"We'll run with it."

One of the many things I love about my mom is her openness to situations and people. She is very fair-minded, caring, and quick to have a laugh. People assemble around her. She's got charm. It's infectious. 

I say that not in partiality or convention. She is truly an open soul. 

I really only consider my adult life to encompass the last five years or so. Everything before it was fumbling around figuring myself out. 

That's what happens when you live in the never-never land of New York City straight outta college (and, I utterly recommend it). But, since I can recall, my mother has never questioned my actions. 

I suppose that trust could be manifested in the notion that she knows me, and trusts that I can make the right decisions. Of course, that's silly because I've made plenty of bad ones. 

But the days when I treaded home on a plane, exhausted from working 24/7 at an insane ad agency with my eyes sopping and roads of mystery ahead, she makes me feel better. She plans my wedding and makes it perfect. She stays with me my first week in Denver -- while hubzo wraps up in Brooklyn -- and makes my apartment magically fatten up with furniture while I question my nerves. She buys me fancy champagne bottle dressings that only I and my friend Krispy can appreciate. She motivates me to ask for more money in my offer letters. She accompanies me to thrift store after thrift store where we find treasure together. She makes burritos so memorable that they require shipping in mass amounts. She navigates the Upper East Side way better than I ever could. She knows how to not get stiffed by a cabbie. She always wants to get ice cream with me. 

I know she does this for lots of people. Growing up, she mothered so many people. I used to get calls on my personal line from boys who "wanted to ask my mom a question". (I don't think it was a line either.) 

She baked cookies for every single baseball game I served as manager for during high school. I would jump on the bus and pass the tin of cookies around, everyone devouring them. I haven't been in high school for nearly 15 years and she still does this for the local football team. 

She sends hubzo peanut-butter themed care packages that light his eyes up more than watching Game 4, 2004, Dave Roberts steals second. She keeps my father in line. She loves her dog. She genuinely... is genuine. 

And, it's about time she got something back for it. 

We learned today that mom is very likely a candidate for a liver transplant. I cannot express how frightening this is, but also how much it could mean for our lives. There are many, many hurdles to jump... and this entire option could be stolen away from us next week if the transplant board decides against moving forward. This could happen. However, mums and dad had a fairly reassuring and lengthy discussion with the transplant team at Mayo today, and they agree she will likely pass the next test toward becoming a transplant patient. 

If the board agrees to the surgery, she will go through a 2-week period of intensive testing at Mayo to ensure that all other body parts are healthy and working appropriately. One must meet very strict guidelines regarding immunity, etc, to receive a transplant. She will require both chemo and radiation, as well. My dad said the radiation will take place two times a day. Ugh. 

Tomorrow, they meet with the oncologist to discuss chemo. 

And so, as my father said earlier this evening: "we'll run with it." Transplant it is. At least, we hope. The other treatment options are not encouraging, so we need this to work.

Mayo is the place for us. Dad was overwhelmingly pleased with the surgeons from the transplant team. They, in turn, reassured mom that she was where she needs to be. The team has already completed more than 50 transplants of this type this year. Mayo is the only facility in America that provides cancer liver transplants. 

Mom sounded tired, but OK. She is ready for the fight. She knows these are the next steps. I admire her resiliency and ability to comprehend this with such grace. 

Many days and months ahead to ponder. Looks like a little fairy is redirecting our auras to Rochester for a semi-permanent stay. It's time to go yellow to celebrate her recovery. Join me. 


  1. So, I was having a little talk/brush time with Cole tonight and I looked in his eyes and told him his momma was coming home. I think he understood cause he started running figure eights in the back yard with Eilene the bunny....I wanted to run with him too....we can't wait for you to come home! Hang tough a couple more days! Love you, Deb

  2. Good Morning, Paulette and Greg.

    [Thank you, Taryn, for your continuing litany of news. Your tenderness weaves through each sentence, how evident it is that you adore and respect your parents.]

    So now we go full throttle ahead, pedal to the metal, onward and upward, no turning back now, and every other cliche invented to show our resolve in getting you to the healthy side, Paulette.

    Yes, I remember how you unselfishinly supported the Tigers with goodies. I remember when you and our daughter Kim were twins on twin day. Not so long ago, I remember how you transformed a simple reception at Central Office into an elegant tribute to retirees with style and grace, perfect table setting, colorful array of both flowers and food. You are the hostess with the mostess. And yes, indeed, you deserve to get back for all that you have given.

    Today's Joke:
    A man and his wife went to the mall together. "Take your time, honey," the husband said. "While you're shopping, I'll go browse in the hardware store."
    An hour later the wife spotted her husband at the hardward checkout counter with two cartloads of tools and supplies.
    "Are you buying all this?" the wife asked incredulously.
    "Well, yes," he said. Then gesturing toward the rest of the store, he added, "But look at all the stuff I'm leaving behind!"

    Encouraging Words from Joshua: "Strength! Courage! Don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take, Paulette."

    Prayers and Love,

  3. It was Winston Churchill who said"If you are going through hell.Keep going"That is exactly what Paulette and I are going to do.We have a monumental task ahead of us but with so many people behind us how can we lose.Once again thanks to everyone who has helped us. You have all been so kind.paps

  4. What a beautiful post about your Momma and her progress. We are keeping prayers going and have visions of her baking cookies in our minds for many many years. She is incredible and has a lot of spunk! We are so hopeful for your progress, Paulette. You are an amazing woman and Wow, what a journey you have ahead! You can do it and I am going home now to put on my YELLOW. All for you.... God Bless and Keep the Faith. David and Teri Anderson

  5. Hi Paulette and Greg,
    There's no place like home.So happy you'll be coming tomorrow. Wishing you safe travels and oh just thinking of sleeping in your own bed there's something to be said about home sweet home.My heart is with you both and Oh how your so right Greg you must just Keep Going.Rest well/God Bless you

  6. I have fond memories of Paulette, working in the high school office. You were always so pleasant and I was not surprised when reading all of the wondering things Taryn and others said about you. You have a wonderful spirit that is treasured by all. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and send you much love. Zak Weis and Melodie Faulkner Weis

  7. Paulette - the GIVER...now you will wait and witness the GIFT. It will be amazing to see how God brings this transplant to you. Life stories are deeply rooted in sacrifice and sharing. People from all over are praying this into fruition. It is a time of nervous BUTTERFLIES-- but together your friends and family will have those butterflies flying in FORMATION! EYE on the PRIZE my friend!

  8. Dear Paulette,

    I am thinking about you and praying for you. Enjoy your time at home ... nothing like familiar things to help you to heal and to gain strength.

    I haven't been able to get a CD of the song I told you about: Runner by Twila Paris. But I am still working on it. In the meantime, here are the lyrics:


    Courier valiant, bearing the flame,
    Messenger noble, sent in His name,
    Faster and harder, run through the night,
    Desperate relay, carry the light …
    Carry the light.

    Runner, when the road is long,
    Feel like giving in but you’re hanging on.
    Oh runner, when the race is won,
    You will run into His arms.

    Obstacle ancient, chilling the way,
    Enemy wakened, stoking the fray,
    Still be determined, fearless and true,
    Lift high the standard, carry it through …
    Carry it through.

    Runner, when the road is long,
    Feel like giving in but you’re hanging on.
    Oh runner, when the race is won,
    You will run into His arms.

    Mindful of many waiting to run,
    Destined to finish what you’ve begun,
    Millions before you cheering you on,
    Godspeed dear runner, carry it home …
    Carry it home.

    Runner, when the road is long,
    Feel like giving in but you’re hanging on.
    Oh runner, when the race is won,
    You will run into His arms.

    Caring about you,

  9. A Battle Plan for Taking Back the Fort is emerging!!! our prayers continue for you, Paulette, your family, and the transplant team. You have the best of the best formulating this battle plan, and the best of the best family and friends to help you through it. Sending bright yellow sunshine thoughts of God's loving warmth your way!!! The Pak O'Burtons Family.


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