Sunday, August 31, 2014


Where oh where did August go?  Flew by in our neck of the woods.

My head is much better.  I still have some pain occasionally and the two lumps on each side come out when I don't wear a head band.  If I have a head band on they keep the lumps down.  All in all it is a long journey that will continue for 6 months until a year until all scar remodeling is finished.

Anyway we went on vacation this month to Wildwood, NJ which is on the south Jersey shore.  We had a blast and went with my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law and Skippy got to join the fun as well.   My cousin, Alex and Aunt Maryanne were staying in AC with my other cousin and made an early morning drive down to Wildwood to spend the day with us.  They headed back to AC after dinner and a little walk on the boardwalk. Our brother-in-law didn't make the whole week but was with us for 2 days.   We even did an old time photo which came out real cool.  Before we headed to the shore my family threw me a surprise birthday party.  So nice of them, isn't it?

Skippy loved being on the beach and I even got him to run in the ocean a bit although he was not a fan of this.  He did love the sand and he said it was the best vacation that he has been on.  The only other vacations he has been on has been to my parent's house in PA.  This took care of half of his bucket list - the other half is going to Central Park in New York City and we hope to be able to do that in October if all goes as planned.  I hope he does not keep adding to his bucket list, but he is so demanding so he probably will. 

Oh yeah, looks like OWH will be on hiatus for a little while on my end.  I have a couple of personal projects to get completed before I move on with my shipments for OWH.  Hopefully, I will be back to making OWH cards before the end of the month.

Here are some photos from our trip, the best souvenirs to bring home:

My dad, sister and cousin, Alex.  The only photo with my dad other than a professional one.

Joe loves animals and will make sure that they get fed.

The best lifeguard that Wildwood has ever had.

Joe with his big waffle sundae.  Don't worry he ate it all,.

What a beautiful family photo.  Joe, Skippy and I.

Skippy's first time on the boardwalk.

Skippy just hanging out at the house. 

My sister and bro-in-law, Thomas.

My sister and I.

This is in front of the big fire hydrant on the beach.  They just opened the dog beach park this past June.  Skippy met lots of new friends during the week.

Our first night in town.  Just took a stroll down to the beach while waiting for the duck race.

Joe and I took a dolphin cruise for our 9th anniversary.

Mom, Cindy (my sister) and I

My cousin, Alex and I

My mother and her sister, my Aunt Maryanne

Cindy and Alex

Cindy and Alex

There were over 7000 ducks in the duck race.
Joe didn't quit until he rung the bell.
This took a lot of courage to do. Cool photo because before Joe and I got married I was DWO, but now I'm DLO.
Having fun on the boardwalk - my sister, Cindy and her husband, Thomas.
Thomas, bro-in-law, catching some waves.
Joe taking a splash.
Skippy trying to be a good boy so he would come back.
My cousin, Alex, sister, Cindy and I.  Joe told Cindy she was looking pretty this day which got a laugh out of all of us.

My mother and Mr. Rubber Ducky.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August OWH

Here are my cards for August to go to our troops over seas.  Due to surgeries and some other time constraints I will not make my goal for this month, but I did get 16 done so I want to get them mailed.  Maybe September I will add 4 extra if time allows.  I will also include as always some hero mail.  Also, all the bird cards I made in honor to my Babci (grandmother) because she had such a love for birds.

Everything with my forehead is going as well as can be expected.  Still some pain, but the pain is tolerable compared to when they sliced me open 2 weeks in a row.  I have 2 ginormous lumps on my head which is normal and will take 1-2 months to fully heal.  The scar doesn't look all that bad and I'm not concerned about the scar probably think I'm crazy.  The way I look at it is that is better to have a scar than to have cancerous growth on my forehead.  And of course it has given me a story to tell and photos for our yearly photo book - I guess this is the scrapper in me.   It will be a journey the next 6 - 12 months while the scar remodeling happens. 

So here are my cards.  I need to go and finish the backs of them now and write some letters.

Thanks for looking and have a great day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In My Inbox Today

Thank you for all your support,cards,pictures and carepackages, they were heart warming and filled us with lots of happiness that you all took the time out to do such a thing. Here are a few pictures that we took for you to say thank you. 553D CSSB also has a Facebook page and will be posting the hero board on there that has all the pictures,letters and cards attached to it, so if you would please go like the pacge and follow us along on our deployment. The Facebook page name is 553D Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. May God bless you.
Here are the photos and if you look closely you will see the mascot and assistant mascot's photos on the board.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Prayers Worked

I guess my dad lighting a candle at church for me, my priest blessing my head and the many prayers I received have worked.  The cancer cells from my forehead have all been removed and I am on the recovery road.  Today I got the report from Fridays surgery and the stiches have been removed.  I go back for a follow up in 3 months so I get a break for a little while.  Thanks for all who have been thinking and praying for me - the power of prayer is powerful. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Letter From Overseas

I got this in the mail yesterday.  The card front reminds us all to be grateful for what we have and to enjoy the simple things in life.  As many of you know I've had 2 surgeries in the last 2 weeks on my forehead, I had an unknown growth.  I thought the procedure was going to be a lot different than what it turned out to be.  Turns out they sliced my head open twice to remove the growth.  The surgeon thought it was a benign  growth put the pathologist thinks it was some form of cancer.  Therefore, the surgeon needed to go back in and remove the rest of the growth to make sure he got it all  out.  As of today I am not certain what is going on and will not know more until I go back to have my stiches removed.  Hopefully, he got everything out and won't have to go back in - he sounded very hopeful on Friday that he got it all out and won't have to see me for another 3 months. The thing that concerned the surgeon the most is that is was growing towards my bone. During all this time I am on many restrictions since it is my head that got sliced - no lifting, bending forward, no medications except Tylenol, etc.  Yes, the pain is there but slowly fading and I was told it can take 1-2 months until I am fully healed and the numbing sensation goes away.  The second time round is a little tougher but I'm taking it one day at a time and getting better, I just wish the headaches would seize.  However, through all this life is not so bad and I'm taking it one day at a time because I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle.  Everyday you get is a present and live your life the best way you can.

This was the timeline for the surgeries:
July 24 - 1st incision
July 31 - went to get stiches out, told it could be cancer and to return next day
August 1- 2nd incision

I also keep in mind those that are fighting for our freedom and my issues are nothing compared to what they are going through.  Getting this letter yesterday just seemed like an appropriate time to receive and reminds me that I have much to be grateful for and to continue on with my work with OWH.  Of course, I haven't been able to do much the last two weeks for the organization but that is ok because with the draw down coming in Iraq there is less contacts so less cards are being needed until more contacts contact OWH. 

On that note, if anyone knows of any organizations that accept donations of cards please let me know so that if all our soldiers come home I have another outlet to send my cards to.

Please know that I am going to be fine and that this is just a trial that I have been put through.  Thursday I get my stiches removed and get the results back and I will update you when I get home.

I am thankful to the many people who have shown their concern in one way or another.  Also, I want to give a big thank you to my Aunt Jane who insisted that I have this growth checked out and turned out to be the angel that I needed since I thought nothing of it.

So here is the letter: