Sep 30, 2006


2006-09-01, Mommaerts Mini-Reunion 331 I've been sick the past few days. The week started off very busy, but I was unable to get through a whole day of work all week. Wed it finally hit me and I had to stay home Thu and Fri. I've been sleeping and resting a lot, but now my cycle is a bit screwed up - so I have been up finally adding, tagging and getting the pics from our family reunion almost a month ago online. But, I did it. Enjoy.

Sep 21, 2006

Video Ad Details

I just can’t muster the energy to get the MRI pics online tonight. It has been a long day for me. I woke at 5am and had a hectic day at work where I learned that I’m going to be heading up a project. We finally traced down the extension request paperwork and it was never submitted for approval. I got the last piece of paperwork in the packet and gave it to the folks that will send it up to the Army for approval. I think we should hear something within two weeks. I came home, cooked dinner and had to take care of some other paperwork. Busy night!

I reached a deal with the ad agency on the video – I signed an agreement a few days ago and got a purchase order yesterday. I fired off the invoice and should see the payment soon. The company that is using the video is called Wieden & Kennedy. They have offices here in the states (and all over the world), but the office that I’m working with is in Amsterdam. W+K is the same company that created all the cool Nike ads in recent history. Everything from “Just do it” and “Bo Knows” to Tiger Woods’ “Hackeysack” commercials to Lance Armstrong’s “Magnet” commercial. They also did some very cool Honda, Coca-Cola, Miller and ESPN television ads. Check out their website where you can watch some of the full length ads. Anyway, they will be using my building implosion video for what they call an email ‘viral’ ad for video game company Electronic Arts. Specifically, it will be used for an EA Sports videogame: FIFA 07 Soccer. I have no idea how they are going to use the video, but they said that when they finish the ad they’ll send me a link that I should be able to share with you.

I’m so totally pooped and need to get to bed. I should have time this weekend to get the MRI pics posted. Thanks for hanging in there with me this week – it’s been a bit hectic.

Sep 20, 2006

Final thoughts on this blessed day

Holly and I left the house this morning at 0845 and we didn’t get home until about 1730. As I shared in my audio blog, the MRI did not show anything that looks like new cancer growth. There is still a bit of scar tissue and blood left over from the surgery, but it takes the brain quite a long time to break that kind of matter down. We met with my Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, and my Neurosurgeon, Dr. Rosenbaum, and they both are happy with the results. Each one looked at the scans and was not alarmed by anything they saw. In fact, they seemed so nonchalant about it that it was almost weird to me, but comforting to know that there is nothing to worry about. The brain works away at clearing this type of material pretty slowly - at a molecular level. It could be a year or more before things clear up where the tumor was. Dr. Duelge says we need to come back in right before Christmas for another scan to see how things are progressing. We’ll probably be doing scans every three months for a while. We should be back in Texas next year, so we’ll cross the “where will we get medical care for this in Texas” bridge when we get to it.

Roger's New ACUsOn top of being at the hospital for about six hours today, we also decided to stop at Ft. Myer to finally pick up a couple of sets of the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU) that I will need to start wearing soon. I bought two complete uniforms, but the name tapes will not be in until next week so I can’t wear them just yet. I had to get new boots too, and we’re authorized to wear the sand colored boots with our old Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU), so I can start breaking them in tomorrow. I spent a little extra money on the boots this time; they sure felt comfortable when I tried them on! And the best part: No more polishing! Can you see me in the picture? I'm standing right there!! Man that new camo is goooood... :-P

I really want to share the MRI slides with you and show you how things have progressed, but the images are on three different CDs and I have to search through a lot of images to find the right ones. I’m going to get that done tomorrow and get to bed early tonight. Besides, I’ve already inundated you enough today with five posts, two of which were audio blogs.

Lastly, the weather is getting downright cool here in DC. Lows tonight are supposed to drop in to the high 40’s. I love it! Holly hates it. But I love it! Did I already say that?

Thank you all for your prayers!!

Audio Blog - Update

this is an audio post - click to play

Looks Good!

Scar tissue has shrunk a lot. Appears to be no new tumor growth. We are elated! More info later.

Audio Blog - MRI Results

this is an audio post - click to play

Sep 19, 2006

MRI is Today - Wed Sep 20th

It’s after midnight here in DC. I wasn’t feeling well Monday – my stomach was tied in knots and upset most of the morning. I think the anxiety of my MRI Wednesday is getting to me. Today I went into work and the day flew by so fast that when 1530 came, I couldn’t believe it! I kept very busy all day long and got a lot of stuff done.

After work, Holly and I ran a bunch of errands: PX, Commissary, Target… we had to stop at The Men’s Wearhouse to get fitted for a tux for Matt O’s wedding next month… then one last stop for dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen and then home. I made some phone calls to my parents and my sister and a lastly, good friend – everyone prayed for us. It has been an awesome day!

The MRI is scheduled for 1000 EDT tomorrow (or today) Wednesday, September 20. We need to be at Bethesda NNMC by 0945. The MRI will take about an hour and a half. When it’s done, we’ll go down to Dr. Duelge, my Oncologist’s office, and let him know we’re done. He’ll go right to the Radiologist’s office and ask him to read the scan and we’ll head to lunch. After lunch, we’ll go back to Oncology and the results should be ready. As soon as we know something, we’ll post it here on the blog. I expect we should know something by 1400. Please pray that the tumor has not come back. I cannot even begin to relate how nervous I am about this. I just want all of this to be over and behind us. I am ready to move on and forward with my life.

Stay tuned.

Sep 18, 2006

What is normal? And HAIR!!

I have been shaving my head with a razor about twice a week. I usually do it on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Before I shaved this past Wednesday, I thought I felt a little bit of 'peach fuzz' on the top of my head where it had been hairless. Today, I can confirm that there is hair growing on the top of my head! I can feel it, but its almost invisible – very light colored thin hair. But… it is growing back in! You can’t imagine how exciting this is for me. I just can’t wait to not have to worry about shaving my head and just letting my hair grow. And having a normal head of hair will be a step toward normalcy for me. Ever since the surgery, something’s been going on. I just want to try to get back to as close to normal as possible. I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again though. In fact, I’m not even sure what normal is. I thought I was normal before the surgery, but I wasn’t – I had cancer and didn’t even know it. Kinda’ brings a whole new meaning to the word, doesn’t it? What the heck is normal?

We had a great weekend. I went to sleep very late Thursday with a headache and woke up with it again Friday morning. I was tired and decided my body needed a day off. My Oncologist, Dr. Duelge, also said I need to listen to my body. I keep wanting to just get back to a (here we go again) normal routine. But I start to notice at the end of the week that my leg starts to get a little sore and tired, and I get more fatigued each day. In fact, my Physical Therapy doctor, Dr. Milani, told me two weeks ago to listen closely to my body too. I emailed Dr. Duelge last week to ask him about my fatigue. I thought that maybe it was a side-effect of the radiation. He laid it out pretty well for me in his reply:

“…I suspect you will not be able to get by on 6-7 hours of sleep for 6-12 months after the end of treatment. You had major brain surgery (with complication of right-sided weakness) and then brain radiation for 7 weeks. … Based on what you've said, I think it may just be the getting back to work along with not enough sleep for the new Roger (i.e. the one who just had major surgery and then brain radiation).”
I have a hard time finding the fine balance between my work and my body. I feel like I have a responsibility to be productive at work. But I do that at the expense of my body. I need to find a balance, but actually act on it this time. This weekend was a great but restless weekend, in my opinion. We stayed up late Friday, stayed busy Saturday, got up super early because Holly wasn’t feeling well Sunday morning and went to church and lunch. When we got home I was exhausted and laid down for a nap. I ended up sleeping for almost four hours, getting up just before 7 pm. I was up and rested, so I took the opportunity to hang out with my good friend Matt O. We had a great time, and I’m glad we met, but now it’s almost 1:30 am and I’m still not tired. Maybe if I just lay down, I’ll fall asleep.

One last thing - The Matt I mentioned before is one of the first people that befriended me when I came out here. He has become one of the best friends I have ever had in my life. We can talk about anything… and I mean anything. He’s getting married to a wonderful gal in October. I get to be an usher at his wedding! Anyway, Matt’s mom, Sandy, has been battling breast cancer for several months now. She has undergone chemo, but it is not having much of an effect on her cancer. She is scheduled for a mastectomy Monday at 10am CDT. Also, Holly’s father, Harvey, is undergoing a procedure to find out why his tummy has been so upset lately. His is scheduled for the exact same time. Please say a prayer for Sandy and Harvey – that they fear nothing and recover quickly. I’ll have results for you on each one tomorrow.

Sep 14, 2006

Ads and Jackie

I’m sitting at the computer in the office. The windows are open. There’s a cool breeze blowing through the window into the room. I sure enjoy the end of summer around here. :-)

I got an email this morning from an advertising agency that is interested in using one of the videos I posted on Google Video for one of their internet based ads. We went back and forth a few times today via email and I think we might have a deal! I’ll let you know how it all turns out after I hear back from them tomorrow. They are six hours ahead, so I should know something by noon tomorrow. Cool, huh?!?

Holly sent me a link to a radio ad that I found pretty amusing. My friend John blogged about it too. Check it out: radio ad.

Jackie 2
Lastly, a few weeks ago our good friend, Jackie, moved back to St. Louis. Her husband, J.D., was stationed here at Ft. Myer, but is out of the Army and they wanted to head back home. Not to worry though, we’ll see them again in October at my friend’s wedding. We’ll miss you J.D. and Jackie!

Sep 12, 2006

9/11 Events

I uploaded the pictures from our trip to Nashville today. I just need to tag them, add descriptions and make them public. Holly and I have been playing catch-up since we got home last week and I think we’re finally there.

The weather has been just beautiful here lately. Highs have been in the 70s and 80s and not too much humidity in the air.

As you know, yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks here in DC and NYC. There was a lot of stuff going on at the Pentagon, so I avoided the area and went to our HQ office instead. There, I attended a 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony. The agency I work for lost seven employees at the Pentagon on that fateful day. The Director of our agency, an Army Lieutenant General, said a few words; there was music from a chorus and a short video. During the video, I could hear some very loud sobbing from the audience below. Family of the seven were present at the ceremony, but I think it came from somewhere in the audience. I guess it struck me when I heard their pain – I think the majority of us have had enough time to process what happened. But, there are some people out there that are still hurt; still suffering. I’m going to pray for peace for them, I hope you will too.

After the ceremony, I saw the director in the lobby greeting a few people. When I was in the hospital, he sent me a letter wishing me well. At the time, I was touched that word of my condition moved up the chain so quickly to the top, and that he even sent me a letter. I have been wanting to thank him and I figured, when the heck?.. I decided to thank him right then. He was talking to someone and I walked up to him and waited. He turned around, looked at my nametape and I could tell it rang a bell by his expression. He did remember and asked me how I was feeling and what was left in the way of treatments. He was very friendly, personable and it was good to be able to thank him in person. I shook his hand and was on my way.

Lastly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated to exercise again. Please pray for me on that one. I need to lose a few pounds – being so sedentary during my therapies was not good for my girlish figure. :-P

Sep 5, 2006

"Home" Again

Holly and I are back "home" in Arlington, VA. We had a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to share our trip with you by way of pictures. It was fantastic to see my mom and dad again. My sister Mirna is doing well and Joey readjusting to being back stateside. They kept him very busy the whole time we were there, so he was tired out. Their daughter, Ariana, is absolutely the cutest little thing. More soon!

Sep 2, 2006


We made it to TN pretty much on time. We stayed up late and are having a great time with the family. Have a great weekend!

Sep 1, 2006

On our way!

It is raining like hell, but there are no delays so we should be on our way shortly! Check out the cool old PSA jet!!

Posted by ShoZu

Trying to Escape Ernesto

It is just after noon and the rain is really coming down. Many forecasts yesterday talked about when the center of Ernesto would be over our area... which will be late tonight. The only problem is... the heaviest part of the storm is ahead of the center of the storm! The winds started last night and this morning the rain came. It looks like we've gotten about a half inch of rain since this morning and the heaviest rain is yet to come. I have been checking the conditions at Reagan National Airport and so far, delays and cancellations have been minimal. We'll be heading to the airport around 1:30pm for our 3:40pm flight to Nashville, TN. We're really looking forward to seeing the whole family at my sister's house in Clarksville, TN later today. Please pray that we can get out of here on time!