I know, things were supposed to shift gears, change it up, and have a new person blogging on the life of TBI.  We were up for the challenge, and excited about the new impact that we could make in the world of TBI.

Instead, life happened.  Again.

In February, I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer.  Quite the shocker. So we stopped, paused, and decided to focus our attention towards fighting, living and getting through what would prove to be, and still is, a grueling treatment protocol.

Today, I am considered cancer free - what this means is that I had  5 months of chemo, followed by a double mastectomy two weeks ago, another surgery tomorrow to remove my last ovary, and reconstruction in a few months.

It's a lot to take in, with us still living along the life path of TBI.

Slowly I will be coming back to this very important part of my life - brain injury recovery, support, research and programs mean everything to me.  It is where my heart lives.

But right now, my body is fighting for life, and I need to respect that.

There will be future presentations and events in 2017, some in the works as I write this.  I will add them to our event page as soon as they are confirmed.

Thank you for your support - if you want to read more about this part of my life journey, please feel free to find me on CaringBridge. I welcome visitors and prayers as I continue to tell cancer to find somewhere else to go.


Hello out there! To start this off, I will tell you what I was doing at this time four years ago.  At 2030 hours, my partner Joel Karz were finishing up Chipotle burritos. Steak  burritos, mild and corn salsa, cheese, sour cream, black beans,  and guacamole. We can't forget about the chips and salsa. We ate at the Savage lunch room, with our new partner Eric Jech.

Following our dinners, we did some random patrolling. At ~ 2330 hours, Joel Kanz and I went to a house we were both very familiar with. When we arrived, the female caller informed us that she "lost" her husband. 

So Officer Kanz stayed in the kitchen, while I searched in the house for the husband. The house was a two level home. After I called out the second time, the husband walked out of the bathroom. I pointed the male out to the wife, and informed her that her husband was in the lower level, and asked her if she needed any further assistance. She replied that she didn't, and we left the house.

This is the last memory I had for almost 6 weeks. I have the squad camera footage of the drive to our next call of a prowler. Apparently, a mother found a male trying to break into her daughters bedroom window. Joey told me that he went north on Highway 13, and I went East on Egan Drive. 

My squad camera begins recording as I pass McColl Drive. I activate my lights and siren at ~Connelly Parkway. While on 42 (Egan Drive)  reach speeds of 90+ MPH, because the first officer on scene to the prowler call got on the radio and said that he saw someone running.  I made a left turn onto Glendale Ave., and it appears on my squad video that my squad fish tails a bit. I slowly begin to ease up on the speed. As I approach the Junior High, a tow truck had pulled over to allow me to pass, my Crown Vic begins to fishtail to the driver's side. I quickly tried to correct for this, but I must have over corrected. My squad spin 180• to the passenger side, and I slid completely across the roadway, jumped over the curb, and slammed into a tree at the B pillar of my squad.

The rest I've seen hundreds of times, because we have the squad car video from Officer Kanzs' squad. Unfortunately, Joey forgot to activate his body mic, and we have no audio until Officer Jech arrives on scene. 

We have ~45 minutes of video for Joeys' squad, audio from Eric Jechs' body mic, and video/audio from a SavageFire Fighters' helmet cam.

Throughout the video's the only evidence that I am alive is the fact I was still breathing, and at one point, I am able to squeeze one of my partners hand at request.

After I am extricated from the mangled squad, Joey promptly goes behind a squad and extricates his Chipotle I talked about us having for lunch.

Following my extrication, I am airlifted to North Memorial Hospital, where I spent the next 84 days.

I look forward to sharing my brain damaged experiences with everyone who takes the time out of there busy schedules to read this blog about my TBI.

Change is a constant - many of us spend our lives waiting for change, hoping for changing, trying to make a change, or praying for a change.

Change happens whether we want it to or not - life is not a linear path, but a continuum of breaks, stops, hitches, do-overs and mistakes. Life often does not follow the path that we envisioned, instead, it covers terrain and obstacles that we never thought were possible. Events and experiences that you never dreamed of launch themselves into your life without notice - and most of us are not prepared.

I wasn't prepared, four years ago today, for life to shift so hard in an unexpected direction. Today, for the fourth time, we mark the date of the before - those frozen moments in time that you wish you could grab back and say "make another choice" or "just slow down." We have gone through those thoughts so many times, it seems like a chore now to even think about that time, because you can never go back.

And truly, what would going back look like?

I have no idea, and no one ever does.  Going back might fix one thing, but what about other things?  What about all of the things that have happened since that day that were good things?  Things that one wouldn't want to lose in a do-over?

I know that for me, looking back is hard. But looking forward is hard too. Marking things off  day-to-day does not work  when living life - no plans, no goals and no focus create an unsettled, frustrating way to move through a lifetime.

What this means for me is a change in a new direction, and a shift in where my energy is focused.

Today will be my last blog post.  I have been writing for almost four years - writing stream of thought, unedited and painful views of a journey that at times almost smothered me with the weight of the words and thoughts that it produced. Nights of unending tears written in ghastly moments of heartbreak and pain. Shadows of hope, windows of time littered with the prayers of strangers and the touch of blue hearts.

I can no longer carry the torch of these thoughts, although plenty of them are waiting in the wings of my mind. This journey for me comes to a crossroads, with my path leading away from this road to another place - and that place is a new home and project called Blue Watch.

Blue Watch (www.bluewatchus.org) is a combined effort of some amazing local law enforcement officers that believe that health and wellness should be a priority for officers, instead of an after-thought. In a cooperative partnership with Regions Hospital and HealthPartners, our goal is to create an easy pathway for our officers to seek help when they need medical, mental health or wellness resources.

For me, creating a pathway for law enforcement to access these resources is a priority - for my partners, their challenge will be engaging their peers in dialogue of change focused on caring for themselves first, so that they can then help others.

This opportunity is a gift, and one that needs personal attention.

I am leaving you in good hands - as I transition out of this blog, a new writer takes the helm. This writer has first hand knowledge of the impact brain injury has had on not just our life, but the lives of so many others in this world that we call friends.

Please welcome Frank Mackall as the new window into the world of brain injury.

God Bless you all - and tonight at 12:59 AM, we click into our New Year, again.