Mattie Miracle 9th Annual Walk & Family Festival -- Raised over $97,000

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 -- Mattie died 156 weeks ago today.

Tonight's picture was taken on May 4, 2002. Mattie was officially one month old. Peter's parents came to DC to visit Mattie, and along with Peter's brother and his children, we all went out together for ice cream. Along that journey Peter's parents gave Mattie this beanie bunny. At one month of age, Mattie was intrigued by this bunny and was trying to focus upon it. Mattie's cousins were small themselves back then, yet they were trying to hold Mattie's hand and engage with him. It was a precious sight and memory. In fact, whenever I see this bunny in Mattie's room now, I am transported back in time, to the day Mattie turned one month old.

Quote of the day: Compassion is to share the pain without sharing the suffering. ~ Shinzen Young

For so many of Mattie's friends, today was the first day of school. Most likely in those closest to us with school aged children, today marks the day Mattie passed away. Why? Because three years ago, September 8, 2009, was the first day of school for Mattie's friends, and Mattie died at 7:15 that morning! I have to imagine the first day of school may always be clouded for our friends. Today does mark the 156th week of Mattie's passing, and Peter and I couldn't help but hear on the TV and the radio the fact that so many returned to school today. Again, something so natural and commonplace, yet it is not tangible for us, but instead is a reminder of our pain and loss.

It seems rather fitting, but I assure you this was by coincidence (since the radiology dept picked the date, not me), that I returned to Georgetown University Hospital today. In essence while Mattie's friends were starting school, I was at the hospital, not unlike how things were three years ago. However, today, I went for a pelvic MRI. To prepare for the MRI, I was unable to drink or eat anything four hours before. Since the test was at 11:30, that meant that I did not eat since the night before. Not a good thing for a headache sufferer! I find if I don't eat on a regular basis, my headaches are worse. The MRI center was backed up today, so by the time all was said and done, I was at the hospital for over three hours. Typically Peter goes with me to an MRI appointment, but he couldn't today given how much time he has taken off from work recently for travel. So I went alone. Again that most likely wouldn't be a big deal for most radiology patients, but for me it is. The MRI area reminds me of Mattie and all his testing. While I was waiting at the center for my procedure to begin, I was surprised by a friendly and unexpected face. Our friend Tim, a Hospital Administrator, came by to specifically find me and sit with me. Tim was wearing a beautiful orange tie today, and he told me he will be wearing an orange tie each day this week in honor of Mattie's passing. I was VERY touched by Tim's gesture and his act of kindness. It meant more to me than I possibly can express to have a friend with me, a friend who I did not have to tell how I felt to be in this waiting room alone. Tim just got it. Just like Aziza, the chief of Pediatric Cancer, also gets why I need to know results as soon as possible. I no longer have the nerves for the waiting game (a game I became very well versed in with Mattie's cancer battle) and Aziza knows this all too well.

To undergo a pelvic MRI, I am required to get an IV hooked up to my arm for radiology contrast. I am used to this drill, since this was my fourth MRI since February. However, what was new today, was on top of this I also had to get an injection of glucagon. This injection had to be administered by a physician, not the tech, because it has to be injected intermuscularly and SLOWLY. So naturally, since this was a new component to the test, I had 1000 questions. Basically the hospital's policy is that glucagon is now given to radiology patients who are getting scans of the stomach, bowel, colon, and pelvic areas. This drugs is designed to diminish intestinal motility making the images clearer. The tech was honest with me and told me that the drug needs to be administered slowly because it can cause nausea. Lovely, my favorite!!! Everyone I interacted with today at the Hospital couldn't have been nicer, and I appreciated their kindness and patient centered care!

However, once I got home, I felt sick to my stomach. This wasn't a feeling that was going to pass with rest. Mainly because I couldn't sit still. Before I knew it, I was vomiting intensely and all I can think of was that this was a reaction to the glucagon. So I was out of commission for the rest of the day, and had to take anti-nausea meds. About two hours after the scan was completed though, Aziza called me to let me know that the masses are stable and unchanged from May's MRI. So this was very positive news today.

I am grateful to my Georgetown Family, who keeps track of me, and stands ready to help me, even though their actual seven year old patient died three years ago. It is no surprise why these individuals touch my heart and why I consider them true medical professionals and friends. It is comforting to know that others can appreciate my fears, feel they are well founded, and aren't afraid to walk through these moments with me.

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