Monday, December 31, 2012


Less than eight hours to go in 2012.  I have been reviewing posts across various sites and for the most part it appears no one is sad to say goodbye to this year.  While 2012 brought me many challenges, it also brought me many opportunities.  Many things changed for me in 2012: where I call home, what I call "my job"; and I am now equidistant to age 50 as I am to age 40. (How that happened I'll never know!)

During the course of 2012 I can now claim to have two black labs, can say I go to the beach at least once a week and also that I have an MS in health communications.  2012 also brought me once again to Coachella (yes, I saw the hologram - it was pretty good!) and to the Vermont dragonboat races for the first time. I ran the Tri-State Tough Mudder for a 2nd run - this time joined by my husband. I wore a two piece "sexy Santa" outfit and ran around Boston in December.  I jumped into the Cape Cod Bay on December 1st to celebrate the Brewster Holiday Stroll. Yes, much fun was had in 2012.

I look forward to 2013 for one thing more than any other - 2013 will mark my five years "clean" and cancer free. No more meds and I will be considered a true survivor.  I will of course freak myself out until I get my mammogram and full body scan but I am trying to not think about it and have plenty to distract me: a new job, the upcoming 2013 Disney Goofy Challenge, skiing with friends, Paris, a BFF's wedding, graduations, and more.  I also have a few resolutions I hope to keep such as to continue my yoga practice,  to truly embrace the ideal of "Reduce, Re-use, Recycle", to start my Ph.D, and to do one thing a month totally new.  I have not yet decided what I will do in January but I will be sure to report on whatever it is.

Happy New Year All!  Embrace 2013 and live each day to its fullest potential!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Wow - not sure how November snuck by... I guess it is due to so much going on these days.  We had a great Thanksgiving at my brother Phil's house. We were joined by Greg's mom and my friend Jess and her fiance Kevin.  Jess asked me to be her maid of honor!  I can't wait - Kleinfled here we come!

My career at Express Scripts/Medco came to an end on 11/22.  All for the best considering I am living in Massachusetts and my office was in Franklin Lakes, NJ.  I am forever indebted to several folks in the Digital Strategy group, namely Amy Foley, Kathy Zaccone and Cathy Pfund.  All three were instrumental to my sanity during the past four, almost five years.  They know why.

On a very sad note, one of my "sisters" is currently losing the battle to the beast; even as I type this she may have departed this world.  My dear ASZ, you battled the beast that is breast cancer more fiercely than anyone I have met; I will see you again one day and we will paddle the fastest, lightest dragon boat and always win gold.  Thank you for your honesty about how much this disease just sucks and I will always remember the love you had for your children in my prayers.

Speaking of the beast, another friend/former co-worker was diagnosed at an age even younger than me.  Seriously - we need do to better here!!!  The propensity of this disease in younger women is just plain scary.

So yes, I am angry and sad.  I have lost a friend and have the knowledge that another has started the battle.  I consider this after refilling my weekly pillbox and thinking to myself, I am now less than a year away from having to be "in treatment".  Yessir, less than three more mail orders fills for me of Tamoxifen- crazy right???

So onto the good upcoming 45th birthday - hooray!  These days I love aging - it is such a gift!  Greg and I made a pledge to celebrate each day of December with something that gives us joy.  We actually started on the last day of November with a holiday performance by the Cape Cod Symphony - thanks to my brother Chris and his wife Irena.  We spent Saturday December 1st enjoying"Brewster for the Holidays" which we capped off with the very first ever Brewster Polar Bear Plunge!  It was cold!  Today we started the day off by putting up our Christmas lights and then we spent the afternoon with my brother Phil and my niece and nephew,  Maia and Gavin, at the 2012 Museum of Natural History open house.  There were games, candy, hot cocoa, cookies, photos with Santa and actually a very nice day weatherwise.  Tomorrow we will be going to see the movie Lincoln which may not seem to be festive but we will spend the hour or so prior to the show shopping for "Ugly Christmas Sweaters" as we have been invited to attend a party in Beantown that requires such wear.

We will be doing something festive each day until the new year - I'll be sure to keep you posted.  Be sure to take some time to enjoy the season and tell those you love that you do!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Oh - the photo...yes, we now have two black labs.  My brother Phil rescued Brandy from the Boston Animal Rescue League but it appears my niece Maia is allergic to her.  An incredibly sweet dog, Greg and I could not bear the thought of her being returned to a cage.  So...Neo now has a friend to play with.  Brandy is a pure breed American lab; she is seven years old and has settled into our family very nicely.  Crazy?  Maybe, but watching Neo and Brady run down the beach, tails wagging and tongues flying free,  reminds us every time of just how great this life can be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rockin' Pink

The New Balance Breast Cancer Awareness Dress

Pinktober 2012 is here.  Once again I am posting my daily pink item to my Facebook page.  This year I was also "pinked" as you will see in the link above.  Four years cancer free - woohoo!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Amazingly, the month of August is almost 1/2 way over. Yes, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London have held their closing ceremonies, back-to- school advertising has begun in earnest and the sun is setting just that much earlier to be noticeable.

I am not complaining. Greg and I have had one heck of a magical summer. We have spent the bulk of our time in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. For those of you not familiar with West Barnstable it is situated just a few miles fom the Cape Cod Canal. On Cape Cod. Yes, we have spent an entire summer on Cape Cod. We have visited the beach more than once a week, taken the Cape Cod railroad tour and the Cape Cod canal tour via the Hyline boat, lunched on Nantucket, attended the Wellfleet drive-in for all the summer blockbusters, rode our bikes to the beach, taught Neo to jump the waves at the ocean, eaten more than our share of fresh seafood while Greg supported Cape Cod Beer and I readied myself for the Falmouth Road Race which went off despite a rainy start and an incredibly humid finish.

We have been to Tanglewood to celebrate their 75th anniversary and to Burlington, VT to partake in the Sisters of the Heart dragonboat races. Greg did his first race - a Spartan no less and we saw the Pops once again in Hyannis. The end of my time as a BU grad student is just around the corner - five days to be exact. We will cap the month off by celebrating the marriage of my youngest brother Nick to his beautiful fiancee Haley up in Boston and return to the Cape for a final week of fun and family.

Meanwhile a friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer and faces surgery this upcoming week.  September brings the Komen walk and as I celebrate my four years clean, I grow nervous with my semi-annual oncologist appointment only  a few days away.  A magical summer?  It sure will be if I walk away from that appointment without a fear of making it to my five year mark.  Doing anything September 9th?  Join us in Central Park in your finest pink attire for the Komen Race for the Cure- believe me, it is a cause worth supporting!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Summer Day

I had the good fortune to take a yoga class at 7:30 in the morning on Coast Guard Beach this past Saturday.  For those unfamiliar, Coast Guard is the gateway to the "Great Beach", that is the 20 miles of uninterrupted shoreline owned by mostly the National Seashore on Cape Cod.  

While the instructor was somewhat a bit too chatty for me at that hour of the morning, (especially since I ran out to the beach and just wanted to zone out to the sound of crashing waves), she read this poem aloud to us and it has stuck with me ever since.  I found it fitting that the author lives in Provincetown, the wonderfully eccentric town tipping the Cape.  Life is wild and precious - enjoy every day.  

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's May! Oh,'s June!!!

Anyone know what happened to the month of May?  Last I knew it was the end of April and I was looking forward to a May filled with great events, a Florida trip with friends, graduation, a holiday weekend on Cape Cod and "BAM" June it is!  I have passed a few "four year" milestones - my diagnosis and surgery and the beginning of chemo.  The five year marker is now in sight and I am hopeful, nah, strike that, I am confident, I'll be sitting here in April 2013 unable to comprehend how fast five years can come and go. This time, I will never be so happy to have aged five years, to join the group of stats that are "post five years"; we have more than one friend battling the beast this year and it serves as a constant reminder to me of just how grateful I am for every morning I wake up no matter how tired and grouchy I may be!

I cannot complain about the days flying by as it is better than watching the hours tick by.  I am thankful to be busy, to still be running, to be gainfully employed, to have great friends and a great family. Summer 2012 brings time on Cape Cod, the impending birth of a dear college friend's first child,  the Tanglewood 75th anniversary show, lots of swimming for my dog Neo, the Jersey Girl triathlon, a few pre-season games to see Big Blue, Tough Mudder training with my husband, and will wrap up with my youngest brother Nick's wedding.  I am sure I'll be sitting here come September and wondering where the heck summer went!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

I compare the month of April to one big carnival ride... incredibly fun, a bit wild, and leaves you a bit dizzy...the month kicked off with the culmination of the ESI-Medco merger.  All I can say is: wow.  Change is always what you make of it although I will not lie, it was difficult to drive out of the office complex and see the Medco letters laying on the ground as our building gained new branding.  For twelve years I had been a Medco employee so it has taken a while for Express Scripts to roll off of my tongue.  I am extremely hopeful that this new mega healthcare provider can truly impact the US system regardless of what may happen to the Affordable Care Act.

I'll be better equipped to embrace the latest and greatest in healthcare issues come the end of the summer as I finish my MS in Health Communications.  It is simply amazing how quickly classes have flown by.  Even more amazing are my fellow classmates; what an amazing bunch of folks from professions across the healthcare spectrum!  Look out world - here comes a newly minted crowd of health communicators, and Terriers at that!

Greg, Neo, and I spent Easter on the Cape and I once again attended the Coachella Music Festival.  Suddenly next week May begins and I only just realized that the anniversaries of my cancer diagnosis and surgery passed without nary a mention by me.  Distracted?  Maybe.  Moving on with life?  Definitely!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Madness

Queen: Don't Stop Me Now

Somehow February snuck by and left me wondering once again how is it that days can pass so quickly?  Perhaps it was the back to back 1/2 marathon weekends: one in Hampton, NH and the other in Hyannis, MA, that I ran with my cousin Kristen.  Or maybe it was the class I just finished with its weekly assignments, and exams.  Or could be the fact that my entire seasonal clock is off thanks the kindness Mother Nature has shown us this winter, or whatever season we just had. 

  That would be the sound of my hand hitting my head... I know what it was:  it was the visits to my oncologist, surgeon, ob/gyn, radiologist, cardiologist and dermatologist.  It was my mammogram, ultrasound, EKG, 24 hour holter monitor test, and three rounds of blood work.  It was the celebration of hearing "Normal","All good", and "See you next year"! Yes, February gave me peace of mind that I had made it to year number four and remained cancer free...oh, 2013 I cannot wait to welcome you!!!

I start class number eight of ten tomorrow.  I will walk in graduation in May and finish officially later this summer. Timing could not be better as my employer stands poised on the brink of one of the largest merger's in US history. I have spent much time reflecting on my next move and it seems I change my mind daily.  Thankfully I am able to go with the flow and after the past four years, I have learned that every day is a gift and that we might like to think we control our fate while what we truly control is how we overcome the challenges and celebrate the beauty that this life gives us. This year I am focused on appreciating the little things in life: the arrival of spring, the joy my nieces and nephews bring, the luxury of time once finished with my degree, good times with friends, the furry love of my Lab, and the love of my family.  (Sure, there are a few triathlons and road races in there too!)

We changed the clocks this morning so we will have sun until after 7pm tonight which can only mean summer is not that far away.  I close by quoting Queen's Freddie Mercury, "Don't stop me now, I'm havin' such a good time, I'm havin' a ball...."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My first post of 2012 and January is already drawing to a close.  I am back in class, my 8 month old "puppy" now weighs 71 lbs., and every day that passes is another closer to the proposed merger/acquisition of my employer of 12 years by one of our competitors.  Add on the fact that my mother-in-law retired and Greg and I have the responsibility of overseeing her affairs and just for kicks, I just started my annual round of stress-inducing physician visits starting with labwork... and people wonder why I run?

Got my lab results back and while I admit I am not a doctor and I know you cannot believe everything you read on the internet, I think it best I leave interpretations of results up to my docs.  Let's see, over the course of the next three weeks I will be seeing my oncologist, radiologist, cardiologist, surgeon, ob/gyn, primary care doc, having a mammogram and an EKG as well as being wired up with a Holter monitor for 24 hours.  I am optimistic that I will then proceed through 2012 without a health related issue.  I am counting down until 2013 for it is during that year I will reach my five year "clean" anniversary and hopefully it will allow me to breathe a little bit easier every day as the fear of recurrence should not be so persuasive in my crazy but normal life.

Much to look forward to this year aside from my medical visits: Superbowl XLVI bringing a Giants vs. Patriots rematch, a visit to see dear friends, birthdays, the debut of my Dad's new shop, Coachella, graduation (HOORAY!), my brother's wedding this summer, a bunch of races, a few "milestone birthdays" within my immediate circle of "BFFs", and a new Batman movie... yes, 2012 is shaping up to be a very good year!!!