Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Tee It Up Tournament

It's that time of year again, this year we've actually managed to get ahead of schedule and already have sign-ups available for golfers, sponsors and those that just want to attend the dinner & silent auction portion of the evening.

This year rather than having two sections for golfer sign-ups we've decided to make it easier on ourselves and just have one. You can still sign-up for a team (or multiple teams as some have done in the past) simply by selecting a quantity of 4.

Please also remember that as a golfer you get two entry tickets into the dinner and silent auction portion of the evening so no need to purchase those in addition! We try to make the event fun for the whole family and kids under 5 eat free so bring them along as well.

One question we've had come up was whether or not you had to "be a golfer" to play. We've had golfers who have played their first 18 rounds of golf at the tournament all the way up to pros so skill level is not a qualification for this tournament!

Times for all of the events can be found in the image above and additional details can be found by clicking on the little black circle with the "i" in it next to each ticket option. Once you register individual tickets will be emailed to each participant, all you have to do is print them out and show up for a good time!

We're working on some really incredible experiences for this year and are slowly but surely getting those uploaded here: https://squareup.com/market/brightlife. We're also working to have items for every budget.

Hoping to see you all out there, let us know if you have any questions!

Register Now!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Fourth Anniversary

Today (Saturday) is the fourth anniversary of Tim's diagnosis. It's actually kind of strange as usually it's on my mind from the first of the year but this year it has kind of snuck up on me in the craziness of life and I likely would've forgotten had the prednisone I'm taking for a sinus infection not been keeping me awake. 

Four years ago today changed the course of our lives for better and for worse. We've learned an incredible amount about ourselves and matured in ways that likely wouldn't have happened without this diagnosis. It showed me just how much of the "gross stuff" I really can handle and is the catalyst for me going to nursing school. Our love for each other is stronger and deeper than some ever get to experience as we have truly learned what it means to live for each other. We eat healthier than we ever have before and other than chocolate for me and red meat for Tim we no longer crave the "bad stuff".

In many ways we're still just the same though. We have some knock-down drag out arguments over the stupidest things (typically it involves Tim snoring and his refusal to roll over or me cover stealing by wrapping myself in a burrito fashion). We still take experiences and each other for granted. We also still get overdramatic about things that are inconsequential in the grand scheme. 

This week nothing went right for me; our garage door broke, I got to work before realizing I left my laptop at home, I got a migraine that just wouldn't quit and found out I have a wicked sinus infection, things I've worked on for school for months fell apart, crazy doesn't even begin to describe what work has been like and I'm already behind on my schoolwork two weeks into the semester. It's been a doozy. As I got out of my car last night after leaving work at 7 and not taking a lunch for the second time this week and our dog started sprinting away, I had a thought about how this was the worst week ever. It took a few seconds for reality to kick in that we've dealt with far worse but it is funny that it happened the night before the anniversary of what was truly one of my two worst weeks ever.

We're pretty positive on here the majority of the time as we try to be every day in real life as well. We both have some incredibly low days and we have fears we deal with on a daily basis that we both struggle to put into words for each other much less within a blog post or to friends and family. We also have a tendency to gloss over some of our darkest moments and experiences, some memories from that first year are still incredibly raw and painful. Overall though we are incredibly lucky as those are all few and far between. 

With how "normal" this part of our lives is to is now (we don't know married life without it) I forget just how unusual our situation is at times. It's still always surprising to me to see the looks of concern people give when they find out that Tim has stage 4 colon cancer followed by their shock that he works full-time and is actually thriving. 

Life has been able to be "normal" for us due to the love and support from all of you. Sometimes helping us to forget what is going on is the best gift we can receive. And you all make that possible for us. We will never be able to thank all of you for everything that you do to help, even when you don't realize you're doing it.

Anniversaries are good things to celebrate even when it is one of heartbreak as it helps to reflect on who helped to mend it. Thank you to all of you who have helped us put those pieces back together time and time again. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Overdue Updates

The last blog that I wrote was back in early December and I was just about to start my round of chemo while taking Z-pack as well.  I thought going into it that it was going to be the roughest round that I have been through in a while but it turned out not to be the case.  While I'm not ready to say that it was the easiest round that I have even been through but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be although Jenny ended up getting a stomach virus that week so we were quarantined to our respective parents' homes.

Christmas for us was fun.  We always hang out with Jenny's family on Christmas Eve.  We have dinner, look at lights, and then stop by my parents house.  On Christmas Day Jenny and I do our own thing at our house in the morning and then head to Jenny's parents to open gifts and then off to her grandmas for just a short while.  We then meet up with my family for lunch and spend the rest of the day over there.  It was a good Christmas this year.  We both got everything that we want and had a great time with all both of our families.

Steven and I made a trip in early January up to Chicago for a Bears game.  Unfortunately, Jay was still hurt and we didn't get to see him play.  We still had a great time up there despite the wild chill at the time of the game was -10.  I can honestly say that it was the coldest that I have ever been in my life.  We went up to the game with 6 other guys from Greenville and had a blast getting to know them and hanging out with them.

For New Years this year we went to Nantucket for dinner and then a champagne toast at midnight.  Jenny and I went with Steven, Haley, Fran, Ryan, and Natalie.  We had reservations at 9:15 but didn't get seated until close to 10:20.  Despite the delay in our reservation we still had a really good time.

My last visit with Dr. Edenfield was in mid December and we talked about the near future and my upcoming schedule around the holidays.  I was supposed to have a round of chemo that started on New Years Eve but Dr. E was nice enough to let me have an extra week off this time.  The extra time was great and made me feel normal again.  This was only the 2nd time that I have had over the one week break that I normally get in the past year.  The other time was when I decided that I hadn't been to the ER in a while and wanted to go back and check on everyone after I sliced my finger open.  One week extra is like a lifetime for me so I took full advantage of it, even though it flew by.  The round of chemo that I just had that ended last Wed was actually one of the easier treatments that I have had.  I think that the extra week helped me have a bit more energy this time.

Jenny and I both got flu shots back in Nov. hoping to avoid that in our house, but shocker we didn't.  Jenny was pretty sick last week due to the flu and finally started to feel better by the weekend although today was pretty rough for her.  We had a quiet weekend to help make sure that she got over it easily.

Back to the chemo side of things.  I am scheduled to stay on the same regime for the near future.  With my CEA counts not being 100% reliable anymore I will probably have another CT Scan sometime in Feb. to make sure that everything is still stable.  If anything should change then we have already discussed the next step which would be a drug in pill form.  Of the drugs that I have had over the past 4 years the pill based have their side effects but none that relay to nausea.

Jenny is back in school and "only" taking two classes while working full time this semester. It should be interesting though considering that she is taking Microbiology and will be working with staph and strep and other viruses in her lab section. She seems to really like her class though so hopefully everything will be smooth. We also have the house on the market and are looking around for our next possibility, hopefully something will happen sooner than later because keeping our house picked up and clean constantly is not an easy task, you don't realize how messy you are until your house is for sale.

Before I end this post, which is one of the longer posts that I have written in a while, I wanted to tell everyone that it is getting close to that time again.  The annual Tee It Up For Cancer / Brightlife golf tournament is just around the corner.  With Jenny starting school again, a couple of folks have been really great and offered to help me put it together for this year.  So, I wanted to thank Ali, Erin, Berkley, Megan, Alan, Steven, and Joe for all of their help so far this year.  We are off to a great start and will have some amazing things at the silent auction this year.  So please put Monday April 21 on your calendar so you can come.

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week.