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The week started off a bit challenging after a beautiful weekend in VA Beach for a girls weekend with my sweet daughter Monica.  She is growing way to fast before my eyes, but I love having a little lady to be so proud of.  She truly is remarkable and I'm so very fortunate to call her my daughter.  Her driving skills are improving by the day, other than the accidental turning the lights off while driving (intention was to put her blinker on) and mom getting frantic, making her more nervous.  She is still not ready to go back to school, it resumes on August 24th.  I don't think I was prepared to come back to work either.  Yesterday morning while getting ready to return to work after 10 LONG months of an absence to care for Mason, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown.  I've been really strong the past two weeks too, even over the weekend.  I couldn't understand why this sadness just hit me all at once and it was preventing me from applying my mascara.  How dare you do that to me grief?  I realized after being welcomed back to work with such warth and generosity why I felt such sadness.  It was the dread of walking in here having to face all my co workers (my second family) who have laughed, cried, worried and shared my grief with me over the past two and a half years since Mason was re diagnosed.  There were several times I learned of disease progression, faced hospitalization, unanswered questions, multiple infections, near death experiences,etc at work and they were all there to comfort me.  To return back without a child doing well was not something I ever thought I'd had to do and to face them was truly heartbreaking. I felt I failed everyone, I felt their pain and for that I also felt responsible.  Everyone was so loving and understanding, it truly put my fears to rest.  We did it as a team, my work family, our family, our friends and the community and without them I would have never survived it.  It was such a huge loss for all of us when Mason passed.  I went home and had another emotional breakdown after work, to which my loving, compassionate and extremely strong sister Jessica came to my rescue.  She was just what I needed.  It was a wonderful grief session and I even scored a dinner out of it.. :)  She whipped up and awesome meal for me and even cleaned the mess.  Always a wonderful thing to have 2 of the best, supportive sisters there for you at all times.  I'm very fortunate.  I think the return to work yesterday was difficult too because it was finality.  I was going on with life without the physical presence of my little man who provided his mommy with such strength and determination.  NO was never an answer for me, defeat was never an option.  I feel defeated at times.  Neuroblastoma took him from us.  I will not rest until neuroblastoma is deafeated now.. We were raised to be fighters, sometimes to our own detriment, but none the less fighters and to perservere through the toughest of times, unite as a family and conquer.  That's my family and I am trying to pick up the pieces to return to that state of mind.  I know eventually it will happen, but it's taking some time. 


Today is much much better though.  I'm having a little difficulty concentrating, so I decided to take a short break and release some emotion through this journal, as well as update everyone on the happenings in our lives. 


Please pray for Ryan Regan's comfort at this time, as he resumed the nifurtimox treatment and causes him a great deal of pain and nausea.  Poor little kids have to endure so much just to get better and some (most) don't even get better.  They endure then the disease takes over their little, innocent bodies.  Ryan is very fortunate though, he keeps kicking NB butt.  I'm so proud of him and his mommy for all they are doing and have been through.  It's paying off and so are your prayers.  Please visit him at www.caringbridge.org/ryanregan to read about their journey..


The world also lost another angel to childhood cancer.  Ethan Jostad lost his battle yesterday.  His parents and family had to endure what my family had to endure.  Sit, wait, pray, witness the death of their child and loved one.  They need our prayers right now and support.  You can visit his page at www.caringbridge.org/ethanjostad


There are several things going on in the community that we could use your help with to continue the fight against NB.


Splash for a cure!!  Yours truly will be one of many talking about our journey.  I've done this the past two years, but Mason was always there providing me strength and support through the speech.  This will be my first year doing it solo without my hero by my side physically.  I know he will be there spiritually, but I won't be able to see him, just feel him.  It's going to be a great event.  Please purchase your tickets now!!  If you can't attend but would like to make a donation towards the cause, visit www.ishangala.org  the proceeds will assist families fighting childhood cancers (specifically NB) and research for NB treatments.


VISIT WWW.SPLASHFORACURE.COM and join us on Saturday, August 27th, 2011 to fight this deadly monster of a disease.


Also the Marine Corps Marathon has a team through Ishan Gala foundation called Team Curinghand.  This is the last week you can register to either run the 10K (6.2 miles) or the marathon (26.2 miles).  My boyfriend is running the marathon (James O'Brien) and I will be running the 10K.  Please visit our firstgiving pages to sponsor us in this run.  Once again all proceeds will go to NB research and families fighting for their child's life in financial distress.  We could also use some more runners to fill all the spots, so if you want to join please register this week and tell your friends about it.  I have a link on my FB page as well that you can share to help spread the word.  My FB is under Kelley Kassay. 


 http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/kassay/2011marinecorpsmarathonor10k


As always the most significant action you can take in helping children with NB and assisting with finding the cure is to keep talking about it to anyone and everyone you can and keep praying for these little souls...


 


With love and prayers to all our fellow warriors and angels, family and friends..