December 24, 2009

Super Susie's Christmas Bucket Wish List... CBS & Party!!

#1 ... We WISH that You & yours have all the health, happiness & togetherness that you will allow yourselves to enjoy in this Holiday Season!!

#2 ... We hope you watch CBS' Early Show tomorrow/X-mas morning @ 7:30-9am & Share her Response Story to terminal cancer

#3 ... We want You to "Drop In" & join our family on Saturday from 5-9p 12/26 for a Bowling Open House Party @ L'Hirondelle Club (7611 Club Rd, Ruxton, Md).

Tho' Mom feels no pain; she continues to struggle w/ her breathing... "I'm breathless""! A veteran tennis player/strategist; Mom describes her selection of activities to participate in as "choosing the balls/shots I want to play. I'm saving my energy so I can play the entire Match doing the things I want to do on my Bucket List!!"

So far, remaining on her List is this Saturdays' Holiday Open House w/ all her friends/family, snorkeling/scuba-diving & White Water Rafting the 4's/5's... Location, location, Location!

Again, tune into CBS' Early Show @ 7:30-9a on Christmas Morning to recap Susie's Bucket List. If you are around this Saturday & want to laugh, cheer & Jeer... Please come n "Toss 'em Down" @ our Open House. 5-9p L'Hirondelle Club.

Thank You Again all for your prayers & support in this past year... They have meant a lot to ALL of us!

Happy Holidays to everyone!


December 11, 2009

CBS Early Show Interview Part 2 - Super Susie Swims With Dolphins

Part 2 of CBS Early Show Interview which aired on November 16, 2009-

Maggie Rodriguez spoke to Susie Mann, 79, along with her daughter and granddaughter about living with terminal intestinal cancer and her newest bucket list adventure, swimming with bottlenose dolphins.

CBS Early Show Interview Part 1 - Super Susie Swims With Dolphins

Part 1 of the CBS Early Show segment which aired on November 26, 2009 -

In the series Super Susie's Bucket List, Maggie Rodriguez reports on 79-year-old terminal cancer patient Susie Mann's newest adventure swimming with 13 bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Florida.

December 9, 2009

Susie's Catching a Ride

As the National Inquirer quotes, "Susie's catching a ride" w/ FDNY fire fighter Scott Farrington... as Scott says' Girls just wanna Ride! no matter what age! Thanks Scott for everything!!

Click the title to view the videos, or go to the link below...

December 1, 2009

Peaks & Valleys of Bucket #4: Sedona/Grand Canyon

This Bucket was physically & emotionally "Rugged" from start to finish. Mom chose the Grand Canyon b/c tho' she had traveled the world; she had not experienced her own BIG country!

"Experience" she did! In 5-days over Thanksgiving; we JEEPed the cliff areas of the Sedona's sacred Red Rocks & HIKEd the vortex's of Cathedral/Bell Peaks & the Grand Canyon... Thanksgiving Day we gave gratitude for our co-existence in HOT AIR BALLOONs over Arizona's mountains & valleys. We traded in Mules for HELICOPTERs to explore the Canyon & 4-legs for 4-wheeled ATVs to taste & feel the desert!

In short, "Super Susie" led her tribe of family & friends to the limit in Arizona! We weren't kidding when we said, "Mom's Bucket List is going to kill us!" By the end, we were exhausted & grateful that the weather wasn't warmer! If it were, we'd have White Water Rafted the #4's/5's down the Colorado River! There's no stopping her!!

But alas, this Bucket was not all about accomplishing the geography of aeons of sacred history of evolved Humanity... It was about coming to terms w/ the Humanity w/in ourselves & our family. Sedona is one of the World's most sacred places - a place where God & Demons battle. From the start, our family was presented w/ emotional swirling roller-coaster upheavals that challenged the "Spirit of the Buckets"... (Inspired surprise attendance by John Weadock, daily prayers by Christian artisan/owners of the B&B that accommodated us, blocked Shaman gatherings, family mis-understandings) created fertile ground for painful circumstances pitting mother vs daughter, son vs situations, sibling vs sibling, business vs money... All w/ the venom & power to undo the love & good fortune that prior Buckets had created.

As this Bucket began to splinter us as "Family", we became more aware that we had a choice... 1) continue our behavior as individual Survivors enduring curses of generational family angst or 2) ask God to break the hex & bring us back to the love we found in The Buckets... put our will in His Hands & know He has a better Place for us... Hard to do...

As we looked at each other, we saw ourselves... the bully, the protector, the follower, the comedian, the baby, the athlete, the student, the owner, the borrower, the parent, the victim, the warrior, the caretaker, the Leader... The power of One; able to change a family.

We are all of the above. We realized we had a choice as to who we were going to be each day in this Bucket... & each of us chose to be one of Super Susie's Family, give it up, get over it & let LOVE take all.

This Bucket Process "Takes a Village". The Sedona Grand Canyon Bucket would not have been had it not been for

* John/Chris - who broke their oath to never travel by air to teach us how to over-come adversity w/attitude & ingenuity
* Tom - for shepherding all 15 of us thru the daily logistics of Bucket activities! Not easy meeting needs & timeframes! Where's that whistle?
* Mike - for "being there" the Unsung Hero, helping when/where ever possible. Our Rock.
* Kyle - for sacrificing salary to be on our Bucket March. We are so glad u "got well quickly" & missed u rooting in the Raven's win last nite
* Deirdre - our "Girls Flight Out" would not have been the same w/o you! Grandy so adores her moments w/you!
* Paul - for driving Miss Susie on the ATV! She said the best part of that adventure was "hugging my Paul for 3 hours"!
* Shannon - for watching after Grandy on Grand Canyon day
* Lissette - who had no idea what she was getting into when she joined John's care-taking team for this Bucket.
* the Dempsy's - what a treasure your family is! Thank u for leaving Tucson to join our 2 families! We witnessed John's joyful anticipation of your visit but we didn't expect OUR delight in time spent w/you! You are so in our prayers!
* Eric - you added humor, validation, care-taking & camaraderie to our family mix. Mom's parting words to me were, "tell Eric, I'd love to see him again, before I "Kick the Bucket'!
* Howard - thank u for spending your holiday w/ so much 'family'! Your ideas inspired most of the activities in this Sedona Bucket! Without you, we'd be on a Mule following some ass down a trail in the Canyon! & that's not sexual!
* Lisa - Thank you so much for your sensitivity of us in the highlands & your support to get everyone down to the Phoenix Valley? &
* Mom/Grandy/Super Susie - without whom we wouldn't exist & whose Love of Life has impassioned us all!!

In this #4 Bucket; Susie came, We saw... God Conquered!

Carpe Diem everyone!
Louise (Ouisie)

PS: Dec 1st is 5 months since Mom's diagnosis of inoperable stomach cancer. Tho' Mom believes she will be w/ us for our Baltimore X-mas Bucket... She's not sure if she'll make any others :(

Super Susie's Bucket List Update

For all those following Super Susie as she spends the last months of her life... living out a Bucket List with her Family & Friends; the CBS Early Show is airing her Swim with Dolphins over Thanksgiving (either Thursday or Friday m- usually around 8am)...
Knowing that many of you are following these Living Wishes Come True within your Hospice Units & other Rehab facilities; I just wanted to give you a "Heads Up" and an Update on how The Bucket List has effected Super Susie & her Family.

The process of going thru these Monthly Bucket List adventures is "transforming for all involved".

Super Susie has become more loving & lovable (what a wonderful awareness for all of those around her & a gift she is allowing us to give her). "It's my last chance to tell & show you how much you mean to me", says this mother of 4 & Grandmother of 4.. She's giving without qualification! It is such a JOY!
OVERALL… PHYSICALLY: Mom is doing really well (all considering). Tho' her appetite comes & goes & she feels mildly nauseas @ times; Mom is most disturbed/annoyed by her shortness of breath... Such a difficult transition for an active person who has a life to live (we can all certainly relate)!!

We, as family, don't take her (or each other) for granted as much. Because of "The Buckets", we are trying to be nicer & kinder to each other. In the past 4 months, we have spent more time together as an entire family than EVER before. We are really getting to know each other as adults. Mom laughs & says we still communicate w/ each other as we did as kids (tho' we're all bigger & "use our words" more)!
Because of the Buckets; Super Susie (Mom/Grandy) ...
Continues to be Closer to her kids than she's been in DECADES
Has past friends who are clamoring to visit her in this "End Stage"
Enjoys the constant chatter that her local celebrity brings in Her Assisted Living Facility
Breathing continues to be limited but no WORSE! (She received a blood transfusion that didn't seem to help her breathe)
Laughs at the fact that her Cancer doesn't seem to be growing quickly (sometimes I get a cramping in my high-tummy area)
Is now curious as to the expected progression of her cancer! The doctors say, "who knows"?!?

After the Dolphin Bucket (with 3 under our belt since August, 2009) I polled the participants, "how would they describe each Bucket"?
Interestingly enough; their answers have followed the course of Mom's disease & symptoms:

HANG GLIDING: the Launching! Our first Bucket was chaotic... What are we doing? What are we getting into? Where are we going?
* The literal "take off" nature of this adventure was representative of our reality. We had just gotten the news of cancer & many were just getting 'on board' (or taking off) with the concept of her choice & her Buckets.

SKY DIVING: scary, yet very FREEing! Fears were faced & together we made it thru!
* (Prior to this Bucket, Mom's breathing had declined drastically. Dr's were saying 'stay home! Go to Hospice!' Mom said "no" I'm not staying home! I'm going thru my Buckets!!
* Her stomach cancer was undeniable... Yet she/we said nothing is stopping me! And we all plunged ahead! into the unknown moving ahead w/ LIFE! Mom was very nauseas the day of her Sky Dive...! She felt so liberated! Encouraged my her own decision in the Face of Fear to step out, hold her nose & JUMP!)

DOLPHIN SWIM: Introspective. For the family, it was a quiet uneventful Bucket. Most said 'Boring'… (Mom's breathing condition was accommodated w/ a wheelchair, she was thrilled with how easy travel became for her!
* Mom doesn’t feel her condition is changing. Nothing new is going on & therefore this Bucket took on the same trait as Mom’s Cancer… ‘treading water”… that’s what we did… and that’s where we are! treading water! enjoying the water while waiting!

UPCOMING BUCKETS: I don't expect Mom’s condition will change much from now to January.

SEDONA: Thanksgiving we will be Hot Air Ballooning over the desert, doing ATV's in the Desert, & Hiking & Helicopter in the Grand Canyon. I believe this Bucket will hit everyone in a Spiritual way... we call it; John Weadock's Bucket because of it's meta-physical nature. It has the action we Love, yet the historical & geological backdrop we hope will heighten everyone's SPIRITUAL awareness … we’ll see!

CHRISTMAS Home in Baltimore. The spiritual side of this Bucket will include One of Mom's favorite places, the Holocaust Museum in DC. Other "action" parts of this Bucket will be be determined soon.

January: SCUBA DIVING! Trying to keep John in the picture,
we are looking for a place in Key West that will teach & allow us to Scuba all in one day. Mom will snorkle (which she adores!!) - maybe Matt Tybersky can join us!

February: HOT AIR BALLOON w/ wheelchairs IN the balloon... somewhere in Florida along ocean.