Well, where do I start. A few things have been going on in the last month. I have been training for my half-marathon, started attending team leader meetings for the Relay for Life, and had another treatment.
I have gotten started on my list of things I want to do before I die. Not that I plan to die anytime soon, but mainly because I think everyone should have a list, and I am 30+ and some of my goals warrant some sort of youthfulness, so I thought I better get started on mine. Of the things on my list I am currently working on a) running a marathon, b) speaking out about something that means something to me (despite my stagefright), and c) doing something with this life change(cancer) I have been given.
So, to start toward my goal of running a marathon I thought I better run a HALF marathon(don't want to kick the bucket running 26.2 miles right off the bat, when I have spent the last ten months trying so hard to LIVE. That would be a damn shame!). I have been running about 5 times per week. I average between 25-30 miles per week, and my longest run so far was 10 miles. I just started lifting a little this week. I am going to run the city's Half Marathon on May 7th. I plan to run this for 2 reasons. The first reason being that I want to prove that I am not sick! I want to feel like I have some control over this body of mine. All through chemo I felt out of control of my body, which is a pretty sucky way to feel if I might say so myself! I feel like if I can propel this bod of mine 13.1 miles without falling over, that I have some control over what my body is doing...ie. more control over my body than my cancer does!!! The second reason I want to run this is to run in memory of my cousin, Jeff. Because he was a marathon runner, and because I told him I would someday, and well, there is no better time than the present. He has gotten me through several of my longer training runs. Several times, as I have been running on the treadmill I have located a spot and concentrated on it. During this time, I picture him telling me that I can do it! And, honestly, I truely think he is watching over me, because otherwise, I have no explaination for how I, of all people, can run 10 miles!!! =)
Now, the next two goals are kind of running together at the moment. I feel like I must have gotten cancer for a reason, and I am not sure what that reason is, so for right now, I am going to put energy into fundraising for cancer research. Since I have been given this disease, I want to do something with it. I am going to use my experience to help raise money for reasearch(and motivate other to do the same) which may eventually save millions of peoples lives, and if it brings about a cure soon enough, it may even save my life! That is were the Relay 4 Life comes in! The relay raises money every year to fund research. It is by far one of the largest fundraising campaigns in the US for cancer research, and their funds have been used to discover/create the drug Herceptin which currently is doing a large part in keeping me in a "partial remission". I owe my life, literally, to these advances in cancer research! Now, in addition to fundraising, and organizing teams, and so forth, I have also agreed to speak at the next team leader meeting. This may not seem like much to you, but for me that is HUGE, because I have a real fear of public speaking, and there are about 70-100 people that attend these meetings! I am going to speak out about my disease, what has happened to me, the fact that YOUNG women do get breast cancer, the importance of self exams and advocating for yourself with your doctor even if you aren't 40 years old yet, and why it means so much to us cancer survivors to see everyone gather at tracks across the United States to raise money, and awareness, and most of all to foster HOPE. HOPE for a cure! A cure in my lifetime, or a cure in my children's lifetime, or in the lifetime of my grandchildren.
Now, enough about life goals. I did have treatment last week, and I suppose you want to know how that went. Well, I proudly waltzed into the office in my "I love my Oncologist" t-shirt and went through the routine- everything looks good, drip...drip...drip... Oh, my hemoglobin was low, so I got a shot to boost my red blood cell production, but that was the only thing out of the ordinary, and was no big deal. THEN, I found out that all my scans are at my next visit. I will be getting scanned on Feb 16th. They will do a CT scan of my chest, abdomen, and my pelvis, and a MUGA scan to see how my heart is holding up to the Herceptin. Right now I am handling the news of have my scans right around the corner quite well, but I will probably check in with you all again the week before, because that is when the reality of it all usually hits. I mean really, I feel well, but I felt well before I was diagnosed too, and at that time I was harboring a 5 cm breast tumor and two smaller breast tumors, bone mets, and 3 liver tumors! So, I will not know for sure until the doctor walks into the office at 1pm (or there about, he is usually 45-60 minutes behind) on Feb 26th. Until then, one can only assume that a higher power would not let me continue to put myself through all this half-marathon training if he was just going to throw my butt back into full chemo, right?!?! And, I have a trip to Jamaica planned for my 1 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, and I am really not going to miss THAT!!!! So, from the week prior to the 16th of Feb thru about 3pm that day, please do whatever it is you do- pray for me, send me good vibes, cross your fingers, do the no cancer hula....I don't care, but whatever you do, help me through this!!! There are times I feel like I can do it all myself, and there are times that I see myself as a little speck in this vast universe, and feel like I could use all the good forces out there to back this little speck up!!
What am I thankful for?!?! A winter that feels like spring, a friend that pushes me to train and supports me every step of the way and applauds my accomplishments no matter how small, members of the American Cancer Society that believe in my strength and encourage me to spread my message, and all of you who read this stuff I write, because without you, I am just writing all this to myself, and if you think about it, that is a little weird!!!