Mattie Miracle 2021 Walk was a $125,000 success!

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

September 23, 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Tonight's picture was taken in September of 2005. Mattie was three years old. This was classic Mattie. He found a big log and decided it was interesting. So he picked it up and carried it near to where we were sitting. He then went onto weaving the log into a play scheme. Mattie was great at embracing the gifts of nature and encouraging me to share in his enthusiasm. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 6,921,817
  • number of people who died from the virus: 201,459

What a day today was! I got up at 3:45am, so that we could leave the house at 4:30am. My check in time at the hospital in Baltimore was 5:30am. Honestly NOT a good hour for anyone. It takes a good hour with no traffic to drive from Washington, DC to Baltimore. But we made it in time and clearly had no trouble parking at the hospital. 

When we arrived, I was instructed to enter the hospital using a specific door. The nurse who called me last night, suggested that Peter come inside with me, until I had to go back to the procedure area. When we arrived at the door, there was a line of people outside. Patients trying to get in. If the sun was up, standing outside wouldn't have been a problem. But it was dark at 5:30am, and all of us were freezing. Not a good way to start off a visit to the hospital. Especially if people on the line may have been worrying about their health or pending procedure. 

Once we got inside, we had our temperature checked and were directed to the registration department. Which was a smooth experience. Once through registration, we took the elevator to the 4th floor. It was at that point, I said good-bye to Peter and was shuttled back into a room. I can't tell you how many nurses, residents, and assistants I met today. It bordered on ridiculous. I thought Mattie's hospital was bad, but this was ten times worse! Regardless of the hospital setting, they all do a poor job at requiring their staff to introduce themselves to patients. Wouldn't it be nice if someone came in and said, not only their name, but what department they are in, their title, and what they were going to be doing with you today? This common courtesy makes a huge difference and it is the first step to receiving quality psychosocial care. But honestly medicine has a long way to go, as there is a lot of verbiage about holistic care, and not a lot of action. 

The first three women I interfaced with today, aggravated me and stressed me out to no end. Why? Well one insisted I needed a pregnancy test, despite the fact that my internist felt it was unnecessary. She then handed me pre-sealed wash clothes and told me I had to use them all over my body. The manner in which she introduced this to me, did not sit well at all and I told her as much (note: I never saw her again during my visit). The second nurse greeted me by saying, I am here to start your IV for a hysterotomy. REALLY? That was news to me and had to correct her as I was NOT getting a hysterotomy today but a hysteroscopy. Then the third nurse was from the sedation, but she is in training. If this were Mattie, she wouldn't have made it passed the door to the room. I would have STOPPED HER! I understand health care providers need training experience, but patients should be alerted to this and asked permission. As I told her I did not want an IV in my hand. But too bad, I got it there anyway, after about three or four tries/sticks. By this point if she were working with Mattie, he would have been on the ceiling! 

Finally, after dealing with them and the HOST of other doctors who came in (the anesthesiology team literally sent four people in, the actual doctor and then three assistants), I was greeted by a nurse. This was a woman who understood the importance of conversation, of connecting with patients, and answering our questions. I learned a lot about her as she also learned about Mattie. Want to know how many other people (in the myriad of people who walked into my room) made a point to talk and connect with me? NONE! I mention this specifically because patients come in with past medical experiences, with medical trauma, with trauma in general, and therefore connecting with patients is not only the human thing to do, it is the vital thing to do. As capturing information and getting a snapshot of the patient helps tremendously at achieving a positive health outcome and experience.  

Fortunately the procedure went smoothly and NOTHING was found (no masses, polyps, or fibroids). That is the best news of the day. In the recovery area, I woke up disoriented. If you think about it, you start in one area, you are pumped with Versed and Propofol, and have NO MEMORY of being wheeled to a procedure room. Then you wake up in a completely different place. Literally I felt more stupefied today then when I woke up from both my colonoscopy and my utereroscopy and lithotripsy procedures. The nurse went over the discharge order with me and the symptoms that I would and could experience. I wish hospitals during COVID would do this discharge with not only the patient, but patching in by phone the patient's family member or caregiver. Because when a patient comes out of a procedure, it is very hard to remember anything and to ask intelligent questions. 

Before being discharged, I wanted to go to the bathroom. So I went, and it was very painful. I mentioned this to the nurse, but she did not seem concerned. However, the car ride home (1 hour) was the drive from hell. My bladder bothered me so much that I literally pulled out a Ziploc bag and urinated in the car while Peter was driving. As Peter says..... that's a first! If you know me, then you know I must have been besides myself to select this option. However, I was squirming all over the front seat in terrible pain, as I believe this procedure re-triggered my cystitis condition. 

As soon as I got home, Peter ran to CVS to fill my pain script! But why did we have to do that? At Mattie's hospital, they would have sent Peter to the hospital pharmacy to fill the scripts. So when I got in the car or when I needed that pain med, I would have had it on hand. I speak from experience! So this isn't a wish, it is a reality at some hospitals. 

I am hoping with time, the pain I am experiencing improves. As it is intense cramping and when I urinate, it feels like I am passing shards of glass. Makes you wonder why we do more invasive procedures in the first place? I know my answer is easy..... MATTIE. Mattie's journey showed me that if you have a symptom, follow up on it. Because it may actually be something. All medical concerns have to be taken seriously and having a doctor you trust is crucial. I am saddened my doctor moved from her hospital in Washington, DC to Baltimore. I am clearly following her and her expertise and I am grateful she gave me a clean bill of health today. 

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