Archive | November, 2011

Birthdays . . .

30 Nov

Yesterday was my birthday. I had lots of things swirling through my head yesterday. Birthdays are kind of weird for me now. Mostly I am just grateful to have had yet another birthday and extremely grateful to have one that is cancerfree.

This same time in 2008 I was sick, but, didn’t know it yet. Well, that isn’t quite true. I knew something was wrong. I just didn’t know that it was cancer. I was tired all of the time. My body ached. I had intense night sweats. I was told by my doctor that these symptoms probably meant that I was going into early menopause. It never occurred to me or to my doctor that it was in fact breast cancer. But, a few months later I would have a mammogram come back with something suspicious and then everything suddenly made sense – I instantly knew why I was so incredibly tired all of the time.

Marahon shoes

Fast forward through a couple of years (wish I could have . . . ha, ha, ha) of cancer treatment and multiple surgeries (months of chemo, followed by a bi-lateral mastectomy, followed by multiple hospitalizations for post-surgery infections, 6 weeks of radiation, a year of Herceptin infusions, months of daily nurse visits to administer IV antibiotics for the post surgery infections, two reconstructive surgeries – still one more of those to go – lots of trips to the ER and probably a few other things I can’t remember) and here I am . . . on the other side of it all. Or so it seems.

So, this is a birthday that I did not know if I would have. Of course we never know what tomorrow will bring. But, having clawed away through most of that first year post diagnosis to be here, it is really quite something to still be here.

Last year on my birthday I was recovering from surgery. The preceding birthday I was going through radiation treatment (had finished chemo and made it through the first surgery a few months earlier) but, still had two more surgeries and half a year of Herceptin infusions ahead. When I look back on the last two birthdays it is amazing to me that I am as well now as I am.

I don’t know how many more I will have, no one knows how many birthdays they will have. But, it is really something to be here in this way today. Last year was tough, the year before was kind of almost not really bearable. In fact, I remember wondering if I would have another Thanksgiving, another Christmas . . . you get my drift.

Since being diagnosed in 2009 I have met and become friends with many cancer patients. I have lost friends to the same disease that I have, at least for now, somehow managed to survive. It doesn’t make any sense. And, I am well aware of the fact that it could come back any day and simply strike me down. That is cancer: it comes, and it it always goes . . . it is just a matter of whether it takes you with it or not (and I mean that both literally and figuratively).

Last February I stood and watched a friend of mine cross the finish line of a half marathon. I remember how difficult it was for me (not even one year ago today) to simply stand there for 20 minutes waiting to see my friend cross the finish line. I was still so tired and weak. I remember hanging onto a chain link fence for support and wondering if I would make it through (kind of the way cancer treatment and recovery is like . . . hanging on and wondering if you will make it through). I promised myself last year that I would be crossing that same finish line myself some day.

So tomorrow I am buying a new pair of running shoes (compliments of my parents – their birthday present to me). I have ten weeks to get myself, and my new shoes, ready for a half marathon. I fully expect to walk a significant part (if not all) of this “run” but, I don’t care. I just want to get through the 13.1 miles and cross that finish line. Wish me luck 🙂

I am very thankful for this birthday. And, I am so incredibly thankful for my family and friends – without whom I would surely not be here in the way that I am.

Love and peace,



Snarky Limerick: Updated Version . . .

3 Nov
Nancy G. Brinker. Chief of Protocol of the Uni...

Ambassador Brinker, thank you for calling the women you work for, the women who justify the existence of your foundation, grumblers. You really know how to settle things down and smooth things over, great job!

There once was a disease that killed many
But, then BIG PINK cured it with money
Oh, wait that’s not true,
It still kills me and you
Does Brinker think me a big dummy?

Oh, and if you haven’t already seen these posts, please take a look:

Grumbling Away

Nancy Flips Us the Bird



Please Support AWOL Crysalis Fundraiser

1 Nov

Hello All,

I have a request. There are just a few days left to purchase tickets to the AWOL (A Way of LIfe After Cancer) fundraiser to be held on November 13th. There will be a performance by comedienne Jonna Tomases (I have seen her hysterical one woman show) and music by Huge Blues (yours truly will be playing standup bass and even singing a few tunes). A wonderful brunch will be served and there will also be a wine tasting event and opportunity drawings for some wonderful items. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to helping uninsured and underinsured women who are going through cancer (all types of cancer).

I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider attending this event. I know that in these hard economic times it is not easy to make a donation. But, it is all the more needed. Unlike some organizations whose directors collect six figure incomes, AWOL is a volunteer run non-profit. They work all year long to make a difference in the lives of women who are going through cancer.

I am one of the women they helped.

Go here to view AWOL Crysalis’s facebook page

Go here to purchase tickets to their fundraising event

They truly are a deserving organization. If you are unable to attend, but, would like to sponsor someone, I am sure that you could purchase tickets that could be used for one of their clients to attend this positive, uplifting and fun event.

Thank you for your support.

Love and Peace,