and your family when I read of your double diagnoses, and I am weeping tears of joy for both of you now. What a wonderful story this has turned out to be. I have no doubt that the love you and Nathan share is a big part of why you are both doing so well in your battles woth cancer. I hope to see many more messages about your continued healing and your gorgeous little daughter Sadie.

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  32. I think prayer is a key to your healing. I don't understand how it works, or why we are commanded to do it (I'm not a particularly good example of following that commandment, I'm sorry to say), but I completely believe that it is real and has effect in our lives. I know that many, many people have prayed to God to heal and help you and Nathan, and I believe that these thoughts, urging God to intervene in your situation, have had a powerful influence. I have submitted both of your names on a temple prayer roll, week after week, and will continue to do so. Enjoy your holiday together. Sending smiles and love, Libby from Maine (Rachel and Ilan's friend)

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  33. Thank you for sharing your lives with the Today Show audience. I was touched by your story and also by your interactions. Wow - the way you two look at one another, that's love.

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  34. I've been reading your posts ever since your first appearance on The Today Show. You are both an amazing, inspiring couple and I guess the take away here is that life is going to teach you lessons whether you're ready to learn them or not. I think your lesson was to realize how much you are loved, how strong you both are and how after coming out of the bowels of hell, you now look to an amazing future together! A very charmed life indeed...

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  35. I can't wait to see the Today show! Thank you for sharing your journey, openly and honestly. I think of you often and I am happy to hear your good news.

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  36. I posted the clip on my FB wall I was so excited to see it! I'm still so happy I am weepy when I read your posts. You have given hope to many and encouraged others, even those not fighting for their lives like me. I realize that your strength is almost tangible for strangers around the world. Thank you for offering a window into your life and a glimpse of your courage and strength.

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  37. Cheering for you and Nathan and Sadie from Alaska!

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  38. I am over the moon with delight in the blessing of being no evidence of cancer. I so admire your strengths and strategies during this journey. I do love when u really let it out spiced with all the words we aren't supposed to say. It just somehow feel better after the F word. A chain of them is even better. You are a force and I wish you and your family continued good news in the fight and a wonderful holiday. Through a crisis one's vision really becomes 20/20....we really see what's important.

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  39. Hi Elisa, I have been following your family's story on FB and your blog, and have been so touched and inspired by your courage and grace during this hell. You didn't ask to be an inspiration, but you are. Sending good wishes for continued health and happiness to you, Nathan and beautiful Sadie. Enjoy the holidays!!

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  40. God Bless... you are always on my mind. You all looked radiant on Today. Have a very Merry Christmas (I know you will) and a Happy HEALTHY New Year. Much love, and kisses to Mom and Sadie
    Rose Ann Scamardella

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  41. Thank you for making me smile !
    Sue H

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  42. I have never been so happy and thrilled for 2 strangers in my life!!!! I watched you the first time you were on the Today show and immediatley got on this site and have been following you both. Then when I found you on FB I followed you on there. What a miracle!! I felt your anguise and pain in all your cursing, in fact I would say it with you in my head and said it like I would have if it were me. The joy I feel for you is overwhelming, I'm so thankful that you are doing so well. Never would I think that I would feel like this for 2 perfect strangers, but I do!! I will be keeping you and Nathan and Sadie in my thoughts and prayers!!! From a Blog and FB friend,(Pat McHale Morse) God Bless you!!!

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  43. YOU are an inspiration!!!

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  44. Beyond thrilled for 2 of the most deserving people. I am so happy you get to enjoy this amazing news during this magical season. God Bless!!!

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  45. Just wanted to let you know how you made my day so much brighter hearing your wonderful news.You both looked so happy and healthy and your daughter is beautiful.
    I truly admire both your courage and gratitude throughout this journey.
    I too am a colon cancer/breast cancer survivor.
    I wanted to thank you both for being a voice for all cancer survivors.God bless you always!

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  46. Thank you for your honesty-a breath of fresh air!

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  47. I have been following your story from day one and have prayed every day for the recovery of both of you. I am so pleased for your successes and so proud of the great fight you have fought. Keep up the good work and know that the prayers and good thoughts will continue coming your way.

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  48. I have been following your story thanks to Jennifer Griffin at Fox News from the onset. I was unbelievably shocked and stunned. Two people, a couple, with a toddler diagnosed with cancer at the same time...you are right, HOLY SHIT! That was my reaction. I never ask why Elisa, there are never any answers that make it alright or acceptable...in fact, sometimes the why sucks. Your "how" makes a lot of sense...how could that happen? And who the fuck knows, right? But it did happen and you and Nathan handled it with more grace, calm, poise, character, strength, love, loyalty, sincerity, and the will to live than most people without your obstacles ever do or face in a life time!

    I used to worry when there was nothing on your blog for weeks or a month or so. Hell, I don't know you all so why the hell would I care, right? But any human being with an ounce of human compassion would have to care know you both or not. You two are the epitome of strength and if God forbid I had to ever go through the hellish nightmare you just walked right out of I would be, will be looking to you and for you.

    I never believed in heros. I always said God and Jesus are my heros.....and they are....but for that little bit left of heaven on earth both you and Nathan and Sadie have stolen a little piece of my heart and you especially Elisa are my hero!

    God bless you and Nathan and Sadie and keep you forever healthy and whole!

    ((((((HUGS))))) Liz from Virginia

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  49. Ahh, I have been following your story and what a gift that you still have the power to make us smile and laugh. Have a great Christmas and may God continue with His blessings for all of you!

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  50. You continue to curse all you want. Whatever helps, do it! I have followed your story from the beginning, and I am amazed at your gutsy strength. I wish you and Nathan the very best for the future, and may the ugly beast never raise it's head again. Love to Sadie.

    Joanne from socal...

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  51. Wonderful news on both of you! I, too, have been following this blog since your first appearance on the Today show. I will continue to pray for the Bond family! Have a wonderful holiday season! Enjoy your little one!

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  52. Thank you for showing the rest of us, what love can accomplish. The love of your spouse, child, friends, family and even strangers brought you hope, strength and courage. You also taught us to savor every moment we have because it is a gift. So, for all of that, Thank you, and Congratulation to you and Nathan. May you enjoy some peace and "normalcy" for a while. Happy Holidays.

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  53. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you also for sharing that you did so many different treatments, exercises et al and who knows why your cancer is responding and others aren't. As a cancer patient myself, it can feel like others think it's my own fault--if I had a better yoga class, meditated longer, stopped having my type of personality whatever, that I would heal.
    I do believe in hope and circles of friends.

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  54. Elisa!!! Ahhhhhh...what incredible news, I am thrilled...relieved...screaming to the heavens so happy for you!!!! Enjoy this holiday season, you are a gift and an inspiration to me and so many people around the world. xoxo Dayna (Mullins)

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  55. Thank you for sharing your story on the Today Show. I flipped on the TV before leaving for work and caught your segment. Your commitment and dedication to one another and to your beautiful daughter in the face of such shitty (for lack of a better word) circumstances was inspiring. I and many others have been touched by the cancer of our loved ones and your story reminds me that there is hope despite a devastating diagnosis. I will continue to send positive thoughts and prayers to your family. As you continue in your fight remember that you have many arms surrounding you in support and love.
    Sincerely,
    Karen
    Kentucky

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  56. Praise God!!! I cried when I watched your segment...tears of joy for your wonderful news. I will continue to pray for your family. I have a daughter with a chronic nerve disease and hearing your story gives me encouragement to have faith a total restoration of health for my Rachel.
    God bless you and your family-
    Lorraine R
    South Florida

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  57. I think I can count on one hand how many times I've cried for perfect strangers and I'm pretty sure you account for 3 of those. First when I heard your story, second when you proclaimed yourself as the World Champion Cancer Asskicker and then just now when I watched the replay of your appearance on the Today Show. Just loved seeing you and Nathan "live" and so happy! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! You have so much to be thankful for and celebrate!

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  58. Oh, I wish I could have seen you on TV. As it is, I just keep checking back here on your blog for any new news because I don't use Facebook. Bless your hearts for your incredible sense of determination and survival. I hope Nathan's surgery goes very well. Whatever it is that you are doing sure seems to be working and I do believe in having a positive attitude. If you don't post anything before Christmas then let me say it all now: Merry Christmas and a happier & healthier 2012. Your family is amazing and we adore you so much. Love, Vicki & her sweet little poodle Blazer (bet cha didn't know that little dogs can pray, huh, but they do). hehe Keep your chins up. I am so happy for all of your family.

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  59. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family in the coming year! The war isn't over, but you've won every battle so far. Your victories should make you very proud. Stay strong and Merry Christmas!

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  60. So happy for you! and your clarity that shit happens.
    You seemed to realize that life is amazing, no matter the shit storm. Your blog helps us all to remember this.
    much love.

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  61. Congrats!!! Saw your story and have close to the same one. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to my liver. I am BRCA2 and had chemo, a mastectomy, radiation and reconstruction. I'm still NED. We are so blessed to have Herceptin! I can't imagine going through it all with your husband diagnosed as well and having a small child- you must be very strong. Keep up the positive attitude and thanks for your story!

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  62. God Bless You!!! just saw the happy news on MSNBC.
    wonderful News to start the new year with.
    Healthy and a Happy New Year.

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  63. I wish you many happy, healthy New Years to come, for you and those you love.

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  64. I hope you guys get this. I saw your story on the today show. But really why I'm here is also I have Breast cancer. I was just given a book by thank God a friend and first 5 pages in, I thought of you. It's amazing book. Lady with Stage IV 4 Breast cancer diagnosed 10 years ago, given 4% chance living and 18 months to live. She took matters in her own hands (similar to you) finding all ways to beat the odds. And she did. 11 years later still NED!

    Beg, borrow, or steal to have this book. I feel it's your story too!

    Love you

    Email me - dm_funnygirl@hotmail.com if you get this note.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bigger-Than-Pink-diagnosed-cancer/dp/1418430129

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  65. It has been an honor and inspiration to follow your journey and your family and you know what..you are amazing no matter what the health news is--it is your attitude and fight that inspires and we can all borrow from that regardless of diagnosis....so now---write the book!

    Diane C...Loveinthetimeofcancer.blogspot.com

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  66. I am beyond thrilled that you have had such wonderful news. Truly a miracle. I've thought and prayed for your family from the beginning...(and I'm not one to leave comments), but this warrants one. Enjoy every minute of your beautiful family... You have touched so many.

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  67. I am so happy to hear of your good news. I too have watched you on the today show and followed your blog. I am a BC cancer survivor with BRCA 2. Even with all the bad news and treatments your family has been through it is obvious that you have a loving husband and have been blessed with such a beautiful little girl. So much to live for and that I am sure is what will happen. Life is full of WTF's, this I know for sure. But the good out shines
    all the WTF's. Thank you for sharing your life, your family and your story with the world. I will continue to read your post's.
    The good and the bad, the world is ready to listen. Happy New Year my Dear

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  68. I have been following your story since the beginning. I truly think this is a genuine miracle. I think of all three of you often and look forward to your updates. It was scary for awhile when we had long periods with no update and I feared the worst. Congratulations for keeping the fight up and the "cancer asskick".
    You both are my hero's. I wish you nothing but the very best. Cancer runs in my family, with terrible results...your story gives me hope for the future. hugs

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  69. "I don't have a damn clue as to the why but cursing makes me feel better. Try it, you might like it."

    I love this. Thank you for this post.

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  70. You have no idea what an inspiration you have been to so many people. Seriously. My husband just lost his job and all I can think about in this string of bad luck is how love can survive anything. Thank you - for you wisdom, your generousity in sharing your story, and your honesty.

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  71. I think its a good time to give people an update on how you are doing. People are praying a lot for you and they are genuinely concerned with how you are holding up. Its been way too long since the last update.

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