Tag Archives: #cancer

Hey Carter

It is this date again – June 30th. I remember walking with Stella in the early morning sunshine last summer remembering a year before that – in the hospital watching my nephew die.  We prayed for a miracle so that he could stay. We prayed for a miracle so that he would peacefully let go.  It was a struggle that we all shared. It is a struggle that we continue to share.  Today’s blog is in memory of Carter Joseph Boerboom; it is written by his father, Wade Boerboom, for families who are fighting cancer and praying for their own miracles.

Father and Son Carter

Anyone who knew Carter knew how much he liked his gift of gab.  We can’t imagine where he got that from… Have you met his parents and extended family? 😉 These are the real words and raw emotions from his dad in a letter to his son, putting into print the many chats they frequently have.

Hey Carter,

So get this, Aunt Sonya asked me to guest blog for her website.  Yeah I know, homework in the middle of summer, right?  But she asked that I use it as writing a letter to you.  I guess she didn’t realize I talk to you every day.  Oh well, I guess to humor her I will pretend I don’t and write this out to you.

So, what else has been happening you ask?  Well, I suppose we should catch up on everyone.

Freaking Lebron & the Cavs won the NBA title in 16, but the Warriors got them back in 17!  Kevin Durant ended up going to the Warriors this last summer in free agency.  I think just to stick it to Lebron.  They went 16-1 in the playoffs.  Only lost one game to the Cavs.  I wanted the sweep, but losing just 1 isn’t too bad either.

Oh, I feel bad about this one.   When we were told your cancer was back, on June 10th, 2015; you said “does this mean we can go to Duke?”  You were too ill to travel, so Joy and I decided to check it out this fall.  What a cool place!  They beat up on Grand Canyon. The kids/crowd were going nuts the whole time.  You would have loved it.

Katie is on her 3rd college & 3rd car.  Yes, she really is.  She attended Morris for her freshman year.  She did ok, but I think she spent more time in Alexandria with Tom than she did in school.  She wanted to try St. Cloud fall of sophomore year.  She lived in Tom (Geske) and your mom’s house in St. Cloud.  There was a crazy stabbing in the mall where she worked.  Thank goodness she wasn’t there.  I’m thinking that was the turning point, and they both just didn’t really love St. Cloud anymore.  She came home to SMSU, and is a 3.9 now.  Yes, she really is!  She just rented a little house in Marshall.  She’s growing up, I guess.  Tom is working at Action Track Chairs.  As for the cars…  The Dodge basically just died.  Then last week we had hail & it took out the Focus we replaced it with.  Damn kids and their cars…..

Belle went to Mankato last year.  She lived with her cousin Alex and a few other girls.  Interesting year.  They had a gathering that got busted before school started & then got robbed over Christmas break.  She is doing well in school.  She job shadowed a chiropractor and a dermatologist this summer.  Let’s hope she really makes money after graduation, lord knows she likes to spend it.

Sam graduated this year.  Get this, he has a girlfriend!  Yes, our Sam.  She came to the house the other night for venison/b-day picnic.  Our tradition of having those for you kids continues.  We had yours this year too.  Sam is planning on going to SDSU this fall.  I can’t wait.  Division 1 hoops!  They actually made the big dance this year.  Sam and his buddies have a company now –  Average Angling.  They upload videos, and get paid for it.  I think they have made something like 17cents off their fishing videos now.

Maddie is driving now.  Katie and your mom go to lunch with her from time to time.   She looks like she is doing well & having fun in school.  We see on Facebook that she does lots of sports & time with friends.

Sam and your buddies all miss you too. I think they are still up to the same shenanigans – maybe not shooting hoops off the top of the golf cart anymore though.  Sounds like Sam is going to St. John’s University for school next year. Of course we figured he would.  His family brought you to a couple of Johnny’s games.  I think they are pretty big fans of SJU.

Joy is training and coaching full time now.  She left Schwan’s to start a gym at the office.  She started with personal training and expanded to Rock Steady Boxing.  It’s boxing exercises to help Parkinson’s patients with their symptoms.  Her clients seem to really like her, even though she yells at them & beats them up.  The Rock Steady Boxing thing was something we saw on 60 Minutes.  The best part was that her training was in Indianapolis.  Joy worked, and I got to go to the Big 10 Tournament.

Kailen & PJ are workout bffs now.  Both are getting pretty fit too.  I think they work out twice a day.  Sounds like Kailen will be the running back in Cottonwood this fall.  Should be fun to watch.

Lori, Tori, and Tiffy moved to Bloomington.  Lori is a VP or something I guess.  Big time, right?  Tori is driving and will get her license soon.  Tiffy is in basketball, softball and volleyball.  All this summer.  They are pretty busy.  I think the Beer-Straights think they live there, too.  They are up there usually three weekends a month.  They usually bring the dog too.

Jack is going to camp after camp for football.  Sounds like he is headed to Ohio for one in July.  He just got his moped license.  Crashed the other day.  Just a little skinned up.  Not bad enough to come see you.  Jonah and JR both played SW Slam this spring.  We caught a few of their games.  JR seems to favor the 3 pointer.  He is not as proficient as you, but he is still young.

Bill and Missy are doing well.  Still camping & riding motorcycles.  They went to Arizona and rode to Vegas last spring.  No pictures of ass-less chaps have shown up, so we are all good.  They chase Wyatt around a lot.  He is pretty good at hockey now & made a couple traveling teams.  One tourney was up in Duluth.  He lifts weights now at the high school.  I think he is finally starting to grow.  Cody is buying Lori’s old house, and has a roommate-Dylan.  Let’s hope they don’t kill each other.

Braden bought a house in Cottonwood and got engaged to Amy.  20 years old,  going on 30.  He is farming with Ron and building a hog barn.  I bet Ron never thought in his wildest dreams that he would have hogs on that farm again.

Tam is not an empty nester yet.  She still gets one more year of chasing Kailen around to games.  They like to fight a little, but I think they are both going to miss each other.

Grandma Glenda sold the store.  Yep, the days of free ice cream are long gone.  She travels a lot.  She likes the bus trips they do around the different parts of the country.  She lets the kids drive her corvette for prom.  Sam went and then kept the car for about two months now. Nice grandma, huh?

Grandpa Ron and Lois like to camp & travel.  They went to Hawaii last year.  He still farms with Braden.  I think he plans to delegate more of the work soon.  He is just waiting for Braden to get the barn done.  He wanted to see his “home” farm last year in Belgium, but there was a bomb at the airport so we all chickened out.  Looks like we are finally going to get there this fall.

Grandma Nancy wants to retire, but Grandpa Steve doesn’t want her to yet.  Maybe another year.  She has shorter hours in the summer so she can spend more time in the garden and tinkering around the farm.  Grandpa still drives all the time.  He still loves to catch the grandkids’ games and tries to get to as many as possible.  He of course runs a little hot when things don’t go quite right, but he is getting a little more mellow.  Maybe that is where Bill gets it???? 

Grandma Betty and Grandpa Joe have an apartment at Boulder Estates now. They still visit the farm and like to have coffee there. They are as funny as ever. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in May. They are looking forward to seeing you again one day, too.

Your mom & Tom are also doing well.  They like to get to the cabin as much as they can.  I’m glad you got there a few times before you had to go.  They named it Carter’s Cabin.  Lynd just got hammered with hail, so we won’t have to worry about siding contractors for quite some time.  Tom will stay busy!  Your mom started teaching – subbed at Holy this past year.  I think she really enjoyed that.  That gets me thinking of all the homework we tried to make you do your last year.  It’s like you knew you really didn’t need to spend a lot of time with that.

The Pats and Ore & Jenny are doing well.  Morgan is getting married and has a baby. So I guess that makes you a second cousin? Or a first cousin once removed? I don’t know. They are well and miss you.

So now that you are all caught up on everyone, what’s been going on with me.  Get this, in the fall of 2015 I was told I have Melanoma In-Situ.  So cancer, but just on the surface of the skin.  99.5% curable.  Nothing like what you went through, but still cancer.  AGAIN, the same year????

The Agency is doing well.  I just keep plugging away.  After 30 years of eating and drinking, we finally have KB’s as a customer!  Persistence pays off.  You know, you were supposed to come work with me and take over one day.  I still have the letter in my office from when you were in 1st grade.  It said you want to sell insurance and take pictures of houses.  That’s not all it takes, but you had about 90% of it down.

We are repeat “Over 30” city league champs!  I know, my 3 point per game average is not the difference anymore.  It has a lot (everything!) to do with Shuan Wisdom.  I like to golf as much as I can.  Somedays it goes well, some days it doesn’t.  I like to get up early and play.  Gives me time for our “talks” early in the morning.

Carter and his dog

One thing I have been thinking about as your anniversary comes around is that I don’t think I took the time to realize everyone lost you.  I was pretty wrapped up in feeling sick/sad/pissed/poor me, that I sometimes forgot that everyone else lost you too.  The thing that really struck me was even though I was shook up, you took it pretty well, and it was happening to you.  That really helps me believe we will have this talk in person again one day.

Friday is two years since you moved away.  I gotta tell you, it was rough at first.

Carter 123

A couple things I will never forget about that day.  You were all sweaty, so we decided to change your clothes.  We kicked everyone out of the room except Tom, nurse Dan and myself.  We figured we would put you in Duke apparel.  If you are going to go, go in style right?  Anyway, as we are changing you (yes, shorts and all) your eyes popped open and you threw a punch right at nurse Dan’s face.  I guess waking up with ½ your clothes on caught you off guard.  He didn’t get hurt too bad… you were high on morphine after all.

The last two things you said in your first life will remain with me forever.  First, you said “I was chosen, I am going to die”.  What an incredibly profound statement to hear.  Even more so from a 14 year old.  Always wise beyond your years.  I couldn’t believe it.  Was it faith?  Was it God talking to you?  Was it to comfort all of us?  I think it was a little of all those.  I also believe it was your way of telling us that you were going to be okay.  For you to know it and accept and acknowledge the situation was incredible.

You said something about “My babies! Where are my babies?!”  We all leaned in close & asked “What babies, Carter?”  You said, “I have two babies.”  “The dogs?” your mom asked.  “No, I have two babies.”  I like to believe in some life you do. One bit of advice for you.  If your kids want to shoot hoops in the driveway when it is late and cold out, do it anyway.  In April of 2015 when you were feeling good, you wanted to shoot hoops.  After a while I went in the house.  I sat for about five minutes and then said to Joy, “I think I have to go shoot hoops in the cold with the kid some more.”  I thank God all the time that I went back out there with you.  Even though it was colder than shit out.

See you soon,  talk to you tomorrow.   Pops.

 

 

Stay Calm & Shoot Hoops!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Advertisements

Undone: A Life Memoir

BLOG Undone

One simple retweet by Michele Cushatt and my evening plans changed. I had intended to watch a little March Madness basketball on TV when I got home, but instead, I curled up on the couch with a blanket and the iPad all because of that one RT…

“RT @timdetellis: Started reading this new book by @MicheleCushatt It’s a page turner. http://t.co/dY4KIZ8pFf http://t.co/jKq1SR8751

Clicked on those links, saw Michele’s new book Undone: The Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, and had it downloaded to my Kindle app on my iPhone within minutes. Read on our drive home, read through basketball games and before bedtime, read this morning with a cup of coffee in my hand, then, finished the book after church. Just under 24 hours later, I put the iPad down, wiped away a few tears, and said a silent prayer for Michele.

A page turner, indeed, @timdetellis!

This book yanked on my heart strings. The story made me laugh; cry; hold my breath in fear (and I wasn’t the one scuba diving); miss my parents; think to myself ‘hey, I floss everyday too’; sing praises that I’ve had very few, if any, horrific challenges in life; share a few of the funny written words with my husband (‘holy two by four’); and thank Jesus over and over again for the life I’ve been given along with the unexpected gifts each day brings.

Michele’s life memories are weaved together so beautifully with scripture. As I read, I would often stop and ponder moments from my own childhood or the years of raising my children. Memories of a life filled with adventure, small challenges, and lots of love.

The way Michele pens her fears of the unknown put my heart in a vice-grip, and at times I couldn’t breathe. Uncharted territories of cancer, of an empty nest that disappeared in a blink, of raising a blended family and children with exceptionalities, of loss and grief, of losing a parent, and of almost losing herself.

I would say the book is a love story. A love story between two authors…the author of the book, and The Author of our faith. A love story between a husband and his bride. A love story between a mom and all six of her children. Their love grew and grew. Deeper and stronger as they all navigated the journey together. And together is always better.

Warning…if you choose to read this book it just might change you. Change your heart, change your thoughts, change your relationships, change your love of others, change your life! Go on…take the risk.

I’m so grateful that Michele received that precious gift on Mother’s Day back in 2006. That twenty-by-fifteen inch package, give or take, wrapped hastily in recycled wrapping paper.” A special shout out to Michele’s husband for understanding his wife’s prized gift…the gift of writing.

Thank you for blessing us with this gift, Michele. Continued prayers for you and your family as you continue your life journey together. ~Wendy

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Life’s All About The “F” Word!

Memorial Day was a day to stand at attention and salute all soldiers who fought on or continue to fight on the battlefield of war, risking their lives to bless us with the greatest gift of all—freedom! Thank you, Veterans, for giving that right to us! We esteem you so!

National Cancer Survivors’ Day is Sunday, June 1st. It is a day to salute our brave friends—Erica, Sharon, Erin—warriors who fight on a different battlefield. The battlefield of cancer!

Erica, who continues to fight colon cancer that has spread to her liver.

Sharon, who fought breast cancer and is three years victorious.

Erin, who was recently diagnosed with melanoma again…clean for over a decade…and so her battle begins again.

Life is so precious! As Erica always says about treatments, “Let’s get this show on the road,” and as Sharon always says about life, “Life’s all about the “F” word.” So, without further ado and in honor of Erica, Sharon, and Erin…and can’t forget the guys, Carter and Papa (although Carter would be ticked that we were considering him with a list of girls…although these ladies are warriors so it’s just not the same!)…let’s get this show on the road and remember that life IS all about these “F” word(s):

Faith: “Faith makes all things possible…not easy!” Author Unknown

Family: “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” ~Anthony Brandt

Friends: “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” ~Winnie the Pooh

Food: “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~ Jim Davis

Fun: “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” ~Dr. Seuss

Fairway: “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~Ben Hogan

Fashion: “Lace-trimmed socks do help me play soccer better.” ~Fancy Nancy

Forgiveness: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

We thank you from the depths of our souls, Erica, Sharon, and Erin (…and Carter and Papa).

Thank you for showing us steadfast courage.

Thank you for showing us remarkable determination.

Thank you for showing us unwavering faith.

And most of all, thank you, gals, for showing us how to truly fight like a girl.

Happy National Cancer Survivors’ Day, girlfriends. We love you and we salute you! Stay calm and FIGHT on!!

Image
googleimages

Stay Calm & Lead On!

Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.