March 3, 2013

Last Blog: Celebration!

Glow Run 2012
(The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

Melissa continues to build herself up emotionally, spiritually, and physically! She enjoys her body pump and zumba classes. Melissa is working toward completing her fourth year of teaching kindergarten! The little ones keep her on her toes all day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013, was the morning of her CT scans and lab work. We did not meet with Dr. Bierman, her oncologist, until this past Thursday, February 28, 2013.Her test results were all good! Melissa has graduated to appointments every 6 months! We continue to thank God and all of you for your wonderful prayers!

 Melissa's life is back a to "new normal". Her hair is growing and is high-lighted! (She had to wait one year from her last chemo treatment before she could have her hair treated!) She tires easily and enjoys a nap here and there! Her exercise workouts continue to build her strength!

Melissa and Craig
Yet the best "new normal" for Melissa is her fiancee, Craig! They met this past summer. As Melissa says," It's amazing! Guys like you when you have hair!" Craig and Melissa became engaged in January. It was the 2 year anniversary since her diagnosis. Craig had no idea that it was the actual weekend of her diagnosis. Such a special time for Melissa!

This Hodge Podge Blog is now ending. Melissa will  be starting on a new journey... her future with Craig!

We thank you for all of your prayers and support! Faith, family, and friends have all contributed to Melissa's good health! Hodgkins Lymphoma has made her a stronger person! Craig has brought a light in her eyes that shine with excitement and love! We wish them both the best!!!

Life is Good! God is Great!!!

Thank you!

One final note...Melissa's "Hodge Podge"  blog has had close to 40,000 hits since its beginning in February 2011!!!

June 22, 2012

Not Your Summer Cocktail of Choice!

Melissa had her scans Tuesday, June 19th. These tests are scheduled every 4 months. The tests include blood work and a CT scan from her mid thighs up to her chin.  Melissa's blood work and CT exam turned out great. We look forward to these appointments with excitement and anxiety.

Melissa met with Dr. Bierman at the end of the day. He continues to be pleased with all of the test results, also. Dr. Bierman remarked how well Melissa looks. He and Melissa had a wonderful conversation about  her progress as well as their summer plans. Melissa and Dr. Bierman talk like they are old friends getting together for coffee.

Summer has been very busy! Melissa has taken a couple technology classes and also taught at a science Camp Invention program. She schedules daily workouts to rebuild her stamina. Melissa's hair is now all her "real" hair, no more fuzz!

As the journey continues on Melissa's positive attitude shines! She is amazing!

Thank you for your prayers and support! Life is Good! God is Great!

April 29, 2012


Saturday, April 28th, Melissa and 15 of her friends participated in the 2012 Nebraska Lymphomathon. Melissa's team was named "HodgePodge". It was a beautiful morning for the walk at Mahoney State Park.

Melissa was excited to see Maribeth, her oncology nurse.

She is so grateful to all who donated to her team, to all who joined her for the walk, and the many prayers people have given towards her remission! Thank You! She feels so blessed to have all of you in her life!

Steve and I look at her in the "Survivors" picture with tears in our eyes! All survivors at the Nebraska Lymphomathon were given a yellow shirt to wear!!!We give thanks to God, our families, and our friends everyday! We also realize the Power of Prayer and Melissa's Power of Positive Attitude! She continues to teach kindergarten, workout at the gym, and work her 2nd job at the Market Basket. Melissa is truly a remarkable young woman!

Thursday, June 7th, will be Melissa's next set of blood tests and scans. I plan to blog that day.

We thank all of you for your continued prayers and support! Life is Good! God is Great!

February 9, 2012

Six Months and All is Well!

Today was Melissa's first set of scans since August 24, 2011. We were all excited and yet nervous at the same time.
  • Lab work @ 8:30 a.m.
  • CT. scan @ 10:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Bierman's appointment @ 2:50 p.m.
According to all reports, all numbers are good! Blood work is great. Scans are clean. Dr. Bierman is pleased!

Melissa is scheduled every 4 months now. Maribeth has her next set of scans set up for June 7th.

Melissa asked to have a picture taken with Dr. Bierman and Maribeth. She says, "You are moviestars to me!"

We feel so blessed with her results. Thank you for your love and support. We continue to ask for prayers for Steve's sister, Sally, and for my brother, Anthony.

I will blog in April after Melissa participates in the Lymphomathon.

January 28, 2012

Cancer Survivor One Year---Priceless!

Melissa was diagnosed one year ago today with Advanced Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. We were told the minute you are diagnosed, you are a cancer survivor. Today we congratulate Melissa and celebrate! Today she is a "One Year Cancer Survivor"!!!

Our family has been reliving January 2011 as if it were yesterday. It all seems surreal to us! We thank all of you for your continuous prayers and support.

Melissa's life is becoming " normal" once again! She has her own apartment, loves teaching kindergarten, works part-time at the Market Basket, and is working out at the gym to gain her stamina back! One thing she wishes that her hair would grow faster! However, her hair is somewhat long enough for her to use her flat iron!

All in all, one year later, we are so very grateful. We are truly blessed and excited to celebrate this day!

On February 9th, 2012, Melissa will have her first set of scans since August, 2011. She will begin her day with lab work, next CT scans, and conclude with her appointment with Dr. Bierman. Prayers are very appreciated!!! I will blog that day.

Thank you for your caring thoughts, concerns, and prayers. Life is Good! God is Great!

November 17, 2011

Reconnecting With the Doctors!

Today was our first day back to appointments. We began at Lakeside Hospital this morning. Melissa had an ultrasound on her left breast. She felt a hard lump. The good news is that it was scar tissue from her previous fibroid cysts that were removed when she was 17 years old.

In the afternoon Melissa had blood work done at UNMC at Village Pointe. Her lab work was great!

Next was our appointment with Dr. Bierman, her oncologist. He felt her neck and underarm and said the lymphnodes are normal. He was pleased with all lab results too!

Dr. Maribeth, her oncologist nurse, hugged her and remarked how good she looks! Steve, Melissa, and I are thrilled. We feel so blessed! Melissa's next appointment is February 16, 2012. It will consist of lab work, a CT scan, and Dr. Bierman's appointment.

As we continue to pray for Melissa, we now add Aunt Sally! Sally is Steve's sister, Melissa's godmother. She was diagnosed this week with lung cancer, stage 4. The lung cancer has spread to her brain. Radiation treatments have already begun on her brain. Chemotherapy for the spot on her lung will begin November 30th. She, too, is going to UNMC for her treatments.

As the holidays approach, we thank God for the oncologists at UNMC, and for the prayers and support we receive from all of you!

Thank you!

September 25, 2011

Remission Celebration!

Time to Celebrate:)

Aimee, Matt, Melissa, Maggie, Steve
Fully Rely On God

What a beautiful day! Thank you to all who came and and also to those who were not able to come but were with us in spirit! Your prayers and support these past 8 months have been overwhelming! Melissa was so excited to celebrate and wanted everyone to join in! Matt and Aimee were here for the weekend. Marc and Nancy(Steve's sister and husband) were here from Missouri! Lots of family, friends, neighbors, sorority sisters....everyone joined in the fun! Thank you so much!!!!

Melissa and Maggie with Ed's delicious cupcakes!
 Melissa's Kappa Kappa Gamma Girls supporting her with "Team Melissa" shirts.
The back of the shirt says "Remission Accomplished"!

A beautiful day to celebrate!
Melissa, Steve and I are participating in a 12 week support group for cancer survivors and their care givers. It is called "A Time to Heal"; a program that is provided through grant funding. It started 2 weeks ago and has been very informative and enjoyable.

Melissa is teaching kindergarten and enjoying her students. She has found an apartment and that she will move in to next month. Steve and I , her "roomies" will miss her. Yet we are happy for Melissa as she continues to get her life back to normal!

Melissa's new class!
Celebrating River City Round Up!

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. November 17th is our next appointment with Dr. Bierman. I will continue to update the blog.

Hugs to all of you! Life is Good! God is Great!!