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Cover Girl

I love to get email now more than ever. Because I'm working from Pete's computer now….let's all say a special prayer for my computer to enjoy whatever mechanical heaven good laptops go to when they're gone….the computer bellows "THIS IS SPARTA!" whenever I get a new email. I love that. It cracks me up. So much better than "You've got mail". It's makes me think that 300 Spartans went in and kicked the tar out of the AOL people…and that REALLY cracks me up.


You know the phrase "Ignorance is bliss"? Apparently it's meant for parents of kids who are too smart for their own good. Peyton and I are cruising down the road and I blew through a stoplight that had just turned yellow. She says "Oooohhh, Mommy, yellow means SLOW DOWN. You did green." Nice, I get driving advice from someone whose legs aren't long enough to reach the pedals. Then I had a drink overturn and end up in my lap, so when I got out of the car she took one look at my wet pants and said "Mommy! You made pee pees in your pants, you need to wear a diaper!" I wanted to tell her to cut me some slack, but I know that somewhere down the road I'll ask her why she didn't try to make it to the potty and she'll say "Hey, lady, cut me some slack! I'm 3!!" She may not have perfected her abc's or numbers yet, but she's got that sarcasm thing down to an art already.

I had shared that Peyton was going to be highlighted in a taped video spot during the [url=http://www.allkids.org]All Children's Hospital[/url] Miracle Network telethon. Well, they upped the offer and today we were asked to be a part of the live broadcast with an interview of our family. I want you to stop for a minute. Think about that. All of us….in front of a camera…live on tv….with a potential for disaster equalled only on Saturday Night Live…so we said "Of course!" Seriously, though, an opportunity to give back to the hospital that has provided us such excellent care and to help in some small measure to ensure that it will be able to keep giving it to other families….how could we not? It was mentioned that we would be interviewed by someone like Gayle Sierens or Bob Hite, and I promptly told them if we didn't get Jennifer Aniston or Morgan Freedman like St. Judes does, then we're outta there!

Although, we do talk about how we need a celebrity to get on the cause. A group of us moms were talking about how if a truly famous person's kid got cancer then it would be the "IT" cancer and money for research would be rolling in. Everyone knows about breast cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer….and not that they aren't serious cancers that deserve the respect of the medical community and recognition for the strides they're making…but someone told me that they didn't realize that kids got other cancers than leukemia….and I just think "Why aren't people getting it? How are they not hearing it?" Not that any of us ever wish cancer on a another child, but we realize the honesty of the fact that if Tom Cruise's child or Angelina Jolie's child had cancer, we'd probably have a cure by now, that's the unbalanced power of our world. Tom Cruise raised millions of dollars at one dinner fundraiser for his religion, can you imagine if he made that effort for cancer? If he weren't a complete loon I'd ask him! The politicians who raise millions of dollars to fund their campaigns…..if they'd turn around and put that money to use for a REAL cause, I'd vote for them.

Cancer kills more kids than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and AIDS combined and people don't know. I'm guilty of it, before Peyton got diagnosed I couldn't quote you a single pediatric cancer statistic, I couldn't tell you the first thing about childhood cancer….in fact, when the pediatrician told me he was sending us to an oncologist, I immediately asked if it was leukemia because that was the only cancer I could think of. Many of us admit freely that we were totally ignorant of the needs out there and the families struggling, my only interaction being a check I'd send to St. Judes once a year when they sent me address labels.

So when people ask me how we get through this, how we find a reason for it, I tell them that we get through it by the grace and strength of God alone and I believe the reason is to spread the word, to reach out and make a difference.

Because ignorance isn't bliss, it's dangerous and it's an obligation to raise awareness.

Ha! I bet you didn't see that wrap-around back to the beginning point coming, huh?

Ok, my soapbox has been officially put back under the couch.

The whole family made the trek down to the [url=http://www.childrenscancercenter.org]Children's Cancer Center[/url] tonight to be a part of the family oncology support group. We ate tacos, the kids had a fabulous time and we spent time sharing updates and news about our lives and kids. I have something super exciting to share with you…this is the new CCC brochures….do you love it!! Adelaine and Peyton showing the world, or at least Tampa, what it means to be a child of cancer, full of hope and courage….we are honored that the CCC picked Peyton to be one of their brochure kids!

We got some great input tonight from families who were able to shed light on radiation for us. Some had much more intense treatments, and some were the same as what we are preparing for. We were so thankful to get the information, things to be prepared for, to look for, to expect….delayed reactions such as sleeping non-stop (one family said their son Matthew slept up to 20 hours a day) and disorientation….they're scary to think about, but won't be as scary as they would be if we aren't prepared. Parents shared high votes of confidence in the oncology radiologist that we are going to see, Dr. Cotman and that is always reassuring. We also just got the chance to share our trepidation about the whole procedure, our fears for the long term effects with other parents who understand and have been there. They can't always soothe the fears, but they let us know that it's not something that we're going through alone and that always buffers our spirits. I am so thankful for the amazing friendships we are building at the CCC, the support and encouragement we are able to give each other is so vital to making it through this cancer path.

We are asking for special prayers for a newly diagnosed family. Scott is 10 years old, he has t-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and he and his whole family need us to just lift their family up in love and prayer.

It looks like we're already starting to get a good response to the yard sale announcement. If you have stuff that you've been thinking "Hmm, I'd really like for THAT to be gone out of my life and I just don't know how to get rid of it", save it for us and we'll put it to good use in the yard sale. Again, the first official organizational meeting is going to be Monday night at 6:30 and if you'd like to come and share some ideas email me at [url=mailto:anissa.mayhew@verizon.net]anissa.mayhew@verizon.net[/url].

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

Some new pictures from Relay for Life came in from Penny Hawkins, mother of Nikki Hawkins, one of the beautiful relay magazine cover kids.

Nikki Hawkins and Peyton

Penny and Nikki Hawkins and Peyton and me

Peyton's survivor lap at Grecco Middle School

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