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……