I write. I work. I love my *son, AJ, and sometimes I sleep. Not in that order. I was born in New Orleans and later moved (after Hurricane Katrina) to a nearby area of Southeast Louisiana: Home of red beans & rice and Jurassic Park sized mosquitos. I’ve been genetically predisposed to love the Saints, seafood, and brass bands. I was once set on fire my someone else’s Flaming Dr. Pepper shot.
I don’t have a favorite book, but there are several I have read multiple times. A few of my favorite authors are Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King. My life is rather mundane most of the time, except for the occasional bizarre encounter in the world- like the time a giant partition fell on my head during my friend’s brother’s comedy set (True story). I think we can all relate.
I’m involved with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a childhood cancer charity that dedicates their funds to childhood cancer research worldwide. I lost my son to childhood cancer on April 5, 2022. I’ve posted updates about his cancer journey through the years, listed below.
Photo taken in 2013 after my first time shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I have intermittent esotropia, and I wore an eye patch. I’ve had surgery since this photo was taken, but my eyes are pretty FUBAR still.
I’m super into skulls and skeletons. I just am. Spider-Man is my favorite super hero. My favorite dinosaur is T-Rex. Most of my writing inspiration comes from music, and I have eclectic music tastes. I will openly declare that I love Queen, and I don’t care who knows it. Freddie Mercury is one of my favorite humans to ever live.
That’s me, in a few paragraphs. If only I could summarize everything in life so easily.
*Below are updates I kept during AJ’s cancer diagnoses and after his passing.
Update March 2012
Since this post my son has been diagnosed with a PNET (Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor), a malignant and aggressive tumor, in his brain. He is currently hospitalized, recovering from his initial surgery and awaiting chemotherapy. Because of the tumor’s location, on his brain stem and spinal cord, it wasn’t able to be removed completely-lowering his chances of survival (his chance of survival is about 40%). We’re remaining hopeful that he will continue to recover and tolerate the chemotherapy well and that he will be in that 40%.
Update August 11, 2015
After 11 months in-patient at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and many chemo treatments, radiation treatments, stem cell collecting, and more antibiotics than I can name, my son is cancer free (since February 2013). He is home and making enormous strides in his recovery every day.
Update July 2016
After almost three years cancer free, my son AJ was diagnosed with a secondary cancer in his trachea. Rhabdomyosarcoma. He was successfully treated but not without much suffering. Cancer is a bitch.
Update September 14, 2019
In my original bio post I wrote about my son, his cancer diagnosis, and his recovery. To save myself from having to repeat this story over again and again, I copied my story from my St. Baldrick’s Foundation participant page. I have been active with St. Baldrick’s Foundation since 2013. I’ve shaved my head 5 times and my team, Team Robot Boy, have raised several thousand dollars thus far. We hope to continue raising money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation so that they can continue to fund grants toward pediatric cancer research. If you’ve landed here, and want to help us by donating, please visit this link stbaldricks.org/kids/mypage/5126.
Below is our current situation:
AJ relapsed in 2019 and the rhabdomyosarcoma in his trachea returned. There are no treatments that will rid him of the cancer at this point. Any chemotherapies we might have considered would extend his life, or more likely do nothing for him, but his quality of life would be very poor. He can no longer receive radiation treatments to his trachea as it would cause irreparable and life-threatening damage to his trachea and esophagus. Any treatments we might have tried would cause him unneeded misery. We have chosen to give him comfort and peace at this time. He has entered palliative care. Our hope is that he is able to remain at home with his family and receive all the love and care he needs to be in the most comfort and least amount of pain until he succumbs to this disease. We will continue to support St. Baldrick’s in his honor, and when the time comes, in his memory. This is why I, AJ’s mother, shave for St. Baldrick’s and try my best to raise as many donations as I can for St. Baldrick’s. Their funding for childhood cancer research is critical for our kids, so that better treatments can be discovered and more cures can be developed
Update June 4, 2022
On April 5, 2022 AJ left this world for the vast openness of the Cosmos. He was peaceful and surrounded by family. AJ had a difficult life full of suffering, and now that suffering has ended. May he forever sail for far away horizons he could only dream of in life.
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