Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In Memory... Bob Wilson

I feel the need to talk a little about a friend of ours who lost his battle with cancer 2 days ago. Jeff and I met Bob in the "Chemo Room" at Scripps La Jolla. At first glance, the Chemo Room is a scary looking place... a very large room with about 6 hospital bed stations along one wall, maybe 10 recliner chair stations along 2 more walls and a large nurses station in the center of the room. More often than not, just about every station would be full with patients receiving chemo... some sleeping, some watching TV, some visiting with friends... The reality of knowing that every patient in that room was fighting for thier lives was always difficult to face, but the more time we spent in there, the more people we met and stories we heard, the more that the scary, sterile Chemo Room turned into a cocoon... a warm, safe place where people went to grow, heal, and emerge with a new lease on life!

We met Bob on Jeff's first day of chemo. Bob also had colon cancer, was about Jeff's age, was going to get the exact same chemo cocktail as Jeff and was only 2 days ahead of Jeff with chemo. Our regular schedule was to go to the hospital every other Wednesday for 6 months... "Chemo Day" was a long day in the hospital with lab work (they had to make sure he was healthy enough to receive chemo), several hours of recieiving the chemo itself, and then hooking up the chemo pump (that would pump more chemo into Jeff for 2 more days). Jeff would go back to the hospital Friday afternoons for his "Pump Off" appointment. Bob's Chemo Day was Monday and his Pump Off day was Wednesday. So every Wednesday afternoon, we would be in the Chemo Room for our long hospital day and Bob would come in for his Pump Off day... and we spent a lot of time getting to know Bob.

When getting ready to start chemo, our doctors gave us a ton of information about the side effects and what to expect from chemo. But, unless you have received chemo or LIVED with someone going through chemo, you can't begin to understand what chemo does to you. That being said, Jeff and I did our best to find the humor in each challenge, and Bob did the same thing. Sitting back and watching the two of them talk about this symptom or this tingle was a crack up! And since Bob was a whole 2 days ahead of Jeff, Bob was like the older brother giving advice about the "new" symptoms.

As the rounds went on and the chemo got worse and worse for the boys, you could see them both light up when Bob walked in. They had so much to talk to each other about "the toothpaste that helped make the metalic taste go away" and finding a new appreciation for "Post It Notes" to help them remember all the things they were forgetting. And the "Chemonesia or Chemo Brain" that they both had led to lots of laughs. I would be sitting there listening to them have a conversation and one of them would forget what they were going to say and then the other would forget what they were talking about and they would both be sitting there staring at each other with smiles on their faces...

We met lots of wonderful people in the Chemo Room, but Bob was very special to us! He was upbeat and confident while being human and honest at the same time. He told us all about his family, his incredible trips to Europe and his passions (besides his family) ... scuba diving, boating, photography, technology. He brought pictures to share with us, his cameras to teach us, and even emailed to keep in touch with us.

At the end of the 6 months of chemo, Jeff was found to be cancer free and was done with chemo. Bob wasn't and had to start another 6 months, but was still very upbeat. After more chemo, things were looking better, but he continued to have ups and downs for the next 2 years. There were several times that Jeff was able to schedule follow up appointments on the same day as Bob's so they could catch up.

It might sound weird, since our entire relationship with Bob was confined to that Chemo Room, but it was almost like we were all on the same team, getting through chemo and cancer together... through the physical and emotional struggles... supporting each other... being on the winning team...

... until yesterday when we got a phone call... we have lost a member of our team... a member of our inner circle...

I can't imagine how beautiful the fish are in Heaven... and how warm the Heavenly waters must be while you are diving, Bob! May God keep you close and watch over your lovely wife and family. We will miss you!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My first on-line TECHNIQUE Class...

... this is REALLY cool!! As a member of the Creative Team for Crop Addict, every other month I am responsible for designing a "Technique Class" that I will post on the Crop Addict site. Here is the link for my first "class" for a Shabby Chic Travel Journal... using cardboard and brown grocery store bags... take a look... and call your TRAVEL AGENT!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


... IN THE 21ST CENTURY!!! I, Tracey Locher, have a CELL PHONE!!! Holy Cow! I have put this off and put this off for YEARS! I was so tortured by my work cell phone and pager when I was in the property management field, that I just couldn't see myself getting a cell phone for pleasure. I have known for awhile I needed to get one and then, with CHA less than 2 weeks away, I decided the time was now!

Sooooo... I got this cute little pink phone... I don't know anything about it except that it was on sale and was cute. I had to ask my husband to teach me how to program numbers and turn the darn thing on... my DD was trying not to laugh at me the whole time! Don't worry, I will have cool ring tones and pictures on it in no time, but for now, I'm just happy to have my own little phone! Wooo Hoooo! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friend Spotlight - Pam Cash

I am LOVING doing spotlights of my cyber friends. Any of you scrappers reading my blog who don't know me personally, but know me through 2Peas or Rusty Pickle or Tally Scrapper or Crop Addict or maybe we have just found each other through this GREAT hobby of ours... highlighting what makes us all special and unique as scrappers, artists... family... makes me say, "Wooooo Hooooo!!!"

Today's Spotlight is about the other part of the "Three Musketeers..." three TOTAL NEWBIES that met at the Creative Imaginiations Studio Basics 101 Contest in 2006. It was an online scrapping contest over a period of a few months that encouraged daily participation, support, and new friendships. My first Friend Spotlight, Laura Miller, was the other part of our group!

I am spotlighting Pam because her work makes me drool! Pam has a flair for color, movement, fantastic pictures, and usually includes anything and everything on her pages. When looking at one of Pam's new layouts, I usually have to sit and look for several minutes before I have even noticed all of the detail she has added to her page! "Totally You" is a great example of Pam and her fantasic work!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Playing around...

I'm still trying to get things caught up from the holidays and our Aussie group, but I was able to get some scrapping done this weekend! Here are a few layouts I completed that were just approved as samples for the Rusty Pickle booth... traveling soon to a city near you!!

"Baby Robbie" is the Rusty Pickle Abstract line.
"Love is Patient" is the Rusty Pickle Princess Bride line. Only 2 1/2 weeks until CHA!!! WOOOOO HOOOO!!! I can HARDLY wait!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I had to pop in today to share the story of a basketball team that could. Chris made the Varsity basketball team this year, as a freshman, and we were thrilled. Yes, this picture is Chris doing his thing!! It is a new year, a new coach and a team that is working their tushes off!!! After a nightmare of a season last year where they lost every single game (0-25), this year they are 9-9... and are being recongnized for their big turn around in the local press. Our Rowdy Crowd now has something to cheer about, and CHEER they do!! The team has big hopes... GO OGHS!!!

Here is the link to the San Diego Union Tribune article... Chris is the one about to wipe the sweat from his brow...
Here is the link to the North County Times article. The great part about this article are the reader comments at the end... GREAT support for the team!! "Diego" is our Principal! He is AWESOME and so supportive of our boys!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friend Spotlight - LAURA MILLER

I LOVE this hobby of mine! I get to be creative, preserve family memories, and I am meeting INCREDIBLE people from all around the world! I have made some wonderful "cyber" friends and thought it would be fun to spotlight them and their work once a week on my blog. So here goes... my first "Friend Spotlight..."

I met Laura during the summer of 2006. We were both participating in the Creative Imaginations Studio Basics 101 layout contest. This contest spanned a few months, so as we were loading our own creations (I ended up with 50 layouts in the contest), we also supported each other and started what has become a very strong friendship. Laura has a distinct style... utilizing open space and clusters of perfectly placed embellishments, she highlights her photo/s and helps your eye go straight to the smiling faces of her family. "My Wish" is one of Laura's most recent layouts that I just LOVE because of that great picture of her young teenager and the colors that she pulled out of the picture to create a beautiful layout. GREAT JOB, LAURA!

Chat soon, my Friend! :-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Aussies are HERE!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Yes, I know... it has been almost a month since I have posted... between the holidays, medical issues, the flu, and preparing for the Aussie arrival, it has been a CRAZY month! (I still have about 10 more Christmas cards to mail!) But I am checking in to introduce you to our 2008 Aussie group!!!

Matt, Chantelle, and Melanie arrived around 1AM on Friday morning (Jan. 4th). Unfortunatly it rained pretty much straight through their first 4 days here, but the reports for the next week are for beautiful, clear skies! We have been busy... the mall, Seaport Village, helping Melanie celebrate her birthday Saturday night, bowling, eating at In-&-Out (a Southern California MUST!), Chris' first league basketball game, and Wal Mart (you're welcome, Melanie!) Off to get things ready while they are on tour at the San Diego Zoo today... be back soon! (Yes, I promise!) :-)