Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone from the Johnson Family.

We have had a wonderful holiday here in NC. Today, Addi got her first dollhouse. She was so excited that she really did not look at anything else Santa brought until the afternoon. It was very cute. We had Bill, Jo, Aunt Bobbie, and Tracia over for lunch today as well. Tonight, Addi can not stop taking pictures with her new Fisher Price camera. A lot of pictures!

My holiday really started on Sunday when we went up to Hendersonville for the Johnson dinner. A lot of people were there and it was really nice. We then went to my Papa's house and opened up presents. Addi had a lot of fun. Papa gave me something really to treasure. When my grandmother (Mama) was still alive, she was such an influence on my life. She was really a great woman, and really funny. Any way, for their 50th anniversary, Papa gave Mama a liberty 50 dollar gold piece on a chain. I always loved that piece and thought it was awesome. Papa gave it to me for Christmas. It is very special to me and it will be something I pass on to Addi so she will have something of my grandmothers. I was very shocked.

Monday night we went to Jo's house. Just in case you do not know, Jo is my Mom. I call her Jo because of work, and it has just stuck. (I know when Lena reads this she will be yelling at me to call her Mom...) Daniel, Andrea, Joe, Scout, Mike, Caroline, Christi, Addi, Aunt Bobbie, Jo, and Bill were there and we had dinner and opened presents. It was really fun. I think everyone had a great time. We left that night, and went home to help Santa get ready for Addi..... :)

Back to our house today - Addi's third Christmas was so cool. She really understood a little better about Christmas and what it means. Don't get me wrong, we still have a long way to go.

Christi and I had a good Christmas as well. Christi hit the jackpot! So did I. Honestly, we just enjoyed each other and Addi. I hope all of you understand how special EACH holiday is. I will be seeing my KS family soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I hope everyone had a good week. As you can see from the last post that Christi did, my family is really a great asset. I love Christi and Addi so much, and I hope that I do not leave them. Addi has been so sweet about Christmas and I am really just glad I am still here to see it.

Update on me: I have been hearing a weez lately when I take a deep breath to cough. Susan heard it as well when I was at Duke. What could this be? It could be the cancer blocking my airway, or I am hoping it is still the talc from the collapsed lung. To be honest, i am not sure. I am coughing a lot more....

I am very excited about Christmas and the thought of spending time with my family in NC and KS. When you are in my situation, you never know if this is the last one you will have. I try my best to have the best time and not think of it, but I do think of this all the time. I have tried to ask God to take it away, and I still think of it.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone that has given money to Addi's Cure this year. We raised more than last year, and we will be giving Duke a lot of money this year. They are amazed at what you are able to do. Yes, I said YOU. Our next Addi's Cure function will be this spring in Cornelius and will have a Jimmy Buffet theme...... SOUNDS FUN!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hello Everyone Christi here...things here are good. Addi is really into Santa Claus which is so fun. I might be a little crazy taking her everywhere to see Santa, but Christmas is only one time a year, Right? Anyway things went at Duke as we sort of expected. They are not completely on board, yet...but hopefully with some perseverance and information we will sway them in time. Bo really believes this is his best chance, so a lot of prayers would be great. I just wish he didn't have to do something so scary and serious (sorry i can't think of a better word), but I guess cancer is pretty scary and serious. I knew life with Bo would be exciting and never calm, but I just hope the holidays will be and then we will know what to do. Take care and have a wonderful Holiday Season.
Love Christi and Addi
PS If you see Santa tell him Addi says hi! They are on a first name basis now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tomorrow is a big day. I am going to Duke, and we are going to talk about me having a lung transplant. I have decided I will insist on doing this asap. I talked to Gerald Dash on Friday, and it was cemented. Gerald has had the transplant done, and although he was very honest with me about how he is feeling, etc., I still think this is the best thing. I hope Duke will say yes, because if not, I will be moving to CA. I either have to be within three hours of the facility where the transplant will take place, or I have to be there period. Either way, I am hoping I can be near my family.

Just wanted everyone to know....

Addi and Christi are doing great. I will ask Christi to put some pictures on the blog this week....

Please say a prayer for Darlene. She wrote an article about me for a paper, and she just got the news she has breast cancer....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A mid week update, are we all lucky! :)

I went to Pinehurst for a meeting with a company we do business with. We played Southern Pines Country Club. Tim hit one onto the roof of the snack shack that was between 9-10-11-12-14. It stayed and he played it as it lies. It was a par three and he made a 4. It was amazing. We got pictures, and I will try to post it..... I was supposed to play No. 2 today, but I did not because I was really embarrassed by the day before. It sucks, as much as I like golf, that I could only play nine holes. I am a little worried by this, but it could be still from the talc from the collapsed lung. I am going to go with this theory. I will be trying to build up for my next golf trip in January. I am not sure how to accomplish this, but I will try. If I can not do this, I will have to find another hobby? Any ideas????

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was a fun week at work, and there is a lot that is happening. This is a really big time for us.

This weekend we went to go see Santa at Interstate Motorcycles. This is the motorcycle group that raised money for Addi's Cure with a Poker Run. They did such a great job and raised a lot of money. I hit some golf balls and played with Addi. Christi and Addi have been seeing Santa all over the place. Addi is really excited about this season.

Update on Suzi - Someone asked me to update everyone on Suzi. She sent me an email today and she is doing ok from what I understand. She is starting radiation on Monday again and I am so glad. She is having some trouble but I hope that it will get better for her. She thanks everyone for the prayers and thoughts. She needs more! I want to issue a challenge for you readers - send a $5 donation to Addi's Cure and in the memo section, put Suzi. Let her know she is being thought of.... See how I am always looking for an angle!

Addi's Cure is winding up our first full calendar year. This year has been awesome. We have raised awareness and money, and I want to do more. Please help us spread the word about lung cancer and funding. They do not have to send $$ to Addi's Cure, but send some somewhere. There are some many good causes, get into one and give your time as well. Remember the girls from Touch a Truck? Awesome ladies....

I would like you to say a prayer tonight for a sweet little girl. McKenna Johnson died this week. She was 10 years old and lost her battle with cancer. Please say a prayer for her family and for her. I am sure she is in Heaven and in no pain, and playing like a 10 year old should. Cancer SUCKS! Here is an entry from her blog:

Saturday, December 1, 2007 10:32 AM CST
Dear McKenna,We are so proud of you! From the moment you were born, you brought us so much joy, and love. You were such a happy baby and we loved you from the first instant we found out we were going to have another child. You were such a happy baby, and you were our first little girl. So precious and sweet and you were ALWAYS in pink.When we first heard the words, “Your daughter has cancer”, I thought our worlds were coming to an end. I had never felt that kind of pain, desperation, fear and anguish. How could this be? Such a perfect, sweet, innocent little girl….diagnosed with cancer at only 2 years old? We wished we could take your place. We would have given anything to have it be one of us, not you, our child. In those early years, we watched as you suffered through painful procedures and many treatments. You were stuck in the hospital countless times and endured chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. During it all, you remained happy and you would tell us not to worry and not to cry. Everything was going to be okay. You made the nurses, doctors, and staff fall in love with you. You had so many of them just eating out of the palm of your hand! You’d walk the halls of the hospital, tethered to your pole, with your cute little slippers on and sometimes, sunglasses or purses or hats. Always so stylish and cute and sassy! You were the brightest of angels, even back then!Following the successful BMT, you remained healthy for 5 years and 2 months. We are so thankful for all that we got to do with you. You showered us with so much love and you, soaked in and basked in, all of ours. You grew into such a beautiful, healthy young lady and we will never forget all the wonderful, special times we spent with you. We will never forget your spunk and your attitude, your humor and sarcastic comments. You were sassy and stubborn, but also sweet and loving to the core. You were such a mother hen. You loved babies and small children and would play for endless hours at Nana’s with all the babies in her daycare, holding them, playing with them and showering them with your attention and affection. When you were diagnosed this February, we were all crushed. We were all a little older, and wiser and so very, very scared of the road you would need to travel down. You helped your teacher tell your class that you had cancer and wanted to be able to answer any questions to your classmates. Such a fearless little girl! We watched as you took it all in stride and bravely went through all the new treatments. The lung surgery and the chest tubes in June, were the most painful procedures you had ever had. I cried and cried during the times you would get to finally rest and sleep, for all the pain that you had to endure. Tom our neighbor, remembers that shortly after your surgery, you were RUNNING and playing Ships across the Ocean, at their house and when you were getting tired, you said to Tom, “Tom, can you carry me? I just had part of my lung removed!”. I will NEVER forget that story. It is so you!During your BMT this August, we once again watched as you suffered. There was so many horrible side effects to your chemo. Nausea, vomiting, GVHD and all the horrible things that go with that. We watched as the strength was sucked out of your body, but never the spunk and your spirit. You fought so hard and you made it! You got to come home for 3 weeks!!! Home at last! We watched as you quietly, soaked it all in. You were so content to just sit or lay on the couch and watch your brother and sister in whatever they were doing. You didn’t have the strength or stamina to want to do much, but you were still so happy to be home with your family. You got to pick out your own little puppy, your loving little girl Emmie, and you bought her with your own money. She made you so happy and we are so glad you got a chance to do this, even if you really only got to enjoy her for 2 weeks. We will never regret the decision to let you have your own puppy and so grateful for the extra smiles it gave you. When we were told you had a virus…RSV, we really thought nothing of it. So what? Big Deal! Our McKenna is so strong, nothing can stop her, is all we so blindly were thinking. Never did we think it would devastate and destroy your lungs the way it did. I can’t even explain the pain that we felt as we watched you struggle to breathe. When you needed to be intubated and put on a breathing machine, I asked if you were scared and you said no. Always so brave! We were with you every day at the hospital, your entire family would take turns coming to visit you. We always thought you were going to wake up and couldn’t wait to see your eyes open and your see your beautiful smile. We wanted to hear your sweet voice again so badly. It wasn’t meant to be. You had to leave us on Tuesday. You had to go. Your body was so tired and worn out and it had suffered so long and hard. We knew it when we saw you that morning. It was over, you were done fighting, and we were telling you it was okay. It was your time to go fly, sing and dance with the angels. We understood that, finally, and we were ready to let you go.You left us, your entire family together, in your hospital room, surrounding you with our love. You are so brave, strong and courageous and we will never forget the lessons you have taught us. WE will cherish everything we had with you and you will be with all of us in our hearts forever and ever. You were the best little sister to Kalen, and the best big sister to Jadyn that you could possibly be. They are both so proud of you and will forever miss their sister. They are glad that you are now in heaven and cancer free. They both know that you are busy with all the angels, but know that you will hear them when they talk to you. They LOVE YOU!Mommy and Daddy are going to miss you forever. Your absence has left this family with a void as big as the Grand Canyon, and we are going to have to learn to live with it. You will always be with us and we are so blessed to have had you for as long as we did….we know that and we know that you are in a better place, free of pain and suffering. That is what gives us great comfort at this time!You changed lives baby girl! You inspired and touched so many people’s hearts! You lived life to the fullest and packed in an entire lifetime in just 10 short years. You are AMAZING and we will always carry your spirit in our hearts as we continue on here on earth. We will see you again princess McKenna….in every pink sunset, rainbow and twinkling star. We will know you are watching over our family for the rest of our lives and when we get to heaven, we’ll be able to hold you and laugh with you again! For now we will just continue to love you and remember you and miss you with all our might!See you later Boo Boo McFoo!!!

From McKenna:

Brick Wall, WaterfallDaddy thinks He’s got it all
But he don’t, cuz I do!
So, Boom with that attitudeBoom with that attitude!
Peace, Punch, Captain CrunchI’ve got something you can’t touch!
Bang Bang choo choo trainWind me up, I’ll do my thang!
I know Karate, I know Kung FuMess with me…I’ll mess with you….FOO!!!

Love McKenna!