Thursday, April 30, 2009

More 1/2 Marathon - 4/26/09

Running in Central Park
Waiting for the Start
Team Aquaphor
Wanted to get these photos posted. Last year the day after running the More 1/2 marathon I found out I had breast cancer. This year, the day after the More 1/2 marathon I got up and went to work - enough said!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Amazing the difference a year can make. Last April 22 I was up early getting ready to drive into NYC for my lumpectomy. I was not yet aware of my need for chemo and thought this would just be one of life's small annoyances but I would get it over with and that would be that.

I then awoke to find myself with drains and the news that my nodes were positive and knew it was going to be one very long year! Incredibly enough that year has gone by and I am awake early this April 22, 2009 to catch a morning workout, have breakfast and head off to work. It is Earth Day and I am so thankful to be alive and feeling good that my goal today is to do somethign good for both Mother Earth and myself: join a CSA farm nearby.

What is a CSA farm? CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. How it works is you buy into the farm for the season and you are guaranteed part of the crops it grows that year. I actually found an organic farm less than 20 miles from my house with a reasonable share fee. I firmly believe in supporting local business and try my best to eat organic (even before my diagnosis!) so I think this may be a match made in heaven! I look forward to whatever bounty the farm my offer: fresh lettuces, tomatoes, squash in the fall - I can't think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day and yet another year one milestone passed in this journey I am on!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Team SOS (Save Our Sisters)

Had my 1st dragonboat team practice and it was sweet! You can make out my blonde head next to Megan (not sure of the spelling) who was sporting the very same 'do! We are both breast cancer survivors and most of my team is some sort of cancer survivor. Coach Ellen is great - very funny but at the same time serious. We paddle on Lake Parsippany and although the water was quite cold, the evening was warm and we worked up a sweat as we learned the various terms and strokes used in competition. More info as I get it about races, etc.

Being filmed for Better TV today on behalf of Team Aquaphor - I'll let everyone know details when I have them!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

365 Days Later

It is April 7th, 2009. 365 days have come and gone since I heard those few words that would impact my life so greatly: "I'm sorry, your biopsy was positive. You have cancer." I do not quite recall what the doctor said after that. I know I stood there waiting for the punchline that was never delivered and then realized she wasn't kidding and this situation was not funny. What a year. While I may not look back and laugh, I do look back at what I have learned.

I spent last evening at the wake of a local 39 year old woman who dies of breast cancer. She was a wife of a former co-worker of mine. She was a mother, a teacher, and judging by the photos her husband Jim had on display last night, someone who loved life. As I waited over an hour to say something to Jim, it was he who said something to me. He was aware of my battle during the past year. He asked how I was doing - how I was doing? How about him? I said I take each day as it comes and he said to me, "Do not forget that every day is a gift, that is what my days with Karen were and that is what I told my daughter too". Those words reminded quickly reminded me how wrapped up I had become in the trivial again, how "normal life" had quickly become a familiar routine.

So as I laced my sneakers this morning for a run I thought about Jim's words and the past year and I made a point to look at the sky as the sun rose through the clouds. I left my iPod home so I could hear myself think. As I ran I sent many, many thank yous to the heavens as I feel good, I can run, and I can say, "Cancer? Been there, done that - last year."

If you are reading this note through Facebook, this is actually a post to my blog, I started my blog 4/17 - 10 days after diagnosis as a place to keep family and friends up to date as to what was going on with me and also as a way to share my experience with any other woman who may facing similar circumstances. I will continue to write and continue to fight until, well, I am not sure where or how it this will end but that is part of what makes life worth living - hey, you never know what tomorrow might bring so be sure to enjoy today!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

C'est magnifique!

I am back in the USA. I say back because at this time last week I was sleeping in an apartment on Le Avenue d'Opera in Paris. What a trip!

Greg and I spent three days in Paris and had a most wonderful guide - our friend Stephane. Stephane is an artist we met in Germany (oh aren't we cosmopolitan!) while attending the wedding of friends Nora and Jason. He had mentioned we should come to Paris so we went! Since we were in France we figured we should take the train ride to Switzerland and visit Greg's sister Mary so we did. Mary and her husband David live in a beautiful house set on the hillside in Mogelsberg.

Being in Europe made me reflect back over the past year. The one year anniversary of my biopsy was 4/1. Greg accompanied me to the hospital after I received a call to come back for an ultrasound since they thought they saw something in the films I had taken on 3/17. I tell everyone when I first heard the message Chilton Hospital left for me, my first thought was, ".. oh, they must have had a problem with my insurance..." never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I had to have more tests. While there on 4/1 I kept waiting for someone to say "April's Fools!" Greg was with me because we were headed to Michigan for his grandmother's funeral.

I was so shocked when they said they found a lump, even more so when they showed me how to feel it. When they broke out the surgical cart to do a biopsy I felt the world start to spin out of control. And so my journey began...

The trip to Paris and Switzerland was a welcome distraction from the events of the past year. We saw so much: Notre Dame, the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower just to name a few highlights and ate incredible meals. I'll be posting pictures soon!