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15 February 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 4:49 am

15 eggs. That’s what the specialist told my sister Ashley she had in her ovaries. After weeks of pills and injections, 15 eggs is what she has.

15 chances to become a mother.

I have to be honest, I’m suffocating. I’m overwhelmed by fear; I have absolutely no control over this situation.

I hate it. I seriously hate this. It’s complete bullshit that my sister has to go through this. I wish I could hug her hard enough to maybe take this burden from her and put it on my shoulders. That really is the worst part; I would rather go through this myself. Sitting on the sidelines, watching my sister enduring this, being strong for everyone else. She must be screaming on the inside; I know I have.

I gave her an extra hug when she left tonight after watching the Super Bowl with the D’s. I wish I knew what was going to happen, I wish I knew what the bottom line was. Not knowing is like a personal hell for me.

I’d appreciate prayers, good thoughts, mojo, chanting, you know; you do you.

Chemo starts Wednesday.

 

 

9 degrees January 13, 2016

Filed under: I wonder,Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 4:27 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight was a typical night for me. After work I had to run to Roncalli to pick up Kam, run over to the bowling alley for bowling practice, then hustle him downtown for play practice at the Anthenaeum.

Typical running, going through the drive thru for dinner, dropping him off to bowl with his teammates for about two hours, during the time he was bowling I was running errands – dropping off dry cleaning, talking to a friend on the phone, grabbed a Starbucks, and chatted with another friend before Kam came out of practice; jumped in the car and told me he forgot his pants for the dress rehearsal tonight. Looking at the clock, I knew I had just enough time to run him home, have him change his clothes while I made a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, sliced up an apple, grab a water and head back out onto the snow covered streets. I remember complaining the streets in our neighborhood  were basically a block of ice, I looked over and my comments were falling on deaf ears –  wireless headphones and iTunes had taken over.

I often don’t turn on the radio when I drive Kam around, mostly because I can hear what he’s listening to already. Windshield time is time for me to think about what’s next. Dinner, homework, work, tv, playing with Riley, and eventually sleep.

I dropped my aspiring actor at his destination a few minutes early (which makes me feel accomplished) and was ready to head back home to get dinner ready for Mr. D.

Downtown is usually quiet on that side of town, as I turned on Alabama I noticed there were lights about a block behind from me, but were heading my way. I pulled over and waiting for them to pass. It was a red, SUV type of vehicle, I noticed it was Indianapolis Fire Department vehicle as they passed. Almost immediately they got in front of me and went to the next block and started to get out of the SUV. Then I saw a guy on a cell phone with a blue coat talking to one of them. Two of the other firefighters were headed toward a bench a few feet away from the corner on the passenger side of my car. I don’t know why but I rolled down my window as I observed the scene.

There was a man (I’m guessing it was a man because they kept calling him bud) lying on a park bench motionless. It appeared to me that he may have been there awhile, the plastic like tarp that was covering him was covered partially in snow. He was motionless. One of the firefighters was calling something in and the other just stood there shaking his head.

That’s when a cop car pulled up to the scene and I got in the next lane and out of the way.

I cried all the way home. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Someones father, uncle, brother, cousin, or son was laying on a bench downtown, motionless, covered by plastic and snow.

I’ve seen homeless people downtown before, but never in that condition. I’m sure there are people reading this saying “yeah, well if you think that’s bad you should see how it is in Chicago, New York, LA.” I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t care. I think it’s absolutely despicable that a man who had obviously been lying there for hours probably got past by a hundred times by people that didn’t make a call.

If I knew there was something I could do that would make a difference I would. I’ve volunteered at food pantries, gave money when I could but I just feel hopeless.

My heart broke for a man that I never met; but I will never forget him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surgery December 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 3:51 am

Tomorrow is the day. Ashley, my 29 year old sister,  will have a mastectomy tomorrow morning.

I keep hearing about how God has a plan, and yes, I can accept that for some people. This situation with Ashley was not even a blip on our radar. I suppose that is why I’m having such a hard time with this.

If my Dad were here it would be easier, not that he wouldn’t be devastated, but he would hold us all together. He would sit us down with BBQ ribs and tell us exactly how things were going to go for the next few days – Johnno was a planner, and I was his assistant.

The bottom line is we’re traveling into unchartered territory tomorrow. Neither me or my sisters have ever had any type of surgery – besides child birth – I mean, not even a broken arm. The only experience we’ve had with St. Francis is that my Dad died under their care – that pretty much sucks as a track record as far as I’m concerned. I’m not comfortable at all leaving my sisters health to St. Francis. I’ll just leave that there.

Let’s get through tomorrow, we will give updates throughout the day. We cannot express how much your support, love, text messages, and phone calls have meant to Ashley. If she doesn’t get back to you right away, it just means she’s snuggling with Norm on the couch, resting her body for tomorrow.

Updates will be posted at @Ashley’s Updates – please be patient with us, this is new for us also. We appreciate all of your support for Ashley, but I think that the best thing she can do tomorrow is – to get through surgery – rest enough to manage pain – go home as soon as she can.

Thank you so much for your support, updates coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer November 30, 2015

Filed under: Cancer — stepheppichdaily @ 12:16 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Its been four weeks ago since I found out that my youngest sister has breast cancer.

I knew that she found a lump in her breast and that the hospital had taken a sample of tissue for biopsy, for some reason, I wasn’t worried. My dad’s mom had breast cancer, which went undiagnosed until it didn’t really matter. She had a myriad of health issues going on toward the end of her life, breast cancer wasn’t really on the radar.

Again, it must seem silly, but I just wasn’t worried about my sister. She’s 29, she works out all the time, totally healthy, it just didn’t add up to me. So when my mom called me early on a Friday it didn’t occur to me to get off the call I was already on, I would just call her back. Then she called again, I thought, ok something’s up, I explained to the woman I was talking to that I would have to call her back. In the midst of that conversation my sister called me, I finally said I have to go. I’m pretty sure I hung up without giving her the option of holding or talking another time.

I switched over to my sisters call and she said what are you doing this morning? I said that I had a meeting later in the afternoon, but asked “what’s up?” She proceeded to tell me that the hospital called and she was wondering if I could go with her to see what they had to say. My heart immediately sunk, this, whatever it was, was not good. I said of course, when do we have to go, 30 minutes, no problem. I threw on clothes and made a call to Site Strategics explaining I wasn’t going to be able to make the meeting. They were very gracious, told me not to give it a second thought, and go with my sister.

I always have to get in the right frame of mind going over to my parent’s house – that frame of mind is denial. Even now, even after six years, I still have to tell myself that my dad won’t be there when I walk through the front door. This trip though, felt familiar, I was anxious and sick to my stomach, fighting back tears, telling myself my sister was fine, and I had to be strong, over and over again.

Jumping into my car we headed over to the hospital, the same hospital my dad was rushed to six years earlier. I doubt if Ashley remembered, but we parked in almost the exact same spot that we had parked in when we followed the ambulance carrying our Dad in. As we walked up, I said it’s going to be fine, no matter what happens, it will be ok. She already had a look on her face as if she’s been rehearsing this conversation already in her head.

“It’s cancer.” Ashley just shook her head acknowledging what she already knew. I put my hand on her shoulder, I could feel every muscle in my body tense up. The woman started saying things, and I started writing things down, it was like she was talking muffled and so slowly I almost couldn’t make out what she was saying, but I still kept writing. Then she paused and looked at the floor, she did not want to say what she had to say next.

Type of cancer, estrogen, hormones, menopause, not able to have children.

Ashley slumped over in the chair, the three of us cried and cried.

We left in silence with a folder full of information both of us stunned. I knew life as our family knew it was changing again.

Why I’m telling you this. Ashley had wanted to be very private about her diagnosis, but something has shifted in her and she doesn’t want to be private now. She wants to give this a voice, that’s why I’m telling you.

She wants everyone to know that she found this lump during a self-exam which she learned how to do from Planned Parenthood. Here’s the deal people, I don’t care if your pro-life or pro-choice, I don’t care what side of the fence your morales sit with regards to Planned Parenthood. As far as I’m concerned Planned Parenthood educated me and both of my sisters about our bodies and how to take care of them and that we had choices. They educated us, and because of that education, my sister found her tumor very early and because of that I’m sure she will beat this disease.

Her surgery will be in December, and chemotherapy will start shortly after that. All we are asking for is prayers/mojo/chanting/etc. for strength and healing. You can also like our Facebook page Ashley’s Updates

Cancer really does suck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key West In Maryland – Mallory Square August 6, 2015

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Maryland to a blogger event hosted by Mallory Square Apartments in Rockville.

I got in the night before the event, Tania, the property manager had arranged for me to stay in their guest suite. Wow, is all I can say. It was modern and chic, with a full kitchen, living room, a huge spa like bathroom and a big white comfy bed which I proceeded to collapse into. The guest suite is available for residents to reserve when they have guests from out of town coming, which is really nice. Instead of a hotel, they can stay at the property.

The next day I knew I had a few hours before the blogger event so I headed down to the pool to catch some rays before hand. If I was looking for a new community, the pool had me at hello. In the middle of a huge courtyard the pool has a Baja sun shelf which I took full advantage of.

pool

The blogger event was awesome. Tania had arranged a demonstration by Executive Pastry Chef Padua Player, owner of SugaChef Desserts, LLC, we made our own mason jar salted caramel brownies with freshly whipped (I whipped my own) cream. Tania also provided margaritas, beer, wine and catering by Copper Canyon.

Since we were on sugar overload we decided to take a tour of two model apartments, the studio and the two bedroom. Having lived in a studio myself, I was curious to see the Mallory Square version. Wow, this was not the studio apartment I remember from my twenties. Modernly decorated, spacious, but the best part was the private bedroom – yes, you read that right, privacy in a studio apartment. Two sliding frosted glass dividers that closes off the bedroom from the rest of the apartment.

studio

The two bedroom was equally as impressive with large bathrooms, tons of closet space and everything you could want from a brand new apartment. The master bedroom features a walk in closet connecting the bedroom and the bathroom, that I really loved.

If the apartments weren’t impressive enough based on the amenities alone I would lease at Mallory Square. The pool again, is awesome. The courtyard has gas grills, granite tables and a brick fire pit. The 24 hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment also has a separate yoga studio and spinning room. I could go on, and on, and on about all the benefits of living at Mallory Square, but it might be easier for you to check out the amenities here. If that wasn’t enough residents shared that Mallory hosts at least two resident events per month – how fun is that?

If you’re looking for a new community that is close to everything you need but far enough away that you don’t get caught up in the hustle when you get home, definitely check out Mallory Square. When you fall in love with it, you can say “Stephanie said I would.”

 

Favre and Favreita July 21, 2015

I didn’t think I would ever go back to Green Bay after my Dad died.

Truthfully, I knew I would never go back. There was no reason to go back. What made Green Bay so exceptional and so very special to me was gone. My Dad was gone, and as silly as it might seem to you reading this Brett Favre was gone, the two things I loved most about that special place were gone, I had no intention of ever going back. I mean sure, in passing I would talk about going to a game but I never sought out tickets, I would talk about the upcoming games on social media but I could barely watch most of them.

Then something happened.

After all the turmoil, after all the hurt feelings, after all the trades, talks, jerseys, trash, arrogance, blood, sweat and tears I saw something I thought I would never see.

Brett Favre and the Packers were talking. Talking about him coming back to Green Bay to retire his #4 and induct him into the Packers Hall Of Fame.

Well, I wasn’t planning on that curveball Brett…WTF?

I remember watching an interview with Greta Van Susteren (who has covered Brett for years) during that interview he said something about being inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame and what a special moment it would be. Then Greta asked something about opening it up to the fans of Green Bay, to be able to see one of the best quarterbacks ever to play come back to where it all started in Green Bay and see it all for themselves.

I think Brett said “well hell, why not?”

It was almost like he was daring the Packers organization on national television to say no, which I really enjoyed, because if they said no, it would just give me more ammunition to not buy the NFL Sunday Ticket this year.

But the Packers said yes…and my mind exploded.

I remember telling Mr D, if they open this up, I’ll be there. That’s exactly what the Packers did, they opened Lambeau Field to the fans to watch Brett Favre get his number retired and get inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame (which has never happened at the same time for any player – by the way.) I remember sitting on my bed watching the timer tick down on Ticketmaster, the moment it hit zero I hit refresh and began to enter in my info. I held my breath until I got the ticket confirmation, once I had the email, I sat in the middle of my bed and thought what have I done?

Getting the tickets was easy, even though 67,000 seats were sold in two hours, that part, piece of cake. Going to that stadium, being there, I didn’t really think that part through.

I told everyone though, I told every person I knew I was going to Green Bay. It seemed like some kind of dream I was daring life to take away from me, I never really thought it was going to happen, at least that is what I kind of told myself.  Then I saw this on the Packers website the day I came back to Green Bay:

heal

Seriously…What The Hell?

One thing I do know about myself is that I’m a stubborn ass, but I also hold passion, conviction and loyalty in high regard. I can understand why Favre left the Packers, I can understand why people in Green Bay hated him for it. There was a line drawn across Lombardi Avenue, not necessairly when he went to the Jets, but when he went to Minnesota that some Packer fans could not understand, but I could. In my opinion he was left with no options, I know what that feels like. So he did what he could do at the time under his circumstances while still doing what he loved to do, again.. I understand that logic.

Entering Lambeau Field was suffocating, it was like all the hurt, all the tears, all the mistakes, all the pain, everything that has happened since my Dad died was on the back of my Favre jersey on display for everyone to see. I cried, wiping away the tears trying not to draw any attention to the panic I was feeling.

Then it happened, Brett Favre walked out of the tunnel in Green Bay and 67,000+ people couldn’t stop cheering. He was speechless, he looked around the packed stadium with tears in his eyes like everything that happened since the summer of 2007 suddenly the universe made right.

He said “I could thank all of you until tomorrow, and it would never be enough.”

Because of Brett Favre and the Packers forcing my hand I was able to go back to Lambeau Field. I was able to experience something with my husband and son that otherwise probably would have never happened. I was able to go back on a tour of the stadium and see the absolute wonder in my son’s eyes as he came out of the Packer’s tunnel into the sunlight of that magnificent stadium my dad and I loved so very much.

Before we left, we were able to find my Dad’s brick outside of Lambeau, a present for his 60th birthday.

brick

greenbay johnno

Thank you. I could say it until tomorrow, but it would never be enough….

 

Pregnant? That’s A Joke Right? June 1, 2014

Filed under: I am still learning,Johnno,Parenting Kameron,Stuff — stepheppichdaily @ 5:51 am

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant.  I remember exactly where I was.

I was smoking a cigarette outside after church (yes I went to church) and it made me sick. I had been smoking for years and I never remembered lighting up making me feel so ill, like I was going to pass out. My girlfriend that was with me said “you’ve been feeling weird lately, are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

I laughed.

The idea of me being pregnant was a joke. I was married at the time, but we weren’t each other’s biggest fans.

That was a Sunday.

Tuesday I bought a pregnancy test.

My girlfriend was with me when I found out that I was going to be a mother.

I sobbed. I thought of every despicable thing that I had done over the last few weeks (which I later found out was approximately two months.)  I thought, I’m not ready.

Is anyone ever really ready?

Fast forward fifteen years.

Fifteen years. I’m tough, but fifteen years?

I remember when I was fifteen and what assholes I thought my parents were.

My son is named after Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Kameron with a “K” because I decided he was going to have to spell his last name for everyone for the rest of his life, so why not add that exclamation point?  “Yes, I’m Kameron with a “K”…

After all he’s my son; I don’t play small ball.

It’s been so hard for me to watch him become a man. It’s so hard.

Tonight he asked me what time he was born (I have no idea why.) I told him he was born at 7:47 pm in room 2020. He looked at me and I told him “I always said you would be a pilot, with perfect vision.” He laughed and walked away; I was immediately transported to that moment when I knew life would never be the same.

My son, he’s such a good man.

I don’t know how it happened, I wish I could take all the credit, but I can’t.

  • Johnno – Thank you for everything, we miss you so much, every day.
  • Mr. D.  – You are the definition of a good man, I am so thankful that Kameron has you as a role model.
  • Mr. Clady – Thank you so much for believing in Kameron, you are a fantastic inspiration to everyone.

I can’t wait to see what Kameron does in the years to come…. I’m sure it will be expensive.