Be Brave

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  1. Jackie Brockington says:

    There are no words. I tried to find some but I could not. I have watched your brave journey with its highs and lows and marveled at your bravery. Sure I know there were moments that you and Joe didn’t think you could face another day but now there is the realization that it’s beautiful to have another day. I can only repeat what you said, be brave. Forget the why us, why now. Concentrate on chemo kicking Joe’s cancer’s ass. Hold each other daily, relish every moment. All your questions will come to you at the right time. You guys can do this. You’ve come so far and the love you both share is something some folks search for their entire lives. There are so many prayers going out for your family and as for me…I believe in miracles. I love you Amanda & Joe from the depths of my being. Call on nonna Jackie for anything any time and I’ll be there.

  2. Christina Kolb says:

    Your husband, you and your family are in our prayers. Prayers for strength, prayers for a miracle, prayers to be cancer free.

    • Katie says:

      There are no words to describe what you’re feeling, but I know it…not as a wife and mother, but as a daughter…as a 22 year old version of your Mira. My dad chose to try for quantity and it cost him quality. I have reflected so many times on that choice I now know he made for all of us. He chose treatment for us because he never wanted us to ask “what if we had just…”. Watching my big, strong dad waste away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see. It was so hard, I prayed for God to either heal him or take him and end his suffering. With a child so tiny, and a family so young in its beginnings, you have an unbearable choice. I will pray for God to bring you peace in your decisions and a miracle to your husband. What cancer taught me was that we are not in control and that stuff and money are meaningless. Love and happiness are the greatest gifts of all. Drink your family in and love every minute. Praying for many tomorrows…

  3. Angie Green says:

    I’m so truly, truly sorry. Your family will be very much in my prayers.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I’m 44 and am dying of cancer as well. You said it best. Be brave. All you can do is live each and every minute seeing, smelling, breathing deeply and speaking your thoughts. You stay comfortable, you do exactly what you want to do and feel no guilt in any of it. Live the rest of your days with joy. Bravery will settle in resembling peace. God bless you, your husband and precious baby Mira.

  5. Kathryn McCall says:

    No words. I’m just so very sorry you have to go through this. I will continue to pray for you all.

  6. Julie says:

    Be brave! Take that vacation! Make memories! God, this sucks! We all love you guys and are praying so hard right now. If we could take this from you, we would do it in a heart beat.

  7. jennifer says:

    My heart is breaking for you all. I am so incredibly sorry, it is hard to find words to express my sadness for you. Please let me know if we can do anything for you at all! We are here and love you!

  8. Tonya Wright says:

    Prayers are with you.

  9. BW says:

    They have just opened a clinical trial that might be able to help I will keep you all in my prayers

  10. Eileen says:

    My heart breaks for you reading this. You are in my prayers.

  11. Joellyn Grandinetti says:

    Being brave isn’t always that easy, I know I’ve walked in your shoes 6 years ago! My husband went through the same thing Joe is going through right now. It’s so easy for people to tell you to be brave, be strong. Most of time it’s not easy to be anything but, angry or feel sorry for you & your family and you should. Why would such a beautiful young family like yours have to through this horrible ordeal? People always told me & still tell me it is better that he is not suffering. Believe me I didn’t want him to suffer anymore, but, I guess I’m selfish, because I miss him & I wish he was still here. I will keep you & your beautiful family in my thoughts & prayers, but, please if your angry don’t keep it inside, express it, because sometimes it only makes this journey a lot harder!
    My love to you, Joe & your beautiful Baby Girl Mira

  12. Tina says:

    words? what to say? are there any? I’m sorry of course does it help no! So instead I will send Prayers that in this sad time you find comfort and peace thru Our Lord, May Jesus shine his light on all who are going thru this.

  13. adair says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. We walked in these shoes about three weeks ago. My longtime boyfriends mother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 2 1/2 years ago. After an extensive surgery 6 mo the of chemo that made her terribly sick She went into remission but it was short lived 2 months later it was back but on her bone. At Christmas she was in so much pain doc said radiation was needed. 3 treatments till we ended up in the hospital to drain 2 liters of fluid off her heart. Two days later we got the news the cancer went to the sac of the heart. Chemo could be done but she was too weak at this point. It is a horrible feeling to know there is nothing you can do and being told your loved one is dying. As a loved one you feel helpless. Take advantage and spend as much time as you can together.
    Make videos so she will know who her dad is. Write letters. Things we wish his mother could of done for her 15 yr old daughter (his sister). She passed away on the 16th. She will be terribly missed by us all our 5 yr old is very confused. Cancer sucks! And so does reality. Although we know she fought till the end and is no longer in pain it still is hard. There is a large void. We think of all the things she will miss. Graduations. Weddings more babies. She had just turned 57.
    Be brave it is a hard thing for sure but try your best. Life is not fair. Cancer is cruel not only on the patient but the family. Cherish each moment. Prayers for strength. Sending love and hugs.

  14. Annette Persa says:

    I can’t believe it all he went through and it’s back. Oh my God in heaven I’m so sorry to hear that,my prayers are with you and your family. Take that vacation and have fun go someplace you always wanted to go.

  15. Talisa Nave says:

    Thinking of you all! You are more brave than you’ll ever realize. Stay strong. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Rick says:

    Thank you for your bravery. I dont know you, have never heard of you. But like thousands of other people you have touche me with your story, you are now part of my life, so is Joe and especially so is little Miss Mira. In the future, there will be many a time something or someone reminds me of you and your family and I will send up positive thoughts. May you receive them, may they comfort you and may they move you continually forward.

  17. Eileen says:

    My heart breaks reading your words. You are in my prayers. Be brave and make some beautiful memories together.

  18. Rob Hubler says:

    Our prayers are with you three… Be brave.

  19. Anne forsythe says:

    Dear Joe, Amanda and Mira, my tears are flowing and my heart is breaking for you. I can’t believe this, I think am I in a bad dreAm, did the doctors make a mistake, don’t they know this is Joe STRONG we are talking about ? Don’t they realize all that you have been through and how hard you have fought!? I hate stupid cancer, damn you cancer. This is a wonderful young man with a beautiful wife and bAby, go away damn you. Then I realize that no this is true, and it is a horrible nightmare. I can’t begin to know all the emotions you are going thru now. Make time for each other and Mira, write letters to leave for Mira to read when she gets older. Cherish the days as you alwAys have. You have shown us true courage, strength and to never give up. Joe you and Amanda have an incredible bond and love for each other. Remember this as times get rough. I wish there were words or actions I could say or do to make this better somehow. Just please know that we love you, we are blessed to be have you in our lives and the joy your smiles bring. We will continue to pray for you, you will be on our hearts, alwAys. Love Anne and phil

    • Lisa Campione says:

      Tears are here, but there are no words, all the words written before me is all that I could even think of saying to you. I am so angry for you. I know miracles can happen. I will pray and think positive.

  20. Sue Avicola says:

    Please try the Chemo! My Mark had stage 4 HODGKINS Lymphoma in May and now in remission-please try!

  21. It’s crazy as I find the words to say I can’t find any. I’ve read every blog post and seen all the pictures and I’ve cried and laugh with everything you have shared. As a cancer survivor I hate the fact that Joe has to go through this, I hate the fact that Mira was just born 2 months ago and now he has to fight to live to see Mira grow up. I hate hate hate cancer. No words can even come close to help you through all this! All I can say is don’t give up, you guys have fought all this time just keep fighting. Even if you guys choose to not do chemo and just enjoy what you guys have left together fight it. Fight the negativity and fight the stupid cancer! I pray that God forms a instantaneous miracle in Joe. I pray for strength for you in this time, you have been so super strong through all this even when you had your moments of breaking down you still got right back up and we are all so very proud of you. Even though most of us haven’t met you guys in person it feels like we are all friends because we have followed you guys journey. Much love, peace and hope!!!! Be brave guys!

  22. Patti says:

    Dear Amanda & Joe (and little Ms. Mira),

    You two (Mommy & Daddy)- I have memories of you that will always make me laugh. It’s the added bonus of having a son who is one of a kind, but somehow he managed to find just the right friends who kept him from going over the cliff or going down some Godforsaken path. They were true friends, and ones we are very blessed to have just once in our lives.

    Your lives have taken a horrible turn, unexpected, spiraling downwards. But somehow, through the last few years, you have shown ALL OF US, young and old, what love is about, and friendship, and parenthood, and a hundred other things – grace, fortitude, humor, joy, and BRAVERY. As you have shared your journey, we have shared your hope, laughter, tears, and just plain fortitude. We are blessed to know you, more blessed that you have shared yourselves with us.

    So, now, you are at that terrible crossroads that no one under age 100 should have to face, and yet you are less than 1/3 of that. A long time ago when I was dealing with a heartache almost as deep as today, I heard something very interesting. I had asked the question, why God, why? God’s a big guy, He can take it, He can listen to our hearts rant and our souls ask the question. He can also hear our anger and sadness and “oh, how unfair” and just stand in the storm. And He also brings people into our lives (I call them quiet angels) who will stand next to you and hold you up.

    My love is with you, my prayers, my admiration… Yes, be brave, be strong, and feel the love of all your friends and family lift you up.

    Momma McT

  23. Rebecca Allen says:

    Unbelievable how something so important to you can be out of your own control… The only thing I can think of is hug eachother for as long as you can, it maybe a short while or the next 60 years! Never let anything stop you from feeling the love you share.

  24. Ali T. says:

    There are no words… just know you all are loved. Live in each moment and cherish them forever.

  25. marjoriesturgeon says:

    Amanda, you’ve got a beautiful family and a strong heart. You’ll get through this. As a woman who makes her living telling other peoples stories, I’m glad youre telling your own. This story doesn’t end with this latest news though. It’s only another chapter. Have Joe help make Those future chapters by writing his own parts for future birthdays, anniversaries, Mira’s life events and anything else you can think of. You and your family’s story goes on.

  26. Tammy says:

    I am so sorry to read your story as I have just lost a brother to the horrible C word at the age of 47. He left behind a wife and 6 kids age 6 to 16. I don’t have the answers for you but I will sure be praying for you and your family. My brother did what he felt might help but in the end he knew nothing he could do would help him so he quit everything and just did as much as he felt like doing. He was stage 4 when they found his colon cancer and it had spread to his liver and lung. My heart breaks for you and your family as it is so hard to watch someone you love go thru all of this. My brother was strong and accepted it for what it was and made the best of things. The last 45 days he couldnt eat only liquids that came right back out a compression tube. Just say everything that needs to be said and be as strong as you can be. It’s ok to be mad, cry , scream or whatever you need to do. Been there done that for sure. My prayers are with you and all that keeps me going is knowing my brother is in Heaven and feeling no more pain.

  27. Ann Williams says:

    Joe, Amanda, and Beautiful baby MIra, No words just so sad about this news. Take each minute and make it a moment. Love you all.

  28. Nadia says:

    I’m so sorry, I can’t even imagine what your family is going thru! My prayers go out to you. There is hope even when it seems so dark. My aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year and she was given a few months to live. But she is still here and healthier then she ever was! Email me I would love to share how she did it. Chemo is not the only answer. She was told that chemo would not help either just give her a little more time… Now there’s no chemo at all and I can only say it’s a miracle!

  29. Diane market Gaston says:

    Diane old friend of your father Tony

    Be brave? Shit, just be. Be whatever. You don’t need to add any extra expectations to your life.

    Tell Joe he is already a footprint in his draughts heart. Kids Velcro to us. Just is. Already done. Give her your words and pictures so she will know what that print is saying. I know you will, as you are a wonderful human.

    Be. Prayers

  30. meblettn says:

    I’ve been following your story and praying for you both along the way. I’m so sorry for the difficult news and wanted to say I think you are both very brave. We have a 10 month old daughter and I can’t imagine making these decisions and dealing with these things…
    Sending up prayers for healing, strength and peace for all three of you.
    Much love,
    Maggie Hyde

  31. Claudette says:

    BE BRAVE….God has a plan….love you!

  32. i pray for quick healing

  33. […] cancer is back after major surgery in October, she says on Cocktails and Chemo. He owns three Jimmy John’s franchises in Central […]

  34. Brenda Below says:

    I am not all that religious, but I pray for you with all my heart!

  35. Thinking of you guys and as always, asking the universe to let Joe get better.

  36. Praying for you and your family. Hope it all turns out for you. Love and live to the fullest.

  37. […] cancer is back after major surgery in October, she says on Cocktails and Chemo. He owns three Jimmy John’s franchises in Central […]

  38. noel says:

    my husband had leukemia he is about 5 years older than Joe, he has had this disease since he was 20.he basically takes chemo is a pill. Over the years all I can do is slowly watch the drug treat the disease but destroy everything else. I have a co-worker that swears by the “one minute cure”.. he has a cousin with lymphoma and supposedly he is cured. My coworker believes in this so much he told a client of his about it(she also has lymphoma) he just saw her Tuesday her husband met him at the door and hugged him, drs say it’s a miracle they can not explain her blood test results. . I’m going to give it try. I figure it’s all natural what can be the harm. .I know you don’t know me, and I only know your story from high school friends. And now you are going to think I am really crazy. But I just read the book “there’s more to life than this” by Theresa Caputo. It was comforting and heart warming eased my anxieties in life. I really believe God puts people in our paths for a reason. Be strong your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  39. Jamie says:

    There are no words to describe what I feel for you and your family right now. I just wanted to say-you will be told to “keep fighting” and “don’t give up”. If you chose not to do treatment-it does NOT mean that you are in any way a failure or that you are giving up! You guys have gone through more than anyone should ever have to! I cannot imagine being in your situation-and unless someone else has, it’s impossible to know the ups and downs of your journey. Make memories for precious Mira. Leave her with ways to know who Joe is. ENJOY ever single second you have with one another. I will pray for peace for you with whatever decision you choose.

  40. Jan says:

    Think positive! I will give you a positive story. My husband had colon cancer and surgery with no chemo. We were happy about that. Then it metasticized to his colon which doesn’t usually have a happy ending. He had chemo and Avastin, and was pretty sick. I tried to keep things as calm and positive as I could, and always tried to keep negative thoughts at bay, especially people telling him stories about someone they knew that died from it. Why would anyone want to hear that?!? It is now 6 years that he is cancer free. Miracles do happen! Don’t give up. Do what you think is right, no matter what anyone else thinks! I don’t know you, but understand your feelings. Positive as you can be!

  41. […] post first appeared on Cocktails and Chemo, where Amanda writes […]

  42. Billy Lagstrom says:

    Just want to say your doing the right thing by leaving your life like tomorrow will never come.Being together is something you will never regret.You will work again someday and they will bring you back with open arms.You get the same happiness being together if your living in a one room cardboard box or a big home because those things only matter in your head and being together is in your heart.I learned that from a man who died from cancer at 42 who lived in a apartment raising his family the best he could.He never had the chance to own his own home.That man was my father. Stay strong and keep the torch burning between the both of you and enjoy what healthy time you have left in life.

  43. Eddie Poirier says:

    We feel you’re pain. We have a 7 year old son & my wife is fighting stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her lungs & sternum. The decision to stay home with your husband was the right decision. Keep fighting

  44. […] in October. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Evans has shared updates on the couple’s Cocktails and Chemo […]

  45. Michael LaFaver says:

    You and yours are in my prayers.

  46. […] the couple’s Cocktails and Chemo blog, posted Wednesday, she […]