Monday, August 30, 2010

Half way to go!

With school in full swing and my final surgery only days away November is fast approaching. I am a little over half way there on my goal to raise $2300 for the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk. According to my virtual personal trainer I should be walking 5 -8 miles every weekend day and 3-5 miles during the weekdays (not happening.... uh oh). After I recover from surgery on Friday I will be hitting the pavement as often as I can to get ready. I plan on doing many walks in my future - not just Susan G. Komen. We need to find a cure as soon as possible and the more people we have working on it the better. Every $5 and $10 count so spread the word!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The other side

In the last month or so I have had the privilege of speaking to (and getting to know) 3 beautiful women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. All three wanted someone to talk to who had been through it. I feel blessed to be the one who was recommended to help them walk this journey. I had some breast cancer angels along the way who helped answer all of the silly questions that kept me up at night. I hope that I can bring them some peace. Some comfort. Some encouragement. I have said before that every journey is different, and we all walk different paths, but sometimes knowing that someone walked a similar journey and came out on the other side stronger can lift you up. Stay strong and have hope my new friends.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hair update

Before my hair fell out and after I shaved it.

After it has started coming back in!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I had my pre-op appointment today for my final surgery! I am so excited to be almost done..... DONE! I have to admit that I have been a bit of a bear to be around just because this waiting around drives me crazy. I am so close. It is like the last 20 minutes of an 8 hour drive - always the hardest. I know by October I will be able to teach again and I can not tell you how happy that makes me. October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month and also my birthday. I can't think of a better way to celebrate!

Monday, August 23, 2010


So I had this idea (that I ran by Liz) that I wanted to teach fitness classes to the doctors and nurses and staff where I received all of my treatment. I thought it must be so hard coming into that job every day and dealing with people like me. Lots of stress. I imagined that they must feel so busy that they probably just run home after work and never get that wonderful release that comes from exercise. Liz scheduled a meeting with with the powers that be and today was that meeting. We discussed different possibilities of when and where. The funny thing though is that they thought that if I mentioned the word "exercise" people would not come. I should use words like "relaxation" and "rejuvenation". I may start them out that way with some light yoga and breathing but once they are hooked I am going to kick it into gear a bit. Fortunately Liz is the only one in that office that reads this blog and I know she wont tattle on me.

I hope it works out. I would love to pay a little of what I received back.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hair Fairy

Dear Hair Fairy,

I am trying very hard to be patient with my hair growth. I am so thankful that you recently helped Victoria Beckham and Carey Mulligan design the newest and hippest style that I can try and emulate. Please keep it around for at least a few months so I can grow my hair with them and stay the cool cat that I think I am. If you feel compelled you can magically grow my hair faster in my sleep - I promise to leave you money under my pillow.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Great Weekend!

My darling sister in law, Paula came to visit us this past weekend and brought two of her kids. We were also blessed to have "Grandele and Nonno" here as well. It made for a wonderful weekend of outdoor movies, beach, fantastic dinners and wonderful conversation. Thanks for such a great time and finishing out the last weekend of summer with us. The kids start school on Wednesday.... geeeeeeesh!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flip Side

I have been on Tamoxifen for exactly one month today. I have not noticed any side effects except hot flashes (and that is good - the list is long). I had a brief hiatus from them after chemo and before I started Tamoxifen but they have come back with a vengeance. They don't usually happen during the day (which is nice) but they hit me all night long. I have come up with a system though. If I roll one direction I will be all covered up with blankets and if I roll the other direction I have no blankets on at all. Thus starts the cycle, every night. Over and over again I am rolling and rolling.

I am looking at it this way. I am getting more sleep than I did when I had young babies and that is a good thing. It is only heat waking me up and not someone screaming requiring me to get out of bed and feed them. It only lasts a few minutes. It is well worth the end result if it keeps cancer away.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music to my ears

About 3 weeks ago Julia was asked to join a local youth rock band. They were in a bind because their female vocalist left, their lead vocalist was on vacation and they had a few gigs already lined up. With some cajoling we convinced her to give it a try. She attended long practices and in 3 weeks learned 12 songs she had never heard before. Julia is a country girl and this was a rock band. This music was very unfamiliar to her. She learned songs like "Old Time Rock and Roll", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Rockin Robin", and an Ozzy Osbourne song "Crazy Train". Yesterday they performed for the first time with Julia as their lead singer at the local Chili Cook off. They were a marvelous hit! I am proud she stuck with it even though there were a few times she wanted to quit after practicing for hours. They are still a bit rough around the edges but I think in time they will be very polished. She will perform again this Friday at a local Deli and I will be sitting back with a smile on my face because she is happy.

I also have a hair update - coming along! It seems to be very similar to my pre-chemo hair and I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting very curly hair of a different color but this hair is straight and ashy blond (my base color before Todd works his magic on it). I am going to schedule an appointment with him in early October and trot around town without a hat as my birthday present to myself :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dr. Miracle

I have written about Dr. Wonderful and Dr. Amazing so now I am writing about Dr. Miracle. This is my plastic surgeon and he truly is a miracle worker. I don't know how you take something from nothing but he does it. He is an artist. I am not completely done with reconstruction yet - I will have one more surgery on Sept 3rd but what he has done so far I could not be more pleased with. I feel normal which is more than I thought I would feel after a double mastectomy. What blows me away is that even though what he did for me is fairly specialized he does that and so much more. He is so gifted in his craft. I wouldn't normally put a picture of my chest on my blog but I thought you should see how "normal" I look - and I am not even done yet. Now if I can just get that cute pixie hair cut I have been admiring....

Thursday, August 5, 2010


What an incredible gift from God. Flavors and textures we get to enjoy several times a day. We look forward to our meals and many times savor the moments we are eating. I love food. I love eating it and most of the time I enjoy preparing it. It is interesting how we are required for the most part to discipline ourselves when it comes to food. We need to pick and choose when we will indulge in a more fattening food or larger meal. For some reason it seems to require a lot of control. I think this control is what most eating disorders are about. I am sad that my sister no longer can enjoy a meal and feel good about it afterwards. For her it has become a monster - something she needs to survive - but also something that wants to control her. I know she fights against it every day. It is hard for me to imagine something like this - something so intense. I think we all struggle with our weight from time to time but what she has is something completely different. I wonder if she can see the skeleton that is in the mirror or if her vision is distorted. My wish is that some day she can once again see a beautiful juicy pear and bite into it thanking God that she has been able to enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Calling all Angels

I have witnessed and felt the amazing power of prayer and I am once again asking for your help.

My younger sister Jennifer is in a very bad state. She has suffered from bulimia for almost 20 years. She is also bi-polar and schizophrenic. She is 88 pounds and is 5'7". She was recently hospitalized (she has been hospitalized numerous times) but she refused to eat or accept any medication so they released her today. If she doesn't get professional help she will surely die. There is no way for her to overcome these issues alone but she is so stubborn and insists on doing things her way. My prayer is for her to have enough clarity to accept professional help. There are many laws that protect her rights but these laws also make it impossible to save her. You can not force a person to eat. You can not administer medication without their consent. You can not hold a person in a medical facility unless they are an immediate danger to themselves or others. I think there is no question that she is a danger to herself but for some reason the medical system can't see this where she is. I can now understand that "crazy" homeless person on the corner. My sister will most likely be one of them. I don't know how this happened. We have no family history. I don't know where everything went wrong.

Thank you for adding her to your prayers - I have run out of options and this is all I can do.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Birthday my Man!

A few years ago on this particular day the most extraordinary husband was born. He didn't know then that he would grow into such a compassionate and loving partner to a very needy spouse. He didn't know that he would be a warm leader to his adoring children. Happy birthday my amazing beautiful husband. I am the luckiest girl in the world!