Friday, October 17, 2014

Continuing to Walk in the Promise


These last few months we've faced issues and situations that have had us on alert, but we are grateful for progress and even more thankful for God allowing us to continue to hurdle the obstacles and common issues that children encounter as latent effects of chemotherapy and some of the toxic medications taken throughout the process.

We have officially transitioned to the Peds/Hemoc Survivorship Program.  Our appointments continue to track every 3 months and will hopefully soon be stretched to every six months beginning in January and then annually for the duration.

Overall Mireya is doing well in the maintenance phase of her treatment.  She has some of the common struggles with sun exposure, fatigue, unexplainable stomach and headaches which make it difficult to flow through school days, but she loves learning and is doing exceptionally well in 2nd Grade despite it all.

 Makinley started Kindergarten this year and is adjusting well to a new schedule and routine.  Our Hero brother, Jalen has managed to admirably work through the anxiety and level of uncertainty that began to affect his day to day activities.  He is having great successes as a 4th Grader.  Paris is exploring the world through her studies abroad in Spain this semester and preparing to graduate in the Spring.  It is something I had the joy of experiencing as a child and I love that she has the opportunity to be immersed in the culture and life of another country. To capture her experiences visit lapuertaaespana.blogspot.com


Quentin and I continue to push through to get all areas of our lives on track and we make a conscious effort, to keep things in perspective, while savoring life in this new place. It has been several months, but it still feels different to exist in a space where you are free to live without major limitations. Simple things give us great joy. I cannot count the number of times there have been tears in my eyes or I've cried relishing the normalcy of a single moment or occurrence in time.

The Warmth of Sunlight on My Face



I'm Not My Hair, BUT I'm Back Where I Started
Take nothing for granted.  Handle others with love and a true measure of grace. Enjoy every day as it could be your last and remember every good and perfect thing comes from the Lord in HIS timing.  Several of you have shared how you've visited the blog and felt our absence.  Thank you for continuing to love, support and connect with us. Sharing and connecting with others is the beat of my heart.  Your support and presence with and for us, kept that beat strong even when it was weary.  I will work on consistently sharing the good that continues to happen with and for us.

Love and blessings always from #TeamBolton!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Relaunching & Paying It Forward


Giving the 'Stress Talk'
If you know anyone that has been through any sort of medical journey, you know or can associate with the financial burden that treatment over an extended period has or can have.  As a result I had truly been seeking direction on what it is I needed to do to help my family's financial bottom line.  I started reaching out to former colleagues and Managers about the possibility of going back into the conventional workspace.  I've had the opportunity to be at home with my children for the last 10+ year and I've enjoyed it very much. The thought of going back to the Corporate environment was even more of a concern when I considered having to find something that would allow me to make enough money to cover the expense of having my children cared for and still allow me to take care of the obligations that need to be addressed.

Many of you know or may recall I had a growing Spa and Wellness business that afforded me the opportunity to go into the home, workplace and community to share the importance of eliminating stress and give the 'gift of relaxation' through an amazing and relaxing spa experience. I help others 'de-stress and increase face value' through the education of proper skincare and the essentials of taking care of ourselves.  I have not been been able to pursue this business over the last few years as we've dealt with my daughter's illness and ongoing treatment.  I have been affiliated with and representing this company for a long time.  Connecting with people and helping others is my passion. Whether it is through providing solutions to issues, giving people permission to take 'the pause' or through helping them make changes in their lives by taking advantage of this opportunity for themselves and their family.   I pondered and prayed about what I could do, and the Lord continued to instruct me to 'use what is in your hand'.  Several months ago, my daughter was released from her treatment and a few weeks following that, I revived and relaunched my business.  To connect with me or learn more check me out at www.facebook.com/beautispava
   
I work with an amazing group of people and have never been more excited about this business until now.  About 4 weeks ago I was at a Leadership Conference in Dallas when a BIG announcement was made.  Let me preface the announcement by saying, BeautiControl has an amazing Foundation, W.H.O (Women Helping Others) www.whofoundation.org that has granted over 5 million dollars to community focused charities and organizations serving overlooked women, children and families.  I have seen dollars from the W.H.O. Foundation granted and serve the Richmond area several times over the last 10+ years.  I was at a loss for words when BeautiControl unveiled their partnership with the Make A Wish Foundation. I sat in that meeting sobbing as a Wish Family came out and shared their journey to victory over illness. Understanding their plight and knowing first hand how tremendous this is for families made me PROUD of this company I represent. Our collective mission in one month was to share this opportunity with 4,500 people. My personal desire was to do my part to make this happen by sharing it with everyone I could. The reward of going out and working on behalf of 'Paying it Forward' and blessing others for me, was bigger than any other reward the company could give.


Incidentally during a break the day before, I took a detour to a bathroom off the beaten path and ran into this beautiful lady. Obviously, she got the black and coral memo.  We chuckled, decided we had to take a picture because what were the odds amongst 2000 women you would 'happen' to run into someone in a long bathroom line dressed just like you.  Nothing happens by chance....she lives in Pennsylvania and her brother happens to be a Veterinarian in Glen Allen, Virginia (a short 20 minutes from where I live). We messaged one another a few weeks after our meeting in Dallas.  I shared with her my excitement for the Make A Wish partnership and she shared with me that she sat in the audience that morning in tears because her family was a Wish Family and her daughter has been in treatment for the last 3 years with a brain tumor. The odds just increased and I know without doubt our paths were intended to cross on that day.

Our lives were more connected than we could ever have imagined
I'm also so proud to say not only did we meet our goal, but we surpassed it and were able to share this opportunity with over 4,900 people.  The impact this will have on and in the lives of these two families is immeasurable.  I am thankful for opportunities that have opened up for me and people that have embraced my decision and helped me thus far in and through the process.  Together we can make a difference and the best is yet to come!! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Settling in Our Groove

These last few months have been a time to really getting back into our groove and enjoy the regular rotation of life.  It's very easy to want to jump right back into everything, but honestly just taking a step at a time, being present in the moment and living each day to the fullest without medical constraints or restrictions has felt like a true luxury.  I wish and want this for all our friends and family we know and love in the varying stages of caring for a child with illness and in treatment.

We continue to be so thankful for the restoration of Mireya's health.  Seeing her smile and knowing she is healthy brings us great joy.  The joy of the Lord continues to be our strength.

Psalm 19:8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Students with Heart



I'm so proud of my daughter Paris who spent her birthday yesterday sharing and raising money for our dear little friend Emily's BandAid Drive.  We know this is a time that studying and making it through these last few weeks of the semester is the focus, so a special thank you to the students of LC that donated to help the children of Children's Hospital. Paris is her mother's child so she spent a lot of the day yesterday in tears because nothing is more moving than seeing the hearts of people come together to help and bless others.  That's what its all about creating awareness, paying it forward, being the blessing. Emily came in to our lives close to three years ago at the beginning of our medical journey with Severe Aplastic Anemia.  She and Mireya became very close friends and looked forward to seeing and spending time with one another in and out of clinic. This little girl is pure joy and a fighter. Keep Emily and her family in your prayers for complete victory over Neuroblastoma. Visit her site www.emilyhubbel.com to learn more about this special little girl and her journey. Last year Emily and her family raised over 3000 boxes of bandaids.  This is her 2nd Annual Band-Aid drive and we are so happy to be able to participate in this effort.  Band Aid donations are being collected through this week.

To my girl Paris and friends...you are awesome!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful

 Gone are the days of being consumed with a life solely driven by treatment and all it entails.  Today we are enjoying living life in a new way (the difference a year makes).  Everyone is healthy and happy and there is so much we are grateful and thankful for!  My prayer is that everyone take a moment to truly understand how fortunate and blessed we are despite it all.  There are many things that have the ability to steal our joy if we allow it. 'Choose' to maintain a positive disposition regardless of the circumstance or situation. Make someones day and change how you feel about yours!  Look for ways you could bless others today...a smile, a phone call, a hug, a encouraging word, a meal, a dollar, your time...the list goes on and on.


Take time to reflect on the positive and move past the negative to reposition yourself and help others. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  Love and blessings to you all!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Campus & Community ~ Changing Lives


#TeamBolton & VSU President Dr. Keith Miller

Be The Match Team
Lovely Ladies of The Links Inc.
 
We spent some time this morning participating in a cause and effort very dear to our hearts.  I've blogged several times about Be the Match, an organization transplanting hope into the lives of individuals and families in need a bone marrow transplants.

My husband oversees Web and Technology Services at Virginia State.  The Drive was scheduled at the University to benefit a local 12 year old boy diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia in need of a transplant.  Without hesitation, we both knew we had to actively participate.  It all starts at the top....VSU President Miller arrived to help kick-off the drive and show his support of this campus and community partnership.  The Petersburg Chapter of Links Incorporated was on site to volunteer and help facilitate the process, along with the Be the Match Team and representatives from a local Sickle Cell Anemia Organization.

I'm believing that the VSU community will continue to show up and respond to this event today. Finding a match in my own household saved my daughter's life and I want to help those in the same situation have more donors available.  Please visit http://marrow.org/Home.aspx and join the registry or see how you can become involved with this organization and potentially change the life of this little boy or someone else in need of a bone marrow transplant.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Magnificent Grace


Five pictures worth a thousand words each and more.  So thankful for the grace of God that kept us in our right minds and with a measure of peace in the midst of a situation where we were often overwhelmed.  In the words of Marvin Sapp 'never would have made it without you'....we felt powerless, but not without hope, knowing God is/was able to turn our situation around in an instant.  The manifestation was not instant, but we kept trusting and believing and as a result, lives were touched and our faith increased exponentially.

We walk by faith and not by sight ~ the things we've seen and experienced over these last few years have given us a greater appreciation for life and those in our lives, but also showed us to keep things in God's perspective (what does God say about my situation) and to never, ever give up hope.  Mireya is our Warrior Princess, our son our Hero.  Every time we see this beautiful smile and think of his selfless love, it reminds us of God's love for us.  Thank you Father for your faithfulness towards us!!!!

Exodus 23:25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God and he shall bless thy bread and thy water and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.