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

February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in March of 2009. The hospital gave us special tickets to the circus. We sat in private box seats and it was a safe and protected way to see the circus. In fact that was the first and last time Mattie ever visited the circus. I am not sure what Mattie liked the best, but my hunch was all the gadgets he bought from the concession stands made the top of his list. He got a light up plastic sword and a whirling elephant that lit up. In fact, I still have both of these items on Mattie's memory shelf in his bedroom. 

Quote of the day: Most of us know when we are about to react emotionally. We can feel it. Often there is a brief warning before the amygdala hijack. For some of us, it is butterflies in the stomach; for some, it is an increased heart rate, and for others, it is a feeling of agitation. ~ Elizabeth Thornton

I had an all day licensure board meeting today. Each month before heading to the meeting, I drop Sunny off at the groomer. how grooming can be an all day affair is beyond me, but it is. I drop him off at 9am and pick him up at 4pm. However, I feel like I am in the car ALL DAY. I drive from DC to Alexandria and drop off Sunny. Then get back into the car and drive to my meeting in DC. After the meeting, I hop back into the car and drive from DC to Alexandria to retrieve Sunny, and then head back to DC to go home. It feels like the endless loop on licensure board/grooming days. Though this is local driving, I am driving for hours. 

When I dropped off Sunny this morning with his groomer, she recommended that I try to place Sunny into doggie daycare after she finishes with him. Because Sunny has been recovering from his heart worm treatments, he wasn't allowed to interact with the other dogs, in fear that this would over excite Sunny. So for the past five months that I have had Sunny, when he went for grooming, he would then just roam around the grooming center until I picked him up. Interacting with a limited number of dogs. It seemed to work beautifully and Sunny likes his groomer. 

But the groomer encouraged me to let Sunny join the daycare center today. I told her I wasn't sure about this since Sunny seemed anxious in that setting. Understand that daycare involves a very large warehouse type room in which dogs are freely moving around and interacting with each other. Her response to me was that Sunny is feeding off my anxiety! In her next breath she said..... it is like when you drop your child off at daycare for the first time. Her response produced INTENSE agitation in me for many reasons! First of which, I don't think I am projecting anxiety onto Sunny. I am responding to my observations of him and he is visibly shaking. But second, my initial reaction to her was to lash out and say..... you don't really want to go there with me do you? She was lucky that I was in control of myself today because if she got me on a bad day, I could have been explosive. I do not think putting Sunny in daycare is equivalent to Mattie's first day at preschool. Mind you I never put Mattie in daycare, and that to me was always judgmental on her part. We all have different feelings about daycare, but I made a conscious decision to be a full time mom first and professional second. I am happy I made this choice because I would never get a second chance, nor did I get a lifetime to raise Mattie. 

In any case, when I picked Sunny up, he was okay. He was bolting for the door when he saw me, but when he got home he wasn't agitated, upset, or dejected. So I am happy that he had time to play with other dogs today because he truly is a very social dog. Walking Sunny in DC, doesn't give him the opportunity to play freely with other dogs and to roam around without a leash, so in theory this play setting is ideal. So I am staying open minded but I rather that the self direction come from me, rather than someone judging me and the interaction I have with my own dog. 

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, I agree with you! You are very careful about Sunny in all ways. He was a rescue dog whose entire past, you don't know. He lives with you daily and nuances of his you are going to know best of all! I also believe that comparing a dog who is a member of your family, experience is equivalent to a child's on any level, no matter how much we love our pet. Does your groomer know that You & Peter never got to finish raising Mattie. That Childhood Cancer snatched him from you at the tender age of 7. That every day, you live with this tremendous loss, knowing he only got to be 7 while all the other children of friends are now in high school, getting learner's permits, etc.

In many areas today, professionals seem bent on telling us what is right for our situation. Chances aren't offered rather they are explained as why something should happen and somehow our anxiety, whatever is preventing it from happening. Somehow comparing Sunny's need to socialize, your recognition that sometimes this causes Sunny anxiety being equated to what one feels dropping their child off at daycare seems a wrong analogy. I am glad for you, that being a part of Mattie's daily life was possible especially if you were only to get 7 years.

I love the picture of Mattie with the red clown nose and his other treasures from his trip to the circus.