A man, woman and dog sit happily together

From Family Dreams to Diagnosis (Part 2)

Read the beginning of Vicki's story in From Family Dreams to Diagnosis (Part 1).

Dan and I worked to digest the news that we would not have our own biological children. We were never able to successfully obtain eggs and I had to accept that the only pregnancy I would ever endure would be the one that ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks a few years before.

Our next chapter...adoption

Due to my ATM gene mutation, I decided to proceed with a preventative prophylactic double mastectomy in September 2017. By June 2018, we packed up our lives after 9 awesome years in Denver, CO and made our way home to Cleveland, OH to start the next chapter – adoption. We knew we wanted to be closer to our 3 amazing nieces and to be more involved in their lives, as well as our younger cousins, Godchildren, other nieces, nephews, and many of our friends’ kids, as well as more of our family.

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Supporting my family and brother

A month later, I was back in Denver as my brother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. My job at the time was still there and I was back and forth every 3-4 weeks for the next year, so everything in Ohio kind of halted. I jumped back into caregiver and supporter for my brother and my family. It was where I needed to be and where I wanted to be. I had never felt more optimistic heading to Ohio ready for what was next in our lives, and I was quickly reminded that life does not always go the way you expect it...

Listening to my heart

Dan and I made it as far as requesting paperwork from local adoption agencies, talking to a few people about the process, and then I felt like I could not give the process what it needed, my whole heart, so we stopped for the time being. I focused on my family, my career, and keeping our lives moving forward.

Then COVID-19 happened

Then COVID-19 happened. I stopped traveling to Denver. I was finally forced to be home and embrace the fact that I live in Ohio with my amazing husband, and we needed to figure out how we wanted to build our life right now. For 2 years I never felt like I settled in and embraced life back in Ohio. The summer of 2020 was a time of reflection for me and Dan. We got a blow-up pool, I floated on an inflatable unicorn every Sunday, we tried every Seltzer out there and hung with our 2 pups, Baxter and Lexie. We were just US, and we decided we like it that way, and that it was OK to live this way!

We love being Aunt Vicki and Uncle Dan to countless amazing human beings, and we love living life together.

Celebrating life with my husband

Now here we are...celebrating life and each other. We will celebrate 10 years married on June 11th. It hasn’t been easy at times, but we have put in the work together to be US.

For those keeping track - 5 years cancer-free for me and just over 2 for my brother.

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