My First & Only Cancer-versary

Just this once will I note the passing of the day that changed my life and my family’s life forever – May 18th. That’s the day I received the phone call that my biopsy results were in and I had invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. Looking back it seems like years and years ago, but I clearly remember I wasn’t too upset or shocked. I had already decided if I had the breast cancer gene (which I don’t) that I’d do a double mastectomy and get new breasts as a little bonus. But a few days later, while sitting outside the community center waiting for my son, I got another phone call. I was HER2 positive. What? That meant chemo. And an entire YEAR of immunotherapy treatments. That was not a good day.

I’ve detailed all the ups and down so won’t rehash any of those disasters but also realize I didn’t understand exactly how long a year was. Sounds funny now, but I was very focused on “just get through chemo.” After those 12 weeks ended I was so relieved knowing that I’d finished the worst part.

Everyone said the immunotherapy would be a “walk in the park” compared to chemo. Well that’s mostly true, at least physically. But the hardest part of this year is not the physical side effects. It’s the emotional roller coaster which keeps dragging on and on. It hits me every 3 weeks when I return to the same infusion lab, sit in the same rooms, with the same stupid port in my chest, getting hooked up to the same IVs, talking to the same wonderful nurses, waiting for the same medicine (minus the chemo). Each time I think that I am SO over this!! 

I’m not a “patient” patient. I want to move forward, put this whole thing BEHIND me. But every three weeks I get a friendly reminder it isn’t over. Everyday I look in the mirror and see my heinous port.  I feel it each time I toss and turn at night, put on clothes or grab my purse. I won’t feel like I can move forward and say “I’m cancer free!” until the port is gone and the last drop of Herceptin has entered my body. My oncologist thinks I’ll wrap this up in September but we only schedule 3 months at a time so no set date yet. 

2017 is and will continue to be a great year. I got to see my beloved Tar Heels in the Sweet 16 along with my youngest Mack who saw his first UNC college basketball game. And of course we got to celebrate the Tar Heels winning the national basketball championship!!!! AGAIN!!!


I had my final reconstruction surgery so can finally exercise woohoo! Who knew I’d be excited to exercise? (Other side note: apparently the chemo + steroids + tamoxifen causes some i.e. Me to gain weight. Yep that’s me keeping my Murphy appetite throughout this ordeal!) 

I get to go to France in July with great friends! I will turn 50 (GULP) in August. And I get to see Hamilton with the family! 

But the best part of this year – and really last year too – is the new appreciation I’ve gained for friends and family. (And of course health insurance but that’s another topic for another day.) I’ve been so lucky to be able to work with my two amazing sisters on the KMZ Foundation and give back to many worthy nonprofits. (Check us out at!) My husband has gone above and beyond in supporting me, and my boys are the same crazy 11 & 13 year old boys from last year which is EXACTLY what I wanted to see. My mom has continued to be the ultimate positive thinker and makes everyone around her happy. And friends seem to reach out at the precise time I’m feeling low and need a pick me up. And Rudy my beloved dog is just as cute and cuddly as ever and helps motivate me to get OUTSIDE which always makes me feel good. 

So I mark the passing of this pivotal day just once and look forward to the real celebrations to come this summer and fall. And I’ll continue to say #FU2cancer especially when trying to get my sorry butt to workout! (remember F can be for forget!) 



Top 10 Reasons Chemo is like the 2016 Presidential Election 

This is almost too easy but as I sit waiting for my 9th chemo infusion it dawns on me how similar chemo is to politics.  So here goes nothing! Apologies in advance for offending anyone but no one is making you read so be forewarned 😀

10.  They both can, at times, make you physically ill!

9.  You never wake up and say “oh goody it’s chemo day!” Or “oh goody I hope to see more negative political ads today!”

8.  Each week goes by and you look at the calendar and realize you stlll have several weeks to go. It feels never ending!

7.  The level of toxicity in each grows day after day. 

6.  You know better than to discuss the details and how you really feel about each with most friends and family. 

5.  Neither is something you want your kids to observe firsthand. 

4.  You come back week after week  because you know what you’re doing is fighting something evil and harmful to your health. 

3.  Sometimes you want wonder if choosing one toxic poison to fight the other is worth the risks and can’t believe there aren’t any safer  or healthier options.

2.  There are experts on both sides who give you conflicting opinions about what you should do and which will save you, but it’s up to you and only you to make the final decisions.  

And last but not least….

1.  In the end you know a strong healthy woman will emerge as the winner and beat this thing! 

You seriously cannot make this stuff up!

Well there is good news, bad news and just news. The past few weeks have been excruciating for me – I felt like a 15 year old girl waiting by the phone for my boyfriend to call. And he didn’t call. The lab handling the samples for the clinical trial got delayed and stopped returning calls, so the clinical trial nurses here stopped returning my calls and I got a little insane. But after tracking down the head of the clinical trial in Boston I did find out the lab was finally finishing their tests (a mere 3 weeks behind) and I would get everything in by late Friday pacific time. Again this was just a test to confirm I have the type of cancer that the other biopsy showed I had back in July.  So they put me on the schedule to start Tuesday (tomorrow) and told me to call Monday to find out what group I was in. Relief finally we were making progress!

Quick side note – my port WHICH I HATE – and has caused me pain ever since it was installed and repositioned back in late June stopped working. Yep all summer I’ve dealt with this thing in my chest and I go in for lab work and nothing. They tried everything to get it to work and eventually decided it needed to come out. So now I have a new port (fingers crossed it works tomorrow) and I got to have an extra surgery last week – woohoo! that was fun! and now I’ll have matching scars on both sides just under my collarbone. Taking ideas now for what type of tattoos I should get to incorporate the scars.

So healing from port surgery and feeling pretty good, I called today to find out which group I was in – the good clinical trial group or the standard of care chemo group. I was put on a hold for a bit then got the news – “well your test came back negative.” Umm what?? Yes this test showed that I did NOT have HER2 positive cancer. Umm what?? Drum roll…and “You’re not eligible for the clinical trial.” Mic drop.

It gets even weirder. Since my earlier biopsy showed I did have HER2 positive cancer, which is much more aggressive than the usual hormone positive cancer (which I also have), they STILL HAVE TO TREAT ME AS IF I AM POSITIVE! I won’t lie hearing that I wasn’t eligible for the clinical trial was a blow  – I had pulled out all the stops pursuing that all summer. The other bad news is I basically get the same standard of care treatment as if I was in the bad group in the trial – taxol (a low level chemo) once a week for 12 weeks along with Herceptin (for HER2 positive cancer) every 3 weeks for A YEAR.

BUT before I scream and cry there is a massive silver lining to this story. My overall prognosis just got BETTER! Although “this never happens” and my breast surgeon “has never seen this” my oncologist thinks my cancer is not heterogenous so that parts of it may be HER2 positive and other parts are just hormone positive; so I have less of the aggressive breast cancer than we originally thought. If my earlier biopsy had been negative I wouldn’t even need chemo – but I have to trust the earlier biopsy and know that I am doing everything I can to beat this sucker. And since I’m not in the trial I’ll be able to try other alternative therapies along with the chemo like herbal supplements, etc. THAT will be a huge bonus.

So tomorrow is the day. The hardest part will surely be using cold caps which I’m doing in an effort to preserve my hair. What are cold caps you ask? Here you go…

The photo is not me and I definitely won’t be wearing a tank top since I’ll be freezing my butt off!! but that’s the look I’ll be enjoying in the chemo room. Pretty sexy, huh?! It’s important to me to try and keep my hair and not look so sick, and REALLY IMPORTANT to my kids who are very worried about me losing my hair. I know it’s silly and temporary but it’s so hard for kids to process that and they don’t want to see their mom looking like death. So I will try and place -30 degrees celsius caps on my head for several hours every week for 12 weeks and hope it works. Seriously that will be harder than the actual infusion itself! And if I bail I’ll find a cool purple wig or baseball cap with a fake ponytail to wear for the next 3 months.

Thanks again to everyone who has done so much for my mental health these past few weeks it’s been crazy not knowing what was happening. Now I have a path forward – it’s not the one I would have chosen – but hey it’s a path so I better get on it!



FU2 Cancer

Sorry for the implied expletive but it’s accurate and reflects most people’s emotions when it comes to cancer. I don’t feel like just doing the “stand up to cancer” slogan. I’m kind of in the FU2 cancer phase right now! And the pink ribbon is so passive right now I don’t even want to cut and paste it here I need something more emblematic of a true fight. Any graphic designers want to help??!! And I need some way to vent and keep everyone in the loop, so my blog will now be my journal and therapy session. Feel free to ignore or read!

Let’s just say it hasn’t been the best summer. On top of my breast cancer diagnosis, we had to say goodbye to our beloved husky Luna who was the ultimate survivor dog. Found out this spring she’d been shot – her chest was full of buckshot, most likely from a shotgun years ago before we adopted her from a shelter in West Tennessee, and she was probably hit by a car which had caused her years of arthritis. My poor kids and husband have had a lot dumped on them in a short period of time. Today I am days away from my first treatment and honestly I’m beyond nervous, but anxious to get this thing done. It’s a dangerous balance of living in the present, enjoying every minute with family, and wishing this year would fly by. As a parent you know how much you cherish every (well not every but most) moments and so even wanting time to pass makes me feel guilty as a mom. Keeping my emotions in check is also hard since I tend to wear them on my sleeve as you all know. But having 2 active boys keeps me grounded and busy which is treatment in and of itself.

Quick background – late May 2016 on my normal screening mammogram which was a 3D mammogram this year – they found a tiny mass estimated at 5-7 mm. My sister Kathy is a 16+ year breast cancer survivor so I have been diligently checked for several years and was already seeing a breast specialist. I wasn’t really worried about the biopsy the area was so tiny that surgery could take care of it if needed. Biopsy was positive for invasive ductal carcinoma – the usual breast cancer. Again I thought – surgery – boom – done! I had already wanted a breast lift and had decided years ago if anything happened I’ll have a double mastectomy, so that’s what I did on June 28th. Tumor was slightly larger than expected (1.3 cm) and despite saying everything was clear post surgery – nothing in the lymph nodes! clear margins! – a week later I got the call “well there are some microscopic cells in the sentinel node” and “we’re not sure about the margin.” Not great, but honestly didn’t change the scope of treatment, just worried me. Eventually all the surgeons agreed the margin was clear just tiny. But clear. And they debated whether to go back and look for more lymph nodes, but no one thought that was necessary. So no more surgery – about the only thing people agreed on; more on that later.

The problem with my cancer (very different from my sister’s) is that I wasn’t just hormone positive (meaning taking tamoxifen or another pill could turn off my estrogen and progesterone and stop any future cancer growth) but I was also HER2 positive. Triple positive yippee! But that’s not good and increases my chance of recurrence by like 5 times. But since I was only stage 1 a cure was still in my reach. I’d just have to go through a YEAR of IV treatment on a drug called Herceptin that obliterates HER2 cancer. So on top of the double mastectomy I got to have a port installed under my collar-bone to save my veins. This has been probably my LEAST favorite part of the surgery. Then the kicker – you also need chemo. That was a bummer. For stage 1, I need chemo? For this tiny tumor? My kids were already asking me if I’d lose my hair. I didn’t want to look sick. But chemo? I work so hard to eat well, exercise regularly, not use toxic products, avoid carcinogens and now they want to put highly toxic liquid drugs into my veins??? Initial response – NO!!!!

Then came research on a clinical trial, multiple second opinions (my case was presented to tumor boards at St. Thomas and Duke), a fight to find consensus amongst various hospitals, and trying to decide on my best route to a cure. The emotional roller coaster was ridiculous – you should do a clinical trial! No we’ve changed our mind, do chemo. No really, you should do the clinical trial you’re a perfect candidate! Then – you may not be eligible for the trial after all because the hospital hasn’t sent in your tissue and we’re running out of time. Oh yeah that went over REAL WELL. If you worked in the pathology department or are a surgeon on my case you probably heard me say  i.e. scream “an administrative delay will NOT change my course of medical treatment” and “they will hear from me” a few times. And a few teary pleas to just DO YOUR JOB. I almost pulled out the legal threats but held back and just called everyone I knew and miracle of miracles the tissue was sent. Whew. My confidence level wasn’t too high at this point, so onto Vanderbilt I went. GLADLY.

In between all the drama, I developed blood clots at the port site (don’t get me started on this), went on blood thinners (like my 87-year-old mother), and had internal bleeding which led to a second emergency surgery on July 15. That was a low point and set me back 2 weeks in recovery. Again a bummer and frustrating as I kept hearing “this is so unusual” and “this NEVER HAPPENS.” The port surgeon (again no comment) told me “you should buy lottery tickets” after telling me they had to reinstall my port because it flipped and guess what – THAT NEVER HAPPENS! Oh really? THEN STOP SAYING THAT TO ME!!!! Thank God I live 5 minutes from all my doctors. I don’t want to think what would have happened if the internal bleeding had happened on a weekend or when I couldn’t drive myself straight to the office and be in surgery within about 30 minutes. That was the LUCKY part of the summer 🙂

I eventually found a great doctor at Vanderbilt I felt comfortable with, a great facility with PRIVATE chemo rooms so I won’t be 2 feet away from the next patient, full support on doing the clinical trial from my team here in Nashville, and am now just waiting to find out if I’m in the clinical trial. Once a lab in California confirms I have HER2 positive cancer (which has already been proven but needs to be confirmed by the same lab for everyone in this national clinical trial), then I’m in. Once in, I am randomly assigned to one of 2 groups. I have a 75% chance of receiving a new, targeted immunotherapy in the study group – KADCYLA – which is a bundle of Herceptin and a very targeted type of therapy that has few side effects and a much higher quality of life and only attacks the HER2 cancer cells. The whole point of the trial is that doctors feel they’re over-treating stage 1 cancer with chemo so finding a more targeted therapy will improve women’s quality of life and be just as effective. The drug has been FDA approved for years for advanced breast cancer and they are now seeing if it’s as effective in early stage cancer. That’s what I want. Only catch is you have to take the drug every 3 weeks for the entire year. So any side effects – which are pretty limited like nausea and fatigue – may haunt me for a year. Oh and it can cause heart problems in rare cases too. Nothing about this is easy. Or risk free. But kind of cool to think I could help save other women from this drama in the future.

The other part of the clinical trial is the “standard of care” group – 25% chance I get in this group which means I get the usual treatment of 12 weeks of chemo (only 1 chemo drug though Taxol) and then just Herceptin for the rest of the year. Taxol means lots of side effects and possibly hair loss, although I’ve found some cool cold caps that can help prevent hair loss (if I can stomach freezing my scalp for hours during my treatment once a week for 12 weeks). But after the 12 weeks I’d have it easy (ha!) and just get Herceptin so it will be hard at the beginning, then easier at the end. Oh and I’m going to throw in some radiation just in case there is something lingering in my lymph nodes. Better safe than sorry! My current treatment checklist looks like this: Surgery – check. Targeted therapy/Chemo – check. Radiation – check. Oral pill for years – check. Lucky me I get every treatment known to man to cure my stage 1 cancer. (Here I need to reiterate how relieved I am to have health insurance!)

So here I wait. Doing my stretches, gaining my range of motion back in my chest and arms. Hoping I do well in the treatments, stay calm, and of course remain cancer free for the rest of my very long life. All of this time at home has me feeling sentimental about the amazing help I’ve had so far – my sisters have spent weeks in Nashville helping take care of me and the family; yummy food is delivered to my door weekly; my friends here have shown so much support for me and the entire family checking in and offering to help with all sorts of things; and I’ve heard from other friends all over the world on Facebook, texts, phone calls, etc. I am so appreciative and despite all the bad luck feel so darn lucky to have the support group that I have. My husband has been beyond patient and supportive, and my kids have somehow stayed calm, made the transition to a new middle school, and now think I’m a super hero and have beaten cancer. (I tried to tell them we should celebrate later but I’m glad they are staying positive!) All the support literally brings tears to my eyes every time I think of what everyone has done. And I haven’t even mentioned Rudolph our golden retriever who is laying on my feet as I type and stays within petting distance of me 24/7. A true therapy dog! I know I’ll be relying on  this extraordinary support system over the next year so a big THANK YOU in advance 🙂 I’m also learning to ask for help and not refuse the many offers which is quite new for me. But a good change I think!

The surgery removed the cancer, now it’s time to obliterate any traces of it in my body. So next week, I look forward to saying FU2 cancer.

Don’t judge a dog by its cover


This is Sadie.  She is a gorgeous pit bull who probably weighs close to 120 pounds.  When she’s not smiling she can look scary, and when she’s loose roaming the streets I know many people would shy away from her.  But not my 65 pound, 9 year old son.  (Excuse the parental pride here!)

As many know I’m a dog fanatic and I’ve passed that gene onto my children.  And this week Mack had his first “rescue”!  Woohoo!  He was upstairs playing when I heard him screaming “Mom! Mom!”  He does a good Stewie (Family Guy) impersonation so at first I ignored it.  Then he was louder running down the stars.  “There’s a loose dog outside we need to get him!” Continue reading Don’t judge a dog by its cover

Winter Meets March Madness

It’s been a long cold winter here in Nashville.  Just as the ice and snow hit, my projects at work were completed, so I had a little spare time on my hands.  You’d think having this extra time would motivate me to write write write! Or edit edit edit! But being the master procrastinator that I am, I’ve found ways to spend hours on the computer (and Netflix) without even touching my completed manuscript, Warning Signs. Or the [untitled] sequel work in progress.  My time inside was literally making me stir crazy and depressed at the same time.

But just as the real March madness began this week, I returned to the world of writing. While surfing a few writer and publisher blogs, I realized this was the week of several critique contests and pitch wars.  So I was in.  That was the easy part.

The hard part has been looking at my manuscript.  I received a critique in late January and had been putting off the edits.  But when I re-read the suggestions it hit home.  My manuscript, which has been in edit mode for A VERY LONG TIME, still needs polishing.  A lot.  I knew that, but was so thankful to get precise comments from a published author on how to improve it.  Not that the usual “thank you for your query” rejection letter isn’t fun to read, but it’s so helpful to get an actual critique!  I had received a few before but this was the only one that gave me concrete suggestions.

Continue reading Winter Meets March Madness

A Lesson from the Dog: Anticipation


I finally snapped this photo of Rudolph in his daily pose – full of anticipation awaiting the arrival of my husband.  If I could, I’d Insert the vintage Heinz commercial music here 🙂  He always knows when he’s coming home and runs to the front door, bumps up the curtain and stares out waiting for his human daddy to arrive.  It’s so genuine and yet another reason to love our dogs.  Who else is so happy to see you day after day?  For Rudolph, anticipation is almost always followed by pure bliss.

As I was working on this post, I realized how much time I’ve spent waiting these past few days as well.  Although I don’t have a cute photo of myself waiting because I wasn’t always a happy camper!  My youngest was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia after eight days of high fever and no energy, and so most of the past ten days all I’ve done is check temperature, administer medicine, and wait.  And go to the doctor multiple times wondering why he was getting worse, why the “sinus infection” wasn’t a sinus infection, and why the antibiotics weren’t working.  Then we’d go back home and rest.  He’s missed the start of school, practices with his new soccer team, and the Tennessee Titans first preseason football game: the small, yet important, things an eight-year-old waits on all summer.  As parents, we’ve been waiting for that spark of life to jump back into his eyes, waiting for a sign that he’s back to his old crazy self.

He’s recovering slowly but surely, and I feel so lucky and happy that his illness is treatable and temporary.  The time we spent waiting in Vanderbilt children’s hospital for his chest X-ray this week was a true life lesson.  Mack’s eyes were wide watching all the little kids wait for their scans.  We saw a family wearing t-shirts that said “Cancer Sucks!” and heard them talk to another mom about her son who is 3 and in remission.  Mack innocently asked me if kids can get cancer.  We’ve lost a grandfather to cancer, and have my sister (his aunt) who is a cancer survivor, so he is well aware of cancer as a disease.  But he’d never seen the disease affect a child, someone like him.  Our small time waiting to find out if he had pneumonia pales in comparison to what these families are waiting on. Their strength was amazing.

So we’ve learned a lot about waiting this month.  Hopefully, we can also learn from Rudolph and spend a little time each day full of anticipation, followed by joy, as we run to our friends and loved ones.

Luna’s future is so bright…she’s gotta wear shades


So Luna had a fed bad days after vacation and was limping and sliding on our hardwood floors. I honestly was worried her time was ending and she was in a sharp decline. She wouldn’t leave the carpet in our bedroom (which resulted in a nice accident right where I put my feet down when I get out of bed), and I was having to carry her up the back stairs to go to the bathroom.  So I called our vet who came over (a mobile vet is a blessing to an elderly dog), and her recommendation was: a chiropractor. What? Yes a doggy chiropractor!

Ironically, my husband has been going to a chiropractor for years and begging me to go. I have abstained so far, although I am intrigued. Just scared after suffering a serious car accident in my twenties with lingering neck and shoulder stiffness that never seems to go away. But would I take my dog to a chiropractor? The answer was – of course.

I knew people would laugh, but forget that. It wasn’t like my vet was making money off of this referral – it took the care to someone else. And I trust her.

Okay so why the photo? Well, the chiropractor suggested this newer cold laser therapy to help Luna’s back and hip heal faster. I thought it may be a little over the top, but after some research found it had been around a while and was extremely helpful to older dogs. I consulted with my vet, and got the go ahead. So here is Luna with her googles on, getting ready for her laser treatment. The funniest part was as soon as the glasses were on and I shrieked, the vet tech turned to me and said: “Go ahead and take a picture. I know you want to!”

And the best part, well the second best part:  the bill. Yes I said the bill. The laser therapy was a whopping $45! (I know Nashville prices may be slightly lower than the national average!) And the adjustment – $65. But the real best part is getting Luna back.  She’s all smiles again, trotting along on our nightly walks, and letting Rudolph know through a few growls that he is not welcome to eat her food.  She’s also off her pain meds, although I think she may miss the chicken flavored pill pockets.

Really wish we had this therapy years ago when I had to replace knees on both of my dogs (for a cool $2,000 each).  But at least now I know a new treatment exists for aging dogs with hip and arthritis issues.  She may only need monthly or quarterly tune ups, depending on how often Rudolph tries to jump on her or wrestle.  But it’s a small price to pay for her quality of life and mobility.

So rock on, Luna, you still have some good years left after all 🙂

Luna’s Story

Sometimes we focus on the new shiny object, or the new baby, or puppy and unintentionally overshadow someone special.  I am guilty of that – mostly because my youngest pup Rudolph has given me so many things to blog about!  So today we hear Luna’s story.

School is out and so my boys are all about staying up late and sleeping on the couch.  Yes good parenting I know!  The other morning I woke up early to see my 10 year old snuggling with Luna.  This is such a rare occasion I tried to snap a photo, and apologize for the quality.  I was so touched to see his hand over her and her looking back at him, because I know she doesn’t always get equal attention.


After I lost Cato back in 2006, I wasn’t sure I’d want another Siberian husky.  But I slowly became (slightly) obsessed and would yell every time I saw a beautiful husky walking in our neighborhood.  Another year or so passed, and I realized I was ready for another dog.  And it had to be a husky.  I went on pet finder and saw a picture of Luna – then known as Lollipop.  I just about cried and thought that’s it.  I packed up my two toddlers and drove over two hours to go see her.  We were just going to look at her – yeah right – and of course we came home with her.  The night drive back was gorgeous with a full moon so we decided to name her Luna after the moon (and her white face also resembled a moon).

Luna was found in a Wal-Mart parking lot outside of Jackson, TN a few hours from Nashville.  No idea what happened to her but she was very thin, and not ready to share much when she came home.  Her tail appeared to have been broken; her back right hip was slightly weak from genetic problems or possible trauma. She fought several times with our older dog Solo – who also was a rescue – but we knew she just needed time. After Solo passed away, she got her day in the sun, but that time was limited because soon thereafter came Rudolph, a 6 week old Golden Retriever puppy who was ridiculously cute.

But Luna didn’t fight with Rudolph.  She embraced him, acting as his mother, cleaning his ears, and watching out for him.  DSC03386

She took on a new role, and it was obvious by this time that her estimated age was probably a little off.  We thought she was 2-3 years old when we got her but feel sure now she is much older.  Flash forward several years and Luna is a polite, sweet older lady. Her only flaw is her breath which, even after having 12 teeth pulled, is beyond death 🙂

Rudolph is 4 now and full of energy, and therefore gets more attention.  Luna is probably between 10-12, and starting to slip and slide a little, but always up for a walk. And a treat.

We are blessed to have Luna, and so when I saw Murphy snuggling with her, I made a new resolution to make sure we give her what she deserves.  We know her life was hard, and yes we have spoiled her over the years. But this old lady needs some more loving.

And we will make sure she gets it!

Why Dogs are Better Than People

I’ve been struggling recently with the realization that a close friend was not the person I thought he was.  I won’t go into details, but it involves infidelity and much heartache, and impacts not only their entire family, but also us friends who are their extended family.  Many times it’s so easy to say these situations are just between spouses, but when you see firsthand the impacts on the kids and grandparents, you realize we are all in this life together. 

As usual, I find support in my love for animals.  Animals are honest – they don’t pretend to be someone they aren’t.  They don’t hold back resentment over years.  Each day they are truly happy to see you.  And if they’re mad at you – you know.  They growl, snarl, maybe even snap.  But wouldn’t that be better sometimes to know where you stand?  To not hide your emotions, but to express them? (Assuming, of course, that we humans keep the normal social behavior standards and not bite or hump in public!) 

Which brings me to Lance, one of the VICKtory dogs rescued seven years ago from Michael Vick’s disgusting dogfighting ring.  See the cute photo below.  Those animals were subjected to unmentionable pain and torture.  I was brought to tears by Lance’s heartwarming story (to read more click here: – because now after six years of therapy and support he has found his forever home.  If ANY animal deserved to hold a grudge, and lash out at people, it would be Lance.

But he didn’t.  Image 

Because in life sometimes, dogs ARE better than people.