Thank You For Standing By My Side

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Hello Dearest Reader,

A quick hello… I’m working on a Breast Cancer Awareness post since Pinktober is clearly upon us again, but in the meantime I just want to pop my head in after these months of silence. I’d like to thank everyone who has reached out to me in some way, who has continued to read & follow, who has shared my posts, or who has had a kind thought for me and/or my boys. You are a warm light in my life and I am grateful…

I apologize for this long & unplanned hiatus. I know you’ve said not to apologize and that I don’t need to feel pressure to post. But I do need to apologize. This blog should be an account of the best & worst of my story and everything in between. But when I feel at my worst and when my anticipated posts take a negative turn, I struggle with hitting the “publish” button, feeling my words may be too negative, or that my writing may not be good enough because I’m not feeling well and am not putting my best foot forward.

I need to push past this for sure… Especially during the month of pink. The truth is, this experience, my life since diagnosis, has not been pink. It has not been pretty. Have some elements been wonderful & bright? Yes, definitely! There have certainly been moments, hours, days that have been special & sweet. These moments are often because of kind, compassionate people who have touched my life or my boys’ lives in some special way during these years. And for that I am thankful.

But I will never be grateful for cancer. This story is filled with good and bad, ups and downs. And I know in my heart that these twists and turns need to be woven into my written story if I am to share the truth of this experience.

Thank you so much for standing by my side, for reading, following, sharing my words, for reaching out to me, for sending kind words, thoughts, wishes for my boys or for me. You are a bright light in my life & I am grateful…

Warmest wishes to you all…

Doing Something a Bit Different This Mother’s Day…

breast cancer thirties 30s 30's fundraising walk fundraiser mother's day support advocacy breast cancer coalition of rochester family

Hello Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for welcoming Morgan so warmly and for encouraging his writing.  He was so pleased to be able to share his thoughts with you — and was even more thrilled to see your “likes” and read your comments.  Definitely a self-esteem booster!  He smiled from ear to ear when he read such kind words from you.  Thank you!!

Well, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before here.  And something that I wasn’t sure I should do — I’ve been going back & forth in my mind all afternoon!  In the end, though, I decided to just post this because it might help an organization and people who I feel are deserving of support…

A very ambiguous way to let you know that the boys & I have decided to use our Mother’s Day to do something a bit different this year.  [Since I have such a bad headache that I’m having trouble forming a coherent thought, I think it would be best if I just pull from something I wrote earlier this afternoon to explain so I don’t make this any more confusing!!]


I’m a bit late to the party (okay, very late!) — I thought/wished/hoped I’d be visiting my family & new baby niece this weekend in VA (but sadly, we couldn’t go) so I didn’t register for tomorrow’s breast cancer walk until today — but hopefully we can still make a bit of a difference with your help!  Every little bit helps…

My sons & I are celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow by walking in the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester’s (Mother’s Day) Pink Ribbon Run & Family Fitness Walk to raise funds for an organization that helps women (and men) cope with a breast cancer diagnosis through support groups, educational programs, evening seminars, special events, advocacy, and more.  They strive to ensure that no one feels as though they are facing this awful disease alone.

As you surely know, this is a cause that is very dear to my heart.  Diagnosed with a very aggressive inoperable Stage 3C breast cancer when I had just turned 34 and my twins were in kindergarten, I felt completely overwhelmed and as though the rug had been pulled from beneath me.  

And I’ve heard this sentiment time & time again from women (and men) — young, old, and every age & stage of life in between.  When you hear the words, “You have cancer,” many people feel overwhelmed, scared, etc.  And then they are sent off to make (what may even be life or death) decisions about their treatment & their bodies & a disease they may not know much about…  

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester does their best to make sure no one feels alone at any point after their diagnosis — whether they were diagnosed that day or 20 years past.  And they seek to educate patients, survivors and the public about this insidious disease and to advocate for all of us (and future generations) not just locally and statewide, but nationally as well.  They understand the importance of being a voice for change and seek to educate lawmakers & elected officials about this disease and its causes & the devastating toll it can take on women/men & their families.  And they work with citizen and environmental agencies & organizations to increase awareness of environmental hazards related to breast cancer & other public health risks to protect & educate current and future generations.    

Please help the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester continue to provide their vital services, advocacy and support.

Remember, every little bit helps!  There is no amount too small.  Even $1 or $2 can help.  But since the minimum online donation the site can accept is $10, please don’t be discouraged.  If you’d to give a donation under 10 or if you’d like to pay with a check or cash — please send me a quick email to make other arrangements for your donation. []  Thank you!  

My boys and I will walk tomorrow to honor all of the women (and men) who’ve ever heard those life-altering words — “You have cancer” — and who are still here with us, and we will walk to remember and pay tribute to all of the loved ones this horrible disease has taken.  If you’d like us to add a name (or names) of someone special to you to our shirts, please send me a quick email by 5 a.m…

Thanks SO very much!

Leisha & family    

If you’d prefer to send a check / or to give cash / if you have questions or if you’d like to contact me, please don’t hesitate to email me:   Thank you!

P.S. We couldn’t decide on a photo so if you scroll through you’ll see some photos where the boys (and I) are actually looking at the camera!    :-)


If you’d like to visit the fundraising page I just set up through the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester’s event:

Leisha’s Family & Friends Group

You can read more, make a donation, etc. there

And if not, no worries!  No pressure at all!  The boys & I are happy to simply participate. Plus the weather should be nice ( and I think some of their/my friends will be walking with us), so “the walk” should be a great way to spend the day and to honor women & mothers along the way…

Wishing you & your families a lovely Mother’s Day…

All my best to you, always… 


Cancer In Many Languages by Morgan (Leisha’s son)

breast cancer 30s thirties 30's stage iiic 3c mastectomy dogs kids family life

This is me with Kevin (our big dog), weenie (our little dog), and puppy (my nanna’s dog) pretending to play xbox with me  :-)

This is Morgan, my mom’s son.  Thank you for your comments and nice messages and likes on my last post.

My mom has been sick with infections for a while and is very tired & not feeling well so i thought i would write another post for her.

This time I thought I would write a post so you could see what the word cancer is in languages around the world.  In English, it is CANCER.  Cancer is “a malignant growth or tumor resulting from the division of abnormal cells.”

“Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means they can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. In addition, as these tumors grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor.”

This is CANCER in other languages:

















Rokh marĕng
ung thư

 <3   :-)

There are more lanaguages and more words for cancer but i’m tired and my mom says i have to go to bed! But this should be enough to show you that cancer is such an important and major thing that there’s a word for it in every language. Every part of the world knows about cancer. It’s everywhere! Cancer doesn’t care who you are or where you live or what language you use. It’s a horrible disease!

Thank you for reading my mom’s blog and for supporting her. I know you mean a lot to her. I know she’ll be back and write again when she feels better. Shes been really tired but shes been on a lot of strong antibiotics for 6 or 7 wks now so i hope she’s better enough to write soon.

Thank you! Goodnight! from Morgan

<3     :-)       <3      :-)      <3     :-)


breast cancer thirties family 3c dog weiner weenie doxie dachshund 30s

Me, Mom, and Weenie Chillin’


Hi my name is Morgan my mom was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer when I was in kindergarten.  As you may know I wrote a post when I was 8. I am now 11 in fifth grade and she has had cancer for about 5 years.  When I look back it tells me my mom is STRONG.(of course I already thought that). She has fought this long and I will always love her in the present and the future.



:-)   <3    ;-)      <3    <3   <3   :-)


Hello, My Friends… AND Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

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Again I am thoroughly amazed by how much time has passed since my last post…  But I couldn’t allow another day to pass without saying a quick “hello” to you…

I have so much to say, so much to share.  But finding the energy to tell you the things I’d like to tell you is something I’ve been struggling with.  Still.

Please know that I am grateful for everyone who continues to reach out to me or to have a passing thought about me — and/or my boys…  Your thoughts & kind words mean so much…

My warmest, most heartfelt good wishes for you all xxx

early bird 2 ——————

And you know how much I enjoy sharing my love of photography, so here are a few photos that reflect The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge theme: “Early Bird.”

breast cancer thirties 30's 30s family children weekly photo challenge early bird the daily post bilateral mastectomy island

If you would like to participate with your own photos, just click here or here.

Warmth — Weekly Photo Challenge & Thoughts Of You…


Radiation, Cancer Center, breast cancer thirties 30s 30's kids twins family dogs morgan william mastectomy Christmas Hanukkah 2014 lymph nodes weekly photo challenge warmth the daily post


I can’t believe I’ve allowed so much time to pass — again.  It just happens.  It’s so easy to let this happen.  And yet it is so difficult.  So difficult.

I’m doing it here.  I’m doing it in my life outside of this blog.  I’m doing it everywhere.

Pulling away.  Distancing myself.

And I don’t want to do this.

It just happens.

There is so much to tell you.  So much I should have shared with you about everything that has been going on.  But…

I’m just so tired.  So tired.  So tired of feeling awful.  Of being in pain.  Of being tired.  Of feeling sick.  Of vomiting.  Of everything…

And I realize how terrible that sounds.

I should be grateful to be here.  To be alive.  And I am.  But there is a part of me that feels as though maybe that just isn’t enough anymore.  That maybe quality — and not just quantity — of life is important, too.

Of course this is a complicated topic.  Even my own point of view changes throughout the day and as I lie awake at night often feeling too sick or in too much pain to sleep.  There is no easy answer where all of this cancer and cancer treatment “stuff” is concerned.  On the one hand, I (like so many) have been driven to do everything I can to survive.  But on the other hand, I never really considered how much collateral damage there would be.

Who really does?

For many of us — and for many of our oncologists — the goal really is survival and/or life extension.  Sure, there are consent forms and there’s a bit of discussion about the risks of our treatments, surgeries, etc.  But how many of us fully appreciate what the cost (and I’m not even addressing the financial toll…yet) of these sometimes Herculean efforts will be?

I’d venture to guess that the answer is “not too many.”

There is so much I want to say.  So much I want to tell you.  There are so many topics I’d like to cover here.  Questions I want to answer.  And I know I need to try to do better here.  To be present more.  To give this platform the respect it deserves.

In the New Year I hope to do better.  To tell you more.  Because there is so much to tell.  And to address the questions/issues/etc. that so many of you have written and asked me to address.

I will try…

For now I will say “hello again” and tell you that I’ve missed you and that I hope you are doing okay and that you had a nice holiday.  And I will thank you for continuing to stand by me, to check in, to care.  And I will tell you that you are appreciated more than you know…

breast cancer thirties 30s 30's kids twins family dogs morgan william mastectomy Christmas Hanukkah 2014 lymph nodes weekly photo challenge warmth the daily post

And for old times’ sake I’ll leave you with our Christmas card and some photos that illustrate The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge topic—  “Warmth.”  — for me.  {If you would like to participate in the challenge, just click on the link above.}  In the Christmas card you’ll see two humans and two pups who warm my heart.

Radiation, Cancer Center, breast cancer thirties 30s 30's kids twins family dogs morgan william mastectomy Christmas Hanukkah 2014 lymph nodes weekly photo challenge warmth the daily post

And in the fleece photos, you’ll see a literal example of warmth.  My boys (and one of their special friends) were asked to do a service project for school.  They chose to volunteer their time at one of my cancer centers, a place that is very dear to my heart.  They helped to prepare fleece ponchos to gift to new patients set to undergo radiation.

I’m not sure who first thought of the idea, but I know these warm ponchos will provide a bit of comfort for patients who will appreciate them, I’m sure.

The Cancer Center’s social worker was kind enough to give the boys a tour of the radiation suite that I once visited daily while I was undergoing that phase of my treatment so they could see where the patients will be wearing the ponchos.

Thank you, friend…  Sending my warmest wishes to you during the holidays and as we head into the New Year…  xxx



Hello Again…

breast cancer thirties 30s 30's cancer center kids lymph nodes mastectomy stage 3c

Hello Dear Readers,

I realize time has gotten the best of me again.  Time and a host of other variables — illness, fatigue, pain, busy schedules, etc.

But I can say with complete sincerity that not a day has passed when my thoughts haven’t turned to you.

You have been on my mind.  Every single day.  I miss the outlet.  I miss the conversations.  I miss the connections I’ve made with so many of you.  And I miss those special few friends who were strangers before my first post and who I met through this blog.

And though you would never know it from my silence, your comments and emails and facebook messages have reached me.  They have touched and helped me.  And I’m certain they have helped others, too.

To my newest visitors and followers, thank you for being here.  Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to read, follow, and in some cases, share your personal stories.  Even if I don’t write a response right away, know that your words have touched me deeply, that your stories have touched others, and that you are not alone.

And thank you to those of you who have been with me for longer.  Your continued support and readership and comments always mean so much.

Thank you for helping me change the way people think about cancer.  Thank you for helping to create a platform where those who have been touched by cancer in one way or another can have a voice.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.  It is so flattering, touching, humbling to read your comments.  You are all amazing.  And you have helped me far more than I could ever express.


And I realize it is fluffy Pinktober again…  I hope to have a new Breast Cancer Awareness Month post up tonight or tomorrow…  In the meantime, from what of seen, a good deal of what I wrote 2 years ago in National No Bra Day & Breast Cancer Awareness Month — OR — Please Put That Pink Can Of Soup Down & Put Your Bra Back On  still applies…


Thanks for reading…  Take care & talk to you soon — I promise!