Lucky …

Every so often you’re hit again with the reminder of how lucky you are. Yesterday I had a routine doctors appointment but what should take people a few minutes takes me 20 minutes just to go through my history. “Anything in your past medical history we should know about?” “Have you had major surgery recently?” You have to go through this every time because the person checking you is either new or they won’t remember. It’s also important and vital information that the doctors need to know about.

Then you get an email the next day about someone you don’t know but its shared through a newsletter. This persons life just changed their cancer came back and has spread to the brain. They are living in respite care now. You’re reminded how lucky you are that your life is fairly normal. You’re working full-time, you’re working out, you have no restrictions, you’re worries are about whether you packed enough diapers and wipes. You realize how lucky you are that your worries are so minimal.

You’re happy because its Friday and that you’re spending the whole weekend with your kid and Husband, and that you’re almost halfway through the workday. You know that going to the doctors office is important because of your history so you take the time to make the appointments, talk to your doctors and go through your entire medical history.

I am thankful that my cancer was caught so early by a doctor. It had nothing to do with me. I had no idea that it was growing inside me. It’s important to know your body and to have annual doctor visits. These things can save your life.

Ovarian Cancer is pretty much impossible to recognize. Most people don’t notice the symptoms until the cancer has spread. Click on the link to know what to look out for Ovarian Cancer. Knowing your body is the most important thing you could possibly do.

 

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Soaring On

 

I’ve started my Dragon Boat Team for the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival happening Sunday, August 9th on the Burlington Waterfront. Our team is made up of twenty boaters and one drummer. We are working to raise money, all money raised goes to support local cancer charities including the Young Cancer Survivor Group that I am part of. The Young Cancer Survivor Group is made of individuals between the ages of 19-40 years old. They do monthly meetings that include dinner but also do activities. I’ve participated in zip lines in Stowe and my family went to the Echo Center in Burlington. It’s a great opportunity for people to meet other people who have survived cancer. Money raised will also support Camp Ta-Kum-Ta (a year-round camp for children with cancer) another amazing program local to Vermonters.

The design was something my sister-in-law worked together to design. The butterfly represents the change I’ve made of myself over the past year and half. The name represents me moving on beyond my diagnosis, nothing is stopping me! The color teal represents ovarian cancer which was what I was diagnosis with. We are working on having shirts made up where proceeds will go to support the Dragon Boat Team.

To make a donation to my Dragon Boat Team please click below:

Thank you for your generosity!

Please keep a look out for updates along the way.

Thank you!

Stowe Weekend of Hope – Speaker

I’ve been asked to speak at the Stowe Weekend of Hope in a month. I will be speaking Friday, May 5th at 7:30pm. I will be part of the Young Survivor’s Panel Discussion. The speech is very similar to the one I gave at UVM Conference this past Fall. I plan to share my story and explain how I’ve managed to deal with my life events. This is my first year attending the Stowe Weekend of Hope. I am really looking forward to attending. It is nice to be around other individuals who understand what its like to receive a diagnosis. Everyone’s story is different and unique and we all have coping mechanisms.

I look forward to sharing my story I hope it helps someone else as much as it helps me to share my story out loud. Look for a future posts!

 

Non Scale Victories!!

I’ve lost a bunch of weight since I’ve started running. However, there are times like today where I don’t see the change on the scale. I bought a new pair of size medium pants online. I put them on this morning to wear to work. Well I still wore them but they are falling off my waist. It’s a pretty awesome feeling. I’ve found other clothes that just don’t fit me anymore. It is now time to start tracking my measurements because I am starting to have non scale victories which are awesome. I haven’t felt this great with my weight and body since when I got married a little over 2 1/2 years ago. I am in better shape now than I was when I got pregnant with my daughter. I am looking forward to shopping for a bathing suit this summer. You won’t see me showing off my stomach but I also won’t be hiding behind a bathing suit cover either. It is time to go downstairs and rummage through my old bins of clothes and get rid of some others because well these clothes don’t fit anymore.

I am continuing to run when I can outside. The weather hasn’t been very helpful with this. I should be able to get back out and run on Wednesday. Tonight is a non-running day because I have ice hockey. I really hope the weather gets warmer and sunnier because I would like to get into a routine and stay with it. The race is only a month and half away at this point.

Running … my new passion!

I use to hate running. I never would do it and I had no interest in it. Then one of my friends convinced me that running on a relay team for Vermont City Marathon would be a good idea. Well I can never say no to a challenge (she must know me to well). I’ve started training for it since I am not in any shape for running. I have never run farther than 5 miles, and well that was in high school. So far the longest I’ve run is 3 miles and that was with the stroller. Last night I managed to run a little over 2 miles with Neely. I even had a time of 9 min 40 secs per mile. Not bad in my opinion for someone who doesn’t run. I don’t have a treadmill and I refuse to spend money on this so the only place I can run is outside. I never thought I would say this but I’ve really come to enjoy running. Last night I just ran with Neely even without music. I even ran farther than I had planned and in less time than I thought. I look forward to more running and I hope it starts to get nicer out so I can start running more and more.

Why I blog and how it helped me.

I’ve been asked to speak Friday, May 5th at the Stowe Weekend of Hope. I’ve been asked to sit on the Young Cancer Survivor Panel. It is very similar to the speech I gave for UVM Medical Center this past Fall. Telling my story out load gets easier every time I say it and it helps me as well. I have many topics that I wouldn’t be opposed to talking about. It’s hard to narrow them down. One of those topics is my blog and how writing it has helped me through this journey.

One of the major things that has allowed me the opportunity to express my feelings is this blog. I never thought in a million years that I would be writing my feelings out load for all my friends and family to read. This blog gave me the outlet I needed to express my feelings. I wasn’t a person that was going to walk up to someone and say to them “I am having a bad day. I am anxious, nervous and frustrated.” I never wanted to bring up what I was going through. It didn’t want anyone’s sympathy and I didn’t want them to feel bad. I didn’t want to see that persons face when I said it them. Blogging gave me my outlet to tell everyone how I was feeling without having to see their reaction. It made difficult conversations easier.

Blogging has become my therapy. I hope to continue to share my journey through my blog. I have lots of fun stuff planned for this Summer that I can’t wait to write about and continue to share with all of you.

So some stats on where my blog has gone:

  • To date I’ve had 1200+ hits to the blog
  • 413 hits in the last month
  • 181 hits to So Now What?
  • 147 hits to One Year Ago
  • 48 hits to Hiding Behind My Shirt
  • Making those my top 3 post

I plan on continuing writing and I hope you will continue to read!

So now what?

My scans came back normal which is the best news I could possibly get. They also told me they no longer need to monitor me with chest scans. I will only be monitored via ultrasounds going forward. This is also great news! So you may ask now what?

Well I’ve signed up to run on a relay team for the Burlington Marathon over Memorial Day weekend. I am running 3.4 miles in the first leg. I’ve started training for it. I am on day 5 of training. I run for 30 minutes every other day. I either run with Neely (my dog) or with our jogging stroller with my daughter. The other days I either play ice hockey which I’ve been doing since June or I am lifting. I am determined to continue with getting in great shape. I am doing everything right to achieve this and I can’t wait to see the results!

So I hope you won’t see my future blog posts about my diagnosis. I am sure it will come up in the future as it will always be part of me. I hope this will be a new journey for me going forward with my life.

Neely and I on my first day of training!

20 days to go …

Over the past year I managed to lose all the weight I gained from my pregnancy. I was unable to breastfeed due to complications from delivery so this weight loss was done by working out and watching my diet. We’ve always ate pretty healthy so this wasn’t a huge change for me in regards to my diet.

One major change was in June I went back to playing ice hockey again. I play on a co-ed team one night a week. This has been great workout option for me and works great for my schedule. The games are on weeknights and they are after my daughter goes to bed. I begun to love playing hockey again and I look forward. I have a great group of people that I play with. In fact I have a game tonight and I can’t wait to go.

I’ve lost a ton of weight and I won’t say a number because that’s way to embarrassing. I have set a goal to lose 5 pounds before my scans. I have 20 days left until my scans and 5 pounds to go. I’ve been struggling to lose that last 5 pounds since before the holidays. It is now or never to lose those last 5 pounds. I want to go into my scans and weigh in and show myself that I am healthy and all the hard work this past year has paid off.
Time to kick my ass in gear and lose these last 5 pounds. I’ve done it before and I can do it again!
Image result for 20 days

One year ago

As I am lying in bed today it feels just like a normal day in my life. I am running around crazy trying to keep up with everything going on. I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to think about what tomorrow really is. I am so grateful and thankful for that.

As I reflect on how I feel I don’t have much to say in regards to it at this moment. This day will always have meaning to me. I don’t feel angry, sad, frustrated or happy. I feel like blah. I feel like I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over.
I did receive a wonderful card in the mail today from a dear friend who happened to remember what tomorrow is for me. As I opened the card I began to cry. It wasn’t because I was sad of the memory. It was because someone remembered and had reminded me that I wasn’t alone. It was so touching to receive love in such a thoughtful way.
I will never forget the exact moments and details that I went through last year. From the moments I walked into the office, to getting the news, to living in fear, and for the moment that changed my life forever. Yes it will always be there and tomorrow I will be reminded of that. All that I hope is that I just have a normal day tomorrow as I am so thankful for normal days.
Goodnight my family and friends🎔

To My Friends:

Last night one of my friends called to share with me very exciting news about her life. It made me so happy to part of her exciting news. Before she shared her exciting news she listened on the phone and let me talk about what I was currently struggling with my scans coming up. She was a true friend who followed up the phone call with let me know how you’re doing and please call me. I have some amazing friends out there. We’ve been friends for over ten years now, we’ve been college roommates and for the past 8 years have lived over 500 miles apart from each other. We have been through so much together, grad school, engagements, weddings, and job changes. All of these things are exciting, but we’ve also been through the tough stuff too. True friendship is when you can talk to someone and not judge each other and support each other. Friends are the ones who can lift you up when you really need it most.

I have so many great friends out there. My friends live far away, they live the next town over, they work with me, they play hockey with me, I’ve known them years and I’ve known them months. If you are part of my life then you are a friend to me and I value your friendship. You’ve all been there for me over the last year and half and I am so thankful to you. You are the ones who visited with me, delivered us meals, helped clean my house, called and texted me, and listened when I needed you to.

We all need great friends in life and I am so lucky to have some amazing friends out there.

Love to you all!! xoxo