Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas #2 without my Cashy.

Cashy- (sorry I wrote this yesterday and couldn't get it posted)

Its been so long that I've written you, that i'm worried i'm at some kind of writers block or something.   I feel terrible that I haven't written, please don't think i've forgotten about you, beacuse that is the opposite.  I think about you constantly, every second, minute and hour of the day, there isn't a time that goes by that you don't come across my mind.  

Questions that come across my mind such as, what would you be doing at this very moment?   We always think of you when something funny happens and we know you would of gotten a kick out of it.  We think of you when sissy is acting stubborn and we get these quick glimpses of you shining through her very own existance.  She resonates so much similarities with you that its so uncanny.  The way she yells at me "Noooo!"  It sounds just like you.  Sometimes I sit and hold her feet and hands and visualize that im holding you, this part of me wants you back so bad that at times I just pretend im holding you, just for a moment, it feels so right.  Sissy feels so right.  She is such a blessing to our family.  She keeps us grounded and keeps us going.  without her and Colten we would be a complete mess.  I know that your so proud of your baby sissy, I have a feeling you come to her and tell her things to do to be naughty.  I just know it.  

Alot has happened in the last few months.  I just finished up my 3 months of Labor and Delivery orientation. After being a nurse in the OB unit I finally got to finished up my oreintation (I had got into 8 of the 12 weeks of orientation when you were diagnosed with cancer in 2010, so my orientation was put on hold).  It seemed to have gone by so fast this time.  I did 8 weeks of day shifts and then back to my usual night shift for the remaining 4 weeks.  Im now a real labor nurse!  Its alot of information and liability, but I know I'll be really good at it once I get into the swing of things.  Ive learned alot thanks to my fabulous preceptors Kris and Jessica.  They showed me the ropes, and now im on my own.  My second night on my own (last night) I came onto shift and my patient had a precipitous delivery (meaning the baby came so fast the doctor couldnt' make it).  Thank god for the charge nurses to help me.  We had to deliver this baby without the doctor and sometimes it can get scary.  The baby did good though and everything was fine, after my adrenaline settled down.    

Some people ask me, how I am able to come to work and watch new babies be born and see all the happiness going on.  I think, why would I be saddened by peoples happiness and joy?  Seeing moms hold their new babies for the first time, and dads shedding tears when they hear that first cry, it gives me strength and hope, and makes me feel like there is good in the world.  But sometimes I also get that awful feeling in my stomach.  But to put that smile on my face it's easy, I did it three weeks after you died, but inside my head sometimes I'm screaming. I can't help but think will this child be one of the 46 children diagnosed a day with cancer someday? Will this baby live a full healthy life? 

Ive come to realize that you can't live life that way. Expecting the unexpected. Dreading the worst all the time. Thats no way to live and I know you wouldn't want me to either. But how can you continue to have a smile on your face and be happy when your insides are like hot lava ready to explode with grief at any moment. Cashy I hope you feel my never ending love and respect I have for you. You are truly my hero and I will forever be in your debt as you've taught me more in life than anything else in this world. You taught me strength, you've taught me unconditional love, you've taought me patience, and perseverence, you've taught me how to live life to its fullest and to never take one minute for granted. Its easy to do. You can get caught up in things that aren't important and when that happens I know your there to show me the right way.

We also shared our exciting new with the world that you are going to be a big brother again!  Hyde baby #4 will be due July 5th, 2014. Of course im thinking it will be june because you and sissy both came a month early. 4 babies, isn't that just plain crazy???!!  Im not to scared though because I've had three children to take care of when you were here, granted it was very very hectic taking care of your needs and a new baby, but this should be a peice of cake for us.  We found out on halloween (my birthday) that we were pregnant.  Want to know something else crazy, we found out we were prengant with you on halloween in 2007.  I didn't even realize that until Grandma Vickie pointed that out to me.  Something about that seems magical to me.  You arrived June 21st, 2008.  My summer solstice baby.  We are all very excited for the new addition, despite being constanty tired and neauseated alot, it is started to subside and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  

I never would of imagined having to send in a finalized copy of what we want on your tombstone. My own baby. The life I had given you, was so easily taken Away.  And now it forever engraved into a headstone. Your Birth and death date, with not enough time in between. It's so final and forever permanent. I looked it over 40 times, to make sure it was perfect.  I cried after I signed the peice of paper that makes your engravements on your tombstone permanent, I did that 2 months ago. I cried at the fact that your not even in Missoula for me to visit and see. Sometimes I get upset at the fact that I agreed to have your body laid to rest in Salt Lake City forever. I hope your not upset about that. And even creepier thought is that the other half of your tombstone belongs to people who aren't even gone yet. Like we're planning for them to die. Great Grandma and grandpa will be buried right next to you. So someday you'll have some company. Hopefully not to soon or anything. Look over and protect your grandparents for me would you. I know grandpa Jim is part cat and has 9 lives, but after 5 heart attacks and two quadruple bypasses, things can get a bit hairy now and then.   

We went to Salt Lake City for Thanksgiving this year mainly to see your nice and shiny tombstone.  Its beautiful.  I cried seeing it, and I cried as the reality of it sunk it.  That your gone, and this peice of stone is all thats left to represent your earthly body.   We had a great time in Salt Lake visiting family and goarding ourselves with Grandma's delicous cooking.    Grandpa Jim seems to be declining in his health,  he even took a fall on the concrete outside and was so stubburn that he wouldn't even go to the hospital to get checked out.  He reminds me alot of you.  How you were so stubborn and set in your ways,  you guys are spitting images of eachother.  Grandma told us Grandpa has a really hard time going up to see your tombstone.  She said he instantly starts to bawl and she thinks he feels guilty that your gone and hes still here.  It breaks my heart that he feels that way.  But its true, little boys shouldn't die before their great grandparents.   

Sissy pulled out your bin of mAtchbox cars the other day and today we pulled out your big lego blocks, sissy loved them. I stumbled upon the cars and had a minor break down knowing that it wasn't you that pulled out those cars to play with. I wish it was. I'm still counting on waking up from that bad never ending dream that I'm in. The one where you died. What a fucked up dream....when you just can't wake up no matter how loud you scream. Can this really be reality? A reality without my boy, my heart? I don't even know how my blood can circulate. Am I even alive?

I had the most awful dream the other week.  I literally woke up crying and shaking.  I dreamed that I was holding you while standing, you were so weak and frail.  So much more sick in this dream than you ever were in real life here with us.  I was holding you and pleading with Mike that we must do something.  We must save him, I kept saying.  I remember telling your daddy about a drug they use for brain tumors called Avastin.  its not a chemo, but it somehow slows down the blood flow in the blood vessels that feed the tumor.  This drug was presented to us when you were diagnosed the third time, Dr. Bruggers offered avastin and tomodor to try to buy us more time.  We declined and thought that we had this in the bag using cannabis oil, a organic whole food diet, jucing and every natural supplement god made.  Boy were we wrong.  So in my dream Im pleading with Mike to let us try this new drug on his while continuing to use high dose cannabis oil.  I was crying, I kept saying I couldn't let you die, that we needed to save you.  I woke up in tears, greatful that I was able to hold you and thankful that you were never nearly as sick as you were in this dream, but shaken by the reality of the dream.  The reality that your are already gone, and there is nothing more we can ever do to save you.  Your gone. 

Big brother Colty's christmas concert was last week.  He did so good singing up there, he looked so handsome.  It was bittersweet seeing all the cute children singing and dancing.  But it also brought so much raw emotion to my heart seeing the little kindergartners getting up there and stuttering their words as they sing the songs they worked so hard on to remember.  You belong up there singing and dancing to.  I couldn't help but feel a sting of jelously and resentment seeing them.  I miss having you here.  I miss so much about our life with you.  This new life without my baby boy is so hard.  

The anniverary of your death was hard.   Its so hard to believe that you've been gone a year already.   We had a nice get together at our house with family and friends in celebration of the life you had and shared with us.  Daddy ordered a 15 pound prime rib from Diamond Bar meats.  We hardly ever eat meat but if we do its Diamond Bar meat or Elk meat.  Yumm, they lather the meat in this delicous seasoning thats to die for.  So many people recognized your life that day, we had letters, messages, flowers were sent, cards.  Everyone was so amazingly kind.  I wish we were celebrating another Cancer free Cashy party instead of your deathiversary.   Its all so surreal.  That your gone and never coming back.  So we had a fire in the teepee in the backyard and then we lit off some of those chinease floating lanterns that we ordered for your birthday but were unable to light off then as it was way to windy in San Francisco (Im really not a huge fan of that cold windy place, ill stick to my roots here in Missoula.  Is it ever nice weather in actual San Francisco???), we lit off around 20 of them and it was beautiful!  Im pretty sure you were there guiding the lanterns to safety so we wouldn't burn down Pattee Canyon!  I hope you felt the love that everyone has for you buddy.  You are so loved and greatly missed.

I came across some of your old shoes the other day.  Tears instantly filled my eyes, but a smile came across my face.  I miss little boy shoes, little boy clothes, and most of all my little boy.  there were your monster booties and your crocs you high jacked without me knowing from Bob wards our local sporting good store.  Thats a great memory of you, even though you are now labeled a "shoplifter," haha.   I was pushing you around in the cart and I stopped to look at the crocs because you sure loved those kinds of shoes.  You nonchelauntly grabbed a pair (somehow your perfect sized pair) and took your shoes off and threw them down and put the new ones on without me even noticing until we got home.  I was to embarresed to take them back, plus I knew you'd be mad If I did.  Sorry Bob Wards,  its your karma I guess for firing me when I worked there in highschool and had to miss a saturday shift because I had a soccer game.  Hello priorities!  

A couple weekends ago we threw a fundraiser for a little girl named Aleisa Snow.  Shes almost 2 years old and is battling neuroblastoma.  We had a spaghetti feed, silent auction and Jewel Marie Photography took professional photos with Santa Clause for a donation.  This was our first spaghetti feed/auction that we've thrown for a family on our own.  We weren't prepared the best but it all worked out and we raised $2100.00 dollars for her and her family so they could have a wonderful stress free christmas.  It sure felt good to know we were helping a family in need just like we were helped when we were in need nearly 4 years ago and everyone came to our rescue.  I knew your were proud of us all for coming together to help a family in need.  Thanks to everyone who donated items, who donated their time and energy, we couldn't of done it without all of you.  

Daddy showed up with a new puppy about 7 weeks ago.  Hes a english bulldog and the cutest most well behaved thing ever.  We named him Bruce.  and when you say Bruce, you have to say it like the shark in the movie finding nemo......"Hello, my name is Br--uce!"    I knew you would like that!  The name fits him well.  We had a slow start with potty training and he kept insisting on pooping in sissy's room on her pink shag rug.  I almost had a nervous break down about all the poop and he must of caught on because he hasn't really had any accidents since, and that was around 3 weeks ago!  He was initially sleeping in his kennel at night, well daddy fell for his whining and let him sleep on the couch, now he thinks the couch is his perch and insists on sleeping on the couch all day long. Its pretty cute, thank god though that he can't get on our bed!  he's to short to jump up!  The other day he had a stand off with the doe in the back yard and he pretty much won.  He ran that deer right out of our yard.  Hes becoming quite the guard dog!

So now were gearing up for Christmas eve at our house with the whole (both sides) family coming to celebrate tonight.  Its hard to think about how everyone will be together and having a care free fun night but you won't be there to celebrate with us.  To open presents.  Your last christmas alive we spent it in loma Linda California while you had to undergo 30 radiation treatments day after day for 6 weeks.  You were so brave and strong.   I've never known anyone stronger than you.  Your strength and perseverance amazed me everyday, its still does to this day.  Im so thankful that we have have the memories we have that last christmas with you.  Missoula came together for us and got us a hotel suite for 2 nights with a christmas tree in the room waiting with ornaments to decorate.   We snuck out of the ronald mcdonald house without actally "checking out" (which is a big no no, but it was a huge process to get checked back in once checked out), and enjoyed the four of us (and sissy in my belly), we actually went back christmas eve to the ronald mcdonald house where a nice family put on christmas eve dinner for all the families, it was beautiful.  You boys were able to actaully decorate a tree that year and it meant alot to us, more than anyone will ever know.  Thank you to everyone who helped put that on for us.  We truly appreciated it so much and still do to this day. 

I can't help but wonder what you would be into this year. Would it still be matchbox cars? Would it be trains?  Would it be army guys, or star wars characters?  Would it be playdough still?  Or Toy story??  Or would you have found a new fascination now as a 5 and a half year old boy?   I can't help but wonder.  I miss you buddy.  I miss you so much its hard to even put into words the pain I feel everyday in my heart without you.  I lost a son, my baby, my second born....to brain cancer.  who would of ever thought this would be my path in life, that losing my love of my life would mold me into the person I am today.  I would of never imagined this life for myslef  or my family but Im truly greatful for the time we've spent with you even though it was short, it was sweet and amazing.  I love you to the moon and back Cashy, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever.  I hope your opening presents up in heaven and having a huge celebration with all the other little boys and girls who've been taken to soon.   I long to see you and hug you in my dreams again.  I love you.  

Merry Christmas to everyone who's been a part of our journey the past almost 4 years, we are truly blessed to have met so many inspirational and amazing people throught this journey.  We couldn't thank you all enough for everything you all have done.  We love you all. One love.

Our friends and family in Salt Lake City were able to get enough donations of toys to take 100 bags of toys and two new reggae runner trucks to primary children's hospital and the Shriners hospital in honor of our sweet Cashy.  We are truly blessed that people are still taking action and honoring our sweet boy and his legacy.  We love you all.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summer is over, school is in full swing, Mike Hyde for Missoula Mayor!

Most people probably don’t know this, but September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.

The color of Pediatric Cancer Awareness is GOLD, just like the color for breast cancer awareness is PINK.
To me, every month is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, it doesn't change. This will forever be my life since that 3rd day of May 2010 when our lives forever changed. You were 22 months old laying frail and weak across my lap in my arms as we heard from the ER doctor the most deafening and mind numbing words any parent could hear, “I’m so sorry, your son has a 4.5cm mass in his brain.” It bears repeating because just–like- that, our lives were changed forever.

That day forever changed us, not just as parents, but also as genuine human beings. Daddy and I are changed for the better. We are aware, we are dedicated and determined, and we are ready to wage this war on our nation’s terrorist…cancer. It doesn’t even deserve a capital letter.
I see grief as this endless ocean of my life. I will always live in grief, I will swim in grief, I will breath grief, and it will never go away. I learned to cope with this, in a sense. Daddy’s grief and sadness is mirrored to my sadness, only Daddy and I truly know what it’s like to love you, and to lose you all at the same time. He knows that emptiness feeling in my heart that I feel constantly, endlessly. I will always have that hole and that feeling that something is missing, because truly it is. You’re missing. Acknowledging that living without you is sometimes easier than it was living with the thought of losing you. If that makes sense in a twisted, messed up sense of reality that I live in.

 I know to the parent of healthy children they probably find my continuous, nonstop push for Pediatric Cancer Awareness a lot to put up with. I know it’s hard to see my posts and think; damn this could happen to my child any day, any second. I know it’s probably disturbing to see the pictures of all the children affected by this horrendous disease. But this is REALITY! This CAN happen to your child too. If they don’t like my continuous influx of knowledge and the facts, well Cashy, they can delete me, un-friend me, block me, hell, never talk to me again---not very many people do anyways. If they don't want to help me be an advocate for our children, well I don't want them as friends then. So I’m not ashamed, I’m not afraid of what people think of me, I’m not one to just sit back and continue to watch children suffer. I hate that hundreds and thousands of families that feel the exact way Daddy and I feel about losing you, as they do their child. Pediatric cancer is literally the number one killer in children under the age of 15. Every 5.7 minutes somewhere in the world parents are holding their baby while they take their last breath, because of cancer. This is unacceptable. These children are our future. They’re our future doctors, our future scientists, our future teachers and architects; they are our policemen and our firefighters. These children don’t even get a chance to live a whole healthy life. Only 3% of cancer funding for research is given to pediatric cancer! 3%! That’s shit. That’s fucking ridiculous. The chemotherapies they offer our children are from 1974!!! Before I was even born! They used these treatments on you and I didn’t even know how outdated they were till I dug deep. That’s the best they have to offer our children, chemotherapy from the 70’s! Over 40 year’s ago! They can put a man on the moon, they can have drones that fly bomber planes, they have Google glasses that do god knows what and more technology than you can shake a stick at, and yet were still pumping poison from the 70’s into our children as viable treatment options???? And the President can’t even be considerate enough to light the white house GOLD in honor of all these children who fight and that have fought so hard to live, even after the petition was signed by over 50 thousand people. It sickens me. Obama sickens me. Obama you’re sick. I bet if one of his daughters developed a cancer, there would be top of the line treatment ASAP, or actually they would probably skip the chemo and use cannabis oil, since they are the ones withholding a natural nontoxic plant as the cure to cancer. They do hold the patent to cannabis as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant, and now they have patented it as an anti tumor. That's right, the government does have the cure, but eff our children who are dying...Keep the weed illegal right??? Well we all know it’s all about big pharma and their quest to make as much money as they can off of our children and loved ones. But I’ll leave my political views out of this one. Now I'm on one, and pissed. 

I hope you know that we tried so hard to give you happiness and the best life you could possibly have. We tried so hard. I hope you know that even though your life was cut short, every morning and every night, you woke up and went to bed showered in kisses, hugs and more love than any family could give a little monkey boy like you. I kissed that soft fuzzy head of yours every chance I had. To the point where you would smack me sometimes and say, “momma!”

I read a quote from another mom of a cancer child, she said, "You know your child is sick when you’re jealous of another kid’s cancer." Boy isn't that the truth. The fact is though; all cancers come with differences and different survival rates. We all know brain tumors are the worst of the worst, but all cancers have death rates and some are more deadlier than others. But I often caught myself saying, “geez why couldn't you have had leukemia or a lymphoma cancer, why did it have to be brain?” Thinking like that only will drive you to the crazy farm and reality is cancer sucks no matter what, there is no EASY cancer. Cancer isn't about cute bald headed kids and constant opening of presents, it isn't about cute St Jude's commercial with kids dancing and having the time of their lives. It’s not. It’s blood, sweat, tears--IV's, Brain surgery, gtubes, Centrals lines, MRI's, Stem cell transplants, methotrexate, vincristine, vomiting, nose bleeds, gtube infections, a box full of prescription medication you needed daily just to survive, and those toxic chemicals slowly dripping into your blood. It’s wearing double nitrate gloves when changing your pee diapers so I wouldn't come into contact with the chemo urine, the chemo that is so toxic that a normal healthy person can't even touch, but they're dripping this stuff into your central line??? How did I even survive all of that, actually the real question is how did YOU survive all of that???? Hmmm well, you didn't, but you did.

These pictures above are just a glimpse of what you went through during brsin surgery and radiation. It hurts my heart even seeing these. Let alone building them.

It's sad how when life throws such wild curveballs such as a death of a child, things around you that used to be "normal" things to do, just aren't normal anymore. We don't get those invitations to little kids birthday parties like we used to, we don't get calls for play dates, or get together at the children's museum. Do people think we just stay shackled up inside all day? No I don't. I still have two children who play, who run, who color, who play with playdough, who bounce on trampolines, who eat cake and make messes. We still do all these things, just without you Cashy. And we do them alone, cuz that's how it is now. Sometimes it would just be nice to load up in the car and drive to a friends house for a cup of coffee and just some friendly chatter as the kids play in the back. But there's really no one to do this with as all my close friends either have moved away or the ones that are here, just are too busy. It's understandable. I'm a busy person too. Cooking, cleaning, working full time on the night shift, breastfeeding, working out (if I'm lucky), trying to blog every once in awhile. It doesn't leave much time for me time and that's ok, I signed up for this motherhood/wife thing over 9 years ago when we found out we were going to be having a baby at the ripe ol' age of 21. Maybe I need a girl’s night out! :)
Your brother is going to be 9 years old next Saturday! 9, I can't believe that. It makes me seem so old!! I will never forget that day we found out we were going to be parents. Boy was it a shocker! I was still in nursing school with one semester to go. Daddy got a working mans job right away at the mill shoveling saw dust, just so we could afford our own home (or pay half the rent as my dad helped us on the other half while I was still in school, thank god for that Dad, it helped us out so much, I credit us still being together because of that---when money is tight and your a young couple it puts a lot of stress on a relationship).  

Daddy was so proud when he held little Colten John for the first time. Man that seems like so long ago. I can't believe we've been parents 9 years now! It's definitely been a bumpy road. We didn't gain alot of our knowledge on parenting until you and cancer came along. It really put things into perspective for us. Thank you Cashy for making us the parents and people we are today. You've changed so many lives in your short stay on this earth.
I've been having a hard time lately with the fact that you've been gone nearly 10 months now. It's so close to a year that I'm speechless and nauseated at the thought of celebrating your deathaversary. I want to plan something fun and exciting to celebrate your life and all you've done for our family. My wheels are turning and I hope to come up with an idea for a celebration of your life soon.
Your tombstone is almost complete. Thanks to the Mason Kane foundation they donated 500 dollars to getting your engraving done, we now only need around 1800 dollars and we are getting close. We're hoping to have it up on your gravesite by your death date of end of November.
August was a crazy month!! After driving to Olympia WA for Hempseed 2013, two weeks later we drove to Seattle to run a booth at the largest Hemp Fest in the US. Large was an understatement. They estimated around 500 thousand people! This event stretched out over 2.5 miles along the rocky beach. I couldn't even make it to the end because there were so many people and trying to maneuver a shitty stroller with an unruly toddler screaming in it was extremely hard!! Thank god for the VIP tents that the speakers got to go back and chill out in. If they didn’t have these tents, I probably would have freaked out the second day! Lol. Sissy was so busy into everything and everywhere and wouldn't sit in her stroller. So it was nice to have a place to go and sit back and breastfeed her so she could take a nap! Also we met some pretty cool people back there too!  Our booth was placed right over the back of the ocean with tons of sharp pointy rocks that lead down to the shore, of course Sissy wanted to play back there and it kept me in a constant panic mode that she was going to fall off the rocky edge to her death. Ugh!! 

(Steve D'Angelo owner of harbor side Health care) 

      Mikey and weed man

This guy was giving out free kisses and hugs and had a woman's leopard print bra on...... I don't know!! :/
Thank God for our amazing friends Amanda and Nick who drove us all in the suburban and put up with our messy kids just to help us out!! Mikes cousin Billy came and helped out too!! It was soooooooo busy.  Billy really was on a roll at telling your story and helping advocate our cause.  Having to tell your story over and over and over really weighed on me a lot. It was exhausting. We raised a lot of awareness and tons of people now know your story and the battle you put forth, that was our ultimate goal!   

Billy and Amanda rockin' the booth! 

(That's Jorge Cervantez) Nick and Mikey. 

We even donated two of the new Reggae runner Trucks to Seattle Childrens Hospital that sunday morning with Serena Haskins with Sonshine Organics and her crew.  What a beautiful hostpial and cancer unit they have.  I was really impressed and couldn't help but question if maybe you had went to Seattle instead of Salt Lake, maybe you would still be here. But  doing that to myself only drives me crazyier.
Daddy did three speeches at Hemp Fest! He's amazing at giving a speech about you and your battle. Every time I watch him I'm amazed at how well he does and how well he can articulate. I'm not one for speeches; I get all nervous, sweaty and say umm a lot. I’ll keep to blogging! Lol. Go Daddy!

We stayed in a Hostel in China Town while in downtown Seattle, as all the hotels were over $200 a night; it was Interesting to say the least. All 7 of us had our own bunk bed! It was like being at soccer camp! Lol. Except I had a baby on my boob all night.
Three full days of Hemp Fest was a lot of work and a blast at the same time!! We can’t wait to go back next year and we will be running a pancake stand along with it next year!! It'll be so fun! Thank you everyone who made us feel so welcome!
Colty started up school again last week. He's a big 3rd grader now. I took him on his first day along with Sissy and he was so nervous. On our way he goes, "Oh man, I'm so nervous I'm gonna puke!" He didn't though! Of course he hasn't said anything much about it when he gets home besides that he doesn’t have homework and that he had a good day. I'll take it I guess. That kid is more concerned about hunting season starting up today than anything else! Guess what he wanted for his birthday, now I don't think he's even a normal kid, he wanted hunting boots! Crazy kid. He was even going to buy them with his own wad of money but I told him that we would cover it. Lol. He's a character!
That first day of school I was feeling so sad, sad because I knew if you were here it would of been the day you got to start kindergarten (well if we would of let you go). We lined up on the playground in the designated number for each class. I saw all the little kindergarteners all lined up with their backpacks on and their big grins on their faces, like it was the best day of their lives. It hurt. It hurt my heart, and deep down in my soul. I had to hold back the tears and be strong. You were robbed of a normal healthy life. It was stolen from you by that nasty disease cancer. I fucking hate you cancer. And I hate the word hate, but there is nothing on this earth that I hate more than cancer and it deserves the word hate more than anything.
Last year I’ll never forget the day we went to head start to sign you up for preschool. You were so excited. You brought your Buzz Light Year backpack with a notebook and some markers. You sat and played with these building blocks on the floor while I talked with the teacher, told her my concerns and your abilities. You were so full of life and energy that day, I was so happy for you. That you were actually excited to go to school and be a big boy and experience things kids that aren't sick get to experience. 

 We thought you were cured, that you overcame the tumor reoccurrence and you were finally getting on with life and putting sickness behind you. We had you up to 26 pounds finally! You were 26 pounds at your 18 month check up before cancer and 2 1/2 year later, chemo, radiation, life support---you were finally 26 lbs. again and you had some chub in your cheeks. We were so thrilled with your progress. There was no way you were ever going to have to battle for your life again. So we thought. I was so wrong. I'm so sorry; I'm so so so sorry buddy. I hope you can forgive me for what we put you through. I'm just so sorry we couldn't save you. My heart aches to hear your giggle, to feel your hand in mine, to snuggle you close. I miss everything about you and it's not getting any easier.
We went camping last weekend for Labor Day, up to the same spot we went last year, that was your last camp trip with us. :( We roughed it for 3 nights. We had a great time, no cell phone service, no Facebook.  Just the middle of the woods! No people around us! Mike set up his hunting camp and did some scouting and we had a bunch of friends up to have a good time, laugh, talk, and sit around a beautiful fire pit! Amanda and nick even had a cook tent set up so we had a place to cook and wash dishes, our camper and their camper, plus 3 tents set up, and a full on shower tent!! Let me tell you that was nice to have a nice hot shower during the middle of camping!  
                Beautiful sis
       Heather and Tony
         Hunting camp 2013

  Amanda shooting her bow

     Baby soul in his cocoon
Sis running wild 
Casey's sister Sarah and her boyfriend Ivo came up for the last night of camping.  Ivo is from Cameroon, he shot a gun for the first time in his life and also went swimming for the first time!! It's crazy how we take the littlest thing like swimming in a river for granted. 
So daddy has taken it upon himself with the help and support of his family and good friends to run for Mayor of Missoula. He's so dedicated to this and has put his whole heart and soul into this so far!! We just received all the yard signs and handouts and now we’re getting busy starting off his campaign. He's had some really promising meetings with high up people and well let's just say he's got a really good chance at blowing this out of the water!! I know Mikey can do anything he puts his heart into. He will do it and he will do it better times twenty. He's been working on speeches and questioners he's been receiving, going and giving speeches and answering question, talk radio shows etc. He's been one busy guy lately! You would be so proud of him! I know you’re with him every step of the way. He will win and he WILL change Missoula for the better. I know it. It's just what our town needs. Some change in the right direction. Our current mayor of Missoula doesn't have children. We need an advocate for our children, we need to quit feeding our children Sysco food for lunch at school, and we need to better our school lunch programs so our kids are taught the right way to eat, to prevent obesity, to prevent diabetes, to prevent cancers. We need to educate our Children on how to eat properly. To know what's good for you and what isn't. Our kids need to know that hot dogs are not good for us. That soda pop and chips are not good for us. Kids don't know these things and its up to us as a town, as parents and citizens to change and better our children so they can grow to be healthy stand up adults.


I came across a Facebook page of another little boy fighting cancer.  The mother posted a picture of a cart full of groceries for their son with cancer because he's on a protocol where he recieves high doses of steroids. Steroids make these kids hungry like no other, I mean these kids will eat anything. They're hungry! Which is good, but it often makes them balloon up like the Pillsberry dough boy.  Anyways her cart was full of junk food!! For her kid with cancer; cookies, candy, chips, lunchables.  I couldn't believe it.  Everyone knows sugar helps grow cancer.  Preservatives grow cancer, foods like this is terrible for anyone but especially for your kid with cancer.  But people don't know these things and the dieticians at the hospitals don't teach you these things either. That's why it's important to educate people about healthy ways of eating and living. Here is the pic below.  

                Oh man
Well Cashy I must go. I just want you to know that I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever. I hope your safe and watching over your big bro and baby sis. Please protect them. I love and miss you monkey man.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Grief--- it's what's for dinner, every night.

I miss you.  I miss every little thing about you; my heart literally aches without you. I wish this was all just a bad bad dream, and that I will wake up soon.
I miss your sweet baby voice saying "I yuv you momma," I miss pretending your little feet were stinky and going, "pewwwwww" and hearing your deep belly laugh as I pulled your foot away.   I do that with sissy now and she thinks it’s soooooo funny, just like you did---I almost feel like I'm betraying you when I do it to her though, but it also reminds me of you and I love thinking of you every chance I get.   

It's just so hard to believe that you’re gone, that you just fell asleep in daddy's arms and your sweet little innocent heart just stopped beating.  It makes me nauseated to even think about it.  
Why is that when death strikes a family, well in your case an innocent little boy, why is that all the support/friendship you had before, just seems to be gone, or just dissipates into thin air. Like the drama is over. Friends no longer want to tell you things or "talk", the late night chats, the emails, the messages, the visits. I couldn't even tell you the last time I got a phone call, an actual phone call. It just seems like everyone has forgotten or moved on or they have their own lives. I know that's alright and I'm not trying to be ungrateful or unappreciative, it just hurts and it’s lonely. I know it is what it is. I get that. I'm a busy person too. I could make calls too, and I don't. I just see how it is through my eyes, like I'm looking through a mirror of ugliness.  That's what I see; I see a tired, old, wrinkly girl who used to be bubbly, kind, cute and loved everybody. I understand that nobody wants to be around an ugly, sad, empty vessel with molasses like blood.  
These eyes are now eyes of a mother who's lost a son, their cold and empty. These eyes have seen things that no mother should ever have seen. I have this thick black blood circulating through my body.  It leaves you numb.  I am a mother who has buried her soul twelve feet in the ground, a mother whose heart was buried when her baby was buried. A mother who’s lost a baby to cancer and a whole lot of friends in the process.  And maybe these friends aren't lost, maybe it's the grief, nobody likes to be around someone who's constantly talking about their dead child.
It's probably deafening. But I will never stop.  I will never stop telling your story because as in a quote I read which really touched my heart, it said, "We all die, the goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." I like that and when I read it, it makes me cry because I know that's what we have to do, create your destiny, so you will be known forever for the star that you are and the fight that ou put forth.

We held the viewing of the documentary you starred in, American Drug Wars 2, Cannabis Destiny in Missoula on July 25th.  It was so great to have so many friends and family come and support you and the foundation.  It was a great turnout and there were at least a couple hundred people!  Family came from out of state and out of town.  Thanks to Amanda, Nick, Helen, Sara and Benji for helping out again by running the table for us! You guys rock!  
 I was a little bummed that only 1 of my co-workers came to see it though. I shouldnt complain though because my co workers have been amazing with donations and support throughtout your whole battle, we wouldn't have made it as far as we had without all the support.  It was a good time and it was good to get together with some friends I haven't seen or hung out with in a really long time.  Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their evening to come and cheer on our main man Cashy and support the Cash Hyde Foundation.  Each and everyone one of you, we thank you for supporting us from the beginning, Cashy is truly changing the world and we couldn't do it without all of your support. 

We floated the Alberton Gorge
with Uncle Joey and Brittney last week on Daddy and I's, 6th year wedding anniversary.  We've now been together almost 13 years! That's amazing considering all the things we've been through with you, with our relationship, sooooo much shit, that the odds for most couples wouldn't be good. We've had our fair share of difficulties but we've seem to overcome them as the days go on.   

We left Sissy at home for this float, as it can be a tad dangerous in some spots.  The rapids were a blast!  We got on the river late, as when Joe and I went to drop off the pick-up car, an old man had a flat tire and even his spare tire was flat, so we had to give him a ride to Superior to fill up his tire.  We didn't get back on the river until 4, it made for a chilly float but the guys caught tons of fish!!!  Colty was in fishing heaven!  He caught pretty much every single fish that was caught that day!  Here's a pic of Colty with his first and biggest fish caught! He was so proud of himself!  The rivers are so low now, that the rapids weren't what they usually are. But we still had a blast and Mike rowed us through like a pro!  Brittney and I sat up front and got soaked every single time the waves hit us!  Burr!  We didn't end up getting off the river until 9pm!!! 


I see all these families who have foundations for their children who've passed---Maya Thompson, she has so much support it’s insane, yet amazing.  She has offers for help constantly, they have strangers putting on events, and they have men biking across the country in Ronan's name.  Cashy what is it that we have to do to get your story out there into the mainstream (more mainstream than you already are) and have the influx of support that they have??? Maybe it's because Taylor Swift wrote a song for Ronan? Maybe it's because Brett Michael's wears a Ronan wrist band? What do we have to do to take your foundation and your legacy to the next level? We just need that next push.  We've had tremendous amount of support over the years and its been so amazing, before and after your passing, we are so thankful and blessed and couldn't be more ecstatic about how many people love you and have heard of your story.  We've also had that tremendous support walk away sometimes too.  I don't know, but I do know we need to find a way to have your story really get out there and make it a possibility for other children fighting cancer and battling a battle for their life…Because kids can't fight cancer alone, we know that.  More parents and kids need to know your story.  It could change their battle significantly.
I'm sitting here holding my really good friend Brooke and Casey's newborn baby while mom sleeps for a couple hours. Soul O'rion entered the world at 3:50 am on July 30th. 3 hours before his scheduled c/s, after mom’s water broke! I was lucky enough to be working that night and I was prepared and brought our nice Cannon camera and I labeled myself as the "birth photographer."  I got so many awesome pictures of the delivery and after when mom is holding him for the first time.  I felt so proud to be a part of such a fun amazing time in our friend’s lives!!!  It’s a plus of being my friend, and having a baby; I get to be your nurse and take care of you, plus photograph your birth!!! haha. 

As I hold him and look into his innocent eyes I can't help but think back to when I had you and held you for the first time.  You were the cutest little monkey boy ever, hairy ears, hairy back, you had black hair clear down to your eyebrows. Funny story...You were a month early and because of your gestation and your weight (5lbs 5 oz.) you required blood sugar checks before feedings.  Well the morning after your delivery the nurse came in to check your blood sugar and she goes, "is it OK if I P-O-K-E (spelling it out) baby?"  Colty, with a stark surprised look on his face turns to the nurse and goes (in this cute 3 year old voice) "don't pee on my baby OK?."  Bahahaha we all started cracking up, it was so funny.  Because she spelled out poke, he heard the "P" and though she was asking if she could pee on the baby. Oh man, that was funny.  I actually have it on video as well.  It's so cute.  Colty was such a proud big brother. He didn't want anyone peeing on his baby brother. 

Colty told me yesterday that he was "Soooo stressed out," I asked him why he was stressed out, and he goes, "well, I'm not used to not having a brother, I've always had a brother, and now with baby Soul being born, he reminds me of Cashy so much, and they keep dressing him in monkey clothes and it makes me sad,"...I got sad listening to him open up.  It’s a very rare occasion that he opens up like that and shares his feelings.  I said, "I know buddy, I miss your brother so much too, but you still have a brother, he’s just an angel watching over you now."  I wasn't sure what else to say.  Poor guy.  He also has asked me now 3 times what your body looks like in its coffin.  Its morbid to even think, but I didn't have the answer to that.  I'd like to think that your still as perfect looking as you were the day we buried you. Im not sure why he thinks of these things.  Its hard for him.  He misses you so much.  I assured him that you weren't even in that body anymore, I told him that your in his heart every minute of every day.  Thats the best answer I can give him, because I still have so many unanswered questions myself.

The birth of a baby; be it a friends, a close family member whoever it is, it really changes things for everyone. The siblings, the new mom or dad, life changes at that moment of their birth, you form this unconditional love that you've never felt before.  Only holding your baby in your arms can give you that feeling.  Now imagine holding that baby while he's taken his last breath in life and holding his lifeless body in your arms.  Cashy, I carried you in my belly for a little over 8 months; you've now been gone almost 9 months.  I carried you in my womb, I held you proudly after your birth and I wept with all my heart holding you after your death.  its a spiritual awakening for everyone who experiences the loss of a child.  The overwhelming feeling of grief is so literally breath taking.  Sometimes I feel as I can't breath thinking of all the pain and heartache you endured.  It's surreal to me that it's been that you've been gone so long. It seems like yesterday but it also feels like an eternity. We're closer to a year now and it scares me more than anything.

We traveled all the way to Olympia Washington this past weekend to attend The SonShine Organics Hempseed 2013.  We borrowed Casey and Brooke's minivan and cruised like the road warriors that we are.  We arrived Friday night just before midnight; it was nearly 3 when we left Missoula.  We arrived to the SonShine Organics campus and they had a nice living area and bedroom for us to stay in for the weekend.  We finally got to meet Sarena Haskins, a huge Cashy fan and supporter throughout your battle.  She is such a kind/sweet woman with a heart of gold. 

For some reason it felt like I had literally met her before.  You know when you have that feeling like you've been there before in another world or another life?  I don't know, it’s hard to explain.  But it felt like family and it was great to finally meet them all!  Sarena's daughter Hannah battled wilm’s tumor, (it’s a type of cancer) when she was 4 years old.  She’s' now almost 14 years old and is doing great.  Colty even had a little crush on her.  He told me he asked her for a kiss on the cheek and when he went in for it, he snuck one on the lips…my little Casanova!  haha.  I'm going to have to watch that kid closely.

The event was the next morning and people started piling in around 9 am.  The event lasted all day long. There were speakers, Mike did a speech of course, (I chickened out, yes I know, I'm not a speaker, I'm a writer, lol), there were different collectives there, there was a magician for the kids, art projects, snow cones, glass blowing, they did a nice memorial for Cashy at the end, then for the finale’ there was a acrobatic gal and some people who did fire baton twirling, and fire blowing!  It was pretty darn cool, and the whole family had a great day!  It was so much fun~!! We were so glad we were able to make it!!  Thanks SonShine Organics for having us out and showing us a great time!  You guys are so awesome!! :)

On the way home Colten kept hounding us to take him to Triple Play, in Hayden Idaho.  So we rented a hotel (total rip off, they wanted 220 dollars but we talked them down to 150), and then we find out the water park bands aren’t included in the room rate anymore like they used to.  So 60 more bucks to swim in the water park for an hour.  We decided to just sneak in and not pay unless we got caught (ya I know, bad karma but seriously 60 bucks to go swimming for an hour in water that is so chlorinated that it burns your eyes even opening them???)  We were literally there 40 minutes and left because our eyes were burning out.  I definitely wouldn't recommend Triple Play anymore.  Not worth the funds.  This pic was taken at triple play a couple months before you were diagnosed. You had so much fun swimming.

Childhood cancer.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not glamorous.  It’s not all rainbows and butterflies; it’s not about cute little kids with shiny bald heads.  Childhood cancer is scary, it’s dark, it ruins families, and it takes away those everlasting permeating smiles children are supposed to have. It bleeds bright red blood onto your brand new clean white sheets of life, not looking back at the utter terror and insanity it leaves behind. Childhood cancer is portrayed wrong is so many ways, and it’s all inaccurate.  I know what this beast called childhood cancer is and I know what it can do.  I hope I’ve portrayed over these past 3 years what cancer does to our children, how it leaves them bruised, battered, skinny, pale, weak, scarred, and the odds are that most of these children are being murdered every day by this horrible life-ruiner, CHILDHOOD CANCER.  I want people to see, I want people to realize that it could be their child next and its not a joke.

Cancer isn't racist, it doesn't care if you’re black or white, Asian or Hispanic, it doesn't care if you’re a newborn baby boy, or a 6 year old little girl, it doesn't care, it doesn't discriminate.  It could be your family next.  Are you prepared?  Would you be ready if it did happen?  I know these are all things a parent doesn't want to even think about.  But its reality and everyday 46 children are diagnosed and 7 of them will die, just like you did sweet Cashy.  You fought so hard, you loved life more than anyone I knew.  You wanted nothing more than to get on your bike and ride down the street like your big brother does.  But Cancer took that away from you.  Cancer took so much away for you my darling.  I miss you so much.  I wish I could have traded places with you a million times.  I wish you were here, I wish God could have given me the option, to save you and take me.  I would have gladly traded places with you in an instant. 

I look at your photos and I catch myself just staring at you, every part of you.  Your tiny hands, your cute ears, and the scar you had on your neck from one of your central lines.  Your scar on your head, oh that scar, I miss running my fingers along its bumps and grooves.  I know I've said that before but man I truly miss so much of you, all of you. Everything and nobody can truly understand my pain, because they never had such a special monkey boy like you.  You were one of a kind.  There is not one little boy out there like you.  Sometimes I see parts of you in little boys.  I do.  Their little voices, their mannerisms, their strive for life.  I see that a lot in little boys.  But what’s missing is you, your whole self, and your soul.  I need you back with me, so bad.  I just don't understand why.  Why you had to be taken from us.  Our family just seems so lost and incomplete without you.  Where is our 5 year old boy?  Why aren't you running amuck around the neighborhood, why aren't you bugging your brother to play his Nintendo DS?   Why aren't you here waking me up for water ever couple hours like you would always do?   Instead I still wake up every hour but instead of giving you water, I get up, get myself some water, pace around the house a few times, look in the fridge, look at my phone (no calls, no texts, maybe a snap chat from Michelle or Brooke because they both are insomniacs too), look in the pantry, sneak a peek at your brother sleeping, sneak a peek at your baby Sissy sleeping, then I crawl back into bed, Daddy doesn't even notice my restlessness.  Like I've said before, sometimes I just want to reach over and smack him with my pillow, and say "WAKE UP, how can you sleep, our baby is dead???"  But I don't do that, I'm not sure that would go over very well and I know that he struggles just as much as I do and I'm glad he does get the little sleep that he does because we're always up late and up early.  It doesn't leave much room for a good stretch of sleep.  But were used to that from staying up all the time with you at the hospital and waking up giving you water and changing your diapers.  Which I would do for the rest of my life if I could.  
This is my new favorite photo of us buddy.  I'm so glad I found it. :) 

Well baby boy, I'm going to call it a night.  I miss you so much, everything about you.  I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, forever and ever.  Miss you little monkey man. 


Cashy Fans----If you haven't seen the ORB video, I posted on facebook.  Here’s the link to watch it. I uploaded it to YouTube so now everyone can see it.  It’s an amazing video and I truly believe Cashy was there playing with the kids and left a little sign for me.  :)