Keep on going.


There is one thing I’ve learned about life:  attitude is everything.  This is not just a corny little slogan or a platitude.  Your attitude makes or breaks you.  It defines you. 


Everyone is struggling with something. No one’s life is perfect or peachy keen.  We cannot control what happens to us; the only things we can control is how we react.  You can give up and lay down, or you can get up and keep going. 


Tonya, my neighbor with a egg-sized brain tumor, decided to take her inevitable hair loss into her own hands and throw a Bald is Fabulous Party.   In front of forty of her friends and family, Tonya lost all of her hair with a smile on her face.





If you’re going to shave your head, might as well do a fun mohawk first, right?


With a couple more snips and buzzes, all her hair was gone.  She’s donating two braided ponytails to Locks of Love.  Her oldest son, Conlin, explained to me that “other wittle girls and boys need hair so momma is going to give them a wittle wig.”


Things have been rough lately for Tonya and her family.  She’ll be starting chemo soon but is also looking into experimental treatments since the tumor is inoperable.  She had a series of seizures last week (six in one night!) and has been put on some powerful drugs to keep it from happening again.  Unfortunately, those drugs have horrendous side effect, like short-term memory loss.  But she’s still her positive, upbeat self. 


She said in an e-mail, “Through this process, I have spoken to so many people who are struggling – women with postpartum depression, single moms, men and women with drug and alcohol problems, those who had been sexually abused, people going through divorces, children abandoned by their family, or women who were raped.  And the thing they all say is, "I just couldn’t tell any one" or "I just didn’t have anyone to talk to" or "I just figured stuff like this didn’t happen to other people that I know." God has revealed to me that the real problem is that we do not talk to each other.  This is why I have cancer.  I know God has blessed me with time, a listening ear, wisdom, encouragement, and a positive attitude, and a love of lifting people up and giving hugs!  My hope is that by shaving my head now, some lonely woman behind me in the TJ Maxx checkout line will have the courage to talk to me about her problems. Maybe her plan was to go home alone to her cats, eat takeout food, watch TV, and talk to no one… but because of my cancer, she will talk to me.   Maybe that will be the doorway for her to share something that has been weighing heavily on her heart. Maybe we will go get coffee, and I will get her phone number.  She will have made a new friend, and I will invite her to church the following week.  That is what I hope for.”


A big thanks to T. Reid and Company for donating space for Tonya’s party.


Whatever it is that you are going through, I hope you find a way to keep on going, too.





  • Ash Bear June 26, 2011, 5:37 pm

    Posts like this help us all put life in perspective. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennifer June 26, 2011, 5:39 pm

    You are amazing. Thank you for sharing this story, and God bless Tonya.

  • Anne Weber-Falk June 26, 2011, 5:39 pm

    Tonya, you are the bravest, most thoughtful and most beautiful person I have ever “known”. Thank you for all that you are doing. I will pray for you and your family. Stay strong.

  • Lauren June 26, 2011, 5:39 pm

    Tonya is an inspiration. Wow.

  • Amy June 26, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I wish Tonya all the best. Good can come from the most horrendous circumstances, and just because we live in a fallen world, it doesn’t mean that God can’t redeem it.

  • Shah'ada June 26, 2011, 5:40 pm

    thank you for keeping us all updated on tonya. my thoughts have been with her and her family since i first read her story. she’s an amazingly strong woman. what an opportunity for me, reading through her, to re-evaluate my perspective.

  • Shrinking mommy of 2 June 26, 2011, 5:40 pm

    thanks…I love this post! Tonya is awesome!!!

  • Tara June 26, 2011, 5:40 pm

    I have my health, and for that I am thankful. But you are right – we are all going through something. Tomorrow I am resigning from my job. Yes, in this economy. It has been making me physically and mentally sick for a long time. I don’t have a plan other than to move home to my parents’ house and figure out what I really want to do. Life is short and we have to take control of things however we can.

    • Amy June 26, 2011, 6:28 pm

      I’ve been there. It gets better. 🙂 Good luck.

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:40 pm

      Good luck with your life changes, Tara!

  • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing June 26, 2011, 5:41 pm

    My heart is both full and breaking all at once. Thank you for sharing this journey with such positivity, Tonya and Caitlin. <3

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 26, 2011, 5:41 pm

    What an incredible woman. It really makes you stop and think about life and how we really should take the time to pay attention to the people around us, and stop thinking that the world only revolves around ourselves.

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 26, 2011, 5:43 pm

    Thanks, Caitlin. Tonya is such an inspiration. Beautiful.

  • Kelly June 26, 2011, 5:43 pm

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this amazing woman’s story with us 🙂

  • Bec June 26, 2011, 5:43 pm

    Our family has been impacted pretty hard the past few years because of cancer. It is certainly an eye opener and with each situation, it has given our family a new perspective. While I wish with my whole heart that those we have lost were still with us, I try to keep their memory alive in any way I can. Tonya is certainly a strong woman and has been added to my prayer list!

  • Kristine June 26, 2011, 5:46 pm

    wow, wow, wow. This post almost had me in tears. So true, and so sad. What an amazing person Tonya is. We ALL struggle with things, but she just seems like such an inspirational person. You are lucky to know her.

    Another great blog of someone suffering with brain cancer is She is amazing as well.

  • Mary June 26, 2011, 5:47 pm

    What a beautiful and Brave Soul Tonya is. My thoughts are with her and her family.

  • Freya June 26, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Tonya is just incredible.
    Such a good post.

  • Abby June 26, 2011, 5:50 pm

    What a beautiful story! 🙂 Thoughts and prayers are with Tonya and her family. It is so great that she is dealing with all of this in a positive way!

  • Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health June 26, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Wow, thank you for posting this! Tonya is such an inspiration and I wish her all the best!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 26, 2011, 5:55 pm

    What a heartwarming story – I wish Tonya and her fmaily all the very best xx

  • Tammy Root June 26, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Beautiful post Caitlin. It brought tears to my eyes. Tonya is so inspiring and I have an amazing amount of respect and admiration for her — and, I do not even know her. (That is how I know your post was amazing.)

  • Jen June 26, 2011, 5:59 pm

    I could almost cry reading the email she wrote. This was a really touching post. Tonya seems like such an incredible woman, and now that I’ve read this, she will definitely be in my thoughts. Stories like this make me realize that I take advantage of the life I have, and stress way too much about my small problems. Wow, it’s women like her who really open my eyes. I love what she said about talking to others about our problems. I think she’s right. We don’t share enough.

  • Baking 'n' Books June 26, 2011, 6:00 pm

    This email was amazing.

    What really strikes me – is that Tonya is thinking of others. It’s not about helping herself or even her family – it’s about reaching out and making a difference to other people.

  • alison June 26, 2011, 6:00 pm

    I started to complain about my sorry life today but then I thought about Tonya and immediately stopped. She’s a beautiful woman with a beautiful attitude; I’m not sure I could ever handle such a feat as gracefully as Tonya. Many blessings to her and her family.

  • Laura (On the Threshold of Greatness) June 26, 2011, 6:02 pm

    I can tell Tonya is an incredible woman just from the few posts you’ve written about her. She has a beautiful spirit and I’m moved by how brave she is. She’s truly an inspiration and her story brings tears to my eyes. I think we all have a lot to learn from her.

  • kelsey June 26, 2011, 6:02 pm

    This made me cry. Actually, I was bawling. The past year has been really hard and I often think that I have nowhere to turn. Reading this reassured me that there are amazing people out there going through some hard times. Thank you.

  • whit June 26, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Her faith amazes me. The world needs more Tonyas.

  • Blaire June 26, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Wow. Awesome. What a great perspective. This post gve me chills down my my spine. Tonya is my prayers. thanks for the great post!

  • Julia H. June 26, 2011, 6:07 pm

    My goodness, that email from Tonya is absolutely inspiring. She sounds like an incredible woman, and I wish her the very best.

  • Michaela June 26, 2011, 6:09 pm

    This made me all weepy. I always have strangers striking up conversations with me in grocery stores, etc. and I end up hearing their life stories. I don’t know if it’s because I have a friendly-looking face or what. I’m never rude to people who do it, but I’ve complained about it many times because it takes time that I think I don’t have.

    Reading this made me realize that for whatever reason, people like to tell me things. I’ll remind myself next time that it happens that I shouldn’t treat it like a burden and instead allow them to share what’s on their heart.

    Thank you, Tonya.

  • Sarah June 26, 2011, 6:11 pm

    It is about perception. Just like the best movie scene ever in ‘Dead Poets Society’.
    My sister has cancer and worse than the disease is her attitude to the whole thing. It is not only killing her but my relationship with her.

    • Corinne June 27, 2011, 9:31 am

      Im sorry to hear that. I will pray for you both.

      • Reenie June 27, 2011, 11:39 am

        I will pray also Sarah…..

        • Sarah June 27, 2011, 5:46 pm

          Thank you both:)

  • Kristina June 26, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Beautiful post. Tonya, you are SO inspiring. Thank you.

  • Nelly June 26, 2011, 6:13 pm

    I am so touched by her outlook on life and her situation. God is in control and uses all things for good (in his timing and his ways). She is one strong woman!

  • Laine June 26, 2011, 6:15 pm

    My heart just keeps breaking open more and more. Have you heard of Team Hoyt? The father who pushes his grown disabled son in a wheelchair in marathons, pulls him in a boat and rides with him on his bike during triathlons (and carries him during the transitions). They were in a triathlon in my town today, and I just about broke down when they road by today. Heart broken wide open. And then this. And everything like this is the world. I sometimes just cannot bear it.

    • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska June 26, 2011, 7:09 pm

      Just googling and reading about Team Hoyt made me cry! What an awesome awesome thing that they do. Thanks for sharing!

      • Reenie June 27, 2011, 11:41 am

        I’ve heard about them…I’m going to go google it too. What an inspiration and such love ~ I bet it was amazing to see in person.

  • Sana June 26, 2011, 6:17 pm

    The world is filled with amazing people. Sigh, it makes me soo happy to know that I get to share this space on Earth with so many of them.

  • Christine June 26, 2011, 6:22 pm

    I have never gotten teary over a blog before… until now. She’s awesome.

  • Kelly June 26, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Such an inspiring post. I probably would just lay down and die and let cancer win so it is remarkable to see people fight for their lives.

  • Kristi June 26, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Tonya is such a brave woman. I don’t know if I was in her situation I could be as strong as she is.

  • monicanelsonfitness June 26, 2011, 6:36 pm

    this is a really touching post. Tonya is incredible. 🙂

  • Errign June 26, 2011, 6:37 pm

    Love <3

  • Happy healthy mama June 26, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Tonya inspires me to be a better person. Thank you for continuing to share her story.

  • Amy S. June 26, 2011, 6:40 pm

    I don’t believe I’ve commented before, but I’ve been reading about Tonya and her natural strength and generosity. She’s amazing, I’m so glad she has found a silver lining to this disease. If only we had more people in the world like this.

  • Heather Dawn June 26, 2011, 6:46 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It is exactly what I needed to hear. Tonya is such an amazing woman to have such a positive attitude. I just recently lost my cat, we are still looking for him. It is so hard to keep a positive attitude to keep you going. My world feels like its ending as everyone else’s keeps going.

    • Caitlin June 26, 2011, 6:51 pm

      I am so sorry about your cat! I would be gutted if I lost Maggie and James.

      Here are some pet-finding tips… I have lost and found a few pets in my day! I’m sure you’ve done these but just to be sure.

      Posters all over your neigborhood
      Post a lost pet ad on craigslist
      Call all your local shelters and VISIT the shelters to check for yourself

  • Dana P. June 26, 2011, 6:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing Tonya’s story. She is one of those people truly living out her faith and I admire her for it. The simple fact that she is putting others needs before her own, when she has every right not to, is a testament to what a strong woman she is and how she is endeavoring to live out God’s commandment to us to love one another.

  • giordin June 26, 2011, 6:47 pm

    beautiful. thank you.

  • @HilaryFleming @healthgirltv June 26, 2011, 6:53 pm

    This made me cry…in the inspiring kind of Oprah type cry. Your friend Tonya is such an amazing person. I find it so comforting that God puts these sage-like people on the planet to help teach and elevate us all. She’s a warrior. I’ll keep her in my prayers and meditation

  • maria @ Chasing the Now June 26, 2011, 6:58 pm

    This post was amazing. I am so inspired by Tonya’s faith and inner strength!

  • Stephanie June 26, 2011, 6:59 pm

    This is both sad and beautiful. Tonya seems like a very loving, inspirational person. “Attitude is everything” is a great attitude to have.

    P.S. Trader Joe’s is now carrying gluten free rolled oats!!!

  • ashley@cookingforjohn June 26, 2011, 7:01 pm

    i got that email from GoFundMe as well, and it was so inspiring. it amazes me that she is still in such high spirits, but it is easy to see why. she has such a great outlook on life and a great support system. thanks for sharing these pictures. 🙂

  • cathy June 26, 2011, 7:01 pm

    thank you, caitlin, for sharing tonya’s message with us. i am sincere when i say that i read this post just when i needed to see this life lesson.

  • Natalie June 26, 2011, 7:05 pm

    God Bless her, her husband and her children.

  • Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) June 26, 2011, 7:10 pm

    Beautiful post. If we’re not reaching out, connecting and making others stronger, then what are we doing?

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska June 26, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Thank you thank you for sharing Tonya’s positivity with all of us! She is a courageous and amazing person and I am so blessed to hear her story!

  • Laura June 26, 2011, 7:15 pm

    This is so beautiful. Tonya is an amazing person. Your writing made me cry.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 26, 2011, 7:21 pm

    Tonya’s strength and attitude is so…amazing.

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Caitlin. Puts life in perspective, real quick. Thank you for the reminder for us all on that.


  • stephanie June 26, 2011, 7:24 pm

    Beautiful post featuring a strong, beautiful woman. I needed to read this.

  • Lauren June 26, 2011, 7:41 pm

    Hell, yes! No words. Remarkable.

  • Lauren June 26, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Speechless by her courage and beauty!

  • cj weaber @ June 26, 2011, 7:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, I swear sometimes things happen for a reason. I read your blog every day but its as if God wanted you to write this post so I could stop being such a baby! As much as I hate to admit it I was totally throwing myself an internal pity party about something that was not going the way I was hoping and after reading this it made me realize there are so many things I have to be grateful for and I was totally focusing on all the negatives!
    Tonya, you are an amazing woman and I can only hope to have a fraction of your strength! You are in my thoughts and prayers every day and night. Keep on truckin’ girlfriend!
    And thank you Caitlin for always having such positive posts. You are an amazing role model!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston June 26, 2011, 8:01 pm

    Wow the words from Tony’s email truly gave me the chills — in a good way. She is so inspiring.

  • jody June 26, 2011, 8:18 pm

    Thank you for the update on Tonya. I have been thinking about her. Can we still make a donation to her? She is truly an incredible person. I wish her all the best.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) June 26, 2011, 8:25 pm

    This is beautiful! I have chills and tears…so much emotion from this. She is an amazing woman and her courage is truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing this!

  • jody June 26, 2011, 8:26 pm

    Thank you for the update on Tonya. I have been thinking about her. Is it still possible to make a donation? She is truly incredible. I send her my prayers.

  • Mabel @ Dance, Love, Dine June 26, 2011, 8:28 pm

    What an incredible post. And it came at a moment in my life when I most need it. I am in tears. thank you.

  • Becky June 26, 2011, 8:29 pm

    This was such a beautiful post, it gave me goosebumps, tears, and a smile all in a matter of a few minutes. She sounds like a strong and very inspirational woman and I wish her the best, she will certainly be in my prayers.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 26, 2011, 8:34 pm

    What an inspirational woman. I love how she is such a fighter and making this about others instead of herself. Tonya is going to make it. I just know it.

  • Kath June 26, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Very moving Caitlin! Tonya is so brave

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 26, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Awesome. SO SO true! We can all fight what battles we have 🙂

  • Catherine@happinessafterheartache June 26, 2011, 8:45 pm

    This is so true. Nothing comes from being negative besides more negativity. You have to keep positive to keep going! Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething June 26, 2011, 8:55 pm

    i am speechless. while i red this i got chills and i still have them. tonya is such a strong, powerful woman. we should all be like her. i will try in small ways everyday.

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 26, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Reading that email gave me the chills. I don’t even know what to say…she is a very strong woman. I love that she threw a head shaving party. Shaving your head brings a bit of a realization that this disease is real and it’s the beginning of the fight. It’s scary but I imagine having so many people around during that time feels amazing.

  • Melissa June 26, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Tonya is amazing!!! Where I am from the cancer center at our hospital does an annual “Bald is Beautiful” – This year there was over 70 participants who shaved their heads for multiple reasons; an anniversary of remission, they have lost a love one, or just want to raise money for an amazing cause! An amazing event and inspiration to all that have participated! .

    Stay strong Tonya!

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:37 pm

      What an awesome site 🙂 Thanks for passing this along.

  • Jolene ( June 26, 2011, 9:23 pm

    She is so gorgeous 🙂

    This is a beautiful post.

  • kristen June 26, 2011, 9:49 pm

    it really is true. everyone is going through something.
    I love getting updates on your friend. Its amazing how i think I had a bad day, and it is nothing to compared to others. This really openned my eyes

  • kristen June 26, 2011, 9:50 pm

    it really is true. everyone is going through something.
    I love getting updates on your friend. Its amazing how i think I had a bad day, and it is nothing to compared to others. This really openned my eyes

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 26, 2011, 9:51 pm

    Wow, Tonya is so inspirational! What a courageous woman! Thank you for sharing this amazing story!

  • Jennifer June 26, 2011, 9:53 pm

    I just came from a documentary about a doctor treating brain tumors successfully, albeit unconventionally, who is running clinical trials. It was an amazing and inspiring story. I was debating whether or not to post because I felt uncomfortable about suggesting something new to the mix but then her mission is to get people to talk to each other more! I had to! Please see it, both of you, it’s called Burzinsky.

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:33 pm

      I forwarded this info to her husband! Thanks Jennifer.

  • Ali @ Ali Runs June 26, 2011, 10:00 pm

    This post made me teary eyed! What an inspiring woman. My mom also was proactive when she had cancer and shaved her head. It was very tough for her, but better than waiting for the inevitable to happen. Good luck to Tonya and her family.

  • 'Dee June 26, 2011, 10:10 pm

    I have no words.

    Tonya, you are a gift.

  • Andrea June 26, 2011, 10:38 pm


    Tonya, you are a beautiful person.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit June 26, 2011, 11:15 pm

    Powerful post, Caitlin. Tonya will be in my thoughts and prayers. What an amazing, inspiring, and strong woman she is.

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 26, 2011, 11:22 pm

    I should really stop stressing about my silly student loans. We all need reality checks every now and then.

  • E June 26, 2011, 11:26 pm

    What a beautiful message from Tonya!

  • Sarah June 26, 2011, 11:31 pm

    Love this post! What an amazing outlook and way of thinking! I wish more people would feel and ACT in such a manner to care more for their fellow man, such as the Tonya does. This made me cry. I am very thankful for you (Tonya) allowing us to follow you in your journey and giving us as readers an amazing perspective. Thank you

  • Susan - Nurse on the Run June 26, 2011, 11:46 pm

    Luckily, most people never see tragedy. Those who do realize how they are, and those who experience realize how good they had it. I had a young patient recently who, while laying in his hospital bed, said before his admission he had no idea what happened behind hospital walls. How good he had it before and how people never think about such horrible things because they never see it. And how he has no idea what’s happening to the people on other floors or the person in the room right next to him. Such perspective for such a young person.

    Glad to see Tonya is making the most out of a horrible situation.

  • Heidi - apples under my bed June 27, 2011, 12:04 am

    This post made me cry. Tonya is amazing. Thinking of you all.
    Heidi xo

  • Nikki T June 27, 2011, 12:05 am

    This is the only way to describe Tonya.
    Thank you for keeping (the world) up to date on her. How unbelievable inspiring Tonya is. This is the way that I’d hope to be too.

  • Khushboo June 27, 2011, 12:32 am

    Posts like this are so liberating and admirable! Tonya’s attitude throughout has been inspiring and I appreciate how she really is seeing the silver lining of having cancer! And for what it’s worth, she makes the bald look totally hot! 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 27, 2011, 12:38 am

    Tonya is SUCH an inspiration!! There really is a reason for everything, even awful things like cancer.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 27, 2011, 12:38 am

    Thanks for the Tonya update! I get so inspired reading about her. I think we can all learn a thing or two from her 🙂

  • Lainie June 27, 2011, 1:01 am

    I never post on blogs…but this post was too powerful NOT to say something. What a beautiful story, a beautiful woman and perhaps most notably, a beautig spirit. These were exactly the words I needed to read tonight. Thank you, Caitlin, for posting, and thank you, Tonya, for sharing.morbid rare for a complete stranger to touch my heart, but you have managed to do so.

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:33 pm

      Thank you Lainie 🙂

  • Lainie June 27, 2011, 1:01 am

    I never post on blogs…but this post was too powerful NOT to say something. What a beautiful story, a beautiful woman and perhaps most notably, a beautig spirit. These were exactly the words I needed to read tonight. Thank you, Caitlin, for posting, and thank you, Tonya, for sharing.morbid rare for a complete stranger to touch my heart, but you have managed to do so.

    • Ellie@fitforthesoul June 27, 2011, 2:40 am

      I’m so encouraged that your heart was touched! Your comment touched mine 🙂

  • Lainie June 27, 2011, 1:02 am

    Ok autocorrect sucks. Hopefully my point was made despite the awful auto corrects!!

  • Kimberly June 27, 2011, 1:08 am

    What a beautiful post! So inspiring 🙂 thank you

  • Laura June 27, 2011, 1:58 am

    I’m having a rough time and I so needed this perspective. Tonya is amazing and such an inspiration–I’m rooting for her to pull through, the world needs more people like her.

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul June 27, 2011, 2:39 am

    ahhhhhhhhhh I just can’t get enough of Tonya’s loving heart and soul!!!! There’s just no way that she can be like this without God’s love–and that love for Him truly shines in how she is able to stay positive. When I had read this email she sent us, I was soooo encouraged and had to share with others! May this attitude be story of all of our lives! 😀 hehe and I love the mohawk! And her son shines as well 🙂 Stay strong Tonya! And thanks Caitlin!

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture June 27, 2011, 3:01 am

    Definitely puts things in perspective! Don’t sweat the little stuff! Tonya sounds like an amazingly inspirational woman. My thoughts are with her and her family.

  • Natalie S. June 27, 2011, 4:49 am

    Tonya’s story is so empowering — really makes me feel more grateful for what I have.

  • Kelli June 27, 2011, 5:59 am

    Wow what a eye opener You think you have it bad but then you think if this woman can turn her story into a positive then I need to turn my “problems” into a positive, My mom just found out she has stage 4 breast cancer and for me the most frustrating part is trying to keep her positive. Thanks for the wake up post!

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:32 pm

      I am so sorry about your mom. xoxo.

  • SaraRM June 27, 2011, 7:26 am

    I read this a couple of times yesterday and came back to it this morning. I pray for her and her family several times a day. I hope that she is able to maintain her outlook and positive attitude through the entire process. Her message is a strong one and is being passed across the world and think it is truely amazing!

  • Morgan @ OperationHotMama June 27, 2011, 7:28 am

    This.Is.Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 27, 2011, 8:01 am

    An absolutely amazing post – I’ve no words, just <3, and feeling deeply moved and inspired. I wish Tonya and her family so much love and hugs, thanks for sharing her beautiful, incredible email. xyx

  • salah@myhealthiestlifestyle June 27, 2011, 8:20 am

    this post had me in tears. Such a beautiful message, and Tonya is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing this, makes me never want to take my health for granted at all! Sending Tonya and her family lots of prayer and positive vibes!

  • Alett June 27, 2011, 9:10 am

    A beautiful post done by a beautiful woman who has a most beautiful neighbor with an INCREDIBLE spirit.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • CaitlinHTP June 27, 2011, 12:32 pm

      Thank you Alett.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat June 27, 2011, 9:27 am

    I am totally forwarding this post to everyone I know. God is truly using Tonya to make an impact on so many lives. What an amazing person she is!

  • Megan @ On the Road Again June 27, 2011, 9:45 am

    What an amazing and inspirational woman Tonya is. This post truly showcases her will and determination to not just beat cancer, but prove how strong she is in the meantime.

  • Michelle@Crazy*Running*Legs June 27, 2011, 9:51 am

    LOVE this soooooo much. Thank you so much for sharing Tonya story.

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt June 27, 2011, 9:56 am

    This is absolutely amazing. This story is so incredible, and Tonya is such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Sarah June 27, 2011, 10:17 am

    Wow, that woman is amazing. Thank you for keeping us all updated.

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 27, 2011, 10:24 am

    And by telling you her story, and allowing you to write about it on your blog, Tonya reaches us too. Thanks Tonya 🙂

  • Ashley June 27, 2011, 10:36 am

    I was looking at similar pictures of someone who touched my life immensely just yesterday, and Tonya’s perspective is very similar to Danielle’s.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful message to help reach even more people with this amazing story of courage, faith, hope and love.

  • Cati @ crave and create June 27, 2011, 10:41 am

    This is a beautiful, beautiful post. BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much. What an inspiration.

  • Sam June 27, 2011, 10:55 am

    beautiful post. I read all the emails tonya sends out so I was wondering how her party went. Nice to know it was a beautiful affair.

  • Reenie June 27, 2011, 11:37 am

    Tonya…..YOU are beautiful. <3

  • Kelley June 27, 2011, 12:06 pm

    This is a beautiful post and she is so lucky to have a friend like you. 🙂

  • Kurt June 27, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Hey Sunshine
    Sorry I missed your call (tag your it), but it was so great hearing your voice on the ans.mach. I put a call into Kevin, but got his ans. message. Just wanted to see how he is doing and just listen to him if he wanted to talk. I know you two are very busy with all this crape going on and with life, but as I have aways called you “Sunshine”, since your birth that is what you have been to me and to all you have touched — even those you have only bumped into for a moment — you have brighten their day!!

    Now, How does it feel to be in MY World with the breeze around your ears??!!! I promise NO BALD jokes!!

    I am so proud of you, as I have always been!! You have always handled yourself in the most positive, up beat way your whole life and you are handling this in the right way– the “TONYA WAY”!!!!

    As the old song says, you just “Keep on Danc’n and Pranc’n”!!!

    I love you and you are in my thoughts and prays every moment of the day!

    I will try and get ahold of your Dad (we have been also playing phone tag).

    Love you Sunshine!

    Your other Dad – Kurt

  • Jay June 27, 2011, 12:24 pm

    You are truly an inspiration to everyone you come into contact with. We will keep you in our prayers for a speedy recovery!

  • Marissa June 27, 2011, 12:42 pm

    God bless her. Her faith and spirit is truly inspiring.

  • Alaina June 27, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Your neighbor is such an amazing woman and has such a positive and inspiring outlook on life. This post definitely brought a tear to my eye.

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) June 27, 2011, 2:01 pm

    It truly does put things in perspective. Was having a woe as me moment this morning since I just got a groin injury, but after reading this post, it makes me grateful. Thank you for the post and thank you for the email Tonya. I’ll keep you in my thoughts. 😀

  • CH June 27, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I have to admit, I just cried while reading her email. I don’t think that I have ever heard a more beautiful response to having cancer. Wow. I’m completely floored (and I am NOT easily floored, in general). Th fact that she recognizes this as a way to connect with and help other people — that takes courage, tremendous insight, and an incredible ability to understand your fellow human beings. Bravo Tonya — you are changing the world, even if you don’t know it yet.

  • Shannon stoughton June 29, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Wow. I’m just learning of all of this and at the same time inane of what an amazing person you are. You family is blessed to have such a strong beautiful and caring person in their life. I will pray for all of you and I know good things come from the togetherness. God bless you

  • steve andrews June 29, 2011, 6:25 pm

    hey everyone, i’m a local charlottean and i LOVE your faith and inspiration through all of this, i once had bad shoulder pain which frequently brought me to tears and God taught me how to WORSHIP my way out of my pain. now whorship is a lifestyle for me and it has changed everything, JESUS has changed everything and i am living in prosperity and good health. to get your free copy of a worship cd, just call me at 704-219-1795, i also offer handyman services and moving-delivery services in the charlotte area, God bless you!

  • steve andrews June 29, 2011, 6:28 pm

    sorry that last paragraph should have said “worship,” not “whorship” 🙂

  • Tonya Breen June 29, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Thank you first to Caitlin for such a wonderful post and then to all of you for your lovely comments! you are too generous! I will post an update ASAP!

  • Kat June 30, 2011, 12:42 am

    What an awesome story, and “grounding” read…something that truly puts so much into perspective. While stepping in the house after a long 15 hour horrible day, this was the first thing I read after putting my feet up…Makes me think twice about complaining, taking for granted all that has been given to me..and not cherishing all of the experiences I (and all of us) are BLESSED to have. My thoughts and prayers go out to you….thank you for sharing your story.

  • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey July 8, 2011, 10:59 am

    Tonya is inspirational. (Even to someone like me – who is definitely NOT a religious person).

    I took her family dinner last weekend, and it was amazing to get to meet her. (The boys are super-cute and energetic, too!)

    I had been out of town previously, and am just catching up on your posts. It was neat to see the process… love the mohawk!
    Tonya is rocking the ‘bald’ look! 🙂


  • caitlin July 11, 2011, 11:43 am

    What a beautiful post. I am going through a (what I consider) a rough time but then I read something like this, and I realize that there are so many more important things in life. Thanks for this- I needed to read it 🙂

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