Sunday, January 21, 2007


A few months ago while looking through Andrew's email account I came across an e-mail. I had never seen it as it was sent to his parents and his siblings. I thought it was very beautiful, so I thought I would share.

It was written November 9, 2005.

I just want all of you to know that I love you with all of my heart. I feel like there is nothing stronger than the bond of a family. I
feel the same way about my little family (Amy, Liam, Lanie, Evan). I always want you to know how close I hold my relationships with each of you to my heart. You have all shaped the person that I have become, and I know that I have had the same effect on you.

I know that we are dispersed right now, and that my medical situation is a heavy emotional burden for all. I hope that you find peace with it and know that I have already found that peace. If and when I pass on, I will do so as a blessed and fearless man. I could not ask for a better family to raise me. I am very proud of each of you. I feel like I have accomplished some great things in my 30 years and you have been a part of it along the way.

I love you & livestrong,

Andrew (AJ) Molenda

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thank you

Thanks to all of our friends, family, supporters, and prayer warriors. We appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone. The posts on the blog have meant so much to us all. The flood of cards with support and prayers is so comforting. I am amazed by the amount of support for the children's college fund. That was such a wonderful idea Andrew came up with. It will now have time to earn interest, and will be a wonderful gift to them later in life. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful network of people who will be there to help when we need it. There aren't really words to express the comfort it gives me.

I would like to publicly thank my Mother, Debi, and my Mother-in-law, Margaret. Though I have had support from many others throughout the last few years during Andrew's battle, they have given me a gift that I will never be able to repay. They allowed me to be the best caregiver that I could. They allowed me to call and arrange childcare with them at a last minute notice, so I could run and be with Andrew wherever in the country he might need me. I feel blessed to know that I gave Andrew all that I had, and you both helped me do that. Thank you.

I would also like to thank my Dad, Wayne. Dad you've been so amazing. I've called on you nearly weekly, sometimes daily, to help me around the house. You've helped me remodel, and you've done everything I've asked of you, and sometimes things I didn't ask, but that you knew needed to be done. Thank you.

Frank I'd like to thank you for being there to support Margaret, me, and Andrew anytime we needed you. And, for being supportive, of Margaret being here with us more than she could be with you in Ohio. Thank you.

Dan, Miranda, Jenny, Ellen, Fr. Steve, thanks so much for being there days on end with us at the hospital. Thanks for praying, and crying, laughing, and making those last days and hours with Andrew a time I will never forget.

Thank you Andrew for giving us everything you had those last days, everything that we all remember as just being Andrew, from the Southpark and cracking jokes to being the smart aleck you always were, and for the amazingly touching words to us all.

I will continue to update my blog, to let everyone know how we are doing. I am planning to continue the blogging effort in a way to carry on Andrew's mission, to be vocal about his story because it might impact someone's life. I will continue to post information vital to all of us about cancer and how we can make a difference. I have applied to the LAF to attend Washington DC in May for Livestrong Day, and hope to be accepted next week. Andrew asked me to promise that I would be there to tell his story. I will always tell his story. I will also tell mine.

Livestrong always,

Amy Molenda

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Arrangements Made

We've made some arrangements for Andrew's funeral, wake, and for donations instead of flowers.

Wake: 8 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Church of the Resurrection (4804 S. Fulton), Tulsa, OK. Come and have a Guinness in memory of Andrew!

Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Church of the Resurrection (4804 S. Fulton), Tulsa.

Burial: 10 a.m. Monday, March 6, at Maryhill Cemetery, Niles, IL.

Instead of flowers, please contribute to the Molenda children's college fund by sending a check made out to Amy Molenda (or one of the children) to:

Arvest Bank
4548 E. 51st St.
Tulsa, OK 74135

Thank you for your continuing support. We truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good night, sweet Andrew

Andrew's struggle with cancer ended this afternoon. We all got a chance to say goodbye to him, and although it was a terrible, heartbreaking day, we know he's in a better place and that we will see him again.

We're all sad. But we remember the joy Andrew brought us all, and his fierce, strong, beautiful approach to life. He was a fighter until the end. He made his life and his death meaningful.

All of your thoughts and prayers, and your overwhelming kindness, are very much appreciated. We have all been reading the comments on the blog, and crying and smiling as we are reminded of how many people loved Andrew and were inspired by him.

Andrew: we all love you, and we will miss you awfully until we are together again. Until then, we will keep you in our hearts and know that you are watching over us.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Andrew's Final Ride

We are sitting beside Andrew's bed in the hospital. It has been a heartbreaking time, both terrible in that we know we are losing Andrew, and wonderful in that his family has been here in force to show him their love and support.

He has been bleeding since Thursday, and Friday he opted for comfort care only -- no more transfusions. He decided he had suffered enough, and we support his decision even though letting him go will be the hardest thing we've ever had to do.

Andrew is a true hero, and an inspiration to us all. It would be impossible to describe the way this hurts. But Andrew is also still making us laugh with his wisecracks, watching South Park, and just generally being Andrew. It probably won't be very long now, but we are treasuring every moment.

We're limiting visitors to family only, but friends, please know that Andrew loves you and that he knows he has your support.

We will keep this blog updated with further information as it happens.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Indiana Bound?

Who knows. I spoke with my Tulsa doctors today regarding the fistula/abscess/small bowel leak issue. They have asked me to involve my Indiana surgeons who performed the pelvic resection last June. Dr. Jacobson, the thoracic surgeon who assisted on my last two surgeries at Indiana is going to review my films from the fistulagram, Barium Enema and upcoming CT scan (This Thursday). Depending on his judgment Amy and I may be scrambling to make it up to Indianapolis so they can perform a surgical repair of my bowel. Personally, I am hopeful that this can be done successfully and I can get relief from the bowel issues along with the abscess issues. Dealing with these issues since last July has been quite miserable.

So far this is all in speculation until the doctors are able to review the films and make their recommendations. When I know something more solid, I'll be the first to post it out here for everyone to see.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Even if I have surgery, I have promised myself that I will be at the Livestrong Ride in Austin this October. And if I am able to meet my $15K goal, I'll be dancing a jig at this year's Ride for the Roses. I'm not letting cancer or these ailments hold me back for one moment!

Livestrong (is there any other way?)