About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Live Like You Were Livin'

There's a popular Tim McGraw song called Live Like You Were Dyin'. The lyrics chronicle the thoughts of a man who's faced with a life-threatening diagnosis and explore the things he does in light of his impending early demise. His activities run the gamut from the extreme --skydiving and mountain climbing-- to the everyday mundane --being a better, kinder person and spending more time with his family. It's about living life to the fullest, and it makes me cry every time I hear it. It ends with the line:

Some day I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin'.

I'd never spent much time reflecting on those lyrics until recently. If you're anything like me, you probably get caught up in pleasant music and sing along at times without really noticing the actual words. Once I cued in to what I was actually saying a few days ago, I was struck, and for several different reasons.

For one, I can say with utmost honesty that I didn't even come close to understanding what those words meant until August 16, 2010. I think we all talk about not taking blessings for granted, taking time to smell the roses, and appreciating every moment we're blessed to enjoy here, but it's hard to do those things with a full heart when life is easy; when there's never been a major hurdle to scale or obstacle to overcome. When you've never had a chance to be truly triumphant over adversity of the worst kind. So yes, I can say that I understand, through our experience with Logan, what McGraw means when he sings about 'living like you were dying'. I've been doing that for a while now.

But now that things have shifted for us, I want to view it not as living like we're dying, but living like we're living. I guess I should explain this a little more. Our cold, hard reality is that we'll probably never enjoy the level of comfort with Logan's health that 99.9% of you enjoy with all of our little ones. That's simply one of the indelible side effects of his cancer. As a result, we can continue to live in the shadow of the spectre of what could happen --live like we're dying-- or we can opt to reside fully in the moment, cognizant and accepting of our blessings, without allowing the darkness of cancer to dampen our spirits. We can live like we're living. See the difference? We can live in fear of each MRI --and there will be many more to come in the future-- or we can choose to live in earnest, without fear and with as much joy as possible.

It sounds like it should be a simple choice to make; option B is by far the superior one of the two. But it's amazingly hard to commit oneself to that kind of life of faith. Because that's what it is: A full-on life of faith.

In hindsight, I probably should've started this entry by sharing today's MRI news, since not all of you are connected to me on Facebook. After a very long night followed by a torturous morning that led into a nailbiter of an afternoon, Philippa finally called Adam with the read at about 2, as interpreted by Dr. T and the neuro radiologist. The scan was stable, and showed no signs of active disease. It looks, as she told Adam, clean.

Although we might've preferred to see absolutely nothing out of the ordinary --no scar tissue, no remnant dead tissue-- she assured us that it's good news. As badly as I want to jump up and down over it, the past 10 months have made me a more cautious person, so I'm just quietly enjoying the sense of relief. He'll be put back on some oral chemo drugs in a few weeks once his platelets stabilize, not because there's anything visible, but as a just-in-case measure. And he'll continue with his BMT clinic visits and evaluations.

As for me, I'll be working on living like I'm living, having faith and being thankful. Please keep praying for Logan and for our family; his kind of cancer has a high rate of relapse, so we'll need continued protection from that well into the future. But today is still the start of a new life, a new perspective, a new sort of reality, and for those things, we are beyond thankful to God.


  1. I will keep you and you boy and the rest of your family in prayer!!! Glad the mri was clean!!

  2. Hey Sherry, it's Abbie (Baker) Lin. Jeni passed on the good news about Logan's scans, and so I did a quick Facebook search to see what you had said about it, and that led me here. I read the entries from the past couple of months, and...wow, I don't really know where to start. I'm so sorry I wasn't keeping up with Logan's cancer and what you have been going through, but now that I know you have this blog, I will definitely read back all the history and follow along. I'm a terrible Facebooker at the moment (for reasons related to mommyhood, graduate school, perfectionism, and the CIA -- yes, I'm serious, semi-long story...), but I'm much better at following blogs, and I wish I had realized this blog was here the whole time.

    I'm SO glad you got such amazing news about Logan, and while I'm sure you're still feeling very cautious, it still much be such a relief to take such a big, important step. Blah, I feel like that sounds so cliched, but I really, truly am happy to read about this milestone, especially as my own heart becomes heavy from reading what you, Logan, and the rest of your family have been through. I understand to some small degree about the roller coaster ride of hospital stays, the tedium, the routines that center around IVs and blood draws and daily doctor visits, the soaring hopes and the crushing disappointments; I have ulcerative colitis and have been through some pretty wretched ordeals myself. It's nothing even close to what Logan is going through, but I can vaguely imagine a small fraction of it. I'll be honest -- I can't think too hard about it, because I'm also a mom (Meghan is now 3, and my little guy, Alex, is 8 months), and...yeah, it's really hard to go there. My heart is breaking for you, and for Logan for having to be so, so, so sick.

    What I *can* say is that you are absolutely amazing, Sherry. I'm sure people ask you how you manage it all, and I would imagine that your answer is at least in part along the lines of "I do it all because I HAVE to; I have no choice. I can't just roll over and give up." That's how we -- people in general, and moms in particular -- face all of the difficulties and burdens we are presented with. But wow, between four children, one of which is a baby, and Logan's illness, you seriously have a TON on your plate, and you are absolutely incredible for managing it all (AND having the time and energy -- two things that are obviously in short supply for you right now -- to write about it, and so eloquently at that).

    I'll be honest: I'm not a religious person. My version of a prayer is more of a bubble of hope, so to speak, or a fervent wish from the depths of my heart. Maybe when it comes down to it, it's six of one and half dozen of another. Whatever the case may be, I absolutely will continue to wish hard for Logan's continued recovery; after reading any given entry in your blog, it's impossible not to renew this wish over and over. But beyond that, is there anything I can do to help you and your family? Is there something that you need, like care packages for Logan (or even for you!) or restaurant gift cards, or maybe things that money can't buy, but a fellow SAHM with more time on her hands can do for you? I know I'm terrible at accepting help from others -- I hate putting people out -- but I would imagine you know by now how much people really do want to help, even in the smallest of ways. If there's stuff you need, even if it's silly things that you may feel selfish mentioning, please say the word. I only wish I could do more.

  3. I am crying tears of great, great joy for your family, Sherry. You guys are all amazing to have gone through the last 10 months. I am incredibly grateful to Gd that He heard our prayers for Logan and we will continue praying that this evil doesn't EVER come back!!!

  4. SO HAPPY to hear about the "clean" MRI!! I completely understand why the reserved happiness, though, and will NOT stop praying well into the future. We want continued "clean" MRIs and a stable, fun life for Logan and your family!
    It is a big milestone and a relief to hear of the results, so no down-playing from me - I will praise God for it and ask for even more good news and physical improvements, etc, in the coming days, weeks, months, and years!
    We love you all so much and pray every single day.

  5. That is wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your family. I am so sorry that you have had to go through this ordeal and I hope that your life is much calmer going forward. Great news!

  6. Clean is wonderful. I hope and pray this is the new beginning for all of you.


  7. So happy to read the news about the "clean" MRI. Continuing to pray for you and your entire family.

  8. Amen, Sherry, Amen. Even those of us who haven't had a terribly sick child know what it's like to live in fear of something happening to one of our loved ones. I have often caught myself withdrawing from someone b/c I'm afraid of what might happen if I care too much. Thank you for putting faith into such encouraging, inspiring words. Thank you for reminding us that our Hope is in Someone who controls the things we can't control. Love you!!

  9. Thank you Sherry, for such an important reminder. So happy to hear his MRI brought good news!! Will continue the prayers.