May 28

Serenity: Cancer Chic!

This is Day 5 of my baby, Serenity, being diagnosed with and treated for Leukemia.  Day 4 is here.


Serenity had some happy moments today, but they were short-lived.

(click the picture for a much larger version)

Today was actually a pretty rough day for Serenity, it was a day filled with more drugs/meds than most people take in a year and throwing up time and time again.  As a father, it is very difficult to watch your baby go through this.  My heart goes out to all the Dad’s (and Mom’s) who have paved this road before us.  This is something you truly cannot know until you’ve experienced it, Cancer is now my biggest enemy.  If Cancer was something living, even if it was Hulk Hogan or Andre the Giant, I would find a way to beat it down and kill it, even if it killed me to do it.  I don’t have words to express the anguish and the frustration that this disease brings.  It’s bad enough that it’s trying to kill her – but it’s also making her so sick and miserable that I can barely stand it. 

There’s a saying that everyone knows: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.  I would also say that, when the biggest challenge of your life comes along, own it and conquer it.  How do you make lemonade out of cancer though?  How do you own a challenge like Cancer?  Well, for those who know me well, you know that I’m a little bit wacky about things sometimes.  So, with total wackiness, here’s our first ownage and lemonading of Cancer:





This is really a bit of a homage to the TV show Kyle: XY.  In that series, a girl who has been hiding her cancer ‘comes out’ about it and gets a shirt that , I believe, says “Cancer Girl”.  But I liked Cancer Chic better.  Of course, Serenity can’t read or even understand what her shirt says/means.  But it’s really more about Adria, me and the rest of the world.  Serenity is now a Cancer Chic.  She (meaning us) is taking ownership and full acceptance of the fact that she has cancer, and the lemon is now lemonade.  Or something like that.  I figure it’s kind of like a bald guy wearing a “Bald is Beautiful” shirt.

Other than sleeping for several hours today, most of the day was filled with taking medicine/drugs, throwing up said drugs, and then having to take the drugs again because she HAS to keep them down.  If you’ve noticed in the pictures we’ve been posting, sometimes she looks disheveled and sometimes she looks like she is freshly changed and her hair is done.  She goes through several outfits a day and her hair is constantly being done.  But guess what happens when you’re puking hard every half hour – you look like crap! :)  Cancer/Chemo is definately the antithesis of a beauty pageant. 

There was a time or two today where she was feeling pretty good and even acting like her old self.  The first picture of this post shows her at her best today.  She was perky and energetic and playing with several of the new toys we got her from the ChipIn fundraiser.  Seriously, that top picture is a result of everyone’s donations.  Thank You, from the bottom of my heart.  Here she is playing with several of her toys.


There has been a lot of progress on the new site, www.LiftingUpSerenity.com today.  A bank account has been established and a PO Box that people can mail checks to. I have heard of several efforts underway to solicit funds to that account and several creative efforts to raise money for it.  If you’re intersted in the details on that, click through the above link and then click on ‘Donate’. 

The most exciting thing to me is that we’re now working on establishing a new non-profit foundation called “The Serenity Foundation” that will specifically financially help very young children who are fighting deadly diseases like Cancer and Diabetes.  This is a much longer process.  We’re learning what is involved in creating a 5013C (non-profit corporation that is able to provide tax deductions for donations) we’ve found that it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 9 months (it’s ridiculous that getting the government’s approval for something like this takes as long as it does for a baby to gestate).  A couple lawyers have volunteered their time to help us navigate that process and will be doing all the filing and other work for us.  In the meantime, we are looking into options to piggyback the new foundation with currently existing ones.  We’ll post details as we learn them.  I’m really excited about doing this because once Serenity is cured, we’ll be able to keep giving back and hopefully help lots of other kids. 

I’m very grateful to all the people who have donated time, money and energy so far in Serenity’s name.  You are all the Angels Among Us.

 UPDATE: Day 6 is here.

The story of Serenity’s battle with Leukemia begins here.


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  1. Eric Hamilton

    If you need any photography donated for the foundation, (ie, for a line of Cancer Chic branded clothing), I am your man. I love contributing to the anti-cancer cause. I have volunteered many hours and many thousands of photographs in an effort to fight cancer.

    Also – I have suffered from horrible migraines my whole life, which sometimes cause me to throw up on a daily basis. Bar none, the best anti-nausea medication I know of is _illegal_ in Utah — Marijuana. It really, really works, and it’s often used to help kids keep down food and medications.

    Your next best bet might be Marinol. It is synthetic THC. Exactly the same as Marijuana, but missing some canabinoids and the “high” is a bit stronger and more annoying.

    I use it. It also works… and the pill is so small you can probably stick it in a bit of jell-o and have her slurp it down with no trouble. Anybody who tries to tell you that THC is dangerous in any way is full of crap. Hit some research for yourself and find out why there’s such a big push to legalize medical marijuana.

    Might help with the nausea if everything else fails. Ask a doctor about it. If they don’t know anything about it, ask another, and another. You have to be pro-active with doctors. I know — I’ve dealt with them my whole life.

    Good luck, and best wishes!

    - Eric

  2. Amanda

    Look at you guys. This is the Phil & Adria our family has come to know & love. Already thinking about how to help others who are experiencing their own personal hell on earth.

    love you guys.

  3. Amy

    I’m here via the Blog Herald. Just wanted to offer my prayers. May you feel the healing hands of angels on your darling girl, and on your whole family, as you walk through this valley.

    Much strength to you,
    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  4. Josh Carr Superstar

    Phil it was good to meet you today. Weird how I already felt like i knew you from your blog, twitter etc.

    These are hard times and we will keep you in our prayers. I didn’t mention this today but we are just in Spanish Fork so if you ever need a last minute babysitter or help with anything we would love to pitch in. Our house is on the east side near the little acorn so we are really close to mapleton.

  5. Dad

    You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Serenity is a trooper and will pull through this.

  6. Ariyes

    Yes there are numerous nonprofit organizations that are gathering funds to help such child patients who are suffering from leukemia. It’s a moral duty of every person to donate some part of his/her income for this moral cause.

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