Early Detection of Brain Tumors

I have been doing so much thinking lately about the many tragic childhood losses I have witnessed as a result of brain tumors. After seeing my dear friends lose their 3 year old son Crosby to an undetected brain tumor, I felt incredibly defeated. Almost like all of a sudden I was putting up my hands in defeat….waving the white flag to cancer. I was talking to my mom on the phone and in confounded tears I admitted that I don’t know if it is possible to “stop” or “cure” or “early detect” brain tumors.

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Go Gray In May

Today is May 1….the first day of Brain tumor awareness month. While I don’t intend to celebrate brain tumors, I don’t want to harp on depressing facts. We know brain tumors are depressing and devastating and I will share facts, but my goal is also to show that there is always hope and there is always a silver lining in this journey of life. During the month of May, every penny donated to the HayesTough Foundation will be donated to a brain tumor warriors family. Let’s spread kindness! Let’s spread hope!

My sweet friend Bianca Merkley is an incredibly talented singing artist and she has graciously given her talents to this cause. Her song “HOPE” is available on Bandcamp. You can download the song and choose the amount you want to donate. Whether it is 50 cents or more, every penny goes to a family in need. What I love about this song is that it’s intended to provide hope in all times of trial. Whether it is financially difficult times, marital troubles, miscarriage or cancer…we all have a story, and we can all use hope.

So gift this song to someone that needs that silver lining or gift this to your mom for Mother’s Day! Or gift a HayesTough shirt to someone that loves awesome shirts 😉! Let’s raise more money than we have before! And let’s gift hope to a family in need! We are #hayesarmy.

Link to purchase Bianca’s song.

Link to Donate.

Link to buy HayesTough merchandise.

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Personifying Cancer

I woke up this morning feeling anxious and that all too familiar sick feeling. I had dreamt of Hayes all night, but not in a happy way. In my dream, Hayes was gone still, but I was going to the state prison to meet his killer….cancer. I had personified cancer in my dream and the hatred I felt for him was unlike anything I have known. It was as if all of a sudden I was able to direct all of the unfocused and figurative “Cancer took my child” anger at the “man” that killed my child. In my dream I was so scared to meet him and to finally see his face. I knew a piece of glass would be between us and in my dream I remember feeling a frustration that I wouldn’t have the ability to jump across the table and strangle the life out of the man that tortured my baby. But, I also felt relief that the glass would be there too because if I was being honest, cancer was the scariest man I had ever met. Read More

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Avoiding the Scary Stories

I remember this one particular evening during treatment. I went to the Ronald McDonald Room, a large room on the 3rd floor of Primary Children’s Hospital where food is donated by organizations and restaurants for parents of sick children. Hayes had gone to bed and dinner was being served. I made my way down there so that I could have something besides cafeteria food. You walk into this place and no one is smiling…it is SO depressing. But I was desperate for some non-hospital food so I got my dinner plate and made my way to a long table with 3 other parents sullenly sitting in silence. Read More

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Adjusting With Time

I have something to admit. Remember a few weeks ago when I said I had gained the courage to take Hayes’ crib down finally? Well, I have a confession, I just moved his crib to the opposite side of the room. I couldn’t bare to take it down so I just moved it in front of Heath’s closet. I literally had to shove it out of the way every time I needed to get clothes for Heath. So at least twice a day. But, I just couldn’t do it. The thought of taking it down felt like letting go of my baby. The guilt has been overwhelming. Read More

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Forever Triplets

It was around 11:30 on Sunday night when I started to feel that all too familiar sting…the cyclical sting that comes on those special days and anniversaries. I realized that exactly 3 years before that very moment I had been getting prepped for my cesarean. I had unexpectedly gone into labor at 31 weeks 5 days with the triplets and my OB saw that my babies were coming whether I was ready or not. Read More

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A Sea of HayesTough Shirts

It was two years ago, right before the 5K and the babies first birthday. We were finishing up Hayes’ second round of chemo and I was still feeling naively optimistic. All I cared about was getting out of the hospital for the 5K and celebrating the babies. Hayes was sleeping in his hospital crib and I was sitting on the fold out plastic couch in my daily “uniform”….sweats. We were in the corner room of the cancer unit. There was a double door to get into our room and you couldn’t hear a sound. We were completely closed off from the world in our little corner that overlooked the Salt Lake Valley. Read More

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The Rachel Parcell Dress

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Earlier last year, in February 2017, I woke up to a direct message in my Instagram mailbox.  I get lots of messages and I really try to respond to each one because so many are from parents of newly diagnosed children and I want to help them as much as I can.  Waking up to a new message was not unusual, but seeing who it was from was definitely shocking.  It was a message from Rachel Parcell.  In the Instagram world, Rachel is a big deal!  I had been following her for a very long time.  Here is what it said: Read More

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633 Days

The past few weeks, I lay my babies down for their daily naps and inevitably, they end up talking to each other under their doors across the halls. At first it is really sweet and then all hell breaks loose and Heath is kicking the door….laying on his back, pounding the door with his feet. Yesterday was another one of those days and I found myself feeling more and more angry with each loud kick of his door….sometimes I just need a break from my kids, I will be honest! So needless to say I was frustrated. Read More

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