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Next Step - Expert Answers?

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Trying to find answers on cancer treatment was actually much less simple than I anticipated.

Clearly there are great things about each of the locations we were considering - Cancer Treatment Centers, Mayo Clinics, and MD Anderson. Many people have had good results at each of these places.

The bottom line is that on Monday, April 8, we will be going down to MD Anderson's Cancer Research department to meet with the premiere thyroid cancer expert - Dr. Steve Sherman. He is going to re-examine all of the test results and scans, including the pathology of the cancer tissue originally removed.

They have told us to hold our return date loosely. I'm personally feeling like there won't be any emergency treatment necessary, so we will be coming home and then possibly going back as needed for follow up.

There are still a lot of unknowns - there could be drug trials . . . waiting and additional scans . . . even a stint at Cancer Treatment Center if there is sufficient cause. But we ju…

Recommendations . . . On, ummm, Cancer Treatments?

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Some of you have been tracking through every step, some of you are just wondering what weirdo asks for cancer treatment recommendations. So, in an effort to get us all in the same page, here’s a recap:

I have been battling thyroid cancer now since December 2017.

Thyroid cancer  is typically a pretty simple diagnosis and treatment leading to full remission. However, my situation has not been so simple.

I have a B-RAF gene mutation that makes it more aggressive and less responsive to treatment.

All original tests led doctors  to believe that I had a singular node that needed to be removed in December 2017. When they actually opened me up, they had to do a full thyroidectomy and remove the metastasis in five lymph nodes including one that had become it’s own tumor, growing outside the bounds of its original space. They stopped short of removing all cancerous tissue because some of   it was too close to my carotid artery.

Following that, they did a round of I-131 radiation, which for mos…

Escape Room: Never Had It Figured Out Completely

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Joey and I haven't been able to sneak away for a movie together in quite awhile, so we jumped at the chance to go see Escape Room recently.

I have personally done a couple of escape rooms and enjoyed them thoroughly - the challenge, the creativity, the camaraderie that it forges. However, I was honestly a little concerned that this would be more like the Saw-series than the fun, challenging rooms I have worked to solve in the past.

But, we were more than pleasantly surprised. This movie is not only fairly family-friendly for older children, but also kept us guessing through the very last scene! That's hard to do in my world where I make a sport out of guessing the plot twists and turns of every book, movie and tv show we try to enjoy. Being able to surprise me is ALWAYS impressive - and this one did it in a big way.

I would absolutely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys  suspense or psychological thrillers. It isn't a horror movie, but it will keep you on the edge of…

Go See Mary Poppins Returns!

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I confess the details of some things have slipped by me as of late. So, literally up until the week of the screening, I thought Mary Poppins returns was a remake of the original Mary Poppins movie. My boys were quick to inform me that it was actually a sequel…and, boy, were they right!
The movie starts with a grown-up Michael and Jane with their own set of grown-up problems and three little kids stuck in the middle. I also have to confess I wasn’t prepared for the beginning of the movie to center around the death of Michael’s wife and the children’s mother. There are several very poignant moments, and I found myself crying… Yes! Crying at Mary Poppins. 
BUT the joy of the movie far outshines any solemn storylines. One of my favorite things was to look to each side of me throughout the movie and see my boys' faces beaming as they watched all of the silliness and shenanigans that we associate with Mary Poppins. 
You will see many of the same things you remember from the original mo…

I Cried the First Time I Watched My Son Wrestle

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My middle son, Colt, told me not too long ago that he wanted to wrestle. We are a sports family, but wrestling has never been one of those sports. AND this child is on the spectrum . . . now, all that really means for him is that he's not going to pick up on any social hints you drop, he's incredibly literal, and he's finicky about sensations. Yes, the child who is finicky about sensations told me he wanted to wrestle - where people are constantly touching you and holding you down and forcing your body into positions you don't want it to be in. But I have always determined that I would not hold my children back by forcing artificial boundaries on them that they don't have for themselves - so if the boy wanted to wrestle, we were going to let him try it out.

A couple of weekends ago, we went to his first wrestling tournament. I was so naive. We were supposed to be there at 9 am, and, in all seriousness, I made plans for 11 am. I thought we would walk in, he would h…

Another Out-of-the-Box Gift Idea . . .

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Continuing our quest for unusual gift ideas this year, I came across this idea . . . 

How fun would this be?!?!? It's like packaging up a color run and letting your kids have all the fun to themselves. 

Just Add Color is now offering a Mega Pak that includes everything you need to add colorful powder games, color dances, color crafts, color photos and color experiences to any get together or fun outdoor time your kids are planning.

Everything is more fun with color...birthday parties, Friday nights with friends, having the team over, slumber parties, graduation activities, even gender reveal parties or class celebrations (with parent permission, of course). 

The Just Add Color Mega Pak provides you with the color, the tools and a how-to guide to make your next party TEN Times More Fun.

Right now, you can get a one-time-only discount that includes Two FREE Color Blasters, Money Back Guarantee and FREE Shipping on your purchase -  a $150 value for just $75!

Place your order at Just Add C…

Out-of-the-Box Christmas Idea for Families

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This year for Christmas, our crew is working hard to come up with some outside-of-the-box ideas. We already all have so much stuff, and this Momma is tired of picking up all of that stuff when it spills out over our house and car and yard. My boys are getting older by the minute and I want to take full advantage of it and enjoy every minute we can. 
We've been looking for activities we can do together as a family, and I found a great deal on one that I think my boys will adore!
Urban Quest Adventure lets you turn Dallas (or one of the other 98 locations across the US) into a giant game board with a fun scavenger hunt adventure. If you like the Amazing Race, you will love this three-hour city tour. Using your own smart phone, your team will make their way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. 

If your schedule is anything like hours, finding time to make a scheduled event is difficult, but you can play t…