Snoopy's Updates

Erika's four-year ongoing battle with non-Hodgkin's and Hodgkin's Lymphoma after an autologous BMT and non-myeloblative allogeneic BMT.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thank you

I wanted to thank everyone for the cards, emails and food. I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and family around me during this time. I started back to work this week and so far its been going well. It's been good for me to get back to a normal routine. The doggies have loved going back to work as now they get to play with all my co-workers and are entertained all day.

So, whats next?

I'm probably going to stop blogging on Snoopy's Updates, as this was Erika's blog. I have my own blog at, although not as interesting I'll start posting regularly and definitely I'll keep everyone updated about Francesca and Pebbles. I'm also looking into turning Erika's blog into a book. It will be mostly just to personally capture all her thoughts and memories over the last three years for me, but if others want a copy I'll let you know the details once its more finalized. I'm just in the research phase of starting the book so it will be sometime before it happens.

There are more pictures to come on my Flickr site. I've gone through most of the digital photos that I have, but I'll start putting up the pre-digital camera photos slowly as I come across them. If you have any photos of Erika that you think I would like to have please send them to me. I know many of you already have, and I thank you.

I know some of you have wondered about the house that Erika and I bought together last year. I plan on keeping it and going forward with our plans to fix it up. Next on the list will be the floors and the carpet upstairs. Once its in a somewhat fixed up state, I'll have everyone over.

I just want to thank everyone for your love and support. It means the world to me.


Erika's Memorial

We are gathered here in great love and with great sorrow for the burial of Erika Arredondo. We know that Erika’s pain and suffering are over. We can be consoled that she has now joined her mother, Martha, in Heaven. So, even though she can not be with us, and among us, any longer, she has reached true love and eternal peace.

It seems so unfair that death should have the power to take away someone we love. The thought of never again being able to talk to, to laugh with, or to hold Erika is very difficult to bear. Erika’s four and a half year battle with lymphoma is over, sadly she is not one of the success stories in the cancer clinical treatment programs she was so committed to. But in our minds and in our hearts, her life blazes strong and we will not forget her.

Today, all of us, her family and friends, including those who could not be here today, suffer and grieve for our loss. This is normal and each person must endure it in his or her own way. In grieving, we can not be angry or feel guilty about what has happened. Erika’s illness is not something we could prevent or control. In grieving, each of us must become reconciled to continue our own life knowing that Erika is here with us in spirit.

When we grieve we know that it is all right to cry. When we grieve we know that the time of grieving will be different for each of us. And of course, in our grief we must be with and comfort each other in order to help fill the emptiness and the pain that each of us feels. As we grieve we must take strength in Erika’s love for life.

One of Erika’s favorite quotes is from Thomas Dreier, in part is reads,

    “If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time, not tomorrow, nor next year ……. Today should always be our most wonderful day.”

We all know that Erika took this as her manifesto. It is amazing what she could do. In the face of tremendous medical demands that took so much of her time and energy, she was committed to living. She loved so much to travel to special places and to be with friends – Disneyland, Japan (indeed, everything Japanese), Mexico, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and of course Pomona where she found Chris, the love of her life. She dedicated herself to action in hopes of improving the lives of others. Her participation in Team in Training, Light the Night walks (who can forget Snoopy’s Steppers and Erika’s Angels) her support for Livestrong all spoke loudly about living for today.

A while back, a friend wrote a wonderful comment in Erika’s Snoopys Update Blog. This comment gives us a great spiritual perspective as we face today and tomorrow. The comment reads, in part as follows:

    “I know that we toss the word "hero" around a lot in TNT, and it's true, there are really a lot of strong, incredible people involved. But in the true, literal sense of the word, you, Erika, are a hero... my hero. I looked it up so you'd know exactly what I was referring to:

    Hero: (noun) a) an illustrious warrior b) a person admired for her achievements and noble qualities c) one who shows great courage ...

    Erika Arredondo you are a hero! Know that you are in our hearts and our prayers every single day. You are quite an inspiration!”

During her four and a half year struggle with Lymphoma, we saw Erika fight adversity, battle fatigue, suffer exhaustion, show amazing recovery, be strong in spirit, bring us with her to a higher level of strength, and always with a smile to show us her strength. What an inspiration she was.

As Erika was a hero in life, she will remain our hero today and tomorrow. Hero’s rekindle fond memories of the times we were together. Hero’s set the example for our efforts to be strong, noble and courageous. Hero’s give us a reason to live. Hero’s are never forgotten.

As we leave this grave today, it is with certain knowledge that our lives will be different without Erika physically present, a beloved wife and daughter, dear sister and friend. And, I should add, a devoted “mother” to many furry and feathery creatures who will also miss her greatly. But we are consoled to know that some day our God will bring us all together again. Until then, Erika, you will never be forgotten … as you will live forever in the hearts of so many.


Sunday, February 04, 2007


I wanted to thank everyone that came to the service on Saturday. It really meant a lot to me that so many of you could come. I know that the ones that couldn't make it were with us in spirit. Thank you.

This week I will gradually be adding pictures of Erika up on my Flickr account. If you would like to have copies of any of the pictures you can get them directly from Flickr or you can email me and let me know which ones you would like and I will get you a hard copy. Here is the url to my Flickr account.

If any of you do not have my personal email address here it is.

If you would like my contact information please email me and I send it to you.