Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's been quite the year & eight months.

I've been at my current place of employment for a year & eight months. Two months into it I thought, what the hell was I thinking??  My focus soon became (as if it ever changed) just pass, pass that daymn exam. Of course come April I failed by 7. Got really mad at myself, then I saw the reality of my situation. How people on this "team" aren't abiding by our ethics, but I was also reminded that on this "team" it's not just MSW's. You'd think that if you were in this field, you'd want to help others, work together & be understanding. So not the case. I was upset about failing, so instead of talk to me about it, complain to your supervisor that I'm moody. That is the way you handle that type of situation. I learned early on to just shut up, it was like DMH all over again. 

That's just one of the many things that have happened while on this "team."   The way they treat you, it's like I was in Mean Girls, I couldn't believe it. Till this day I'm in Mean Girls. They don't work together & if you leave work for them, they question why you didn't do it. It's not like they have caseloads & it's not always busy.  Or if there's a change in your schedule & no one told them, they need to know why & again with the questioning. 

Not all on the "team" are bad. My supervisor is really trying, but it's hard to pull together a broken down group that refuses to work together. Talk behind everyone's back, that's what it's like here. Mean girls. I think I didn't push to change my shift because I didn't want to work on a shift with them. 

I have learned many things after working here: You can't trust people, you say one thing, they go & spread it. The trust circle needs to be tight.  I have stronger boundaries because I had to deal w/ a borderline who is probably bipolar as well.  You need breaks & as much as possible. If you don't want to say something, don't. You don't have to justify anything to anyone who's not your supervisor. Karma is a bitch & will bite you in the ass. But I knew that one already. 

I hope they learn lessons, I know I have. I do not wish bad things on anyone, but I do hope they learn. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016


You come to a point where you're just done. You stop trying or doing because you trust your instincts, listen to your gut & know that what you've been feeling...it's true. 

People come in & out of your life, it's the constant cycle...and that's okay. Either they die, or you just start seeing them for what they've always been. 

Over these past few months I've seen things in a better light. Ive stopped adding in what I wanted to see & just observed what truly is there. It's a hard pill to swallow. 

People who are meant to be, they will always be there. But those others, for whatever reason, they'll eventually slip away...because really. Were they ever there to begin with? Or was it something I wanted them to be? Maybe they were there for what they needed to be & you just grew apart. It happens. 

Sometimes you just get tired of all the bull shit they keep spewing & it's nicer to stay away. Cause people grow apart, the ones that stay, those were truly there, in good & especially the hard times. Some say they tried, but if they actually -tried- they would still at minimal give you the benefit of the doubt & maybe still be around. 

I'm just done. Tired. Because if they were true, they wouldn't have even ventured off, no matter how hard things got or were. Death, good things, bad, terrible, happy, they'd still care enough to be around or figure out what went wrong. But they didn't. So I will just take their lead, and bid adieu. 

You always know who are the ones who are true, you just know. 

Saturday, July 02, 2016

In a few days...

It's July and on Tuesday it's K's birthday & she would have been 37.  She's five years younger than me.  I miss you every day.  If you weren't in Hawaii celebrating, the family would have gotten together. It's your birthday weekend. Ironically, you are in Hawaii celebrating. Your family & my brother are all there...setting your ashes free. I wish I had the vacation time & money to join you. We could of celebrated passing, cause you know, that's the plan. 

It still hurts that you're not with us. But I find you everywhere I go. Of course not when I dropped my phone, but I thought, eh, it's just water & I have insurance. Not everything is a tragedy, we can find solutions to everything. You always helped me see that, even when things feel impossible, it's not. Not that a water logged iPhone is impossible...it was just something that I figured out. 

So now let's say I value everything more, people, puppies, time, my favorite things. I make sure I spend more time with mom & dad. Not to ask them to do things. But to have a meal or beer with, or to call more often. I listen to their stories more, don't worry so much & not let things get to me. 

I try and show those who are important to me, how they make me feel. I think that's what you were doing more and more. It's not fair that we lost you so young, it's just not. But I don't want to dwell on things. Like my hair. I'm not making a big deal of it, it's just hair. At least I figured out what to do with it...you probably guided me to ask Chriss to help me out with it. It's not the end of the world, it's temporary. This too shall pass. 

I wear your ring every day. Thankfully I lost enough weight that it actually fits. It reminds me of that amazing trip, a few months before you & Noel's wedding. I practiced so hard on that song for your wedding, it was an honor to sing for you both. I didn't care for that preacher guy that kept looking at me to hint to stop. It hurt to sing that same song at your celebration of life. It hurt so bad. It hurt so much that when people tried talking to me about "cancer awareness" I shut them out. I learned that people deal with death weird & close that part out, and since I'm still grieving I don't really care or open up as much. 

Am I okay? Your birthday is in 3 days & I hate that we can't talk to you. My last text with you was about Big Sur Marathon & how I thought of you to power through on that painful course. You left us that week, I started my run streak before you left us. I talk to you whenever I run. I feel you when I run, I hear you, see you in the beauty of each flower. I miss you every day. 

I miss my sister.  You both would have made awesome parents. You are an amazing person. You make me want to be a better person. To pray out loud. To forgive people who have hurt me. To let those who annoy me, not get to me. You were amazing the entire time.  I miss our sleepovers. Those were the best. I'm sorry if I hurt you initially, I didn't know how to clean properly, but I learned. I would do it all again & again if we can bring you back. But when you do, you have to be cancer free. 

I hope you're having an amazing birthday weekend with your family. I love you & miss you so much. 

Happy birthday, K. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Don't expect too much.

That's the message I got from my run earlier. K still talks to me, she helps me make sense of things. 

Do things out of the good of your heart, do them for you, with no expectations in return. It's a shame that at the very baseline you won't get that respect back, but now, that's what I expect in return. 

I'm also learning not to bend for people so much. I do, do too much...for people who don't give a rats ass. Or they just end up taking from you. That's the most annoying part about it all. I grew up learning to help others, always care...but in this world, it's not like that. 

Lesson learned. Maybe it's the social worker in me wanting to always help out. I need stronger boundaries. At least I'm learning, you learn something new everyday. 

Expect less, if any. Expect nothing, don't bend, just let it all go. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

On the 5th day of our cruise, we went to Katakolon, Greece.

Before I went to grad school in 2005, we went on a 2 week cruise to the Greek and Mediterranean Islands.  My room was with Kristy and Noel, and we (if I remember correctly) were in the front of the ship (or the back).  Anyway, that's all besides the point.

It was a family trip with all of us, pre-nephew.    It was an amazing time visiting all the different cities in Greece and Met Islands, my favorite was day 5.  Why you ask?  We said hello to Zeus and Hera.  Also, I ran on the original track of the Olympics, well, I ran, then Noel and Kristy raced after me.  I also ran in half sneakers as my mom didn't bring extra sneakers, so me being the dutiful daugther let her use mine.  Out of all the days on this cruise, this was my absolute favorite.

We all raced around taking pictures everywhere.  It was a non touring day, my mom made that day happen.  We had to figure out how to get there on our own.  If I knew how to do a handstand back then, I would have done it...it was that awesome.  Just seeing the history of what is Katakolon, it was amazing, I can't even put it in words.  I felt honored to be there, taking in the sights, and just being silly with all my siblings.

Afterwords we all separated.  Noel, Kristy and I decided to go shoppng in the area.  Kristy found these really cool Greek rings and she bargined for her and me.  She got one in silver, mine was in gold. So we kinda twinsied then.   A year later, I lost mine...and I have been searching for a replacement since then.  I always remove my rings to wash my hands, I'm more careful now.

I haven't really found a good enough replacement, at least nothing that could compare to them.

So when Noel asked me what I wanted of Kristy's, you can probably guess what I asked for .  It's a little snug because Kristy's fingers are smaller than mine and it's been so hot lately, but when it cools down it's the perfect size.  Thank you Kristy, I promise, I won't loose this one.  This one fits much better than the ring you made for me, and this means so much more to me.  

Love you lots, K.  Miss you so so much.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2nd to last treatment

My baby just had his second to the last treatment today, he was a good boy today.  Wasn't nervous at all, well, until he layed down.  He initially ran around the room and barked at the nurses, then he eventually calmed down.

He's in remission, and I can't believe we're almost done with his 15 weeks of treatment.  This has been a tough time for my family.  First we lost Kristy during this process, then my boy getting Muticentric Lymphoma and beating it.  I know it may or may not come back eventually, since they said it will, but like I said before...we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

But I am thankful that we were able to do this treatment in the first place, so again, I am thankful for those who have donated to my boy, my family.  He is able to beat cancer because all of you.  This is the best part of it all, he is still with us because my friends and family have supported us during this time.  So thank you to everyone who has supported us by your words, your donations, and your love.  We appreciate it all.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

When it's on paper, it's official.

I didn't think it would be this quick & these past few weeks, I really haven't known what to do w/ myself. But it's all real. It's not a fluke, because I got my license in the mail. 

I haven't had to study, practice test, go over my note cards, or have everything social work in my head. It's so weird. For the past 4 years, it's all I've obsessed about. 

Things just fell into place this year. As if it were meant to happen this way. I have to admit, I think I had help...especially scheduling & helping me with my anxiety issues. 

This hasn't been the best year. But, things happen as they're supposed to happen. It's been hard, but you move forward, knowing she's in a better place. 

You still miss them, I miss her. You'll never feel complete. But you know they're always there with you. She's in a better place, she's no longer hurting. I feel comfort in that. She helps me when I run. She's more like Storm in my mind. She controls the weather & reminds me to focus so I don't get hurt. 

When I look up myself on Breeze, she's there. I think she'll be there whenever I do a search. She will always be there. But I don't cry, now I hold my head high & remember all the good times. All the time spent together. Those two weeks are so special to me. 

It's all so surreal, like it's not happening, but it is...and I got the paper to prove it. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

5 weeks to the day 💙💜

It's been 5 weeks to the day & I miss you. 

I do searches for myself on the BBS's site & your name is there. I see you everywhere. I talk to you more now than before. 

You are with me wherever I go & you help me figure things out. I miss your perspective, I miss how you make everything better, I miss you. 

Oh my beautiful sister n law, you are so special to all of us. I miss you so much. I don't cry as much & I can get myself to not get to that point. I think you're with me when I run, because you're free. 

I know you're in a better place, but I do miss you. I just wanted you to know that. 

Love you lots, K. 💜💙

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The good comes with the bad

Or is it the other way around?  I've been thinking about this lately.  Good has come lately, and I think it's mostly because of you, Kristy.  You helped me get a date for the test, you helped me with my anxiety on test day and I finally can say I passed.  But you weren't there for me to tell you, I know how happy you would have been.  I have to tell you though, right before I went in, or as I was driving to the test center, I prayed...out loud.  Just like you wanted me too.  Remember that night?  I can't forget those nights.  They were some of my most favorite memories.  I mean, snowboarding, auto-cross, those were pretty cool.  Also the birthday's, holidays, all the times we got together, those were special.  But being able to help you when I knew you couldn't do anything, that was special to me.  Helping you, like you helped others, I'm always remembering those times.  I wish I had more time, then Jersey got sick, so I couldn't come on my days off, I just wish I had more time.

You have always been special to me.  I like that you didn't have to be elaborate, or fancy, you were simple, got your point across, and that was you.  You never belittled me, or anyone else.  You never made me feel bad for living the farthest away, but you appreciated every single time I would see you.  You had this way to make me feel special.

So I still don't know how to feel.  I get that others are grieving and we all grieve differently.  But I'm not going to do Facebook activities for "awareness", for one, it doesn't do any good, and two, I don't grieve that way.

I am in the first A of DABDA, I'm trying not too, but I am.  Maybe it's a lot easier to deal with instead of feeling sad all the time.  But I know you don't want that either.  So I talk to you, I talk to you a lot actually.  It makes me feel better thinking that you're really there with me when I run.  I know some people might think, why am I so affected, I am after all just a sister in law, but the thing is, I don't have biological sisters, and she treated me like a sister.  My best friends, they're my sisters, they're like me, they don't have biological sisters, so we are each others.  But Kristy from day 1, has always treated me like a sister.  One of my old friends told me I would never understand what it was like to have a sister, because I don't have one.  As if I could have controlled that, I have always resented that person because that person said that.  But K, she is family, her family is family, in life and death, they are family.

I don't know how to feel, I honestly don't know how to feel.  I'm happy for the good things that have became since.  In fact, I can now say that I've been an LCSW for a week now.  I would have loved to call you.  I remember when I got my letter after I passed the first exam, I face timed you guys and it was such a happy time.  I thought for sure you'll get better, and we'll all go to Hawaii together.  Remember that night?  I was telling you my plans, and well, you told me what you wanted to do.  I really wanted that to happen.  I really did.  I'm going to take Oscar to Hawaii, show him my old stomping grounds.  Maybe by the time we go, we can visit where you are.

I miss you, I really do.

And, I still don't know how to feel.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's been 2.5 weeks...

There's been a lot of change in very little time. One was expected, but I wished wouldn't happen. And one I was hoping for, and with lots of hard work...happened. It's hard to know how I should feel. I think the second thing happened because Kristy helped me out, with scheduling & reducing my anxiety. Maybe it's in my head, but I believe it and that's all that matters.

I still don't know how to feel. I'm happy she's finally resting. I talk to her when I run & I know she gives me strength. She helps me focus. Maybe she's the one who helps me when I ask for clarity. I know I prayed outloud before I took my test because of her. Oh I remember that night so vividly. I remember all the nights. It was our sleep over nights & I tried to normalize things for you. Or at least make you feel comfortable. I treasure those memories. 

I miss you. 

I remember when I passed the first test I couldn't wait to tell you & Nono about it. I FaceTimed you guys as soon as I could. But I can't do that this time, can I. But I know you know, I know somehow you helped me. 

It's hard to know how to feel anymore. I miss your smile, your laugh. You always made things better. Perspective. 

I hope wherever you are, you're doing much better. It hurt to sing that song I sang for your wedding. In a sense it gave me closure, but at the same time it didn't. I hope you feel peace. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The L to my CSW

In 2012 I finished collecting my hours towards licensure & at the end of that year I was approved to take the Written Standard for the CA LCSW.  My first attempt was at the end of April in 2013, missed it by a lot.  Second attempt was February of 2014 & I missed it by 3. I forgot my water bottle at the testing center & when I got home I cried so hard.

My third attempt was September of 2014 & I missed it by 6.  The fourth attempt was in May 2015 & I missed it by 7.  I had an opportunity to take that same exam before the end of that year, but as you can imagine I was depressed & frustrated so I opted to wait for the new exams. 

I took the LCSW California Law & Ethics on February 2, 2016 & I received my pass letter 6 weeks later. It took 2 months (give or take) to get my information from the BBS to ASWB. Yesterday, on May 10, 2016 I took the Clinical Examination with the ASWB (National Exam) and PASSED!!! 

I used several study companies to prepare for the exams. I started with BTA or the Berkeley Training Associates. After I took the exam, I didn't feel the information mimicked the exam. A lot of my friends used AATBS so I switched, that & a friend gave me all her material after she passed. I used that for the next 2 times, it was information overload & as I found out the exam wasn't about memorization, it's clinical justifications. So after a friend's recommendation I checked out TDC or Therapist Development Center.  It made sense, I was "getting it" but not quite at the same time...if that makes any sense. However, I really felt that TDC was there for you, so I stuck with them. 

TDC was more interactive, they even email you back when you have questions. At one point I had a phone appointment (for the fourth attempt). Before I took the fourth attempt I changed jobs. Mostly because I was coming up on my 5 year deadline at the prison, but a secondary gain was I needed more clinical experience & Crisis was an ideal place to get the in your face experience that I lacked. 

I would have to say that a combination of TDC & Crisis (for me) helped me pass the exams. I practiced what I learned from TDC at work. Every ethical dilemma I had, I referred back to the Code of Ethics (COE), I used colleagues to bounce off ideas & I probably over studied. I'm sure I second guessed myself, since I always do that. For the ASWB I started reading up during the summer before TDC updated the material. Actually, before they updated the L&E I scoured the Internet for any material I could get my hands on (besides the NASW COE). I also used Social Work Test Practice (SWTP) for both of the exams because I wanted to practice as much as I could.   While I waited for the BBS to move my info over to the ASWB I also started taking Jerry Grossman practice exams. You can say I was anxious. Just a little. 

It took a lot of time, money & effort to get my LCSW. After all the expensive "practice testing" I was getting depressed, but I never said it. My boyfriend could tell, maybe my colleagues? My friends who understood the process encouraged me, those that didn't told me to study harder & that just pissed me off.  Word of advice, if you don't know about something, don't give your opinion.  I even had people ask me what I was going to do? I don't learn like everyone else & I don't take standard  testing well, thankfully my grades were high enough for when I was accepted to SJSU & I proved myself to Rutgers & got in on the second try. Neither needed an exam score either, thankfully. 

I had to reach outside of my usual "tools" to get my license. I searched out for a therapist & worked with her for the first exam. She was very helpful in guiding me towards my goals, amonust other things.  I even saw a shaman.  I always have to do extra work to reach my goals. You should see what I do to get ready for races. I work hard at everything I do, nothing ever came easy for me. 

So now as I look back at my probably more than 4 year journey (not counting school or collecting hours), I wouldn't change it. I have learned how to be a better therapist because I was forced to learn & re-learn everything. I do not take anything for granted, & I won't going forward. 

People have asked me what I'm going to do next. I'd like to obtain a specialty, get specialized in CBT & DBT. Eventually have a side private practice? Maybe. The doors have finally opened for me. 

I wanted to thank people for putting up with me & for being there with me on this journey. There is someone I can't personally thank, but I know she knows. She was always so supportive & wanted to help me. I think she helped me more than she knew. So I'm not going to name names, you all know who you are. Thank you for the experience, for listening & for pushing me forward. Those that kept encouraging me to keep at it because they saw it in me. Thank you, it helped me keep pushing forward. It helped so so very much. 

Thank you all & thanks for reading! 

E. Esporo, MSW, LCSW

These pictures are never flattering, I'm all chinky eye'd. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Now she rests

At 0716 I received a text from my brother that Kristy's bp was low & it was time. I was still at work. I told him I would go home, run, give Jersey his cancer pills, get ready & drive down. As I was running I heard her. She told me not to back off my pace, she told me to come to see her, she wanted me there. 

Considering how I've been feeling, I ran a pretty fast 5k. Got home, gave Jersey his pills. Tried to call Oscar, ended up messaging him. I forgot what day it was. Told him what was happening. Then I went to get ready. Then my other brother called, she left. It was 9:30 AM. He asked me to send my parents a message. I did. I told Oscar, he asked if I needed him to come home. I said if he wanted too, he asked agin & I said yes. 

I got ready. He got home 45 or so minutes later & we headed down. 

When we got there there was a lot of people in the house. Jessica told me her body was upstairs, I needed to see her. She was a shadow of her former self. To be honest, she's been declining this past month. I last saw her at the beginning of the month. She was in more pain than I have ever seen her. Then to see her yesterday, I was crushed. I held her hand. I felt her squeeze back, I know she did. 

For the most part I stayed in her room with her family. I felt I needed to be there. I stayed there until they came to take her body. Before they did, I kissed her forehead, told her I loved her & stepped to the side. I didn't want to watch them wrap her up to bring her downstairs. 

Only the family followed her to the van. It was so hard to watch them put her into the van. I told her, "love you lots, K."  She said that since the beginning, I know she has always meant it. 

You have to understand. I don't have any biological sisters, I am the only girl with three older brothers. I have 2 best friends who are females, they're sisters to me & I have 2 sister in laws. I have always been closer to Kristy out of the two. She has always been someone who was so open and loving and she is a sister to me. She had that sense about her. She always wanted to talk about what you're going through and she always understood. She understood my struggles and tried to help. At one point she was going to help me go over practice exams to help me with my licensing exams. 

She was always helping you, but when she got sick she didn't want to talk about it. They kept it between them, I know she didn't want to be a burden and trust me she never was. Like I told her and her family, if I had a choice to do it all over again, I would. 

Initially, we all spent a great amount of time together. We went snowboarding, they showed me auto cross, they took me to movies & because of Noel & Kristy I found my love of Harry Potter. Even when I moved down south, or clear across the country, she showed me she cared. Not just on vacations or when I was home. She reached out when she could, I appreciate that more than she probably knew. 

So when the time came & I helped her at night time to make sure she was okay. That time was precious to me. It was our "sleep over" time. I massaged her legs, helped do what she needed & I made sure she knew that I was there for her, not to be embarrassed or not to feel a burden. I was there because I love her. Some of my favorite memories were during those times. I even introduced her to the Big Bang Theory. We talked about future plans, going to Hawaii after I was licensed and what may happen. If I had more vacation time or FMLA, I would have stayed longer. 

Now all I have is the memories. I am forever grateful that I have them. She is family, her family is my family. We all got closer through this, I think she wanted it this way. 

But regardless, none of this prepared me to see her yesterday, none of it. I thought she would fight through. She was gaining some weight, eating more. For Chris's birthday we all got together. I was her eyes, I face timed from downstairs so she could make sure everything was done properly. That was so, Kristy.  That was a good day. 

Seeing her yesterday, you die a little on the inside. I know she is at peace now, her spirit free and no more pain. But part of you dies when a loved one leaves this world. 

I know I was just a sister in law, but like I said, she was like a sister I never had. She was pure love, giving her all. To her faith, to her family. She tried to force God to take her, but he took her when it was time. 

I thank you Lord for bringing her to my brother, for bringing our families together. I miss you lots, K. I love you lots, K. It's not going to be the same. You are so brave. You did it all with a smile on your face, and even in death I know you're smiling. Do me a favor? Show yourself sometime. I know I hear you as I run, but show me you're okay. 

Love you lots, K. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My vegetarian/pescetarian journey

It's been a little over a month, & I don't miss meat. I need to up my workouts again since I've been slacking after Oakland...as my legs recovered.  Well, I did bring it part back up to get ready for #BSIM, which is in exactly a week. Then 2 weeks from that I'm pacing my friend in a 100k. After that I'm back to half marathon training & I will ramp up the weights again. 

Chicken less strips, tofu, lots of salmon, the occasional sushi...it's all yum. Trying cauliflower rice, quinoa & much more salad. I actually have more energy w/ less sleep, but I need to catch up on that too. This revamping has been an adventure, even looking for local restaurants hasn't been terrible. Trader Joes is the best place, but Safeway has good options as well. In my area it's easier to make it myself, since I'm surrounded by fast food & a non variety type of restaurants. 

Oh, I have added another challenge for me. I'm back to limiting my sugar intake. The struggle is so real. Of course I finished all the treats in the house & haven't bought anything since. 

Wish me luck, I'm really trying to trim down & it's hard at my size. The more I lose the faster I'll be & that's the ultimate goal. 

I'm including a pic of my new favorite training area. I burned more calories there  than actually doing 2 miles running. I'll be including it in my weekly workouts. 👍🏽

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Pup had his first infusion last week & next week he gets a break. We're also almost done with his prednisone, down to 0.25 every other day. He's been reacting to the treatment well. His energy is up & he's all about "pay attention to me" mode. Oh how I love this boy. His sisters will be happy when he's completely off the pred. Then he won't be so aggressive taking their treats. 

His energy has been up & lately he's been a happy boy. Doctor said he's peeing out the cancer cells. Super happy about that. Be gone make multicentric lymphoma! We don't want you here!

Thanks for the support everyone! The boy appreciates it very much. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Multicentric Lymphoma

We started him on chemotherapy today & it's a 15 week treatment. We are to taper him off his steroids, so he will be done w/ them at the end of the month. 

The best part is that it's affordable. The vet didn't even do an ultrasound because she knows the chemo will treat whatever stage he's at. They're gonna be sending us his oral pills & we go in the office for his injections. 

So I get to lower the donation page & I am thankful for those that have already donated to help pay for his chemo. I don't think I would qualify for the organization that helps pay for canine cancer, I would have to have gone bankrupt & I haven't done that.  I'll just cut back a little (i.e. eat home & cook more) & maybe w/ the help of donations #teamjersey will make it though this. 

Thank you lord for helping us get through this. Thank you my friends & family for the prayers. I have also forgiven the vet, she sat us down & made us feel comfortable. Also, I really like this oncologist, she made all of us feel okay about what we're up against. 

Thank you all for the support. This guy will be begging for food for a long time coming. 😘

Monday, March 21, 2016

For my son.

Jersey was only going to be a temporary part of my life in 2009, but he stole my heart & I told his owner (or the parents of his owner) that I was going to keep him.  I officially changed his name to Jersey & gave him my last name.  Took him to the vet and that was that.  Even his microchip has me listed as his mama.

When we moved to the area that we live now, it was him, me and his 2 little/big sisters, Toki and Lizzie.  He has filled my heart with such love, he has been my protector, son, running partner, stealer of food, and stealer of all hearts.  Everyone that meets him want to hug and love him.

In 2012 I met my boyfriend, and I thought we were in trouble.  But Jersey showed him his heart, and I pretty much got replaced.  O likes to call him his shadow now, they go everywhere together, and even when I initially say no, all Jersey has to do is look at me with those big brown eyes and I always say yes.

I say all this because recently we were told that Jersey has lymphoma, it's treatable, but as he did not technically come out of me (although I always say he was born from me), he is not covered under my insurance plan.  I am reaching out to you, the public, family and friends.  I donate to all kinds of organizations, I support when I can, but I know this is going to be expensive.  I'm going to have to cut back, and probably cannot be as generous as I have been in the past to places that I have donated for.  I am but a mere Social Worker & as I am only half licensed, I don't get paid that much.

So that's our story.  We were told until we see the oncologist we wouldn't know what we're in for yet.  We'll need tests to see what Stage he's at, we think he's at Stage III at this point.  We were explained the difference in chemotherapy in humans and doggies, and that there is only one way this will end...and that the point of all of this is to keep him happy and to have a comfortable life.  Right now he's going to be running, catching ball and annoying the girls as long as he can.  He is an amazing puppy, and I know most people don't like Pitbull’s, but I blame the media and ignorance for that.  They are the sweetest, most loving of all breeds.  If you feel generous to donate to keep my son happy and comfortable, anything would be welcome.  I thank you in advance, we all thank you and appreciate that you took the time to read this.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

He has lymphoma.

That's how the vet said it, then I told her that the Benedryl has been helping & she blurted out, "it is cancer." Over the fucking phone. I couldn't even react & she asks if I want to do a steroid treatment or see an oncologist & she expects an answer at that moment. I asked about the steroids & she said when I picked up the pills she will give me the oncologists information. Then that was that. 

That's how I found out my baby boy, Jersey has cancer. 

We got the inflammation down with the Benedryl & I just gave him his second steroid medication. He's probably wondering why he gets a snack in bed, he doesn't say no though. He loves food, probably even stuff he can't eat. 

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to contact the oncologist & figure out a plan. Study really hard & pass the second exam because I'm gonna need to get paid more to pay for future treatments. I'm also going to look for a new vet. I told her I was worried about his engorged balls near his pee pee at his last examination. She said, "oh he's just excited because he did that with me." Didn't she know he doesn't have his balls anymore?? They were swollen lymph nodes!! I miss his old vets & Banfield Salinas is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. 

We're going to do what we can to keep baby more than comfortable & happy. I swear, any sound & I'm by his side in seconds. We will get through this. 💙

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

5 attempts in 3 years.

It took 5 attempts, 3 years, 3 different study material companies & 2 job changes before I finally saw that 4 letter word. PASS. Oh it was amazing to see my letter. So friken amazing. 

I have heard it all.  Study harder, just keep at it, you'll get it next time. This isn't the type of exam that you memorize everything. It's the kind you have to use clinical justification & you have to answer the way they want you too. It's subjective. I've always been close, once I missed it by 3, the furthest by 6. But this time, this time I dove into my material. Not only did I use all what they gave me, I made notecards & I taught whoever who would listen the material. 

I applied it in my new position, I did whatever was legal or ethical. I abided by all the rules, so much so I was OCD about it. I obsessed about being ethical, making sure I did everything by the rules so I had it burned into my brain. So I do believe I have traits of OCD & OCPD because I made damn sure I did everything correctly, wrote it all out perfectly, and applied it in all I did. 

I worked on my anxiety issues. Used yoga, meditation, mindfulness & therapy. I knew it was the test, not me, I just needed to figure out the best solutions. I was told I used narrative therapy to work on myself & with all that I do I finally got that letter that I wanted. 

This has not been easy, I'm not a good test taker. I prefer essay to explain myself. I hate multiple choice exams. But you have to be able to do it their way so you can practice & do your job. So I bended, little by little I became more confident in my skills as a clinician. Then today I am closer than I have been before. 

I truly believe everything happens when it's supposed too. Before this year we were only licensed in California, after I pass the national exam, I can move & not worry about hours or re-taking everything in the new state. 

Finally it's happening, I got my validation. 🙏🏽 

Meal time

That's the start of our time. We helped her into the rocking chair, prepared her food, I heated up mine & we have breakfast...or late dinner. I'm really enjoying this time & I'm glad she enjoys it as well. It's our catch up time before she get's sleepy & I rock her. 

I've really enjoyed this time & I'll miss her when I'm at work. Time, it's quite valuable. It's easier to practice mindfulness when I'm with her. I value & enjoy our little routines. 

After a stretching session she can finally rest. I pray that she won't be in any more pain. I know she doesn't feel strong, but she is. One does not hold on & keep pushing if they are weak. She has a strength that only a few can handle & for who knows why, she was picked. I pray for peace. I pray that this, this will pass.  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Today was a good day.

She's lucid & instead of sleeping, she wanted to talk.  She's enjoying our time together, as I am. I updated her w/ everything that goes on at work & she knows this week I'm going back to work. She requests that I bring down Big O the next time I'm off. I'm really glad we have this time. 

We ate together, I had her brother help me prepare her food, I heated up my food & we had a meal together. Just like "normal."  We had regular conversation, she updated me w/ what I've missed over the past few days & she documented her eating & we had an estimated time for the bathroom. 

When I was rocking her she wanted to see what I was doing & I showed her the show I was watching. So we watched an episode of NCIS & I introduced her to the Big Bang Theory thanks to the CBS app. She's really enjoying our time together, it's great to see her smile & really get to talk. 

My exhaustion went away, just being in the moment has been great. Especially now, I put away my anxious thoughts about things I can't control & just am enjoying our time together. Today...was a good day. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Kristy massage. 💙

She wanted to exercise her hands, so we  found a way that she can massage my feet, while I massaged her legs.  I didn't want her to get tired, but I was taking advantage of her lucidity & allowed for her self determination. 

She's writing everything down now. We started with what she ate at 00:30 to when she needed the bathroom & what leads to needing it. Time frames so we can gauge it better, every little bit helps. 

This is the best I've seen her over these past two weeks. She even asked me to talk about my marathoning, what I do at work & what it takes to get licensed. 

Someone told me when they start to feel better, then they let go. I'm praying for a miracle, but I'm also praying for peace. I know she doesn't feel good about this all. I told her not to worry & I am here for her. She figured out this morning that I used a good part of my vacation time to help out & I know she appreciated it. 

I'm just glad I was able to help & she's really feeling comfortable. This really has been an exercise in humility. I know she's in there, I just want her to have peace. She deserves it. 


Saturday, March 05, 2016

Rainy nights...

I am fueled by 5 or so hours of sleep & a venti soy butterscotch latte. It reminds me of butterbeer. My sweet reward for today's long run. So I begin my watch for the night. They're trying some new things to help her be more comfortable throughout the night...and she's able to tell us when she needs the bathroom. 

It's nice to come on nights like this, I can sense she feels better. More lucid. She's making a lot of sense. Maybe it's the weather, rainy weather always makes us think clearer...right?

I ran for her today, I was super exhausted. I was thinking of every excuse to not run. It was raining, cold, I was tired, hungry, the pups need me. But I just put one foot in front of the other, waived to those on the trail & kept it moving. The hills were hard today, you just don't know. I also walked more inside the trail, but I was welcomed by the most amazing views. I went a little deeper in and it was worth it. I also fought with my jacket a lot, that's what really slowed me down...I kept stopping to take it off, then I didn't want my jacket to stop my watch so I turned it back on to take off or put on my jacket. Little things, lots of little things today. 

What kept me going was Kristy. When I'm tired, I say do it for her, run for her, run faster so you can get home to rest...you're going over there tonight. You need your strength to help lift her, massage her & to stay awake. 

She's comfortable, that's my job. I have to remember to be gentle. Her skin is sensitive, so be light, be patient, you're here for her. I just want her to be comfortable now. Even her voice is more normal (as evidenced by rate, rhythm & volume) it's nice. 

Praying for peace...always.

Sitting in the dark...

Every day is different. I never know what to expect, so I wait to get new direction. New methods, new schedules, new whatever...while I sit in the dark watching. Sometimes I feel kinda stalkerish. Does that sound weird? It's how I feel. 

She trying, always moving, trying to exercise & have movement. 

At the same time I can tell she's tired, the simplest thing makes her tired. But she still tries. 

I wish I could give her some of my strength. But all I can do is sit here & stay in stalker mode until she calls out for me. 

Friday, March 04, 2016

Breathe in, breathe out...stay focused.

Stay focused. Don't worry about things out of your control. Those are the thoughts that have been in my head. Be present, stay mindful in the moment you are in. Enjoy the time you have with her. 

She looks so peaceful sleeping. I sometimes wonder what she's thinking. I wish I had the power of telepathy, that would be awesome. I tried asking questions today, seeing if she wanted to see anyone. I wanted to go deeper, I wanted to tell her about things going on with me...like I used too. But instead I held back, I told myself to be here for her. She's not a patient, you don't need all the answers. You're not assessing her. Besides, if anything it's delirium due to a medical condition. When she's lucid, she's good. She recognized me today, it looked like a good day. 

Stay focused, don't get anxious about things out of your control. Even if some things annoy you. In time, when it's supposed to happen, it will be. 

Oh & lotus pose is not the easiest to get out of quickly. Just a odd side note. 🙏🏽

Monday, February 29, 2016


She can't talk, they took out the tube earlier today & it seems even with her non verbal communication she's slowly decompensating. She recognized me though & she speaks with her eyes. She's still in there, but not all the time. 

She looks so peaceful as she sleeps, I hope she can fully rest tonight. 

You can sense everyone's getting mentally drained. It's so hard to see someone who was so full of life, just slowly drift away from us. 

Lord, whatever is your will, please do. I hate seeing her in so much pain. I don't care if I lose sleep, or am exhausted. Just do what's best & please keep my brother strong. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Today I pulled the quickest turnaround trip. I went back home, picked up my electronic massage shocker, Oscar's shocker, clothes, hygiene/bathroom things & running gear. Then went straight to Starbucks & came back to my brothers. 

When I got back I slept a little, then completely knocked out...this was also after drinking coffee. You can say I was beyond exhausted. 

But it's okay, now I'm sitting in the dark ready to help Kristy however she needs me. This time, I'm prepared w/ higher powered massage methods. 

Just listening to them pray, while I make sure the music still plays & if she needs me, I'm here. 

Please continue to give me the strength to do what she needs. 


Friday, February 26, 2016


Every time she asks me to squeeze, I ask God for more strength so I can squeeze harder. Every time she moves, I check to see if she's okay. Although it breaks my heart, I know we have to allow for some self determination, so I only do anything when she calls for me. She recognizes me, I am thankful for this. 

I refuse to be weak, when she's still fighting. So when I run, I run for her. When I don't want to do anything, I think of her. 

I ask God to help her & give me strength to help her.  To help me squeeze harder, be stronger, help alleviate her pain.  Please take away her pain. 

Help me to adapt as the bathroom process always changes & just keep giving me the strength to help her at this time. 



It escapes is constantly. No one will be here forever & how we spend it is key.

I made a decision this week to take the rest of the week off to help out my sister in law. You see, she's had this stomach cancer since 2007 & now her health is declining. She's pretty much deteriorating before our eyes. My brother said she had signs of dementia the other day, so I kept asking him if he wanted me to help...he kept saying not yet. After thinking & praying about it, this was a good decision to come. Not just to help relieve my brother & brothers in laws...but because I needed to help for me. 

Kristy & I have always had a good relationship. She's the kind of person that is always there for you, no matter what. The best part about her is that she changed my brother. Not that he was a bad guy, she made him sparkle more & just be a better human. 

We all need people in our lives like her. So now I help massage her, help w/ bathroom duties or whatever else I can to ease her pain. I also pray for a miracle, pray that she makes it through this. She's a fighter. Most people would have given up, but not her. 

This is a true lesson in humility. To help those who can't do anything for you, just because you love them. You find out who truly loves you in these times. 

People have asked me what am I going to do?  I don't have an answer to that. I'm here to support my sister in law, my brother & my family. Because we love each other. There was a time when we have been so busy we don't or didn't check in, except on the holidays. This is a cruel joke (sometimes, I think) to remind us to have constant contact for those we love. We're not going to be here forever, even if some people feel immortal. 

We should always take the time to tell those you care about you love them. Take the time to be there & spend time...not money on them. 

You never know what kind of cruel joke will be given to you.