BlogHer ’11: We Made It

I returned from BlogHer ’11 in San Diego to seven hours of iv treatment. I think that sums up my life pretty well. Days upon days of rest and relaxation, with friends close enough to finally hug, and I’m plopped right back into my routine of treatment and tests.

I’m trying to take all those hugs with me as I sit hour after hour, day after day, feeling that lingering presence of love that enveloped us in San Diego. It helped. It really helped. And along with those hugs came your donations at the first BlogHer Blood Drive:

Yay! #BlogHer11

24 pints of blood that saved 48 lives collected by the San Diego Blood Bank…good work BlogHers!

I’m not sure how to explain what our lives are like normally. For Aaron it involves a lot of worry. For me it involves endless doctor visits. I’m not kidding when I say endless. This week I will be at the doctor three out of five days for what is usually the entire day receiving treatment.

It’s figuring out who will watch the kids…Who can drive me to treatment? Who will cook dinner? Who will pick up my meds? Who will sit with me so I’m not alone with the kids?

Yeah, it’s a strange feeling to be babysat like the children. However even I’m not comfortable alone. In fact we are looking into things like LifeAlert and apps in case I have another stroke or otherwise.

So imagine just how different San Diego was for us. I got to speak to an audience about cyberbullying and the threats my family has been through, we got to see friends, co-workers, and, above all, we got to lounge by the pool and relax.
The view from our balcony #BlogHer

We slept with the balcony door open so we could feel the ocean breeze, we slept late, and we didn’t once see a doctor. Of course I remained unable to do a whole lot, and my trip was very limited…but at least I was there. My husband kept reminding me that last year I was too sick to even make the trip, so at least this year I could attend. Next year I will hopefully be able to do more.

It really is amazing what a little mental and emotional uplift can do when your life is a battle. So thank you BlogHer and all the friends we were able to spend just a little bit of time with. It made a difference.


  1. I can’t come to cook you dinners until late in the fall. Is there another way (since my anemic ass can’t donate blood OR plasma) that I can help you guys?

  2. So thrilled to see you. You are my rock star.

  3. It was so nice to have you there. That was enough. At least for me.

  4. I’m sending you a hug and donated blood. If I was there, I would bring you a cooked dinner. I’m grateful you were well enough to go. It was the best thing for you, and I’m glad Aaron could be there with you. I so admire you. Your courage, honesty, openness and just you.

  5. Well, I’ve just bought my ticket for 2012 this very evening, and Susan (@whymommy) and I are planning on taking NYC by storm. I look forward to you taking it with us.

  6. You are pretty damn amazing. I am so glad that you got to attend BlogHer this year.

  7. I was tickled to finally get to meet you and hug your neck, if only for a minute. next year we are gonna have ice cream together! : )

  8. I’m so glad you made it. It was wonderful to see you! XOXO.

  9. So glad you were able to make it, Erin. Your family is one of the strongest I know.

  10. Seeing you and hugging you TWICE gave me the happys.

  11. I know it’s cheesy to say that I feel honored to have been a part of your distraction, if only for a short time this past weekend. You were my little rockstar. I owe you a shimmie and a motorboat.

  12. I’m so glad you got to go, but so sad that I didn’t ever run into you. I missed so many people this year. Anyway, virtual hug since I didn’t get to give you a real one.

  13. So glad I got to see you! And I’m proud to say that one of those pints was mine. 🙂

  14. Man, I loved seeing you! That shining light in your eyes is still there, woman. That is a huge part of what made me happy to see you. Plus, I love you intensely.

  15. It was nice to see you there Erin. We could see how happy you were to be there.

  16. This was kind of like the Oscars, where it’s an honor just to be nominated or be there. SO glad you were able to take the trip and especially that I got to see you (and to finally meet Mr. Erin – excuse me – Aaron Vest. Many happy wishes to you both.

  17. Didn’t get to hug you nearly enough. Loved that you, glorious you, were there. xoxo

  18. So glad you two had a nice weekend together. So glad you had this weekend and many more to come!

  19. I’m not a blogger….didn’t attend the BlogHer ’11…. but I’m a blogger reader…. You’ve touched me with your blog. I am very glad you got to go see your other blogger friends, everyone seems so nice and happy to have been able to visit with you “in person”. It seems they are all looking forward to seeing you again next year. 🙂 Hope your health continues to get better. PS: Sounds like you have a pretty nice guy too. 😉

  20. It was fantastic to see you there, even if only briefly.

    Also, I felt this huge guilt about not giving blood, but I would have if I could have! Giving blood puts me down for the better part of the day, so I decided against it. I should have made the Palinode do it 🙂

  21. Aww, I wish I would have been there so I could have bestowed upon you one big old giant hug!

    I’m so glad you were able to make it there!

  22. It was so wonderful to meet you at Sparklecorn and to help decorate your ride. Even better it was truly an honor to roll up my sleeve…it was COLD in that blood mobile!…and donate a pint in your name. Every time I do donate it I think of those heroes who donated for my son and the heroes who donated the blod transfusions I hang for my own patients. I now have a new face to see when I donate…YOU!

  23. I’m glad you went, and that you feel good about it. I hope you recover from the trip quickly and feel better, day by day.

  24. What I missed most this year, when I wasn’t able to go, was you. I really, really, wanted to see you and tell you in person how much I hope to see you there again next year. That was the thing I felt worst about not being able to do.

    So I tell you what — I sure as hell better see you there next year, Ms. Erin Kotecki Vest.

  25. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to help out, but my recent stay in a malarial area left me ineligible. Thanks for all the good work.

  26. E, I couldn’t hug you enough! Kiss.

  27. Nice to see you after treatment . By coming out after treatment from a long time or become active after treatment are precious moments.

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