Posts tagged “deep stuff

Shit’s About to get Real Yo

#Election2012. A big FUCK.  …. moving on.

Here’s some real shiznit. Posts from CB. I try to reflect and read stuff back this time every year. Puts things in perspective and it’s always good to remember, whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff. Because being REAL and experiencing BS and horrible stuff is what molds us and makes us who we are. It’s not how you are in good times… it’s how you handle the bad ones.

How was this really my life two years ago? #bestwifeaward #yourstrongerthanyouthinkyouare #lovelife #viverediscecogitamori #livelife 

Written Nov 20, 2010 4:25pm

Not much going on around here today. Harvey slept ALL day. I think he said about 5 words total. Lots of rest for the upcoming week. ANC came up to 290, highest yet. So we are making some progress on that end just have to hope that the Leukemia is not growing along with his counts. Just waiting for the week to get started…

Written Nov 22, 2010 3:23pm

Not the great news we are hoping for to start off the week… Harvey has blast cells in his blood that have started to show up. About 30% of his blood right now is blasts. So, no need for another bone marrow biopsy at this time (actually, that is the one piece of good news for Harv). We now know the reason for the slowness is because there was Leukemia there and they are crowding out the WBCs and Neutrophils. No decision has been made yet if he will be doing another round of induction or going right into transplant. But it is looking like most likely he will be able to recover a little, go home for a week or two and then come back and go right into transplant. The fact that he is going into the transplant with disease does increase the already high risks, and decrease the chances of the transplant working. So honestly the odds are not going to look good… not that they ever look good for a bone marrow/stem cell transplant patient. But there would also be increased risks doing another round of induction since he got so beat up the first time, and in that case would be even weaker going into the next step. So for now… not too many definites and real answers, we’ll have to see how the next week goes and plan from there. We did hear another story of a patient here, who was in her 50s and needed a transplant. She had a lot of complications and had about 90% blasts at the point going into transplant. They told her to go home for a few days… get her affairs in order, and that she had a 5-10% chance of making it through. So she said her goodbyes and hoped for the best. Transplant was over, and it turned out successful!! And she’s now in her 60’s, in remission for 10 years. So there are always those people who beat the odds! We all know Harv will be one of them…


xo ALW


What’s Going On?

With this little girl? A LOT!! I haven’t been blogging lately for a lot of reasons. ONE – I’m over pretending and playing things up, and writing what I want to happen instead of what actually is happening and going on. I started this blog as a way to get my thoughts out and be completely honest – mostly with myself. It was a way to throw it all out there to myself and whoever else was bored enough at work to read it. I needed to talk about things yet I didn’t want to talk about them with anyone, so blogging was the best way to do that. Refreshing. Detoxifying my mind. But it slowly it stopped becoming that. It stopped being real and started becoming a facade of what or how I wanted things to be.

TWO – I’m starting and working on a new blog. Much cooler, much more exciting, creative, and with hopefully a lot better pictures and features. Coming January 2013! 

THREE – I’m not running. It’s getting to the point now that the anxiety without running is building and building so badly that I can’t even think about it. Having to talk about it all day at work is hard. And hearing other people’s running victories and training is really really hard (yeah I’m a jealous little bratt.) 4 months is not a long time but feels like forever and I would give anything right now to be able to go on any run. 26.2 is going to feel so fucking sweet the next time it comes. So I need to refocus myself, and concentrate on getting healthy and getting ready to refresh and hit it hard again when the next training season comes around.

Patience, progress, … conviction?

I’m finally at the place that I need to be. Realized, and admitted some things to myself that I’d been hiding for so long. And sometimes the hardest thing to do is admit something to yourself, especially if it’s a fault. I’m at the spot now, where I can look back with no regret, no remorse, no sadness, no bitter feelings and no wondering ‘why?’. But seeing my life for what it really was and is and will be. Looking forward into the new beginning of what lies ahead. A life that I’m actually living. Stripped away are all the blinders, and excuses and fear. And that’s a lot to be able to say… Free.


I’ve posted about this in the past but it’s super important so I’m doing it again. Plus I like this picture. ha.

On the CB site I mentioned a little bit about Heather who was one of the patients in the hospital room right next to Harvey’s. She was Harv’s age, married with two little kids. Her and Harv were going through chemo at the same time and on the same track. Harv found a donor off of the Registry BE THE MATCH – the National Bone Marrow Registry. He was lucky enough to find a 10for10 perfect match, a young male (also always better odds). So he was set to go when the transplant was ready to take place. Heather however was waiting to find a match. And it took a while… but they found one for her. Your life is literally in someone elses’ hands. Someone who may have just randomly decided to join the registry one day…

Heather’s transplant went well and she has now reached her two-year anniversary! I’m excited for her and her family. They made it through the unthinkable together. We’ve been in touch a little here and there throughout the past two years. It’s a tough situation. She feels bad for being the one who survived when Harvey didn’t. And didn’t know if I was ok with talking to her. But that’s life… the plan is out of all of our hands.

Can’t wait to see you next week, Heather!

WORKOUT – ellip 1 hour, JM

xo ALW

April, You F*cking Rock

Yeah I know, but it’s good to hear once in a while. Recently someone who I went to highschool with sent me a message on Facebook. First of all, I’m starting to hate FB – I think people use it for bragging, making their lives look better than they really are and trying to make others jealous. And let’s be honest – no one cares that your kid pooped in the potty today or that you trying out a new recipe for dinner. Seriously. Anyway that’s beside the point. Someone emailed me this awesome message the other day saying that he got Harvey’s FB Page invite and started reading about Harvey and reading my blog etc. Jyst of it is he gave me some mad compliments about being strong and continuing to do good out of a bad situation. And that Harv was a damn lucky guy – true that. So, yes it’s just nice to hear these things once in a while and makes it all the more worth it.

So why not hear some more. I’ve been going through some of the Caring Bridge stuff recently just because I like to reflect on this time of year and put my life into perspective and remember the really hard parts of all of this. So here are some awesome things that people said on the CB Guestbook.

Written Nov 5, 2010 7:31am

Hey Harvey and April…I am constantly reading your updates and happened upon the journal entry that someone wrote to you in which you mentioned this is your new normal.  I cannot imagine what you two are going through but I do know that we are beyond grateful that Harvey has found such an amazing person to stand by his side through all of this. 
I mentioned to Lori we wanted braclets and maybe do a group order thing.
Always praying for the both of you.
Kristie Attardi

Kristie Attardi

Written Nov 5, 2010 9:43pm

Haven’t swung through here in awhile…. Sounds like we’re still waiting.
Apri, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sally & Jim story! I also love reading your journal updates. You are so sweet & so hilarious!

Big Harv…. I’ve been thinking about you everyday my friend! Praying for wonderful results & hoping you get them by Monday.

Much love to you both!

DJ Franklin (Dyson)

Written Dec 23, 2010 9:02am

 You never cease to amaze me. Your strength and positivity is truly remarkable! Mauro and I were so touched by Harvery’s services, it was simply beautiful, and a true tribute to the person he was.

We left the reception saying to each other how lucky we both were to experience Harvey, and how he has touched so many lives in so many ways! Thank you for keeping us all up to date with what is going on, you are the best!

Please know that we are all thinking and praying for you daily!

Erin Alfieri

Written Dec 21, 2010 4:09pm

April–so great to see you and your strength throughout Harvey’s fight.  You, Harvey, and your families are in my thoughts and prayers throughout the Holiday season and will be throughout the New Year. 

You are amazing and your strength has taught me that you can get through anything (and to keep partying!).  Stay strong and as always, let me know if there is anything I can do.  Given your recent update, I am happy to help with the fundraising/memorial, etc.  if you need any assistance.



Rick Valenzuela

It really is amazing to read back through these messages. And makes me feel a million times better about myself. Now I just need to get off my butt and get out there and start doing amazing things again.

WORKOUT – elliptical 30min, yoga

xo ALW

She’s My Kinda Crazy

I’m really kinda obsessed with this song. Thanks JM for introducing me! And I’m glad you are obsessed with twitter now just as must as I am.

Anyway, I thought this fitting since I obvi am crazy – a little bit? And I’ve been typing up a million things every night when I can’t sleep and listening to Brantley Gilbert. Blogs, letters, thoughts, essays. I need to get it all out there and I have really come to love writing. Something that I never thought I’d say. Although when it comes to sitting down and writing college essays that’s a different story. But it’s still good and I have a lot to say. Sometimes it’s just so much easier to type it and write it out then to talk about it.

I’m loving the way I’ve been feeling lately. I feel excited to move forward, and move on. And I’m ready now… where as I don’t think I was before. I wanted to stay here (not literally in this apartment) but here in a place that was unhappy. I needed to be miserable and hate my life for a while. That’s just the way I needed to deal with things. You can only go out and try to be happy or pretend you’re happy for so long. So I let myself be sad … finally.. . that’s how I dealt.

But now I’m ready to let happiness in. And I’m making decisions based on my life and what I want. Not what I feel as though I should or should not be doing. And I WANT to more forward not stay in this place. It feels amazing and I’m enjoying it and not charging forward, but drinking in the change and seeing the new.

So here’s to bad thoughts… sad moments, the bottom of the barrel. A year I needed but don’t necessarily want to re-cap or re-think. Looking forward to the next and learning from this one. Getting myself ready to take on 2013 – thirteen. Gonna be a bitchin’ year.

WORKOUT – bike, 1 hour / elliptical, 30 mins

xo ALW

Endurance (not the Marathon kind)…

I kept waiting, waiting, waiting… for that moment when things just automatically get better. But it’s not like that. It’s a process. I’m very very hard on myself – normally. And especially this past year. I’m NOT the type of person to be sad, depressed, unmotivated and so on. Eating bad food, not wanting to work out, wanting to sleep all the time… not caring about my life, lah-dee-dah… the list goes on. And I think that’s why this has been so, so hard for me because this is the opposite of my personality.

But what do I expect? I look back and think about what I went through and still am shocked sometimes. Yeah I kinda wasted a year away not really doing too much and feeling sorry for myself but that’s what I needed I guess? And I’m surprised sometimes that I’m not in a mental institution or selling crack on the corner. Because don’t think that giving up completely wasn’t on my list of things to do… and hoping bad things would just happen to me and I’d just be taken away somewhere.

You can’t just snap right back and forget all the bad stuff that happened and not be sad? No, that’s not the way it works. People tell you, you should be doing this or feeling this – or make sure you do, think, mourn this or that. Or why aren’t you calling me back, hanging out, doing something productive, paying attention to this, working, school, being organized, blah blah blah. Well – Fuck them (sorry, couldn’t put it lighter than that). No one knows what you go through – except you. I did what I needed at the timing I needed it. I went out, partied, survived, forgot about things in the beginning because I needed to protect myself and I wasn’t ready to grieve (hate that word). But when I was ready, I did. And I did what I needed and what came natural. I honestly can say I was at the lowest point in my life this past year and probably the worst this winter and spring. I never want to see that place again – but I’m sure I will. That’s life. But now I have –

ENDURANCE (and not the marathon kind)

Main Entry:
endurance [en-door-uhns, -dyoor-]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: bearing hardship; staying power
Synonyms: ability, allowance, backbone, bearing, capacity, continuing, cool, coolness, courage, enduring, forebearance, fortitude, grit, guts, gutsiness, heart*, holding up, intestinal fortitude, mettle, moxie*, patience, perseverance, persistence, pertinacity, pluck, resignation, resistance, resolution, restraint, spunk, stamina, standing, starch, strength, submission, sufferance, suffering, tenacity, tolerance, toleration, undergoing, vitality, will, withstanding

I almost feel … ‘safe’ now. Peaceful, without worry… because if I can get through this… the rest seems not so bad. Life isn’t easy and that’s what makes it fun, scary, and well… life. The ultimate lows in our life is what makes for the highs, and who we are when we are down and how we deal with it is what makes us who we truly are. So yeah the ‘downs’ this year and all in all probably weren’t as bad as they could have been, or I made them out to be. And I know for damn sure I’m a fucking strong person for getting out of this alive, eventually better than ever. And most importantly building up the endurance that I’ll need for the rest of my life. So bring it on Bitches!! I’m ready to start the next chapter and run this race 😉

xo ALW

Fate Vs Determination

So I’ve always been a firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’… ‘fate‘, and ‘it all works out in the end’. I think all of these are really good views and also great ways to take the stress out of situations. There are a lot of things in life that you can’t control, and it’s a waste to stress about the things you can’t control… there’s no point. M.R. always tells me ‘do something about the things you have control over and learn to accept the things you don’t’. Which is all SO true.

But lately I’ve been thinking about this fate thing. WILL everything really work out in the end? And the way it’s meant to be? Or if you make a bad decision somewhere along the line you are totally screwed? I really hate to think that’s the case because I hate regrets. I rather do something and have consequences than regret not taking the chance and not doing it. But at the same time that means you are taking the reins and taking complete control and in turn you’re the one who is responsible if shit hits the fan or doesn’t work out the way you wanted it.

Like… I’m pretty sure I single handedly ruined my entire summer. Making a lot of rash decisions and not quite thinking things through. Or thinking things through but instead of doing what I wanted… doing what I ‘thought I was supposed’ to do. Or what I thought the right thing to do was or things to please other people or doing things because I didn’t think I should. From little things like, running THIS and injuring myself so that I have to take off the whole entire summer. Or eating crappy all winter so I feel bad when it’s time to wear cute clothes.

I truly truly believe that certain people are put into our lives at certain times. But I wonder… do they just touch us in a certain way and then they move on? NO ONE is ever in our lives forever. That’s just an obvious fact. People come and go, some stay longer whether they move on, or die, or just aren’t in our lives anymore. But are two people REALLY meant to spend their whole lives together. In technicality we aren’t a species that mates for life – and that is the truth. And how are people actually ‘soul mates’? I mean come on let’s really think about this if there were two people that were meant to be together forever – two people from the whole world… how come they just randomly happen to live in the same city? Just the whole numerology and rationality of that doesn’t make sense. And let’s be realistic, there are a zillion fish in the sea. So how is it then that the two right people meet at the two right times in their lives? And what about when people are together for years so they just stay together because it’s comfortable. We all love comfort and routine – so is that what we love or is it the person? And what if one person isn’t quite ready but the other person is, then is the chance broken… or do you try to make it work. OR do you wait on fate? Fate to bring you back together, the universe to bring you back together… how does this work, really?

Maybe I watch too many ridiculously annoying and so un-realistic romantic comedies and base real life on SATC. Like – really Carrie… you’re going to marry Mr. Big after he left you at the alter. And what guy is going to actually make that ‘Grand Gesture’? And come flitting back into your life and declare his love for you and that he can’t live without you. Doesn’t happen in real life, but maybe we expect it to.

So conclusion… do you leave things up to fate and hope that you get swept off your feet or do you really go after something that you want? I see it both ways but I’ve only ever done it one way. Harv and I never would have ended up together if I didn’t pursue him – REALLY pursue him and go after what I wanted… and it took time and wasn’t easy. And I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t exactly the most correct way of going about things. But apparently that’s my MO. I know what I want and go after it.

Guessing that means I’m more of a determination girl vs. fate. Let’s be honest (obviously I am – too late for that). Nothing in life worth having comes easy. Life is hard get a fucking helmet, saddle up and grab the reins if you want to good ride. And if you don’t take risks you’re not going to get anywhere. – There’s my answer.

Thoughts… ?? What are you, Fate or Determination?

Why We Run (part two)

I wrote THIS a while back, on reasons why we run. And of course there is the whole REASON I ran the LLS Sponsored San Diego Marathon in the first place, and how Emotional it was and why I signed up with TNT. What keeps me motivated to run the long miles and what I think about when things get tough always come back to the reasons. And most importantly running for those who can’t.

There is no way you can watch this video without crying… so grab your box of tissues and your mascara and get ready for an full on bawl your eyes out cry sesh.


Any words that I come up with can’t even begin to describe this example of amazing-ness, honor, motivation, inspiration, true love and human perseverance. The impact that one person had on a Nation is just insane. You think about this and what Terry did and makes you feel like you can really accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

People have asked me lately why I run. And why I run distance. I guess this is one of them, but there’s just something about the long miles, the solitude, the competition with your body, the mind games. Determination, pushing limits you never thought you could. Truly feeling your breath and life.

Speed is sex… distance is love.

xo ALW


Read about it HERE and HERE. We talked about this in my Psych class yesterday and wanted to read more about it. The idea is that in some Indian and other cultures a widow – young or old would be required and or forced to jump into the funeral pyre of her late husband, sacrificing her own life. Because with her husband gone there was no purpose for her or her life anymore. Most of the times it would be her husband’s family that would request her to do so. This happened up until the 60s and 70s!! AND I read that one case was recorded in 1989!!?? I think I saw that – could be mistaken. Either way – insane. And I’m sure in some cases it still takes place. Honestly I can see how it still DOES happen.

The day that Harvey was buried… when we were all standing around the burial site at the cemetery. When everyone was done putting their roses onto his casket. I didn’t want to leave… I wanted to stay next to him. I couldn’t leave. Replace that with a pit of fire. If someone asked me to jump I probably would have (let the irrational behavior begin). Problem solved, no grief.

I’ve found my Psych class this semester to be really interesting. My professor is great and tells a lot of stories which makes it more enjoyable and relatable to your own life. So I have found myself figuring a lot of things out about my life.

We finished up the life span yesterday and talked about death. The stages that you go through when you die, grieving, mourning etc. Some of what I found really interesting was the stages of death and the fact that dying really starts with diagnosis – and the first reaction to the news. This really hit hard with me because I realized for the first time that when Harvey was diagnoses on February 23rd – that day he/we started the process of dying. I knew that day was the hardest day of my life and changed me forever and I’ll never forget sitting in the doctor’s office. I can still picture it perfectly clear. But at the time didn’t really look at it as the beginning of the end, but truthfully it was.

HERE is a clip on the stages of dying – with a funny twist.

Grief was discussed as well and defined as the emotional response to death. In definition: may take months or years to complete, uncontrolled crying, sleeplessness, irrational thoughts and behaviors. Wow – if I had only looked up this definition a year ago that would have really explained some of my actions. And when people ask why I can’t sleep – here’s the answer.

xo ALW

I Couldn’t Have Done it Without You

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you all so much. I’d like to thank all my friends and family who supported me along my journey…

Nope not my planned speech for when I win the Oscars some day. BUT it is how I feel about my Team in Training Fundraising. Last year I had an AH-Maze-ing turnout and raised over $4,000! Check it out HERE. I had some extra time to do it since I started training and fundraising with the fall team and then had to stop when Harvey had his relapse (oh yeah, and I got a stress fracture) .. but was able to carry over the funds and start out with a few dolla-bills when I officially began training with the summer team. THIS year I exceeded my goal again, in even a shorter amount of time. Up until last week I still needed a couple hundred extra bucks to meet my goal but everyone stepped up and came through and I am SO so thankful for every dollar that everyone donated. Now I can say that I’ve WE’VE all contributed over $7,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Proceeds from each Team in Training Chapter go towards local research and patient services. So the money that you are donating is helping out blood cancer patients in your own neighborhood.

July 2010 – about one month before Harv was admitted into the the hospital, finding out he needed a BMT – with a 50/50 survival rate

The reason that I got involved with TNT in the first place is because the ‘miracle drug’ Gleevec that Harvey was on, came from research and discoveries made through TNT fundraising – IN Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Chromosome which is the (bear with me as I use my super technical scientific terms) ‘messed up A-hole Chromosome’ that causes CML was discovered in Phila. If you really want to be smart you can read about it HERE – although I think my explaination is a lot better. At the time we thought Gleevec was going to be the little white $100/ pill that saved his life. And it was amazing, saves lives daily and let’s Leukemia patients live a healthy ‘normal’ lifestyle. However since he was diagnosed so late it was too late to go that route so we had to head towards a bone marrow transplant and all that detailed stuff that I talk about HERE.

Anyway… SO Team in Training does saves lives. ONE mile and ONE dollar at a time. And when you are running a marathon at mile 20 and you see someone holding up a sign that says “Thank you, you saved my daughter’s life” – there is no greater feeling on earth. Reasons why we run.