Friday, May 7, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy......All finals went great! have three more online which I will hopefully finish on Tuesday.....Just got back from speaking at the relay for life, this is quite an experience to be a part of this, when you have people come up to you and tell you you made a difference in their outlook on life.......I had a couple people ask me about the talk wanting to be there I thought I would go ahead and "publish" it on here. Also in a way I feel that now that schol is over, etc my life is not a whole lot different than anyone elses so am thinking that I'm going to end the blog.....if you want to get in touch with me please feel free, at but I think in a way, the speech that I gave tonight is a nice closing summary to this last 1 1/2 years. Dustin and Alex were there walking and raising money as well......Dustin even ended up dressing up with two of the other friends who were there as "sexy ladies" to raise money for a contest they had at the all I can say is I'm very proud of him and the other boys for being willing to "feel like a fool for a good cause!"

If you ever say you can’t
If you ever surrender,
Then the next time it becomes easier,
If you ever give in, you’re in trouble!
December 5, 2008 I was diagnosed with stage 2 ductal carcinoma, and stage 3 Invasive lobular carcinoma. However, this is not a story of sorrow and tragedy, rather it is a testament to faith and triumph.
At the time I was diagnosed, I had some decisions to make. I could (A) give up, give in, and surrender myself to the cancer, the treatments, and despair…..or (B) I could turn tragedy into triumph, not allow the cancer and treatments to control my life and the life of my family, and allow the treatments to irradicate the cancer from my body…..I chose B….GAME ON / FIGHT ON….THIS IS NO GAME
What has happened since this fight began? I had a double mastectomy, 7 months of chemotherapy, 30 days of radiation, another surgery, emergency surgery, and have one more surgery scheduled. My former employer dropped me like a hot potato, as soon as I started chemotherapy…..maybe I reminded them that we can’t always control what life throw at us, but we can control how we react to these challenges.
And how have I reacted? So many people told me I would’t be able to even get myself out of bed for two weeks after the double mastectomy….I started back with gentle exercise after six days. WHY? Because my body was used to doing exercise for 40 years, it was going into withdrawal from lack of activity! As soon as I started I immediately felt better, since that time I haven’t stopped, even through the chemotherapy and radiation.
I applied for and was accepted into the first of its type in the country ATC/PTA licensing program where I finished a 2 year program in one year. I asked Dr. Cody my Oncologist what he thought about me doing it. He shook his head, rolled his eyes, and said most people are happy to just function “normally” while undergoing chemo and radiation, let alone trying to complete 25 credit hours in 8 weeks, then completing the rest of the credit hours in one year. But told me he figured I would do it anyway no matter what he said. He was right, I had already applied and been accepted into the program. Hey I looked at it this way, it gave me something to do while sitting for 2 hours in chemotherapy once a week!
You are probably thinking at this point that this sounds like enough…but I had a couple more “activities” that I took on. One of my clients convinced me to write up my story and enter an Underarmour Power in Pink contest to promote breast cancer awareness…that it can happen to anyone…..I told her I didn’t believe these contests were real, but I went ahead and wrote up my story……And well, I was one of three women selected to be a power in pink representative for Underarmour! I was given the opportunity to participate in a photo-shoot promoting their power in pink line. Because of my exercise science background and Athletic training license, I was asked to participate as an expert at Underarmours huge Baltimore fitness festival answering fitness questions. I and the other two winners were also invited to be “on the field and was introduced at the Bengals/Baltimore Ravens “pink” game. All to promote breast cancer awareness!
And I did start teaching some exercise science/ athletic training classes at College of Mt. St. Joe, and have been able to transform lives of clients through exercise and lifestyle change , with much appreciation to Laura and Shane Sweat who own the SWEATSHOP in Blue Ash.
Amazing what can happen when you decide to turn lemons into lemonade, obstacles into opportunities!

None of this could have happened, however, without faith, family, and friends.
Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thau art with me.
I as many of you did walk through that valley of the shadow of death. But I did not do it alone! I was supported , maybe even carried, every step of the way.
This has been an unbelievable journey, one which I would wager is not over,…..but I’m thinking that I am at least now on my “downhill slide”. AS I was listening to my Ipod on my 6 hour drive home from final exams Saturday evening, A cuople lines from a Greatful Dead song, seemed to sum things up amazingly well……
Sometimes the light was shining on me, other times I could barely see, lately its occurred to me…what a long strange trip its been! But you just keep on Truckin’ on……

Friday, April 23, 2010

yes, yes I know its been quit awhile since I've written anything.....stress....stress...1 1/2 weeks until finals, papers and assignments are due, very busy! will be acstatic when its all over! Have my talk written for the Walk for Life event

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wanted to let everyone know about and be invited to....or at least you can provide "moral support"
Myself, Dustin, and Alex will be participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life May 7 and 8. I have been asked to be the keynote speaker at this event....guess some people felt I had an inspirational story to tell! Anyway I am asking for your support either by sending a tax deductable donation to the following web site in either my name, Dustins name, or Alex's name just click on here, click on donations, then put in my name Alex, or Dustin, our team is Hoosier Buddies I would love it if you are in the area and were able to attend to opening ceremonies where I will be speaking (about 6:00) Friday May 7, you can get the address on the web sight as well. Please let me know if you think you will be there, we can try to meet....will be great to have some "friendly faces" in the crowd! Thanks Again...LAura, Dustin, and Alex

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just got back from "mini-vacation" for Spring Break. Lots of hiking in Turkey Run State PArk...the only "Turkeys" I saw running were Dustin Alex, and Alex's friend Dylan.....they got their legs "hiked off" they are probably wishing mom and dad had a little less energy! very neat trails there though!
Keep thinking bout a year ago compared to now....we were hiking in a different park one year ago....I probably had a little less energy however was still hiking and still running on the trails, just like this year...the main diference was one year ago we awere all much more uncertain about the, however, the fusture is much clearer!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

So I've found out that it takes a year for the body to recover from chemo etc......numbness in fingers seems to be starting to go away, fingernails are almost back to normal, hair is getting longer! Even though I went through so much it's still hard to beleive I had to go through it at all! Still reminders obviously that I did.....but they are becoming less and less....will be starting to do more "community" stuff now that I have a little more time.....what a long.....strange trip it's been......

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hope everyone is looking forward to spring weather...thrilled I got to go skiing one last time before end of season! Ran today and actually felt "somewhat" stronger than I have since starting again after surgeries.....tough road back but I'm sure I'll make it....7 more weeks of school left for me! So far a 4.0 this semester!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Saw the Oncologist yesterday....had blood work done from what they said no news is good news so hopefully no news is what I'll get. Will be on the arimidex for 5 yrs...ugh! at $395 a month that will be a killer. At least this year we will soon meet our deductable. Said the numbness in my fingertips may still go away, have to give things a year before you can know for sure......getting ready to thunderstorm, better get of the computer!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got released "officially" yesterday...healing is complete, just alot of scar tissue to work won't let me get full ROM, but hopefully can get that back....lymphedema in both arms now, but its not terrible, not stopping me from doing anything.

School is almost over! Got 100% on everything all practical exams, lowest grade was a 94% two more midterms left onThursday....starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Am starting to have more time to "be involved" with some cancer support/ awareness stuff. Will be a keynote speaker at an event in May, and will be speaking at a group either in April or have a article published.....this glass is definitely more than half full....not near empty!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

3 day lab finished, once again a day early! nice to have Sunday to relax after. Everyone in the clas is ready to see tests end but it has been quite an experience for all. See Dr. tomorrow, will probably get the OK for everything. Will see the Oncologist this week as well......

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Busy with school....midterm tests this weekend......Think I'm all healed up now, will probably have all restrictions lifted next week..YEAH....will get "back in shape " .... Hoping to ski just once more next week weather permitting.....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

got stitches out....again....hopefully everything holds this time.....looking forward to finally be able to start getting strong again.....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

So now I totally inderstand how the irradiated skin does not heal, and why the Docs are so concerned about doing anything to it. 2 months after the surgery where they took the port out I woke up Thursday morning and it was opened back up again....all I did was wake up from sleeping...nothing stressful! Its not deep at all, but is opened back up on the surface....will see the Doc Monday so am just keeping it covered and neosporin on it....have been doing everything right nustritionally as well as everything else, so am convinced this skin is just "tough to heal" no matter what....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Healing continuing to go well....definitely less stress on the slips or slides. Wanted to sled with all the snow, obviously didn't. GO COLTS!...Happy Super Bowl!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Healing I think is going well....
OK so I just did the online application for the AARP womens scholarship, should find something out by May. Its a long shot like so many other things I've done lately but hey, one long shot payed off so why not this one ...right? I'm female, over the age of 40, need the financial assistance, and have a pretty decent story of hard work and success through adversity, right? We shall see what happens......

Friday, January 29, 2010 went well, Dr. took the implant out put in one size smaller this way theres more skin to stitch...thats been my problem since day 1, not enough fat or at least I have a little more skin....just a little lopsided! She said it won't even be noticeable, at this point I just want it to heal.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just wanted to update on what is going on, yesterday eve. I slipped on the ice on my driveway getting out of my car right before teaching my evening step class, and one of my incisions "opened back up" the month of "healing" aparently didn't do too well. Anyway it seemed like a very minor slip/catch, but it was enough to reopen the incision so I will be having surgery tomorrow morning at 8:00 in the morning. Not thrilled about it but my PT friend who helped me steri-strip it lastnight said she didn't think it looked like it had healed at all in the last month and thinks this would have happened at some point. Also the doctor said today she does feel there is a very good chance that with re-stitching and being careful all over again that it will heal, said it looks good on the inside.....anyway thats what is going on......
Just wanted to update on what is going on, yesterday eve. I slipped on the ice on my driveway getting out of my car right before teaching my evening step class, and one of my incisions "opened back up" the month of "healing" aparently didn't do too well. Anyway it seemed like a very minor slip/catch, but it was enough to reopen the incision so I will be having surgery tomorrow morning at 8:00 in the morning. Not thrilled about it but my PT friend who helped me steri-strip it lastnight said she didn't think it looked like it had healed at all in the last month and thinks this would have happened at some point. Also the doctor said today she does feel there is a very good chance that with re-stitching and being careful all over again that it will heal, said it looks good on the inside.....anyway thats what is going on......
Hate to report this, but big set back yesterday evening.....once again, seems like my life is full of "ridiculous" things that happen to me just by accident....slipped on some ice when getting out of my car last night, caught myself with my right arm partly outstretched it didn't seem like a big deal, but it was a big enough deal to open the incision below my right breast. Odd thing is I didn't even feel it, the edges of the wound are perfectly straight and there was no bleeding.....Am very concerned because I have a feeling this means those wound edges never really healed to each other. Have a Dr. apt at 1:00 case scenario she will either glue or restitch the hoping all goes well......will keep you posted....say a prayer for me......

Saturday, January 23, 2010

So here I am a year older....happy to be celebrating a birthday! warm enough to go biking today, great 20+mile bike ride! Hope everyone else was able to enjoy the warmer weather!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stitches are out, thought it would feel significantly, feels exactly the same....still somewhat painful, still tight, wonder if I will ever feel "normal" again.....did get to start running again....legs are sore today! That is a "good" pain! School I'm in starting this week....freedom is over....possibly a full time job will start soon too....hope there's time for everything.....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lymphedema is almost history......only wear a sleeve at night now.....

Another contest? Well maybe, one of my clients was watching Doctors Tv on mornings at 9:00, apparently they are having a "contest" along with prevention magazine to find the most inspiring "Healthiest people" stories...she said I jsut have to enter since I was healthier and doing more during cancer and chemotherapy than most people who have nothing going on...I looked at it need to figure out how to download a video onto their entry form....technicologically challenged.....thats me....if you go to you can find the info....

Anybody have any suggestions.......
....will get stitches out this week.....temps in the 40's,some awsome exercising outside, so get out there...!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Started teaching this week, will start my school next week....have had a couple very promising job will I have time to work full time, go to school, do 8 clinical hours a week, and still teach, plus see my family once in awhile? Am not sure but will have to figure it out! Figure if I did 25 credit hours in 8 weeks while on chemotherapy, this should be a piece of cake....right? Hope it will all work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Starting to feel back to normal after the last surgery......anxious to get the stitches out. Finally less pain! Did some skiing on Sunday....felt great!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Everyone keeping your New Years Resolutions! Its been cold, snowy but no reason not to work out! I've managed it every day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Saw the Doctor, she said the incisions are healing very well, I thought she was going to take the stitches out....nope....she's leaving them in two more weeks, she said irradiated skin you have to be very careful because you can't tell if its healed underneath. Its VERY DIFFICULT for me to continue no skiing, no running, obviously no lifting weights using any chest muscles.....Doing my best to continue following Drs orders Actually she didn't say I couldn't ski but am thinking I probably shouldn't UGH!

Skiing wouldn't be the problem, just falling would be a problem. Skin still bruised, still alot of "prickling pain" obviously healing.....

Will just keep doing "non impact" stuff, minimal weight training.....I'm getting weak......nows the time for many of you to catch up with me! So better start working out hard!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Incisions I think are healed......still some pain, but not too bad....really wanted to snow ski today, but doing my best to follow my own advice.....will find out tomorrow about my next (and final) surgery! Will be happy when it is finally all over......"What a long.....strange...... trip it's been.....