Emily's Breast Cancer Cure Fund
As a 40-year-old active mother of a artistically gifted and talented teenage daughter (who aspires to be a fashion designer) and two boys, ages 3 and 4 (who aspire to have as much fun as humanly possible every second of every day) ...
Emily is an amazingly happy woman who never sleeps and never gets tired and caters to everyone every day. Even me, a guy so busy with consulting, writing, speaking and traveling that eating and sleeping can easily become afterthoughts.
We are the Green family.
Earlier this year, our hectic household was paralyzed when Emily was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. We are now in the second phase of her chemo treatment (4 more to go). After chemo, she's facing surgery, then radiation treatments, then chemo treatments targeting specific receptors for her type of cancer.
Basically, we're in this battle for the rest of 2016.
Emily is the center of our home around whom we all revolve. Now, our core is sick. And we have shifted our priorities from external aspirations to internal focus on our core, our Emily. Our angel.
I took this pic of Emily on Feb. 22, 2016, two weeks after her first chemo treatment.
On this new journey we've learned that while the docs fight the cancer, the healing part is up to us. Imagine our surprise to learn that we are responsible for her healing!
Well, we take our responsibility seriously. So ...
Nutrition is paramount. We have a healthy meal routine that revolves around Emily's needs. A healthy environment is key to her healing also. So everyone in the house has a role in making mommy healthy.
As it turns out, outside of her nutrition, supplements and detox routines, Emily's road to a healthy recovery really requires less stress, more humor, laughter, music and love.
So, we are devoted to making her life less worrisome and more fun, like a concert!
The boys know the three daily rules for mommy:
1. Let her rest.
2. Let her heal.
3. Be quiet.
We're having some trouble with number three. Did somebody say concert? (check out Caleb on lead guitar!)
To keep the fun high and the stress low, we need your help.
One of the biggest points of stress are mounting medical bills and living expenses (who knew eating healthy would be so expensive?). This fund is to cover some of Emily's immediate cancer costs and alleviate some of the stressful financial burden, while also helping us keep up the music, cheerleading, inspiration and humor at its highest level. The funds go directly into a special account controlled only by Emily. My role is to manage the chaos, kick-off the concert and rally the fans. So ...
I'm asking you to join our cancer concert celebration for Emily.
Aside from helping with your donation, no matter how small (every dollar counts), the most important contribution are your words of inspiration, fan photos, concert pics, dance videos and humor, humor, humor!
We're having fun cheering up our Emily.
We are so very thankful to be surrounded by a mosh pit of family and friends who are excited to help in Emily's healing.
Honestly, we wouldn't have made it this far were it not for extraordinary gifts and contributions to Emily that helped us acquire the specialized team of oncologists, surgeons and nutritionists she needs on her team. (and she has a world class team!).
Friends and family have pitched in to watch the boys and help with groceries and just pour on so much love! It has been a truly humbling experience for which we thank you all, and we thank God daily for sending His angels to watch over us.
We feel the love!
We know we are going to get through this because you all know that and remind us daily. Emily constantly receives texts, emails and social media outreach that lift her spirits. Sometimes she doesn't feel up to in-person visits. But that's rare, given her extraordinary resilience despite the cocktail of chemo drugs flowing through her veins.
Of course, hair loss is part of the process. And that's quite a difficult experience Emily's going through now.
So, you're invited to join our concert fun.
Send fan photos, music, inspirational words, songs, funny skits, humorous antics, jokes, riddles, stories, dancing, videos, whatever you think will be uplifting and cheerful. That's a significant part of Emily's healing. And that's the most important contribution to our cancer healing campaign.
We'll update you all periodically so you can cheer her through each stage of her recovery. And when she's back to full health, we'll all celebrate together!
Generations of beautiful women: Our artist Maddie, Emily's mom Margaret, Emily's grandma Nadine, Emily's aunt Nancy ... and Emily.
Thank you for traveling with us on Emily's journey back to full recovery and a healthy long life.
It’s been a while since my last update, but I need to tell you all this very important news. Your prayers and support were essential in helping Emily and our family through some very dark days. Very.
I don’t have adequate words to describe the helplessness I felt watching each day as my bold and beautiful wife fought for her life. I didn’t know what words to comfort her as she awakened each day afraid of what it held in store for her, facing a million different decisions, knowing the wrong one could mean disaster, while an unseen enemy was attacking her from the inside.
Your prayers. Your financial support (our needed relief valve). Your calls and texts and emails. Your meals. Your care for our kids. Your willingness to help in any way possible, even sending cleaning crews to help us maintain some semblance of order in our home. Your smiles, Laughter, Joy. Encouragement. Your knowing that Emily would be strong enough to see this through. You have been on this journey with us. And we needed you. Emily needed you. (I did too).
You did so much to help her that I had no capacity to do. You saved my wife. You saved our family. You saved our lives. We cannot thank you enough!
MY WIFE. MY HERO.
You have to know this. So many doctors have told Emily how extraordinary her recovery has been that it feels miraculous. From stage 3 breast cancer to completely, stunningly cancer-free by every test imaginable, including a lumpectomy that removed a large section of breast tissue and lymph nodes, is extraordinary.
Her surgeon literally called her a miracle patient. Other doctors followed with superlatives that you don’t read in the reports and clinical notes: “amazing,” “fantastic,” “incredible.” We loved the word "complete" in reference to the outcome of the chemotherapy.
I watched my gorgeous wife go toe-to-toe with cancer and win. She’s my hero.
Now, my hero is facing the aftershocks. Herceptin treatments every 3 weeks. Radiation treatments daily for 6 weeks. It seems like it never stops.
FEAR OF THE HEART
Recently, Emily's heart began to race uncontrollably for long lengths of time, almost daily. Unexplained palpitations caused her great anxiety and fear of heart failure. We discovered that Herceptin was the likely cause. She decided to stop taking it. Yet, one more decision that went against the “standard care” and advise of the medical community. I cannot tell you how many of those heart-wrenching decisions Emily made along the way, but suffice to say there were more than a few. She has been extremely fortunate to have in her corner an angel cheerleader who is her integrated oncologist. We didn't know there was such a person when we started this journey.
God sent. For sure.
Emily's cheerleader calls, texts, files deeply researched reports, intervenes when needed on her behalf; and in all ways and all times of day (yes, even late nights and while on vacation!), has shown up for Emily and walked with her through this journey.
I cannot imagine that Emily would have made every right decision along the way were it not for her cheerleading advisor.
Today, Emily is in the midst of radiation treatments every weekday morning. She drops our teen daughter off at school and heads to radiation while I keep the boys from killing each other. It’s yet another routine that has become normalized in our home.
I’m so proud of her. She has been through so much intense stress and pokes and prods and embarrassing moments, all with a backdrop of fear and dread that if she makes the wrong decision or trusts someone else to make a decision for her that it could be devastating.
Meanwhile, life happens around her. The ordinary stress of life and raising a family and paying bills and maintaining a home and giving love to everyone within. Emily has managed to be such an extraordinary wife and mother with warmth and dedication, even when she is dead tired.
She is what the doctors said she is, amazing, fantastic … incredible.
But, the journey isn’t over. Herceptin is out. For now. It may have to resume. We will cross that bridge later. For now, radiation. Then there’s the surgery next year after she’s had time to heal through this winter.
A LITTLE HELP GOES A LONG WAY
And that’s where you can help. Emily’s treatments, supplements, organic meals, these are necessary pieces of the healing puzzle. She would also like a gym membership when we can afford it.
The costs in this battle have been enormous, as you all know. We started out hopeful to raise $12K to get us through this year. Thankfully, you all responded and pushed us a quarter of the way through. And we’ve received blessings along the way that have helped at key times.
We’re at another key moment in time. Emily is doing her part to fully recover. And her hair is starting to grow back, her energy is still being retained despite it being sapped by radiation, and she is sticking to a very healthy diet. But there are needs that go beyond our capability. I don't want to list them on a public platform, but feel free to reach out to her directly if you'd like to address specific needs. Contributing to this platform loads her card with immediate funds.
Follow Emily on Facebook or subscribe to her blog:
CARING FOR EMILY TO FULL RECOVERY
If you can help in any way, just know that any and all donations go directly into an account that only Emily can access. Funds from Go Fund Me flow onto her card, which means she can use whatever funds are available to purchase her supplements, medications and other special needs.
We hope you will continue to remain part of this journey Emily is on. She is so grateful for you all. And now she’s putting her story in writing. As in writing a book! Of course, we want you all to have a copy when it is published. We will keep you updated.
I can’t tell you how much Emily has learned about not just cancer and treatments and medicines and nutrients and detoxification protocols and exercise and ... well, everything she needs to be an expert guide for any cancer patient. But she's learned so much about the vital impact of FOOD!
Her voracious appetite for knowledge is truly a blessing. I strongly believe her approach to this treatment ahead of everything was critical. She drastically changed her diet. And I continue to encourage her to develop some recipes and open a restaurant with her brother (he’s a chef). “Emily’s Bowls 4 Life” could be an extraordinary gift to other cancer patients and their families.
Emily's journey from 90% bad news to 100% cancer-free with more than a 93% chance of non-recurrence wasn’t a fluke or accident. Emily made some immediate and lasting decisions around diet and exercise that undoubtedly helped her treatments result in successes that doctors said they see in maybe one or two patients a year … out of hundreds!
YOUR HELP MADE SUCCESS POSSIBLE
Thank you all again for your generosity when we were so scared of what was happening. Thank you for your constant stream of prayers. Thank you for the gifts, small and large. Thank you for encouraging Emily, lifting her up and saving her life. I am SO GRATEFUL! Because in saving hers, you saved our whole family. We cannot thank you enough.
And also see the surprise yummy gift Emily received from PortlandPaleo.com. It's all in the last update from this morning.
Click through and leave a quick message to congratulate Emily and cheer her on to the next phase. We're done with chemo. Yay!
Emily and I are so thankful to you all for your prayers, your generosity, your encouragement, your investment of time and energy to walk alongside us on this journey. But most of all, your love has kept Emily going through some rough, rough times.
Sadly, this last chemo treatment has also been the roughest Emily has had to endure. Every part of her body aches. Pain is a familiar companion. Fatigue sometimes keeps her down even when she wants to be up. But Emily has a strong spirit and a remarkably high tolerance for pain, which seems to have been the unfortunate hallmark of this final chemo treatment.
The final protocol didn't pass without a bit of drama. Unfortunately, there was a comedy of errors during the administering of treatment (minus the comedy) and some moments of intense pain. Emily has since endured day after day of internal turmoil as the cancer concedes to the treatment.
Emily is anxiously looking forward to the end of the week, the end of this chemo crap, and regaining her sunny disposition.
Thank you all for the enormous help you've been through this craziness. You cannot know how deeply influential your texts, emails, prayers, hugs and encouraging words are. Emily has been moved to tears throughout this process at the continued outpouring of support. Every meal delivered and every moment of trusted care given to our boys while we're dealing with docs, drugs, side effects and this wacky mental, physical and emotional rollercoaster, has helped us weather the biggest storm of our lives.
We feel so extraordinarily blessed to have so much outpouring of love from family, friends and even people we don't know. I received a call last week from one of my Portland friends James Morris who passed our address to the owners of Portland Paleo. A few days later, Emily received yummy cookies and a pie in the mail! She can't eat sugary snacks or anything with fructose, glucose, sucrose and all the other stuff that cancer cells love. But she CAN eat Paleo treats! And she loved them! Thank you James and Portland Paleo!
Of course, that's just one gift of so many sent our way. You all have blessed Emily and our entire family immensely. I cannot thank you enough.
From my close vantage point, I get to see the impact your support has on Emily. And I thank you so very much! I know my lone support is not enough for us to get where we need to go on this journey. Thank you all for helping us reach this milestone.
Final Chemo Day: May 19, 2016. Done.
Of course, you all have also been phenomenally generous in helping us raise funds to cover some of the exorbitant costs of battling cancer. We absolutely could not have afforded the super team of docs caring for Emily today without your support! Again, thank you!
A couple of weeks of recovery for Emily will lead to an MRI to determine the success of chemo. We have two surgical consultations upcoming immediately thereafter. One here in Medford and the other in San Francisco in mid-June. So June will be busy.
Emily LOVES San Francisco! Unfortunately, the trip is to see doctors, not sights. Still, we are blessed to have friends who love us there, so we are very much looking forward to the visit.
The next leg of the healing and health journey has begun. And we hope you all will continue to pray for Emily as she regains her strength to walk this walk toward full recovery. Of course, we welcome your contributions to help us cover the next stage of this journey. Remember, all donations go directly into Emily's account, which only she can access and control.
Thank you again. Emily and I are extremely grateful for your continued love and support.
Emily and I want to give a huge hugs to the entire Bolsinger family! Much to our surprise, Scot, Lori, Montana, Alisha, Amanda, Aidan and Dennis all dug into their personal pockets and showered Emily with their support and love several weeks ago. Tears. Even now, weeks later. Tears. We are humbled by such outpouring of blessings from such an extraordinary family. I hope I didn't miss anyone's name. We love you all!!!
SOOOO ... today was Chemo Day #5. Emily and I took the requisite pic.
Unfortunately, this time we lost a little pep in our step. Emily approached this Chemo Day with a lot of trepidation. And for good reason. Just as she felt like she had figured out a good defense mechanism, following the last Chemo Day came a severe wave of chemcrap. The battle lasted for many days. I will spare you all the details. Suffice to say she suffered worse than ever over a sustained length of time. Lots of tears and timeouts. But Emily is strong and resilient.
Amazingly, she recovered enough to give me the green light to go to Atlanta for a few days and finish the delivery on a 12-week project with a university that resulted in a breakthrough success! Emily's sacrifice, even in the throes of cancer, afforded me the opportunity to take on this project and see it through to a successful completion. I returned last Sunday.
I know! I'm married to an angel.
This week has been a day-by-day walk toward the light for Emily to just feel normal again. That was her prayer going into Chemo Day 5. She just wanted to have a couple of normal days before heading into this next battle.
Yeah, that last one was tough on her. Really tough.
Today was one of those normal days. Well, as normal as it can be while strapped to giant hanging bags of poisons that drip into your bloodstream over the course of four hours. We chatted. We joked. We laughed. Emily's mom visited. All was good.
Of course, we couldn't enjoy these care-free days without the team of heaven-sent volunteers who help make an otherwise logistical nightmare very manageable.
There's an army of Food Volunteers who alleviate some of the duties of feeding this army of ours. Emily loves those yummy salads that keep her nourished and enjoying organic tasty recipes. You all should know that this service makes her cry. She's so touched by such commitment by so many of her friends ... and even people who hardly know her at all but just want to show her love.
It is quite humbling to witness. I am amazed by this active commitment. And I, too, am so grateful. I'm sure the kids are as well. Nobody wants Chef Mike experimenting with the microwave ....
Then there's the Logistics Team. We couldn't do a lot of the stuff we do without team co-captains Heather and Lori. I have no idea how they do all the stuff they do for our family, including giving us periodic respite from the boys, when they both have a battalion of troops of their own!
There are other friends, of course, and Emily's family is part of this team too. The gratitude from these blessings cannot be overstated. Just imagine nonstop pounding, screaming, wrestling, building, running, tumbling, pushing, falling, throwing, complaining ... pause ... smiling ... then pounding, screaming, etc. All you moms know this drill. I can't imagine trying to deal with it while battling cancer. She appreciates these respites.
Emily so loves her Spiritual Support Team members who text or call with encouragement and spirit-lifting humor or just normal engagement (which she craves). You all know who you are.
Of course, a number of friends and family fall into multiple team categories. You all know who you are.
Emily's Health Team is nurturing, sustaining and restoring her to health. This team is an amalgamation of all the teams above plus the bonus of periodic house-cleaning, massages, gourmet salads and mental stress therapy sessions all packaged into one love bundle from Gretchen.
I say to you all that Emily is so very appreciative of all of your support in so many ways, small and large.
I also want everyone to know that I am extraordinarily grateful as well. Life is so distinctly different today. And I know without a doubt that it would not have many shreds of joy or laughter in it were it not for the many blessings being poured into it by your prayers and selfless acts of love that envelope us. Thank you all.
Now check out the video of our boys getting picked from Grandma's house yesterday following Emily's chemo treatment.
Wow, this latest update brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could help more, I can't believe how well this has gone. I am beyond words happy to hear the cancer is gone. What strength your family has. You are so much more powerful than you probably knew. How wonderful. Love to you all. ♥
Excellent! Let me know if I can do anything to help. So glad you are done with Chemo! ♥ ♥