Saturday, October 29, 2011

For ALL Women

Well, last Saturday, I did walk the Making Strides Breast Cancer walk.  It was a beautiful morning - I mean really spectacular.  At 0700 it was cool and crisp and the sun came out to gently warm us just as the walk began around 0830.

The walk was scheduled to start at 0800 sharp, however, many participants got stuck in traffic, so it was delayed to allow extra time for everyone to begin together.  This year, more than 7,000 people participated in this walk.  That is phenomenal.  Viera is not a huge place to begin with, but it sure has a lot of heart.  The Avenues continue to support this cause with the American Cancer Society and Lexus and each year it just continues to grow. I don't know how much was raised yet, but I'm sure its over the 500K mark.

Every step is magical for me. I know I've said it a hundred times, and I will likely say it another hundred, but I KNOW how lucky I am to have each day, and I take none of it for granted.  To be here and be able to walk along side these other survivors, and family members who walk for those who are no longer here, is completely humbling to me. I find it hard not to cry. Not from pain or poor experiences, but the richness in my heart that I feel every time I am among such a group of committed people.  I feel.....lucky.

There are so many that I carried with me during my walk, and I prayed for each of you.  I had my little list in my shirt.  I always carry you with me, here or not.  One day, there WILL be a cure.  Of course, I also believe it will require environmental changes too.

Anyway, for all of you out there who continue your own battles, know that you are loved and prayed for.  As a matter of fact, 7,000 people prayed for you Saturday!  Believe and hang tough. You CAN do this.

Hugs to all ~

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Third Walk

Tomorrow will be my third walk as a breast cancer "survivor".  I've been a survivor all my life, but being in this group is different because your status can change on a dime.  You have to keep your thoughts and spirits positive because according to science, your body will act/react to your thoughts/moods, etc.  This is not to say that anyone can think themselves healthy or think themselves sick, it is just to say that positivity breeds positivity and vice versa.

The calendar I have been working on for the last few weeks is almost done.  We have one photo shoot left and it is complete. I am excited! We already have about 20 orders for them - and that doesn't include what I shall get for my own family.  I designed them with one word in mind:  HOPE.  And then used a survivor for each month. 

I'm thrilled to still be here to walk tomorrow. Each step for me is symbolic of the all steps taken to get here to this day, to walk with the other survivors.  And, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do so.....I hope to see you there....I am uploading a one of the hope pictures I recently took - I have to thank Trisha with TC Photography.  She has done a wonderful job with the pictures.  If you would like a calendar, they will be $15. All proceeds will go to Making Strides to help patients with appointments, mammograms, chemo, and other important necessities.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Years, Four Months, Five Days

I know, you are asking yourself, "What kind of title is that?" Well, for me, it's an important one.  Two years, four months, and five days ago, I received that dreaded call sitting in the same chair in my office that I sit in now.  I remember that feeling as my breath was sucked out of me and my thoughts became garbled in four words, "You have breast cancer".

I had never really been sick before then - I mean really sick, like what this unknown person on the other end of the phone was telling me, and every radar antenna I had went up and all defenses turned on.  Just like that.  I didn't know how, I didn't know where, I didn't even know what I needed to do, but I did know one thing - I was going to fight.

So, I have gone back on this day of surviving two years, four months and five days as a triple negative BC patient and re-read some of my posts.  I also looked at the photographs again, wow, it's been an amazing journey I must say.    I've made myself laugh at some of the things I wrote, and then with some of the others, well, I must apologize, for surely the medication was kicking in and my spelling wasn't the best.  But, the reason I went back to look was to see if I had been keeping my promise to myself, and more importantly to YOU - have I reflected my "get up, dress up, and show up" attitude.  I think I have, and Lord knows, I've been honest for sure. Sometimes too honest, but I refuse to lie to you.  The truth is what it is and you deserve nothing less than that and my mutual respect. That is the mother and soldier in me.  

Anyway, I thank Jesus, for helping me through this and giving me two amazing children and a sister who I could not have done this without.

Finally, it is October so reach out to every woman you know and remind her to get her mammogram.  Do it verbally, on email, here on a blog, and on face book, too.  "We" want more birthdays than ever before.  Do you want a good dose of hope?  I took a photo of a woman who was diagnosed with BC in 1976. The tumor was the size of her breast so she had a mastectomy.....and she is still with us.  Now how's that??? You should be smiling now.... go ahead, you can do it. :)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's On!

Good morning! The calendar is on! I still do not have a confirmed sponsor, but I fully believe where there is a will, there is a way. I just know this is the right thing to do and the pictures that we have taken so far are beautiful!!! I can't wait to share it with all of you - and I hope that you will buy one when they are ready! All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. ALL proceeds. I am/have been a cancer patient so my only wish is to help someone else get through it.

The women in the calendar will represent "HOPE" for others who are diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 - and beyond. Some have been survivors for 9 months, some for 40 years. They come from all backgrounds and ethnicity's - just like breast cancer. I am so looking forward to the finished product...

There is only 17 days left before the Making Strides walk here. If you are able, please go to my page and donate. You can find it at:

The funds raised help breast cancer patients with rides to their appointments, wigs and such, the Reach to Recovery program, and much more. Every day another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, but the good news is that there are 2 million of us beating it because of continuing research. I have one word for that statistic: Yayness. :)

Have a great rest of your week. If you are fighting the fight - don't give up. There are so many of us out here rooting for you. We have done it, and so can you. Put one foot in front of the other and push through it - you CAN do this. Sure this is hard, but remember why God gave you knees, to get down on them and look up to him.

Anyway, my motto was (and still is) to get up, dress up, and show up. That, and putting on a little lip gloss makes me feel pretty good too.