Wow, where to begin?! This has truly been one of the most amazing weeks of our lives! It's best you sit in a comfy chair, kick your feet up, and grab a snack or beverage while reading this because it's gonna be one long post. :)
Last weekend began with some of our very best friends, Brinley, Andy, and baby Andrew coming to visit on Friday from West Palm Beach. We had a perfect weekend filled with lots of laughs, yummy food, and of course a million photos taken of Andrew by Aunt Meggie. Look at this face...how could I not?!
I just love these little tootsies! Andrew grabbed his own toes for the first time this weekend and I was able to catch him in action.
Brin, Andy & Andrew-I can't tell you enough how much your visit meant to me. It came at the perfect time and was exactly what I needed. There is nothing better to help lift your spirits and take your mind off of hard times as seeing wonderful friends and snuggling the cutest little guy ever! I miss you all so much already and can't wait to see you guys in August! Love you!
After the Johnson's left, Monday night was the incredbile Coldstone Creamery fundraiser benefiting the "Meghan Malley Rally" team for Susan G. Komen's 3 Day for a Cure. True to Michigan form, you can never count on the weather around here and it turned out to be a super cold day. Well let me tell you, that did not stop anyone from coming out to get some ice cream for a great cause! My wonderful friend Sarah was the mastermind behind this entire event and many of my great friends on the 3 Day team were guest scoopers. They worked their booties off! The place was packed from 6pm until well after 9pm! It was incredible!
One of my besties from high school, Jenny, drove all the way from Grand Rapids to come support us at Coldstone! Love you Jen!
And 3 of my amazing friends from PT school (including Melis' 6 week old sweet baby girl), came out for some ice cream too!
Sarah - thank you so much for setting all of this up and for working your tail off all night! You are the best girl!
The adorable and hard working ladies of the 3 Day team that were scooping machines on Monday night! Love you guys!
A huge thank you to Nikki, Lindsay, Stacy, Becca, Kara and Sarah for working so hard all night and raising a ton of money for such an important cause! I am so honored to have you guys doing this for the "Meghan Malley Rally" team.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every single person that packed that Coldstone on Monday night! It was so great to see new and old friends, community members, co-workers, former patients, and family members. I loved catching up with all of you and can't thank you enough for your support! This amazing event raised over $2,000 in tips alone for the 3 Day team and another $200 on top of that from 10% of all sales! What an incredibly successful night thanks to all of you!
I promised myself and Mike that Tuesday would be spent doing nothing but resting from the past few days festivities, and gearing up for what we knew would be an incredible day on Wednesday at Waterford Kettering for the "Malley Rally Benefit Baseball Game". I don't even know where to begin to describe what an amazing day and evening this was! The entire Waterford Community came out in full force to support us, especially Mike, and it was the most heart warming thing I have ever seen. The Waterford Kettering parents, baseball players, teachers, and students truly rallied around us and showed Mike just how much he means to them. For those of you that don't know, Mike has been on a leave of absence from work for the last two weeks in order to help take care of me. So, his Kettering family has definitely been missing him - and they showed it! It was absolutely incredible to see how excited everyone was to see him - especially his baseball players. He has missed being with them, and coaching them, and he was equally as excited to see them on Wednesday!
Literally, hundreds of people came out to support us and it was truly overwhelming! There was a touching opening ceremony, Mike threw out a ceremonial first pitch, former Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace came out to support us, there was an adorable pink VIP tent set up for us, a fabulous "Malley's Munchies" snack bar, amazing raffle prizes, and many other fabulous touches throughout the event. They raised thousands of dollars in donations and gift cards in order to support us and the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for a Cure. It far exceeded our expectations and it was amazing! Not even the on and off rain and dreary weather could dampen our spirits or the heart with which the Kettering Captains played that day.
A professional photographer was on hand to document the day and all the special touches. I can't wait to see his pictures and hopefully share them with you so you can truly see how incredible this was. Here are a few quick shots that I was able to capture and a few that others have shared with me. I wish I had one of the sea of pink shirts that surrounded the entire ballpark - it was truly amazing!
Pre-game group shot with the Waterford Kettering Captains and the Lakeland Eagles, along with former Detroit Red Wing goaltender, Manny Legace (pictured on far right). Even Lakeland's team sported pink socks and wristbands and even raised money for the "Malley Rally"! Thank you Lakeland!
Two of my beautiful aunts along with my mom supporting the "Malley Rally"....ps. Happy Birthday Aunt Carol! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!
The awesome jersey's created by Triple Thread Custom Design & Apparel for the Waterford Kettering Captains Varsity team! They were also decked out in pink hats, belts and socks! We loved it!
How do we even begin to say thank you to the Waterford Community for putting this together? Especially to Anne Nolan, Kim Mortimore and every other person that played a role in this event. There is no way to truly explain to you how much this touched our hearts. As a wife, I cannot thank you enough for doing this for Mike. Obviously, I have always known what an incredible teacher, coach, co-worker, and mentor he is to many. I have watched him work so hard for years - giving all he has to make an impact on his students and players. He has never complained of working long hours, or coming home late, or giving up his nights and weekends to coach nearly year round...because he truly loves it!!! He is so passionate about what he does and it has always been so obvious to me that everyone in the Kettering Community sees that and appreciates him so much. However, I don't think Mike has ever truly realized how much he is valued and loved - how much of an impact he has made on so many kids - how many lives he has touched, just by being the wonderful person that he is! The single best thing about the "Malley Rally" for me, was witnessing my amazing husband finally realize how incredible he is to so many people. I have truly never been more proud to be his wife. Mike, I love you very much and it is the greatest honor of my life to be known as your wife! ♥
After an amazing, yet long day at Kettering, we woke up around 6:45am on Thursday to head to an early morning chemo appointment at Karmanos. Unfortunately, we don't always get much choice about the appointment time so we were stuck with an early one this week. It happened to be a full house at Karmanos which meant we were there for a little over 4 hours! Needless to say, Mike & I were both pretty exhausted after that and slept most of Thursday away. On an extremely positive note, Dr. F always completes a thorough physical exam before each chemo treatment, which involves some measurements of my breast and the tumors that he can palpate. Although it is a rough measurement, it does allow him to have somewhat of a sense of progress or lack thereof. He was very pleased to report this week that everything seems to be heading in the right direction and the palpable tumor mass seems to be shrinking! Thank God! There is always a risk that you may not respond to the current chemo regimen, but so far it does appear that my body is responding well! We were thrilled with this news! Dr. F did acknowledge that from here on out, it becomes harder to feel any changes due to overall changes in the breast tissue with further chemo treatments. So, we will have to wait until all of my tests/scans are completed after my last chemo treatment, which is currently scheduled for September 1st.
I responded amazingly well after my 2nd round of chemo, once Dr. F made a great call by taking me off a particular anti-nausea drug and switching it with something else. It made all the difference in the world. I didn't have any side effects that time, aside from fatigue, which is pretty unavoidable. No nausea, no lightheadedness, no body aches - it was such a nice change of pace! Keep your fingers crossed that I respond just as well to this 3rd round! So far, so good!
After resting Thursday and Friday, I decided I might try to to make it down to the Race for the Cure in Detroit on Saturday morning. A great group of my girlfriends were all doing the race in honor of "Team Malley" and I had told them that I knew I would be too wiped out to go. Well, Saturday morning I woke up early and was feeling pretty good - so I surprised them at their meeting place before the race. It was wonderful to see everybody and head downtown with them for the opening ceremonies! It turned out to be a beautiful morning and the turnout at Comerica Park was incredible! We were also able to run into some other friends and family members which was great too. And to top it all off, our team was recorded numerous times with the local NBC news anchor, Guy Gordon, and should be seen on Local 4 News throughout the next few days! :)
The amazing Team Malley before the Race for the Cure! I love you guys so much!
Local 4 NBC anchor, Guy Gordon with Team Malley! We were even filmed for promo spots for the Race for the Cure! (Sorry you got cut out of this shot, Court!)
Some great Kettering Crew co-workers of Mike's were also participating in Saturday's Race for the Cure!
After leaving the event as the race started, I came home and crashed -nothing like a 4 hour nap to get some energy back. Wow - what a week it has truly been! I almost wish we could have sprinkled these amazing events throughout the next couple of months in order to continue boost our spirits throughout the summer. But, the incredible amount of love, support, and blessings we have received this week will be something that we can always look back on during hard times. The memories from this week will be sure to make us smile and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for....most importantly, YOU! We are so grateful to each and every one of you that shows us in one way or another, just how much you care about us. Through your prayers, your cards, your fundraising, your donations, your gifts, your meals, your presence....we are just continually blown away by it all and not one single gesture, large or small, goes unnoticed. We can never thank you all enough for everything you have done for us! We will never forget it and it will continue to help us get through the tough times that may lay ahead.
My blog to keep you all