Carbone Strong

HEALTH UPDATE: I’m freaking out! Scan on Monday. It’s been 9 weeks since the last one! I’m feeling good although the muscle and joint pain is still hanging around. I’m still gaining weight. I’ve had a couple other minor twinges of this and that as well. Things that would be completely normal for me in my past, pre-cancer life. Now every tiny thing is scrutinized. One thing I know for sure….if anything is wrong (more wrong? Lol!!) I will find out next week as my torso is scanned sliver by sliver….like a spiral ham.


Holy smokes. Life has been amazing in many ways. I can’t even imagine if I wasn’t here to have this experience! After a summer of organizing and downsizing bit by bit we finally finished our classroom! It’s so wonderful. We are settling in and we are all learning! There are good days and hard days. Teachers are amazing. I already had so much respect but now it has grown! Willow is a champ. She’s so smart…when she wants to be. She is a jokester and a trickster. Am I supposed to whack her with a ruler like the nuns when she becomes unruly? All I really want to do is laugh. She reminds me so much of myself. She’s a fun loving kid. She’s also pretty serious when the lesson is starting to click. My “proud” reactions have always been so intense that it is common for Willow to request that I NOT be proud. She sometimes just isn’t in the mood for my theatrics. I can’t help it! She’s amazing! I beat her to the punch on occasion and ask her if I can be proud. My favorite reaction is a shy smile from her and a quiet “yes, mommy”. Either way, permission or not, I am always and forever proud of her.

First day of kindergarten! September 1, 2020. Class of 33!!

Our driveway shenanigans have gone full throttle in recent weeks. For our romantic 22nd wedding anniversary (in the driveway) I surprised my groom by coming out to our cookout in my wedding dress. We danced and laughed. Willow just gazed at me and didn’t want me to take it off. She had fun trying on my veil. Super friends Lisa and Walter next door played “our song”, Alanis Morrisette “Head over Feet”. It’s all your fault, Tom!

Still crazy after all these years!

We celebrated a very special 6th birthday! Frozen style (Let it go!) with a 4’ blow up, lit up pink (of course) cupcake! I’m so selfish. There is nothing I love more than celebrating. My only plan was to make my girl feel special. I was delighted when we had several driveway visits. We were up late and delirious with exhaustion by the end of the night. So many feel good memories made!

Beautiful girls❣️
Happy 6th birthday sweet Willow❣️

Back a few months ago at the hospital I was given a t-shirt! I wrote about it here on my blog. The shirt said ”I am loved. Carbone Strong”. It was quite moving as it was a very kind gesture on the part of all the special care team members I’ve met since my diagnosis, particularly the amazing Rachel…an oncology nurse at the UW Carbone Cancer Center lab. Carbone strong was created to help patients like me get through treatment without family or friends to give support after covid 19 hit and we could no longer have a +1 come with us. On top of their immense skills to keep us going with treatment they were also there for support. Amazing. I could already feel the love before the t-shirt! The shirt is super nice though so I’m thankful that I was given one. Lol. When I received a call from the hospital marketing department asking if I was interested in being interviewed for a piece about Carbone Strong it was a no brainer. It was an honor to be a part of such a wonderful story and I will be forever grateful to UW Carbone Cancer Center for helping all of us fighting cancer to feel loved and cared for. It was a very professional process and one I will not soon forget. The video was played during a virtual fundraiser by a wonderful organization, Garding against Cancer with the amazing WI Badger men’s basketball coach, Greg Gard. He and his wife are doing wonderful and selfless things by raising money for the Carbone cancer center. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

I thought they would just do the recording with an iPhone. Wrong! Lol.

In summary, lots of memories made, good feels, big milestones met and more love and appreciation in my heart than ever. Praying this continues. There is so much yet to be done. Thanking and praising God for the beautiful gifts He continues to give. Thank you, thank you!

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Wife, mother, cancer fighter and lover of life!

2 thoughts on “Carbone Strong

  1. So grateful to have a chance to get to know you and work with you on the video. We deeply appreciate your willingness to share your (and your family’s) story. Your fun-loving, grateful spirit is contagious!


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