Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is my last post. I thought I would wait until July, but I saw the oncologist last week and we are not scanning again until the end of August. So the wrap up begins...

I started this as a thank you post, listing all that people had done for me over that last couple years. It wasn't working, too many people, and too much to say. Will you please take it personally as I try and tell you now. THANK YOU. Yes, you. I am crying right now thinking of how lucky I am to have such a great immediate and extended family, a most incredible ward, and the truest friends ever.

And then Josh. He was perfect during it all. I will never know how.


I am feeling great. Which is its own blessing, then add the appreciation I have for it.

Medically, where do I stand? I was given, in the beginning, a 50/50 chance of surviving in the next 5 years. It has already been two years. If you look at a chart of people at my stage of cancer, dying, most of it is happening in the first few years. Right now they have no reason to think the cancer is back. They worry that there could be small amounts of cancer in the blood. If it does come back, I would almost certainly die. Melanoma spreads to the brain, liver, and lungs. It doesn't respond well to chemo or radiation like some cancers do. I scare you now mainly so you get any ugly or changing moles removed ASAP. Even caught in its earliest stage, you still have a 5-10% chance of dying from it. Sometimes fifteen years later.

They say your not cured of melanoma till you die of something else. I'm just saying.

Where I used to think I was going to die certainly with those kind of odds, I now can't see it happening. I can't imagine the stress and pain. So I don't. I imagine a happy long life. I guess chances of that are at least over 50%.

So, now that I have a future, what will I do with it? I am in the process of trying to figure that out. I have extra time on my hands now, and when school starts up...I don't know. Lots of possibilities. A clean slate, waiting.


Original Plan: Stay at home with at least 6 and up to 10 children. Half of them girls. Plan B: (intentionally left blank).


I saw in the news a story about a lady in Utah who was paralyzed during a car accident. A single mom with two kids, 31 years old.

The reporter: "If she could take the accident back, would she? She said, "No, I wouldn't. I'm getting the chills, but I really wouldn't..... Of course, but I wouldn't take it back because I'm living a great life." I had to go online for the transcript to see if I heard her right.

I did. And you know what? I had the chills too: I might say the same thing.

Something this has taken away from me (is innocence the word? almost, but not quite) which will never come back. But something had to take its place (perspective? truth? again, only almost) that I will always have with me.


Survivor -noun. 1. a person or thing that survives. 2. a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.


I gave my plants their first shot of fertilizer this week. This morning my peonies opened. Their beautiful pink papery petals. Happiness! I heard today that Eleanore Roosevelt said "Where flowers bloom, so does hope."


I don't know what pictures would be of interest to anyone, but here are a few from the last couple of years. Random, mostly.


alisa said...

I should mention that I will make this blog private in a couple weeks, although I wont be posting anything new. Also, add me to your email list ( to keep in touch. Or we could always be virtual friends on facebook.

Amy said...

Alisa, I'm so sad to see this blog come to an end. You're writing is truly an inspiration. I'm sad that there will not be a place to read it anymore.

ronco said...

You're still as poetic as the day I met you, Alisa. I'm not happy to see this blog go. You're far and away my favorite cancer survivor.

Heather said...

Alisa, you are a wonderfully talented writer with loads of that [perspective/truth]. I appreciate being able to observe and learn from you. I'm sad to see it end, the blog-not the cancer. We hope to see you soon, Dave still owes you guys dinner.

Brooke said...

I'm bawling. I love the pictures. I miss those boys. This blog has been such a blessing for us clear out east to feel (quite helplessly) part of your journey. I am so happy that you are doing so well and so grateful for your example and inspiration. I can't wait to see you, your blue door, and your gorgeous yard in real life.

lindsay said...

Alisa, I just love you. Thank you for always being so truthful, so real. I may not see you often, but I think of you oodles and oodles and hope for you always...

jennie said...

I'm not happy to see this blog go, remember what you promised me about your lists... hugs, kisses and an occasional ice cube down the bra. xoxo

Jill said...

I must admit that I'm sad you won't be blogging anymore. I always like what you have to say and I've grown a little myself from reading your words. I understand the pressure thing though, so for that I'm glad you're going to say no more.

As I was brousing through your picutres from the last few years, the though struck me...Life just happens to use not matter what. Does that makes sense? Even amid the awefullness of the cancer your life just continued on and there were times of joy.

Love you Alisa. Thanks again for being my traveling companion. Let's do it again soon.

Jill said...

oh yeah, will you add me to your private blog list? You never know, I might have to refer back to this blog for support someday.

Rainie said...

You are the best writer, I'll miss the posts. Thanks heavens for facebook and virtual friendship.

Sonja said...

You ought to publish it [Lis], really you should, and not just in the Pickwich Portfolio.

katie t said...

hey alisa

my friend sent me over your blog because you had mentioned the story that you had seen on KSL about the single mom who had been paralyzed....etc...etc...

well that was me (katie) and i wanted to say thanks for being such a great example to me with some of your posts that i've read.

perspective and truth are things that i too believe we've been given. trials allow us to learn and to grow and to see things in ways that most won't. how lucky are we to be able to have that gift...not that we are better than others but that's just the gift we've been given.

anyway...just wanted to say hi and once again thanks.

and yes. i'd do it all again....


Lissa said...

Thanks for being so open and candid. You have a way with words that touches the heart and inspires. I'll miss your blogs. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Roger and Kelli Proctor said...

Alisa you have always been an amazing and inspiring person to me....although I have to say through this whole process of keeping in touch through blog world and what you have gone through, even more inspiring! Loved to hear your perspective on life and LOVE the pics! You also inpired me with your flowers! When you decide to come swim, let me know and maybe you can help me with what flowers I want to have in my yard! YOu are amazing and come swim!

MichelleChud said...

Great post Alisa. I'm so glad you posted through your journey. It opened my eyes as well. Don't let it go before you print it off. You can do it through blurb. It's your journal. I'm so glad things worked out so well for you. What a journey with so many blessings wrapped into it.

Tiffany said...

I just wanted to tell you that I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing, you are a beautiful person and writer.

alisa said...

Thank you all for your sweet words. loves to you all. I think I will close this for good in the next couple of days.

Amy, I'm glad we will see each other often and you are part of the family now. You are a great addition.

Ronco, sweet brother, please keep your blog and your entertaining facebook updates going. I cant wait for you to take over the world.

Heather, you have been through so much, seriously it kept me going sometimes, that you can live a beautiful life despite heartbreaking events. You are a great example.

Brooke, I cant wait to see you guys in July. I too wish I would have been able to help you the last couple years. Someday we will live closer.

Linsday, and I you. We are the kind of friends who, even if we only see each other every so often, it makes no difference in the friendship. But I still think we should get together more often.

Jennie, you sweet thing. How did fate put a sinister, serious brunette and a faithful, fun blonde together? I'm happy to trust my deepest darkest secrets with a girl full of light. Loves.

Jill, always finding a good point. Life goes on. And isn't it great? You have so much to offer all of us, Ive always looked up to you. Also, thanks for being our movie data base in Paris. What a lovely time.

Rainie, I miss you and your antics, friends forever, and lets plan on sharing grand kids.

Sonja, I cried when I read the Little Women quote. The perfect example of sisters. I will wait for you on my death bed, and you can close the window when the wind blows.

Kati t, wow, what a small world. I'm glad I heard your story, it just sums up what I feel. I hope you didn't read the post about my swollen leg. I really don't complain anymore, but its just like me to open mouth and insert foot. I love you even though this is the extent of our acquaintance. Good luck!

Lissa, I'm assuming this is Melissa. Thank you for all your support and concern these last couple years, and mostly your friendship. I love your girls, the prettiest in the world.

Kelli, I know just where to go to get flowers, and would love to help. Now if only the rain would stop... P.S. you guys are the best, lets watch some old movies sometime soon.

Michelle, cant wait to see you Friday and give you hugs. We have a lot to get caught up on, like your big move. I love you!

Tiffany, I really look up to the way you manage your own health problems. Keep giving all of us hope!

SSBenjamins said...

i am sad to see you closing your blog. your such an inspiration to me as well is Josh for all the work he put into this situation as well.If you do make your blog private, I hope to be included. Either way your an inspiration and I have nothing but love and faith in you and what you have shared with all of us.

Amber said...

I'm glad you are on facebook. I will "see" you in one way or another. Thank you for sharing as you went and I would say that I'll bee sad to see the blog end, except that you mentioned what a pressure and stress it is for you - so I will be happy to know you are relieved of a burden.

Palmer family said...

I have enjoyed looking over your blog recently also. You are a WONDERFUL gal and great writer too. Hope to keep in touch. Even when you go private.
miss ya!

Malanie said...

I would love to be able to read your blogs still please Alisa. I am so glad that you are doing much better, I love you Alisa, thanks for sharing, it was inspiring to read your experiences, love you, I am so excited to see you soon,
love always your cousin

Malanie said...

I agree with Jill that you inspire me too, thanks for sharing,
please add me to the privite blog too thansk
love you