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Barbie for big girls.

Resurrecting the Blog

Resurrection…defined, it means

res·ur·rec·tion

[ˌrezəˈrekSH(ə)n]

NOUN

  1. the action or fact of resurrecting or being resurrected.

    "the story of the resurrection of Osiris"

    synonyms:

    raising from the dead · restoration to life · rising from the dead · return from the dead

    • (the Resurrection)

      (in Christian belief) Christ’s rising from the dead.

    • (the Resurrection)

      (in Christian belief) the rising of the dead at the Last Judgment.

    • the revitalization or revival of something.

      "the resurrection of the country under a charismatic leader" ·

It’s an appropriate word for many people at this time of year as Easter is the remembrance of resurrection. I feel like this is more of a revival so I will go with the revitalization of something.  I am going to be completely honest here.  This will be an insanely personal blog post for me and one of the most difficult things I have ever written.  For those of you who follow me on FB, you have a small idea of what late 2017 and 2018 were like for me and my family.  For those of you just now tuning in…lets just say life tilted off its axis for me and my family in November of 2017 and the blog took a back seat.  I needed a year to kind of readjust, reevaluate and frankly…do the the whole freak out and then sit back and deal with it all.  That meant walking away from the blog for a time.  It also meant….walking away from collecting and photography for a time.  I just needed to get re-centered.

Why did I need to re-center?  In a word…Cancer. 

Before the questions come, not me.  It was never me and I wish to God it had been me,but it wasn’t…it was infinitely worse.   It was one of my children.  You might as well have taken my heart and ripped it from my body.  When you have no heart, it’s hard to create.  It’s hard to look at anything and find the beauty and wonder of it.  All you see and feel is relentless uncertainty and  pain.  I was wounded and scared and I needed to heal.  Thankfully, through the strength, love and wisdom of amazing doctors, friends, family and the power, love and grace of God, our story continues, our daughter’s story continues and for that I offer unending thankfulness.

I am going to go into specifics now because I feel like this is a chance to give a testimonial and a public service announcement.  I would be happy if the last year and a half of our experience could possibly help and guide another family facing similar circumstances.  If I can offer anything to anyone…specifically parents or caregivers….its this.  If you think something is odd, go check it out.  Don’t wait.   If your child complains of  something odd, go have it checked.  Don’t wait.

Background:

In mid 2017 our daughter Megan came to me and complained of a “stitch’ in her side that persisted for more than a few days.  She was 17 at the time and was dancing every day of the week so we wrote it off as some minor dance strain.   It went away and we thought all was well.  A few months later, she complained again of a “stitch” in her side and we ( by the guidance and grace of God) decided to have it checked out with her pediatrician.  We had an ultrasound performed the day after Thanksgiving 2017.  Three days later, we were told our daughter had a large abnormal mass in her liver and she needed an MRI.  The MRI confirmed that the mass in her liver was a very rare liver cancer -  Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FHC)

Doctor #1 told us that the tumor was inoperable and that there was nothing that could be done.  Second opinions are always a good idea and in our case, it saved our daughters life.    Doctor #2 told us that he believed the tumor could be removed and that it would be difficult.  Doctor #3 told us he believed the tumor could be removed and that it would be difficult. On December 14, 2017 doctors 2 and 3 ended up performing the 9 hour surgery necessary to save Megan’s life.  Over 30% of her liver was removed.  Our thanks for the skill and knowledge of the Doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington Medical Center are without limits.  They were and continue to be the best team of doctors we could ever wish to have for Megan’s care.

Right after Christmas of 2017 our prayers were answered again when the pathology of all 7 lymph nodes removed during Megan’s surgery showed no signs of cancer.  It had not spread and her chances of surviving  were greatly improved.  There is no treatment or cure for this cancer.  The only chance of surviving it is 1) if the cancer has not spread outside of the liver  2) if the tumor can be successfully resected (removed) and 3) if the cancer doesn’t come back.  This type of cancer typically has no symptoms until the tumor has grown so large that it is inoperable and/or has metastasized to other parts of the body.  It affects mainly children and young adults.  We had caught it early.  Praise The Lord!

2018 was a year of quarterly rituals we affectionately  called “scanxiety”.  Each quarter brought the requisite MRI and sometimes CT scans and I am happy to report all have been clear and clean.  No sign of regrowth of the tumor.  I am also very happy to report that Megan bounced back as only a young and healthy teenager who has danced for most of her life does.  By May of 2018 she performed all of her dances AND her senior solo at her dance school and in June she graduated with honors from High School and was accepted into University of Washington as a pre law student.  She continues to grow and thrive in college while maintaining close contact with the team of doctors that monitor and are studying this rare form of liver cancer. 

We don’t know what the future will hold but for now all is well and that is good enough for me.  We ( the entire Berry Clan) want to say a huge “Thank You!” to the collector community who absolutely enveloped us with love and care.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life.  It was the essence of “community” made manifest and we could not begin to thank everyone enough.

IMG_0326

(Photo is courtesy of Stan and Peter from 2018 Barbie Convention in Arizona.  Thank you so much for this!)

Now, I am finally starting to  feel like I can and want to pick up the camera again and create.  Look for more blog posts soon and “Thank You” for sticking with me during the hiatus.

-Rebecca

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62 responses

  1. Cheryl Burnett

    Love you, Rebecca! I’m so grateful that things are going well for Megan and your entire family. Glad to have you back!

    April 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    • Thank you so much Cheryl! So glad to be back and in a better place 🙂

      April 6, 2019 at 5:03 pm

  2. Welcome back! I am very happy to see you blogging again. You needed this year to regroup. We are all praying for Megan!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    April 6, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    • And I should have put a whole paragraph in this blog post in thanks to you specifically sister mine. I could not have made it through this last year and a half without your support. Love you to the moon and back. Mwah!

      April 6, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      • I could say the same. I couldn’t have survived this year without you. Love you the most 🥰

        April 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm

  3. So glad that you shared the good news, Rebecca. I pray that your daughter will continue joyfully dancing her way through Life. God bless you all.

    April 6, 2019 at 5:01 pm

  4. val

    Hallelujah and many blessings!

    April 6, 2019 at 5:02 pm

  5. Love this! Megan and your family remain in my daily prayers. XO

    April 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    • Thank you so much Judy. Your prayers and support are very much appreciated. Mwah!

      April 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm

  6. I am so glad things have turned out so well for your daughter. I know if anything happened to my daughter I’d be devastated. I feel honoured that you have shared your story and after the loss of my brother last year I know how difficult it must have been, and your courage and strength are truly inspiring, and I look forward to seeing more beautiful photography on your blog.

    April 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Julie. {Hugs} right back to you. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment. I look forward to creating more in the year ahead.

      April 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm

  7. Wanda Barr

    Blessings to both of you. I’m so glad Megan is fine. What a scary thing to go through. I will pray that she will be continually healed the rest of her life.

    Love, and prayers to your whole family.

    God Bless You.

    Wanda.

    April 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    • Thank you so much Wanda! Yes, prayers are definitely welcome and have carried us through this past year and a half. Thank you so much for your comment and support.

      April 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm

  8. Mary McNear

    Thank you for sharing! My daughter too was diagnosed on her 30th birthday with a GIST, a rare cancererous tumor in her stomach. Surgery removed the tumor and a third of her stomach and four years later all ok. The scaniety never goes away though!
    Good luck and best wishes to your daughter for a healthy life!

    April 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    • Thank you for your comment Mary and can I just say contrats to your family and daughter. 4 year cancer free is something to celebrate! I pray 4 years from now we can say the same. I wish the same back to you and your daughter with continued good health.

      April 6, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      • Mary McNear

        Thank you!

        April 6, 2019 at 5:52 pm

  9. Vernola Kernan

    Hallelujah! God is a HEALER!!!!

    ________________________________

    April 6, 2019 at 5:32 pm

  10. lovindollz

    Welcome back! I missed reading your blogs. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your family went through a difficult time, but happy your daughter is doing great. I will definitely pray for you and your family.

    Demetria

    April 6, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    • Thank you so much Demetria! I look forward to getting back to the blog. I appreciate the lovely comment and your support.

      April 6, 2019 at 5:46 pm

  11. Love and best wishes to you and your family. Your kindness to others has in turn showered you with blessings and support. Hugs.

    April 6, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    • And it’s people like you that make this community the supportive blessing that it is. Thank you my dear. Your comment is very much appreciated. {hugs} right back to you my dear.

      April 6, 2019 at 5:47 pm

  12. Suzanne Shirley

    Welcome Back we have missed you. Praise the Lord you are a wonderful mother who listens and takes action. I always luv the pictures you’ve posted in the past about your lovely Ballerina May life be once again blessed for all of you. Take care see you at convention I hope.

    April 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    • Thank you so very much Suzanne!! I will definitely be at convention so look for Megan and I there 😉

      April 6, 2019 at 6:08 pm

  13. mrsroortiz

    Wow! Thank you for sharing. You have encouraged me to see my doctor in that I have been ignoring some symptoms of my own. I have missed your posts and was hoping all was well with you. Now I know. I can only imagine. I have a dancer of my own and they tend to be resilient. So, nothing will hold your daughter back from accomplishing what the Lord has plan for her. God Bless you and your family. And, welcome back. Best Regards.

    April 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    • Yes!! Go have things checked! Thank you for your kind comments and many blessings back to you with your own dancer. 🙂 Sending prayers for good outcome. Go make that Dr’s appt!!

      April 7, 2019 at 10:53 am

  14. Deb

    Oh my! I’m so glad your daughter is doing so well. Praise the Lord for his healing powers. I’ve missed your blog and had no idea what you were going through.

    April 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    • Thank you so much Deb. It feels good to be back and in a better head space. 🙂

      April 7, 2019 at 10:54 am

  15. Mary Tekippe

    Wonderful . Love mary

    April 6, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    • Thank you sweet Mary. Always a pleasure to hear from you. Hope to see you at convention.

      April 7, 2019 at 10:54 am

  16. Love to see you back Rebecca 😍😍😍
    We all had a big scare with Megan’s health challenges and she was always in our prayers and still is, as is the whole Berry family.
    Such a beautiful post.
    Much love always ✨💖✨💖 X

    April 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    • You never fail to support and encourage me my dear. Thank you for the lovely comment and for sticking with me during the hiatus. Glad to be back and supported by this amazing community. Mwah!

      April 7, 2019 at 10:56 am

  17. Michelle Cooper

    There is nothing more frightening than having a sick child. God bless you all. I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2018 and I can only begin to imagine the panic that you felt. Life is much more precious after cancer treatment. xo

    April 6, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    • Amen Michelle! Sounds like you had quite a year in 2018 yourself. I send back hopes and prayers for your continued recovery and cancer free years ahead. Life is indeed precious . Thank you for support and comment. Here is wishing us all better years ahead 🙂

      April 7, 2019 at 10:58 am

  18. Cecilia Alvarez

    Oh, Rebecca sometimes life has its challenges and you and your family have prevailed, with the help of God. I had no idea what was happening to your dear daughter’s health. Sounds like she is on a road to recovery with her positive health now.

    Congratulations on Megan’s acceptance to The University of Washington. What a huge strive she has accomplished. And successful wishes on her future.

    I have been missing your Blog and especially all of your beautiful creative photo’s. I am so glad that you are willing and able now to resurrect your Blog. It was very personal and honest Story that you posted today…..
    My prayers to your entire Berry family.

    Cecilia

    April 6, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    • Thank you so much Cecilia for you lovely comment. I look forward to bringing the blog back and sharing more photos soon.

      April 7, 2019 at 10:59 am

  19. Many blessings to you and your family. God is good!! Thanks for sharing your story. It is great to see you back.

    April 6, 2019 at 9:10 pm

  20. I had no Idea, Rebecca. I’m so happy everything turned out fine in the end.
    You don’t know me (I’m French and live in the South of France) but through your wonderful posts, you – and your family – have become familiar to me. Of course I am missing your posts but I understand completely your situation. Indeed this is one of the worst ordeals a human being has to endure. I sincerely wish life will be sweet and comforting from now on for you and your family.
    Valérie

    April 7, 2019 at 2:56 am

    • Bonjour Valérie! Thank you so much for this lovely comment and a chance to get to know you too. Yes, this past year has been one where we have learned how strong we are as a family and how amazing and supportive the collector community is and continues to be. It makes me happy to know that the blog posts I write and the images I take are enjoyed by so many. It helps to know I can give back to so many of you who support and encourage me. Merci!

      April 7, 2019 at 11:04 am

  21. docrok30

    Rebecca, I am so happy that things have turned around for you and your daughter. I am so sorry you had to go through all that pain and worry. Thank God things are on the road to happiness and wellness for you and your family. I look forward to your creativity, astute and humorous blog and wonderful photos. I wish you All Good Things…. Brigitt Rok

    On Sat, Apr 6, 2019 at 7:49 PM Inside the Fashion Doll Studio wrote:

    > raberry65 posted: “Resurrection…defined, it means res·ur·rec·tion > [ˌrezəˈrekSH(ə)n] NOUN the action or fact of resurrecting or being > resurrected. “the story of the resurrection of Osiris” synonyms: raising > from the dead · restoration to ” >

    April 7, 2019 at 5:58 am

  22. Wanda Richardson

    Hi Rebecca, You got me in tears, a little sad but VERY HAPPY, now to hear that your daughter is doing well, I was wondering what happened and hoped for the best! I am a mom with a grown daughter with Autism and shortened my career to give her the quality of help that she needs, any way she is BEAUTIFUL, and what a precious gift from God that I have and so do you, she is flourishing, any way I pray for your BEAUTIFUL daughter, you and the family, it’s one of the best medicines there is along with a GREAT medical staff and not giving up! My prayers continues for you and your family and thank you for sharing such a personal and heartfelt experience and journey! HUGS and countnued prayers! Sorry for the long comment!

    April 7, 2019 at 6:21 am

    • Hi Wanda! Don’t ever be sorry for a long comment as lovely as this one ;-). I would take this comment every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Wow, what an inspiring Mom you are. Your daughter is so very lucky as are you. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing some of your story too. Sometimes it’s the harder things in life that really test and grow us. Prayers back to you and your daughter. With a Mom like you, she is in good hands 🙂

      April 7, 2019 at 11:10 am

  23. Rhonda Pape

    God bless you and your family! I also have a daughter that has danced her entire life and can’t imagine your family’s pain going through this. I’m so glad Megan is better! We missed you!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    April 7, 2019 at 6:38 am

  24. Michal / doll_enthusiast

    Dear Rebecca, allow me being this familiar with you, and let me just say I’m so happy with how things ended up for your daughter! I know how terrifying, overwhelming and all kinds of confusing cancer diagnosis can be – last year was hard on me too, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer but, luckily, it all ended up well for my family too and I couldn’t be more grateful for this! I also had no idea what was going on in your life and every time I went to check up your blog I was a bit sad of your absence. Your posts, photos and reviews always brings me a lot of joy! I wish you and your family all the best and may those dark clouds never block a glorious sunlight for you.

    April 7, 2019 at 8:24 am

  25. Linda Ford

    I have been following and was so happy about your daughter’s recovery and going to college. I hope all continues well for her. I cannot imagine what you went through as an individual and more as a parent. I personally missed your photos and blog. I am certain you have had a destressing stuggle. Thank you for sharing your struggle and everything that happened to you. Many heartfelt hugs and blessings for your daughter, you and your family.

    April 7, 2019 at 11:25 am

  26. Sarah Eversole

    Thank you for your story Rebecca, you have been such an amazing mother. I am so happy to hear of your daughter’s continued health and success! And happy to hear you plan to photograph and blog again! (And if your daughter ultimately does decide to go to law school, don’t hesitate to reach out- I’d be happy to share what I wish I had known before starting law school, and/or tips re summer internships/first jobs)

    April 7, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    • Awww! Thank you so much Sarah. Coming from another amazing mother this means a lot. We may definitely be contacting you in the future for advice 😉

      April 8, 2019 at 7:52 am

  27. debra ayers

    gee ,rebecca i am so glad your daughter will o.k. what a thing to go through ! God bless yall debbie a

    April 7, 2019 at 5:21 pm

  28. Thoughts, prayers and many healthy days, weeks, months ahead. I am a cancer survivor of several cancers. When my son was 7 I had my first one. It is a journey like no other. May she and all of your family continue to thrive. susie

    On Sat, Apr 6, 2019 at 6:50 PM Inside the Fashion Doll Studio wrote:

    > raberry65 posted: “Resurrection…defined, it means res·ur·rec·tion > [ˌrezəˈrekSH(ə)n] NOUN the action or fact of resurrecting or being > resurrected. “the story of the resurrection of Osiris” synonyms: raising > from the dead · restoration to ” >

    April 7, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    • Thank you so much Susie!! Wishing you continued health on your journey as well. It is indeed a journey…one step at a time. May we all find sure footing.

      April 8, 2019 at 7:53 am

  29. Jennifer Holmes

    God Bless Megan and your entire family! Thank you so much for sharing your journey, and welcome back!

    April 8, 2019 at 8:23 am

  30. I am so happy that the cancer has not returned. To Megan’s continued health and well-being!!

    April 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm

  31. Cat Little

    Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing your journey and your family’s which was such a very difficult one. May the Lord continue to bless y’all. Prayers and good thoughts for your family. Love always, cat

    April 9, 2019 at 10:37 am

  32. Julia Wallace

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was taken aback as this nasty Cancer struck another young person who was the son of one of my co-workers. We didn’t get the same outcome, but so glad your daughter is doing so well. Please know that we have prayer every Thursday morning here at work and you and your family were included this week. I work for the very best people! I am so glad you are back. As you know, a hobby is incredibly healthy, at least I think so. Hobbies have saved me in difficult times and brought me in contact with such amazing people who are actually interested in something besides a computer screen and social media. I love your website as it’s so inspirational, but your experience with your daughter’s Cancer is also an inspiration as there are people who do make it and we should try to never lose hope. Hugs to you and your fabulous daughter.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    April 11, 2019 at 2:20 pm

  33. jen3zlj@aol.com

    Rebecca, It took me 3 tries before I could get through your blog posting because I could not see through my tears.  My heart goes out to Megan, you, and all your family for the journey you have endured.  Megan’s current status is so fantastic though, my tears now are of complete joy.  Thank you for sharing in your masterfully poignant way this experience.  Your message of awareness and fortitude through this ordeal will resonant with me always. I have always enjoyed your blog and your beautiful doll vignettes. I first found the blog when you did those wonderful pictures of Paris when you were attending a Barbie event there.  We did meet in person once–briefly–when I was in your room Barbie shopping during the Nashville convention. I don’t ‘facebook’, so I hope you continue with the blog.  I enjoy it and also, I appreciate you sharing your family’s life experiences. We doll collector’s share more than just our ‘hobby’, but I think we also feel a connection as parents as well as being fellow travelers on life’s highway.    Best always to you and extra hugs to Megan from someone she does not know, but who cares nonetheless.–Laurie  

    April 13, 2019 at 6:44 am

  34. Robyne

    God is definitely good! I can’t believe I am just learning about this from your blog entry! I will add your daughter to my prayer list for continued good news. I knew something was up, but I don’t go to facebook often because it has gotten many a public school educator into trouble. I try to respect everyone’s privacy, so I didn’t reach out but may should have. I am so happy to know this turned into such a success story for your family. God bless you all!

    April 26, 2019 at 4:41 am

  35. Sheryl in TX

    Hi Rebecca, I am truly grateful to the Lord that He has healed your precious daughter. I lost my first husband to a rare sarcoma, but that pales to the thought of a child having cancer that cannot be treated. As you know, the Great Physician can heal His children. I will be praying for you and your family that this continues to be in remission. Blessings from Texas.

    May 5, 2019 at 2:54 pm

  36. Christina

    I wish you and your daughter all the best for the future!!!!

    May 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

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