Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Baby Girl

As I sit here starting the 6th round of this cycle of chemo, I am reminded about how fortunate I am to be able to write this blog. I wanted to send a special message to my daughter expressing my pride in the little lady she has become and will be...
Lexi, I was so proud of you when Mommy told me that you had all A's and you raised your C to a B in Reading. It is not so much that I am proud of the grade, but more the fact of your effort and that you continued to stick with a very difficult task, which you have now overcome! This is a great early lesson in your life, where staying the course and little extra work will pay off in the end. I am also so proud of the way you step up and help your brother when he needs extra assistance and the way you let him sleep on your floor at night when he can't sleep. I have snuck upstairs a couple of times and have been so touched by your "funny" conversations. You are both very lucky to have each other and I hope you guys will grow closer as you get older.
Lexi, you are doing so well in school, dance is coming along great, and you have really become a good soccer player because of your effort and willingness to be aggressive. I feel like you are developing some great work ethics and habits which will payoff in the long run. But as quickly as I enjoy you growing up, it breaks my heart to see my innocent little angel develop into a beautiful young lady. I still remember your amazing newborn face as if it was yesterday and now having a 10 year old is very humbling.
I know it has been difficult with me being in the hospital and being sick at home so much, but I love the way you take such good care of me by asking me what I want to drink and helping me with my heating pad. I love the way you come in the room and talk with me about how your day went. You sound very grown up and mature about your day and it gives me something to look forward to. You might talk a lot, but I love every word that comes out of your mouth! I want you and Austin to know how proud I am in both of you for the way you have handled everything. It is very difficult for Daddy to cause more issues than we already have and not being at home as much as I would like, but you both have done very well considering.
Lexi, I hope when you read this you will understand what I was thinking and how much I love you and how you inspire me to continue to fight everyday whether I feel like it or not.

Love Always,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Something a little different...

First I would like to thank my sister for the concept that I am going to try and imitate. Besides the fact that she is religious about her blog, I love the fact that she has written a few of her blogs, as if she is writing a letter to her children.
So I would like to start by telling you Austin how much of an inspiration you were to me today. Not to say that I am not proud of you everyday, but today you showed my a courageous spirit that proved to me that you will be a noble and honorable man one day. Your patience, focus, and effort at your first National Qualifying Taekwondo Tournament was such an incredible experience that it gave me a sense of pride that I didn't expect to experience for a few more years. Even in the face of chaos, stress, and fear of an overwhelming moment...you chose to rise to the occasion and shine like a true Samurai Warrior. Must be some of that Laynor Japanese fighting spirit, Boos willingness to overcome odds, and McDaniel passion that allows you to dig deep. I want you to know that I would have been proud of you no matter what, but the fact that you showed a heart that overwhelmed me with emotion and a focus that showed the potential that you possess if you set your mind to it.
You gave our family honor today and I will always be proud to be your father no matter how long I am part of your life here on Earth or Heaven above.

Your Humble Father...
With All My Love,

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 Difficult But Thankful

I should probably take a lesson or two from my sister about making time to update my blog. I apologize that this is my first entry since September, but as always, time seems to have a way of getting away from you. The Fall consisted mostly of me working, enjoying my time with my family, and continuing treatment. I handled the Taxol pretty well, once I got used to the cycle and its physical effects. I stayed pretty active and worked out when possible. My best friend, Mike Salazar, made the transition from San Antonio and moved in with us. He has provided tremendous support and ever present laughter because of his great sense of humor. The kids have really taken to having Uncle Mike around to help out. I know making the move from San Antonio was not an easy decision, but I hope he realizes how much we appreciate the support. Both Lexi and Austin continued to play soccer all Fall and still seem to really enjoy playing. Austin has become quite the soccer player, with his shut-down defense and speed...sounds like somebody else I know...lol. Lexi has also become quite the little defender, but making the transition to U-10 has been very difficult on our team and the competition has improved.
Fall flew by and we were very excited about Christmas because the Boos Clan all came into town and good times were in abundance. Seeing my sister Kari, her husband Brian, and all three of her precious children were icing on the cake. My nephew Shane is already a genious, my niece Myann is gorgeous, but stubborn, and then there is Anders who is as cool as a cucumber. Seeing Uncle Guy, Aunt Melinda, and all my cousins was such a special treat. Special thanks has to go to my Uncle George for initiating the whole idea and seeing it through, he has always been such a special Uncle during the most difficult of times. My Uncle Roy, Aunt Pam, cousins Lori and Terri all made the trip from Bama and my Uncle Mark and Aunt Kathi came in from Pittsfield. I forgot to mention it earlier, but we made a trip to Pittsfield, MA this Fall and had an amazing time. I only wished we could have visited a little longer and got to see 59 go at it again.
My mom, Papa, dad, Grammy Pammy, Mimi, Bam Bam, and all our friends have continued to embrace us with love and guidance when we need it most. We are so blessed to have such great friends like Winn, Eric & Paige, and everyone else who pops in on us from time to time. Winn is always there when you need him and the first to pitch in when he can, he is truly a great person and wonderful friend. Eric and Paige have continued to amaze us with tremendous support especially in the wake of their loss, with Eric's brother, Ted having a very untimely death. He left a wife and two beautiful daughters and it scares me beyond belief that my family potentially could suffer the same fate one day.
I feel that I am trying to cram too much in and promise to update my blog at least once a week going forward....New Year's Resolution.
We did receive some discouraging news about the metastatic growth of tumors in my liver and the tumor in my heart is showing new activity. They have surgically implanted a double lumen port and I started a very aggressive form of Chemotherapy, single agent Ifosomide. As Eric stated, it shares a common element that Mustard Gas has in it...explains the sense of confusion this treatment causes. I am also having to do inpatient chemo for the first time ever and I was very discouraged by the fact that my kids can't visit me in my room because of the health risk evident. Going forward I am mentally more prepared, but this will, undoubtedly, be the most difficult obstacle to face at this point. My employer, David Yurman, is the most compassionate company that anyone could ask for. I having very supportive executives and an amazing team that continues to humble me with their words of encouragement.
I have found a way to slow time down and I am enjoying every moment with Lexi and Austin. Dani and I have difficult moments, but we try not to let it ruin the present. She IS my heart and when she aches, I ache...causing her pain has been very difficult for me to except whether by choice or not. I, also, worry about my mother and father, but know they have amazing support with John and Pam and I am so grateful that they have someone to love them and support them during this difficult time. I appreciate the opportunity that God has provided for me to continue to focus on what is important at all times and not taking one moment for granted. Regardless of the outcome, I will have no regrets...
To quote my nephew, Shane, " Uncle Alex, you need to eat my mommies chicken noodle soup like fifty, no twenty, no five, OK three times a day and you will be all better". My greatest with is not just to be around for my own kids, but I would love to see how Kari's turn out as well.

Keep Praying and Believing...Faith and Hope is all you need!
God Bless,