To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pictures from the Cancer Battlefield, Part 9: Birthday Blessings

The Birthday Girl in her princess hat I embellished for her!

Yesterday (February 25th) was mom's 52nd birthday!  I know so many people who worry about getting older, but we all feel incredibly blessed to get to celebrate another birthday with mom.  Who cares how old you are when you are healthy and alive?  We should all be so lucky!

Even though we had to go to clinic (as we do every day), mom still had a pretty good day; and she found out she was no longer neutropenic (woo hoo!), meaning she can eat fresh/raw fruits and veggies again - that's a pretty good birthday present when you've been craving everything from the CTCA salad/fruit/veggie bar!

Vanilla on vanilla "lucky Irish lassy" b'day cake for Quigg (our nickname for mom).
Peanut butter passion cake for all the nurses, doctors, stem cell patients and their caregivers, and whoever else waltzed into the stem cell clinic that day.
Dad cutting the cake with a plastic knife - ah well, it worked!  And, one of the stem cell patients said it was the only thing she's been able to keep down without throwing up for a week - proof that cake is probably the world's best food! ;-)
Mom and her friend, Neil.  He is about a month past his transplant and just found out he is 100% grafted in - WOO HOO!  Can't wait to hear the same news for mom! *oh happy day*
Mom and nurse Veronica getting her blood pressure taken.
Mom and nurse Lisa getting her daily labs drawn (notice both the nurses turned their heads once they saw me with the camera!).
Mom and I in the clinic waiting for her daily blood test results.
Dad and mom in the stem cell out-patient clinic.
Sean with his EMPTY cake plate!
"The Boys", talking shop.
Detail of Quiggs' "birthday girl" princess hat.
Mom reading one of her MANY birthday cards in her "Ang*y B*rd" hat that Karen Blakely made her.  She's had LOTS of compliments on that hat, by the way!
Sean in our apartment in Waukegan watching mom open her cards and presents.
Mom with some goodies from her "part in a bag" from our awesome Hickenbottom Inc. employees.
Angel pin from bowling buddy, Melva Dahl.
Cute and comfy outfit from Mark & Cindy Rinaberger and family.
Ang*y B*rd outfit from Jill Westercamp and her adorable boys!
Whitney drew mom a picture and sent it to her iPad - it's pretty awesome.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who sent mom cards and prezzies for her special day; it really means so much to know that you are thinking of her and praying for her.  She (as well as all of us) appreciate it more than you will ever know!

Here are some pix from the past few weeks:

Mom's childhood friend, Sharon (Holcomb) Strait came to visit her at the apartment.
We had a pizza party in the out-patient clinic one night when mom's infusion lasted until 7:30 p.m.  We pretty much took over and made ourselves at home - of course, the nurses didn't care, because we shared our dinner with them! :-)
Sean and I took two loaves of bread and fed the ducks and geese that live on the pond in the protected wildlife area next to the CTCA.
We were VERY popular that day - ha!

Well, that's about it for today.  Again, thank you to all who have continued to remember mom by mailing her; it really means so very much to hear from those in the "outside world", even those who don't know her very well, she has really enjoyed the letters and cards, so, - THANK YOU!

Life is precious, and I feel blessed beyond measure that my mother has lived to see another precious birthday.  God continues to be good to us; we are grateful and humbled every day by His blessings and mercy.

Love and Hugs to You and Yours,


  1. Love and Hugs to You, Mandie and your Mom and your wonderful Family!! So glad your Mom had a great birthday!! Continued prayers and love sent your way!!

  2. Happy birthday to your mom!

    I can't decide which I love more - the princess hat or the Angry Birds hat. :)

  3. What an extra special birthday with many blessings from God. You will celebrate other birthdays, but this one will always hold memories of victory in the battle field! We love you, Kerry, and continue to pray for your health and healing! Jeff & Carol Meyers

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