Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not Ready To Say Goodbye

I'm Coming Home...
Fox Point, Milwaukee

Walking the tracks just blocks from home

Lots of love for Grandma Caroline

Front porch happiness

Lake Michigan is truly beautiful

Love in the green, green grass

Uncle Mike is more fun than a barrel of monkeys

Leaving Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon was hard for so many reasons.  First, I hated saying goodbye to my sweet Mom who bravely hosted my wild family for nine days in our beloved family home pictured above. Second, the weather was absolutely perfect while we were there and we spent every second possible outside in the incredibly vivid, green grass.  Third, I knew I was coming home to the hottest day of the year here in Arizona, at 118 degrees.  Fourth, I was flying back solo with the two crazy ones on a nearly four hour flight, drink coupons anyone?  And finally, it could possibly be the last time I get to spend in my family's home of 50+ years.  Sadly but smartly, my Mom will be selling our historical home and moving into an adorable new house, better suited for her lifestyle.  I'm so not ready to say goodbye to the house, especially since every single item in the home was either installed, built, hung, selected or repaired by my Dad.  I can feel his presence in every room and saying goodbye to the house is like saying goodbye to my Dad, again. I know my Mom feels the same way. I'm working on convincing Nick to let us go back again, one last time, in August.  Pretty please, Nick?

While at home, we were able to spend time with so many people that we love dearly.  My brother Mike is one of my favorite people in the world and we got to play with him, his most amazing girlfriend Genny and kids Kelly and Max on several occasions.  My brother Peter and his wife Binky even made it down from northern Wisconsin for dinner at Genny's.  We had a mid-week BBQ with my second family (my best friend Jenny's family), The Reinharts, and were even surprised by Dr. Scott Maul and his family.  Scott is my old St. Eugene's grade school buddy, my friend Jenny's oncologist, my Dad's oncologist and even Jenny's mom's oncologist.  How's that for an incestuous cancer relationship?    

I truly felt great every second of our trip, and am actually a little surprised at how normal I am feeling physically.  For all that my body has endured the past 16 months, I'm very strong now and probably even healthier than before my diagnosis.  I'm currently seeing my plastic surgeon every two weeks to continue growing the tissue expanders in my chest in preparation for my implant surgery in September. And in another exciting development, my period (I know, TMI) has returned after going dormant 14 months ago when my body kicked into menopause when I started chemotherapy.  I am not happy about this, as it seems I will get to experience hot flash fun and all the other not-so-pleasant symptoms for a second time.  Oh well, I'll just take it as another sign of my body returning to normal, and that's good.

Our next big adventure is an exciting trip back East in a week and a half to visit Nick's side of the family.  I may or may not have our Wisconsin laundry done by then.  In the meantime we are suffering through the insanely intense heat of mid-summer in Phoenix and being hit with haboobs (huge dust storms) that leave our patios covered in quarter-inch layers of dirt.  Why do we live here again?

For more Milwaukee fun, I have a Shutterfly album of about 50 photos from our trip which you can access by clicking here. Please don't feel obligated, other's vacation photos can be painful, I know.

Here's hoping your summer is bringing you great joy.
with love


  1. got my fix. thank you.
    glad to hear you had a great time back home, allbeit bittersweet. so happy to hear you report how good you are feeling. you deserve every minute of fun and family... oh and nick? she DEFINITELY gets to go back in August. enough said.
    -Jenn Wild

  2. Virginia (Nick's Mom)July 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Love the photos, love the bittersweet thoughts about saying farewell to your wonderful family home, love you! XOXO

  3. There is something beautiful about the color of GREEN...and yes I understand how much you need to go again to say a special goodbye. What a beautiful home and what wonderful memories. Capture each one and put it into a special graph each section of the house for that special book you will put together some day. Everyone looks like they enjoyed coolness and greenness. How wonderful to be on this side of where you where last year. May God bless you as you travel and enjoy this summer. Hugs, Deborah McLean