Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot hot Hothouse!

Hey all, just a quick quick note to say hi and let you know Im not ignoring the blog or hiding from the world- Im just wildly preparing to represent BRICKS for Young Adults at the Sprout Fund's annual Hothouse event THIS SATURDAY. Buy your tickets now and be a part of one of the biggest events of the year. Check out all of the projects the Sprout Fund has supported and see tons of amazing things that are happening right here in Pittsburgh. Better than ever, this year's Hothouse promises to be the event of the summer.

Im channeling my inner carny to bring my morose sense of humor to the masses with BRICKS for Young Adult's "Ring Toss of Death". You'll just have to be there to find out what that means (or wait for the photos!).

Buy tickets or learn more by clicking here!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

17 on the 17th.

Today marks 17 months since my husband passed away. I've been thinking about it a lot today, even though the monthly markers have been a little easier lately. I suppose some people would think that by this point I should be "over it" or "back to normal", but theres no normal that I can get back to, only a new one to figure out.

I work at a women's health care facility that is also an out-of-hospital birth center. I see women and children and families and brand new babies every day. Today all I could think about was how very much like a toddler I am, or rather, my grief is. It can walk, but sometimes needs a hand to hold, sometimes it falls. It can string some words together and recognize familiar objects or people. And like so many toddlers, its struggling to find the balance between independence and dependence- learning the limits of new abilities, developing skills, but also developing a fear of abandonment.

Most of this time I feel ok. But I often find myself relearning how I feel about things, how I interact with people, what I want to be. I struggle with the things I think I want and the things I know Im not yet ready for.


SMASH CANCER: A Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament

August 21, 2010

Registration at 8:00pm, Gameplay begins at 9pm

Morning Glory Coffeehouse
1806 Chislett Street Pittsburgh, PA 15206

$5 entry fee. Tournament style Smash Brothers Brawl gameplay (Wii) for prizes. Come out and play video games to support BRICKS for Young Adults! We'll have booklets on hand. Come drink coffee, hang out, and have a great time.

Please remember, this is an ALL AGES event.

(I know the image above is cut off, click on it to see the entire flyer!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Visuals Speak Volumes

Visuals Speak Volumes:
an interactive music and visual art double night event

conceptualized by Adam Rauf

August 20 and 21, 8pm
Future Tenant
819 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222

$5 suggested donation
with part of the proceeds to benefit BRICKS for Young Adults

On August 20 and 21, 2010, at 8pm Adam Rauf leads a collaborative two-night event as part of Future Tenant’s Trespass Performance Residency. Bring paint, magazine clippings, chalk, noisemaking instruments, and found objects and participate in this interactive installation that will benefit a great cause and be a fantastic networking opportunity for artists & musicians alike. Entry is $5, with 50% of the ticket sales going toward BRICKS for Young Adults.

Visuals Speak Volumes was conceived by Rauf during a symposium dubbed Mobile Art&Code at Carnegie Mellon University in the Fall of '09. According to Rauf, “I was able to hear the words of the talented artist and technology guru Julian Bleecker, who
gave the phrase of "Wouldn't it be cool if..." Julian had invented things that people often dream about, but with his passions, he made them happen.”

Visuals Speak Volumes asks: "Wouldn't it be cool if we could combine art, music, and technology together for an amazing interactive performance that anyone could be a part of?"”

A group of musicians selected from the Pittsburgh music scene will improvise "soundscapes & textures" each evening. While this collaboration is happening, a group of artists, hand-picked by Rauf, will put visuals to the music. To add to the excitement, members of the audience will participate in the making of the art as the musicians slowly blend their soundscapes in with one another.

Half of the proceeds will be donated to BRICKS for Young Adults, an organization founded to raise awareness of young adult cancer. Rauf was inspired to donate to this cause by someone who had tremendous ties to the art and music scene in Pittsburgh, the late Rick Gribenas, a former CMU professor.

Future Tenant, a non-profit visual and performance art space, is located at 819 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s cultural district. Future Tenant’s Trespass Performance Residency occurs twice a year, in the early spring and summer. Artists can apply for the
Residency through

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Front Page News!!!

Check it out- thats my face on the front page of the Western PA Hospital News! The paper reaches over 30,000 healthcare professionals each month, and this great article will hopefully be read by people who can help us get our booklets into the hands of the young adults who really need them. Just to stress again, the BRICKS for Young Adults Cancer Awareness & Resource Guides are FREE, so please get in touch if youd like one (or twenty!).

Many thanks to the folks at WPA Hospital News for taking the time to talk to me!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Supporting Actor

Things have been somewhat quiet on the BRICKS front, but thats because we're so hard at work! Til we have more news for you, I thought it would be nice to share an excerpt from the BRICKS for Young Adults Cancer Awareness & Resource Guide, written by my dear friend and young cancer widower, Stuart Boslow. Stuart talks candidly about figuring out his role after his partner Jason was diagnosed with cancer in his story, The Supporting Actor: Becoming the Caregiver:

In April 2008, Jason found something unusual under his right armpit. He called me to come over to feel it for myself. I still remember the first time I put my hand on his body and felt the mass underneath his skin. I tried my hardest not to over react, but feeling that thing scared me immediately. We discussed the possibilities, and I told him he needed to go have it checked out. It was biopsied in early May, but it was not until May 28, 2008 that we found out the worst-case scenario. It was Burkitt’s lymphoma—a highly aggressive and often deadly form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

The months that followed felt as if they were going by so fast. Looking back now at every step, it feels like time stood still at times. I remember many days spent sitting in the infusion room just watching his drips, wondering when we’d be released to go back to our lives away from cancer. I would find myself counting each drip, trying to estimate the hours, minutes, and seconds until we would be free.

When Jason wasn’t sleeping, we would play cards—usually Gin or Rummy— to help pass the time. We also became very familiar with TLC and HGTV shows. We sought humor during those extra long days at the infusion lab. Humor became a big part of Jason’s treatment to the point even the doctors and nurses were involved. They would stop by to chat with us, and before too long, Jason would crack a joke at the nurse’s expense, and then everything was fair game. Those days, which at first seemed they would be long and horrible, actually turned out to be some of the most memorable days of the whole thing.