Laurianne's Hope

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A balloon for Laurianne

Today atApplebee's we got some helium filled balloons . We decided to launch one in honor of Laurianne. The three of us hold it and then released it . We had written We love you on it .It was a cold starry clear night perfect for doing this. I tried to watch it as long as I could and after a while it blended in like one of the many stars in the sky.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 10:06 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Friday, February 24, 2006

Contact Information

I made a special web address just for this blog. If you are interested in sending your comments and well wishes, please send to:

laurianneshope (at) gmail (dot) com
You know how it is suppose to look. I am trying to avoid spam for as long as possible. Of course, you can still comment within the blog as well. My dad and I will have access to this email address.
And yes, I realize the irony of changing the website name and then having to run it all back together. I have thought of changing it back for consistency. So if you bookmark to Laurianne's Hope, and haven't changed it yet, you might want to wait a little bit in case I change it back again.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 12:52 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

4 month anniversary

It is hard to believe but today it is 4 months since Laurianne past away. It sometimes looks like yesterday and sometimes it looks so far away. Sometimes it feels that I am getting a call from New York saying I am coming home next week. I hope things will be getting more acceptable if time progresses. We will be burning a candle in her honor today.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 11:19 AM :: 0 people are more aware
Playing For a Cure Update

Here is an updated from Jamie Young that I copied from regarding Playing for a Cure. It is less than 2 weeks away and I am getting very excited to be going.
Well, the event is getting very close. 2 weeks away
Please pray that it all goes well. I am so scared that I have forgotten someone or something.

I want to personally invite all of my lchelp family to attend if you can. Memphis, Tn March 4th. The best time to be at the event (since it is from 9-5) would be around 11:00-12:30 and 3:00 - 5:00.

If you are interested in attending, let me know and I can try to work out hotel, or maybe get a discount. I can ask anyone for just about anything now. They can only say "no". I have learned that through this fundraiser.

Finally---here it is:

There are 13 middle and high concert bands competing and 49 soloists.

Memphis Originals Cafe will have an area set-up for acoustical instruments. There will be music everywhere. (guitarists, celtic harpists, wind players, volalists)

Two families will be present to give the award for their loved one to the winning school/student. I love this--this will mean so much to the kids.

I was able to get the building and insurance permit through the school system. (saved us $1500.00) This is now a sanctioned Memphis City School Event as well as being sanctioned through the Arkansas Activities Association.

This is unbelievable!!!!!!!! We have been truly blessed. Thanks to all of you that have helped along the way. Your generosity will be noted in the program.

Hope to see you there. But if you are not, you will be in spirit!!!!


Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 9:50 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fighting Cancer - From the Fighter's Point of View

While visiting SpiderWalk today, she meantioned a new blog she visited which talked a seven-part series about lung cancer in the St. Petersburg Times.

The writer is Barry Bradley, who lost his battle with lung cancer on February 12, 2006. I haven't read all the articles yet, but from what I have read, he has been battling cancer for just over a year. His marriage was still new - married 2 1/2 years at the time of diagnosis.

Mr. Bradley admits that he was a smoker, he drank, and used drugs as some point in his life. He states:

Before I go further, let me explain something about my life. I am not one of those unfortunate, innocent people who got this loathsome disease through no fault of their own. I have been a two-pack-a-day smoker for more than 40 of my 57 years, even though I knew better. I have broken all but one of the Ten Commandments, and even invented a few of my own.

I've gone through life at 7,000 rpm, thinking I was bulletproof. I did all the booze and the drugs (and, yes, I inhaled). In truth, I should have been dead years ago. No one deserves cancer, or any illness, but if there is one person who does, it's probably me.
I give my condolensces to his wife and family during this difficult time. And I thank Mr. Bradley for shedding some light on the difficult struggles a lung cancer sufferer has to face.

Also, please visit SpiderWalk today and read her post about her mom. Through her, you can see how lung cancer still affects those left behind, even after 11 years.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 9:13 AM :: 2 people are more aware

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What Is The Value of Human Life?

Doctors are excited about the prospect of Avastin, a drug already widely used for colon cancer, as a crucial new treatment for breast and lung cancer, too. But doctors are cringing at the price the maker, Genentech, plans to charge for it: about $100,000 a year.
There is an article in the New York Times today about a new drug for lung cancer, called Avastin. The drug company, Roche, actually disgusts me. I think about how many people may be affected by lung cancer who might be saved by this drug, yet they can't afford it. Insurance may or may not cover it. In a lot of businesses, medical coverage is on the decline, while insurance rates are on the rise.

If this drug could have helped Laurianne, I would have wanted to find a way to pay for it. I didn't realize how short 25 years was until 25 years was all I had. It is a shame that big business has a love for the almighty dollar, which takes precedence over human life.

(If this article asks you to register, I recommend using BugMeNot to bypass the login screen.)

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 7:33 AM :: 0 people are more aware

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentines Day 2005

It is hard to believe but today it is a year ago that we went to New York to help Laurianne to move back to California. After being back in New York for a short time she decided as a future single mother to move back home. As I reflect on this past year I am thankful that she made that decision. I am having personally good memories about her being home and think a lot about the good conversations we had over coffee at star bucks. I am looking back on good memories and I know I will treasure this memories for the rest of my life. I also learned to enjoy the moments. Never take anything in life for granted. Tell the persons in your life you really care about that you love them. Try to enjoy life too the fullest. Settle any disputes you have with loved ones as soon as possible. Laurianne and I were on the best of terms when she passed away but I would have blamed myself for the rest of my life if we had not been.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 8:57 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Why Do People Smoke?

The past few weeks (yes, weeks!) I have been thinking a lot about smoking. In today's society, we have so many anti-smoking messages. But, when you think about it, as much as there are anti-smoking messages, that is causes cancer and other ailments to your health, there are also pro-smoking messages. Today, in the New York Times, there was an article on the hypocrisy of the government. Despite putting out an anti-smoking message, smoking is still permitted in Congress. Even a certain actor turned California governor has encouraged the message of non-smoking, while continuing to smoke giant stogies.

Speaking of actors, Hollywood also continues to perpetuate the myth that smoking is elegant and sophisticated. I think about how when my parents were in school, they and their peers were probably bombarded with images of smoking, it sophistication and elegance. If their role models smoked, why shouldn't they? If they smoked, maybe they could acquire the same elegance and sophistication, even the same attention that the movie stars have. From the beginning, smoking in movies has been encouraged.
I remember activists stating if Hollywood stopped smoking in movies, then maybe our youth would not be encouraged to smoke. Yet, even today, we see our popular actors and actresses still smoking, even if it is in their free time.

And let's face it. If it is cool for James Bond to still smoke, the guy who oozes coolness with his privilege of having access to the coolest gadgets and great places to travel, then why shouldn't today's teenager smoke. They want to be sophisticated and cool also. They continue to get mixed messages. And so they start smoking. They have children who look up to their parents and see them smoking. They think "Hey, my parents smoke, James Bond smokes, why shouldn't I?" Or maybe their parents don't smoke. Maybe it is peer pressure, because if Joe Popular wants me to smoke, then he will accept me into his group and I will be cool. Like James Bond. Or Sharon Stone. Or Matt Damon. (Though I did see something that said Matt Damon may have quit.) And then, the addiction is so strong, they don't know how to quit. Or maybe they like it enough they don't want to quit. And slowly, the health problems start to begin. Impotence, emphysema, cancer, premature aging.

I think, to a certain extent, if our role models get sick, we don't want to hear about it. We don't want to hear they have cancer. We want them to stay young, sophisticated, elegant. We want to be like that person they personify. We want to believe that with money and power, anything can be fixed. Maybe some of us even want to believe that smoking can help cure our health ailments.

Or maybe not. When all is said and done, though, smoking still makes your beautiful and elegant. Right? Right?

My sister, who grew up in non-smoking California, wasn't a fan of the habit. My dad said the only time he ever saw her run was when she ran passed a group of smokers because she didn't want Calem exposed to the second-hand smoke. Did I mention she had a collapsed lung from lung cancer? And my mom remembers that someone asked from money from them when they went shopping. My mom ignored it, but my sister heard it. And when they came out, the bum muttered something again, and my sister turned around and told him he was smoking and she wasn't going to give him money to support his habit, because she had lung cancer.

Laurianne knew the dangers. Most of us do. Laurianne didn't want Calem to have to worry about lung cancer. I think it is a valid concern. Parents want the best for their kids.

I went to my blog buddy SpiderWalk, to read her blog. She got an anniversary reminder that this would be her quit date. She had started smoking 5 days after her quit date. This anniversary email reminded her that she hadn't really quit, but she wants to. People who comment on her website say they understand. It is addictive. My dad, a former smoker, says he admires people who quit, because it is so addictive and one of the most difficult things a person can do. (For the record, my dad quit when I was a baby.) And from SpiderWalk's blog, I found a new website,, for people who want to quit. Like weight loss, sometimes all you need is a little support to break the habit.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 9:44 AM :: 4 people are more aware

Friday, February 10, 2006

Who Deserves Lung Cancer?

The finely dressed gentleman has finally gotten to a wealthy point in life. He can afford the finer things - expensive cars, a nice house, fine Cuban cigars after years of cheap cigarettes. He sits back in his office, and lights one of these fine Cuban cigars, inhales deeply and then exhales.

Does he deserve lung cancer?

A young mother gently wakes her children for a new day. She helps them get ready for school. She likes living the traditional role, so she makes breakfast for the family. Her husband comes downstairs and they all eat breakfast together. After breakfast, her husband lights a cigarette.

Does she deserve lung cancer? Does her husband? Her children?

A teenager walking home from school feels a little out of place. He hears his name, and sees one of the popular kids is calling him over. "Dude, you have to try this." The popular kid hands him a cigarette, and he takes a puff. He chokes and sputters, and then tells the popular kid, "No, thanks. I am not interested." As he walks home, the redness of shame creeps in his face as he hears laughing behind him. He wonders if it is too late to go back and take another puff, just to be accepted.

Does the teenager deserve lung cancer? Does the popular kid?

She smoked in college recreationally, but quit after she met her husband. He didn't like smoking. They have been married a few years now. They have a new baby together. Life looks perfect, except when she went to the doctor, there was a spot on her lung. It is lung cancer.

Does she deserve lung cancer?

After years of smoking, he finds out he has lung cancer. He is in pain. It hurts him to laugh and to breathe. There is a lot of laughter and tears, as his family shares what little time they have left. He regrets his decision to smoke. He regrets the pain he has caused his family. When he goes to the doctor, he finds the cancer has spread. It is invading his body.

Does he deserve lung cancer? Does his family deserve to watch him die?

A young woman finds out she is pregnant. During her pregnancy, she has difficulty breathing. She tells people she is starting the "Share the Air" campaign because the baby is taking the oxygen he needs leaving her out of breath. She is told she has pregnancy related asthma. Two days after the baby is born, she finds out she has lung cancer. She isn't a smoker. She doesn't live with smokers. She likes to swim. She is my sister.

Did she deserve lung cancer?

The answer to all these questions is no. No one deserves lung cancer.

Lynda Koning Scherf

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 7:30 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cancer May Be On the Decline, But....

Cancer is on the decline for the first time in 70 years. The New York Times reported:
Much of the decrease is because of a decline in smoking and improved detection and treatment of breast, colorectal and prostate cancers, according to the society.
But, the thing I noticed the most was that while the article mentioned that smoking was on the decline, and gave a listing of cancers from which the death rate has fallen, lung cancer was not among them.

Yet, we keep perpetuating the myth that people get lung cancer from smoking. Lung cancer can happen to anyone, smokers and non-smokers alike.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 9:55 PM :: 0 people are more aware