Monday, February 26, 2007

I'll be there for you

Love it. LOVE it! For a while now, Sahara's local friends haven't been posting as much... probably because she's back in the hometown and they can just call, stop by, or IM.

It's lovely to see them sending their support here again. One of the most wonderful things about telling Sahara's story is the honor of watching her community surround her with love, prayer, and support. It is truly humbling.

Nearly three months later, I still can't talk about that night in Cape Girardeau without welling up with tears. So for all of you Missouri, Tennessee, and Illinois based Sahara fans--thank you for showing her your love every single day. You're the ones who really matter.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Don't you forget about me (Don't Don't Don't Don't)

Hello everyone,

We're home and SO glad to be here. I have to say, though, that the new pediatric wing at St. Francis Medical Center is absolutely amazing, and if a child has to be hospitalized, what a great place to receive great care! We had the most amazing doctors and nurses...Dr. Ray, Dr. DeCoursey, Tonya, Angela and all of the wonderful folks in ICU, and the sweetest gals on the second floor...Karen, Michelle, Roberta, and each and every one of the nurses and staff who took such wonderful care of Sahara. The inpatient rehab team helped get her moving again, and we thank all of the PT and OT therapists. You are ALL fantastic, and we appreciate you so much!

The shunt has helped Sahara tremendously. It's remarkable how much difference it has made in the time it has been in place. She feels better, is much more alert, and is working hard to get back to the level of movement she had before the fluid started building up inside her pretty head. She had to start all over with her hair, unfortunately, but as with all things she has taken it in stride.

Sahara wants all of her friends to know that she loves them and hasn't forgotten about them. One of these days, she is going to feel like hanging out again, talking on the phone, and IM'ing at all hours. But for right now, she's resting a lot, working on physical therapy, and just trying to get better in general. It's a tough time for her now, physically and emotionally. She has missed her 7th grade year and all of the fun and excitement (and even the boring crappy stuff). It is a real drag for the girl who used to be the class clown and party planner. So please, keep her in your thoughts and prayers, and don't be offended or hurt if she can't talk on the phone or have a lot of visitors. She's working on it. :)

Some fun things...the Lady Comets are now 8-0, and there's only next week's doubleheader left in the season. We are so proud of our hardworking girls. And tonight, our beloved Lady Redhawks won the OVC - congrats to the team, Coach Pace and Coach Ish. You ALL rock!!!

And a very big, heartfelt THANK YOU to Helaine Fox, to Rick, to Pamela, and to everyone who attended the AC luncheon for Sahara. Words simply can't describe our gratitude to you all. God bless each of you, and thank you for everything. We are going to be able to keep Sahara in physical and occupational therapy for as long as she needs it!

With love,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thank you, Atlantic City

Behold the strength of powerful women... Helaine led the charge on Saturday (and for many weeks before) and in the end, over $13,000 was raised for Sahara's Slam Dunk Cancer Fund.

Just amazing.

Next up, Milwaukee in May. But for now, three cheers for Helaine, who ought to do this for a living.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Can you feel the love tonight

Cheers to Helaine Fox and her entourage for pulling off a fabulous Love for Sahara Luncheon today in Atlantic City. She did a fantastic job--the room, the food, the atmosphere, and the goodies--every face was beaming.

I loved seeing familiar faces and having new faces to put to the names. It's just so good to be among Sahara's friends. Right now her biggest fan is taking the stage at Borgata; despite his bronchitis, he was an absolute charmer during his appearance at Harrahs. We called Amy and let her speak to the crowd; I hope she got a huge dose of east coast love.

Photos are coming. For now, just imagine. And, as always, continue to pray.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The brain drain

Okay, who's the nitwit who sent me all this snow and ice? Well, not so much snow, but I'm not loving the ice at all. The older I get, the more it terrifies me. Regardless of the frigid weather, I'll be headed south tomorrow evening. For all of you traveling to AC, happy trails. Come say hello. I am truly awful with names, so be gentle with me.

And finally, here's the latest from Amy. Whew!

Hello, faithful bloggers,

I know you're all wondering and worrying about Sahara. We've had a very hectic few days and the stress level has been high. Last week an MRI showed that she had fluid building up in her brain, and it was unable to drain itself naturally. It was causing a multitude of problems and a whole lot of misery for her, and it was time to get it in check. This week she had surgery, and received a ventricular-peritoneal shunt (VP shunt, for short). The shunt drains the fluid from her brain into her abdomen. She woke up smiling in the recovery room! It has already given her so much relief, and she is feeling better each day. She had to have half of her prized new hair shaven off, much to her dismay, so now she wants to get it ALL taken off so she can just start over. LOL. Seriously, though, she is doing extremely well and recovering quickly.

She'll be receiving intensive physical and occupational therapy over the next few days, so that will keep her busy. She's been stuck in the house for so long, I think she's glad to have the chance to do something different, even though the circumstances that got her to this point really suck.

I know that many of you are going to be in Atlantic City this weekend, and we wish we could be there, too! But we'll definitely be participating in spirit. Thank you for being there for Sahara, and have a BLAST at the Rick shows. While you're there, please thank Pamela for being the goddess that she is, keeping Sahara's public informed about her progress. She is one of the most spectacular women I've ever had the privilege of calling my friend. And hug Helaine for being an amazing firecracker of a woman, getting so much done for Sahara's sake. I can't thank you all enough.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. It has been a tough couple of weeks, but the strength we have around us keeps carrying us through the hard times.

With love,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The karma needs a tune-up

Sahara is not having the easiest of months. Whether it's the meds, the treatment, the tumor, her immune system, or a frustrating combination of all of these and a lack of french fries, she's feeling just plain lousy.

And that's really hard for those of us who are Leos. We don't take well to lying quietly in the cage. We prefer to shake our heads and roar. Oh, we may put on a brave face so all the other lions in our pride aren't troubled, but sometimes, we need to just lie on a warm rock (or a soft sofa) and wait for the storm clouds to pass.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Show Me the money

Okay, people! The Help for Hoops page has been updated. Couple of new opportunities there, and of course, we've still got wristbands and cookbooks. It all matters and it all helps.

Many of you have written to me or Amy to propose a fundraiser of your own. While we are truly blown away by the offers, there's simply no way to approve or sanction all of them. We know your ideas come from the heart... and that makes it hard to say no sometimes. However, sometimes we do.

There are varied reasons for this and I do my best to explain our decisions when we respond to you. Please understand that No thanks means just that. Your product may be terrific, your heart may be in the right place, and you may be a wonderful person, but we limit our approval to the projects that fit. Thanks for understanding.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The deep freeze

Still no real snow, knock wood. But it IS cold. Today marked a first: I took off my sandals and put on shoes. Oh, the agony. But already, the days are getting longer and when I leave the office at 5 or so, it's still light out. I'll take it!

I'm in the middle of updating the fundraising page, so watch for some changes there later this week. I'll let you know here when it's ready for viewing. In the meantime, think about how Sahara inspires you. It wasn't too long ago that this young lady insisted on spending her birthday money to bring gifts to the kids at her first hospital. What would it take for you to do the same? Who in your life could use a dose of kindness this week?

Go make it happen, and if someone asks why, tell them "Sahara sent me."

Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a fun Super Bowl Sunday! We have spent the day relaxing, watching TV and hanging out by the fire. It was nice to see a surprise two inches of snow on the ground this morning, but the cold temps need to leave. LOL. Since the Titans didn't make it this year, we had to stick to the AFC and root for the Colts and Peyton Manning tonight. It was touching to see how humble they all were after the game and we're glad they won.

I neglected to mention last week that the Lady Comets won...and they did so again yesterday, this time in a doubleheader! Our girls are 7-0 and we are so proud of them. Shannon of course is in his element and loving every minute of coaching these great kids. They play as a team, they work together, and even if they don't feel well they give 100% to the game. Upward Basketball is such a wonderful program.

Big thanks to the super folks at Lynwood Baptist Church for selling cookbooks today! Shannon said that the table was busy and lots of folks had books in their hands. We appreciate you all!

Another big thank you goes to Helaine Fox, who is doing such amazing things with the Atlantic City benefit! WOW! I wish we could be there, but travel isn't an option right now. But we will definitely be there in spirit. :)

Sahara's reeeeeeally tired of being stuck in the house. Her only outings in the past week have been trips to the hospital to get her catheter needle changed. Woo hoo, too much fun there. We're hoping that she'll be on her feet again very soon. She's wanting to go out to eat and to the mall so badly and simply hasn't been able. Please pray that she'll get stronger this week.

With love,

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I'm not sure why, but blogger is fighting comments today. The site is set up to accept them, except from stinky people who never wash their socks, tumors, frog-worshipers, and those who make me or Amy really, really, really, really REEAAALLLLY mad.

Be patient. Pretend you are Ariel and Ursula has stolen your voice.

Oh, K

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry for my online absence these past few days...not a lot to tell lately. Sahara's been feeling pretty crappy, but we're hoping that by this weekend she'll be perking up again. The high dosages of meds and a dip in her potassium level have combined to throw her for a loop, but Houston tells us that these things are normal. They might be normal, but they still make us worry. Gotta stay positive, though, and work through the tough days so we can get back to the good ones!

It really made her day to see Rick wearing his Hope for Hoops bracelet on GH today - she was so excited. She's just sure he wasn't supposed to be wearing it, but he got away with it because "he's just cool like that." LOLOL.

Glad to finally see some snowflakes piling up outside - even though it's not much, it covers some of the gray of winter for a while. All of us are wishing for a blizzard! Sahara can't wait to see how LuLu reacts to the snow. She's not crazy about the cold temps we've been having, and has on more than one occasion looked at us like we're nuts when we try to get her to go outside. HA!

Deep sympathy to the Hecht and Dooley families for the loss of their 19 year old cousin Travis in a tragic car accident. I can only imagine the pain of his family at this time; I am sure that the reality of it is and will be nearly unbearable. It can serve as a reminder to everyone, though...please wear your seatbelts and teach your kids to do the same, always, even if you're going on a short trip. Our prayers are with you precious ladies.

Everybody stay warm and safe.

With love,