You all do know David and I were on pins and needles when America’s Got Talent had to pick between Jackie Envinco and Michael Grimm a couple years ago. We loved them both.

Ya, choosing who to post on FB and beg you to help vote for was even stressful. We picked Michael Grimm and when he won, he knelt down low at her level and said something…. I was smitten. Not to mention gave her the biggest hug.

Fast forward to the Best Sunday Ever. August 25. Sam, Kayla and I ate brunch declaring only good things to come that day. Make a declaration like that and trust me everyone you are around feels it. They know it. They love it and join in.

We lined up to see Michael Grimm at a little bar where it was personable and perfect. My first glance is at a gorgeous Susan Summer (aka Chrissy from 3’s Company). She’s got pink boat shoes on, a great hat and a happy necklace. I compliment her. She offers me the necklace. Swoon. In one quick minute Sam, Kayla and I already know who we are sitting by once we get through the doors. Cheryl and her husband, Billy.

We walk in, meet Michael Grimms’s gorgeous redhead bombshell, sweeter than sweet wife, Lucy. Grab a table maybe 50 feet from stage. Order a ton of food. Turn of phones. Chat the night away and enjoy the end of the Best Sunday Ever.

Due to a bald head, a little skinny body and a big ole’ bandaid on my neck of course people wanted to know what was going on with me or just say a sweet word. So I just say it. I told you, I raised Joe with people staring at him wondering what was wrong. (PS, if you are new he has CP and wore many braces. See MY BRAVE JOE)

Cheryl shared a story with me about taking a couple of her family members to MD Anderson and how great the staff was. She didn’t even have to share it, it was difficult and did not end well. I saw it on her face. I admire her for sharing what she could.

I gotta tell you, that was really hard for me. It is hard to see someone sad and at a loss. I couldn’t find a single word to say. I know how I felt but words weren’t right. Nothing was right.

My brain instantly flashed to Joe and all the tests. You kinda gotta read his story to get it (MY BRAVE JOE). But I got so mad when people would say “you’re so lucky it could be worse”. I felt like every time they said that they were saying “he shouldn’t be perfect”. And in my head I just wanted my little boy to never have to overcome an obstacle or be judged for what he could not do. And they said I was lucky it could be worse?
Ya it could be, but it could also be a whole lot better. And I knew that would never be something I would say.

I wanted to say so many things but I just couldn’t. The only thing I know is that every time I walk through the doors of that hospital, they are the ones that push me through that door. They are with me. All those who have fought so hard have paved me such a beautiful path.

I wish I could explain it. I can’t. When the Dr said “cancer” not a worry went through me. I honestly was glad it was me and no one else in the waiting room. I said it to him instantly. I got this. I can do this. And never has my brain went to the “…” place. I know it should, I know it may someday but right now it’s the furthest from my mind.

So back to the story. We have the best night, say our farewells and head home in the craziest taxi cab ride ever. And yes, we turned our phones off so we could just laugh at the entire situation. Omg.

Kayla, Sam and I are giggling down the hall as we walk past a lady who we had met in the elevator. I’m not sure what I said, or overheard, but she was headed to MDA. Of course, I spoke up and asked why. She took off her wig and said she had ovarian cancer. I was startled. She was gorgeous and a ray of happiness. And dang, her wig looked way better than the 4 hiding in my drawers and came off a lot easier.

She said she just finished her cycle of 6. I’m still completely confused on cycles. But my phone alerts me whenever I have an appointment so I just show up. Cycles are for David’s brain. And she’s getting her results… actually this AM.

And once again, I have no words. It flashes through my brain, “I never want a result”. I wanna just stay here in the moment”. Then I refocus, we all tell her she’s got this and she smiles bright. I mean this girl sparkles. Lights up a room. Then off she goes with her friend.

And in normal MJC style us girls get to the room order her beautiful YOU GOT THIS flowers and know she fell asleep with a smile. One step further, we added the WAKE UP HAPPY ones for this morning.

And now my girls and I are off to chemo this morning. Ha, the nurses aren’t gonna know what to do when they see I have my own organic graham crackers!!!

This may just turn into the best week ever.


Sarah Kluck - September 2, 2013 - 8:42 pm

Denise, I just have to tell you … about 6 years ago, I was sitting at my desk (working as a graphic designer for 16 years or so) and I needed a fresh idea for a business card. I Googled something like “unique business cards” and there was yours, the one with the stitching. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I hadn’t seen you since you graduated and there you were with this cool card and business. I’ve been following you since then. Last year I decided to color my hair magenta and then on a whim, shaved it into a mowhawk and then shaved it entirely bald. I thought to myself, “This feels so good! Has my pillow always been this soft?!” When it started to grow back, it went through a funny phase where it was like Velcro. I would pick up lint and cotton balls with my head. Eddie (Renner – we are engaged) and I would laugh and laugh. I said to him, “Every woman should be bald once in her life. It is empowering and it feels great. Plus there are a zillion funky wigs to wear when your head gets cold!” Anyway, you look great. I want you to know we are all thinking of you here and feel super special because “we knew you when!” We also know your strong spirit will get you through this. Much love is constantly heading your way from the Kluck & Renner household. You give us big smiles all the time! <3

Lil - August 28, 2013 - 5:03 pm

I have got to stop reading these blogs, I am so emotional and I tear up all the time over the simplest of things. I <3 your stories.

Roxanne Jacobs - August 28, 2013 - 2:47 pm

Denise, I want to tell you that you look amazing !!! I will admit when I saw your photo of you,Sam and Kayla and you and Sam had beautiful shaved heads my heart hurt …I mean really really hurt …I wondered why shaved heads and then I noticed your port. The tears freely flowed as I sent Kayla a FB message .As you might know from Kayla I have had cancer come n go since 2009 when I lost my ability to speak because of vocal cord cancer. I am now doing chemo and it’s not a piece of cake but it’s working…it’s keeping my mass shrunken. Beautiful lady I wanted to let you know that your in my prayers and sending (((hugs))) your way. Ohh and what better chicks to spend a week with !!! Denise I just had to share this link with you ……….

Cheryl Gibler - August 27, 2013 - 8:35 pm

So, my name is Suzanne/Chrissy/Cheryl. I was in the Michael Grimm line Sunday night. May I say these are three of the loveliest young women I have ever met. All smiles and good time. All three of them. There were no issues, just fun. And let me tell you they know how to have fun. I never saw Denise without a big smile on her face. By the way Denise, my husband and I would like a copy of the picture posted here. We plan to to frame it if you wouldn’t mind emailing it to me. My email is (in case you lost it) I’ve searched for fb pages on all three of you and can’t find a one. Denise, I concur with you. I hate hearing “It could have been worse”. Really? How do they know how you’re feeling. I wish you many blessings and healing. You are three amazing women. I hope we can stay in touch so that I can keep up with your progress Denise. I hope our paths cross again.

Gran - August 27, 2013 - 6:17 pm

Always spreading the love and joy.

jennifer royster - August 27, 2013 - 5:59 pm

Sitting here reading this while bathing my son and crying you are such a inspiration!

Jamie Ledford - August 27, 2013 - 5:47 pm

I just want to say “Thank You”

Jessie Crishon - August 27, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Your heart is just so beautiful and pure. I pray that all the love you and the girls have shown will come back full circle just when you need it most. Lots of hugs and prayers from Alabama. You’ve got this!


Mama Hope - August 27, 2013 - 5:36 pm

I think for my first time that I agree … Dang, you really do got this!!!! WOW!!
And I love Joe’s Story – so worth reading again!