Welcome to my site and thanks for being here! I started my DIY journey back in March 2020 during quarantine but the reason started way before that. Summer 2019 is what I would call my “darkest” times. My 3 year old son, Chase, was diagnosed with leukemia on August 9, 2019. The day after mines and Matthew’s birthday and the day before my husband’s, Tony, birthday. The memory of that period of time is seared into our minds.
We recently got back from a trip in California in July 2019. Chase got sick during the trip with what seemed like a stomach bug. He began to feel much better but things started to change with him after we got back. He went from a wild rambunctious 3 year old to one that was moody, tired, and just sleepy all the time. It got to the point where he would take ten steps and told his grandma how tired he was. He started looking very pale to me, so I started googling, and just thought maybe he’s anemic.
Like every year around that time, my husband goes on a work trip out of town. I told him I was worried that Chase was anemic. I made a doctor’s appointment that Friday, the day Tony was coming home from his out of town trip. We were expecting a birthday celebration weekend and were packed up ready to go out of town to celebrate. I went in the doctor’s office thinking that Chase would just need some medicine and nothing more. Thankfully his pediatrician didn’t just brush off my concern and saw that he was pale also. She ordered a blood count just to check his blood levels. Within fifteen minutes, she comes back in the room and sits down to talk to me. She discussed that his hemoglobin was very very low along with his platelets and he will need some blood transfusions. She told us to go to the ER immediately and that she is referring us to a hematology/oncology doctor.
Did I freak out? Yes. Did I think it was cancer at this moment? No, not even when she mentioned the oncology doctor. Your mind just goes blank in those moments. I just knew that something was seriously wrong. But just didn’t know what. We immediately left the pediatrician’s office and went to the ER. I had to call Tony and said I needed him to meet me at the ER ASAP. I called my sister and starting crying. She told me I needed to stop and I was scaring my 12 year old who was with us at the doctors.
From there they informed us that they suspected he had a sort of blood cancer, but are awaiting blood results. I felt like I was living a nightmare. I couldn’t comprehend anything that was told me to the next few days. Those were the days that I would call my “darkest” times. I zoned out; I began pushing people away. We watched helplessly as Chase started chemo treatments; doing whatever we could to keep him and our kids happy. We spent months in the hospital from August to December, with only a week in between to go home with Chase. I went from seeing my husband and kids everyday to every other day. I wouldn’t sleep, I mean who could sleep in the hospital with nurses coming in and out of the room every 4 hours for vital checks. I would stay up all night just staring at my son thinking what is going to happen? Thinking of the best outcomes but also the worse case scenarios.
During that time I would spend endless amounts of time on Instagram. I had followed Lindsey before all this. I soon found others when she did her DIY Dream Team with Angela and Jen. I started to feel better when watching all these amazing transformations. I spent a lot of time being absolutely amazed by them and all the awesome DIYers out there.
Chase’s needed a bone marrow transplant in December. We moved part of our family to Gainesville, FL. We were a split family; half in Gainesville and half 4.5 hours away at home. Chase’s bone marrow donor was his older brother Matthew. Our doctors told us to expect to stay for a considerable amount of time. Three months later, in March 2020, covid happened. This was a blessing in disguise for us because they allowed us to go home for lock down. We were finally reunited with our other kids. And that was when I finally decided to “stop pinning and starting doing.”
The feeling of picking up a power tool was just something I couldn’t describe. I felt like I found myself. I felt empowered. After a year of not being able to control anything, I finally felt in control. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not? Did I make a bunch of mistakes? Heck yes. But did I stop? No. I didn’t. I couldn’t.