Tumor in the Femur

Because it's fun to say and we need to say fun things.


Irene Veldstra

Happy Cyber Monday!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not! The kids all got to see and visit relatives - Atticus’s first trip out of town since his diagnosis. I worked on rearranging the house, cleaning, enjoying silence and some much needed alone time, but I was also able to catch up with a couple of good friends.

Are you a Black Friday shopper? Is it a tradition for you to go or not go? Do you like going with friends or alone?

Well… either way, if you shopped on Friday or didn’t yet…Let me introduce you to… drum roll…


I mean, you know, she already existed, as did her website, but she refreshed it, added new art and garments. In our cancer education at the beginning of Atticus’ treatment, there was a whole section on siblings and how much they struggle through all of this as well.

The night we went to the ER, Anneka called a couple of friends over for comfort as the only thing they knew was that I was upset and we didn’t really know anything. So she painted this:

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Anneka looked up the different colors of ribbons that go with different cancers. Yellow is the color for bone cancer so there is a lot of yellow in there, but she added some others as well. You can purchase “Cancer’s Flowers” here.

After Atticus was diagnosed with actual bone cancer, and the rough weeks leading up to it, she painted this:

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In one night, our little family’s life was shattered as we knew it. At the beginning I looked at this like all of the beautiful things are coming apart, breaking to pieces. Now, I look at it as a painting of hope, of putting things back together - even more beautiful than before. She is not selling the original, but you can purchase prints of “Shattered” here.

This past June, Anneka made a cape for her project for Modified Style. She embroidered it, hand beaded it, and it was her favourite project she has done so far. Happily, the auction for it went so well she was inspired to make more!

Anneka had a booth at the Portland Village Craft fair this year to sell her art and embroidery and capes, and she had a great time.

Jayla was Anneka’s fabulous model for her dress, belt and cape!

Jayla was Anneka’s fabulous model for her dress, belt and cape!

Anneka at craft fair!

Anneka at craft fair!

Anneka also offers custom capes so if you are interested in that be sure to contact her.

Here are a few of her designs, she made all of these from recycled or vintage fabrics, sewed them together and embroidered them with her own designs.

All of these capes are lined, one size fits most, and you can purchase these beautiful, one of a kind, handmade capes right here.

Thanks for supporting my super cool kid in her artsy endeavors! Art heals, art saves lives.


Irene Veldstra

CCA, or Children’s Cancer Association, is a fabulous non-profit that helps kids with cancer and in recovery a little more pleasant by having activities both in and outside of the hospital. A new program this summer for teens and young adults, doing outdoor activities, having other teens who are going through the same things and being able to talk to peers about their struggles while doing fun things. Atticus wasn’t able to participate in a few activities because hospital stays or sickness conflicted with scheduling. He did, however, participate in the photography one when he was recovering from surgery. Check out the video - he’s not usually a chatty one, but they used his photos in the video too!

I loved hearing the kids talk about how people say “you are so strong!” but really, do they have a choice? I have frequently found that as well when people have told me I am so strong to be by Atticus’ side throughout this ordeal. But do I have a choice? I mean, as they point out, we do. But it’s still really, really hard to be strong. Yes, it’s a choice, and I have taken and accepted this choice freely, because the alternative seems incomprehensible.

They sent us Atticus’ photos from that day, and here are a few of my favourites, but it was so hard to choose!

Which one do you like best?


Irene Veldstra
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The food cravings are strong with this one. Sometimes we tease Atticus that it's worse than a pregnant woman's cravings, with sending me or Anneka out at all hours to hunt for a very specific food for him! Of course, having cancer and going through chemo is pretty heinous so of course we tend to spoil him a little more and try to make what is a miserable experience just a little happier. 

What makes Atticus happy, you asked? What is great therapy for him during these miserable inpatient chemotherapy days? Big piles of meat, that's what. 

We have our Amazon Wish List, which is currently updated with foods and restaurant gift cards. 

Checking out the menu but got a happy surprise visit from a cute dog! 

Checking out the menu but got a happy surprise visit from a cute dog! 

Russell Street BBQ is fairly close to the hospital, I was able to walk there easily and pick up his food. So now he has discovered how delicious smoked brisket is and other scrumptious southern food... now I'm really in trouble! 

Dickey's also makes some pretty great brisket and ribs, and I can get them by the pound and freeze them in meal sizes for quick cravings! Gift cards to Dickeys are available on Amazon

Dickeys. YUM dickeys.com

Dickeys. YUM dickeys.com


This is where you all come in... so many of you ask how you can help, and this is a pretty big way you can make Atticus' life a little bit better, happier, and his tummy fuller. Go on to our Amazon wish list and send a digital gift card, or a Russell Street BBQ gift card for when he's in the hospital! 

Atticus also has a Paypal that you can send money to that he can use to buy more games on his laptop for hospital times, or to turn into treats for himself as well.