A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Archive for May, 2010

ARCs of Grace Have Arrived!

Last Friday, I was feeding Brownie, my neighbor’s dog.  It was late in the day, after school and dance.  I had already fed Brownie his two scoops of food and given him his pill-in-a-treat. He had finished eating, and I had already talked sweet “doggie talk” to him so he wouldn’t be so lonely for his people.  Brownie has trouble with his back legs, so he lies down when he eats. Each time I took care of him, I would rotate the bowl to make it easier for him, and when he was finished I would brush him. I miss him.

Anyway, I was finishing up with Brownie when I heard the familiar sound of the UPS truck rounding the corner onto our street.  Since Brownie lives quite a distance from our house, Mom and I raced down Brownie’s driveway so we could look down the street to see if the UPS truck would stop at our house (we knew that ARCs would arrive any day.) 

The Brown Truck drove past our house and pulled into the circular driveway just past ours. 

Mom joked that the Brown Truck would come back to our house after turning around in that cicular driveway.

She was right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Brown UPS Truck pulled up in front of our house and a man climbed out with a dolly and rolled three big boxes of Gracie Goodness to our front door… translated:

ARCs of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery are here, and I am so happy to share!

Launch Notes Radio, Craig Pollard, and Cancer for College

I loved meeting Khrys Vaughan of Launch Notes Radio this morning!  What a lovely lady, and what a wonderful thing she is doing by encouraging women starting new businesses.  

Have you heard about Craig Pollard? He has been in the news because he began an organization called Cancer for College. He is a cancer survivor who decided he is going to make a difference in the world, and I have to tell you that everything he is doing for cancer survivors makes me so grateful for him.  Whenever someone does something for cancer survivors, I feel like they are doing it for me.  Thank you, Craig, for helping cancer survivors accomplish their dreams.  And please thank your USC roommate, buddy, and cancer survivor supporter, Mr. Will Ferrell.  You both inspire me to do all I can to help others.

Childhood Cancer and Launch Notes Radio

Melinda sends her love to friends and family.  Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, Melinda will be a guest on Launch Notes Radio.  The broadcast will be at 8:30am PST/ 11:30am EST/ 10:30 am CST/ and 9:30am MT, and it will last for about 30 minutes.  Melinda will talk about her book, Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

 Anyone with an internet connection can listen by clicking the link below:


 Also, anyone can call 646-929-1073 to ask Melinda questions… she would love this!

Thank you so much for your support of Melinda’s project to raise childhood cancer awareness, for supporting Melinda’s mission to help people with cancer, and for helping her with her ultimate goal of finding a cure for cancer. 

 With our sincere appreciation,

 Melinda Marchiano and Happy Quail

Beads of Courage

What a great surprise to find that someone knows about Beads of Courage!  For those of you who have never heard of them, I would love to share my story.  Maybe someone will be inspired to give $25 to Beads of Courage– so that a child who is very ill will feel like I did when I received mine.

From Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery:

Just as I was beginning to sense the “chemo” feeling once again, luckily, I had another distraction.  Robyn entered with a large plastic box and a paper cup.  I was curious and intrigued as she plunked down table side, right next to me. 

     Printed on the box, in huge, colorful letters, was Beads of Courage.  Her short hair bobbed up and down excitedly, as she told me all about it.  The Beads are for cancer kids to create a necklace by stringing together different colored beads that represent pokes, operations, ER trips, etc.  She placed a long string in the paper cup, and then I began to make my selections. 

     Slowly reaching for the bright green beads, I dropped them, one by one, into my cup– they were for tests.  Next, I received white beads for days of chemo and yellow ones for days in the hospital.  I added the pretty dark blue beads, as they too joined the others.  They were for clinic visits.  Lastly, I acquired an orange bead for my PICC line, four tan ones for my biopsies and bone marrow aspiration, and black beads for pokes.  As black began to drown out the other colors in the pile, I realized just how much of a pin cushion I had become.  I already had quite a collection and began carefully threading them onto my big long string.  Reaching for the letter beads, I spelled out my name before looping and adding the rest.  Wow.  It was already nearly half full, and I then knew why Robyn had given me such a long string. 

     My necklace is a symbol of what I had done and what I would do.  I felt proud as it rested around my neck, each one of those beads telling a different story, a separate struggle and an eventual triumph.  It might be just a little necklace, but it means something so much deeper to me.

Copyright: Melinda Marchiano

Would you like to encourage a child who is very ill?  I enCourage you to visit www.beadsofcourage.org




ARCs Ready at the Printer and Beads of Courage

This week has been a bit crazy with late night dance rehearsals for shows that start tonight!  I’m not sure if I can fit all of this excitement inside of Melinda!  Besides dancing all day to get ready for the performance tonight, I heard from Jenn at Greenleaf… and she said…

ARCs of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery are ready at the printer!  Yes– READY!

It looks like I will be able to hold one in my hands before I turn sixteen.  What a birthday present!

Did anyone notice that the spaceshuttle Atlantis carried Beads of Courage this time?  Do you know what Beads of Courage are?  I will tell you tomorrow if you don’t look it up yourself first!

Nurse Jen

Today, I want to remind everyone who reads this how precious life is.  We seem to go about each day as though they will keep coming forever… until something happens to wake us up. 

It’s true that I have already had a major two-year wake up call that has kept me focused on what is excellent and praiseworthy in this life of ours.  But sadness has entered my life today.  True, deep sadness.

I learned today that my dear, lovely thirty-two year old Nurse Jen has left us and passed on into God’s arms because of a tragic automobile accident.  My heart is broken thinking of how her family must feel and how this world has lost a brilliant shining light.  When I was near death from extremely low blood counts, Nurse Jen agreed to adopt me for the day in the Adult Transfusion Suite.  When I arrived at the hospital, I could barely keep my eyes open and was so weak I could not walk.  By the end of this day in Nurse Jen’s care, I was joking and balancing empty water bottles on my on my bald, shiny head. 

I fell in love with Jen’s spirit that day, and I will truly treasure the part of her she gave me that day to keep forever.  And Jen, I pray that God will help my spirit shine into the lives of others even half as brightly as yours. 

Hug those loved ones with all you’ve got…

P.S. There is a beautiful photo of Nurse Jen in Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.  When you see her smile and the light in her eyes, you will feel her love.

International Book Awards for Grace

I admit I am still squealing, and it is still sinking in… I received two emails from the International Book Awards this afternoon.  The first email congratulated me for winning the Health: Cancer category of the International Book Awards and the second email congratulated me for being an award finalist in the Spirituality: Inspirational category!  Oh my gosh… oh my gosh! 

If you are interested in seeing a complete list of winners and finalists, here is the link:


I am so happy… what better way to celebrate than thanking God and going to dance!

Surprise from Jeff Foxworthy;Response from Dr. Maya Angelou

When I wasn’t dancing this past weekend, I was going over the first page proofs for my book.  Linda, the lovely woman who edited my book with her “editorial feather duster,” did an outstanding job.  I appreciate the fact that she really knows her stuff, and at the same time she allows me to be me… meaning I need to make up phrases and words that don’t necessarily exist in anyone else’s speech, or even in a dictionary.  I love that Linda let me be me in my writing, but at the same time, she corrects all of those nasty little nit-picky things (like nit-picky!)  Seriously, I have never loved purple marks on my papers like I do with Linda’s marks on my first page proofs for Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.

An email response arrived in my inbox today from an assistant for Dr. Maya Angelou.  Yes, I sent an endorsement request to Dr. Angelou sometime in early March. Rather than feeling disappointed that she is too busy to look at my book, I feel grateful for the kind reply from her assistant.  They could have rolled their eyes at my request, and blasted me back with a, “YOU?!! YOU want a WHAT???!!!!!”  But kindness and civility prevailed throughout their polite decline of my request. 

And now… what a smile I still have upon my face! Yes, I know it is a smile I usually reserve for when I am filled with pure joy from dancing, but a pure joy surprise appeared in my mailbox today.  I opened an autographed photo that was signed to me along with a beautiful note that was written on the coolest of cool stationery  The note has his name pressed into it  and cowboy boots on either side of the paper.  And the note and photo were signed… Jeff Foxworthy.  Have you checked out his PSA for CURE Childhood Cancer?


Thanks Jeff… for showing you truly care about children fighting cancer.  My gratitude runs deep and wide.

Melinda Marchiano, Author, Dancer, Cancer Survivor – Mothers & Daughters in Business

Melinda & Lee Marchiano, Author, Dancer, Cancer Survivor – Mothers & Daughters in Business.

First Page Proofs and Livestrong Virtual Bikes

An overnight Fed-Ex package arrived today with first page proofs of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery!  I never thought I could be so excited about a box containing pages of my writing with marks all over it.  Somehow, in school, those marks all over papers are not as exciting!  Now, I have one week to look everything over and give it back.  I should be studying for my end of the year AP World History exam tonight, but I am having a really tough time tearing myself away from those purple-marked pages.

Did anyone else receive an email from LIVESTRONG today that tells about how we can help them, in the next 48 hours, to raise $75,000 from a RadioShack donation for the global fight against cancer?  All you have to do is click on http://www.livestrongaction.org/en/ride/jointheride and

Lance Armstrong at Tour of California, Solvang

 make your bike.  Join the ride and help fight cancer.  Really… do it now!

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