Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Today, I reached a milestone.  A milestone for survivors that is significant. 5 years without hearing the words again, "you have cancer".  After a few days into my diagnosis, I started to understand the 5 year mark, re-occurance rates and the oh-so-scary survival rates of young adult cancer.  I had hoped that I would be gifted 5 more years of my life, but knew that there was no guarantee and knew that life as I knew it, would never be the same.  It was a milestone that I hoped to reach, beyond anything that is imaginable.  But there were many months and many obstacles during my year of treatment that I just didn't know the outcome of my diagnosis and treatment.  I honor the 32 year old that had hope and was graceful, embraced and loved every moment of the journey and had the courage to see the treatment through.  

Luckily, within the last 2 years I have let go and don't live in fear anymore. However, today, I honor the many years that were really un-settling because of the unknown.  

Why are the first 5 years of survivorship such a big deal?  It's all about statistics.  With the first 5 years, is the highest risk of reoccurrence.   But breast cancer is the gift that keeps giving, it can recur even after 5 years but the important point to know is that the more time passes, the lower the risk of reoccurrence becomes.  

Cancer played the role it was supposed to in my life and my everyday is more because of it.  I have said many time before; when I look back I can't even believe what my body and mind endured.  The sickness was nothing like I could have ever imagined could happen.  Add to that the many years interrupted in my early 30's and  the sadness and heartbreak for my family, the one one's that were close enough to see me at my weakest.  Taking all of those minutes, hours, day and weeks into consideration, I wouldn't want any part of my life to be any different than it has been and is.   

It is a beautiful gift to know what one is capable of overcoming.  Once you know it, the faith can be quietly kept that one can do anything.  I am celebrating my survival, my 5 more years and the surprising gifts of cancer. Today was so special, yet so normal which is so very perfect! 

Cheers to another 5 years of healthy!
Much love to my family and closest friends who have been part of my journey all along the way! I would not be this healthy without you.  XOXO 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Donate! Pretty please....

JOIN THE BATTLE. Fight rare cancers with me!
I'm riding in Cycle for Survival LA to raise money to fund lifesaving rare cancer research.  I am passionate about this event and the $ raised is so life changing for cancer research. 

100% of every dollar you give will go directly to pioneering research within six months of the event.

Why do I ride? Simple.... I am a proud survivor and want to honor friends touched by cancer.  Rare cancer patients need better chances of survival, like I was gifted.  

Donate to my ride to support lifesaving research! No donation is too small... $5, $10 or be a big spender!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Cancerversary To Me!

Before it happened to me, my impression of a cancer diagnosis is that it kills, it's ugly, painful, hurts loved ones and it is something one must "fight".

But then it happened (still a little shocking, right?), September 15th, 2012. What I thought I knew, what I thought I would project onto my journey- all the worst possibilities, completely shifted to a hopeful and graceful space. I most definitely had weak and terrible days. But in most, I chose stillness, I let my cancer guide me, let it be a teacher (if we miss the moments in life that are here to teach us, they will come back as something else) and forgot what I thought I knew. What I did know for sure, is that I wasn't going to beat or fight my cancer, I really rejected the idea of the fight and embraced being one with it . I knew over time, I would let it go and move away from it.

I share this with you because today is a significant mile marker for me in moving beyond cancer. I am a 3-year Survivor (OMG.. .that feels amazing to say aloud). I have been waiting for this day since I was diagnosed.... Being Her2Neu positive is a blessing and a curse. It's a rapid fire, aggressive breast cancer, that if a re-occurrence persists, usually occurs in the first 3 years. I had a miracle drug as part of my treatment, called Herceptin. Before Herceptin, Her2Neu was a death sentence (major love to the scientists who developed this drug). So, because I had the year of Herceptin infusions- statistically speaking- at the 3 year mark- I am sitting pretty.

What does celebration look like this year? You will find me twisting somewhere between what was and what is -- between what was lost and what is now found. These two worlds, these two selves -- these two experiences -- are me.

I approach this day with profound gratitude that I am alive, I am where I am, that I am present and that I have survived.

I am ever so grateful for cancer, for the lessons learned, for the hope renewed, for a life elevated. I am grateful for you, for my loved ones that make everyday special. For the last two years, this day represents so much love and joy and it's become my most precious and favorite day of the year.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Heroes Project

Have you always wanted to give to the Heroes Project?  Now's your chance!

I am Cycling for Heroes! Join me in supporting The Heroes Project in my Cycle for Heroes on September 12th, 2014 at the Santa Monica Pier.   I am raising funds (any funds... no donation is too small) to help wounded warriors climb the world's highest peaks, and find a renewed purpose in their lives. Donate Now!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Estrogen Love...

Estrogen, so I have learned, is a driving force in women's lives.  Before my health and wellness journey, I didn't give a second thought to hormones and how they impact the body.  Looking back, I wish I would have known more... but I am catching up now and getting a big dose.  Check out this read!

Friday, May 30, 2014


Yet, another medical procedure & journey bites the dust.  Results are in from the biopsies of the cysts in my ovaries and all are clean of cancer and normal.  I will find out more at my post-op appointment w Dr. Heaps on Tuesday.  But what I know for now:
+ Bandages are off
+ Pain meds over and done
+ Over the last two weeks I have viewed every lifetime movie imaginable
+ Finished 3 books
+ Spent way too much time in bed
+ Good thing Ash and Dean came before surgery to make sure I had fun.  Needed that! 
+ Learned how limited my body is without the use of my stomach muscles. Useless!
+ No working out for way too long.  Ick!

= Feeling all the love from friends.  Check! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Love my Ovaries!

I will start with what I know for sure and then get into some details.  Surgery, Laparoscopy Ovarian Cystectomy is scheduled for May 19th.  They will find out at that time exactly what the 3cm cyst is in my left ovary but they are pretty confident it is a Dermoid Cyst which are usually always benign.  Phew!  I know, pop the champs, right?  
A dermoid cyst is an abnormal growth, usually present since birth.  It contains lots of yucky things and has to be removed.  The doctors were shocked I haven't been in any pain, and of coarse, this week I have had pain in my abdomen throughout the day.  

As for the right ovary, there are 3 follicular cysts that are totally normal and zero concern.  Follicular cysts (you know I'm not a doc) are follicles that don't rupture and produce eggs, rather continue to grow. 

Love Dr. Heaps, the gynecological oncologist at UCLA.  He will be performing surgery, he is direct, one of the best doctors around (so I hear) and what I can tell cautious.  He wants to wait a couple of weeks before surgery, to do another ultrasound to see the mass.  Just to make sure we are making the right decision.  I got a second opinion yesterday from my oncologist and he agrees with the treatment.

The great news.... as of now, no indication that Tamoxofin has anything to do with all of this. So, yes, I am still popping that terrible pill each night.  

All is well and healthy in the lady parts, which I couldn't be any happier about.  I will pick up where I left off with the fertility dr. in a few months.