Monday, December 31, 2007

Blessings along the Road to 2008

As these few hours of 2007 come to a close, I find my thoughts drawn to the challenges experienced over the past year. Mostly thoughts related to Sir's cancer journey because it seems as if every other challenge was directly related to that one particularly because it was ginormous in the scheme of things.

At 11:00 p.m. our church is holding "Watch Night" services, and I am contemplating whether to attend to give thanks to the Lord for all the blessings bestowed upon our family in the midst of our journey. But in my heart of hearts I have a complete knowing within myself that it matters not the location where I bend my knees to give "thanks" when the clock strikes 12:00.

I extend a grateful "Thank You" for seeing us through six (6) months of chemotherapy and a successful reversal of the illiostomy! During the last year, I changed the theme song on my MySpace page several times until I finally found a sense of warmth in "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley. The melody is light and the words are quite simple:

Dont worry 'bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: dont worry 'bout a thing,
cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin,
Smiled with the risin sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)

As I look back on our journey, I am in a state of wonderment of how we made it through. It feels good to think of it as a bad dream, and the Lord just waived his magic wand -- you know, like in that Tooter Turtle cartoon where when Tooter's situation became catastrophic he would call on Mr. Wizard to rescue him. I loved the part where Mr. Wizard would use the magic words: "Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome; time for zis one to come home!" to bring the turtle safely home.

I am sure that those of you who were with us during our 2007 journey would agree that many blessings were received while we were on that long road leading to 2008. For example, Sir programmed his way through cancer -- developing the ImOnChemo website and several viable internet products that we all witnessed come to fruition. My brother Arnold and my sister Lu unselfishly invested in the development of Sir's products. And, my mother (who turned 80 this year) quilted her way through cancer and created several beautiful handmade quilts! My brother Page and his family moved into their new home. Mi hermano más joven, Terry, compró una casa lujosa en Atlanta. It takes a brave heart (like Terry's) to purposely create "change" in your life -- cause "change" is gonna come either way. Bryon (whose friendship I was blessed with this year) preached on the subject of "change" this past Sunday; one of the things that we discussed is how no one likes change, and yet it is the only "constant" in our lives.

Grandmother turned 102 in 2007 and will be 103 years young in 3 1/2 months. I still say WOW! when it's put that way. My brother Kevin completed another year of his PHD studies and is looking forward to putting his studies to work serving others. My sister Carla and her husband were blessed with the opportunity to travel to Poland for over a month, where Phil taught at a university there. The blessings keep flowing from there! If I were to even just touch upon the blessings bestowed upon my dear friends, nieces and nephews this blog would be never ending - lol - but that's a good thing!

Mostly, I want to express once again the appreciation that I have for our entire family and friends for helping to save Sir's life and also for helping him to create a new life -- because what do you do after cancer!

As the hours, minutes, and precious seconds of 2007 count down, I stand in a pure state of gratitude! I realize that often times days or even months can come and go before taking the time to talk to one another. However, I completely rest in the peace of knowing that my love for Sir, my family, and dearest friends is most certainly not measured by "talk time" but is comprised of my entire being -- my emotions, thoughts, words and deeds!

pEaCe and bLeSsings to all!

P.S. I headed to "Watch Night" after all!

Luv You

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

God Has Smiled on Me

Last night I came across a youtube video clip of gospel artist Marion Williams singing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival around 1970. Her velvety Mahalia sounding voice reaffirmed over and over again: "God Has Smiled on Me."

I hadn't heard that song in eons. Memories of not only the past year but all the years past rushed to the present moment. My heart quickly filled with joy at the realization that God has certainly smiled on me and my family.

This time last year we were preparing for Sir's colorectal surgery. He had undergone 6 straight weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy simultaneously and was only starting to regain his strength knowing that he had to face major surgery on November 21st (i.e., 2 days before Thanksgiving).

I kept rewinding the video clip as the words permeated my soul because of a complete knowing "God Has Smiled on Me."

I can't recall at this moment if I have shared in previous writings that during Sir's cancer journey we still planned celebrations -- even in the midst of his journey it was important to surround ourselves with loved ones. The weekend prior to his surgery we had a Fish Fry and invited family and his close friends. The house was filled with nothing but love. You can catch a glimpse of the celebrations on video clips in November 2006 on his imonchemo website.

It was important for us to celebrate life even in the midst of cancer because we are a family that celebrates holidays, birthdays and special milestones. Sir's spirits soared before surgery to have everyone "show-up" to show their support. No one really had to wish him well because their presence at the Fish Fry said it all.

I know that many people have heard that saying "God Is Good!" and that expected response "All the Time!" Well, it takes on new meaning for me! When I speak those words now days, you can bet I mean it...I feel it...I sense it though every bone in my body.

God Has Smiled on me....

pEaCe and bLesSings

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The 21st of October is marked as one of THE most blessed days of my life because that was the day that my baby joined me for our travels here on earth. And, on this October 21st I am ever so grateful to be able to sing "Happy Birthday" to Sir Drafton for all of the obvious reasons, i.e., because we are both still here to fully experience each other, our family, friends, and even indivdiuals who would normally be classified as "strangers" but are our friends in the midst of our recent travels.

I'd like to think that every mother and child has a bond as strong as the one that I've been blessed to have with my son. But the reality is that there are some parent-child relationships that suffer under a seemingly never ending strain from the beginning to end. I've personally witnessed those relationships that never seem to get on track no matter how hard one or the other tries to make things right, make things comfortable, cheerful, or just plain pleasant with the other.

But it has been different with me and Sir -- the love between us has always seem to flow like a river that has no debris blocking it's channels. The afternoon of his first October 21st, , i.e., when Sir entered the world, it was just he and I in the room -- not another soul was present.

I can almost remember it as if it happened just the other day. I was only 19 years old and didn't know a thing about having a baby -- and there I was all alone. But I think the labor pains were so intense that the bejeebers was scared out of me, as the saying goes. But once I realized that he was really going to make his grand entrance, and not wait for me to get to the hospital, the mother instincts in me kicked in. I scurried (well, maybe hurried) and gathered a sheet and towels and placed them on the floor of the hall (just at the entrance of the living room).

When I first held him in my arms that is when I realized the true preciousness of life. I was only a child myself really, at 19 years of age, but I recall being filled with the wonderment of another life coming from my body. At that exact moment, I had a complete knowing that I was bestowed with the awesome responsibility of caring for another human being.

Sir and I have been on a journey that I shall never regret nor exchange for any other journey that I could have embarked upon even if I so desired.

So this message is to my baby:

Sir Drafton, I want you to know that you have been a complete joy to me through ALL times: Security Street, Dalton Court, Apt. 84, Brentwood, Radcliff, Shirley Drive, 735, Oddstad, Lori, 735 again, and 1053 (lmao) :}

Some would say that you were born against all odds: teenage African American Mother, being raised in single parent home, having an absent father, and just being born an African American manchild. But I would say that you were born of complete love, and here you are today, a young black man of whom I am more than proud! I wouldn't hesitate to point you out in a crowd of a thousand and tell the world "That's My B-a-b-y"!

God has blessed us with another year, another day, another moment to continue sharing our lives. I need not say that I am forever grateful and receive it all. Peace and blessings, Sir.


Miss Mo'

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Through out my son's cancer journey so many family members, friends, and complete strangers left prayers for him on his website ( Week after week, I witnessed the healing power of the prayers and positive messages left for Sir on his website. Below are just a few of the prayers left by Sir's supporters during the first few days after his website was uploaded to the internet. I FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PRAYERS.


I'll pray for you too. - 9/22/2006 4:16:19 AM PST
I sincerely thank the ministers and Cecil for praying for my baby. I believe in the power of prayer and know that because at least two gathered that our prayers are answered. Sir's Mom

Charles Williamson

Nicely Done - 9/22/2006 10:26:39 AM PST
This in it self is therapy, and I'd like to be the second one to say I'm proud of you, and the strength that you display.


SIR - 9/22/2006 11:33:56 AM PST
You are moving us all to another a higher level. I love you, Sir and I know YOU are in GOD's capable hands. Aunti Lue

Claudia Viscarra

One Power - 9/22/2006 11:45:16 AM PST
Hello Dante, let me start by telling you how impressed I am with your strong and brave personality. God Loves you.

Karen Mourning

Amen - 9/22/2006 11:59:13 AM PST
Hey Sir I will be praying for you and your family. My cousin who lives in Las Vegas is going through the same thing everyday so I know how you feel. Please take care okay. Jesus is the Answer

Sis Johnni

I Love You - 9/22/2006 12:51:47 PM PST
Sir, you don't know me but I LOVE YOU.I pray mightily for you and your family for you are truly BLESSED!


An Inspiration - 9/22/2006 3:03:59 PM PST
Life is like a coin, spend it anyway you want but only once.


Sir - 9/22/2006 3:21:21 PM PST
Praying for a full and complete healing.


continue - 9/22/2006 3:30:47 PM PST
using your God given dot com skills to share your thoughts of life.

Uncle Kevin

Undisputable courage - 9/22/2006 7:34:00 PM PST
Sir, it takes a great deal of courage to open up your life to others, but I know that so many people will benefit from this. Like your mom, I'm proud of you also. Uncle Kevin

Tennille Poydras

SIr Knight - 9/22/2006 8:40:23 PM PST
To a brave young soldier. You are an inspiration and that is coming from a strong foundation of beautiful and strong woman(beleive me I know). Take care of yourself. God Bless!

Rose & George Brown

Be strong in the Lord - 9/22/2006 11:54:39 PM PST
Hey Sir, George and I are praying for you. Continue to trust and belIEve God for your total healing.

Rose & George Brown

Be strong in the Lord - 9/22/2006 11:54:39 PM PST
Hey Sir, George and I are praying for you. Continue to trust and beleive God for your total healing.

Veretta Buckhalter

Standing Tall - 9/23/2006 6:14:53 PM PST
Amazing Sir, Visualize the redwood trees. May you always stand tall in the face of this challenge. Your roots will sustain you.

Denise S.

Praying now for you - 9/23/2006 9:58:13 PM PST
Sending nothing but positive energy your way. Praying that God sustains you through all of this and that your healing will be complete.

Lonnie F Wilson

Tears of Pride - 9/24/2006 9:43:35 AM PST
Dear Sir….Your video excerpts actually brought me to tears this morning. Not tears of sadness mind you, but tears of pride. Your courage truly inspires me. Blessings and Prayers…

Michelle Alexander

God Can Heal You Sir - 9/24/2006 12:44:31 PM PST
I just want to tell you Sir that Jesus has the Power to Heal You. Put all of Your trust in him because he specializes in all manner of dieases, conditions and every situations.

Steve B.

Prayers from Colorado Springs - 9/24/2006 12:59:01 PM PST
We lift you up unto God as he has given you this healing and he says that all you have to do is accept that healing He looks over you all the time. Praise be to God. We used to live in Vallejo are attending Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs, CO. Keep up the good work.

Chrishelle Woodson

Walk by Faith - 9/24/2006 8:04:05 PM PST
Sir, Stay in prayer and keep the faith. God knows how much you can bare. His grace and mercy is everlasting.

Missionary Dunlap

Prayer for your healing - 9/24/2006 8:35:40 PM PST
God Bless you Sir, The Bible says that we can call those things that be not, as though they were. So we say that you ARE healed according to the Word of God that says in Isaiah 53:5, But He (Jesus) was wounded for our (YOUR) transgressions, He (Jesus) was bruised for our (YOUR) iniquities: the chastisement of our (your) peace was upon Him' and with His (Jesus') stripes we (YOU) ARE healed. Be Blessed in Jesus' Name. Missionary M. Dunlap


One day at a time - 9/24/2006 8:46:23 PM PST
I have gained a lot of insight into this cancer experience by walking with you daily. And through your experience others will learn and apply their faith and resources not just to cancer but other infirmaties. Remember the strength is in your believing, and this site shows you are not alone. Love Granny.

Primo Marquito

Props - 9/24/2006 10:07:11 PM PST
What it do, Sir? Just wanted to give a shout out on your new web page. I think you are doing an extraordinary thing by sharing such intimate details of your daily experience with cancer. Let's keep the positive energy flowin'. "Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy." —Sai Baba

Mr. Oakland (smile)

Stay strong young Brother - 9/24/2006 10:34:25 PM PST
Sir, I have been aware of your “challenge” for a few weeks now, through your mother, Queen (a dear friend) and you have been a permanent fixture in my prayers since. The mere fact that you created tells me that you have accepted the situation as part of God’s plans for you (as much as possible at this stage) and you have chosen to courageously embark on this “journey” with eyes, faith and heart wide open. Your site will help a lot of people, Sir as it has already helped me.

B.J. Smif

Word of Encouragement - 9/24/2006 10:58:54 PM PST
There's a reason behind what you're going through. You have so much support and know the God's there right by your side. He will not leave you. A mustard seed is very small, thats all you need, when it comes down to faith. Isa 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. God Bless, -B.J. Smif

Michel Rabouin

I wish you Peace and Strength - 9/25/2006 9:23:29 AM PST
Gain strength and fortitude from those who you LOVE & LOVE YOU. Continue your strength, continue your faith. Your Lifes Beauty is never diminished by adversity, but enhanced. Find the small beauties AmunRa gifts us. It is all of ours to embrace. Continue to fight. You are in my prayers. AmunRa Hetep

Ebrahim Munshi

Hope and pray - 9/25/2006 9:41:59 AM PST
Thank you for sharing your experience ... I know atleast 3 persons who made successful recovery from chemo. I hope and pray for your successful recovery and good health.


Love you - 9/25/2006 1:14:54 PM PST
Promise yourself that you will be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Regardless of the problems or circumstance there is a prayer to help one cope with any situation. I appreciate you helping others and will continue to support you.


Treatment - 9/25/2006 1:32:44 PM PST
Sir - I know I've only met you once. But my prayers are with you everyday. I know it's hard - I saw what my mom went through. What your doing on this website is wonderful - not only for yourself but for others on chemo. Take care of yourself.


In my thoughts - 9/26/2006 12:10:26 AM PST
Hey Sir, You are in my prayers and thoughts as you go through this experience, I know you'll keep up and stay positive cuz that's how you do. God bless.

Tim Brown Family

Praying For You - 9/22/2006 4:17:13 PM PST
Sir, the Tim Brown Family is praying for you as well as the Church, always remember God is Good All The Time,and never stop giving Him your Praise!! Much Love, the Brown Family

pEaCe and bLesSings to those who reached out to us during our journey...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Angels in the Medical Field...Cancer

There is so much to be said in honor of the medical persons who accompanied my son during his cancer journey this past year. The love that the staff bestowed upon Sir delivered me well beyond a state of gratefulness.

I can not really think of any words in the English language to express the feelings that I experienced each time I witnessed the genuine care and concern that Sir was showered with during his journey.

I'm beginning to see that the topic of gratefulness appears to be a core theme in my writings about this experience with cancer. And, although I'd like to think that I have viewed the world from a relatively positive viewpoint, this cancer journey has been an humbling, humbling experience.

Sir had already attended several chemotherapy/radiation treatments by the time I was able to accompany him to any appointments. My delay in being able to be by his side was because my work schedule had already been preset months in advance. However, during our evening walks, he would share with me how everyone at the medical facilities was really "cool!"

I think that during the first round of chemoradiation, Sir was, essentially, in shock not only about the diagnosis of the Big "C" but also about the fact that everyone showed him much love from the outset.

During one of our walks, he explained to me that part of the difficulty he had during those first few weeks adjusting to the news of the diagnosis was the act that he had gone all of his life without really having to experience hospitals and being sick. So it was a shock for him to then be relegated to the point of having to go the hospital e-v-e-r-y single day! However, Sir further spoke about the fact that he also just wasn't used to everyone being so kind to him!

By the time I was able to accompany Sir to his appointments, I remember the emotions that welled up inside me. I wanted to cry when I saw the pure love showered upon him by soooooo many people. I would say that it was certainly what they call a "deep" experience to meet individuals who had found the purpose and love for serving those inflicted with this dis-ease.

Towards the end of Sir's chemotherapy treatments, his body was weak as well as his spirit. The staff in the Oncology Department became the team to cheer him on. They were the true picture of the "Relay For Life!"

I could call the roll of those who accompanied him on this journey, but suffice it to say that the angels know their names. I attribute their love to his complete healing.

pEaCe and blesSings to angels :}

Saturday, September 29, 2007

She's Gone On - But Her Prayers Remain Behind

On September 30, 2006, Gwen left the following message of prayer and hope for my son on the imonchemo website:

"...I speak God's Peace and Blessings that surpasses all understanding into your life and I will continue to pray that He's Love rain down on you. You are awesome my brother. God is Love and you know you are too, He's angels are all around you as you can see (Ester, Mother Banks, Mother Evans, Lu and so many more. Peace and Blessings to you."

At the time of leaving that message Gwen hadn't an inkling that her body too was ridden with cancer. Less than 10 weeks after leaving that message, Gwen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and after a gallant fight she crossed over on April 30, 2007.

So I' sure you can imagine that as this September 30, 2007 descends upon me, my thoughts are turned to Gwen. Her message and prayers are as precious today as they were the day she left them on the website. The messages from friends, family and strangers (near and far) always uplifted Sir's spirits -- which I believe helped him to get through his cancer treatment.

Each of us knows not our destiny from day to day, however, our prayers for another will long out last our time here on earth.

A couple of days ago, I blogged about Channdra being a "Brave Heart" in the sharing of her cancer journey. My request to the Lord was for Channdra to have more good days than bad during the course of her chemo therapy treatment. Over the last few days, since praying for Channdra daily, I have reflected on the fact that my life is forever changed because of Sir's diagnosis last summer.

If not for the creation and development of the imonchemo website, I would never have been presented with the opportunity and honor of praying for her. Being able to pray for another human being is an unexpected blessing. At first thought, it would appear that my special petition on behalf of Channdra would benefit only Channdra. However, the day after writing that blog, the realization arose through the crevasses of my thoughts that my life is enriched through my act of praying for her. The offering up of my words and emotions on Channdra's behalf left me with a sense of purpose and a sense of hope for another individual's well-being.

It's so easy to go through our daily lives focussing on the mundane tasks at hand without even giving consideration for the unexpected blessings with which we have been presented. There is so much that can get us down on a daily basis, but to be able to take a moment during the day and think of another who is facing chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, infusion, or any other medical treatment is an unexpected blessing for me.

But of utmost importance for me, personally, is to be able to pray for another in honor of another (such as Gwen) who has prayed for me and mine.

pEace and bLesSings to the pRaYer waRriors...

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I can vividly recall that the Bay Area was experiencing a heat spell around the middle of July 2006, he month that my son was diagnosed with cancer. Maybe it was a sign of the news that was to be delivered to our family. I remember the heavy atmosphere when I arrived home from the office that day. By that time the news of Sir's diagnosis had begun to travel throughout our immediate family, and of course, everyone was in utter shock. After all, as Tower of Power would sing: "You're Still A Young Man..." He's just a baby in my eyes -- because he's my baby! Darn it!.

I sat in the backyard with my mother as the evening closed in on us. I finally got up the nerve to call my younger brother, Arnold, to tell him about the diagnosis. I hesitated, after all how does one even begin to deliver such information to another loved one. I was only 19 years old when Sir was delivered up into this world -- just a baby my own self. But from the moment he appeared on the scene, all of my siblings welcomed him into this world with nothing but pure love. Before Sir even had the opportunity to see 12 months of this here life, his father and I separated because, as his father explained at that time, he just wasn't ready for the responsibilities of marriage.

But, blessedly, I come from a family who had locked arms during, what I like to call, our very intimate experience with the poverty. So, as I think back on the family support that I received from the moment I returned to my parent's home, it just wasn't that unusual for my siblings to step-up and be my everything from that day forward. Sir's Uncle Arnold was only 14 years old at the time of his birth, and his Uncle Terry had just turned 13 years of age a few days before Sir's was born into this world.

Anyway, I'm stalling about the conversation that I had with Arnold that night because it was rather haunting. When I finally got the words out of my mouth, I could hear a lot of fumbling, and all of a sudden, the cell phone went silent. I was weeping by the time I managed to redial Arnold's number. When he finally answered his voice was barely audible. I consoled him and assured him that Sir would be all right. I had to believe that because I had no other choice -- Sir is my all -- my everything.

It remember that it took forever for that day to draw to a close. How do you face the night on a day like that? Well, you just do! Somehow, you do it!

As I said before, we were smack dead in the middle of a heat spell, and at some point Sir and I found ourselves in complete darkness. He was in his bedroom and I in mine. I know my son well enough to know that he would come to me in his own time. The television was on in my bedroom but as my mother would say, "The TV was watchin' me!"

Sir finally found his moment of need and came into my room. There we sat in complete darkness. Oh, if we only knew that the darkness of that night would only get darker on the days to come. He cried quietly as he relived the moments that the doctors gave him the results of the testing that he had undergone. He shared with me how the initial physician didn't even know how to give him the news, and he had to call another physician into the room because he was so shocked himself.

The most impressionable aspect of that moment shared between me and my son was when Sir told me: "Mom, all that I kept thinking to myself is that you promised me that everything would be all right!" He was speaking of a day a few weeks prior to his diagnosis when he was beginning to worry about the symptoms he was experiencing, and the advice nurse expressed great concern for the symptoms that he had described to her. When I spoke to Sir that day he was starting to cry and I assured him that he needed to have faith that everything was going to be okay. As he continued to cry, I maintained my posture and further assured Sir that if he wasn't able to have faith that I would believe and have faith on his behalf.

When I was a young lady struggling to make it, my best friend's uncle told me that he had been praying for me. Well, I'm not one to down any one's prayers pitched on my behalf. :} Anyway, Lisa's Uncle LC enlightened me that day many, many years ago that "some people live off of the prayers that others offer up on their behalf."

That night, even though it was dark, from the glow of the light thrown off by the television, I could see my son's eyes fixed on me as the tears continued to fall. I grabbed my baby, held him tight, and told him that "I still promise, that it's gonna be all right"

pEace and bLesSings to my family